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The Daily Brief Friday, November 30, 2012
"But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." (Romans 5:8)
The Daily Brief
1. 65 years after approving partition plan, UN General Assembly upgrades 'Palestine' to nonmember observer state - Fox News
The United Nations General Assembly voted overwhelmingly Thursday to upgrade "Palestine" to nonmember observer state status, a long-sought victory for the Palestinians but an embarrassing diplomatic defeat for the United States. The resolution upgrading the Palestinians' status to a nonmember observer state at the United Nations - the same status as The Vatican - was approved by a more than two-thirds majority of the 193-member world body, in a vote of 138-9, with 41 abstentions.
- Abba, our hearts are so grieved that world opinion has turned against Your beloved land and people, Israel. We know that an "abstention" is, in effect, a vote for the 'palestinian' entity. You said in Your Word that You would judge all nations in accordance with how they treat Your people, that You would bless those who bless her, and curse those who curse her. We are so grateful that the U.S. voted against this issue, of enhanced status for Israel's enemies. We pray for mercy for those countries who voted against Israel, by elevating the status of their enemy, who has promised to destroy them. Precious Lord, have mercy! Protect and fight for Your people! Amen.
- "Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision! For the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision.The sun and moon will be darkened, and the stars no longer shine. The LORD will roar from Zion and thunder from Jerusalem; the earth and the heavens will tremble. But the LORD will be a refuge for his people, a stronghold for the people of Israel." (Joel 3:14-16)
2. Washington lawmakers threaten cutoff of Palestinian aid - Fox News
WASHINGTON - A bipartisan group of senators is warning the Palestinians that they could lose U.S. financial aid and face the shutdown of the Washington office if they use upgraded U.N. status against Israel. Read more.
- Father, we thank You that our nation is taking a stand against this travesty of justice, and standing strongly with Israel. We ask that You give Your wisdom to our lawmakers in dealing with this whole situation. We know that You alone are our Source, and Israel's Source. You will fight for Your people, because You are Jehovah, the Covenant-Keeping God, and that Covenant is everlasting! We see that we cannot look to government or any earthly human being or country for our security, You alone are our Security and our Hope, and we thank You for that! Amen.
- "The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace and remain at rest." (Exodus 14:14)
3a. Supreme Court weighs 'gay' marriage - WND
WASHINGTON (AP) - The running fight over gay marriage is shifting from the ballot box to the Supreme Court. Three weeks after voters backed same-sex marriage in three states and defeated a ban in a fourth, the justices are meeting Friday to decide whether they should deal sooner rather than later with the claim that the Constitution.
3b. Same-sex marriage request processing can begin in Maryland
- Washington Times
Courts can immediately begin processing marriage license applications to allow wedding ceremonies for same-sex couples in Maryland on New Year's Day, according to an opinion issued Thursday by the state's attorney general.
- O, Lord, we know You created us male and female, and Your Word declares that marriage is a good thing, and is reserved for those who marry a member of the opposite sex. These, indeed, are the days when evil is called 'good', and good 'evil'. We know these are the days when darkness covers the land, and gross darkness the people. We look to You and Your Word, and choose to recognize and worship You, our Creator, Who wants only good for us. We pray for freedom for those who are caught in this trap of homosexuality, and wish to be released from it. We ask You to meet them where they are, and show them Your great liberating Love, we pray. Amen.
- "For that which is known about God is evident to them and made plain in their inner consciousness, because God [Himself] has shown it to them. So men are without excuse, cause when they knew and recognized Him as God, they did not honor and glorify Him as God or give Him thanks. But instead they exchanged the truth of God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, Who is blessed forever! In other words, since they have not considered God worth knowing, God has given them up to worthless ways of thinking; so that they do improper things." (Romans 1:21)
4. Rice Ends Second Day On Hill With Hopes Of Nomination Appearing to Dim - FOXNEWS.com [Posted on Wed., November 28]
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice's potential bid to become the next secretary of state appeared further in jeopardy Wednesday, with one key Republican practically warning President Obama not to send her nomination to the Senate. Rice's separate talks with Corker and Maine Sen. Susan Collins, another key Republican, marked her second day of Capitol Hill meetings in her effort to explain events surrounding the attacks Sept. 11 on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya.
Rice, who was accompanied to Capitol Hill by acting CIA Director Michael Morell, met Tuesday with the three Republican senators most vocal in demanding a detailed explanation: Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire and John McCain of Arizona, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee. The meetings were followed by one Tuesday afternoon with Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent from Connecticut. Should Rice be nominated by Obama, she would need to win support of several Republicans in the Democrat-controlled Senate to receive enough votes to be approved.
