Saturday, May 23, 2015

CHPP Daily Brief: "Praying for All in Authority" Friday, May 22, 2015

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Today is Day Eight of Anne Graham Lotz' call to prayer: MAY DAY! MAY DAY!
To learn more about this call to prayer, please go here.

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief:
"Praying for All in Authority"
Friday, May 22, 2015

"The horse is made ready for the day of battle,
but victory rests with the LORD."

(Proverbs 21:31)

In honor of Memorial Day next Monday, May 25th, we will not publish the Daily Brief. We will resume publication on Tuesday. Thank you.

Special Announcement!

Please join Lisa Crump, Director of Prayer Mobilization for the NDP Task Force, and other prayer leaders every day at noon (EDT) for one-half hour of prayer on behalf of THE RESPONSE, Charleston, South Carolina, on June 13.

Use conference number: 712-432-0075
And access code: 4961322#
Time: Noon to 12:30 p.m. daily

To learn more about THE RESPONSE: SOUTH CAROLINA, please go here.
Thank you.

A Rainbow Over the Supreme Court
This photo of the front of the Supreme Court was taken the night before the hearings on gay marriage:

Monday, April 27, at sunset. Please remain with us in prayer over the pending decision on traditional marriage until the verdict has been rendered.

" . . . from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. . . What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Mark 10: 6,9)

Thank You, Lord, for watching over this Court. In Jesus' name, amen.

The Middle East in Focus

"Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed," says the LORD, who has compassion on you." (Isaiah 54:10)

1. Governor of Bethlehem Cancels Christian Event Scheduled for West Bank Site Due to 'Significant Political and Religious Pressure' - Christian Post

JERUSALEM - An outdoor Christian worship event set to be hosted by the Empowered21 Global Congress in Manger Square, Bethlehem on Friday was abruptly cancelled by the Palestinian Authority governor of Bethlehem, Abdel Fattah Hamayel, due to "significant political and religious pressure."

The event, which was supposed to be a time of praise, prayer and preaching focused on the coming of Jesus in Bethlehem, which now forms a part of the West Bank, was initially greenlit by the office of Bethlehem Mayor Vera George Mousa Baboun, according to co-chair of the Empowered21 global Spirit-empowered movement, William Wilson, who is also president of Oral Roberts University.

Read More

2. World Bank: Gaza facing 'dangerous fiscal crisis'- Times of Israel

The Gaza Strip has the world's highest unemployment and Palestinians, Israelis and donors must take action to avoid a "dangerous fiscal crisis," the World Bank said Friday.

The report, prepared ahead of the bi-annual meeting of the Ad Hoc Liaison Committee (AHLC) which coordinates international donor support for the Palestinians, comes nearly a year after the 50-day conflict between Gaza terrorists and Israel.

According to the World Bank, the virtual disappearance of Gaza's exports can be explained by no other variable than "war and the blockade."

Read More

3. US to restock IDF stores with bunker busters, guided bombs - YNET News

The US State Department approved a massive sale of bombs and missiles worth $1.897 billion, pending final congressional authorization. The procurement package includes bunker buster munitions and its timing suggests the Americans are seeking to alleviate Israeli concerns over the developing deal with Iran.

The colossal weapons deal is believed to also be intended to prevent vocal opposition by Israel and its allies to the commitments made by President Barack Obama at Camp David to arming Gulf states.

Read More

4. U.S. official in Israel to discuss Mideast nuclear arms ban - Reuters

A senior U.S. official is in Israel to discuss the possibility of a compromise that would keep alive the idea of someday banning nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East, U.S. officials and U.N. diplomats said on Thursday.

Friday is the final day of a month-long review conference on the 1970 nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) at United Nations headquarters in New York. The conference has bogged down on several issues, above all the failure to convene a planned 2012 conference on a Middle East weapons of mass destruction (WMD) ban.

Without agreement on the Middle East issue, diplomats said treaty signatories might fail to agree approve final outcome document at the conference.

Last month, Egypt, backed by other Arab and non-aligned states, proposed that U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon convene a regional conference on banning WMD as called for at the 2010 NPT review meeting, with or without Israel's participation. Washington and Israel oppose the idea.

