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Posts tagged ‘Jordan’

9-11 Investigators Never Learned About FBI, CIA al-Qaida Mole.


al-Qaida operatives in Bosnia killed an FBI mole who met with Osama bin Laden and provided intelligence on al-Qaida after suspecting he was with the CIA, but the man’s death came several years before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorism attacks and the FBI did not report the informant’s existence to investigators.

The dead informant, was a Los Angeles-based “driver and confidante” of “Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the cleric in prison for masterminding the first attempt on the World Trade Center in 1993, NBC News reported Thursday.

Because the mole died at least six years before the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Congressional investigators or the 9/11 Commission never learned about the Sudanese man.

NBC reported the news of the mole’s death one day after it reported the man’s existence, saying the informant had been been recruited by the FBI years ago and had even met with bin Laden a full eight years prior to the Sept. 11 attacks.

The mole revealed a great deal of information to the FBI, including revealing a plan that helped stop a bin Laden plan to destroy a Masonic lodge in Los Angeles in the mid-1990s, according to courtroom testimony by Ed Curran, who was the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI’s L.A. office then.

Sources told NBC the informant was recruited in 1993 after learning he was a known associate of the Blind Sheikh, who had been an FBI target since 1990 when follower El Sayyid Nosair, shot and killed radical Rabbi Meir Kahane in a Manhattan hotel.

The Sheikh moved to Los Angeles, where the future mole lived and became his driver.

The Immigration and Naturalization Service tipped off the FBI about the driver, and the federal agency learned that he was on a terrorism watch list. INS tried to deport him, and his status as a potential terrorist made it difficult to move him. Jordan took him and put him jail for three months, and eventually, the driver ended up in Yemen, where the FBI recruited him.

The first World Trade Center attack also occurred at about time, when a truck filled with explosives detonated in an underground garage on Feb. 26, 1993.

FBI agent Bassem Youssef, the bureau’s highest-ranking Arabic speaker, approached the informant as a friend, saying he could reunite the man with his family in California.After several meetings with Youssef and other agents, he agreed to provide information and started talking about al Qaeda.

The man also provided about a dozen U.S. and Canadian passports, with the original photos being replaced with those of al-Qaida operatives.

The driver also met with bin Laden, who one Justice Department official said “was not that hard to get to” because he was not yet famous.

After the Blind Sheikh was arrested in 1993, the informant continued working with the FBI, but in 1994, a woman working for the CIA was able to convince him to work with the CIA.

The CIA sent him to Bosnia in 1994 or 1995, but the FBI didn’t know its informant was working for the other agency or why he disappeared.

Youssef started asking al-Qaida sources what had happened to the man, and learned that operatives in Bosnia killed him because they suspected he was working for the CIA.

The mole’s existence was actually first revealed in 2010, when Youssef sued the FBI, claiming discrimination and accusing the agency of passing him over for promotion.

Former FBI agent Ed Curran, in testimony during the discrimination trial, revealed Youssef developed the mole, reported The Washington Times during the trial.

“It was the only source I know in the bureau where we had a source right in al-Qaida, directly involved,” Curran testified, noting the mole was “tight, close” with al-Qaida leadership.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Sandy Fitzgerald

McCain: Jimmy Carter’s Failure ‘Pales in Comparison’ to Obama’s.


The Obama administration’s dearth of leadership has surpassed the failure of Jimmy Carter’s presidency and is helping al-Qaida gain footholds around the globe, laying the foundation for extremist Muslim terror groups to take up residence on U.S. soil, Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain said Tuesday on a Phoenix radio show.

“If you don’t care about Syria, my dear listeners, if you don’t care about Syria, it’s becoming a regional conflict,” he said while a guest on The Mike Broomhead Show.

“It’s spread to Lebanon. It’s spread to Turkey. It’s spread to Jordan. It is spreading throughout the region, and sooner or later it will affect the United States of America if you allow a place to become a base for al-Qaida.”

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Story continues below video.

