Wednesday, December 5, 2007

The Daily Brief - Tuesday, December 4, 2007

"He who trusts in the Lord, mercy shall surround him." (Psalm 32:10)

1. Defense Policy Bill Hung Up on Hate Crimes Provision - CQ Today

The House could consider the fiscal 2008 defense authorization conference report later this week, but only if negotiators decide quickly whether to include an unrelated hot-button provision, aides said Monday. An informal House-Senate conference has resolved all but one issue in the sweeping national-security policy measure - whether to include a Senate amendment expanding race-based hate-crime laws to include crimes committed against people because of their gender, sexual orientation or disability. The provision would set new penalties and authorize spending to support state and local prosecutions of such crimes.

But the provision could jeopardize the whole bill. In the House, liberals upset over war spending could join forces against the bill with conservatives concerned about the hate crimes language. If the decision is made by Tuesday on whether to include the provision, the conference report could come to the House floor as early as Thursday, aides said.

· Continue to raise up an avalanche of prayer, petitioning the Throne of Grace to either move on the hearts of these leaders to STRIP this provision from the Defense Authorization Bill, or to STRENGTHEN THE HAND OF PRESIDENT BUSH as he prepares to veto this legislation, if it is left intact. Pray that the liberals would join with the conservatives to defeat this amendment! Nothing is too difficult for Him!

· "Arise, O Lord, do not let man prevail . . ." (Psalm 9:19) "Nothing is too difficult for Me." (Jer. 32:17)

2. Wild Weather Across the Nation - Fox News

a. Midwest Storm Closes Airport, Expected to Bring 16 Inches of Snow. Snow and ice plastered a wide area of the Midwest on Saturday, interrupting campaigning by presidential hopefuls, disrupting airport and highway traffic and killing at least two people.

b. 100 mph Winds, Rain Leaves Residents Trapped in Pacific Northwest. Pacific storm blocks coastal roads with fallen trees and floods, knocks out power and ices up highways.

· Heavenly Father, You are King of kings and Lord of lords. You are above everything and in control of everything. We pray for Your protection and provision for everyone affected by these storms. Let them feel Your love. Let everything be restored quickly. Amen

· From the end of the earth I will cry to You, when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the rock that is higher than I. For You have been a shelter for me, a strong tower from the enemy. (Psalms 61:2, 3)

3. Reid Says Surge Not Working, Vows Another Vote on Withdrawal - The Hill

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) vowed Monday that Congress would vote again this year on a troop withdrawal from Iraq, adding that the troop surge "has not accomplished its goals."

· Lord, we pray that You will speak to these people who cannot give credit for a great job done. Let their eyes be open to see the good and let their mouths speak Your truth instead of partisan talk. We pray the spirit of rebellion will be removed from those who rebel.

· For rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft, and stubbornness is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He also has rejected you from being king." (1 Samuel 15:23)

4. Bush: No Wonder Congress Has So Much Work to Do -

Just back from their two-week Thanksgiving break, Congress plans to leave town again two weeks from now. "That's not really a lot of time to squeeze in nearly a year's worth of unfinished business," President Bush said on Monday morning at the White House.

· Lord, we thank you that You have kept watch over Congress to not pass any bills that would harm our nation, security, or the unborn. We pray that You will direct our elected officials on which bills are important to work on and pass. Let frivolous or vindictive bills not be considered.

· The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spoke to me: 'He who rules over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. (2 Samuel 23:3)

5. Chavez Loses Constitutional Vote - ABC News

President Hugo Chavez suffered a stinging defeat in a vote on constitutional changes that would have let him run for re-election indefinitely, the chief of National Electoral Council said Monday.

· Offer a GREAT CHORUS OF PRAISE for this victory in Venezuela! Praise God that the will of the people prevailed; and a dictator will not reign in that nation, after all. Praise God!

· "Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord." (Psalm 150:6)

6. No Surprises as Pro-Putin Party Sweeps Russian Election -

With President Vladimir Putin as its top candidate, the United Russia party won an overwhelming majority in Sunday's parliamentary elections, and together with its allies, it will have enough seats in the Duma to change the constitution.