Read More

5. Erekat: New Israeli Government is 'Racist' - Israel National News

The Palestinian Authority's (PA) chief negotiator, Saeb Erekat, is once again attacking Israel and its new government, calling it "racist" and "extremist".

According to the Ma'an news agency, Erekat's comments were made during a meeting Wednesday with the European Union's Foreign Policy chief, Federica Mogherini, who is visiting the region in an attempt to convince the sides to resume peace talks.

"It is clear through [Prime Minister Binyamin] Netanyahu's actions, comments, and remarks that Israel has paved a new wave of racist and extremist policies and is not a partner for peace," Erekat charged.

Erekat denounced an Israeli plan, which has since been shelved, to have Jews and Arabs ride separate buses in Judea and Samaria. He claimed that the plan would "sterilize" public transportation systems, segregating Palestinians and implementing Jewish-only public transport.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon has already clarified that the plan was not to segregate buses, but to ensure that workers leaving the PA returned home at night.

Read More

6. After Palmyra, Islamic State said to control half of Syria - Times of Israel

In a new move consolidating its grip in Syria, IS seized on Thursday Al-Tanaf, the last regime-held crossing on the border with Iraq, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said. With their gains in Palmyra earlier Thursday, the monitor said the jihadists now control half of Syria's territory.

The monitor said IS control of Al-Tanaf, known as Al-Walid by Iraqis, means Syrian government forces have lost control over the porous border.

The Observatory said jihadists spread out Thursday through Palmyra, including at the archaeological site in the city's southwest, and executed 17 people accused of "working with the regime."

The Islamic State group seized Syria's Palmyra on Thursday, as UNESCO warned that the destruction of the ancient city would be "an enormous loss to humanity."

Read More

The Daily Brief

1. All for nothing? US vets who fought for Ramadi angry over fall to ISIS - Fox News

Iraqi War veteran Sgt. Ben Rangel remembers fighting to secure the city of Ramadi when he first arrived in Iraq for a tour of duty in 2004. He also recalls the bloodshed.

Now, like other veterans who fought Iraqi insurgents for the capital city of Iraq's Anbar province, as well as the loved ones who died in fierce battles there, Rangel bristles at the sight of the ISIS flag-waving above the government complex. Many are wondering why their hard-fought gains were so easily surrendered when Iraqi forces, following the U.S. pullout, were unable to stand up to the black-clad terrorist army.(Read more)

- Father God, on this weekend, when we all honor our veterans on Memorial Day, we, too, stand perplexed at how this disaster has befallen us. Father, we ask You to comfort the hearts of those who served in Ramadi, and the hearts of those who have lost loved ones in this battle. We ask for answers, Lord, and we ask that Your wisdom be granted to those who serve now, that we might yet regain the ground that has suddenly been lost in Iraq. In Jesus' name, amen and amen.

- "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matthew 11:28)

2. Bishop: U.S. State Department Denies Visa for Assyrian Christians in Iraq Who Face Imminent Persecution from ISIS - The Gospel Herald Society

"Donors in the private sector have offered complete funding for the airfare and the resettlement in the United States of these Iraqi Christians . . . but the State Department-while admitting 4,425 Somalis to the United States in just the first six months of 2015, and possibly even accepting members of ISIS through the Syrian and Iraqi refugee program, all paid for by tax dollars, [said] they 'would not support a special category to bring Assyrian Christians into the United States.'" -Faith J.H. McDonnell (Read more)

- Father God, once again, this is a travesty. Our State Department is admitting our enemies inside our gates, but shutting out our friends. We ask that the Angel of the Presence of the Lord would go ahead of these precious Assyrian Christian refugees, and make a way for them to enter in to America. We ask this in Jesus' name, amen and amen.

- "The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.""
(Exodus 33:14)

3. Trove of Bin Laden documents released - Fox News

U.S. intelligence officials on Wednesday released a trove of documents recovered during the 2011 raid on Usama bin Laden's compound -- offering a rare window into the operations of Al Qaeda and bin Laden's involvement in leading the network from his Pakistan hideaway.