McCain fielded listeners’ questions and offered his take on everything from the Super Bowl to Syria. He slammed former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for failing to take responsibility for the deaths of a United States ambassador and three others in Benghazi, Libya, on Sept. 11, 2012, the 11th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that killed 3,000 people.

McCain railed against Obama, Clinton and Secretary of State John Kerry, who he criticized for negotiating with Russia while that nation supports Syria with arms during the civil war there.

“Eleven thousand people have been tortured to death and killed and beaten and murdered in the custody of [Syrian President] Bashar al-Assad,” McCain said, referring to Assad as “a monster” who instructs his soldiers to “rape, torture and murder.”

McCain directed most of his ire at Obama and Clinton. McCain vowed to launch a thorough investigation of the Benghazi incident if the GOP wins control of the Senate in the midterm elections this fall.

“I will be chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and we will not quit until we get the testimony of those survivors, those brave Americans that fought,” he promised.

The senator lauded New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie for swiftly acting on the bridge-closing scandal and immediately firing top level aides involved. Hillary Clinton, McCain chided, should learn something from Christie’s accountability.

“What the hell is going on when our secretary of state is not held responsible for the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi, nor has anyone ever been held responsible for the deaths of four Americans?” he railed. “There’s a real double standard. Chris Christie held people responsible for what was obviously an abuse of power. Hillary Clinton has never taken responsibility even though the intelligence committee, Republican Party report, mentioned her specifically.”

Obama’s leadership is so deficient that Jimmy Carter’s epic failure as president “pales in comparison,” McCain says.

“I’ve never seen anything like this in my life,” he said. “I thought Jimmy Carter was bad.”

McCain said it’s unfathomable that Obama complains about not being able to accomplish anything because of the gridlock in Washington.

“He’s the president and he’s talking like he’s a bystander, an observer.”

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melissa Clyne

Aid Agency Chief: Syrian Refugees Creating ‘Regional Crisis’.


Image: Aid Agency Chief: Syrian Refugees Creating 'Regional Crisis'Syrian refugees walk among tents at the Karkamis refugee camp near Gaziantep, Turkey.

By Wanda Carruthers

In light of upcoming international peace talks between the opposing sides in Syria’s civil war, former British Foreign Secretary David Miliband said the numbers of refugees resulting from the war has created a “regional crisis” that demands attention.

“This is a regional crisis that demands a big international engagement,” Miliband, who is also president and CEO of aid agency International Rescue Committee, told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” Tuesday.

The conflict in Syria has resulted in a “scale of brutality … that hasn’t been seen for a very long time,” Miliband said.

As a result, millions of people are taking refuge in neighboring countries. He called for the international response to be “massively scaled up.”

Invitations were sent to 40 countries for a one-day meeting this week of foreign ministers for peace talks in Switzerland. Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations-Arab League special envoy to Syria, will moderate the meeting.

More than 100,000 people have been killed in the three-year conflict between Syrian rebels and the government of President Bashar Assad. Miliband maintained the upcoming peace talks would not end the war, but could bring attention to how the war is waged.

“I think it’s important to say that this peace conference, so called, no one believes it’s going to bring peace tomorrow. But it can address the conduct of the war, in terms of the targeting of civilians, in terms of the starving of the people in Aleppo [Syria],” he said.

Half of the Syrian population has been displaced from their homes into neighboring countries like Lebanon, Turley and Jordan, Miliband explained. He said the majority of those affected are “relatively middle-class people whose lives have been completely shattered.”

“The people caught in the middle are civilians,” he said. “The figures are what make this a potentially toxic crisis.”

“What you’ve got is kids without education. You’ve got parents who’ve lost loved ones. Sons, husbands, who’ve been killed. Who’ve lost everything at home. Who’ve been totally traumatized,” he added.

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© 2014 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Dozens Killed as Syrian Airstrikes Pummel Rebel Areas.


Image: Dozens Killed as Syrian Airstrikes Pummel Rebel Areas

Syrians look at the aftermath of an airstrike on a rebel area of the northern city of Aleppo on Dec. 15.