"John Kerry would be an excellent appointment and easily be confirmed by his colleagues," Collins said. Read more.
- Praise the Lord that some Senators are seriously questioning Ms. Rice's capability to be Secretary of State. Is she simply a "yes" man to Obama? Can she be trusted to oversee the affairs of state with other countries? Pray that Ms. Rice will put her trust in the Lord and not in flawed men.
- " Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore. Get wisdom! Get understanding . . . Exalt her [wisdom] , and she will promote you; she will bring you honor, when you embrace her." (Proverbs 4: 7a, 8)
5. Younger Teens May Get Birth Control Pill - Washington Times
Pediatricians should actively counsel teens about "emergency contraception" and even provide them with prescriptions or products ahead of time, to ensure they have the pills if they need them, the American Academy of Pediatrics says in a policy statement released online Monday. AAP members also are urged to advocate lifting the age restriction for these products. Read more.
- Pray against this declaration by the American Academy of Pediatrics! Teens, especially younger teens, should be counseled by their parents to not be sexually active. Pray for these teens, protecting them from the secular thinking. Pray also for the parents of these teens so that they will protect their teens.
- "For the wisdom of the world is foolishness with God." (! Corinthians 3: 19a)
6. Consulate lacked requested 'man traps' - Washington Times
The U.S. mission in Libya where a U.S. ambassador and three other Americans were killed in a terrorist attack lacked special security barriers that the State Department's inspector general recommended three years ago for diplomatic facilities in danger zones, the top Republican on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee said Thursday.
- Lord, we thank You that these details are coming to light, as to what we should have done, in protecting our ambassador and our military personnel in Libya. We ask, Lord, that You would shine Your light on all these facts, that need to be made known. We pray that our nation would take steps to implement improved security, or if not, then we would not put our citizens in 'harm's way' in those countries that are hostile to us. Lord, give wisdom we pray! Amen.
- "You keep me alive when surrounded by danger; You put out Your hand when my enemies rage; with Your right hand you save me." (Psalm 138:7)
The Middle East in Focus
The Middle East in Focus
This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:
"Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, but unto Your name give glory, for Your mercy, and for Your truth's sake. Why should the nations say, Where is their God? But our God is in the heavens. He has done whatever He has pleased." (Psalm 115:1-3)
1. PA leader Abbas to visit Gaza after UNGA statehood bid - Jerusalem Post
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is planning to visit the Gaza Strip after the UN General Assembly vote in favor of upgrading the status of the Palestinians to non-member observer state, a senior PLO official announced Thursday.
2. Palestinians take to streets to cheer UN statehood - Jerusalem Post
Thousands of flag-waving Palestinians set off fireworks and danced in the streets on Thursday to celebrate a United Nations General Assembly vote granting de facto recognition of a sovereign Palestinian state.
3. Panetta: US, Israel relationship stronger than ever - Jerusalem Post
US Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said on Thursday the relationship between the United States and Israel is "stronger than any time in history."
4. Palestinians Granted U.N. 'State' Status - Jerusalem Post
Sixty five years to the day after the UN voted for the partition of Mandatory Palestine -- a move the Jews accepted and the Arabs rejected -- the same body overwhelmingly voted Thursday to grant the Palestinian delegation there the upgraded status of non-member observer state.
The Daily Jot
A prophecy of Americans in slavery
Galatians 5:1 says, "Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage." Indeed, the yoke of bondage is broken by what our Savior did on the cross. Sin and death were defeated. If it be sin that a man own another, let him be set free. Likewise, if it be sin that a government own a people, let the people be set free. As you read this, secret negotiations are taking place that will set you, your family, and your children's family in bondage to the government--a government, mind you, that is Constitutionally limited, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator certain inalienable rights of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Many Christians say that it is of no consequence what the government does and that we should not concern ourselves with it. Many other Christians say that in order for Christ to return, we must rule the seven mounts of influence, government being one of them. Both are wrong. As Christians, we are called by Yeshua in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20, "Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you:" This charge is repeated by Christ in Mark 16:15 and Acts 1:8. This means making disciples--not running from governments or taking them over.