(One) letter shows him celebrating the Arab Spring revolutions which had toppled Tunisia's leader at that point and were mounting in several other countries. "These are gigantic events that will eventually engulf most of the Muslim world, will free the Muslim land from American hegemony, and is troubling America whose Secretary of State declared that they are worried about the armed Muslims controlling the Muslim region," bin Laden wrote, according to a translated version.  Bin Laden, writing to a follower identified as Atiyah, called for more Al Qaeda involvement in these countries once their leaders were deposed.  (Read more)

- Abba Father, we give You thanks that Osama bin Ladin was captured and killed. We pray that the information that was gathered at his capture would be used for our benefit. In His Name we pray, Amen.

- "I will also bring upon you a sword which will execute vengeance for the covenant; and when you gather together into your cities, I will send pestilence among you, so that you shall be delivered into enemy hands." (Leviticus 26:25)

4. Three Years After He 'Ended the War': Obama Declares Iraq a 'National Emergency' for U.S. -

President Barack Obama sent a message to Congress yesterday giving notice that he was extending the "national emergency" the United States has experienced as a result of the problems in Iraq since 2003, when the U.S. first invaded that country and removed the regime of Saddam Hussein.

President Obama pulled the last U.S. troops out of Iraq at the end of 2011. Then--while running for reelection in 2012--he repeatedly stated at campaign rallies that he had "ended" the war in Iraq. "We've ended the war in Iraq," Obama said at a June 25, 2012, rally in New Hampshire for example. "I've kept the commitments that I've made," he said in Iowa on Oct. 24, 2012. "I told you we'd end the war in Iraq. We did."

The message he sent to Congress on Tuesday said that he was extending a "national emergency" becauase the situation in Iraq continues "to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States." . . . "Obstacles to the orderly reconstruction of Iraq, the restoration and maintenance of peace and security in the country, and the development of political, administrative, and economic institutions in Iraq continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to the national security and foreign policy of the United States," Obama said. "Accordingly, I have determined that it is necessary to continue the national emergency with respect to the stabilization of Iraq." (Read more)

- Oh Lord God! We praise You that You are on the throne and that all things are in Your hands. We ask that You would oversee this "national emergency". Abba Father, You said that there would always be wars and rumors of war. We pray that America would not be tangled in another middle east war.

Abba, the kings and emirs on the ground feel that an American army would increase ISIS recruitment. We pray for the empowerment of Arab army forces that will be able to defeat ISIS. We pray that Iraq be divided into three sections: one for the Sunnis, one for the Shi'ite and one for the Kurds. We pray for Syria.

We pray that our role will only be as advisors. We pray that not one American life be lost in all of this. And most of all that You would receive all the glory, and that Muslims would accept Jesus Christ as their Savior. In His Name we pray, Amen.

- "For nothing will be impossible with God." (Isaiah 1:37)

5. Terrorists could bring down U.S. grid with radio waves - WND

Terrorists armed with inexpensive radio frequency weapons that can emit powerful electromagnetic microwave energy could cause blackouts that would offer operational advantages over assault rifles and bombs, according to an EMP expert cited in Joseph Farah's G2 Bulletin.

Peter Pry, executive director of the congressional advisory Task Force on National and Homeland Security, told G2 that radio frequency weapons, or RFWs, are a non-nuclear EMP weapon capable of emitting a pulse similar to an E1 EMP from a nuclear weapon, except with less energy and a much shorter radius, out to a distance of less than a mile, Pry said. "Thanks to RF Weapons," Pry said, "we have arrived at a place where the technological pillars of civilization for a major metropolitan area could be toppled by a single individual." (Read more)

- Heavenly Father, we ask You to awaken our congressional members to the extreme danger our national grid is under.  Here is another report of how easily an enemy could shut down parts of our grid which is such a key part of our infrastructure. Awaken them, Father, as to how this could impact their lives as well as ours, so that protection for this grid may be legislated and established.  We pray this in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.