Syrian government aircraft pounded opposition areas in the northern city of Aleppo and near the southern border with Jordan on Monday, a day after airstrikes killed at least 76 people, while the United Nations issued a record appeal for $6.5 billion to help the millions of Syrians uprooted by their homeland’s civil war.

President Bashar Assad‘s air force is his greatest advantage in the country’s civil war, and he has successfully exploited it to stem and even roll back rebel advances across the country. Human rights groups say Syrian military aircraft have carried out indiscriminate air raids that frequently hit civilian targets, such as hospitals, bakeries and residential areas.

The government has relied on its air power in particular in northern Syria, much of which fell to opposition fighters over the course of the past year. One of the major battlegrounds on that front is Aleppo, where Assad’s forces and rebels have been bogged down in a bloody fight since rebels launched an assault on the city in mid-2012.

With no end in sight to the fighting, the humanitarian situation is worsening among 8.8 Syrians who have been uprooted from their homes. Of those, 6.5 million are internally displaced and the other 2.3 million have sought refuge abroad.

In Geneva, the U.N. appealed to donors Monday for $6.5 billion in funds to help support the nearly 9 million Syrians uprooted by the conflict, the largest ever appeal for a single crisis.

The appeal is based on projections of continuing humanitarian needs because of the massive displacement of Syrians both inside and outside the country into 2014. Some $2.3 billion will assist people inside Syria and the remaining $4.2 billion is expected to help refugees and host communities in countries like Lebanon, Jordan, Turkey and Iraq, the U.N. said.

“We’re facing a terrifying situation here where, by the end of 2014, substantially more of the population of Syria could be displaced or in need of humanitarian help than not,” said High Commissioner for Refugees Antonio Guterres.

The situation in Syria has “deteriorated beyond all imagination,” and the country can’t afford another year of it, U.N. chief Ban Ki-moon told reporters in New York in his end-of-year press briefing.

Guterres said the Syria crisis is having a “dramatic impact” on the host countries’ economies, societies and security, adding that the refugee disaster spurred by the conflict is the largest since the Rwanda genocide and “probably the most dangerous for global peace and security since the second world war.”

The U.N. food agency, meanwhile, said it is expanding its emergency operation to provide food to more than 7 million Syrians driven from their homes by the violence. Recent assessments by the World Food Program show that almost half the population inside Syria is experiencing food shortages and more than 6 million people urgently need food to survive.

In 2014, the WFP plans to feed 4.25 million internally displaced Syrians and nearly 3 million Syrian refugees in neighboring countries, the agency said in a statement Monday.

The food agency also plans to increase the size of its food basket to provide more calories per person per day as other sources of food are increasingly scarce for the most vulnerable.

On Monday, a day after government helicopters dropped barrels packed with explosives on several Aleppo neighborhoods, the Britain-based Syrian observatory for Human Rights on Monday said the death toll from those strikes had risen to at least 76, including 28 children.

The government frequently uses barrel bombs, which contain hundreds of kilograms (pounds) of explosives and cause massive damage on impact. Amateur videos posted online showed the aftermath of Sunday’s airstrikes: buildings leveled by the explosions, rubble-strewn streets and smoldering wreckage of vehicles.

Another activist group, the Local Coordination Committees, said at least 12 neighborhoods were hit and put the death toll at 83. It said that number is likely to rise because of the large number of wounded and the lack of sufficient medical supplies.

The main Western-backed opposition group, the Syrian National Coalition, condemned the strikes, and accused the government of “waging a barbaric campaign on the city of Aleppo through which it seeks revenge and the spread of chaos.”

In a statement, the Coalition also said it has documented the names of 103 people who were killed and more than 350 who were wounded in Aleppo, in addition to 21 who died in the town of Dumeir in Damascus suburbs in air raids.

“The Assad regime continues to kill civilians across Syria, blocking aid convoys from reaching stricken areas, and refuses to release prisoners — practically consecrating through all of that, its rejection of a political solution,” it said.

