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Worthy News Brief - February 27, 2014

%%First Name%%, are you trapped?

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.

Charles Swindoll wrote about these men who bring in animals from Africa for American zoos. They say that one of the hardest animals to catch there is the ringtailed monkey. For the Zulus of that continent, however, it's simple. They've been catching this agile little animal with ease for years.

The method the Zulus use is based on knowledge of the animal. Their trap is nothing more than a melon growing on a vine. The seeds of this melon are a favorite of the monkey. Knowing this, the Zulus simply cut a hole in the melon, just large enough for the monkey to insert his hand to reach the seeds inside. The monkey will stick his hand in, grab as many seeds as he can, then start to withdraw it. This he cannot do. His fist is now larger than the hole. The monkey will pull and tug, screech and fight the melon for hours. But he can't get free of the trap unless he gives up the seeds, which he refuses to do. Meanwhile, the Zulus sneak up and nab him.

There's a pretty clear moral to this story, wouldn't you say? If we really want to be free, we must let go of the things we love. The more we hold on to our earthly posessions, the more frustrated we will get and eventually, we will be entrapped.

%%First Name%%, let's let go of the worldly things we've been holding on to. God has much greater things for us to be doing than sitting here with our fists in a melon!

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: Islamists Block Construction of Church
On Friday, hundreds of armed Islamists led by local Muslim leaders forcibly occupied a two-acre plot owned by the Indonesian Christian community of Huria Kristen Batak in the village of Talang Kelapa, South Sumatra, according to Asia News.
Boko Haram Butchers StudentsTuesday the terrorist group Boko Haram attacked a college in the town of Buni Yadi in Yobe state, northern Nigeria, murdering as many students as possible, according to Threat Matrix.
Egyptian Christians Killed in Libya
The bodies of seven Egyptian Christians who were working in Libya were discovered Monday morning in a suburb east of Benghazi. The bodies were found with their hands bound and Morning Star News reported that each man had been shot in the head, strongly suggesting that they had all been executed.
Nigeria: Boko Haram Attacks Village Again
During the weekend, gunmen believed to be members of the Boko Haram Islamist sect had once again attacked the northeastern Nigeria village of Izghe in Borno state.
Kenyan Pastors Protest Pay-to-Preach Laws
Hundreds of Central Kenyan pastors marched to the Nyeri County governor's office last week to protest a proposed bill that would charge clergy for the privilege of preaching in public outside of their own churches, according to World Watch Monitor.

Today's Breaking News
Around the World
Fukushima's Radioactive Ocean Water Arrives At West Coast - LiveScience
Radiation from Japan's leaking Fukushima nuclear power plant has reached waters offshore Canada, researchers said today at the annual American Geophysical Union's Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu.

Al Qaeda branch in Syria issues ultimatum to splinter group - CNN
The head of an al Qaeda-inspired militia fighting in Syria is giving a radical splinter group five days to end infighting and accept arbitration from Sunni clerics or face expulsion from the region, according to an audio message posted online Tuesday.

Kerry warns Russia that military action in Ukraine could lead to international backlash - Washington Post
The United States warned Russia on Wednesday against military intervention in Ukraine and said any incursion could lead to a broad international backlash.

NASA discovers 715 new planets - CNN
Our galactic neighborhood just got a lot bigger. NASA on Wednesday announced the discovery of 715 new planets, by far the biggest batch of planets ever unveiled at once.

Ukraine revolution: 150,000 Russian troops on alert as US warns Putin - UK Telegraph
The US warned Moscow to be "very careful" in its judgements after Vladimir Putin put armed forces in western Russia on alert, as tensions mounted in the pro-Russian Crimea over the overthrow of Moscow ally Viktor Yanukovych by pro-European protesters.


Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Kerry: Peace talks to extend past April deadline - Times of Israel
US Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged Wednesday that his quest to seal a full Middle East peace deal will slip beyond an April deadline.

PLO official: Abbas' successor could return to armed resistance - Ynet News
A senior official within the Fatah movement warned that the next Palestinian leader might return to violent resistance should peace talks fail, Israel Radio reported.

Jordan PM warns Israel over Temple Mount authority - Times of Israel
Jordan warned Wednesday that it might review a 1994 peace treaty with Israel after Israeli MPs began a debate on allowing Jewish prayers at Jerusalem's sensitive Temple Mount.

Hezbollah vows retaliation against Israel for airstrike against site in Lebanon - Washington Post
Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement threatened Wednesday to retaliate against Israel for carrying out an airstrike against one of the group's positions in Lebanon for the first time in eight years, raising the stakes in Syria's steadily expanding war.

Obama to press Netanyahu, Abbas to accept framework - Times of Israel
US President Barack Obama is gearing up to take a more active role in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and will begin by pressuring the sides to accept US Secretary of State John Kerry's framework proposals, according to a report that cited administration officials on Wednesday.

Kerry's framework reportedly left Abbas fuming in Paris - Times of Israel
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas left a two-day meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris last week fuming over Kerry's proposals for a framework accord between Israel and the Palestinians, according to a Palestinian report.


Inside the United States
Drought leaves California farmers choosing which crops get water and which wither - Fox News
A federal agency's recent announcement that the California's Central Valley will get zero percent water allocation this year was devastating for farmers already dealing with the worst drought seen in decades.

Richard Clarke: Potential for American 'police state' created by NSA - Washington Times
A former cybersecurity adviser to President George W. Bush fears that the NSA has created the "potential for a police state" to emerge in the United States.

Arizona governor vetoes controversial bill allowing religious beliefs as defense for denying service - Fox News
Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced Wednesday she has vetoed a controversial bill that would have allowed religious beliefs as a defense for denying service to gays and others.

New home sales hit five-and-a-half year high in January - Reuters
Sales of new U.S. single-family homes surged to a 5-1/2-year high in January, possibly easing concerns of a sharp slowdown in the housing market.

Federal judge rules Texas' gay marriage ban is unconstitutional - Dallas Morning News
Texas became the biggest conservative state to have its gay marriage ban declared unconstitutional by a federal judge Wednesday, though he held his ruling in abeyance so higher-ranking jurists, possibly even the U.S. Supreme Court, can weigh in.

House GOP to Unveil Tax Reform Proposal - Time
Before House Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp ends his term in 2015, he will leave behind a years-long effort to reform the nation's tax code. His proposal, set to be released Wednesday, will call for drastic cuts to the personal and corporate tax rate and the end of some deductions.

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