- "Do they not go astray who devise evil? But mercy and truth belong to those who devise good." (Prov. 14:22)

6. New Poll of Muslim Countries Finds Large Support for Terrorists - The Clarion Project

A new Pew poll of 11 Muslim countries shows that Islamist terrorist groups still command double-digit support, with Hamas being looked upon favorably by about one-third of respondents. About one-fourth do not have an opinion of the terrorists, leaving them up for grabs in the ideological war.

The poll found that overall Muslim support for acts of violence against civilians in the name of Islam has dropped over the last decade, while concern about Islamic extremism has risen. About 67% are concerned about extremism in their faith and 27% are unconcerned.

The 11 countries surveyed are: Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestinian Territories, Senegal, Tunisia and Turkey. The country with the worst trend is Turkey. It is the only country where support for suicide bombings has increased. (Read more)

- Abba Father, we know from reality that it only takes a few terrorists to inflict nightmarish violent acts upon masses of people.  We take the blood bought Cross of Jesus Christ and slam it down into the midst of these nations' spiritual atmosphere to shatter this violent mindset and to release into this atmosphere Your glorious light.  We pray this in Jesus' Name, Amen and Amen.

- "Give us help from trouble, for the help of man is useless. Through God we will do valiantly, for it is He who shall tread down our enemies." (Psalm 108:12-13)

7. Boehner rips VA for firing almost nobody, year after Shinseki resignation - Fox News

House Speaker John Boehner tore into Veterans Affairs leadership Wednesday, alleging that nearly a year after then-Secretary Eric Shinseki resigned amid the scandal over veterans care, his successors have done little to fix the agency -- or even discipline those involved in the wait-times crisis. "Just one person has been fired. One," Boehner said in a scathing House floor speech. "What the hell happened to the rest of them? "

He appealed for the agency to take care of America's veterans as well as they take care "of the bureaucrats."

Boehner, R-Ohio, said he is especially frustrated that so few VA officials have been fired, despite evidence that at least 110 VA facilities kept secret lists to manipulate and hide long wait-times. (Read more)

- Lord God, we do thank You that Speaker Boehner is calling the V.A. to account for the flagrant lack of action on this life-and-death policy . . . now one year since it came to light. We ask, Lord God, that the head of the V.A. now take serious heed to this critical need, and then take the action necessary to remedy this "mess." The lives of our veterans still hang in the balance. We ask this in Jesus' name, amen and amen.

- "There is a way which seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death." (Prov. 14:12)

8. Senate scrambles to save Patriot Act - The Hill

Will remain in Saturday session on Memorial Day weekend

The Senate will drag everyone to Capitol Hill on Saturday for a rare weekend vote to try and resolve the debate over the National Security Agency's surveillance programs. Senators are scrambling to nail down a way to preserve critical NSA programs before portions of the Patriot Act run out at the end of the month.

Democrats appear united in support of an NSA reform bill, the House-passed USA Freedom Act, after Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.) reportedly said that he would support the legislation. At least a half-dozen Republicans are also sure bets to vote for it, and multiple others have signaled that they are undecided. The Patriot Act provisions expire on the morning of June 1 -- the same day that the House is scheduled to return from its Memorial Day recess. Unless the Senate passes the House bill, those provisions will expire, at least temporarily. (Read more)

- Pray in the Spirit over all aspects related to the Patriot Act. Only God knows His will for our people related to this aspect of our national security. Pray!

- "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit . . ." (Eph. 6:18a)

9. Senate clears hurdle on bill to give Obama fast-track authority on Pacific Rim trade deal - Washington Post

Republicans and a small band of Democrats rescued President Obama's trade agenda from the brink of failure Thursday, clearing a key hurdle in the Senate but leaving the final outcome in doubt.

Supporters must still navigate a set of tricky-but-popular proposals that could torpedo the legislation's chances, and its fate in the House remains a tossup because Obama faces entrenched opposition from his own party.

But Thursday's victory kept alive Obama's bid to secure a broad trade deal with Pacific Rim nations by advancing legislation that would give him expanded authority to complete the accord.

