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Posted by on in On Watch In Washington
On Watch in Washington February 11, 2015

On Watch in Washington February 11, 2015 Plain Text PDF Version

2015 GRAMMY AWARDS: MADONNA’S BIZARRE, SATANIC PERFORMANCE OFFENDS CHRISTIANS

While world-famous pop singer Madonna is known for her shocking, often promiscuous music, her performance at the 2015 Grammy Awards reached disturbing new heights due to its overtly Satanic themes.

After being introduced by Miley Cyrus and Nicki Minaj as a "bada**, trouble-making international star," Madonna gave the first live performance of her new single, Living For Love, off her new album, "Rebel Heart" at the 57th Annual Awards on Sunday. Wearing a risque matador outfit, complete with red devil's horns, the 56-year-old mother-of-four danced across the stage with men dressed as demons.

The demons, who also wore revealing outfits,  leaped around the "Crazy For You" singer and even simulated sexual acts with her while she sang the Gospel-influenced dance track.

Madonna then demanded the audience stand up and join in as she belted out lyrics, 'Love, love lift me,' before being pulled up into the air as the demons bowed down underneath her.

While the elaborate performance was praised by many critics, the satanic imagery and sexual overtones disturbed Christians, who took to social media to voice their opinions.

"It looks like Hollywood's fascination with demons and darkness is not going to end anytime soon...'And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.' John 3:19" wrote radio host and pastor Geoffrey Grider.

"I'm disappointed by Madonna. It seems to me, that these global stars think they are just having a bit of fun...when what they are doing is literally playing with the devil... in their heart of hearts, do they really want to participate in the corruption of the masses? Is there anyone left I can admire?" wrote a YouTube user under a video of the performance.

This is not the first time performances at the Grammy Awards have offended those in the Christian community. Last year, Maddona, along with other artists, participated in a mass wedding involving 33 homosexual and heterosexual couples following a demonic perfromance by pop singer Katy Perry, prompting Christian singer Natalie Grant to leave the show.

At the time, Grant wrote on her Facebook page, "We left the Grammy's early. I've many thoughts about the show tonight, most of which are probably better left inside my head. But I'll say this: I've never been more honored to sing about Jesus and for Jesus. And I've never been more sure of the path I've chosen."

She later added, "I've judged no one. I hate no one. And I believe that every person has been created in the image of God. I will never stand on a street corner and wave a sign, I won't use my platform to engage in political arguments that will only divide and not unite. I will continue to pray that my life will be my message. I do have my own personal convictions that I live by, and I will continue to work out my own salvation with fear and trembling before the Lord (Philippians 2:12).” (Contributor by Leah Marieann Klett for The Gospel Herald)

The ultimate idolatry is to replace God with Satan, whose ultimate idolatry was the desire to be “as the Most High.” It is in human hearts to worship. Even atheists hold to the idol of unbelief. Madonna was born into a Roman Catholic home, and some predict she will say her performance was simply artistic expression. The danger to performers is that they often worship themselves and see the adulation of their fans as no more than the homage they deserve. Satanic worship is growing. Pray that the Church awakens and speaks its message of life in a simple and compelling manner.

“And God spoke all these words, saying: ‘I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.” (Ex. 20:1-3)

“Professing to be wise, they (natural man) became fools, and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man—and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things. Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves, who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.” (Rom. 1:22-25)

 

NETANYAHU: US, IRAN GALLOPING TOWARDS DEAL WHICH THREATENS ISRAEL

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reiterated once again his promise to stop at nothing to prevent Iran from reaching nuclear capabilities, or maintain the ability to do so quickly through a deal with the west.

His comments came US Secretary of State Kerry met with his Iranian counterpart Mohammad Javad Zarif Friday and again Sunday in Munich, where the top US diplomat stressed Washington's commitment to seeing the deadline met.

"The major powers and Iran are galloping toward an agreement that will enable Iran to arm itself with nuclear weapons, which will endanger the existence of the State of Israel," Netanyahu said at Israeli government's weekly cabinet meeting.

Netanyahu took aim at Kerry and Zarif, saying that their intention to complete a framework agreement by the end of March, forces Israel to take action. "From this (commitment stems the urgency of our efforts to try and block this bad and dangerous agreement.

"We will continue to take action and to lead the international effort against Iran's arming itself with nuclear weapons. We will do everything and will take any action to foil this bad and dangerous agreement that will place a heavy cloud over the future of the State of Israel and its security," Netanyahu said.

Kerry ruled out extending a March 31 deadline for Iran nuclear talks unless the basic framework of an agreement is hammered out, speaking in an interview aired Sunday.

"The only chance I can see of an extension at this point in time would be that you really have the outlines of the agreement," Kerry said in the interview on NBC's "Meet the Press" taped Saturday in Munich.

Global powers have been struggling for more than a year to pin down a comprehensive deal to rein in Iran's suspected nuclear program, after an interim accord was struck in November 2013.

After their meeting Sunday, Zarif appeared to rule out any new extension to tough negotiations with world powers.

Kerry said outlining the basics of the agreement was crucial before a possible extension could be considered, but reiterated his preference for sticking to the target date.

"But if we're not able to make the fundamental decisions that have to be made over the course of the next weeks, literally, I think it would be impossible to extend," he told NBC.

"I don't think we would want to extend at that point. Either you make the decisions to prove your program is a peaceful one, or if you're unable to do that, it may tell a story that none of us want to hear."

After missing two previous deadlines, the group known as the P5+1 - Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States - set a March 31 deadline for a political agreement.

That would be followed by a final deal setting out all the technical points of what would be a complex accord by June 30.

But the atmosphere has been complicated by hardliners both in Iran and the United States, with US lawmakers threatening to impose new sanctions on Iran if the March deadline is missed. (Contributor: YNet News - AFP contributed to this report)

Most Christian intercessors already carry two major concerns. One is for Israel’s preservation and “new birth” in Jesus, their Messiah. The other is for the Church of Jesus Christ to awaken with a renewed vision to its primary purpose, which is to preach the Gospel of the kingdom in all the world before the end of this age. The present political situation is highly complex, with implications for the U.S. and Israel, as well as the growing influence and demands of Iran. Pray for divine wisdom so that you might intercede in accordance with God’s heart and purpose.

“And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars. See that you are not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom…. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved. And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.” (Matt. 24:6-7, 12-14)

“Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.” (Lk. 18:1)

 

FRANKLIN GRAHAM RESPONDS TO OBAMA'S ISIS-CHRISTIAN PRAYER BREAKFAST ADDRESS

Leading Evangelist Franklin Graham took to Facebook on Thursday to respond to President Barack Obama's implication at the National Prayer Breakfast that ISIS' brutality abuse of religious minorities in Iraq and Syria is similar to that of Christian brutality over 1,000 years ago.

In a post on his public Facebook page, Graham, the son of world-renowned Evangelist Billy Graham and the current president of Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse, argued that just because people have used Jesus' name for "evil" purposes in the past does not mean that Jesus actually called on his followers to do such horrible acts, like the Crusades.

"Today at the National Prayer Breakfast, the President implied that what ISIS is doing is equivalent to what happened over 1000 years ago during the Crusades and the Inquisition," Graham wrote. "Mr. President — Many people in history have used the name of Jesus Christ to accomplish evil things for their own desires. But Jesus taught peace, love and forgiveness."

Graham further wrote that unlike Jesus, who lived His life without sin, Mohammed took many innocent lives.

"[Jesus] came to give His life for the sins of mankind, not to take life. Mohammad on the contrary was a warrior and killed many innocent people," Graham asserted. "True followers of Christ emulate Christ — true followers of Mohammed emulate Mohammed."

Graham and some other Christian advocates expressed disappointment that President Barack Obama used the brutality of Christians during the Crusades and Christians' use of slavery in America as a plea for religious tolerance.

Many critics claim that he should have focused on today's plethora of Muslim oppressors, who use the name of Mohammed to justify their attacks.

"Humanity has been grappling with these questions throughout human history," Obama said. "And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ. In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.

"So this is not unique to one group or one religion. There is a tendency in us, a sinful tendency that can pervert and distort our faith," the president continued. "No God condones terror. No grievance justifies the taking of innocent lives, or the oppression of those who are weaker or fewer in number."

Outspoken Christian and a leading social conservative activist Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council, also criticized Obama for his easy willingness to condemn Christian brutality but inability to acknowledge terrorist ties to Islam.

Perkins told Fox News' Megyn Kelly that he thinks the president squandered a chance to bring more awareness to the lives of people currently being oppressed by Muslim oppressors, which currently includes an American citizen.

"What we have here is the president refusing to acknowledge that Islam and that ideology that is behind it that has been radicalized is being used to kill Christians," Perkins said. "This was a great opportunity for the president to draw attention to the genocide that is happening in the Middle East at the hands of Islam. This was a great opportunity for pastor Saeed Abedini, he could have used this opportunity to demand that Iran release him and send him home."

In his speech, Obama mentioned a recent trip he took to India where people of all faiths are targeted by people of other faiths. Perkins further criticized the president for not even bothering to mention his recent trip to Saudi Arabia, a Muslim kingdom in which some commenters claim has a religiously intolerant penal code that is as brutal as the Islamic State.

"He didn't mention his stop in Saudi Arabia on his way back to this country and the fact that they rank by his own State Department as one of the worst abusers of religious freedom in the world," Perkins explained.

Republican Louisianna Governor Bobby Jindal issued a statement on Friday responding to Obama's speech, stating that the president needs to wake up to the "reality" of today's religious extremism.

"It was nice of the President to give us a history lesson at the Prayer breakfast," Jindal said. "Today, however, the issue right in front of his nose, in the here and now, is the terrorism of Radical Islam, the assassination of journalists, the beheading and burning alive of captives. We will be happy to keep an eye out for runaway Christians, but it would be nice if he would face the reality of the situation today. The Medieval Christian threat is under control, Mr. President. Please deal with the Radical Islamic threat today."

Although the National Prayer Breakfast also featured a heartfelt keynote speech by hall-of-fame NASCAR driver Darrell Waltrip about how Christ transformed his life, the event was "overshadowed" by Obama's "high horse" comment, Perkins said.

"That was overshadowed by the president talking about how faith is a weapon," Perkins said. "Faith is not a weapon. What we see is ISIS is using weapons to kill Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East and the president cannot bring himself to say that." (Contributor: By Samuel Smith for Christian Post)

Give thanks for Rev. Franklin Graham, who spoke out forcefully about President Obama’s outrageous “history lesson” at the National Prayer Breakfast when he compared Church history with the killing record of Islam. Mr. Graham’s response was an appropriate rebuke. Old Testament prophets risked their lives to speak truth to kings. Surely, today’s Christian prophetic voices should be raised to correct elected fellow citizens when necessary, including our U.S. president. Pray for a consistent “conversation” to take place when elected officials profane Jesus Christ and the Christian religion.

