In the gateway of Europe

I’m grateful to Kim Grant for drawing my attention to The Spearhead Update. Inside, I found a report by her husband Tim on his autumn visit to Portugal. This reminded me of Julie Meyers’ prophetic song over Europe, The Bridegroom cometh.

Tim’s report opens as follows.:

Europe Gateway_Credit Tim GrantLate October found me at ‘The Gateway to Europe’ Lagos in the Algarve (Algarve meaning ‘gateway’) in Portugal meeting with ministries from around Europe and some from even further afield. We came together to pray and discuss “Europe Ablaze” Fusion Festival of Faith which is planned for June 2013.

In response to a prophetic word we had all been invited to come and pray for the nations of Europe and to seek God as to how together we might host an event that would help equip believers and encourage them to live their lives on fire for God and so ignite the people of Europe to once again live with a passion for Christ.

Europe Gateway-3_Credit Tim Grant

The festival is to be a mixture of worship, praise, teaching, the prophetic and evangelism with all the Ephesians 4 ministries working together to equip the saints to move in the dynamic of the Holy Spirit and any of the gifts they might need for the work God has for them. All this is to take place in the gateway to Europe as a prophetic act in itself. The amphitheatre which is within the old walled town of Lagos which seats two thousand people has already been booked and the local authority has given its use for free.

What a privilege it was to be invited to be a part of this. Individually none of us felt able to fulfil the vision, yet together with God we know nothing was impossible.

My visit coincided with the start of forty days of twenty-four hour prayer for the nation of Portugal and the other nations of Europe and there was a real sense of God’s presence as we interceded.

(continue reading about the presence of God and healing).

Europe Gateway-4_Credit Tim Grant

Let’s listen again to Julie’s remarkable song and turn our eyes upon the Bridegroom .:

Report of healing from H.O.T.S. in Bath

HIPS AND BACK ARE HEALED

HOTS_Bath_Logo_2.jpgPaul Skelton had the privilege this week to catch up with Shirley Fraser who is one of our team members here in Bath.
Shirley shared how she has both received healing herself and is now seeing others healed out of that encounter with Jesus.

Paul: – Tell me, Shirley, how your hip used to be and what the doctors said before you were prayed for?

Shirley:- Eight years ago I was advised to get checked out medically, and as a result the doctors said that my bone density was really low, ever since then I have been taking medication which has been changed many times, but my hip was never any different and I have suffered a bad reaction to the tablets.
It got really bad In September 2012, to the point where I woke up one morning and I could hardly walk. The pain in my hip was so bad that I had to get an emergency appointment with the hospital in Bath and an X ray showed thinning of the bones and that a hip replacement might be necessary.

Paul:- What happened next?

Shirley:-  I went to a conference but my hip was in agony and so I received prayer from a HOTS Bath member. The next day however I was still in a lot of pain, so they prayed again and 5 minutes later, to the shock of my friends,  I was dancing completely pain free…..it was instant, it was a miracle. Since then I have had no pain or any problem walking or even dancing which I love to do.

Paul: – Wow, that’s awesome, what did the doctors say on your next visit?

Shirley: – I had another bone density scan in January this year. When I went to get the results, they looked at me rather shocked and said that it was “unbelievable”.  They shared the medical details about there having been a 9.5 % increase in the T score at the lumbar spine, and an increase of 6.1 in the femoral neck which relates to a total hip T score of 10.4% improvement over all since the previous scan. These results have since been confirmed to me in an official letter.
She said that it was absolutely amazing that there had been an increase like this for a woman of my age and that I did not need to take the medication any more.  The best they normally hope for is a slowdown in decrease,  not an increase. I don’t have to go back for 2 years now. I was overjoyed;  I also explained that I had received prayer

Paul: – So how has this healing affected your faith?

