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Worthy News Brief - February 21, 2014

%%First Name%%, do you feel led?

2 Corinthians 9:7 Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.

After Mt. St. Helens blew up in 1980, one church needed a great deal of cleaning up. Ash was in the parking lot and all over the inside because of open windows. A woman met the pastor in the hallway on Friday and asked "Why don't we get the High School and College kids to come in and help poor Fred clean this place up? Let's get them involved." "Great idea," he said, "Would you be willing to get some women together to cook lunch for us?" "Well actually, we had plans tomorrow and I don't know when we'll be back..."

Hmmm. We always want to volunteer someone else for a job needing done, don't we? My wife tells a story about a different pastor who once said "What? You don't feel led to help clean the church? I'll tell you what, here's a pencil -- come up here and feel lead!"

It's so easy to get into the mindset that serving God is a chore, it's our job, our duty -- we give "valuable consideration" to our giving, as Webster describes it. The fact of the matter is that God loves a cheerful giver. He loves a volunteer. When I think of that verse, the first thing that comes to my mind is monetary giving, but God wants us to cheerfully volunteer every good thing He has so mercifully allowed us to have -- things we often take for granted -- our time, our energy, our abilities, our talents, our homes, our cars, our families -- all that we have - all that He has cheerfully given to us!

%%First Name%%, let's make a point to volunteer some of these things to the Lord this weekend. Let's begin to bless the Lord and those around us!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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

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Worthy News Features
Australian Missionary Arrested in North Korea
John Short, an 75-year-old Australian Christian, was arrested and charged with attempting to overthrow the government by North Korea, Reuters reported on Wednesday.
Egypt: Radical Islamist Militants, Attack Tour Bus Occupied by South Korean Christians
An Islamic militant group bombed a bus filled with South Korean Christians in Egypt as it was preparing to cross into Israel this past Sunday, which killed at least 4 people while injuring over 30 others, according AP.
Imprisoned Kazakh Pastor Released
Pastor Bakhytzhan Kashkumbayev was released yesterday on three years' probation following a bizarre trial and nine months of imprisonment, according to International Christian Concern.

Today's Breaking News
Around the World
Russia to Strengthen Mediterranean Force With 'Stealth' Subs - RIA Novosti
The combat capability of Russia's naval task force in the Mediterranean will increase significantly following the first deliveries of Varshavyanka-class submarines to the Black Sea Fleet in 2015, Navy Commander Adm. Viktor Chirkov said Thursday.

Coming Soon: Free Internet From Space - National Journal
A project called Outernet, hopes to launch hundreds of tiny satellites -- known as CubeSats -- to provide Internet to every person on Earth. Forty percent of the world's people currently don't have access to the Web. In a little more than a year, Outernet plans to have a fleet of 24 satellites operational and testing to pave the way for a globe-spanning network.

Ukraine protests: Bloodshed on Europe's doorstep as EU tries and fails to stop killing - UK Independent
On the bloodiest day in modern Ukrainian history, the 12 lifeless, unnamed men who lay on the floor of the hotel lobby this morning, their bodies loosely covered with sheets, were just a few of the dozens killed in a conflict that has transformed the centre of Ukraine's capital into a brutal battleground.

U.S. negotiator at Iran talks heads to Israel, Saudi Arabia - Reuters
The head of the U.S. delegation at talks on Iran's nuclear program will travel to Israel, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates this week to discuss the course of the negotiations so far, the U.S. State Department said on Thursday.

New Iranian Video Shows an Even More Shocking Military Scenario than the Last One - The Blaze
A new video reportedly making the rounds in Iran shows the nuclear bombing of Israel, describing the act as a "Holocaust." It also simulates graphically the potential Iranian response to a military attack on its territory.

Venezuela protests rumble as demonstrators, troops face off - Reuters
Venezuelan security forces and demonstrators faced off in streets blocked by burning barricades in several provincial cities on Thursday as protests escalated against President Nicolas Maduro's socialist government.


Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Presbyterian Org Says Agenda of Group Within Church is 'End of the Jewish State of Israel' - Algemeiner
The battle over Israel within the Presbyterian church turned a corner on Thursday, when a pro-Israel faction, called Presbyterians for Middle East Peace, said it would fight the church agenda, as described in its 'Zionism Unsettled' monograph. The document on Zionism, praised this week by former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke and Iranian media, was described by PFMEP as seeking the "end of the Jewish State of Israel."

Settlement freeze 'unacceptable,' right-wing MKs warn PM - Times of Israel
The specter of a West Bank settlement freeze is raising serious concerns among prominent Knesset members on the right, several of whom warned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday that halting construction in any Jewish town or city beyond the Green Line would be "totally and utterly unacceptable."

Abbas aide: No deal that doesn't represent Palestinian positions - Ynet News
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesperson for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said that "the Palestinians will not sign a framework agreement or a final agreement that do not represent the Palestinian positions." The core principles that Abbas deems non-negotiable are: East Jerusalem as the capital of a future Palestinian state, a state established on the 1967 borders, and that Israel will not be recognized as a Jewish State.

John Kerry tells Israeli TV he is 'determined' to get Israeli-Palestinian peace deal done - Fox News
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry says he remains "committed" and "determined" to reaching a peace accord between Israelis and Palestinians.

Hamas Tests Missiles Against Israel - Washington Free Beacon
Hamas has tested anti-aircraft missiles against Israel, Al-Monitor reports. Israel said in 2012 that 10 shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles had targeted its warplanes, marking an enhancement of Hamas' military capabilities.


Inside the United States
Widespread Severe Weather Threatens 60 Million Thursday, Friday - AccuWeather
More than 35 million people in the Central states and 25 million along the Atlantic coast will be at risk for severe weather later this week.

"Star Wars" on the seas: U.S. Navy to deploy laser for 1st time - CBS News
Some of the Navy's futuristic weapons sound like something out of "Star Wars," with lasers designed to shoot down aerial drones and electric guns that fire projectiles at hypersonic speeds. That future is now.

The FCC Wades Into the Newsroom - Wall Street Journal
News organizations often disagree about what Americans need to know. MSNBC, for example, apparently believes that traffic in Fort Lee, N.J., is the crisis of our time. Fox News, on the other hand, chooses to cover the September 2012 attacks on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi more heavily than other networks. The American people, for their part, disagree about what they want to watch. But everyone should agree on this: The government has no place pressuring media organizations into covering certain stories.

Feeling pressure from the left, Obama backs off of Social Security cuts in budget - Washington Times
Bowing to pressure from its left flank, the White House revealed Thursday that it won't again propose Social Security cuts when President Obama releases his budget early next month, saying Republicans squandered chances for a deal last year.

Gov't Report: Food Stamps Participation at Historic High, Even as Unemployment Rate Falls - The Weekly Standard
A recently released Department of Agriculture (USDA) report on the "Food Assistance Landscape" for the fiscal year 2013 shows that for the second year in a row, participation in the federal government's SNAP (food stamps) program has increased despite a corresponding drop in the unemployment rate, bucking the historical trend.

Signature Gathering Can Begin for Six-Way Split of California - Fox News
The Secretary of State says backers of an initiative to divide California into six states can start gathering signatures to put it on the ballot.

Arizona 'religious freedom' bill angers gay rights supporters - CS Monitor
The Arizona Legislature gave final approval Thursday evening to legislation that allows business owners asserting their religious beliefs to refuse service to gays, drawing backlash from Democrats who called the proposal "state-sanctioned discrimination" and an embarrassment.

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