“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.” (1 Tim. 2:1-6) 

 

U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE KERRY AND JORDAN SAYS ISIS IS '20% DEFEATED'

U.S. Secretary of State Kerry says fifth of ISIS-held land taken back. In revenge for burning of pilot, Jordan strikes 56 air raids since last Thursday.

Jordan announced it has carried out dozens of air strikes on the Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist group, as a top US envoy said Iraqi troops would begin a major ground offensive against the jihadists in the weeks ahead.

Jordanian air force chief Major General Mansour al-Jobour said Sunday the kingdom had launched 56 air raids since Thursday as part of an international assault against ISIS that Washington says is beginning to bite, reports AFP.

Jordan has vowed an "earth-shattering" response after the Sunni extremists captured one of its air force pilots, Maaz al-Kassasbeh, burned him alive and released a gruesome video of the execution.

"On the first day of the campaign to avenge our airman Maaz al-Kassasbeh, 19 targets were destroyed, including training camps and equipment," Jobour told reporters.

John Allen, the US coordinator for the anti-ISIS coalition of Western and Arab countries, said Sunday that Iraqi troops would begin a major ground offensive against the jihadists "in the weeks ahead."

"When the Iraqi forces begin the ground campaign to take back Iraq, the coalition will provide major firepower associated with that," he told Jordan's official Petra news agency, stressing that the Iraqis would lead the offensive.

ISIS have seized swathes of Iraq and Syria, brutally ruling the territory by Sharia Islamic law.

20% defeated

Jordan has vowed to crush the group after they released a highly choreographed video showing the murder of its pilot, who was captured in December when his F-16 warplane went down in Syria.

The air force chief said air strikes since last Thursday had destroyed dozens of targets, including barracks, training camps, ammunition and fuel depots, and residential centers.

"So far, the campaign has destroyed 20% of the fighting capabilities of Daesh," Jobour said, using another name for ISIS.

Jobour said more than 7,000 ISIS terrorists had been killed since Jordan began participating in coalition air strikes.

John Kerry said the aerial campaign, launched in September, was beginning to win back territory and deprive the jihadists of key funds.

There have been 2,000 air strikes on ISIS since the coalition's formation in August, Kerry told a security conference in the German city of Munich.

The air war has helped to retake some 700 square kilometers (270 square miles) of territory, or "one-fifth of the area they had in their control", he said.

The top U.S. diplomat did not specify whether the regained territory was in Iraq or Syria.

But he added the coalition had "deprived the militants of the use of 200 oil and gas facilities...disrupted their command structure...squeezed its finance and dispersed its personnel."

State media reported that a squadron of United Arab Emirates F-16 fighter jets arrived in Jordan on Sunday, escorted by pilots and technicians.

The UAE had withdrawn from the coalition's strike missions after the Jordanian pilot's capture over fears for the safety of its own airmen. But the US had said on Friday that UAE flights were likely to resume "in a couple of days."

C-17 transporters and refuelling planes were part of the UAE squadron sent on the orders of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahayan, the Petra news agency said.

Turning point for Jordan

The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a Britain-based monitoring group, said Sunday that Kurdish forces had retaken from ISIS more than a third of the villages around Kobane, a strategic town on the Syrian-Turkish border.

The Kurds recaptured Kobane on January 26 after four months of fierce fighting backed by Syrian rebels and coalition air strikes.

But Jordan's Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh told ABC television that while the bombing campaign had "degraded" ISIS capability, the group was still in control of "vast territory."

Interior Minister Hussein Majali said in remarks published on Saturday that Kassasbeh's gruesome murder by ISIS was a "turning point" in the kingdom's fight against extremism.

As Jordan escalated its assault, ISIS claimed on Friday that an American aid worker it had taken hostage - 26-year-old Kayla Jean Mueller - had been buried alive under rubble by a coalition strike on its self-proclaimed capital of Raqa in Syria.

Mueller's parents said they were hopeful their daughter was still alive and appealed to ISIS to contact them in order to ensure her safe return.

On Sunday, U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson said Washington was seeking clarification on Mueller's fate.

"We're learning as much as we can as quickly as we can about Ms. Mueller's situation," he told CNN. "Our thoughts, our prayers are with her family right now." (Contributor: By Arutz Sheva Staff for Israel National News – Arutz Sheva and AFP News)

Even the most experienced intercessors agree with God’s Word when it tells us, “… we do not know what we should pray for as we ought…” In this case, we do not have facts, but we must ask, “Even if we did, would that be helpful?” Answer: No! It is not in “knowing” that we are strong but in the obedience of faith to pray for outcomes that will save the most lives and bring glory to God. Pray with awareness that our nation is in serious decline spiritually and morally. Pray for an awakening in the Church so Christians will put on God’s armor and fight for truth with spiritual weapons.

“Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (Rom. 8:26-27)

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ…” (2 Cor. 10:4-5)

 

GALLUP: THE BIG LIE: 5.6% UNEMPLOYMENT

Here's something that many Americans -- including some of the smartest and most educated among us -- don't know: The official unemployment rate, as reported by the U.S. Department of Labor, is extremely misleading.

Right now, we're hearing much celebrating from the media, the White House and Wall Street about how unemployment is "down" to 5.6%. The cheerleading for this number is deafening. The media loves a comeback story, the White House wants to score political points and Wall Street would like you to stay in the market.

None of them will tell you this: If you, a family member or anyone is unemployed and has subsequently given up on finding a job -- if you are so hopelessly out of work that you've stopped looking over the past four weeks -- the Department of Labor doesn't count you as unemployed. That's right. While you are as unemployed as one can possibly be, and tragically may never find work again, you are not counted in the figure we see relentlessly in the news -- currently 5.6%. Right now, as many as 30 million Americans are either out of work or severely underemployed. Trust me, the vast majority of them aren't throwing parties to toast "falling" unemployment.

There's another reason why the official rate is misleading. Say you're an out-of-work engineer or healthcare worker or construction worker or retail manager: If you perform a minimum of one hour of work in a week and are paid at least $20 -- maybe someone pays you to mow their lawn -- you're not officially counted as unemployed in the much-reported 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

Yet another figure of importance that doesn't get much press: those working part time but wanting full-time work. If you have a degree in chemistry or math and are working 10 hours part time because it is all you can find -- in other words, you are severely underemployed -- the government doesn't count you in the 5.6%. Few Americans know this.

There's no other way to say this. The official unemployment rate, which cruelly overlooks the suffering of the long-term and often permanently unemployed as well as the depressingly underemployed, amounts to a Big Lie.

And it's a lie that has consequences, because the great American dream is to have a good job, and in recent years, America has failed to deliver that dream more than it has at any time in recent memory. A good job is an individual's primary identity, their very self-worth, their dignity -- it establishes the relationship they have with their friends, community and country. When we fail to deliver a good job that fits a citizen's talents, training and experience, we are failing the great American dream.

Gallup defines a good job as 30+ hours per week for an organization that provides a regular paycheck. Right now, the U.S. is delivering at a staggeringly low rate of 44%, which is the number of full-time jobs as a percent of the adult population, 18 years and older. We need that to be 50% and a bare minimum of 10 million new, good jobs to replenish America's middle class.

I hear all the time that "unemployment is greatly reduced, but the people aren't feeling it." When the media, talking heads, the White House and Wall Street start reporting the truth -- the percent of Americans in good jobs; jobs that are full time and real -- then we will quit wondering why Americans aren't "feeling" something that doesn't remotely reflect the reality in their lives. And we will also quit wondering what hollowed out the middle class. (Contributor: By Jim Clifton for Gallup.com - Jim Clifton is Chairman and CEO at Gallup.)

 

Among polling organizations, none has any higher “trust rating” than Gallup, so when the Chairman speaks, everyone should listen. Intercessors should not only listen but pray. Sadly, many examples exist that demonstrate how much the public is being deceived by our government day after day. Pray especially for those whom you may know that are struggling just to meet survival expenses. Some are only a month or two away from homelessness. Please pray for national awakening and revival, so that U. S. leaders will be led to faith in Jesus Christ and become lovers of truth.

 

“For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse…” (Rom. 1:18-20)

 

BRITAIN MOVES STEP CLOSER TO ALLOWING BABIES WITH 3 PEOPLE’S GENES

Britain moved a step closer Tuesday to becoming the first country to legalize so-called three-parent babies, as lawmakers moved closer to allowing fertility labs to use genetic material from a mother, father and a female donor.

The debate in the House of Commons reflected the deep passions on both sides of the issue of allowing in vitro procedures that could prevent the passing on of inherited and incurable diseases through mitochondrial DNA, which is carried from mother to child.

Supporters say changing the law would offer hope to couples who otherwise would risk transferring diseases such as muscular dystrophy to their offspring. But a wide range of critics question the ethics of the proposal, saying it would be another step toward creating “designer babies.”

The proposal passed, 382 to 128, and moved to Parliament’s upper chamber, the House of Lords, where a vote is expected soon, although no date has been set. Commentators say the first three-parent baby could be born next year if the legislative effort succeeds.

“This is a bold step for Parliament to take, but it is a considered and informed step,” the parliamentary undersecretary for public health, Jane Ellison, said before the vote. “For many families affected, this is, indeed, that light at the end of the dark tunnel,” she added

The technique, called mitochondrial donation, involves replacing a woman’s faulty mitochondrial DNA with healthy DNA from a female donor. Even if the bill passes, couples seeking treatment would need the permission of the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority, Britain’s fertility regulator.

Religious leaders have voiced concerns, warning the government against rushing into a decision and arguing that more research is needed.

Fears over genetic manipulation are not unique to Britain. In the 1990s, the United States pioneered a technique called cytoplasmic transfer, aimed at helping infertile women to have their own babies. As part of the procedure, donor material containing mitochondrial DNA was added to the mother’s egg. Fewer than 100 babies were born before the Food and Drug Administration effectively banned the practice over medical and ethical concerns.

If the British procedure gets the green light, a baby conceived through the technique would receive its key genetic material from its mother and father, and just a small amount of DNA from a donor female, who would remain anonymous.

The aim is to help the estimated 2,473 women in Britain who are at risk of passing on possibly disease-triggering mitochondrial DNA to their children.