The Syrian government and its opponents are scheduled to meet in Switzerland on Jan. 22 to hold their first face-to-face peace negotiations. Expectations for a breakthrough are low at the U.N.-brokered talks, which aim to find a political resolution to the conflict that has killed more than 120,000 people since it began in March 2011.
© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Source: Newsmax.com

Netanyahu Heads to Rome for First Talks With Pope.


JERUSALEM — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu left for Rome on Sunday for a two-day official visit during which he will meet Pope Francis for the first time.

The Israeli leader took off around midday accompanied by six of his ministers, including his newly reappointed Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman, public radio said.

During the visit, Netanyahu would also meet with his Italian counterpart Enrico Letta, and hold a joint session with the Italian Cabinet, it said.

On Monday, he will be granted his first audience with Pope Francis, who took over as the worldwide head of the Catholic Church in March.

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Six weeks ago, Netanyahu’s office had said he would meet the Pope during a visit to Rome in late October, but the meeting never happened — with a diplomatic source telling AFP it would not happen because it had not been coordinated in advance with the Vatican.

When the two meet on Monday, they are likely to discuss the Iranian nuclear issue and the ongoing peace talks with the Palestinians.

And they are also likely to discuss the Pope’s planned visit to the Holy Land early next year.

Pope Francis has already been invited to visit the Christian holy sites by Israeli President Shimon Peres in April, and by Palestinian leader Mahmud Abbas, who met him on October 17.

Israeli sources say the visit is likely to take place before Peres ends his term as president in July. Although no date has been made official, sources on both sides say it is likely to take place on May 25-26.

The papal visit will reportedly begin in Jordan, a senior Vatican official said on Saturday, according to Jordanian state news agency Petra.

“The Pope’s visit to the Holy Land will begin in Jordan,” Vatican foreign affairs official Dominique Mamberti said in Amman after meeting Jordan’s Foreign Minister Nasser Judeh.

Israel and the Holy See first established diplomatic relations in 1993.

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© AFP 2013
Source: Newsmax.com

Rep. Jordan: GOP United on Keeping Spending Cuts.


House Republicans will not break the spending caps implemented in 2011 in order to reopen the government and get a federal budget passed, Ohio Rep. Jim Jordan said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“I don’t see any way that you’d see Republicans go for that,” Jordan said. “We are not going to increase spending. The sequester’s been one of the good things that has happened, one of the few things we have done where we’ve actually controlled spending somewhat in this town.”

He said his members of his party “get the sense” Democrats don’t want to negotiate after Republicans writing and submitting 11 bills funding all or part of the government.

“We have compromised and given them all kinds of reasonable pieces of legislation that [Senate Majority Leader] Harry Reid won’t even debate, let alone pass,” Jordan said. “You can’t keep spending money you don’t have. We can’t keep raising the limit on an already-maxed-out credit card.”

He also said House Republicans are united on delaying the Affordable Care Act.

Obamacare, the way it’s being implemented, is unfair,” he said. “Somehow, we’re the bad guys because we’re standing up for the simple concept of fairness. This is why people elected us. This is a simple argument about fairness, and we’re going to keep making it.”

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Amy Woods

US Considers Training Syria Rebels.


The Obama administration is considering a plan to use U.S. military trainers to help increase the capabilities of the Syrian rebels, in a move that would greatly expand the current CIA training being done quietly in Jordan, U.S. officials told The Associated Press on Thursday.

Any training would take place outside Syria, and one possible location would be Jordan.

The officials said no decision had been made, but that discussions were going on at high levels of the government. It comes as the Obama administration prods Congress to authorize limited military strikes against the Syrian government in retaliation for a deadly Aug. 21 chemical weapons attack.

The proposal to use the U.S. military to train the rebels — something the administration has resisted through more than two years of civil war — would answer the demands of some lawmakers, including Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., to do more to train and equip the Syrian opposition.

The CIA has been training select groups of rebels in Jordan on the use of communications equipment and some weapons provided by Gulf states. The new discussions center on whether the U.S. military should take over the mission so that hundreds or thousands can be trained, rather than just dozens.

The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the plan publicly.