On a vote of 62 to 38, the measure for fast-track authority received just enough Democratic support to keep it moving, following a last-ditch lobbying effort by Obama and his top advisers. The TPA bill is now more likely to pass the Senate, but supporters still must defeat a few amendments that administration officials say would draw a veto. The measure would then head for an uncertain fate in the House, where Democratic opposition to Obama's trade agenda is deeper. (Read more)

- Lord, as we read through the entire article, we can see that these senators kept wrangling over this vote for up to 30 minutes, going back and forth on the Senate floor, talking to colleagues. We see, too, that even with this vote yesterday, the TPA is not yet a "done deal." Lord God, we ask You to move into the midst of these discussions and turn the hearts of these legislators to do Your will regarding this act. We ask this in Jesus' name, amen and amen.

- "Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10)

9. Ukraine crisis: President Poroshenko talks of 'real war' with Russia - BBC

Ukraine's president has told the BBC his country is now in a "real war" with Russia - and that Ukrainians should prepare for a Russian offensive. President Petro Poroshenko told the BBC's Fergal Keane he did not trust his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. However he said he had no option but to negotiate with Mr Putin. (Read more)

- Ah Lord God! Everywhere there is talk of war. President Poroshenko of the Ukraine prepares for war with Russia. We pray that President Poroshenko will be able to negotiate a peace treaty with President Putin. Lord have mercy on the Ukraine. In His Name we pray, Amen.

- "Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle." (I Chronicles 20:1)

The Daily Jot

Honoring the preservers of liberty

Some time ago, I was re-watching the movie "Midway." Six months after the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, they were trying to set a trap for the US Navy and destroy it. The American commanders actually set a trap of their own and the highly outnumbered US forces won a decisive victory. I am always humbled by the selfless and heroic efforts made by the World War II generation. They sacrificed their lives for something they believed was bigger than them. They knew the value of family; the power of God; and that life and liberty was foundational to being an American, and it was worth fighting for. They were defined by their courage and character, their dedication to what was right and good.

For me, Memorial Day was always a solemn day first, and a day of great celebration second. Growing up, our 4-H horse club always participated in the Memorial Day Parade that wound through Rootstown, Ohio and ended up at the cemetery. There, we faced the graves of those who served their country, many who died that we might live free. Our horses were to stand at attention, and we were to sit on them, also at attention, our hats removed, as the speakers honored America's finest. Afterwards, we would load up the horses and head back to the farm, where we had a cookout, usually with Warren and Sue McCarthy, Gene and Betty Flynn, Bob and Doris Harris and their families.

Warren and Gene served on D-Day. They survived it. And they were decorated war heroes. Not much of what they did was ever discussed. But you somehow knew that they were special. My dad, who was a farmer during the war, was best friends with these men. He knew what went on, but would never say. They were among the finest men I knew growing up. My uncle Bob Harris served in the Philippines. There were times when he had flashbacks. My dad would get a call from my aunt and he would find Uncle Bob, talk him down and hold him until the terror passed. He, too, was a decorated hero. All these men knew the price of freedom and they understood their civic duty to their families, their God and their country.

I'm sure you have stories as well about the brave men and women who served in our nation's armed forces. President Ronald Reagan remembered veterans in his speech May 26, 1986. He said, "If we really care about peace, we must stay strong. If we really care about peace, we must, through our strength, demonstrate our unwillingness to accept an ending of the peace. We must be strong enough to create peace where it does not exist and strong enough to protect it where it does." To me, there will never be peace on earth until the Lord returns. Jesus said, however, in Matthew 5:9, "Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God." Many have sacrificed themselves that we may have peace and freedom. Let us honor their deeds.

Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Bill Wilson

America Honors Our Veterans

America Honors Our Veterans:

Memorial Day Events Planned in Every State in the Nation


Once again this year, our nation's capital will host a series of events, honoring our veterans on Memorial Day weekend. Here are the most popular:

1) Sunday afternoon: Rolling Thunder Motorcycle Rally

Sunday, May 24, 2015. Departure from the Pentagon at 12 p.m. Speaker Program and Musical Tribute 1:30 p.m. at the Reflecting Pool across from The Lincoln Memorial. Thousands of motorcycles ride through Washington in an annual demonstration seeking to improve veteran benefits and resolve POW/MIA issues. See Photos of Rolling Thunder here.