Shirley: – I now know for sure that prayer works! A few weeks later, I had some friends around to watch a film, but before we started a young girl with a really bad back pain was there. One of the others said,”Get Shirley to pray as she has been healed”.
So we prayed the way that we do on the streets and all of a sudden she said, “I need to test my back”.  What amazed me was the way she started bending over and said, “I have not been able to do this” as she bent over to try it out, we heard her spine clicking into place as she was being healed, then she stood back up again completely fine. It was amazing!
I received a message from her recently saying that she has been completely discharged from the physiotherapist, before that she wasn’t even able to lay on the floor but afterwards she was in tears of joy as the pain had been so hard to bear.

Paul: – So what would you say to anyone else who has back pain?

Shirley:- Get some prayer.  Since I have done the HOTS training I am seeing more people healed than I used to and I am now stepping into moving in healing as a daily lifestyle. A while ago I prayed for someone else who used to wear hearing aids for 17 years and now she can hear without them .

Paul: – That’s a great story,  Shirley, a real demonstration of Father’s love being made real though healing encounters with him.  

Thank you and praise you Lord for this healing and testimony of your love.

PURSUE LIGHT!

‘God-smacked’ again!  Two friends told me about sensing light during prayer this week. To confirm and draw my attention to the importance of this, a 3rd report has now come!  The opening scripture below from Glasgow Prophetic Centre has been stressed by many prophetical voices for the past year or so. In my opinion, therefore, it would be well to contemplate and weigh these words, to which I’ve added this appropriate shot.:

aurora-uk_2192580k_Image credit Telegraph

Isaiah 60:1

Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord rises upon you.

From a heavenly perspective I saw the nations below: within each nation were individual, bright, dazzling white lights, surging with power. These lights are individual people, glowing with hunger for God – those who are crying out for the more of His manifest presence. They burn brightly with a ‘white heat’ in the spirit realm, reflecting God’s light and life and transforming the atmosphere. And there are more than we would at first realise.

As we pour ourselves out and seek the more of God, He increases the intensity of that heat and light which radiates from us, emanating further and radiantly covering more area (in the natural realm).

I heard God say,

“I am drawn to those who are drawn to me. Just as one magnet is drawn to another, as you pursue Me with all of your heart I see you and respond to your heart cry of, ‘More Lord, increase in me’.  I will increase the brightness of your shining. I will increase the reach of where and how you illuminate everything around you. I am increasing the reach of your shining.”

The Lord asks you today to pursue Him, so that the brightness of His illumination might be reflected in you. And to ask for the increase, the intensity – the luminosity of His magnificent brilliance – to be mirrored in you.

Proverbs 4:18 The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day

Lion-Bites-logo-2012Footnote:  Regular readers may not have had the opportunity yet to follow-up my recommendation to visit David and Emma Stark’s website and consider receiving their team’s daily word. Should you wish to do so, here’s the link for Lion Bites.

When we come together…the Body of Christ

Courtesy of James Mark Long ; propheticartists.comAmen…A note of this post by Tony was delivered by ‘God-incidence’ just now to my in-tray.  It’s amazingly appropriate because, after waking this morning, I was contemplating how the Lord connects and reveals things to me as a thread or ‘train’ of scripture, teaching, thoughts and insights – but then the idea of them also being pieces of a jigsaw dropped (appropriately?) into mind!  So thank you Lord for this vision, and to Tony for publishing it…

My Dreams and Visions

1 Corinthians 14:26 NIV

What then shall we say, brothers and sisters? When you come together, each of you has a hymn, or a word of instruction, a revelation, a tongue or an interpretation. Everything must be
done so that the church may be built up.

The Lord showed me a vision 02/26/2013 and in this vision I saw people gathered around an oval table. The table was low to the ground so that you had to sit on the floor. The people I saw sitting there around the table each had a piece of a puzzle. As they all worked together, the image  on the puzzle began to take shape and when they were finished, the picture was of Jesus Christ. He was the center of the meeting. Each one had to do his part in finishing the puzzle and it was not left to one person to do…

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5 reasons why Christians should not accept Jesus as their saviour

What an outrageously provocative title!

T E HannaIt’s not mine but belongs to one of your fellow readers, T.E. Hanna, a theology graduate whose blog Of Dust And Kings publishes interesting discussions about God, His Kingdom and what it means to be human.

I like the way his theology ticks.