If we as Christians were truly becoming and making disciples, the nature of the leaders we choose would be changed to know, understand, and embrace the precepts of YHVH. They would, therefore, have the wisdom of the scriptures. Our nation, in particular, would not be facing a "fiscal cliff" that politicians are going to shove us over. We would have a nation of leaders who understood Biblical virtues of fiscal responsibility and accountability. The church has withdrawn from society and has become a country club of self indulgent, extra biblical doctrines that would be largely unrecognizable by the Church in Acts. Therefore, Christians are largely unrecognizable in our society and the ones who are, are hated by it.
Of all the talk by those people we elected about fiscal responsibility, there is virtually no talk about scaling down government to live within its means. There is only talk of raising taxes and government expansion. Americans are becoming vested slaves of the government. If we as Christians, who are commanded to stand fast in Christ's liberty, do not do so, we will suffer bondage like we have never seen. Our country was made for us to be a free people in Christ. We must rise up and demand accountability--not through organizations, as they just take your money and play the game. It is time to rise up!
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
U.N. Recognizes "Palestine"
U.N. Recognizes "Palestine"
I want to debunk some misleading headlines resulting from yesterday's vote by the United Nation's General Assembly. Some have erroneously suggested that the U.N. created a Palestinian state. No, it didn't. The General Assembly has no authority to create a new state. The Security Council can do that, but the Security Council did not vote yesterday.
U.N. Ambassador Susan Rice may have had difficulty getting it right on Benghazi, but she got it right yesterday when she said, "This resolution does not establish that Palestine is a state." All the General Assembly did was to make something called Palestine a "non-member observer."
Not one thing in Gaza will change for the better for a single Palestinian as a result. The only way Palestine can become a state is if the Palestinians reach a negotiated deal with Israel. That isn't going to happen so long as Iran keeps pouring missiles into Gaza, which the Palestinians are firing into Israel.
Meanwhile, Christians are being slaughtered by radical Muslims in Africa, while Muslims are slaughtering other Muslims in Syria. But the United Nations is obsessed with one thing: shrinking the world's only Jewish state. (Gary Bauer)
NV Judge Rules for Traditional Marriage
Suit Fails to Overturn NV Marriage Law
Nevada is willing to gamble on a lot of things, but marriage isn't one of them. In federal court yesterday, Judge Robert Jones dealt a big setback to state activists hoping to redefine marriage. His opinion, which he issued just days after oral arguments, may be one of the most compelling yet on the question of "equality" for homosexual couples. The lead plaintiffs in the case are two lesbians, both grandmothers, who argued that Nevada's 10-year-old marriage amendment is discriminatory. Judge Jones emphatically disagreed in a 41-page masterpiece that thoroughly dismantled the Left's legal logic. Homosexuals aren't being denied the right to marry, Jones explained. They simply have to abide by the same criteria as everyone else.
"Like heterosexual persons, they may not marry members of the same sex." In fact, Jones wrote, "A homosexual man may marry anyone a heterosexual man may marry, and a homosexual woman may marry anyone a heterosexual woman may marry." In other words, this isn't about discrimination or equal protection. "Homosexuals have not historically been denied the right to vote, the right to serve on juries, or the right to own property," he pointed out. "The protection of the traditional institution of marriage, which is a conceivable basis for the distinction in this case, is a legitimate state interest," he said, adding that if the state recognized same-sex couples' marriages, heterosexuals might "cease to value the civil institution as highly as they previously had and hence enter into it less frequently . . . because they no longer wish to be associated with the civil institution as redefined."
Then, in perhaps the most pivotal part Jones's opinion, he highlighted the recent success homosexuals had at the ballot box. "It simply cannot be seriously maintained, in light of these and other recent democratic victories, that homosexuals do not have the ability to protect themselves from discrimination through democratic processes such that extraordinary protection from majoritarian processes is appropriate."
In other words, our Election Day losses might actually be the key to future victories in court. Now that three states have actually voted for same-sex "marriage," liberals can no longer claim the court as their only avenue to "equal protection." Even lesbian activists like Nan Hunter, a Georgetown professor, admit that judges might be less likely to intervene on marriage if homosexuals no longer seem "powerless" to advance their agenda. It could even, Hunter argues, change the way the Supreme Court sees the issue--if, as it's expected, the justices agree to hear at least one of the marriage cases in their hopper.