Mitochondria are tiny structures inside cells that act like batteries, providing energy to the cells. They also have their own DNA. When they do not function properly, the results can be devastating. Faulty mitochondria have been linked to blindness, deafness, dementia and muscular dystrophy.

A mitochondrion’s 37 genes are a small fraction of those in the human genome, and unlike nuclear DNA, mitochondrial DNA does not affect appearance characteristics such as hair color. The ban on tinkering with nuclear DNA would remain in place.

Still, should the law change, babies could be born with a very small fraction of their DNA, about 0.2 percent, from a female donor. Some opponents of the proposed legislative change speak of Britain’s stepping on to a slippery slope.

Fiona Bruce, a member of Parliament from the Conservative Party, said the move would be tantamount to letting “the genie out of the bottle.”

The bulk of the British scientific community, however, appeared to welcome the result of the vote and widely interpreted it as providing clear guidelines on what is acceptable.

“I don’t agree with the slippery slope argument at all,” said professor Alison Murdoch of Newcastle University, which has been at the forefront of mitochondrial research in Britain. “By having a legal framework that says you can do this but you can’t do the other without criminal sanctions, there is an absolute barrier.” (Contributor: By Karla Adam for The Washington Post - Karla Adam is a reporter in the Washington Post’s London bureau. Before joining the Post in 2006, she worked as a freelancer in London for the New York Times and People magazine.)

Intercessors, please handle this report as led and according to the knowledge and insights your experience has provided. Is it a ploy for genetic tampering? Is it a legitimate scientific breakthrough to facilitate healthier prenatal development? Most laypersons don’t know. The Christian viewpoint we hear is that to experiment with the Creator’s DNA and genetic code design carries great risk. Pray for discernment, and be watchful for signs of political manipulation. Most modern day scientists reason from a Darwinian evolutionary base, and their non-biblical conclusions are suspect.

“Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord his God, who made heaven and earth, the sea, and all that is in them; who keeps truth forever, who executes justice for the oppressed, who gives food to the hungry. The Lord gives freedom to the prisoners.” (Ps. 146:5-7)

“Know that the Lord, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture.” (Ps. 100:3)

 

 

MILITARY UPSET THAT SUSAN RICE TELLING GENERALS HOW TO FIGHT

Sunday on Fox News Channel’s “Fox News Sunday,” veteran journalist Bob Woodward said people in the military are complaining to him that the Obama administration has no strategy to defeat ISIS other then having people like Susan Rice “micromanage” military responses.

Woodward said, “If you talk to people in the White House and the military, I think there’s agreement and John McCain is right and General Flynn is right, there is no strategy. They have not sat down and said this is where we want to go and this is how we want to do it. And the measure of that, when you head into the weeds here, people from the White House are micromanaging the tactical situation on a daily and weekly basis. That’s not their job. They have to kind of do strategic planning and say what do we want to accomplish in the next year.”

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When host Chris Wallace asked, “Wait a minute, are you saying that — forgive me, Susan Rice, is telling the generals what to do?” Woodard confirmed it by saying, “And they have got all these people in the White House. You talk to people in the military who are there and they say ‘we are being micromanaged and we’re not given a real plan to say what are we going to do here.’ And it’s not the way to run a war or try to win a war.” (Contributor: By Pam Key for Breitbart News)

“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain. For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that [1] Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that [2] He was buried, and that [3] He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve.”  (1 Cor. 15:1-5)

“For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek. (Rom. 1:16)

 

'PINEAPPLE EXPRESS' DOUSES U.S. WEST COAST; BOSTON BRACES FOR MORE SNOW

A new band of Pacific storms was headed toward the U.S. West Coast on Saturday, bringing more rain to drought-stricken California, while a different storm system threatened the Northeast with more snow and cold, forecasters said.

The West Coast storm system, known as the "Pineapple Express" because it develops in moist air moving across the Pacific Ocean, has dropped up to 12 inches (30 cm) of rain across Northern California, Oregon and Washington state since Thursday, forecasters said.

"The storm is coming in several waves, and one of the largest was yesterday," said Patrick Burke, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service.

The so-called "atmospheric river of rain" had tapered off on Saturday, with another well-defined wave of precipitation and strong winds beginning on Sunday, Burke said.

The rainfall was a boon to California, suffering its worst drought on record, but would not increase snow pack in the mountains, Burke said.

Honeydew, a town on California's northern coast, has already received 11.4 (29 cm) inches of rain, while Hoodsport, Washington, on the Olympic Peninsula, has seen 8.06 inches (20 cm), the National Weather Service said.

Thousands of people temporarily lost power on Friday and nearly 200 flights were canceled out of the San Francisco area, local officials said.

Along the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state, several homes were evacuated when the Duckabush River flooded in Jefferson County, the sheriff's office said.

Across the country, the third winter storm in two weeks was heading toward the Northeast, promising light snow in New Jersey and New York City on Sunday into Monday and nearly a foot (30 cm) in parts of New England, including snow-socked Boston, Burke said.

Philadelphia, on the southernmost edge of the storm, will likely see rain, forecasts show.

To the north, parts of New York state, including Albany, Connecticut and Massachusetts will get 8-12 inches (20-30 cm) of new snow, Burke said.

The snowfall in Boston will come on top of 48 inches (122 cm) that has fallen since Jan. 23, according to forecasts.

Later in the week, much of the East Coast, from Virginia to Maine, will see the most frigid conditions yet this season, with temperatures in the single digits Fahrenheit in many areas, Burke said. (Contributor: By Victoria Cavaliere for Reuters and Yahoo News - Reporting by Victoria Cavaliere; Editing by Frank McGurty and Dan Grebler)

Give thanks to God for the abundance of rain now reaching California and the northwest coast. Yes, the coastal deluge of rain (more than 10 inches in some areas) has brought commensurate issues of flooding and inconvenience in travel, but ongoing drought can turn the most comfortable oasis into a desert if it continues too long. We have prayed several times in these Alerts for relief from the drought in the Southwest and other California areas. This rain may save farms and much livelihood. Pray that the people will see God as the Provider and give thanks to Him.

“Oh, that men would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare His works with rejoicing.” (Ps. 107:21-22)

 

HOMOSEXUAL MARRIAGE CLEARED BY U.S. HIGH COURT TO START IN ALABAMA

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for same-sex weddings to start in Alabama, letting the number of homosexual-marriage states climb in advance of a constitutional showdown that may mean legalization nationwide.

In a 7-2 order, the justices rejected Alabama’s bid to stop a federal trial judge’s legalization order from taking effect Monday. The state now will become the 37th where homosexuals can marry. Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas dissented.

The rebuff brings homosexual marriage to a state whose chief justice, Roy Moore, has told officials not to comply.

The Alabama request was the first to reach the high court since its Jan. 16 decision to take up the issue. Previously, the justices had let homosexual marriage start in Idaho, Alaska and Florida.

Each new state magnifies the potential complications should the high court rule against marriage rights. A ruling potentially would nullify lower court decisions that have required states to issue licenses, creating uncertainty about the rights of people who wed in the interim.

A federal judge in Mobile struck down Alabama’s ban last month, and her ruling is set to take effect Monday. A federal appeals court in Atlanta refused to step in, prompting Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange to turn to the Supreme Court. Governor Robert J. Bentley supported Strange’s request.

‘Proper Way’

Thomas, in a dissent joined by Scalia, wrote that “the court looks the other way as yet another federal district judge casts aside state laws without making any effort to preserve the status quo pending the court’s resolution of a constitutional question it left open” in 2013.

“This acquiescence may well be seen as a signal of the court’s intended resolution of that question. This is not the proper way to discharge” the court’s responsibilities.

The high court will hear arguments on homosexual marriage in late April and in all likelihood rule in late June. The number of homosexual marriage states has tripled since 2013, when a Supreme Court ruling on a federal benefits law cast doubt on state bans.

Since then, four federal appeals courts have backed marriage rights. The justices will review the sole appellate decision that said states could restrict marriage to heterosexual unions, hearing appeals from couples in four states -- Michigan, Kentucky, Tennessee and Ohio.

In addition to the 37 states, the District of Columbia allows homosexual marriage, as do parts of Missouri.

The Alabama case is Strange v. Searcy, 14A840. (Contributor: By Greg Stohr for Bloomberg News)

American culture continues to descend into moral confusion as “the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God” (Declaration of Independence) are further distorted. Alabama becomes the 37th state to issue same-sex “marriage” licenses. If there is divine power to bring national change, it resides in God’s people praying with “all prayer” and in unity. Will the Church in America awaken to the challenge? Consider joining IFA’s first Friday prayer conference call, 12:15 to 12:45 p.m. ET. Call 712-432-0075, code 1412452#. On Feb. 6, more than 400 people from across the country took part by phone.

“And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart. Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all, especially to those who are of the household of faith.”(Gal. 6:9-10)

“And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication….” (Eph. 6:17-18) 

 

‘INCLUSIVE LANGUAGE CAMPAIGN’ DEBUTS AT UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN

Dozens of posters plastered across the University of Michigan caution students not to say things that might hurt others’ feelings, part of a new “Inclusive Language Campaign” at the state’s flagship public university that cost $16,000 to implement.

Words declared unacceptable through the campaign include “crazy,” “insane,” “retarded,” “gay,” “tranny,” “gypped,” “illegal alien,” “fag,” “ghetto” and “raghead.” Phrases such as “I want to die” and “that test raped me” are also verboten.

University spokesman Rick Fitzgerald told The College Fix in an email the campaign aims to “address campus climate by helping individuals understand that their words can impact someone and to encourage individuals to commit to creating a positive campus community.”ILCinside

Students have been asked to sign a pledge to “use inclusive language” and to help their peers “understand the importance of using inclusive language,” according to campaign materials.

Though only in existence for one semester, the Inclusive Language Campaign has maintained a strong presence throughout the university. Students roaming the campus frequently encounter posters of all sizes reminding them: “YOUR WORDS MATTER,” and asking questions such as: “If you knew that I grew up in poverty, would you still call things ‘ghetto’ and ‘ratchet’?”

Representatives of the Inclusive Language Campaign did not respond to repeated requests for comment from The College Fix.

Junior Kidada Malloy, who helps promote the program on campus, told the Michigan Daily the campaign “is a great program because it will improve the day-to-day language of students on campus by providing education around words that are offensive.”

Fitzgerald told The College Fix the university budgeted $16,000 for the campaign. The program comes at a time when the university has raised tuition and fees for the last two consecutive years.