So I’d like to introduce T.E. to you through the following ‘guest post’, which was one of the first I read. His first two points and the last one match my own perceptions 100%.:

5 Reasons Why Christians Should Not Accept Jesus As Their Saviour

Touch_Opt - Credit Espejo

In 1989, Depeche Mode released their 23rd single in the UK, a hit song that quickly climbed the charts and would eventually be covered by such notable musicians as Johnny Cash, Jerry Williams, Nina Hagen, and Marilyn Manson. The song was entitled “Personal Jesus” and the steady rhythm of the chorus drummed out the following lines:

Your own personal Jesus, Someone to hear your prayers,  Someone who cares. Your own personal Jesus,  Someone to hear your prayers, Someone who’s there …reach out and touch Faith.

While Depeche Mode used the “personal Jesus” idea as a metaphor for codependent human relationships, the concept has nevertheless permeated western Christian culture. Testimonies typically hail back to the moment when one has “finally accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and savior” and the standard evangelism question points to the same idea: “Have you accepted Jesus as your personal savior?”

Yet Scripture knows nothing of a personalized faith.

Bear with me here, and let me clarify what I am NOT saying. I am NOT saying that we should not be impacted on a personal level by the Christian faith – we absolutely should. I am NOT saying that we do not come to Christ on a personal basis – we absolutely must.

However, the idea of a personal savior has taken on a life of its own, replacing the locus of the Christian life with our personal agendas and pushing Jesus to the margins. We customize, privatize, and minimize the Christian story, relegating Jesus to little more than “someone to hear your prayers, someone who cares.” This corrodes the very heart of the Christian faith, eating away at its life transforming power, and ripping Jesus away from His divinity in order to wedge Him into an idol fashioned after a hyper-individualistic culture. This simply won’t do.

Christians need to reject the idea of the personal Jesus, and we need to do it for 5 reasons:

1. Christians Are Called To Follow, Not Accept

The central cry of Jesus was never “accept me.” In fact, it was quite the opposite. Jesus walked a path which called Him to be despised and rejected, betrayed and belittled, criticized and crucified. The call of Jesus to His disciples and to us is to follow. Following requires leaving things behind and forging forward, laying down your life that you might find it, dying to yourself that your might discover the life abundant in the purposes of God. Acceptance is passive. Following is inherently active.

2. Christians Conform To Christ, Not Christ To Christians

At the heart of spiritual formation is the move to become “Christ-like”. Often, this challenges our preconceptions and wars against our desires. Good. It is supposed to. The Jesus Way is a way of transformation, of exposing our darker side to the Light of the World that the shadows may be cast away and we may become luminaries of incandescent glory, reflecting the blinding rays of the Son. We must never customize Jesus, reducing Him to an eternal moral teacher that can give us a hand when things get rough. We must allow ourselves to be confronted by Him, restored through Him, and conformed to Him.

3. Christians Are Called To Community, Not Isolation

John Wesley once wrote that “Scripture knows nothing of solitary religion.” From Genesis to Revelation, we see the story of a God who is creating a people, not just persons. In the instances where we see individuals emphasized, they are emphasized for the purpose of the people. Abraham was called individually to carry the covenant for what would become the people of God. Moses was called individually to free the Israelite people. David was called individually to lead a nation of God’s people. The prophets were called individually to be the mouthpiece of God to His people. The disciples were called individually only to then be sent forth to gather a global people. The popular notion that Christianity is a personal affair, making the community of faith unnecessary, finds no basis in the pages of Scripture. It is only in community that we find accountability, corporate prayer, unified worship, and the edification of the saints. It is only in community that we become the Body of Christ.

4. Christians Are Called To Serve, Not Be Served

So much of Christian rhetoric emphasizes the blessing of God and de-emphasizes the way of the cross. Much of popular Christianity is about seeking these blessings, about conforming God to our will, about how God somehow is charged with serving us. I am not diminishing the reality of the blessedness of God, but blessing is hardly the entire picture. Jesus completely inverts the concept of privilege, calling His followers away from notions of entitlement and into a life of servanthood. The reality of this is that, as we serve one another, we will be served in the process; but the notion that service is somehow owed to us is completely overturned. We, who claim ourselves as children of the greatest King who ever existed, express this most dutifully as servants.

