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Worthy News Brief - May 9, 2014

%%First Name%%, is our house on the sand?

Matthew 7:24-27 "Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:  and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.  But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall."

WHAT A STORM! Rain poured all across Israel including the Negev Desert and boy, have we needed it! Sadly, we won't be able to take our guest to some of the sites in the Negev because the roads are closed due to flooding. Yes... I said flooding... in the desert!

There are two rainy seasons that occur in Scripture, "Yoreh" the early rain and "Malkosh", the latter rain.

In the above passage, Yeshua (Jesus) is talking to Israelis, of course, who knew the ramifications of the rainy seasons in this region. Because of the dry environment for most of the year, the ground becomes incredibly hard here. So hard in fact, that when the vigorous rains come, the dry ground cannot absorb it fast enough, which can cause massive flash flooding. One thing is for sure -- these people realized how important it was to build their houses on the rock!

%%First Name%%, I believe the Lord is cautioning us today, about building our houses on fallow ground. He knows that stormy season is near and He wants us to be prepared! We don't want to be one of the many whose houses will collapse because they were built on finances, prestige and other things of this world. We must be careful to build our house only upon Him. Even building our houses upon seemingly innocent things like family, tradition and good works is dangerous. We want to be of those who've established our foundation upon the ROCK of the truth of His Word and who will be able to weather the coming storms because of it!

Your family in the Lord with much agape love,

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

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Worthy News Features
Eygpt: Exiled Christian Teacher Awaits 'Blasphemy' Appeal
One year after Islamists in upper Egypt accused her of committing blasphemy in front of a class of Muslim students, a Coptic Christian teacher fled to France where she remains in exile, according to Morning Star News.
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Christians in Uzbekistan are being blocked from burying their dead in state-owned cemeteries as secular officials bend to pressures from Islamic religious leaders, according to Barnabas Aid.

Today's Breaking News
Around the World
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In a sermon earlier this year, a British Islamist leader outlined how under an "Islamic State" Christians and other non-Muslims would be systematically humiliated and persecuted to encourage their women and children to convert to Islam.

Saudi Arabia orders 1,000 lashes and ten-year sentence for editor of website that discussed religion - UK Independent
A Saudi Arabian court has sentenced the editor of a website that discussed religion in the ultra-conservative Islamic kingdom to 10 years in jail and 1,000 lashes.

Iranian Church Growing Despite Risk of Death - CBN News
Iran's new president has promised to protect the country's Christians, but attacks are intensifying.

Iranian Revolutionary Guards commander: US preparing for attack - Jerusalem Post
Commander of Iran's Revolutionary Guards' Navy, Rear Admiral Ali Fadavi, said the US is preparing for an attack against its navy and is worried about Iranian speedboats that can travel twice as fast as US warships.

Christians persecuted at alarming rate in Iran, Arab world, US report says - Fox News
Christians are under siege in the Middle East, and the Obama administration is not doing enough to stop religious persecution by its allies, according to a new report from a bipartisan federal commission.

Russia Asks Iran: Help Us Skirt U.S. Sanctions - Washington Free Beacon
A senior Russian official held a meeting with Iran's ambassador to Moscow on Wednesday to solicit advice on ways the Russian government can skirt U.S. sanctions that were leveled in wake of its invasion of Ukraine.

Russia Conducts Large-Scale Nuclear Attack Exercise - Washington Free Beacon
Russia's armed forces conducted a "massive" nuclear forces exercise on Thursday simulating NATO and U.S. nuclear attacks and involving several long-range ballistic and cruise missile firings.

Somalia food crisis: 50,000 children 'at death's door' - UK Guardian
Failing rains, severe malnourishment, enduring conflict and poor sanitation have left Somalia facing a humanitarian crisis, with 50,000 children "at death's door" and 2.9 million Somalis at risk of hunger, a coalition of aid agencies has warned.

Attacks in Iraq, Including Cafe Bombing, Kill 15 - ABC News
A series of attacks in Iraq, including a bomb blast at a cafe in a Baghdad suburb, killed 15 people on Thursday, Iraqi officials said.

Strong Earthquake Shakes Mexico's Pacific Coast - ABC News
A strong earthquake shook the southern Pacific coast of Mexico as well as the capital and several inland states Thursday, sending frightened people into unseasonal torrential rains that were also bearing down on the coast.

Scientists create first living organism containing artificial DNA - Fox News
Researchers for the first time created microbes containing artificial DNA, expanding the universal genetic code that guides life. The advance one day could lead to new antibiotics, vaccines and other medical products not possible with today's bioscience.

US sanctions Syrian government officials, Russian bank - Times of Israel
Stepping up pressure on Syria, the Treasury Department on Thursday sanctioned six Syrian officials and a Russian bank for their alleged support of the government of Syrian President Bashar Assad, who has been fighting opposition forces in a 3-year-old bloody civil war.

