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Worthy News Brief - March 7, 2014

%%First Name%%, be His friend!

James 2:20-23 Do you want to be shown, you foolish person, that faith apart from works is useless? Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up his son Isaac on the altar? You see that faith was active along with his works, and faith was completed by his works; and the Scripture was fulfilled that says, "Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness" -- and he was called a friend of God.

Looking at the relationship between "love and affection" ("chiba" in Hebrew) and "obligation" ("chova" in Hebrew), we find another closely related word, "chaver", one of the Hebrew words for "friend". Friends are people with whom we share love and affection and also a sense of obligation. Our God and Father wants us to be His friends, to share love and affection with Him and to carry the sense of responsibility and obligation which friendship requires.

Abraham was a friend to God. He believed and trusted His Friend, but he also came to share the awesome responsibility of that friendship. Abraham's Friend, the Lord Himself, asked Abraham to become a living picture of His relationship with His own Son, Yeshua, (Jesus), by offering his own beloved son Isaac on an altar at Mount Moriah. Abraham's response to his Friend's request expressed a level of commitment to the friendship which was probably unprecedented in all human history since the time of Adam.

%%First Name%%, as we consider these Hebrew words and their common roots, we begin to see that Biblical language expresses profound realities, and carries meanings which resound through history. And we find that the God of all creation desires an intimate friendship with human beings He created and loves. But that friendship involves degrees of commitment which test the very frontiers of relationship. If you are on one of those frontiers, you may count yourself blessed. Not everyone is called "a friend 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
Sri Lanka: Pastor and Wife Attacked for Defending Right to Worship
Eleven monks from the nationalist Buddhist Strength Force lobby led a violent mob of 250 villagers who physically assaulted the family of the pastor of Holy Family Church in Asgiriya, Sri Lanka, on Feb. 16, according to Christian Today Australia.

Today's Breaking News
Around the World
Iran to Receive Another $550 Million Cash Infusion - Washington Free Beacon
Iran is scheduled to receive another $550 million in unfrozen assets from the Obama administration on Friday, just days after Tehran unveiled a slew of new weapons and advanced ballistic missiles.

U.S. tasks Navy destroyer to Black Sea amid Ukraine tensions - Washington Times
The United States has ordered a dozen F-16 fighter gets to Poland and a guided-missile destroyer to the Black Sea in moves that are being billed as "scheduled" deployments -- but that nonetheless come amid heightening tensions in the region, from Russia-Crimea relations.

EU slaps initial sanctions on Russia - AP
The European Union suspended talks with Russia on a wide-ranging economic pact and a visa agreement Thursday in response to its military incursion into Ukraine's Crimean Peninsula, threatening tougher sanctions unless Moscow swiftly defuses the crisis.

Putin and Obama speak by phone as US moves on several fronts to counter Russian aggression - Fox News
President Obama and Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke for an hour by phone Thursday as the administration moved on several fronts to counter Russia's aggression in Ukraine's Crimean peninsula.

Ukraine PM: Crimea 'was, is and will be an integral part of Ukraine' - CNN
Moscow has denounced the events that led to Yanukovych's ouster as an illegitimate coup and has refused to recognize the new Ukrainian authorities, putting the two countries on a collision course over control of the Crimea, a peninsula on the Black Sea that has long ties to Russia and has thousands of Russian troops stationed there.

Ukraine threatens secession, White House imposes sanctions - USA Today
The White House is imposing visa restrictions on Russians and Crimeans after Crimea's pro-Russia administration announced a March 16 referendum on whether Crimea should become part of Russia.


Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Netanyahu: Iran's lies will be exposed when interdicted ship comes to Eilat - Jerusalem Post
The world will see the Iranian leaders for the liars that they are when the captured ship Iran sent to the Gaza Strip with Syrian missiles arrives in Eilat in the coming days, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Thursday.

US funding for joint missile defense programs intact, groups say - Times of Israel
Rebuffing reports that US President Barack Obama's budget for fiscal year 2015 gutted funding for the US-Israel missile defense partnership, Jewish groups said Thursday that the onus was on Congress, not the president, to bring funding up to previous years' levels.

Report: Hezbollah Has Built Military Airport in Lebanon, Houses Iranian Drones - Algemeiner
The Lebanon based Hezbollah terror group has established its own military airport in the Baalbek region of of the country, near the Syrian border, Saudi Arabian daily newspaper Al Watan reported.

Egypt seeks Russian arms that could undermine treaty with Israel - Jerusalem Post
Cairo is seeking air-defense systems such as the advanced S-300 that Syria and Iran have sought, MiG fighter jets, and Kornet antitank weapons, which could cause Israel worry, according to a Washington Institute for Near East Policy report.


Inside the United States
Tom DeLay returns to CPAC to find GOP without 'backbone' - Washington Times
Former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay has rejoined the fray, regaining his seat on the American Conservative Union/Conservative Political Action Conference board, taking up the sword against the progressiveness of Democrats and battling what the Texan says is the wimpishness of his fellow Republicans.

Obama administration rewrites some health-care policies - Washington Post
The Obama administration announced Wednesday that it has rewritten an array of far-reaching rules under the Affordable Care Act, the most significant of which will let people keep bare-bones health insurance policies for three more years.

Bill to Make the Fine $0 for Violating the Individual Mandate Passes by 90 Votes - Weekly Standard
The House of Representatives passed legislation Wednesday afternoon to make the fine/"tax" for violating Obamacare's individual mandate $0 for this year, and it did so by the wide margin of 90 votes (250 to 160). That's 83 more than the 7-vote margin (219 to 212) by which Obamacare passed the House four Marches ago.

Calif. could be in for century-long megadrought - CBS News
Government forecasters predicted Thursday that the weather system known as El Nino could return this year. It could bring much-needed rain to the West. Ninety-five percent of California is in drought, and some scientists are now warning of a megadrought.

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