2) Sunday evening: National Memorial Day Concert

The National Memorial Day concert in Washington DC features a mix of dramatic readings, documentary footage and live musical performances, along with an all-star line-up of dignitaries, actors and musical artists. The concert features actors Joe Mantegna and Gary Sinise, and other guest artists along with the National Symphony Orchestra. The FREE annual event is held on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol Building and kicks off the summer season in the nation's capital. The concert airs live on PBS from 8-9:30 p.m. and is repeated from 9:30-11 p.m.

3) Memorial Day: Monday, May 25 - National Memorial Day Parade

Beginning at 2 p.m., the parade of Marching Bands and Veterans units from all 50 states steps off at the corner of Constitution Avenue and 7th Streets, NW and proceeds along Constitution Avenue, past the White House, ending at 17th Street. The National Memorial Day Parade is sponsored by the World War II Veterans Committee and includes patriotic floats and helium-filled balloons.See Photos of the National Memorial Day Parade in Washington, DC.

- Lord God, this year we ask an extra level of protection to rest upon all who will celebrate this great holiday this weekend . . . all across the nation. Father, we ask You to send forth Your warring angels to keep us from all harm, and we plead the precious shed Blood of the Lamb throughout. Thank You, Lord, for hearing our prayer, amen and amen.
- "And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death." (Rev. 12:11)
Thank you intercessors in Israel and Australia for joining with us in this prayer.

ISIS Advances (Palmyra)

ISIS Advances

While Barack Obama is waging war on climate change, ISIS is advancing on all fronts. The key Iraqi city of Ramadi fell over the weekend. Yesterday, the jihadists seized the ancient city of Palmyra, Syria. Ramadi is 80 miles from Baghdad. Palmyra is 130 miles from Damascus.

The Associated Press reports that nearly 17,000 foreigners from 90 countries are reinforcing the jihadi ranks. By some accounts, ISIS -- that "JV team" Obama once dismissed -- may now control more than half of Syria, including most of its gas and oil fields. Combined with its territory in Iraq, the Islamic State is larger than Great Britain.

A year ago, Obama admitted that he didn't have a strategy for dealing with ISIS. It is increasingly obvious that he still does not have one. Even many on the left now realize it and they are starting to speak up.

Former CNN commentator Piers Morgan penned a blistering op-ed this week warning that ISIS was winning and that President Obama "only has himself to blame." Here's an excerpt:
"Obama's had plenty of time to devise a successful strategy for dealing with the emerging threat of ISIS, and so far he has spectacularly failed.

"As they beheaded Americans, he made somber speeches, then played golf minutes literally seven minutes later. . . . The clear message? 'Don't worry, I've got this all under control.' Only he hasn't. Many parts of Iraq and Syria are demonstrably raging OUT of control. Obama's 'lead from behind' military strategy . . . now looks hopelessly misguided. His decision to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq seems even more disastrous. . .

"It's time President Obama stopped talking a good game, and actually played one. Because I don't think it's too big a leap to suggest ISIS currently represents one of the biggest threats to global peace since the Nazis. . . . Sometimes, as the world found with Hitler, the only way to beat such an oppressive, evil enemy is through might. . . .

"President Obama has to stop telling us how well everything's going, admit this is now a very serious and unstable situation, and do something meaningful about it. . . . In short, the President has to show that the golf clubs are back in the bag now, and he's serious. ISIS is winning. They must be stopped. Or we'll all lose." (Gary Bauer)

ISIS Scores ANOTHER Victory

Islamic State seizes Syria's last border crossing with Iraq

The Islamic State militant group has seized the last border crossing between Syria and Iraq controlled by the Syrian government after security forces withdrew, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights monitoring group said on Thursday.

Iraqi officials said Iraqi security forces had also withdrawn from their side of the crossing known as al-Waleed in Iraq and al-Tanf in Syria. The crossing is in Syria's Homs province, where Islamic State on Wednesday seized the historic city of Palmyra from government forces.

