Volume XIV, Number 29
"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deut. 33:27)
1. CALIFORNIA WILDFIRES STILL BURNING; BUSH DECLARES DISASTER AREA
President Bush moved quickly to respond to the massive dislocation and humanitarian crisis caused by the California wildfires, visiting the area and declaring it a Federal disaster area. The AP reports President Bush "promised Wednesday that Washington 'will do everything it can' to help Southern Californians fearing the worst from wildfires blazing through canyons and neighborhoods for a fourth straight day." (US News)
State officials say some 500,000 acres have burned since last Sunday, with 64 reported injuries (most of them firefighters) and twelve confirmed deaths. More than 2,000 homes were destroyed in the fires, among the worst in modern history; 12,000 firefighters are battling flames. 810 square miles burned, an area more than twice the size of New York City. In San Diego, evacuees are leaving QualComm Stadium, with many returning to communities where their homes have been damaged or destroyed. Meanwhile, on the fire lines, cool, damp weather helped firefighters gain the upper hand on Friday in their six-day-long struggle with wildfires across Southern California. No rain is expected in the next week . (USA Today, Reuters)
· Offer thanksgiving for the church buildings, family homes and businesses which have survived the fires. Pray for those that did not survive. Ask the Lord to provide Churches with places to meet until they rebuild or relocate. Pray for the thousands of people who lost everything - they are in need of food/clothing/shelter and cash. [Intercessors for America]
· "Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him for the help of His presence." (Psalms 42:5)
· Pray, too, that any arsonists be found and brought to justice.
· "Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known." (Matt. 10:26)
2. MEET THE NEW SCHIP, SAME AS THE OLD SCHIP
The Democratic Leadership made another effort to expand socialized medicine yesterday, ignoring pleas to postpone a House vote on their child health insurance bill to accommodate Republican members dealing with the deadly fires in California. While the Democrats picked up a few votes, it appears the timing of the vote was coordinated with liberal groups like America Coming Together and MoveOn.org who plan to air new hit ads against members who voted against the new bill.
This collaboration exposes Speaker Nancy Pelosi's (D-Calif.) ploy to use partisan means to gain more power. The "new" bill itself is really not that much different from the previous bill, which President Bush vetoed. Speaker Pelosi's new SCHIP costs the same (a $35 billion expansion), allows for taxpayer-funded health care to those who can afford it and to people who aren't children, and is an obvious first step towards socialized medicine at the cost of private coverage. A new Congressional Budget Office analysis found that over two million people would leave private coverage and join this tax-funded system. (Family Research Council)
· The move to bring more and more socialism into this nation is gaining momentum, especially in this Congress. Actually, it is the role of the church to care for those who are sick and needy, and everyone wants to help the helpless. But do we want the federal government to tax us for that purpose? Pray for a law that serves those who are truly needy, a law that is drafted without deception, and leadership in Congress that is open in its intents. Continue to pray for President Bush to stand for truth.
· "He that handleth a matter wisely shall find good; and whoso that trusteth in the Lord, happy is he." (Proverbs 16:20)
3. IMMIGRATION DREAM ACT KILLED IN SENATE VOTE
Anti-amnesty forces predict Wednesday's Senate defeat of the DREAM Act won't prevent Democrats in Congress from introducing a slew of similar pro- immigration measures in coming months. The Senate vote of 52-44 fell eight votes short of the 60 required to invoke cloture and move the bill to a final vote. The action effectively kills the bill. DREAM ACT (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) is S. 2205. (NewsMax.com)
· Lord we thank You for this defeat, and ask that You will continue to block amnesty in any form. We pray that You will set the watchmen in Congress to see and block any further attempts to pass this type of legislation.
· "For they intended evil against thee; they imagined a mischievous device, which they were not able to perform." (Psalm 21:11)
4. VOTE ON ENDA POSTPONED "INDEFINITELY"
This week the House was scheduled to take up the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which covers sexual orientation discrimination in employment. However, a continuing dispute about whether the bill should cover "gender identify" (i.e. transgender) individuals in addition to sexual orientation has once again delayed the bill's progress. It is now postponed indefinitely. (Sources on the Hill)
· While we offer great PRAISE for this report, we remain on watch over ENDA. Continue to press in, in prayer, asking that this bill NOT be placed on the Rules Committee Calendar -- next week or ever again! Ask God to put an END to ENDA.