The high court planned to meet today to decide which marriage case it would take. Thanks to the growing number of lawsuits, the justices have their pick of cases--from challenges to the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) or federal benefits laws to California's Proposition 8. Given the high profile of any marriage case, the court would likely hear a suit in March and rule in June. That ought to give the bench plenty of time to absorb Judge Jones's decision! (Family Research Council)
Obamacare Suffers Defeat in St. Louis
Obamacare Suffers Defeat in St. Louis
These days, it's unusual to have one good news story from the courts--let alone two! But conservatives seem to be swimming in successes this Friday, as yet another judge blocked ObamaCare's abortion drug and contraception mandate from taking effect. Missouri's Frank O'Brien, the trailblazer for these lawsuits, was the first businessman to sue the administration back in March. He joined a crowd of plaintiffs from religious to academic fields who all share the same complaint: the President's war on conscience rights is a direct attack on their First Amendment freedoms.
Wednesday, a federal appeals court agreed. A panel of 8th Circuit Court became the first judges from the appellate level to deliver a victory to challengers. Although the injunction is a temporary one, it is significant because the order reverses a victory that Health and Human Services had in the lower court.
"Once again," Ed Morrissey points out, "this case doesn't involve an explicitly religious organization. Cases involving religious schools, health care organizations, or charities have yet to come to court. So far, HHS and the Obama administration keep losing on what should be their best ground." Senator Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who was proud to witness a victory for his home crowd, applauded the decision as "another important victory as we fight to preserve the fundamental religious freedom that Americans have enjoyed for more than 220 years." And that freedom, regardless of what the President says, isn't exclusive to individuals. It applies to organizations and businesses too. (Family Research Council)
- PRAISE THE LORD!
Fight Continues in Congress over Tax Increases
Lot of movement, no progress: Tax increases vs. spending cuts remain stubborn sticking points
President Obama's top aides floated a budget framework to Republicans on Thursday that would call for $1.6 trillion in tax increases coupled with a promise for future spending trims in order to head off the "fiscal cliff," an offer GOP leaders immediately rejected, saying the White House needs to "get serious" about spending cuts. (Washington Times) (Read more)
- Father, we come to You again, with this same knotty problem that our nation has created, of spending money that we do not have. Our government just prints more money, which isn't even worth the paper it is printed on. We ask You to bring Your fiscal wisdom to these in Congress and the White House, to begin to turn this economy around, and stop the overspending and raising taxes. We know this new Healthcare bill will increase taxes, and hurt many businesses, and so we ask for Your mercy! We thank You again, that You are our Source, and Provider, and we look to You for wisdom in our own individual situations. Amen.
- "Though he falls, he shall not be utterly cast down, for the Lord grasps his hand in support and upholds him. I have been young and now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken or their seed begging bread. All day long they are merciful and deal graciously; they lend, and their offspring are blessed." (Psalm 37:24-26)
a) Obama's Cliff Offer Spurned - WSJ
Obama made an opening bid that calls for a $1.6 trillion tax increase, a $50 billion economic-stimulus program and new power to raise the federal debt limit, a broad set of demands Republicans viewed as a step back in talks. (Read more.)
b) Firms Flood Bond Market - WSJ
The debt sales will help fund special dividends for shareholders ahead of an expected increase in dividend taxes. (Read more.)
c) Deal Makers Scramble as Cliff Nears - WSJ
Deal makers and their clients are hustling to sell chunks of stock or whole companies before possible tax increases. (Read more.)
d) Consumer Spending Fell 0.2% in October - WSJ
U.S. consumer spending fell 0.2% last month, partly reflecting superstorm Sandy's impact on the Northeast in the final days of the month. (Read more.)
The Vatican Welcomes Iran
THE VATICAN WELCOMES IRAN
Hizbullah's officials, the Shiite terrorist group based in Lebanon, were hosted in Rome by the Vatican during the recent ceremony for the election of six new cardinals. Among the new cardinals is the Lebanese Patriarch, Bechara Boutros Rai. As head of Lebanon's Catholic Church, Rai recently sent his envoy, Father Abdo Abou Kassem, to Teheran to attend a conference in support of the Palestinian Arab Intifada and of a "Zionist-free middle east". The conference was attended also by Hizbullah ideologue, Mohammad Raad, and by the Hamas' leader Khaled Meshaal.
Cardinal Rai recently said in Paris that he supports Hizbullah's war against Israel: "Only when the international community exerts pressure on Israel to vacate the occupied Lebanese territory and Israel allows Palestinians in Lebanon to return to their homes, can Hizbullah be asked to hand over its arms because they will no longer be needed". It is not clear from the Cardinal's remarks to which Lebanese territory he was referring, since Israel, in compliance with the UN, had withdrawn from its Lebanon buffer zone years earlier. Rai said his statements reflected the policy of the Vatican.
