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Worthy News Brief - July 23, 2013

%%First Name%%, we have crossed over, now let's hold on!

Galatians 3:29 And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham's descendants, and heirs according to the promise.

This amazing passage defines all true believers in Messiah as "Abraham's seed and heirs according to God's promise". Abraham was known as the first Hebrew -- literally, "one who crosses over!" Before he crossed over into the promised land, we know from the scriptures that Abraham lived in a deeply idolatrous society and that even his own father was an idol worshiper. (Joshua 24:2) But one remarkable day, a call came to Abraham....a call from the Most High God -- and he became one who "crossed over" from idolatrous polytheism into a personal knowledge of the one true Creator God. So leaving his past behind, he entered a new life of spiritual truth and holiness and a new land of promise; a profound transformation, and for us, a beautiful picture of our own "crossing over" into the new life of Yeshua the Messiah.

Now looking at Abraham's story, do we see that his life was free of obstacles and troubles once he reached his destination in Caanan? No way! Here are a few major events: he felt forced to go into Egypt to escape a famine, where his wife, Sarah, was held captive in Pharoah's harem for an undisclosed amount of time; after being liberated, Sarah continued barren until old age; then, Abraham was required by his own deep loyalty, to rescue his worldly nephew Lot and his family, risking his own life and the lives of his men; again he was tested when following Sarah's advice, Abraham conceived a son with Hagar, whom he deeply loved but was required to send into the desert with his Egyptian wife/mother. And of course, he probably faced the greatest test of faith when God asked Abraham to sacrifice the son of promise, Isaac, Sarah's only son, for whom they both had waited all their lives!

Isn't it interesting that we know nothing of Abraham's life trials before he crossed over into Caanan? Only after he crossed over do we read of the successive testings of this great man of faith -- and in fact, because of those tests Abraham is considered the "father" of faith. (Romans 4:16)

%%First Name%%, we are called to bear our crosses daily, and also to respond with faith to whatever may come our way. And, praise God that when we do, we also will be known as those who "crossed over" and overcame every obstacle and trial of faith...having held firm to every great promise of God!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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

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Worthy News Features
Indonesia: Churches Closed Under Islamic Law
Within one year and without any legal pretext, 17 churches and chapels in the province of Aceh, Indonesia, have been closed under Islamic law.
Eight converts sentenced in Iran for 'National Security' violations
Eight Iranian Christians received long sentences Tuesday after being convicted of "action against the national security," a bogus charge often used against Muslim converts to Christianity, according to Morning Star News.

Today's Breaking News
Around the World
Syrian rebels capture key village near Aleppo city - AP
Syrian rebels went on the offensive in Syria's north Monday, seizing three villages and attacking a main supply road, trying to counter government advances in recent weeks throughout the country.

Syrian army uses chemical weapons against Palestinians - Jerusalem Post
Syrian opposition activists say that the military has used chemical weapons against the Al Yarmouk district of Damascus, an area of the city comprised predominantly of Palestinian refugees, Israel Radio reported.

It's a boy! UK's Kate gives birth to royal heir - CNN
With fanfare fit for a prince, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, and husband Prince William welcomed their first child Monday. The baby boy was born at 4:24 p.m., weighing 8 pounds, 6 ounces. A name has not yet been announced for the child, who is third in line to the throne.

Top US brass: Syria no-fly zone would cost $1b a month - Times of Israel
Establishing a no-fly zone to protect Syrian rebels would require hundreds of US aircraft at a cost of more than $1 billion per month, with no assurance that it would change the momentum in the civil war there, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said Monday.

Hundreds escape from Iraq's Abu Ghraib prison after fierce militant assault - ABC
At least 500 prisoners, including senior members of Al Qaeda, have escaped after militants launched audacious coordinated attacks on two jails near the Iraqi capital Baghdad.

Cyberattacks account for up to $1 trillion in global losses - CNet
A new joint report released Monday by security firm McAfee and the Center for Strategic and International Studies has lowered the estimate from $1 trillion in global annual losses to a range of $300 billion to $1 trillion.

Crippled Fukushima nuclear plant 'leaking' into Pacific - NZ Herald
A Japanese utility said its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant is likely leaking contaminated water into sea, acknowledging for the first time a problem long suspected by experts.

Eurozone debt burden hits all-time high in Q1 - AP
Europe's debt dynamics keep getting worse in spite of years of cost-cutting and tax hikes designed to return public finances to health.


Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Secret Obama plan forfeits Temple Mount to Palestinians - WND
The Obama administration has quietly presented a plan in which the Palestinian Authority and Jordan will receive sovereignty over the Temple Mount while Israel will retain the land below the Western Wall, according to a senior PA negotiator speaking to WND.

Palestinians: Kerry gave written guarantees to Abu Mazen - IMRA
Palestinian sources say that US Secretary of State Kerry, gave the head of
the PA Authority Abu - Mazen [AL: Mahmoud Abbas] a guaranty letter that the
renewed talks are on the basis of the 67 lines.

Hamas reeling from Egyptian crackdown on Gaza tunnels - Reuters
Palestinians in the Gaza Strip are reeling from another devastating blockade but this time they are blaming Egypt, the neighboring Arab power they once hoped would end their isolation, rather than their old foe Israel.

Even before peace talks begin, Israelis tussle over referendum - Israel Hayom
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is promoting legislation that would mandate a referendum on any future peace deal with the Palestinians, saying Sunday that a public vote on the matter would be "imperative" and that "decisions of this magnitude cannot be made only by the coalition."

Haredi MKs mourn as draft bill passes first reading - Times of Israel
A bill that would significantly increase enlistment among ultra-Orthodox Israelis into the IDF and national service passed its first reading in the Knesset early Tuesday morning, despite strident opposition by Haredi MKs during the marathon overnight session in the plenum.

US: Palestinians agreed to talks; Indyk reports premature - Times of Israel
The State Department confirmed on Monday that the Palestinians agreed to participate in new peace talks with Israel, dismissing comments to the contrary made over the weekend by spokesmen for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.


Inside the United States
Supremes being asked to rule on homeschool persecution - WND
The U.S. Supreme Court will be asked to protect a Germany homeschooling family from the persecution members would face if they are returned to their home country, according to officials with the Home School Legal Defense Association.

Poll: Obama's job approval plunges; Congress, especially GOP, still unpopular - McClatchy
Stung by Americans' persistent worries about the economy and a capital gripped by controversy and gridlock, President Barack Obama is suffering his lowest job approval numbers in nearly two years, according to a new McClatchy-Marist poll.

Hobby Lobby Wins Injunction Against HHS Contraception Mandate - Free Beacon
The arts and crafts chain Hobby Lobby won a preliminary injunction on Friday prohibiting the federal government from fining the business for not offering certain contraceptives that violate the owners' religious convictions.

Detroit bankruptcy raises concerns about other US cites under huge retiree debt - Fox News
The recent bankruptcy filing in Detroit is raising red flags about other major U.S. cities also dealing with billions in under-funded retiree benefits, prompting the question -- who might be next?

Obama taps top fundraisers, bundlers for ambassadorships - Fox News
Just six months into his second term, President Obama has nominated a slew of campaign donors and fundraisers for ambassadorships.

Planned Parenthood Closing Down 3 Abortion Clinics Following New Texas Law - Christian Post
Planned Parenthood announced that it is closing down three abortion clinics shortly following Texas Gov. Rick Perry singing into law a bill restricting abortions. Alliance Defending Freedom expressed its wishes to see more clinics shut down.

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