5. Christians Are Saved For More Than Just Themselves

The Christian concept of salvation does more than just look over its shoulder at a sinful past now washed clean. It does more than look at the present as we are engaged in a process of spiritual renewal. It looks to the future, at the outworking of our salvation expressed as a transformed people transforming the world. In other words, Christians are not just saved from sin, they are saved to God. We become active participants in the breaking forth of God’s Kingdom as the redemptive order confronts and exposes the manifestation of sin in society. To limit the concept of salvation to a personal experience (or worse, a personal event) truncates the fullness of what it means to be Christian. We are not just saved from a life of sin; we are saved for a world where sin still manifests.

The popular evangelistic rhetoric calling for people to “accept Jesus as your personal savior” needs to be overturned. It is only in the call to “come and follow” and to “take up your cross” that we begin to regain the deeper things which have historically defined God’s people. It is here, in the deep water, where Christianity comes alive.

So… reach out and touch faith.

What do you think?

How does the personalization of Jesus impact the Christian faith?

Read, and contribute to, several commendable comments from readers and T.E. by scrolling to the foot of this link to ‘Personal Jesus’. I trust you’ll be as blessed as me.

I read it after attending our church home group where we’d worked through Romans 6 in some depth. Thank you T.E for your five points which, together with that scripture, confirmed my objections posted in a discussion elsewhere, as mentioned in my post  covering Steve Chalke’s apostasy (here).

Keep in time with the Lord

Personally, yesterday’s Lion Bite is particularly apposite in view of my remarks now and then about an acceleration in what God’s doing around the world.:

“Get in step with Me at this time, as I move at a greater pace across the nations,” says God. “Move, accelerate, catch up and get in step with Me!”

The Spirit of the Lord is calling, “Catch up! Catch up!” – because many are ‘missing the bus’ (so to speak)… as if many are dawdling or ambling along instead of moving in time with God.

So how do we ‘catch up’?

Day to day this looks particularly like a call to specific intentionality as we seek the Lord for the daily detail, and the ‘fine print’ of the long term vision/goal for our lives. We are to be ones who become more specific and deliberate with our prayers and decrees.

Sometimes the generic prayers of ‘More Lord!’ are pertinent but the Lord is highlighting the need to also get specific and ‘catch up’ in our prayers with His Spirit as He moves across the nations. Intercessors: you are being called to greater level of detail in prayer language; The prophetically-gifted and the seers are being called to a new height of specificity in what you decree, see, speak and describe. All of us are called to keep ‘apace’ with the Lord and not get left behind in this.

There is a great level of ‘infilling of detail’ the Lord is doing – even to words He has released in the past season – to allow a greater revelation and maximise the response to His Word in this time. This is pertinent to your own life and to the nations. Let us seek Him in this increase of detail and keep in time with the Lord.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens: a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing, a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace.

Lion-Bites-logo-2012Footnote: If you too would like to read other words, click on Glasgow Prophetic Centre.

Paws 4 thought – more encouragement

Paws4thort 4After publishing three morsels of Lion Bites last Thursday I thought it may have been rather a rushed job, for my mind was on my next tasks. Upon reflection, I thought I’d been too hasty, especially as that was what it had been like all week. Even so, I was reminded to focus upon those encouraging words. And the  Lord was to surprise me with yet more morsels…!

After bashing through a tedious task for an hour I went to buy a rare ‘treat’ – fish and chips!  (It makes a pleasant change from a cooked evening meal.) Although it’s less than 3 minutes walk to the ‘chippy’ it usually entails a 10 minute wait at such a busy time.

Bill and Beni Johnson Credit BethelSo I took what I’m reading – Healing Unplugged.  Billed as ‘Up close and personal: behind the scenes with Bill Johnson and Randy Clark’, this is a transcript of a teaching video where they interviewed one another on how their healing ministries started and developed. It is minimal on historical details yet the book provides lots of insights and advice. A fascinating read!