· "Thus far shall you come but no further, and here shall your proud waves be stopped!" (Job 38:11)
5. JUDGE LESLIE SOUTHWICK CONFIRMED BY U.S. SENATE
After 10 months waiting, Judge Leslie Southwick won confirmation from the U.S. Senate today to the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, 59-38, following a 62-35 cloture vote. Southwick had been accused of racism, supporters say, not because of flaws in his distinguished career, but because of the history of the court, which serves Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas. Republicans and Democrats have fought over the seat for years, filled by President Bush's recess appointment of Judge Charles Pickering in 2004 after Democrats successfully blocked Pickering from a permanent seat. Another Bush nominee, Michael Wallace, withdrew after concluding that Democrats would not confirm him. There are still many qualified nominees that Senate Democrats are blocking. This year the Senate has confirmed only five Circuit Court nominees, compared to an average of seventeen during the same timeframe in other administrations. (FRC Prayer Alerts)
President Bush said following the vote: "The confirmation of Judge Leslie Southwick to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit is a victory for America's judicial system and for the citizens of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Texas. Today's bipartisan vote resolves a long-standing judicial emergency and will help ensure that the Fifth Circuit can operate more effectively. Judge Southwick is a man of character and intelligence who will apply the law fairly. I appreciate the Senate's approval of his nomination." (Christian Coalition of America)
· Praise God for this breakthrough. May God continue to work within our Senate to confirm upstanding candidates for the federal judiciary, and may the obstruction not be allowed to continue.
· "But thou shalt have a perfect and just weight,a perfect and just measure shalt thou have: that thy days may be lengthened in the land which THE LORD gave thee" (Deuteronomy 25:15)
6. SENATE COMMITTEE MAY APPROVE LOST TREATY NEXT WEEK
As Americans are beginning to wake up to the dangerous Law of the Sea Treaty (LOST) supported by the internationalists in the United States Congress, and unfortunately, supported by many in the Bush Administration, these Americans are contacting their Senators to urge them to vote NO on this abominable LOST treaty. This is a treaty which President Ronald Reagan despised and ensured would not pass the United States Senate. The last Republican Senator Majority Leader, Bill Frist blocked LOST from even getting a vote in the Senate.
Republican opponents in the Senate, several of whom have derailed the treaty twice in the past, discount even the Bush administration's backing. On Wednesday, they blocked a preliminary ratification vote, and in doing so declared it an auspicious date for foes of international institutions. "There is no better time to celebrate the 62nd birthday of the United Nations than to say we don't want it," said Jim Inhofe, the Oklahoma Republican senator who leads an annual effort to withhold US funds from the UN.
The Senate foreign relations committee now is poised to approve the treaty next week, after which two- thirds of the full chamber must vote in favor to ensure ratification. Mr Bush has dispatched John Negroponte, the hawkish deputy secretary of state, and senior navy officials to help lobby Republicans. That may not be enough to overcome the Republicans' famous mistrust of the UN. Trent Lott of Mississippi, the Republicans' second in command in the Senate, said he has studied seafaring treaties since law school. His advice to the military: "Have a strong and robust navy so you're not going to have somebody tell you where you can't go."
When the treaty will come to a vote remains to be seen. The treaty would come to the floor with procedural privileges that prevent a filibuster, leaving conservatives little choice but to broadcast their warnings as loudly as possible. In 2004, then-majority leader Bill Frist refused to bring the treaty for a vote, but new Democratic majority leader Harry Reid is unlikely to do the same.
In the meantime, opposition to the Law of the Sea Treaty has picked up steam as the conservative base evaluates Republican presidential candidates. Mike Huckabee, former governor of Arkansas, and former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson have pointedly broken with Mr Bush on the treaty. "At a time when customary international law in this area has proven sufficient, I believe the efforts of treaty proponents would be better spent reforming the United Nations," Mr Thompson said yesterday. John McCain, the Arizona senator and decorated navy pilot, declined to answer a question about the treaty.