“This program is intended to be educational, not regulatory,” Fitzgerald said of the campaign. “We hope there is only the understanding that we all participate in, and have the power to influence campus culture.”

ILC’s Facebook page includes a variety of inclusion-based material, inspirational quotes, personal stories, and even a video that details how to address a person by the correct pronouns. It operates in conjunction with two other campuswide initiatives, Expect Respect and Change It Up!, both of which emphasize inclusive words in and out of the classroom.

Students living in university housing are urged to take part in a Change It Up! workshop, which “brings bystander intervention skills to first-year housing residents for the purpose of building safe, inclusive, and respectful communities.”

Before and after completing these workshops, students fill out surveys in which they reflect on internal biases that may pose a threat to an “inclusive campus.”

As the Inclusive Language Campaign has enlarged its influence on campus through various kick-off events, interactive programming and provoking visuals, some students have called into question how it reconciles with the university’s policy on free speech, which “encourages open and vigorous discussion and strives to maintain an environment where the free exchange of ideas and opinions can flourish.”

Asked if the campaign stifles free speech, Fitzgerald said “we believe this program has just the opposite effect.”

“We believe it will make discourse more constructive by respecting the views and perspectives of others,” he said. “A campus conversation about the impact of words is good for everyone.”

The University of Maryland launched a similar campaign three years ago that cost $15,000. (Contributor: By Samantha Audia for University of Michigan - College Fix reporter Samantha Audia is a student at the University of Michigan.)

This is “common courtesy” to Christians, as basic Bible instruction is to be kind to others in daily discourse. However, Jesus displayed anger when appropriate, and he spoke harsh truth to religious leaders who used their exalted positions to deceive unwary followers. But the essence of His expression was kindness, calling people to repentance with words of forgiveness. The aim of these inclusive initiatives may well be laws later that will bring punishment to church leaders if they call homosexuality what it is or continue to define marriage as God does. Be in prayer and on watch.

“… but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ— “ (Eph. 4:18)                             

“And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you.” (Eph. 4:32)

“Have I therefore become your enemy because I tell you the truth?” (Gal. 4:16)

 

CHRISTIANS WHO FIGHT FOR TRUTH, STAND FOR CHRIST, WILL BE HATED

Former Senator Rick Santorum, gave a rousing interview on Wednesday, warning Christians that they will face persecution for standing up for Christ.

Santorum gave the interview after the screening of "One Generation Away," a new docudrama that suggests Americans may be only one generation away from facing religious persecution. In it, he addressed the situation future American Christians may be dealing with for living their lives for Christ.

"I know how these stories end," Santorum told CNS News, "and if you're a believer you all know how it ends. And we know the good guys win, truth wins. And so your job is to just focus on being faithful, standing by the truth, fighting for the truth, understanding the world is broken, and that they will hate you and persecute you because you stand for Him and what He taught. And that's a great blessing, not something to be avoided but something to be embraced."

In a separate interview with The Christian Post, Santorum spoke more in-depth, and clarified his definition of persecution in the United States.

"If we don't nip it here, things get a lot worse. I used the term earlier in our conversation to describe what's going on in America is persecution but when I say that, I usually step back and say, you know, persecution here in America is fairly mild compared to what's going on in the Middle East … You've gotta use that term very advisably. Nothing like that is happening here in America, thanks be to God, but things weren't always that way in other parts of the world, either. It starts with a gradual erosion," Santorum explained.

Santorum is CEO of EchoLight Studios, which worked with the Family Research Council to produce the film, which is titled after a quote from former president Ronald Reagan, who said, "Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction." It is available on DVD now. (Contributor: By Sami K. Martin for Christian Post)

Christians in the West should take former Senator Rick Santorum’s words very seriously; indeed, please give thanks for his timely wake-up call to the Church in the U.S. We have been so fully protected from real persecution that we can easily forget it was both promised and prophesied by Jesus and New Testament writers. Let us meditate on the supporting Scriptures below and prepare our hearts for what it has meant in every age and almost every culture to be a follower of Jesus Christ as Messiah and Lord. We add extra Scriptures for emphasis.

“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matt. 5:10-11)

“These things I have spoken to you, that you should not be made to stumble. They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service. And these things they will do to you because they have not known the Father nor Me. But these things I have told you, that when the time comes, you may remember that I told you of them.” (John 16:1-4)

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[a] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

“Yes, and all who desire to live godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. But evil men and impostors will grow worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” (2 Tim. 3:12-13)

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On Watch in Washington December 3, 2014

On Watch in Washington December 3, 2014 Plain Text PDF Version

ABORTIONS FALL TO RECORD LOW IN U.S.

The number of reported abortions fell to a historic low in 2011, the federal government said this week in its annual tally of most of the nation’s states.

There were 730,322 abortions in those 49 jurisdictions in 2011, with 91 percent occurring by the 13th week of gestation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in its Abortion Surveillance report.

The abortion rate fell 5 percent and the abortion ratio fell 4 percent from the previous year, reaching “historic lows for all three measures of abortion,” it said, referring to the absolute number of abortions, abortions as a share of pregnancies, and the abortion rate for the female population of childbearing age.

As always, the CDC’s abortion report does not include data from all 50 states, the three exceptions this year being California, Maryland and New Hampshire.

As a result, the government’s numbers differ from that of the Guttmacher Institute, which surveys abortion providers every few years, but both sets of numbers agree on the broader trends.

In Guttmacher’s report for 2011, which was based on around 1,700 abortion providers, the research organization also found falling rates of abortion — with 16.9 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44, compared with 19.4 abortions per 1,000 women in 2008.

Guttmacher also reported 13 percent fewer abortions in 2011 than in 2008, with 1.05 million procedures compared with 1.21 million, and a lower abortion ratio.

Guttmacher analysts did not focus on reasons for the decline, but reproductive health experts believe women’s use of long-lasting contraceptives and the poor economy played significant roles.

Pro-life supporters say that their efforts to educate the public about the humanity of the unborn child and alternatives to abortion, plus enactment of new laws to regulate the abortion industry, were having an effect.

The CDC said in its new report that the 2011 abortion rate fell to 14.6 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44, and the abortion ratio fell to 228 abortions per 1,000 live births.

It also appears that “women are obtaining abortions earlier in gestation, when the risks for complications are the lowest,” the agency said. Notably, nearly 65 percent of abortions were performed by the eighth week of gestation in 2011, higher than in previous years, and 19 percent using nonsurgical, medication abortion, it said.

However, another 7.3 percent of abortions (37,456) were done between 14 and 20 weeks gestation, and 1.4 percent (7,325) at 21 weeks or more, the agency said.

Other highlights of the CDC report for 2011:

• Women in their 20s accounted for most abortions — 58 percent or 372,687.

• Teens, aged 15-19, accounted for 13.5 percent of abortions (86,885), far lower than in previous years, while teens 14 and younger accounted for 0.4 percent (2,728) of abortions.

• Among areas with data, white women and black women had the highest percentages of abortions (37 percent and 36 percent, respectively). However, white women had the lowest abortion rate (8 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44) and ratio (132 abortions per 1,000 live births), while black women had the highest abortion rate (29.7 abortions per 1,000 women aged 15-44) and ratio (459 abortions per 1,000 live births).

• In 2010, the most recent year for which data were available, 10 women died as a result of complications from known legal abortions. No deaths from illegal abortions were reported.

• The District of Columbia had the highest percentage of out-of-state abortion clients (53.6 percent), followed by Kansas (50.6 percent), North Dakota (32.4 percent) and Tennessee (24.2 percent). (Contributor: By Cheryl Wetzstein for The Washington Times)

 

Prayer focus: Reading this article may cause a mixture of emotions. First, the good news is summarized in this statement: “The number of reported abortions fell to a historic low in 2011…” (as reported by the federal government). For this, we truly give God thanks. Second, after plowing through the statistics and percentages, we still see that more than 730,000 innocent lives were thrown away primarily for someone’s convenience. Please keep praying. Intercede for God’s mercy until these “personal choice” laws are overturned.

“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter.” (Prov. 24:11 NIV)

“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” (Ps. 127:3)

 

PORT AUTHORITY, FBI INVESTIGATING BOMB THREAT AGAINST FLIGHT FROM SPAIN AT JFK

European security experts are reportedly trying to thwart an alleged terror plot in the skies as authorities here at home try to determine who was behind a bomb threat against a flight from Spain to New York on Sunday.

According to reports, officials in Europe have intelligence suggesting that terrorists have the goal of blowing up five European passenger planes before Christmas in a possible 9/11-style attack.

Meanwhile, the Port Authority and the FBI are investigating after a bomb threat was phoned in against an American Airlines flight from Spain on Sunday.

Flight 67 from Barcelona landed safely at John F. Kennedy Airport about noon Sunday, according to Laura Masvideo, a spokeswoman for the airline.

“You’re on a flight, you’re landing and the pilot comes on and says there was a bomb threat,” said passenger Chandra Hayslett.

The aircraft was taken to a location near the tarmac where the 200 passengers plus crew members were taken off the plane, according to Port Authority spokesman Joe Pentangelo.

Police searched the plane and its contents for two hours before determining there was no danger.

“They had to examine all the luggage first just to make sure it wasn’t a legitimate threat,” said passenger Donna Graham.

“It was two hours of my time, but it was two hours of my time that I’m still standing here talking to you guys,” said another passenger.

American Airlines issued a statement saying, “We apologize for ay inconvenience this may have caused. The safety of our passengers and crew is our top priority.”

Pentangelo said authorities were investigating the source of the call.

So far, security experts have not said if there is any link between the reports of terror threats in Europe and Sunday’s incident at JFK. (Contributor: By Janelle Burrell and Joe Pentangelo for CBS News)

Prayer focus: Because every bomb threat and even rumors must be taken seriously, pray for God’s mercy, so that our security forces will be overshadowed with divine wisdom in detecting suspicious clues as to aircraft safety. Intercede that the growing unity and collaboration of the larger Church in finding allies for united prayer will continue, and that God will be pleased to protect us. Such protection would be a great mercy-gift, as our nation is not recognizing or calling upon the Lord.

“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.” (Lam. 3:22-23)

 

ISRAEL CALLS FOR REPARATIONS FOR MIDDLE EASTERN JEWS

Israel on Sunday marked the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Jews from Arab countries in the years after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Reuven Rivlin calling for financial reparations.

In a bid to draw attention to the plight of the forced migrants, Israel formally marked their displacement with a ceremony at the president’s house under a new law naming November 30 as the anniversary.