Nina and I have often heard both leaders’ exceptional teaching, and Randy is one of the most humble servants of Christ. So, waiting in the chippy I was thoroughly engrossed in reading about the confession of his shortcomings in faith for healing. He proceeds to tell Bill of a breakthrough in his understanding of the vital importance of corporate faith.

RandyClark Credit J PiippoRandy spoke about his first visit to Bill’s church in Bethel, Redding California, when God impressed upon him to ask for healings the way that Abraham had asked for the inhabitants of Sodom and Gomorrah to be spared, but Randy should count the other way round!  That is, he  was to ask for an increasing number of people to be healed as a number that he had faith for God to heal. (Genesis 18 refers.)

At first 25 were healed.  Randy said to the congregation, “I just felt as though God spoke to me”. He asked them, “Do you think God is tired?”. “No!” they replied. “Do you think He’s run out of power?” he continued. “No!” they said. Again, he received the same impression from God and as the number was incrementally raised they ended up with 135 healings.

So someone asked why he hadn’t said one hundred at first. The answer was simple – he didn’t have the faith for that number.  But his faith grew gradually by increasing the size of his request of God.

As his faith increased Randy would often use that strategy. On one occasion in a large church in Brazil a translator who’d seen him do that many times told him, “You need to ask for more”.  “Oh yeah, how many do you think?” he replied. Randy told Bill she announced a huge number in the region of 150-200, “And she said it right out loud in front of everybody!”

How did Randy react and what happened?  Continue below and discover an important principle about the miraculous that Randy was about to learn.:

Healing Unplugged p133

Healing Unplugged p134

WOW, what words of wonder to ponder with our fish and chips – a spiritual feast as well as bodily feast. Makes me wonder what else the multitude received from Jesus whilst His disciples handed round a few loaves and fish from a boy’s ‘butty-box’! (See John 6.)

Don’t give up

Bill is a tremendous encouragement to everyone in demonstrating his incredible faith amidst the trials of Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” which is a progressive neuro-degenerative disease. This post AND many comments are wonderfully heart-warming. Bless you Bill and the Lord be with you, always.

Unshakable Hope

After reading some of the comments from my last post (“More than just a Dream”), I’m afraid that I might have left the impression that my only hope (for physical healing) is in the next life. If I believed heaven was my only hope for healing, I probably would have checked out years ago. Waiting (for heaven) to be healed is merely my backup plan; it’s my Plan B. Whether it’s through medical science or a miracle from God, even after 16 years with ALS, I’m still hoping for the best outcome here on earth. This is what I believe for others too, regardless of the severity of their trial.

I realize how crazy it sounds for someone who has received a diagnosis of ALS to be hoping for a complete recovery. I’m not naïve; I’ve known so many good Christian people who have died of this and…

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Some encouraging daily words

Lion-Bites-logo-2012Several uplifting Lion Bites of scriptural prophetic words  have come from Glasgow Prophetic Centre this week, of which I want to share a few of the finest – choice morsels to remind us of our holy calling. Be highly blessed as you chew upon these and deeply savour the Kingdom.:

The pursuit of Holiness

I heard the Spirit of the Lord say,

‘I am the first and the last. I am the Ancient of Days – I am the one who reigns and sits upon the throne. I am a jealous God and I desire your full attention – no-one and nothing should come before or above Me. You must lay all other gods and idols down if you are keen to pursue Me further.’

It is as if we are being presented with one of these moments of ‘no-turning-back’ – like a ‘point-of-no-return’ – as we hear the call to come further on the way of holiness. This narrow road is the place where all things must be let go of that are not of God.As so you will find that the Holy Spirit is alerting you to areas of your life where you have focused on other things above Him; where even ‘truths’ that you have held onto have become distorted over time.
But yet there is grace and encouragement from the Lord to seek Him in this and to follow the way of Holiness with your eyes fixed on Him. This is an invitation – a reminder – to pursue greater levels of purity and holiness in allowing the Spirit of the Lord to highlight those places which need to be laid down before Him.
The invitation is this: ‘Come and pursue Me – come and pursue a greater level of Holiness, my Bride.’