· Lord, we pray that all the secret things will be revealed to the citizens of Russia. Let Your truth be the only thing that will reign in Russia. Let Russians hunger for Your truth and salvation, and let them become a strong Christian nation and Putin be saved.

· "I was sought by those who did not ask for Me; I was found by those who did not seek Me. I said, 'Here I am, here I am,' to a nation that was not called by My name. I have stretched out My hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, according to their own thoughts. (Isaiah 65:1, 2)

7. Intelligence Report contradicts Bush on Iran nuclear program - Reuters

A new U.S. intelligence report says Iran halted its nuclear weapons program in 2003 and it remains on hold, contradicting the Bush administration's earlier assertion that Tehran was intent on developing a bomb. The National Intelligence Estimate (NIE) released on Monday could undermine U.S. efforts to convince other world powers to agree on a third package of U.N. sanctions against Iran for defying demands to halt uranium enrichment activities.

But in a finding likely to surprise U.S. friends and foes alike, the latest NIE concluded: "We do not know whether (Iran) currently intends to develop nuclear weapons." That marked a sharp contrast to an intelligence report two years ago that stated Iran was "determined to develop nuclear weapons."

· Lord, we pray that every intelligence report will be written under Your anointing and direction. We pray that no false documents will go to the President or to the military who are in charge of making serious decisions concerning the security of our nation!

· Then the Lord answered me and said: "Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry. (Habakkuk 2:2, 3)

8. In Reversal, U.S. Pulls Support of Resolution Backing Mideast Talks - NY Sun

In an about face, America today withdrew a U.N. resolution endorsing this week's agreement by Israeli and Palestinian Arab leaders to try to reach a Middle East peace settlement by the end of 2008, apparently after Israel objected. Deputy Ambassador Alejandro Wolff informed the Security Council that America was pulling the resolution from consideration less than 24 hours after Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad had introduced it and welcomed the "very positive" response from council members.

· "Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us." (Isaiah 8:10)

The Middle East in Focus

This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE:

"But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." (Joshua 24:15)

1. Temple Institute Announces: High Priest's Crown is Ready! - Arutz Sheva

( The Temple Institute in Jerusalem announces the completion of the Tzitz, the High Priest's headplate - now ready for use in the Holy Temple.

2. Israel Frees Palestinian Prisoners as Gesture to Abbas -

Israel freed 429 Palestinian security prisoners on Monday as part of the ongoing effort to bolster Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas.

3. Leadership in Israel: We Must Divide the Land - Jerusalem Post

"We cannot forget or allow our enemies to forget that Israel accepted the painful partition and the other side turned it down and attacked us," he said. "We have come full circle and now there is again a need to divide the land, even though we have a right to all of it. The practical, diplomatic and political circumstances require the division of the land to achieve security and stability."

4. Three tracks emerging to keep peace process alive - Jerusalem Post

Israel, the Palestinian Authority and the US - in the immediate aftermath of the Annapolis conference - are working to launch three parallel tracks to keep the Annapolis process alive and active, The Jerusalem Post has learned.

5. Rice: US aims to up Palestinian economic aid to $400 mln - Ynet News

The United States plans to boost its economic development aid to the Palestinians in this year's budget to around 400 million dollars, US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said Monday.

This Week on Capitol Hill

This week, Congress bites into an improbably long (as in, no one thinks they can get through it) list of must-complete-before-lang-syne legislation.

Not wanting to end '07 with no energy bills to show for, the House will try to okay a blend of gas measures this week - as a compromise that's been in the works with the Senate all year. The details are still deviling, but both higher gas mileage standards (sending the average up to 35mpg by 2020) and higher biofuel mandates are in the bag, while other measures - like incentives for alternative fuels and rollbacks on oil industry tax breaks - are uncertain if they'll be left behind.

The Senate could vote to revamp federal wiretapping rules, following the House's lead to give the courts and Congress some oversight of the spy program that taps into foreign calls through - and to - the US. What's unclear is whether senators, as part of the bill, will give telecom companies (that went along with an allegedly illegal earlier wiretap program) retro-active immunity from a slew of lawsuits.