“It is not for nothing that this day is marked on the day after the 29th of November,” Netanyahu said, in reference to the anniversary of the UN adoption of the Palestine partition plan in 1947. “The Arab countries, which never accepted the UN declaration on the establishment of a Jewish state, compelled the Jews living in their territories to leave their homes while leaving their assets behind… We have acted – and will continue to act – so that they and their claims are not forgotten.”

In his address, Rivlin appealed for greater Sephardic representation in Israeli society, as well as for compensation for their suffering. He acknowledged that the troubles of Middle Eastern Jews were not mitigated upon arriving in Israel, where European Jews were firmly entrenched in power.

“Their voices were muted, but the words were in their mouths all along, even if they were said in Hebrew with a Persian or Arabic accent, which in Israel were thought of as enemy languages and viewed as a source of shame,” he said.

“The voice of Jews from Arab countries and Iran must be heard within the education system, in the media, in the arts, and in the country’s official institutions, as it needs to be heard in the international arena as well, in order to mend the historical injustice, and to ensure financial reparations,” Rivlin said.

The president also defended his decision to exclude singer Amir Benayoun from the event. Benayoun was disinvited last Tuesday from performing after he released a song that many criticized as expressing racist sentiment against Arabs.

In his address, Rivlin said he “objected to boycotts and I do not boycott anyone,” but maintained that his position required him to “be sensitive to public trends and opinions, and the atmosphere on the street, especially during such tense and sensitive times as these.

“Of course, an artist needs nobody’s permission to express themselves, within the limits of freedom of expression. However, the President’s Residence, as the home of all the citizens of Israel, must and should be careful to show care and respect to all citizens of Israel,” he said.

Meir Kahlon, chairman of the Central Organization for Jews from Arab Countries and Iran, said that “Nearly 800,000 came here [in the years after the establishment of the state] and the rest (around 56,000) went to the United States, France, Italy and elsewhere.”

Kahlon himself came to Israel as a child from Libya and spent his first years in the Jewish state in one of the tent camps set up to shelter the flood of newcomers.

Justice for Jews from Arab Countries (JJAC), an international umbrella group of Jewish community organizations, says 856,000 Jews from 10 Arab countries, among them Morocco, Iraq, Tunisia and Algeria, fled or were expelled in 1948 and after, while violent Arab riots left many Jews dead or injured.

Although many migrants arrived with meager belongings packed in a single suitcase, they did not seek formal refugee status from the international community.

At the time, the newly established Jewish state was struggling to attract migration from the world’s Jews and to project its legitimacy as a sovereign state, able to care for its own people.

Its prime minister, David Ben Gurion, would not have wanted Jews returning to their “historic homeland” classed as refugees, Kahlon said.

In March this year, Canada — whose Conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper is a staunch backer of Israel — formally recognized the refugee status of the Jewish emigres who fled or were expelled from Arab countries after Israel’s founding.

Some of the migrants to Israel say privately that the issue is being promoted to give Israel a bargaining card if stalled negotiations with the Palestinians should resume and the Palestinians submit compensation claims for the property and assets they left behind in what is now Israel.

“The point is to establish symmetry so that the dispute can be closed,” one migrant told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior official with the Palestine Liberation Organisation, said the issue was entirely separate from Palestinian claims for reparations from Israel — and must remain so. “They can discuss this with Arab countries, it’s not our business,” she told AFP. “They are trying to find every possible means of circumventing and sabotaging the Palestinian refugees’ rights.”

JJAC executive director Stanley A. Urman said the campaign to seek restitution for Jews from Arab countries was not meant to negate Palestinian rights.

“History, geography, demography don’t allow any comparison between the plight of Palestinian refugees and Jewish refugees,” he told journalists on Sunday, advocating a multilateral approach.

During the latest round of peace talks, which were shepherded by US Secretary of State John Kerry until their collapse in late April, there was talk about the establishment of an international peace fund, he said.

Such a fund would provide physical infrastructure for a Palestinian state, such as roads and sewers, as well as security for Israel in the form of final borders and the funding to allow for the establishment of security perimeters along those borders, he explained.

Thirdly, it would provide compensation “to all victims of the Arab-Israeli conflict, Palestinian and Jewish refugees alike.” (Contributor: By Marissa Newman and for AFP)

Prayer focus: Many of the readers of these Alerts are friends of Israel and pray faithfully for its protection and for “the peace of Jerusalem.” Some observers in the West do not know exactly where Prime Minister Netanyahu is going with this claim for reparations. Perhaps it is a bargaining chip for later talks in the region. God is patiently waiting and wooing His old covenant people to recognize their Messiah. How long will it take before Israel recognizes its Redeemer and Deliverer? Pray for God to remove the veil from Israel’s eyes.

“He (Jesus the Christ) came to His own [people] and His own did not receive Him. But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:11-13)

“Brethren, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for Israel is that they may be saved. For I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For they being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and seeking to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted to the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone who believes.” (Rom. 10:1-4)

 

DRUG-RESISTANT MALARIA IS 'DISASTER IN THE MAKING,' EXPERT WARNS

Professor Francois Nosten ran his finger over a map showing clusters of tiny dots — each marking a border village that make up ground zero for what experts fear will become the next global health emergency.

"It's already a disaster in the making, and as physicians we have to raise the alarm," he said. "We have to do something."

Nosten is the director of the Shoklo Malaria Research Unit, a sprawling hive of scientific activity on the Thai-Myanmar border that has become the front line in the fight against drug-resistant malaria.

"We should have declared a global emergency once we understood that the parasite had changed its genome and become resistant to the latest drugs we have," he said.

Those drugs are artemisinins, derived from a Chinese plant and once hailed as wonder cures. They have become the world's principal weapon against the most deadly form of malaria, and are responsible for slashing global mortality rates in recent decades.

But even with those huge advances, the disease still kills more than 600,000 people annually — mostly in Africa and mostly children. That's more than 100 times as many people as have died during the recent Ebola outbreak.

The fear is that types of malaria that are growing immune to artemisinins will spread to Africa, like other drug-resistant strains have done in the past, and with devastating results.

The disease is caused by parasites and transmitted to people through the bites of infected mosquitoes, thousands of which are collected and analyzed at Nosten's clinic. The experts here are searching for clues about a resistance first detected on the Thai-Cambodia border in 2007.

According to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine, resistance is now widespread along Thai-Myanmar border. It has been detected in pockets of neighboring Vietnam and Laos and is edging ever closer to India.

"Once you go to India and to Africa, here you are talking about potentially hundreds of millions of people affected," said Professor Nicholas White, a senior author of the study who is based at the Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit in Bangkok.

Resistance to just about every major anti-malarial has started in the border areas. Nobody can agree quite why. Poor treatment practices, substandard and fake drugs are chief suspects. They're exacerbated by poverty, migration and conflict.

"We have to be bold, radical and decisive"

On a misty morning along the Moei River near Mae Sot, packed rickety boats move back and forth, linking dozens of unofficial border crossings between Thailand and a region of Myanmar that has been at on-off war with the central government for decades.

Resistance to chloroquine, an earlier anti-malarial that also began in these borderlands, took about a decade to reach Africa, White said.

"The price of our inability to contain it in South East Asia was millions of deaths — millions of children died. We mustn't let that happen again," he said. "This time it will probably move faster, because people move faster these days."

At the Wang Pha clinic near Mae Sot, doctors said that while the number of malaria patients they treat is falling, the cases are more resistant to treatment. Whereas in the past it would take perhaps 24 hours to clear the parasite using artemisinins, it can now take several days.

"The response to them is starting to get less and less and less," said White. Right now there is nothing available to replace the artemisinins.

"The drug development pipeline is better than it has ever been, but we still don't have anything as good as the artemisinins which will be readily available in the next three to five years," he said. "There's no quick fix."

Researchers have also discovered that many people are carrying the parasite without falling sick.

"It's better to try and eliminate malaria now while it is at its lowest level, rather than waiting to see it exploding," Nosten said.

He and White have come up with a radical and controversial plan: Flood the borderlands with anti-malarial drugs to be taken by everybody, sick or not, to eliminate the parasite once and for all.

It is not the first time this approach has been tried. Earlier programs in China and Nicaragua — which tried to medicate its entire 2.5 million population — raise practical as well as ethical issues.

"You have to persuade people to take the drugs even though they are not showing symptoms," said Ric Price, head of the WorldWide Antimalarial Resistance Network. "And if you don't do it properly you can make the resistance worse."

He says earlier mass medication efforts have had "varied success," but that the dangers from resistance are now so great that "we have to be bold, radical and decisive."

Backed by the Gates Foundation and Global Fund, Nosten has already overseen the mass medication of four trial villages on the Myanmar side of the border. Malaria has largely vanished in the three that cooperated fully. He's extending the program to 800 villages, and his map with those tiny clusters of dots are the master-plan.

"It's clumsy, it's difficult," White concedes. "But I think we have to do everything we possibly can to stop it."

Nosten says the opening of Myanmar and the easing of conflicts are making working there and monitoring the treatment easier.

Another challenge is that mass medication doesn't kill the mosquitoes that transmit malaria. In earlier programs elsewhere, malaria has later returned.

But along the critical Thai-Myanmar border, the program might at the least provide a firewall and buy time.

"If we don't do anything, if we sit on our hands and have meetings, it's not going to go away. It's going to get worse," Nosten said. His statement is also a dig at the world's slow reaction to the Ebola emergency —from which he believes there are lessons to be learned.

White agrees: "The larger lessons are that you really have to respond quickly and you have to take tough decisions. Time is everything, and I think Ebola illustrates that more than anything." (Contributor: By Ian Williams for NBC News - Ian Williams is a correspondent based in Beijing.)

Prayer focus:  It is built into God’s creative process for living organisms to adapt for survival. In this case, the development of a drug-resistant strain of the virus spreading malaria is threatening literally millions of lives in Africa and Southeast Asia, mostly children. Intercede for wisdom and success for the research scientists working to develop better protection from this “super bug.” Pray for the self-sacrificing missionaries who place themselves at risk as they seek to evangelize the most vulnerable people groups. “Time is of the essence,” so intercessors appeal to God’s providence and mercy.

 “But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, ‘You are my God.’ My times are in Your hand; deliver me from the hand of my enemies…” (Ps. 31:14-15)

“The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works.” (Ps. 145:8-9)

 

8 CLEAR SIGNS OF A COMPROMISING CHURCH

During the days of Nazi Germany there arose a Confessing Church movement that rose against the German Church movement, which became the religious arm of the Fascist Nazi Socialist movement. Of the 18,000 pastors in Germany during that time (from 1933 to 1945), less than 5,000 were aligned with the Confessing Church. Hence, only a remnant held fast to the biblical position with about half of the churches conforming due to political and societal pressure. Unfortunately, this demonstrates that, when push comes to shove, a large percentage of pastors, churches and so-called Christians will probably bow to pressure and allow the norms of culture to become their credo for Christianity.