· For more information on the dangers of LOST to our national sovereignty, please visit The Heritage Foundation at this link. We urge all of our readers to not only PRAY that this treaty fails in the Senate, but also to TAKE ACTION on this issue. Call your own Senators and voice your opinions on LOST -- and please do this quickly! (Christian Coalition of America; The Guardian)
· "Therefore, faith without works is dead." (James 2:17)
[Note: Call 202-224-3121 and ask to be connected with the office of your own senator.]
7. CHILD PORN LAW STRUCK DOWN: COURT CITES FREE SPEECH CONCERNS
A federal appeals court on Tuesday struck down as unconstitutional a law intended to fight child pornography, saying it restricts protected speech by setting reporting requirements that are overbroad. Producers of certain sexually explicit photographs are required to maintain extensive records regarding the individuals depicted, according to the Child Protection and Obscenity Enforcement Act of 1988, as amended by Congress. The problem with the law is that the term "producers" can refer to anyone who creates a visual representation of sexually explicit conduct through videotaping, photographing or computer manipulation, said a panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. The law makes no provision to exempt photographs not intended for a commercial purpose, or those never intended to be transferred.
The ruling is a "very, very significant victory for freedom of expression," said J. Michael Murray, which made the constitutional challenge on behalf of Connection Distributing Co. of Cleveland. He said it may bar government agents from entering publishing places and demanding to inspect photo records. Connection publishes a number of pornographic magazines. "We are disappointed in the court's ruling," said Justice Department spokesman Charles Miller. "The statute was enacted to protect those who are underage from being used as performers in sexually explicit media. We are currently reviewing the ruling and in the process of determining what the government's next step will be in this matter."
Child abuse is already illegal, the court noted. "Adult sexual conduct is not illegal and it is, in fact, constitutionally protected," the court said. The ruling reversed a judgment in favor of the government and sent the case back to U.S. District Court in Cleveland with instructions to find the statute overly broad and enter a judgment for Connection. (AP)
· Pray that these judges who think freedom of speech protects pornography, especially that explicitly using children, will be convicted in their minds and spirits. Pray for protection of children targeted for use in these photographs, films, etc., that God will divert attention from these children and place them "under His wing." Ask the Lord to give strategies to the Justice Department for drafting statutes that protect all of us from pornography and will receive His approval from the judges.
· "When the wicked spring as the grass, and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish; it is that they shall be destroyed for ever." (Psalm 92:7)
8. BROWNBACK COMMENDS BUSH FOR STRONG STAND ON IRAN
U.S. Senator Sam Brownback today congratulated the Bush administration for its steps to fight Iranian- backed terrorism and called on the president and Congress to take additional actions. "I am pleased that the administration will treat the Qods Force as a terrorist organization and take strong steps against Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps as a whole," Brownback said. "This is a first and long-overdue step in ensuring Tehran pays a price for its sponsorship of terrorism." The Bush administration announced today the designation the Qods Force as a terrorist entity and the entire IRGC as proliferators of weapons of mass destruction. The move will allow the United States to financially isolate the IRGC and its supporters.
Brownback called on the administration to take additional steps against Iran because of its support for terrorism. "The administration should also announce its support for legislation that would help investors divest their assets from those entities that provide financial support to the Iranian regime. Congress should take up and pass such legislation immediately." In fact, in May, Senator Brownback (R- KA) and Senator Barack Obama (D-IL) introduced the Iranian Sanctions Enabling Act, which would authorize state and local governments and institutional investors to do so.
Brownback also called for robust funding of Iran's pro- democracy movement. "Congress should match the administration's effort on Iran by providing full funding of programs to promote democracy in Iran. As we penalize the regime for supporting terrorists, we should send a clear signal of support to the Iranian people who struggle for a better future for their country." In July, the Senate passed an amendment introduced by Brownback and Senator Joe Lieberman (ID-CT) which restored full funding for Iran democracy programs in the Foreign Operations bill. A conference committee is now ironing out differences between House and Senate versions of that legislation before it is sent to the president. Brownback is a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee's Foreign Operations Subcommittee.
· Pray that Sen. Brownback's bills become law. Already the Bush administration has applied financial sanctions on Iran, sanctions that should bring change in Iran's plans. Continue to pray for the Iranian people who suffer under the radical Islamist leadership.