Any new training program conducted by the U.S. military would take time to put in place and likely would not begin until after any potential military action had been taken regarding the chemical weapons attack.

The Pentagon already has at least 1,000 troops in Jordan, including trainers working with Jordanian forces. The U.S. left about a dozen fighter jets and a Patriot missile battery there after a recent training exercise.

Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has told Congress that the U.S. military would be prepared to do more training for the Syria opposition if needed.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: NEWSmax.com

Christians in Middle East: US Attack on Syria Would Be Detrimental.


President Barack Obama
President Barack Obama (Reuters file photo)

As the Obama administration considers a strike in response to recent chemical attacks, the head of a global evangelical group said Wednesday that Christians in the Middle East, in general, oppose military intervention in Syria.

“There is major consensus among the Christian leaders in this region that any military intervention would have a detrimental effect … on Christians in Syria,” wrote Geoff Tunnicliffe, secretary general/CEO of World Evangelical Alliance, in a letter to the State Department, the White House and the United Nations Security Council.

Tunnicliffe was attending a meeting of Christian leaders in neighboring Jordan that included California megachurch pastor Rick Warren, Touched by an Angel actress Roma Downey and her Survivor-creator husband, Mark Burnett.

The group, convened by Jordan’s King Abdullah II, met with about 70 Middle Eastern Christians to discuss the challenges facing Arab Christians.

“I couldn’t find a Christian leader at the conference who supported military intervention,” Tunnicliffe said in an interview. “The question is, how do you protect Christians if there’s a regime change?”

Tunnicliffe said two Syrian pastors told him independently that Christians have received threats from those who say a regime change would mean a takeover by Islamists who would force Christians out of the country.

Christian representatives from Egypt, Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Jordan were present at the gathering, as well as a few Muslim clerics and academics. In his address, King Abdullah II urged interfaith harmony.

“We are proud that Jordan constitutes a unique model of coexistence and fraternity between Muslims and Christians,” the king said. ”We also believe that the protection of the rights of Christians is a duty rather than a favor.”

U.S. and French leaders say Bashar Assad’s Syrian government used chemical weapons in a Damascus suburb on Aug. 21, killing 1,429 people, including more than 400 children. In talks on military intervention, President Obama has won the support of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, but faces significant opposition among religious and political leaders.

On Wednesday, New York Cardinal Timothy Dolan wrote to President Obama, urging him to shun military options, saying an attack “will be counterproductive, will exacerbate an already deadly situation and will have unintended negative consequences.”

Dolan, the president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Richard Pates of Des Moines, Iowa, chairman of the bishops’ international affairs committee, pushed the White House to “work urgently and tirelessly” for a ceasefire.

While she did not address Syria specifically in her presentation at the conference in Jordan, Downey noted her Catholic upbringing, her husband’s Protestant background and the tension between these groups in her native Northern Ireland.

“Our marriage is a living example of tolerance and healing and of not allowing old hurts and discrimination to live on,” said Downey, who with her husband produced The Bible miniseries for the History Channel.

“We have come to believe that Christian unity is a critical element in responding to the global challenges we face today, including the difficulties of Arab Christians in the Middle East,” she said.

Warren, who has been largely absent from the national and international scene since his son’s suicide in April, moderated a panel at the conference.

Tunnicliffe said that evangelical leaders are discussing future statements on intervention in Syria.

“I know people are aware of the crisis,” he said, noting that the Middle East is overwhelmed with 2 million refugees from Syria. “I’m not sure they’re aware of the extent of the crisis.”

Pope Francis and King Abdullah II met at the Vatican last week, saying dialogue is the “only option” to end the conflict in Syria.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

4 Ways You Can Be Spiritually Blind.


blind woman
(© khz / http://www.istockphoto.com)

Every new season from God seems to have a theme, catch phrase or byword that characterizes it. In a recent season, one catch phrase expressed a particular hunger in our hearts that became the theme of many of our prayer lives: “Increase our territory.”