We see the same thing today in churches in the USA and beyond. With the accelerated pace of the attack on religious liberty today, there could develop a great divide in the church between confessing churches and compromising churches similar to what happened in Nazi Germany. This will not be a divide based on denominational affiliation but based on the degree of loyalty to biblical fidelity. It is sad but true that more and more believers will be compromising core biblical values and standards rather than be stigmatized or persecuted, and lose influence in society.

In John 12:42-43 we see that many contemporaries of Jesus believed in Him but would not confess Him because they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

The following are contrasts between the confessing church and the compromising church.

1. In the confessing church, Christ is over culture. The compromising church accommodates Christ to culture. The confessing church believes Jesus is Lord over all creation. Hence, they attempt to reflect Christ in every area of culture. The compromising church has a posture of accommodation. Hence, the Christ they believe in and preach is shaped by the culture they live in.

2. The confessing church holds fast to the Word of God in spite of opposition. The compromising church alters the Word of God because of opposition. Soon in America it is quite possible that it will be illegal to preach from certain passages of the Bible dealing with human sexuality. Because of this, many will alter their theology to fit the culture while the confessing church will preach the Word of God in spite of governmental fines, penalties, lawsuits and even serving time in jail.

3. The confessing church puts the kingdom of God above their culture and ethnicity. The compromising church puts their ethnicity before the kingdom of God. The German Church during the Nazi era put nationalism and their Aryan heritage above the Word of God. Many pastors and believers today view the Scriptures more through the lens of their ethnicity and national heritage than through a proper exegesis of Scripture.

When, and if, our nation officially makes biblical Christianity illegal, we will soon see who will be the confessors and who will be the compromisers. In many ways, practicing biblical Christianity is already illegal when it comes to believers attempting to walk out their faith in the marketplace because private Christian-owned businesses do not have the same level of protection today as do local churches.

4. The confessing church alters their methods of preaching. The compromising church alters the message they preach. While it is wise and biblical for the body of Christ to be relevant to culture regarding the preaching of the gospel, it should never put being relevant above being faithful. The compromising church puts being relevant before biblical faithfulness. Hence, they not only change the method of preaching but also the message they preach.

5. The confessing church is a remnant in the minority of church and state. The compromising church wants to be in the mainstream of both church and state.  The confessing church endures long seasons of feeling like aliens and strangers in their own communities. The compromising church wants to be in the mainstream of culture more than living in the divine flow of God's favor and presence.

6. The confessing church is penalized by the state government. The compromising church is applauded by the state government. While the confessing church is hunted down and ostracized by the humanistic state, the compromising church is celebrated by the far-left radicals and used as a model of how church and state should function together.

7. The confessing church prophetically speaks truth to power. The compromising church conforms to those in power. The confessing church knows that at various seasons in their existence they will not gain a lot of converts and/or experience societal transformation. The best they can do is to maintain a prophetic witness to the cultural elites and surrounding communities. Since the compromising church enjoys the power and prestige the elites grant them, they always conform rather than confront.

8. The confessing church desires the praise of God. The compromising church desires the praise of men. Ultimately at the end of the day it boils down to this: Are we living for the praise of men or the praise of God? If things don't change in the coming days, we will be shocked at how many megachurches, mid-size churches and smaller churches compromise the word of God so they could continue to keep their doors open.

At some point we will all have to stand the ultimate test, which is whether we desire God more than we love our lives, or whether we love our pleasures, conveniences and material goods more than God. Truly, if we confess Christ before men He will confess us before His Father in heaven, but if we deny Him before men He will deny us before His Father in heaven (Matt. 10:32-33). (Contributor: By Bishop Joseph G. Mattera for Charisma News - Joseph Mattera is overseeing bishop of Resurrection Church and Christ Covenant Coalition, in Brooklyn, New York.)

Prayer focus: We have published the writings of Bishop Mattera before and found his work to be insightful for the larger Church. We urge a thorough reading of this article. We pray that some readers will share these thoughts with pastors and church leaders. Religious freedom in the U.S. is being threatened in our military complex and in churches and other Christian ministries. Pray that the Church, when pressured to compromise, will stand strong for biblical principles. Pray for repentance to lead to widespread renewal and revival.

“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed … work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure … that you may become blameless and harmless, children of God without fault in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life….”  (Phil. 2:12-16)

 

SOCIAL WORKERS NOW ASSESSING HOME EDUCATION?

The latest case of alleged government intrusion into the home comes out of Savannah, Georgia, where homeschooling parents were reported to a state agency by a social worker for the “educational neglect” of their 12-year-old daughter — who they have successfully and legally taught at their home for some time.

Without cause or warning, one social worker in northeastern Georgia contacted the Chatham County Department of Family and Children Services, alerting the agency that she suspected a family of neglecting the educational needs of their preteen daughter.

Not understanding the basis of the allegations or extent of her rights as a registered homeschool parent, the mother finally agreed to meet with the intrusive social worker outside of her home in order to get a better idea of exactly what she was being accused of regarding her daughter’s education.

After a brief discussion, the homeschool mom communicated to the social worker that she would give in and allow her inside of her home so that she could observe her daughter, but the mother would not agree to let the worker conduct a private interview with her 12-year-old.

Once the Homeschool Legal Defense Association was informed about the nature and conditions of the social worker’s visit, attorneys found the situation to be highly disturbing and unusual. As a member of HSLDA, the mother was quickly told that the intrusive investigation was extremely odd and problematic for two reasons: 1) the social worker, whose duties do not transcend into the realm of education, demanded to enter the homeschool family’s home and 2) the social worker aggressively pressed the family to allow her to observe the mother homeschool her daughter.

The rationale the social worker gave the homeschool mother for such an intrusive investigation was that she merely desired to ensure that her daughter was “getting the best education.” No concerns or allegations of misconduct or lack of learning were given to warrant any government invasion into her home.

As a matter of fact …

Once HSLDA Senior Counsel Dewitt Black gave the Savannah mom legal consultation as to how she should deal with the social worker moving forward, he proceeded to issue the government agent a letter clearly stating the homeschool parents’ constitutional rights to educate their own. He began by notifying the overreaching state employee that both parents were implementing a home study program for their daughter that was in direct compliance with Georgia state law.

Backing up his assertion, Black continued to lay out the facts pointing to legal documentation proving that the mother had already filed a mandatory declaration of intent for homeschooling, which she had submitted to the Georgia Department of Education at the commencement of this year’s fall semester. Also included in Black’s letter was a statement verifying that both parents were in full compliance with various other sections of the law by instructing their child above and beyond the minimum 4.5 hours per day, 180 days per year for the fall and spring semesters.

Black further notified the social worker that choosing to continue her invasive investigation would be a violation of the homeschool parents’ constitutional rights.

“The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution protect[s] the family from any unreasonable searches or seizures, such as entry into their home would involve,” Black stated to the social worker in his letter.

On second thought …

In just a matter of days after Black had send his letter to the social worker on behalf of the homeschool parents, the mother received a phone call from the state employee, who took an extreme change of course.

The social worker made it clear to the Savannah homeschool mom that a visitation to her home to investigate whether her daughter was receiving satisfactory home education was no longer necessary. Furthermore, the social worker also changed her tone — and apparently her perspective on homeschooling, as well.

“I think you’re doing a good job,” the social worker expressed to the homeschool mom in her phone conversation.

Before the conclusion of the phone call, the social worker let the home educator know that she was officially drawing the investigation to a close. (Contributor: By Michael F. Haverluck for One News Now)

Prayer focus: Those aware of the ministry of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) know that the action of attorney Dewitt Black on behalf of their member in Georgia is all in a day’s work for him and his colleagues. Sadly, such attempts at home intrusion are not uncommon, and usually all an overreaching social worker needs is to be reminded of the law. Give thanks for this victory and the myriad of similar challenges homeschooling families overcome through HSLDA efforts. Homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. Officials interfere at times, often through ignorance of the law. Not all families are called to homeschooling, but those who are remain grateful for HSLDA.   

“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage.” (Gal. 5:1)

“And you, fathers, do not provoke your children to wrath, but bring them up in the training and admonition of the Lord.” (Eph. 6:4)

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6)

 

ABSTINENCE HIGH SCHOOL SPEAKER OUSTED: MESSAGE CALLED ‘HATE SPEECH’

Many public schools across the nation have regularly invited speakers from Planned Parenthood to inform high school and middle school students about under-age and premarital “safe sex” and how to use various forms of contraception, but when one abstinence speaker was scheduled to inform students in southeastern Pennsylvania about the rewards of saving sex until marriage and the dangers of casual sex, her speech was quickly cancelled, with critics calling it “hate speech.”

Devoting her life to informing America’s youth about the dangers of casual sexual activity, Pam Stenzel was looking forward to sharing her message with Warwick High School and Warwick Middle School students on November 19, but she was quickly informed that her two presentations were cancelled because a handful of people considered her abstinence standpoint as offensive.

There was far from an outpouring of protests — as only a few outspoken parents and students raised any objections to Stenzel’s message — but because of reported bullying from parents over the issue to school officials and biased media coverage, hundreds of students were unable to glean from Stenzel’s views on chastity and wholesome living.

The school district issued a statement explaining why Stenzel’s two daytime presentations were cancelled.

“[The cancellations were made] in order to protect the students and staff of Warwick School District from the credible threats to obstruct, intimidate and disrupt the educational process and rights of the students and families who elected to attend the school day presentations,” district officials announced.

Stenzel was invited to speak at both the high school and middle school, as well as at a nighttime presentation in the neighboring town of Lititz, located north of Lancaster in the Keystone State, but she ended up just sharing with about 500 students at the evening presentation, to which leftist activists also objected.

After many applauded Stenzel’s speech back in 2006, a local business decided to pay for Stenzel to speak on abstinence once again to give a broader perspective than what the schools offered through their sex education curricula. If so choosing, parents were granted the opportunity to opt their children out of the talks.

Reason for contention

The loud outcry of a few who took offense to Stenzel’s advice to abstain from all sexual activity before marriage reached various media channels.

One local resident was livid that Stenzel was originally scheduled to speak to students on a public school campus and she thought that the opt-out alternative was justnot enough. She went as far to call abstinence training “hate speech.”