· "Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, whom He hath redeemed from the hand of the enemy." (Psalm 107:2)
9. US UNILATERALLY SANCTIONS IRAN
LABELS MILITARY WING TERROR SUPPORTER
With UN sanctions on Iran bogging down, the United States is increasing its pressure on the Islamic regime to end its nuclear program, announcing its own sanctions on Thursday [October 25], according to the Washington Post. The decision labels the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) as a proliferator of weapons of mass destruction (WMD) and the Quds Force, the Guard's foreign operations branch, as a supporter of terrorism. The WMD designation, which cited the Iranian ballistic missile program, means that the United States can freeze assets for the IRGC and its supporters. The move not only hinders the Iranian military's top wing, it also affects the Iranian economy, as the IRGC controls companies and plants that range from construction to pharmaceuticals. The Guard is also connected, according to US officials, to the acquisition of nuclear technology.
Besides taking punitive measures against a foreign military-an unprecedented move by the United States-the sanctions also call for the international community to shut down business with three Iranian banks. This could force foreign groups to stop doing business with Iran or else risk losing business with the United States. US Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson Jr. said the IRGC "is so deeply entrenched in Iran's economy, that it is increasingly likely that if you are doing business with Iran, you are doing business with the IRGC." The sanctions were also in response to US accusations that Iran is supporting terrorists in Iraq.
The moves follow recent statements to France's Le Monde newspaper by International Atomic Energy Agency Director-General Mohamed ElBaradei that called for diplomacy and sanctions, as he said Iran was three to eight years away from creating a nuclear bomb. The international powers have been divided on the Iranian issue. Russia and China have opposed US calls for tougher UN sanctions, while British Prime Minister Gordon Brown recently said he would push for additional sanctions. (Bridges for Peace)
· Pray that these new US sanctions will bring a halt to the Iranian nuclear program.
· "So you, son of man: I have made you a watchman for the house of Israel; therefore you shall hear a word from My mouth and warn them for Me." (Ezekiel 33:7)
10. REPORT: FOUR NATIONS FLIRT WITH PROPHETIC DISASTER RE: JERUSALEM
The Bush Administration is leveling a new set of sanctions against Iran that will likely designate the Qods Force, an Iranian special forces unit that has infiltrated parts of Iraq and is responsible for killing American troops, as a sponsor of terrorism. In addition, the Iranian Revolutionary Guard will be designated as a group that seeks the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction. The Revolutionary Guard controls about 35 percent of Iran's economy, and the sanctions will tighten the grip on Iran's financial freedom. But at the heart of these events is the prophecy-laden city of Jerusalem and what it holds for the nations.
Security analyst DebkaFile reports, "Iranian sources recall that the Islamic regime announced in advance that approval of these measures would be deemed tantamount to an American declaration of war on Iran and call forth retaliation. Tehran would target U.S. interests in the Persian Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan or Israel by means of Special Groups, i.e. Iran's foreign intelligence networks, Hezbollah or Hamas." Iran operates through a secret terrorist coordinating committee called the Committee of Nine, which includes top level Iranian officials and al Qaeda, Hamas, Hezbollah, Islamic Jihad and other major terrorist groups, as exposed by former Vice Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee Curt Weldon.
The Bush sanctions are expected to hit over 1,000 companies throughout Europe and the Middle East. DebkaFile believes the sanctions will have a "crippling effect" on Iran's economy which is already hard hit by America's systematically blocking of Iran's financial dealings with international banks. This is all part of a complicated web of international danger between Iran, Russia, Syria and America that ultimately strikes at the heart of apocalyptic prophecies found in the Biblical books of Isaiah, Ezekiel and Zechariah, where Damascus, Syria will be destroyed, Israel will be attacked by Iran and Russia, and those who try to divide Jerusalem will face destruction.