The widespread appeal of that phrase and its message—that God wants to increase the territory of those who call out to Him—was apparent in the almost frenzied popularity of a slim, simple little book by Bruce Wilkinson called The Prayer of Jabez. The book expounds on Jabez’s prayer, recorded in 1 Chronicles 4:10, which included a cry for an increase in territory. The Bible says that God granted his request.

Lift Up Your Eyes
God wants to grant our requests, too. But before He can increase our territory, He wants us to have a clear vision of what that territory is.

We can learn a great deal from the story of Lot and Abram in Genesis 12 and 13. When God called Abram to leave his homeland and begin a faith-journey to “a land that I will show you” (Gen. 12:1), Abram obeyed, taking his family—including his nephew, Lot—with him.

But at some point, God made it obvious that the two men needed to go their own ways. “Please separate from me,” Abram said to Lot in Genesis 13:9. “If you take the left, then I will go to the right; or, if you go to the right, then I will go to the left.”

The Bible says that Lot looked out over the land and “chose for himself” what appeared to be the best part: the fertile, well-watered plain of Jordan to the east (vv. 10-11). He left Abram and headed for the plain, taking his family, flocks and herds with him.

Lot probably thought he’d gotten the better end of the deal. After all, he’d had first choice. But he was mistaken.

His land, it turned out, contained the hedonistic city of Sodom. And ultimately his decision cost him his family and all the blessings God wanted to pour out on him.

Lot made his choice based on what he could see in the natural. His sight was limited by what he could see with his eyes. He had a vision problem!

In contrast, when Abram staked out his territory, he did not survey the land, check the demographics or conduct a poll. He allowed God to show him the land that was right for him.

“Lift your eyes now and look from the place where you are—northward, southward, eastward, and westward,” God told him, “for all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever” (vv. 14-15).

Abram’s only requirement was to look. God had already given him everything he could see!

How do you find your territory? The real question is: How far can you see?

Abram’s territory was determined by what he saw. He looked where God told him to look, and he saw what God wanted him to possess. Of course, he could not physically see all the land or all the descendants still to come; but through faith he knew the extent of his territory.

Like Abram, your territory is limited only by your eyesight—your spiritual vision. When God tells you to look, you must do so with eyes of faith.

The nature of faith is to believe the impossible and see the invisible. That’s why visionaries are often misunderstood: They see what isn’t there—yet!

Your territory may not look like much in the natural—perhaps nothing more than a steamy valley full of sand and old bones. But appearances can be deceiving. Just as God blew into Elijah‘s valley of dry bones and brought a resurrection of life, so God can move through the barren areas of your territory and bring life and increase.

In Abram’s (Abraham’s) case, his territory was an actual, physical location. Even today, the city of Jerusalem is in conflict because it is part of the land that God promised to Abraham. His descendants must continue to fight to possess the territory that he saw with spiritual eyes so long ago.

For most of us, however, our territory is not land as much as it is our sphere of influence—the place and ministry God has chosen for each of us. Perhaps your territory is your home, your family, your church. Perhaps it’s the homeless shelter where you volunteer or the country God has prompted you to pray for.

Essentially, your territory is the call of God on your life. But your territory is not limited to your lifetime. Just as Abraham did, you must look beyond “right now” into the land of your descendants. You must occupy your land for the sake of your children and your children’s children. You cannot see the full extent of your inheritance unless you develop your spiritual sense of sight.

How’s Your Vision?
Recently, after a lifetime of perfect vision, I began wearing reading glasses. I have no problem seeing distances; it’s the little details that are hazy for me.

Our spiritual eyes are like our natural eyes in many ways. They both can suffer from a number of vision problems.

1. Spiritual farsightedness. According to my optometrist, I am farsighted. On a spiritual level, people can be farsighted too.

Those with this vision problem can see the big picture—the ministry, the calling, the sphere of influence God wants to give them—but they struggle with little details such as truthfulness, integrity, patience and so on. They see the landscape of future fulfillments and promises, but they stumble on the simple, close-up, day-to-day things that are necessary for success.

I know a number of wonderful, anointed ministers who will never see their visions come to pass because they suffer from spiritual farsightedness. I call these men and women empty dreamers.