“[The ability to opt out] completely misses the point,” local resident Allison Lakehart-Childs expressed to Superintendent April Hershey in a letter. “I do not want any students exposed to Ms. Stenzel’s hate speech.”

Leftist parents also had a problem with Stenzel communicating the message of purity until marriage.

“[Scheduling Stenzel was a] completely and totally irresponsible choice for a public school,” voiced parent Marie Firestone through Lancaster Online.

Local media also reportedly played up Stenzel’s menace to society, as Lancaster Online Reporter Kara Newhouse announced numerous times that she told West Virginia attendees, "If you take birth control, your mother probably hates you." Newhouse also reported that the abstinence speaker told them, "I could look at any one of you in the eyes right now and tell if you're going to be promiscuous."

After being asked about her critics’ reaction, Stenzel said that they speak their vulgar remarks out of ignorance, since most have never even seen per present, and if they have, it was most likely via a brief YouTube excerpt.

“They talk about tolerance,” Stenzel asserts. “They're the most intolerant people.”

I really said that?

Addressing the allegations to LifeSiteNews.com, Stenzel attempted to set the record straight.

“I never in my life said that,” Stenzel insisted. “I say the same thing over and over again.”

Stenzel attested that anyone familiar with her presentations would know the truth about the allegations.

“You can go listen to it yourself; my talks are all over YouTube,” Stenzel continued. “What I said was that if you are on birth control, you are at a greater risk of becoming infected with an STD.”

Her claim of innocence was corroborated by George Washington High School Principal George Aulenbacher, who attended Stenzel’s assembly on his school’s West Virginia campus.

“I didn’t hear anything like that,” Aulenbacher responded to the Charleston Gazette after being questioned about Stenzel’s alleged quotes during her speech in the Mountain State.

It was later found that Newhouse’s left-leaning bent ties her to numerous feminist political movements, which some say explain her failure to report on Stenzel’s rejection of her allegations.

Stenzel also contended that just a limited few rose objections to her abstinence viewpoint, but made such a stir that the protest seemed much larger than it actually was.

“[It] really was a small group — less than a handful of people — but they were being really loud, and they wouldn't let it go,” noted Stenzel, who was conceived in rape, which is instrumental in her passion to share abstinence and self-control with youth.

Stenzel’s agent, who arranges her speaking engagements, was also cognizant of the small disturbance that led to the unwarranted cancellation.

“Some of the parents were opposing her,” said Enlighten Communications Program Director Colin Hearn. “A lot more were for her.”

“The administration supported Pam 100 percent,” Hearn added in a statement to LifeSiteNews.com. “The school administration just saw some activity on social media and were a bit concerned [and called things off] when it started to get into a problem of a safety concern.”

Hearn indicated that the last thing Stenzel wanted was a controversy — she just wanted an avenue to help steer kids away from a destructive path.

“We don't want to disrupt the school — that's not our intention at all,” Hearn disclosed. “Education is tough enough as it is.”

In fact, even though it caved in to the pressure, the Pennsylvania school district was quick to blame a few dissentients for ruining a good presentation for the rest of the school.

“[A negligible minority of parents] with differences of opinion used what can only be described as bullying tactics through social media to personally attack individuals, to attempt to discover the name of the business contributor in order to boycott and/or picket the business, to threaten the continued use of the local media and the additional use of national media to ‘make an example’ of the district, to continue to spread inaccurate and inflammatory information, and as a platform for planning to create an unsafe environment for our students,” school officials pointed out.

More false claims?

Besides having problems with the promotion of abstinence, a number parents were bothered about Stenzel’s faith — given that she delivers one presentation to school audiences and another one to church audiences. They brought up contentions that her religious affiliation could present a problem with the so-called “separation of church in state,” which, in fact, does not preclude the freedom to express religious beliefs on campus.

“I'm not bringing faith into it at all — never have, never will in a public school setting,” argued Stenzel, who is more about presenting students with as much information as possible about the dangers of casual sex.

Those protesting Stenzel’s presentation also contend that she skews her statistics, but her booking agent says that she actually underrepresents the figures that she receives from government agencies like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which reports that of the 1.4 million chlamydia infections in the U.S., more than two out of three of them occur with people between the ages of 15 and 24.

Stenzel is not apologetic  about the fact that the only way to confidently avoid getting sexually transmitted infections is by not having extramarital sex.

“I could have sex a million times if my husband has only been with me and never use a condom and I will never get an STI,” Stenzel shared at the assembly. “All we can do is love you, tell you the truth, and hope you make good choices.”

When asked about not being able to speak as scheduled on the two public school campuses, Stenzel had this to say:

“Pam Stenzel didn't lose today — your kids did,” the devout speaker told the community’s parents, according to Lancaster Online. “And that's too bad.”

Once Stenzel concluded her speech, the students in attendance gave her a standing ovation for giving them the bare facts out of a genuine love and concern. (Contributor: By Michael F. Haverluck for One News Now)

Prayer focus: This is about those who call evil good and good evil. How any adult could characterize a call for abstinence before marriage as “hate speech” boggles the mind. Report after report indicate that those who “wait” for the appropriate expression of sexual intimacy within marriage seldom express regrets, whereas those who do not wait are often sorry later for the premature loss of purity. Only a biblical worldview through the gospel of Christ can open such blind eyes. Pray accordingly.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” (Prov. 3:5-6)

“Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Phil. 4:8)

On Watch in Washington December 3, 2014 Plain Text PDF Version

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March 19, 2015 

 

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Empowering for Transformation

Conference Highlights 

 

 

Hosted by Intercessors For America

Held at Evergreen United Methodist Church

 Leesburg, Virginia 

 March 6-7, 2015 

  

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Snow-covered roads throughout the northeast the night before didn't stop participants from five different states from attending IFA's two-day conference with featured speakers, Alistair Petrie and Doug Abner.

 

Alistair Petrie of Partnership Ministries shared principles of revival, transformation, and spiritual awakening. His insightful teaching from Scripture illuminated truth in a new way as he shared out of biblical scholarship coupled with prophetic insight into the work and move of the Holy Spirit in our time. He spoke with conviction and clarity about the signs of the times and our need to rightly interpret the headlines from a spiritual perspective. The depth of scriptural teaching and personal application impacted and challenged many, reminding us of the "householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old," referenced in Matthew 13:52. He said his passion is revival. And as he has visited and researched many historical revival sites, he shared significant insights. 

 

Doug Abner of the Appalachian Center for Transformation partnered with Alistair throughout the weekend, sharing the practical application of these truths and principles. His community experienced a supernatural move of God starting in 2004 in Manchester, Kentucky. His down-to-earth experiences, powerful testimonies, and humorous perspective on these processes were refreshing and applicable. Together, he and Alistair inspired and challenged the leaders to look deeper into the workings of the Holy Spirit in our communities and nation and to consider the long-term goals and implications of spiritual awakening and revival.

 

Several comments were shared by conference participants:

 

I thought the conference was great! The balance between building the spiritual framework and presenting the practical outworking was amazing. This was a great encouragement to continue pressing into the heart of God for visitation. (Lyman Eddy)

 

I think the most significant concept I heard about was not going into an area, praying, and leaving. You need to stay and follow through. (Tracey de Blank)

 

Personally I was enriched by the teachings that Alistair Petrie shared; he's a remarkable teacher. Through it, the Lord challenged me, confirmed things, and inspired me. What a treat Mr. Doug Abner was to the overall experience. The contrast between the two speakers was captivating, yet the joint labor was indeed a powerful demonstration of the Kingdom. His personal stories of his experience of transforming revival were deeply stirring and inspiring. Thank you for hosting them and making this possible in our region. I hope there will be future events hosted by IFA. (Brian F. Hume)

 

The primary voice I heard from this weekend was it's time to reengage. From both of our speakers this weekend, I felt called to engage with the Lord for personal and city transformation. (Bobby Alger)

 

I was impacted by the hope that God CAN and WANTS to transform our communities.  Doug's time speaking was inspirational. Knowing that my community's transformation story will not look like someone else's brings freedom to pursue what we see God unfolding for us without having to fit into a prescribed set of actions. It is not a formula. We just need to seek God's presence and repent and seek to right the wrongs we have made against God in our lives and community. (Kris Kubal)

 

We really enjoyed the conference and I have had a great time going over my notes to pull out the "must do" first items...I feel there was ministry going on at many levels simultaneously. (Joan Randell)

 

 

 

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Hear a sample 5-minute audio clip of Alistair teaching at the conference:

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(His subject is city intercession.)

 

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NOW AVAILABLE!

All the sessions recorded at the Empowering for Transformation conference...

 

 

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With Alistair Petrie and Doug Abner

 

This CD set includes all 7 sessions taught at the Empowering for Transformation conference in March 2015. Stories of transformation, biblical foundations, practical tips, and much more.
 
 
 IFA Bookstore: $29.99
 

By Alistair Petrie


This 80 minute DVD teaching challenges, informs, and equips the Body of Christ for coming revival and lasting transformation. This resource comes highly recommended by many on the field.

  
IFA Bookstore: $20.00

 

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Insights and Truths in Pursuing Revival and Transformation

(Alistair Petrie conference notes)

 

Non-negotiables in pursuing Transformation:

 

- An undergirding fear of the Lord

- A biblical worldview

- The ability to properly know and interpret the signs of the times

- A lifestyle of repentance

- A value and priority of healing the land

- The ability to guard, keep, and occupy the land

- The ability to persevere 

 

What attracts God's heart:

(In order of progression, starting personally, then overflowing to the corporate)

1. Humility

2. Holiness

3. Relational unity

4. Integrity

5. Transparency

6. Vertically informed; horizontally accountable

7. Prayer (leading to power encounters)

 

Quotable Quotes:

"If you can't guard, keep and occupy the land, don't ask for it." 

   "You can't declare until you prepare."

 

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http://files.ctctcdn.com/7f8599f5001/2b077750-38e0-4600-b29d-7f273837425b.jpgWhat have intercessors been learning?

 

Here are some key insights gained by those who have been actively praying for their cities in recent months:

 

1. Focus our prayers on declaring God's ultimate purposes rather than focusing on all the problems.

2. Address the underlying roots before addressing the outer symptoms.

3. Pray from a "Presence" reality instead of a warfare mentality (when God's Presence shows up, everything changes).

4. Our spiritual authority in prayer comes more from who we are than the words we say.

5. Our unity is determined by our oneness in pursuit more than our agreement on all the issues.

6. Transformation depends more on the positioning of our hearts than in understanding the principles.

 

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http://files.ctctcdn.com/7f8599f5001/43f62961-12ad-4bda-913e-7e6b8bcebe4c.jpgIFA's Community Transformation Web pages provide insights and tools for community intercession. Click Here or read below...