Isaiah 35:8 And a highway will be there; it will be called the Way of Holiness; it will be for those who walk on that Way. The unclean will not journey on it; wicked fools will not go about on it.

Displaying His glory

Glorify God! That’s today’s mission statement from heaven for all of us! We, the sons and daughters of God, are called to shine, as we allow the glory of our beautiful Redeemer, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to shine out from within us.
Church! Rise up together like the sun on a bright morning and shine – shine as one. Display His glory for all the world to see.

John 17:20-25 “I pray also for those who will believe in me through [the disciples] message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me. I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and you in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.
“Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am, and to see my glory, the glory you have given me because you loved me before the creation of the world.”

Kingdom carrier

Beloved, I have not only chosen you to be loved but to love. Not only do I want you to know My power and manifest presence for yourself, but I have made you to demonstrate My power and carry My manifest presence to those who don’t know Me.
The world is yearning for My Kingdom to be demonstrated and I have made you to be a Kingdom carrier. You have often felt disqualified in this and you have asked Me to send someone else into situations that face you. There are times when you have asked Me to send someone else to speak a word to those who need to hear My voice.

I say to you today: I have sent you to carry, demonstrate and advance My Kingdom to those around you. Are you ready and willing? As you say ‘yes’ to my call to you to be a Kingdom carrier, watch as I give you opportunities, daily, to preach the gospel, heal for the sick and to love the unloved.

Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Amen, amen, and again I say amen.

Thank you so much David and Emma.

Forgiveness

RJBLife’s far TOO short for NOT loving one another. I recall a morning’s teaching at a seminar on healing years ago near Streatley, Berks, where a delegate asked if forgiveness has any relevance. He was thanked for mentioning it because that had been overlooked and the trainer said, “Forgiveness is key to healing. Remember, Jesus forgave the soldiers as they crucifed Him!” Then I knew why I’d kept being impressed with a memory of an image of one of the Stations of The Cross that I’d seen as a boy. In her Catholic Church, my mother used to sit near the sculpted picture of Jesus being nailed to the cross! (Many years later Nina would be blessed with a demonstration of this truth, as here.) So, thank you Lord for your marvellous sacrifice for each of us.

Morning Story and Dilbert

The hospital was unusually quiet that bleak January evening, quiet and still like the air before a storm.

I stood in the nurses’ station on the seventh floor and glanced at the clock. It was 9 P.M. I threw a stethoscope around my neck and headed for room 712, last room on the hall. Room 712 had a new patient. Mr. Williams. A man all alone. A man strangely silent about his family.

As I entered the room, Mr. Williams looked up eagerly, but drooped his eyes when he saw it was only me, his nurse. I pressed the stethoscope over his chest and listened. Strong, slow, even beating. Just what I wanted to hear. There seemed little indication he had suffered a slight heart attack a few hours earlier.

He looked up from his starched white bed. “Nurse, would you –” He hesitated, tears filling his eyes. Once before…

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Daniel Pipes’ Open letter re Hagel Nomination

In view of Kenny T’s comments about mainstream US media in my last post, as well as its previous one’s opening, I’m posting this email for readers interested in US politics re. Israel. An update is available on Daniel’s blog.  Recent UK-coverage appears in the Guardian here.
Note: Daniel Pipes is one of the main secular sources I’ve used for many years, as indicated after starting this blog (see Not on the 10 o’clock News).

UPDATE 25 April: see Viscount Samuel, Meet Secretary Hagel for news of Secretary of Defense Hagel turning over a new leaf regarding Israel.

Daniel Pipes
The Hagel Nomination: An Open Letter to Sen. Charles E. Schumer by Daniel Pipes, February 19, 2013. Continue reading

Israel unveils logo for the Obama visit

Further to my previous post, World Watch Daily reports and links into an announcement in the Times of Israel on the logo selected for President Obama’s forthcoming visit to Israel.:

Courtesy of GPO png-635x357

The paper reports about the slogan,

Curiously, the logo reads “unbreakable alliance” in English, but its corresponding slogan in Hebrew reads “an alliance of nations.”