It was not immediately clear when Islamic State took the site.

An Islamic State fighter contacted by Reuters confirmed the group had taken control of the crossing, which is a 240 km (150 miles) drive from Palmyra, known as Tadmur in Arabic.

Islamic State also controls a border crossing between Syrian province of Deir al-Zor and the Iraqi province of Anbar, while a border crossing between the two countries in northeastern Syria is controlled by a Kurdish militia, the YPG.

Islamic State has declared a cross-border "caliphate" in the territory it controls in Syria and Iraq. (Reuters)

Read more

Kudos To Cruz

Kudos To Cruz

Tuesday Senator Ted Cruz did a brief interview with a local reporter in Beaumont, Texas. The reporter repeatedly hectored Cruz with "gotcha" questions such as, "Do you have a personal animosity toward gay Americans?"

The senator knocked it out of the park. Here's what Cruz said:

"Is there something about the left -- and I am going to put the media in this category -- that is obsessed with sex? . . . ISIS is executing homosexuals -- you want to talk about gay rights? This week was a very bad week for gay rights because the expansion of ISIS, the expansion of radical, theocratic, Islamic zealots that crucify Christians, that behead children and that murder homosexuals -- that ought to be concerning you far more than asking six questions all on the same topic."
Sticking to his script, the reporter again asked, "Do you have a personal animosity toward gay Americans?" Cruz shot back:
"Do you have a personal animosity against Christians, sir? Your line of questioning is highly curious. You seem fixated on a particular subject. Look, I'm a Christian. Scripture commands us to love everybody. And what I have been talking about, with respect to same-sex marriage, is the Constitution, which is what we should all be focused on. The Constitution gives marriage to elected state legislators. It doesn't give the power of marriage to a president or to unelected judges to tear down the decisions enacted by democratically elected state legislatures."
Kudos to Ted Cruz! That is the right answer and the right way to handle hostile media. (Gary Bauer)

Scouts Cave

Scouts Cave

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, also the national president of the Boy Scouts of America, said today that he is urging the BSA to end its ban on homosexual adult leaders. Press reports say the decision was made "in order to avert potentially destructive legal battles."

I can't say that I am surprised. It was inevitable after the organization liberalized its membership rules two years ago. Many families committed to Judeo-Christian values have since joined Trail Life USA.

But note the reasoning behind this decision. The tolerant thing to do would have been for gay scouts to form their own group rather than demand that the Boy Scouts of America change its values under threat of "destructive legal battles."

But the militant left isn't asking for tolerance. It is demanding submission to its agenda. (Gary Bauer)


Our Grandmothers' Songs

Songs Our Grandmothers Sang:


"Now we see but a poor reflection . . . then we shall see face to face."
(1 Corinthians 13:12)


Face to face with Christ, my Savior,
Face to face-what will it be,
When with rapture I behold Him,
Jesus Christ Who died for me?


Face to face I shall behold Him,
Far beyond the starry sky;
Face to face in all His glory,
I shall see Him by and by!

Only faintly now I see Him,
With the darkened veil between,
But a bless├Ęd day is coming,
When His glory shall be seen.


What rejoicing in His presence,
When are banished grief and pain;
When the crooked ways are straightened,
And the dark things shall be plain.


Face to face-oh, blissful moment!
Face to face-to see and know;
Face to face with my Redeemer,
Jesus Christ Who loves me so.



Please go here.

Or, to sing along, go here.

About the Author:

Words: Car­rie E. Breck, 1898.

