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Worthy News Brief - June 12, 2013

%%First Name%%, don't let your circumstances dictate you!

Ephesians 6:19-20 and pray for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

For over 10 years we've been covering Christian Persecution, and whenever I come across an amazing story of how a saint endured such hardships, it encourages me. I remember reading about Watchman Nee and his imprisonment. The Chinese government would change the guards at his cell daily for fear that Nee would lead them to the Lord. Their fears were justified -- many of those guards did come to faith! Apparently Watchman Nee had learned a powerful lesson from the Apostle Paul.

In Paul's letter to the Church in Ephesus, observe how he describes himself -- an ambassador in chains. Locked away in a prison, Paul adamantly refuses to allow his circumstances to dictate or alter his identity. He may be in chains, but he remains the Lord's ambassador.

Can you imagine Paul chained up in that dungeon, throwing up his hands saying, "That's it; it's over; I'm finished!?

Not on your life! Instead the apostle grows bolder as an ambassador; not intimidated or ashamed, because Paul isn't chained in his Spirit, he's only bound in the flesh. Remember how he concludes his letter to the Philippian Church declaring, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me."

%%First Name%%, don't allow yourself to be defined by your past, or "chained" by your current circumstances. God has also called you to be an ambassador for Him. With so much work to be done, we ought to be growing even bolder, right in the midst of our trials and tribulations!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
Negev Desert, Israel

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Today's Breaking News
Around the World
Syria crisis: Damascus hit by double 'suicide bombing' - BBC
Two suicide bombers have blown themselves up in the centre of the Syrian capital, Damascus, killing 14 people, Syrian state media says.

Pope Francis admits presence of 'gay lobby' in Vatican - Fox News
Pope Francis lamented that a "gay lobby" was at work at the Vatican in private remarks to the leadership of a key Latin American church group -- a stunning acknowledgment that appears to confirm earlier reports about corruption and dysfunction in the Holy See.

Days before vote, huge majority of Iranians favor Sharia law - Times of Israel
Iranians favor implementing Sharia law in Iran by a huge majority -- 83 percent to just 15 opposed -- according to a new survey of Iranians published Tuesday by the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life.

Tear gas, fire, stun grenades: Chaos in Istanbul as police, protesters clash - CNN
A central square and park in Istanbul erupted Tuesday and into Wednesday in an unsettling, chaotic chorus, with tear gas canisters and water cannons from police met by fireworks, metal banging and defiant chanting from protesters.

Syria: BNP leader Griffin says opposition dominated by 'jihadi terrorists' - BBC
BNP leader Nick Griffin has said the Syrian opposition movement is dominated by Islamist jihadis committing terrorist acts.

Al-Qaeda may possess feared surface-to-air missiles - Times of Israel
The photocopies of the manual lay in heaps on the floor, in stacks that scaled one wall, like Xeroxed, stapled handouts for a class.


Israel-Palestinian Conflict
IDF: 20% more West Bank terror act charges in 2012 - Ynet News
The Military Advocate General (MAG) reported that the number of indictments filed against West Bank Palestinians on charges of terror acts has risen by 20% in 2012, compared to 2011.

Israel faces growing isolation if US peace push fails - Times of Israel
Israel will face unprecedented isolation if the current attempts at restarting the peace process fail, British Under Secretary of State Alistair Burt warned on Wednesday.

Putin defends Iran nuke program but pans anti-Israel rhetoric - Times of Israel
Russian President Vladimir Putin said Tuesday that Iran's nuclear program is peaceful, but that its threats against Israel are "unacceptable."

Assad warns of 'strategic' response to IDF strikes - Jerusalem Post
Syrian President Bashar Assad has issued a strong warning to Israel, saying that he is completely serious in opening up the Golan front against Israel, Lebanese paper Al-Akhbar reported on Monday.


Inside the United States
Congressman: Christian Soldiers Being Singled out for Punishment - Fox News
A Midwestern lawmaker is calling on his colleagues in Congress to offer cover to an Army soldier under fire for his conservative political views and religious faith, and accusing the Obama administration of "creating a tyrannical culture of political correctness in the military."

Baptists consider dropping Boy Scouts - USA Today
Southern Baptists are expected to vote on a resolution about the Boy Scouts on Wednesday at their annual meeting.

Senators call for end to Justice Department's 'secret law' - Cnet
Eight U.S. senators today seized on leaks from the National Security Agency to call for an end to a "secret law" that governs how intelligence agencies electronically spy on Americans.

Across U.S., nearly half say government spying OK within limits: Poll - Reuters
Nearly half of all Americans say the U.S. government's broad surveillance tactics are acceptable within limits, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll on Tuesday that also found widespread concern about the methods that were revealed last week.

ACLU sues Obama administration over NSA surveillance - LA Times
The American Civil Liberties Union announced Tuesday that it has filed a federal lawsuit against key members of President Obama's national security team over the National Security Agency's telephone surveillance, the first legal challenge to the newly disclosed intelligence gathering system.

Supreme Court Allows Ban on 'Gruesome' Abortion Images that May Disturb Children - Christian Post
The U.S. Supreme Court decided on Monday to not review the case of Scott v. Saint John's Church in the Wilderness, a case that involved a lower court banning display of explicit abortion images from being shown where children are likely to view them.

Senate immigration bill clears first hurdles, still faces tough Republican opposition - Fox News
The Senate passed preliminary but key votes Tuesday in its march to approval of sweeping, bipartisan immigration reform, but final passage remained uncertain as Republicans pushed for tighter border-security provisions and tougher rules for those seeking legal status.

Kansas schools to teach climate change, evolution under new standards - Fox News
The Kansas state school board Tuesday approved new, multistate science standards for public schools that treat both evolution and climate change as key concepts to be taught from kindergarten through the 12th grade.

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