Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The Daily Brief - Tuesday, January 15, 2008

And you shall be secure and feel confident because there is hope; yes, you shall search about you, and you shall take your rest in safety. (Job 11:18 Amp)

1. Bush Announces $20 Billion Arms Deal for Saudis - NPR News

The president, on his first visit to Saudi Arabia, delivers a major arms deal aimed at countering Iran's perceived threat in the region.

· Father God, we pray that You will take charge of these discussions and decisions between President Bush and Saudi King Abdullah. Let nothing be accomplished that would jeopardize the United States' security, Israel's security, and the world's security.

· Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips. Do not incline my heart to any evil thing, to practice wicked works with men who work iniquity; and do not let me eat of their delicacies. (Psalms 141:3, 4)

2. Bush calls Iran 'leading terror sponsor' -- London Telegraph

President George W Bush has condemned Iran as the foremost threat to global security as he attempted to rally Gulf states behind a tougher line against the Islamic Republic during a tour of the region.

· Lord, we pray that good things will come of President Bush's trip to the Middle East. After Prince Saud al-Faisal last week cautioned that Saudi Arabia would not act as a launching pad for any attack on Iran, their hearts were revealed. We pray that You will bring the Middle East countries closer to the same values as the U.S. and bring a friendship between us without any hidden snares.

· For there is nothing hidden which will not be revealed, nor has anything been kept secret but that it should come to light. (Mark 4:22)

3. U.S. bombs Al Qaida safe havens, tracks down cash-starved operatives fleeing North, South - World Tribune

The U.S. military launched a series of major bombing attacks on Al Qaida in Iraq, as detainees revealed splits in the organization and a desperate shortage of funds.

· We thank You, Lord, that we are now enjoying cooperation with the operatives that were once against us! We pray the damage done to the Al Qaida of more than 40 targets that were struck southeast of Baghdad on Thursday, including the destruction of safe havens will be permanent. AMEN

· Though his hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness will be revealed before the assembly. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, and he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him. (Proverbs 26: 26, 27)

4. Showdown Over Destroyed CIA Tapes This Week - ABC News

In a closed door hearing scheduled for Wednesday, Congress plans to ask why the CIA destroyed tapes showing interrogations of suspected al-Qaeda operatives. Was it a cover-up?

· Lord, we seek to be a righteous nation in all our affairs whether our personal or national ones. We pray that our nation will never lower its standards regarding interrogations or life. Give all our leaders and soldiers strong convictions to do what is right.

· What you have in your mind shall never be, when you say, 'We will be like the Gentiles, like the families in other countries, serving wood and stone.' (Ezekiel 20:32)

- USA Today

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is the man in the middle as Congress and the White House eye a possible package of tax cuts and spending increases to stimulate the economy.

· Lord, we pray for Chairman Bernanke as he presents a fiscal and monetary policy for the nation that would stave off a recession and stimulate the economy. Let Christians use that money to build up the Kingdom of God. We pray the mind of Christ and for us to be worthy to receive.

· To the man who pleases Him, God gives wisdom, knowledge and happiness, but to the sinner he gives the task of gathering and storing up wealth to hand it over to the one who pleases God' (Ecclesiastes 2:26 NIV)

· Then Joshua said to the children of Israel: "How long will you neglect to go and possess the land which the Lord God of your fathers has given you? (Joshua 18:3)

6. Lawsuit to Stop Pro-Homosexual Calif. Law Moves Forward - Citizen Link

Starting today, California has a new definition of gender and is forcing public schools to present a one-sided message about homosexuality, bisexuality and transgender issues.

· Father God, we pray that You will stop this law and have it repealed! Remove those in authority who come against You and Your laws. And we pray that only righteous leaders will be elected and appointed to our nation's offices. AMEN

· Likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust for one another, men with men committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the penalty of their error which was due. (Romans 1:27)

· You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)

The Middle East in Focus

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

"Hear my cry, O God; attend unto my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto You. When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." (Psalm 32:8)

1. Iraq defense minister sees need for U.S. until 2018 - Int'l Herald Tribune

The Iraqi defense minister said Monday that his nation would not be able to take full responsibility for its internal security until 2012, nor be able on its own to defend Iraq's borders from external threat until at least 2018.

2. Olmert: We'll do anything to stop Iran from getting nukes - Ha'aretz

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said on Monday he had told President George Bush that Israel could not reconcile itself to a nuclear Iran, and that the government is "ruling out no options in advance" in barring Tehran from obtaining atomic weaponry.

3. Olmert to aides: Progress in peace talks worth risk to coalition - Ha'aretz

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert told his associates on Monday that he intends to advance the diplomatic process and negotiations on the core issues even if this makes him lose his parliamentary majority.

4. 2 tons of explosives found amongst humanitarian aid en route to Gaza - Ynet News

Security workers employed by the Israel Airport Authority uncovered two tons of fertilizer used in the manufacturing of Qassam rockets on Monday afternoon, the substantial amount of explosive material was concealed in a truck allegedly transporting humanitarian aid into the Gaza Strip.