The coming of an Hizbullah delegation in Rome these days is part of a strong friendship that the Vatican is building with Iranian authorities. It might also be an explanation why during his trip in Austria, Pope Benedict chose not to address the Iranian nuclear question in a key speech to world diplomats in Vienna, which is the headquarters of the International Atomic Energy Agency.
"What you have in Iran is a strong academic tradition, with both philosophical and mystical aspects - in many ways like Catholicism," says Father Daniel Madigan, a Jesuit scholar of islam, and a member of the Vatican's commission for religious relations with Islam.
When the Vatican acts, nations take notice. How should the West and Israel interpret the new Vatican friendship with the Iranian Holocaust deniers and enablers and their terror proxies who branded the dead bodies of Israeli soldiers? (Israel National News) Read more.
- O Heavenly Father, how can this kind of religious spirit which negates Your land Israel and her people be explainable as true faith in You or as true Christianity? Yet to the worldly observers of the news it is. Spiritually this is an antitheses to true Christianity and is a demonically inspired spirit of religious pride and arrogance. We fall before You, Lord, to beg forgiveness and to repent for these lies and distortions, as we know that this kind of religiosity often is the cause of why so many non believers turn away and never give faith in Your salvation a chance. Lord, we plead for You to rise up and expose these attitudes to the world so all can see the falseness of these actions being called 'Christian'. In Jesus' Name we pray, Amen and Amen.
- A false witness will not go unpunished, and he who speaks lies will not escape. (Proverbs 19:5)
Let all those who hate Zion be put to shame and turned back. (Psalm 129:5)
Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting to everlasting! Amen and Amen.(Psalm 41:13)
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner
Miracles on the border: Syrians encounter Jesus
Part Three: 'I want to follow Jesus'
Perhaps the boldest new evangelist in Lebanon, however, is an older Syrian woman whose home has become a center for teaching truth.
Sami met Noora at the end of a long, exhausting day of aid deliveries to refugees. He was ready to go home, but his guide insisted on one more stop to a particularly needy group of families. Reluctantly, he agreed. They distributed food portions and New Testaments along with a simple Gospel presentation.
Noora, one of the Syrian Muslim women in the home, started asking questions about baptism. As it turned out, she already was reading the New Testament. She had plenty of other questions about Jesus: How do you address Him? How does He differ from the other prophets?
"We read Matthew, the first chapters, about Jesus' incarnation and that He is Immanuel," Sami recounts. "Immanuel means 'God with us.'"
"I don't understand," Noora replied.
Sami explained the concept of a king visiting his people disguised in plain clothing and humility, yet remaining in every aspect a king. He told her about Jesus' sinless life compared to the other prophets, all of whom had failed God in various ways, despite their greatness.
"Who do you want to follow -- Jesus or the prophets?" Simi asked.
"I want to follow Jesus," Noora answered.
During another visit Noora suddenly declared, "The message that you shared with me changed my life. I'm a new person." The changes in her life proved her words.
"Once we visited her and she was reading the Old Testament," Sami recalls. "After another week, she was in the New Testament. She told us, 'This is my third time of reading the whole Bible.' After that we continued visiting her, encouraging her and discipling her. She said, 'Everything you tell me, I go and I share it with others. I tell the traditional Christians that worshipping saints is not good; you have to worship God. I'm sharing with the Syrians [Muslims] about how God changed my life.'"
Recently Noora returned to Syria for a visit with family, despite the dangers. When Sami called her to make sure she was OK, she reported: "I have a group of women gathered in my house from Muslim and Christian backgrounds and I'm teaching them.
"It's hard," Noora acknowledged, "but God is helping me."
[Names changed.] Erich Bridges is a global correspondent for the International Mission Board. Contributions to relief ministry among Syrian refugees can be made by visiting imb.org/syrianrefugees? and designating "Syria relief" in the comment line. For updates on how God is at work through the crisis in Syria and ways to pray and help, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Contributions to the spread of God's Word among Syrians can be made by calling Faith Comes By Hearing at 1-800-545-6552 and designating a gift for the Syrian Refugees Project. Get Baptist Press headlines and breaking news on Twitter (@BaptistPress), Facebook (Facebook.com/BaptistPress ) and in your email ( baptistpress.com/SubscribeBP.asp).
Read the original article here.
Worship with Us Today!
Worship with Us Today!
Be still my soul, be still
Be still my soul, be still
Wait patiently upon the Lord
Be still my soul, be still