 

Preparing the way for our communities

 

In a community's pursuit of God's Presence, personal preparation must be the starting point. Before considering any corporate invitation for transforming revival, each community member must consider several key factors in adequately preparing the way of the Lord:

 

 Determine the cost of the call

To pursue God's Presence on a daily basis will require a change of routine and priorities. This is not a short-term plan, but a lifestyle of seeking God's face on a consistent basis. A pruning of what seems good may be needed in order to pursue what is best. Read more ...

Establish a prayer altar

A prayer altar is a sacred time and sacred place where one meets with God.  These should be established as individuals as well as families, congregations, and communities. Unfortunately, there are always distractions. Read more ...

Learn to hear and discern God's voice

A growing relationship with the Holy Spirit is vital in keeping our pursuit fresh and current.  Developing a sensitive spirit to the heart and activities of God will position us to quickly respond and become partners in transforming revival.  Read more ...

Pursue freedom from spiritual roadblocks

In order for the fullness of God's presence to fill us, ungodly beliefs and mindsets, wounds and hurts and strongholds of the past must be removed. As we humble ourselves before the Lord, we give Him permission to search our hearts for anything that would hinder His coming. Read more ...

 

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http://files.ctctcdn.com/7f8599f5001/0d3a697c-e6ef-4e36-a871-af9f3e6729e0.jpgA recorded word from nationally-recognized prophetic minister, Bob Hazlett, was shared during the conference as an encouragement to those who have been praying for this nation.

This 5-minute word was given just 2 weeks prior to our conference:

 

Audio Clip of Bob Hazlett's prophetic word for intercessors:    

  

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Recorded at Firestorm Conference, February 18-21, LIFE Center, Harrisburg, PA

Firestorm Conference Media

 

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Intercessors for America is here to help you...

 

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Are you seeing the fruit of effective intercession in your community? 

Do you or others you pray with need some tools, encouragement, or resources to keep the fire burning on the altar of intercession? 

 

We want to help equip leaders and intercessors in strategic and effective prayer through books, DVDs, instructional materials, and on-site training. We would love to hear from you about your congregational or community prayer ministries. Are you seeing answers? Sometimes our answers lie not in praying more, but in praying right.

 

What's happening in your community and how we can serve you?

What are the pressing issues you are facing in prayer? 

Send us an email so we can connect...

 

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Wanda Alger

IFA Regional Director of Mobilization

wandaalger@ifapray.org  

 

 

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Beth LaRock

IFA National Coordinator of Communications 

and Mobilization

bethlarock@ifapray.org 
 

 

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Intercessors for America | ifa@ifapray.org | http://www.ifapray.org
PO Box 915, Purcellville, VA 20134

1-800-USA-PRAY (872-7729)

 

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Seeing America Transformed through Revival 

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Empowering for Transformation Conference Highlights
Snow-covered roads throughout the northeast the night before didn't stop participants from five different states from attending IFA's two-day conference with featured speakers, Alistair Petrie and Doug Abner.
  
Hosted by Intercessors for America and held at Evergreen United Methodist Church in Leesburg, Virginia on March 6 and 7, 2015, Alistair Petrie of Partnership Ministries shared principles of revival, transformation, and spiritual awakening. His insightful teaching from Scripture illuminated truth in a new way as he shared out of biblical scholarship coupled with prophetic insight into the work and move of the Holy Spirit in our time. He spoke with conviction and clarity about the signs of the times and our need to rightly interpret the headlines from a spiritual perspective. The depth of scriptural teaching and personal application impacted and challenged many, reminding us of the "householder who brings out of his treasure things new and old," referenced in Matthew 13:52. He said his passion is revival. And as he has visited and researched many historical revival sites, he shared significant insights. 
 
Doug Abner of the Appalachian Center for Transformation partnered with Alistair throughout the weekend, sharing the practical application of these truths and principles. His community experienced a supernatural move of God starting in 2004 in Manchester, Kentucky. His down-to-earth experiences, powerful testimonies, and humorous perspective on these processes were refreshing and applicable. Together, he and Alistair inspired and challenged the leaders to look deeper into the workings of the Holy Spirit in our communities and nation and to consider the long-term goals and implications of spiritual awakening and revival.
 
Several comments were shared by conference participants:
 

I thought the conference was great! The balance between building the spiritual framework and presenting the practical outworking was amazing. This was a great encouragement to continue pressing into the heart of God for visitation. (Lyman Eddy)

 

I think the most significant concept I heard about was not going into an area, praying, and leaving. You need to stay and follow through. (Tracey de Blank)

 

Personally I was enriched by the teachings that Alistair Petrie shared; he's a remarkable teacher. Through it, the Lord challenged me, confirmed things, and inspired me. What a treat Mr. Doug Abner was to the overall experience. The contrast between the two speakers was captivating, yet the joint labor was indeed a powerful demonstration of the Kingdom. His personal stories of his experience of transforming revival were deeply stirring and inspiring. Thank you for hosting them and making this possible in our region. I hope there will be future events hosted by IFA. (Brian F. Hume)

 

The primary voice I heard from this weekend was it's time to reengage. From both of our speakers this weekend, I felt called to engage with the Lord for personal and city transformation. (Bobby Alger)

 

I was impacted by the hope that God CAN and WANTS to transform our communities.  Doug's time speaking was inspirational. Knowing that my community's transformation story will not look like someone else's brings freedom to pursue what we see God unfolding for us without having to fit into a prescribed set of actions. It is not a formula. We just need to seek God's presence and repent and seek to right the wrongs we have made against God in our lives and community. (Kris Kubal)

 

We really enjoyed the conference and I have had a great time going over my notes to pull out the "must do" first items...I feel there was ministry going on at many levels simultaneously. (Joan Randell)

  

 

Want to hear these messages? You can!

Audio CDs of the entire conference are now available from the IFA Bookstore.

 

 

Hear a sample 5-minute audio clip of Alistair teaching at the conference:
 
(His subject is city intercession.)
 

 

Insights and Truths in Pursuing Revival and Transformation

(Alistair Petrie conference notes)
 
Non-negotiables in pursuing Transformation:

- An undergirding fear of the Lord

- A biblical worldview

- The ability to properly know and interpret the signs of the times

- A lifestyle of repentance

- A value and priority of healing the land

- The ability to guard, keep, and occupy the land

- The ability to persevere 

 

What attracts God's heart:

(In order of progression, starting personally, then overflowing to the corporate)

1. Humility

2. Holiness

3. Relational unity

4. Integrity

5. Transparency

6. Vertically informed; horizontally accountable

7. Prayer (leading to power encounters)

 

Quotable Quotes:

"If you can't guard, keep and occupy the land, don't ask for it." 

   "You can't declare until you prepare."

 

 

What have intercessors been learning?

 

Here are some key insights gained by those who have been actively praying for their cities in recent months:

 
1. Focus our prayers on declaring God's ultimate purposes rather than focusing on all the problems.
2. Address the underlying roots before addressing the outer symptoms.
3. Pray from a "Presence" reality instead of a warfare mentality (when God's Presence shows up, everything changes).
4. Our spiritual authority in prayer comes more from who we are than the words we say.
5. Our unity is determined by our oneness in pursuit more than our agreement on all the issues.
6. Transformation depends more on the positioning of our hearts than in understanding the principles.

 

 

Intercessors for America is here to help you

 

Are you seeing the fruit of effective intercession in your community? 

Do you or others you pray with need some tools, encouragement, or resources to keep the fire burning on the altar of intercession? 

 

We want to help equip leaders and intercessors in strategic and effective prayer through books, DVDs, instructional materials, and on-site training. We would love to hear from you about your congregational or community prayer ministries. Are you seeing answers? Sometimes our answers lie not in praying more, but in praying right.

 

What's happening in your community and how we can serve you?

What are the pressing issues you are facing in prayer? 

Send us an email so we can connect...

 

 


 
 

Wanda Alger

IFA Regional Director of Mobilization

wandaalger@ifapray.org  

 

 

 

 

 

 

Beth LaRock

 IFA National Coordinator of Communications 

and Mobilization

bethlarock@ifapray.org 

 

 

*These articles are taken from the monthly Mobilizer which includes additional articles, links, video clips and other resources on transforming revival.

 

To receive the full version of the monthly Mobilizer automatically to your email, CLICK HERE.

 

 

 

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Russia was pointedly disinvited from a gathering ... of the exclusive Group of Seven nations, but it was clear that the international big chill imposed on Moscow over its actions in Ukraine is starting to thaw President Obama and other leaders meeting here offered an olive branch to Russian President Vladimir Putin, inviting him to begin to resolve the seven-month Ukrainian crisis and rebuild trust with the West after an
estrangement that invited comparisons to the Cold War.

... A joint statement from the G-7 condemned what it called Russia’s illegal annexation and “unacceptable interference” in other areas of Ukraine and said the body will refuse to recognize Crimea as a part of Russia.

“We stand ready to intensify targeted sanctions and to implement significant additional restrictive measures to impose further costs on Russia should events so require,” the statement said. U.S. officials later said certain provocative actions such as Russian troops crossing the border into Ukraine would trigger more punitive measures. But they would not define exactly what Putin would have to do, nor would they set an exact deadline.

“Clearly sectoral sanctions are on the table,” said Ben Rhodes, the deputy national security adviser for strategic communications. “If we see the status quo continuing, we are going to move.”

Obama and Cameron acknowledged that there are differences of opinion among the 28 European Union nations and that rallying them all to favor stricter sanctions would be difficult.
 
(Excerpted from the WASHINGTON POST)

We encourage intercessors to meditate on the Isaiah passage below. While it reads like poetry, the words are prophetic, inspired by God’s Spirit and given by revelation. As we pray into world affairs, let us remember that there is only one nation on earth that is bound to the Lord God by His specific covenant, and that is Israel (not the G7, including our own U.S.). The people of all nations, however, are precious to God, who loves them in Christ, and — through Christ — is not willing that any should perish.

“Who has directed the Spirit of the LORD, or as His counselor has taught Him? With whom did He take counsel, and who instructed Him, and taught Him in the path of justice? Who taught Him knowledge, and showed Him the way of understanding? Behold, the nations are as a drop in a bucket, and are counted as the small dust on the scales; look, He lifts up the isles as a very little thing.” (Isaiah 40:13 -15)

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