Prayers for the Persecuted Church

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

"Because he loves me," says the LORD, "I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name." (Psalm 91:14)

1. Kenya: Churches Closed Over Violence - AllAfrica.com

The violence that has hit Kericho following the disputed presidential elections has been described as one of the worst to rock the region. Thousands have fled the area in the past two weeks. According to a Catholic priest, eight churches have been closed due to the violence. Most of the closed churches are in the tea estates. Fr Paddy Hyland says the violence was worse than what the country experienced in 1992. "There was concerted effort to remove some communities from certain areas for good," said the Irish-born priest."The major problem facing the country now is reconciliation. Getting the victims' confidence back will not be an easy task," he said. (Read more.)

2. Chinese Believers Targeted - Christian Newswire
Open Doors' Prayer Campaign Marks Countdown to Olympics

The Chinese government is carefully crafting an image of religious tolerance leading up to the Summer Olympics in Beijing, which start August 8. But the facts tell a different story. The Open Doors' director for China summarized Christian persecution in China in 2007 by saying that most Chinese can't practice their religion openly.

The Chinese Communist Party waged a secret campaign against unregistered house churches from mid-June until the end of November. The government police investigated "the content of sermons, personal history of house church evangelists and the sources of their funds." On November 18 authorities detained 40 church leaders from China Gospel Fellowship in Xiancheng County in Henan Province.

The director said many house church Christians are told they must stop their meetings. Some are fined. Some pastors are also locked up for a few days or sent to labor camps. For Christians living in the countryside, it often is difficult to obtain study Bibles and Christian books or attend a Bible school. (Read more.)

3. Orissa Violence "Worst in India's History" - Assist News Service

December's violence against Christians in the East India state of Orissa is the worst in the country's history. That's according to two reports by the All India Christian Council (AICC), details of which were published in a story written by Dibin Samuel for the Christian Today website. AICC said that the Dalit caste, formerly known as "Untouchables," was the group most affected by the violence. (Read more.)

4. Eye-witness to U.S. shooting comes forward in Sudan - Reuters

A man who witnessed the murder of a U.S. aid official and his driver in Khartoum has contacted police investigators, Sudan's justice minister said on Monday. "There is an eye witness to the shooting who has given some information," Mohammed Ali al-Mardi told Reuters. "We are hoping this will tighten the police's grip on the suspect or suspects."

An Islamist Web site posted a message from a group calling itself Ansar al-Tawhid in Sudan (Companions of Monotheism), claiming responsibility for the killings. U.S. agents from the FBI and the State Department's Bureau of Diplomatic Security flew into Khartoum last week to help Sudanese security services with the investigation. (Read more.)

Florida Marriage Amendment in Danger

22,000 signatures needed in the next two weeks to put the issue on the November ballot.

The Florida Division of Elections reported Monday that the Florida Marriage Protection Amendment is 22,000 signatures short of qualifying for the November ballot. Florida4Marriage has gathered 589,020 signatures; 611,009 are required.

In order for Floridians to have the chance to protect marriage in November, Florida4Marriage.org must collect 22,000 signatures in just two weeks - petitions must be mailed or hand-delivered to state headquarters by the close of business Tuesday, Jan. 29.

"We are in a state of constitutional emergency with this announcement, and we need immediate action from everyone who supports the Florida Marriage Amendment," John Stemberger, state chairman for Florida4Marriage.org, told the Florida Baptist Witness.

According to state officials, some petition signatures were counted twice. Despite the setback, Stemberger said he is not interested in pointing fingers, but rather in making sure action is taken immediately and the petition goal is met.

"It's a very unfortunate situation, but we're not going to cast any blame," he told the Associated Press. "We certainly are going to make every effort possible to correct this."

The proposed amendment "protects marriage as the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife and provides that no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized."

Mona Passignano, state issues analyst for Focus on the Family Action, urged Floridians to claim victory in upholding the godly institution of marriage.

"Twenty-seven states have already voted to protect traditional marriage in their state constitutions," she said. "Florida can be 28th, but only if citizens of the state get out and start collecting more signatures."


If you have not signed a petition and you live in the State of Florida, visit the Florida4Marriage Web site to download and sign a petition. Encourage friends and family to do the same. All petitions must be mailed or hand-delivered to state headquarters by the close of business Tuesday, Jan. 29.

· "Thy people shall volunteer freely in the day of Thy power." (Ps. 110:3 NAS)

(Source: CitizenLink)

This Week on Capitol Hill

The Senate is still on break, returning next Tuesday.

The House slips back into work for a quiet week of voting on mining safety, HR 2768, and a public housing bill, HR 3524.

It may also try to override the president's veto on the '08 defense authorization bill, which got nixed over a clause letting Americans sue nations for state- sponsored terrorist acts (lest anyone wanted to sue Iraq for crimes committed by Saddam).

(Source: CitizenJoe)

Publisher's note from Capitol Hill Prayer Partners:

As both houses of Congress prepare to go back into session next week (Senate and House), look for another Legislative Update from Tim McGhee, to be published next weekend.