Such people are always dreaming of the great possibilities ahead. But they fail to practice the unexciting, daily disciplines that bring about the fulfillment of those possibilities.

When we get a word of promise from the Lord, we are right to receive it with joy! But then we must begin to fine-tune that vision and walk out the process that is required to fulfill it.

2. Spiritual nearsightedness. The opposite of farsightedness is nearsightedness—the ability to see only the objects closest to you. The big, beautiful, panoramic views are lost on those who can’t see more than 10 feet in front of their noses!

People who are spiritually nearsighted focus on every tiny detail of life and ministry. Unable to look upward and outward, they miss the grand scope of all that God is doing and all that He wants to do in their lives.

When we allow the temporal details of daily living to dominate our attention, we fail to see the wonderful future God has planned for us. The result is that we become discouraged and lose hope. Yes, we must attend to the little things—but we must never lose sight of the big picture.

3. Spiritual astigmatism. For some time my husband was almost legally blind due to a condition known as astigmatism. Light did not refract properly through his eyes, making it difficult for him to see even with glasses. He was miserable.

But last year he underwent laser surgery. A very precise laser was used to surgically correct the structure and alignment of his eyes.

Now his eyes work the way they were meant to work. He has never seen better!

Astigmatism can be a problem on a spiritual level, too. When God reveals something to a person with spiritual astigmatism, they may not “get it” right away. They may need someone from outside their set of circumstances to bring alignment and clarity.

Sometimes spiritual astigmatism is caused by old hurts or wounds that act as filters through which every new vision passes. Because the spiritual light is refracted improperly, sight and understanding are hindered.

I know a woman who was raised in an abusive home. She often saw her father physically hurt her mother. Then she’d see him sober up, bring flowers to her mother and beg for forgiveness.

This woman survived her difficult childhood and grew up to marry a wonderful, godly man. Her husband would often bring her a bouquet to show his love. But every time she saw the flowers, she could see only a manipulating man trying to appease her.

She was suffering with a vision problem! Thankfully, with God’s help, she received healing, and she and her husband are happily married today.

4. Spiritually weak or lazy eyes. As a young child, my oldest daughter, Stephanie, loved to read. She was actually reading by kindergarten!

But a problem surfaced when she was in first grade. Her teacher called us one day and said that Stephanie had failed a sight test that had been given to all the students that afternoon.

Stephanie had a lazy eye, we were told. Unless something drastic was done to correct it, she would grow up to be blind in one eye. So for some time she had to wear a patch, like a pirate, to force the lazy eye to work.

You see, Stephanie could read, play, learn and do everything the other children were doing. But when she was faced with a test, she failed.

Source: CHARISMA MAGAZINE/ SPIRITLED WOMAN.

SHIRLEY ARNOLD

Petra Celebrates 40 Years with ‘Biggest, Most-Loved Songs’.


 

Petra lead singer John Schlitt
Petra lead singer John Schlitt (Petraband.com)

Celebrating the band’s 40-year career, Petra released a new CD on July 30 featuring the pioneering Christian rock group’s “biggest and most loved songs.”

The standard edition of 40th Anniversary (Star Song Records/Universal Music Group Distribution) will include 27 of Petra’s hits, while the deluxe version (digital copy only) will feature 37 songs. Both editions include a new recording titled “Holy Is Your Name.”

“‘Holy Is Your Name’ is a thank-you to all our fans, but mostly a thanks to God for all the wonderful years,” said Bob Hartman, founding member of Petra. “We are happy to include it on the 40th Anniversary compilation.”

Compiled by Hartman, the two-disc album features hits such as “This Means War,” “Beyond Belief” and “Creed.” Longtime vocalist John Schlitt joined Hartman on a seven-city reunion tour this summer.

Petra formed in 1972, endured numerous lineup changes and was regarded as the most popular Christian rock band in the 1980s and early 1990s. The group has released 24 albums, sold more than 7 million copies and garnered four GRAMMY Awards, 10 Dove Awards and several No. 1 radio hits.

For more information, visit www.petraband.com.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

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