Music: Grant C. Tull­ar

About the Hymn:

Grant Tull­ar was help­ing with evan­geli­stic meet­ings in Ru­ther­ford, New Jer­sey. He, along with the pas­tor and his wife, did some vis­it­a­tion Sun­day af­ter­noon. They got back to the pas­tor's home ra­ther late, and sup­per was rushed. Things were put on the ta­ble quick­ly, and ev­er­y­one was in­vit­ed to make his own snack. One of the items set out was an al­most emp­ty jar of jel­ly. Know­ing how much Tul­lar liked it, the pas­tor and his wife both passed it by. Tul­lar ac­cept­ed their kind­ness with a smile, say­ing, "So, this is all for me, is it?" In­stant­ly, the lit­tle phrase "all for me" gripped his thoughts. He went over to the pi­a­no and com­posed on the spot the now fa­mil­iar tune, along with some words-"All for me the Sav­ior suf­fered, all for me He bled and died . . . "

The pas­tor was thrilled. He asked that the song be taught to the peo­ple in the even­ing ser­vice. Tul­lar de­clined, say­ing he want­ed to work on it a bit more. But that ne­ver hap­pened. The next day, a let­ter ar­rived from a Car­rie Breck. She had writ­ten a po­em, and won­dered if Mr. Tul­lar could set it to mu­sic. To his amaze­ment, the me­ter ex­act­ly fit the tune com­posed the even­ing be­fore. The two have been to­ge­ther ev­er since.

Signs and Wonders

NASA: 10,000-year-old ice shelf gone by 2020

(CNN) One of the last remaining sections of Antarctica's Larsen B Ice Shelf is dramatically weakening, according to a new NASA study.

The study predicts that what remains of the once-prominent ice shelf, a thick floating platform of ice, most likely will "disintegrate completely" before the end of this decade.

Ice shelves are extensions of glaciers and function as barriers. Their disappearance means glaciers potentially will diminish more quickly, as well, increasing the pace at which global sea levels rise.

A team led by Ala Khazendar of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, found evidence of the ice shelf flowing faster and becoming more fragmented. The flow is creating large cracks in the ice shelf.

"These are warning signs that the remnant is disintegrating," Khazendar said in a NASA press release. "Although it's fascinating scientifically to have a front-row seat to watch the ice shelf becoming unstable and breaking up, it's bad news for our planet." (Read more)

"There will be signs in the sun, moon and stars. On the earth, nations will be in anguish and perplexity at the roaring and tossing of the sea." (Luke 21:25)

The Good News Corner

Miraculous Journey of Rifqa Bary from Islam to Christianity: "The Love of God Overwhelmed Me"

"The whole reason that I'm sitting here and the courage that I had is not my own courage. I experienced the love of God in such a way where I had to give myself and I couldn't hold back and I had to leave." -Rifqa Bary

Rifqa Bary, the Ohio woman who made national headlines in 2009 when she ran away from her Muslim family after secretly converting to Christianity, recently opened up about her radical conversion, explaining that she left Islam after experiencing the love of God "in such a way where I had to give myself and I couldn't hold back and I had to leave."

Bary, who tells her inspiring story in the new book "Hiding in the Light," reveals that she had been molested as a child by a member of her extended family and also lost sight in her right eye, two incidents which ultimately prompted her parents to leave Sri Lanka and move to the U.S. in 2000.

"I grew up in a Muslim home-I come from an extremely strict home. In my culture there's a lot of oppression [and] shame is cast on the victim," the 22-year-old told Elisabeth Hasselbeck on "Fox and Friends" in her first national television interview held on Tuesday.

After moving to Ohio, the young girl gave herself completely to her Muslim faith-but found it to be empty. In her autobiography, Bary reveals that she was then drawn to Christianity because it offered her a chance to worship God in a more personal way, not by compulsion, and in a language she could understand.

"When I was 13, I sought another way and did the really 'despicable' thing, which was praying to another God," Bary recalled. "I was desperate just to be able to be free to worship Jesus, so I would sneak out sometimes to go to prayer meetings or I would stay up late and read the Bible in the bathroom or find any possible way."

Before long, Bary's family found out about her conversion to Christianity, and the 22-year-old said she feared she would be killed, as Sharia law commands. "I feared for my life," Bary said, recalling how at one time, her father threatened to kill her. "I believe I would have been harmed, if not something more. I can't say."

On July 19, 2009, Rifqa Bary boarded a Greyhound bus in Ohio and traveled nearly 1,000 miles southeast to Central Florida."It wasn't just one decision where I decided to leave. It was an entire life of oppression," she recalled of her escape.

(Breaking Christian News) Read more here.