Israel: Assad has killed with poison gas 30 times since August - Times of Israel
Syrian forces loyal to President Bashar Assad have used chemical weapons in over 30 cases since Syria joined the Chemical Weapons Convention last year and agreed to the destruction of its entire arsenal, a senior IDF officer said Thursday.

Armed with bats, Kiev Jews look to combat anti-Semitism - Times of Israel
Ukrainian Jews with combat skills formed a rapid intervention force to stop anti-Semitic attacks.

Iranian general accidentally reveals troops in Syria - WND
An Iranian general made a major mistake by conceding Shiite Iran has military forces in Syria fighting to preserve the embattled government of Shiite Alawite President Bashar al-Assad.

US Warship Arrives in Georgia Amid Ukraine Crisis - Defense News
A US warship arrived on Thursday in Georgia's port of Batumi, the US embassy said, sending a message of support to NATO allies amid the spiraling crisis in neighboring Ukraine.

Ukraine deploys 15,000 troops to Russian border, NATO beefs up forces in E. Europe - RT
Ukraine has deployed 15,000 troops on its border with Russia, while NATO continues beefing up its forces in Eastern Europe, Russian Defense Ministry stated as the military alliance and Pentagon accuse Moscow of keeping armed forces close to Ukraine.

Russian aircraft carrier sails into English Channel - UK Telegraph
A Russian aircraft carrier task group has sailed into the English Channel under escort by a Royal Navy warship.

Israel-Palestinian Conflict
Meeting Abbas, Rice outlines 'constructive' path forward for peace with Israel - Jerusalem Post
Any power-sharing Palestinian government must recognize the state of Israel, renounce violence and adhere to previous agreements, whether it includes Hamas or not, US National Security Advisor Susan Rice told Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas during their meeting in Ramallah on Thursday.

Susan Rice to PM Netanyahu: Only two-state solution can bring peace with Palestinians - Jerusalem Post
Not reaching a nuclear agreement with Iran is preferable to signing a bad accord, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said Wednesday, soon after meeting with visiting US National Security Advisor Susan Rice.

After meeting Rice, PM says Iran can't be allowed nukes - Times of Israel
World powers holding talks with Iran over its enrichment program cannot leave it with the ability to produce a nuclear weapon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Thursday, a day after meeting with US National Security Adviser Susan Rice on the issue.

Netanyahu, after meeting Rice: Israel fears 'bad deal' on Iran - Ha'aretz
The meeting between Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and visiting U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice in Jerusalem on Wednesday demonstrates the extent of Israel's difference of opinion with the Obama administration over the Iranian nuclear issue.

White House Escalates Secret Media War Against Israel - Washington Free Beacon
Senior Obama administration officials have escalated a secret media war to discredit Israel in the press, providing highly critical anonymous quotes and negative information about the Jewish state in a bid to blame it for the recent collapse of peace talks with the Palestinians.

Church defaced in Jerusalem in suspected 'price tag' attack - Times of Israel
The Romanian Orthodox Church in Jerusalem was defaced overnight Thursday-Friday, in yet another suspected "price tag" attack, police said Friday, in the latest incident in a wave of both anti-Jewish and anti-Arab graffiti and vandalism that has swept the country in recent weeks.

Inside the United States
Syphilis Makes a Worrying Comeback in U.S. - NBC News
Syphilis is making a big comeback in the United States, with cases nearly doubling since 2005, federal health experts reported on Thursday.

Dirty politics clog Keystone XL pipeline - USA Today
The decision to yet again delay the final permit for the popular Keystone XL pipeline was made not in the White House or at the State Department, but in a posh private residence in the Sea Cliff neighborhood in northwestern San Francisco. It was there on February 19 that former vice president Al Gore and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the pilgrimage to Tom Steyer's home to kiss the ring of the hedge fund-billionaire turned super-donor, in exchange for $400,000 that night and a promise of $100 million more to come. Steyer's sole demand? Stop the pipeline.

Fed Chair: 'Deficits Will Rise to Unsustainable Levels' - CNS News
Federal Reserve Chairman Janet Yellen, referencing the Congressional Budget Office's long-term budget projections, told the Joint Economic Committee of Congress today that under current policies the federal government's deficits "will rise to unsustainable levels."

Hearing: Electric Grid Vulnerable to EMP - Washington Free Beacon
Experts on Capitol Hill Thursday warned that an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack aimed at the nation's electrical grid could leave the majority of Americans dead.

House votes to create select committee to probe Benghazi attack - Washington Examiner
Republicans on Thursday led the House of Representatives to pass a resolution creating a select committee to investigate the Sept.11, 2012, terrorist attacks on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya.

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