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        Worthy         News Brief - January 16, 2014

%%First Name%%, it's time for the blossoming!
          Isaiah 35:1-2 The wilderness and the solitary place shall be glad for them; and the desert shall rejoice, and blossom as the rose. It shall blossom abundantly, and rejoice even with joy and singing: the glory of Lebanon shall be given unto it, the excellency of Carmel and Sharon, they shall see the glory of the LORD, and the excellency of our God.
One thing I absolutely love about Israel is that fruit grows everywhere in abundance. Delicious citrus fruit, mango, pomegranate, grapes, cactus fruit, avocado -- and much much more! It's common to see people people pick and eat it as they walk by. And it doesn't taste like your average western fruit either. It seems to be especially sweet. It must be because God has blessed the land it's grown upon!
          Today marks the Jewish holiday of Tu B' Shvat and the beginning of the new year for trees. It is customary to plant trees and partake of the fruits of the Land to commemorate the occasion. God has declared that fruit shall blossom from the desert of our dry land here in Israel and boy, has it ever!
          I love this passage. It reminds me that even the dry desert areas in our lives can come to life! The Lord declares that He will restore the years the locusts have eaten! No matter how desolate we've been, this is the time to blossom!
              %%First Name%%, our lives are meant to flourish in the Lord! Let's ask Him to touch us in a special way this season. May we spring to life and blossom abundantly. May that which was once dead spring to life and may everyone around us may see the evidence of the glory of God!
          Your family in the Lord with much agape love,
          George, Baht Rivka, Elianna & Obadiah
          Currently in Memphis, Tennessee
          Editor's Note: We'll be speaking throughout Florida over the next week. You can view our speaking calendar online.


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Today's Breaking News
Around the World
China Wants to Join Middle East Peace Quartet - The Diplomat
China is ready to join the Middle East Quartet to help negotiate a peace agreement between the Israeli and Palestinians, according to the country's foreign minister.

Egyptians said to have overwhelmingly backed constitution - Times of Israel
Egyptians have approved a constitutional referendum overwhelmingly, official sources said early Thursday, following two days of voting.

Chinese Defense Ministry Confirms Hypersonic Missile Test - Washington Free Beacon
China's Defense Ministry on Wednesday confirmed that weapons designers recently conducted the first test of an ultra-high speed missile vehicle considered cutting edge military technology.

Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Israel's intel succeeded where US failed on Syria nukes, Gates reveals - Times of Israel
The US prepared plans to attack Syria in 2007 after receiving evidence from Israel that the Syrian regime was en route to building a nuclear weapon, former secretary of defense Robert Gates revealed in his memoir, which was released Tuesday.

Iron Dome downs five rockets headed for Ashkelon - Times of Israel
The Iron Dome missile defense system shot down five rockets that were fired from the Gaza Strip in the direction of Ashkelon overnight Wednesday.

13,000 teens complete Hamas training camps to emulate 'suicide martyrs' - Times of Israel
The Hamas government in Gaza celebrated the graduation on Monday of paramilitary camps geared at training high-school children to follow in the footsteps of the suicide martyrs.

Inside the United States
US Senate awaits briefing on Iran interim deal before moving on sanctions bill - Jerusalem Post
Senate leadership will wait for a briefing from the Obama administration on recent developments between world powers and Iran before moving forward with a bill that could trigger new sanctions against its government, US Senate aides told The Jerusalem Post on Wednesday.

Senate Intelligence panel: Benghazi attack was preventable - Washington Examiner
The Senate Intelligence Committee's long-awaited final report on Benghazi, released Wednesday, says the deadly attack on the U.S. consulate could have been prevented and faults the State Department for failing to respond to the deteriorating security situation despite numerous warnings.

Supreme Court questions Massachusetts' abortion clinic buffer zone - Washington Examiner
Several Supreme Court justices appeared skeptical Wednesday about the constitutionality of Massachusetts' 35-foot buffer zone around abortion clinics in a case that has broad First Amendment ramifications.

Obama to Dems: I'll act with or without Congress - AP
President Barack Obama has told Senate Democrats he plans to use his executive authority to act in 2014 when Congress stands in his way.

Congress Pressures White House to Release Iran Nuke Deal Text - Washington Free Beacon
Lawmakers lashed out at the White House on Tuesday for refusing to publicly release the full text of the recently inked nuclear accord that permits Iran to partially continue its contested nuclear program.

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