Senators also may okay a free trade agreement with Peru, making it the only FTA that could in '07; similar deals with Panama, Columbia and South Korea have fallen by the wayside, at least for the time being.

(Source: Citizen Joe)

Sold on New Cells

In news that some are comparing to the greatest scientific achievement "since the discovery of DNA," the world continues to revel in the discovery of an "embryo-free" method for producing stem cells. Even the most ardent supporters of research that destroys human embryos are celebrating what they consider the end of the long and contentious stem cell debate. For states like New Jersey, the announcement brings a huge sense of relief. Imagine voters' horror if they had followed Gov. Jon Corzine's (D) advice this November to borrow $450 million for ESC research that is all but obsolete. For others, like columnist Charles Krauthammer, a former ESC proponent, it vindicates six years of White House policy. In his Washington Post op-ed today, he congratulates President Bush for withstanding "unrelenting demagoguery" and vilification in drawing a moral line. He concludes, eloquently, "Providence... saw to it that the technique be so elegant and beautiful that scientific reasons alone will now incline even the most willful researchers to leave the human embryo alone." In response, Germany already plans to double the country's funding of ethical research. Surely the U.S. Congress should hasten to match--if not exceed-- Germany's offer. Meanwhile, FRC's Senior Fellow for Life Sciences, Dr. David Prentice, is helping countries like Costa Rica on the latest developments in stem cells and human cloning. In a visit this week, Dr. Prentice has met with key Costa Rican leaders, including Foreign Minister Bruno Stagno. With this breakthrough, FRC looks forward to strengthening our pro-life alliances in Costa Rica and abroad.

(Source: Family Research Council; Nov. 30, 2007)

Recent Examples of "Islamic Justice" Expose Barbarism of Sharia Law

The recent events where a teen aged girl was sentenced to a prison term and two hundred lashes for being gang raped in Saudi Arabia and another where a school teacher for a private school in Sudan was sentenced to a prison term for allowing her seven year old students to name a teddy bear "Mohammed," is an indication of how outrageous Islam's theocracy operates under Sharia law. Moreover, these were not the maximum sentences that could have been given to both victims of this barbaric, yet daily practiced system of Islamic justice.

A 19 year old girl had met with a former male friend to retrieve some photographs. She and the man were kidnapped by seven other men who repeatedly raped and beat the couple. The rapists were ultimately sentenced from two to nine years in prison for the incident. The teen aged girl was sentenced to six months in prison and 200 lashes, up from her original sentence of 90 lashes. The sentence was increased because of "her attempt to aggravate and influence the judiciary through the media." In reality, Her attorney said the 90 lashes were unfair and that the law called for the death penalty for rapists after the judge rendered his original decision. The Saudi government has removed her attorney from the case.

In Sudan, 54 year old school teacher Gillian Gibbons was sentenced to 15 days in prison and deportation to Britain for allowing her students in a private Christian school to name a teddy bear "Mohammed." Under Sharia law, it is illegal to name an animal or an inanimate object after the the prophet Mohammed. Gibbons was shown mercy by not receiving 40 lashes or being tried for charges of sedition, which could have invoked the death penalty. Nevertheless, the lighter sentence sparked riots in Sudan where thousands of Muslims demanded the death of Gibbons. Incidentally, the school has been shut down over the incident and sources report that the riots were instigated by the Sudanese government, complete with pre-printed posters and signs.

These incidents expose the government of Islam and how it would be if it were the government of, say, the United States. Human rights and rule of law would be eliminated. And women, who are not allowed to vote, not allowed to drive, not allowed to wear fashionable clothes, and must consult a man before leaving the home, would be treated as sub-humans. The theocracy of Islam is not some romantic ideal of another culture, but rather a brutal, fascist death- oriented, fear-based government of control masquerading as a religion. Exodus 23:24 says of other religions and gods, "You shall not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but you shall utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images." Good advice then as it is now.

Bill Wilson

Word of Life Ministry