Iran is operating an undeclared proxy war against U.S. soldiers in Iraq through the Qods Force and the Revolutionary Guard. Iran, as protected by Russia and in cooperation with Syria, is supporting Palestinian terrorist groups who want control of the holy city of Jerusalem. The Bush Administration's insistence that Jerusalem be divided between Israel and a future Palestinian state is flirting with prophetic disaster. These end time prophetic nations are interlocked in a deadly predestined struggle over control of Jerusalem. And as Zechariah 12:3 says, "And in that day will I make Jerusalem a burdensome stone for all people: all that burden themselves with it shall be cut in pieces." (Bill Wilson, The Daily Jot, Oct. 25, 2007)
11. REPORT: BUSH AND RICE AT ODDS OVER ANNAPOLIS; SYRIA
For the first time since they began working together, President George W. Bush and his secretary of state, Condoleezza Rice are visibly divided on two major foreign policy issues, both related to Israel: The Middle East peace conference in Annapolis, which is still sans date, participants or agenda, and Israel's attack on the North Korean nuclear project in Syria on Sept. 6, which the president approved. As she feared, the resulting exposure of North Korea's proliferation activities stirred a hornets' nest against her bid to bring diplomacy on Pyongyang's nuclear program to a successful conclusion with signed US- North Korean contracts for its liquidation.
DEBKAfile's Washington sources disclose that this week Bush questioned Rice on the prospects of the Annapolis meeting. "Can you do it?" he asked. "I'm trying," she replied, thereby acknowledging it was far from being in the bag. The president was already skeptical, but he cooled further to the conference plan, those sources report, after listening to two American- Jewish delegations who visited the White House last week.
· Offer praise to the Lord for this report, for it shows that prayer and action is making a difference in the direction of U.S. policy towards pressuring Israel to give up her "land for peace." Continue in prayer that President Bush will hear the LORD in all matters relating to Israel, bringing not a curse upon our own nation, but a blessing, instead.
· "The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes." (Prov. 21:1)
12. JERUSALEM CHURCH SET ABLAZE BY ARSONISTS This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . . Eternal God, You know my beginning and my end. How my soul is at peace. Thank You for this timeless truth. Thank You thta I can trust my life with You; what total peace this gives my soul. I love you and I thank You for loving me. (Taken from: Intimate Moments with the Hebrew Names of God, by Barri Cae Malin and Shmuel Wolkenfeld; Bridge-Logos Publishers; Gainesville, FL, 32614. ISBN: 0-88270-801-5)
Late Tuesday night, October 23, arsonists set fire to a central Jerusalem church, causing damage to the main sanctuary. Located on Narkis Street and commonly known as the Baptist House, the church is currently home to some three congregations meeting there on different days throughout the week.
Police and fire services responded to the blaze, containing the fire before it could do serious damage to the structure. The arsonists entered the main sanctuary and placed flammable substances on chairs in three locations inside the room. As a result, several chairs were burned and the inside of the sanctuary suffered from smoke and soot damage, as well as water damage from the firefighters' hoses. Church officials stressed that no holy books were burned in the fire, as was initially reported by several news sources. Israel Police Spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld told Bridges for Peace that they consider this a very serious matter. He said that an investigation is underway and was confident that the perpetrators would be arrested and brought to justice.
Mordechay Lewy, Adviser to the Mayor for Religious Communities in Jerusalem, said on Thursday, "The mayor [Uri Lupolianski] is outraged, and we hope that this will not happen again. What we should do is to increase the notion of being together here, so many communities which we have to coexist and live together, unharmed, undamaged, everyone according to his own faith." The damage in this attack is estimated to be in the tens of thousands of shekels. Several volunteers began cleaning the church sanctuary on Thursday, and the Baptist Village in Petach Tikva sent chairs to replace the more than 60 that were damaged or totally consumed by the fire. (Bridges for Peace)
· Praise God that this attack did not cause loss of life. Praise God for His protection. Pray that attacks of this nature will not escalate in Jerusalem.
· "Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: 'May they prosper who love you.'" (Psalm 122:6)
ETERNAL GOD (Ehlohay Kehdem)
"The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." (Deut. 33:27)
This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .
Eternal God, You know my beginning and my end. How my soul is at peace. Thank You for this timeless truth. Thank You thta I can trust my life with You; what total peace this gives my soul. I love you and I thank You for loving me.
(Taken from: Intimate Moments with the Hebrew Names of God, by Barri Cae Malin and Shmuel Wolkenfeld; Bridge-Logos Publishers; Gainesville, FL, 32614. ISBN: 0-88270-801-5)