Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Daily Brief - Wednesday, February 6, 2008

"The LORD is nigh unto all that call upon him, to all that call upon him in truth." (Psalm 145:18)

Today's Daily Brief

1. McCain Stands Out on Super Tuesday as Dems Prepare for Fresh Rounds - CNN, Fox News and the Washington Times

U.S. Senator John McCain took a commanding lead over his Republican presidential rivals on Super Tuesday. Sen. McCain won in nine states: New York, New Jersey, Illinois, Connecticut, Delaware, Arizona, Missouri, Oklahoma and California, giving him 468 delegates. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney won in seven states: Massachusetts, Utah, Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota and Colorado and Alaska, for 158 delegates. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee came in third with wins in five southern states: Arkansas, Alabama, West Virginia, Georgia and Tennessee for 132 delegates. U.S. Rep. Ron Paul of Texas claimed nine delegates.

But there wasn't a clear winner in the Democratic race between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, forcing them to prepare for battle in the post-Super Tuesday states. Sen. Clinton won eight of the 22 states that had Democratic primaries or caucuses: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oklahoma and Tennessee. Sen. Obama won 13 states: Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah. New Mexico was still undecided with approximately 110 votes separating the two candidates.

For Republicans, 1,023 delegates were being decided Tuesday and 1,191 are needed to win the Republican nomination. On the Democratic side, 1,681 delegates were up for grabs Tuesday and 2,025 are needed to secure the party's nomination.

· Dearest Lord, Father of the Universe, we humbly and gratefully ask You to continue as the Leader of the selection process of the next President of the United States. May we as Christian participants be seen as true sons and daughters of Your Son, Jesus Christ; and may our actions reflect, "What Would Jesus Do?" We pray that we will remember to ask You for wisdom when we vote in all upcoming races according to Your values. We ask that the 2008 Presidential Election be remembered as one that was uniting and not dividing for the nation. May America be saved!

· "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you." (1 Peter 5: 6-7 NKJV)

2. Stocks See Not-So-Super Tuesday: "Recession Is Here" - Economists - ABC News and CNN

Wall Street plunged Tuesday, sending the Dow Jones industrials hurtling down nearly 370 points after investors saw an unexpected contraction in the service sector as evidence that the economy is sinking into recession.

A growing number of top economists believe that the U.S. economy has now toppled into recession. Alarm bells sounded Tuesday after the release of a report by The Institute of Supply Management showing declining activity in service businesses for the first time in nearly five years. The findings also showed that employers are cutting staff. Surveyed areas included the retail, transportation and health care industries as well as hard hit areas such as finance, real estate and construction.

· You have seen economies come and go, Lord, and have raised up civilizations and let them fall. May the people of America know that without turning to You there will be no lasting economic recovery, no matter who the next President of the United States is.

· "For He will deliver the needy when he cries, the poor also, and him who has no helper." (Psalm 72: 12 NKJV)

3. Al Qaeda Seen Planning Another Attack On U.S. - Washington Times

Senior al Qaeda leaders have diverted operatives from Iraq across the globe and are increasing preparations to strike the United States, senior intelligence officials told the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence yesterday. They said the terrorists had plans to attack the White House as recently as 2006, and added that al Qaeda is now recruiting Westerners to terror camps in Pakistan.

"Al Qaeda is improving the last key aspect of its ability to attack the U.S. - the identification, training and positioning of operatives for an attack in the homeland," said Michael McConnell, director of national intelligence, which oversees all 16 U.S. intelligence agencies.

· We could not sleep at night if not for Your protection, Lord. May these terrorists and their recruits be stopped before they commit any further attacks. May they, their families and friends, and their very countries be visited by Your Son, Jesus; so that they can accept Him as their Savior. Thank You for listening to our cries for help. Amen.

· "But God is the Judge: He puts down one, and exalts another." (Psalm 75: 7 NKJV)

4. Senate Delays FISA Action for Stimulus Package -

Though both Republicans and Democrats have said that updating surveillance laws is critical to national security, the legislation stalled in the Senate Tuesday as lawmakers considered the president's economic stimulus package instead. The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) sets guidelines on how the government can conduct surveillance for intelligence gathering. At the request of the intelligence community, Congress passed updates to the law in August. Congress has now passed a two-week extension to the updates known as the Protect America Act while it considers a more permanent solution.

· Man cannot give us the national protection we need from terrorists. In You, is our only hope for peace and security. We bow before Your throne, and ask for Your Holy Spirit to intercede for the security needs of America. In Jesus' Name, we pray. Amen.

· "All the horns of the wicked I will also cut off, but the horns of the righteous shall be exalted." (Psalm 75: 10 NKJV)

5. Tornadoes Leave At Least 50 Dead Across South, Injuring Hundreds - USA Today and Fox News

An estimated 60 tornadoes ripped across five Southern states Tuesday night, tearing through homes, ripping the roof off a shopping mall and blowing apart warehouses in a rare spasm of violent winter weather. The unusual winter storms that churned across the nation's midsection could claim 50 lives. Reported victims included 26 people in Tennessee, 13 in Arkansas, seven in Kentucky and four in Alabama. Mississippi also suffered storm damage but no reported loss of life.

President Bush said he called the governors of Alabama, Arkansas, Kentucky, Mississippi and Tennessee and assured them the administration was ready to help and to deal with any emergency requests. "Loss of life, loss of property - prayers can help and so can the government," Bush said. "I do want the people in those states to know the American people are standing with them."

· Dear Lord, You are in the little things; the last breaths of life, the last rain drops and the last tears. And, You are in the larger things, like the calming of the Sea of Galilee to increase Your disciples' faith. We ask that You will be in all of the details to restore these five states and their people to spiritual and material wholeness. May many come to know You as their Savior because of this tragedy, and may You be blessed for allowing these acts of nature to happen. You truly can do all things.

· "Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Peace, be still!' and the wind ceased and there was a great calm." (Mark 4: 39 NKJV)

6. Fears Over Russian Nuclear Threat To UK - London Telegraph

Russia may abandon the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987, which eliminated medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe and helped end the Cold War, according to an authoritative military study entitled "The Military Balance 2008." Russian President Vladimir Putin has already stopped following the Conventional Forces in Europe Treaty (CFE) of 1992 that restricts the deployment of troops and tanks near sensitive European frontiers, and is expected to formally withdraw from CFE later this year.

John Chipman, head of the International Institute for Strategic Studies which published the study; said that taken together, these steps would allow Russia to build a new generation of medium-range nuclear missiles capable of striking Western Europe. Its armed forces would also be free to deploy near any European country bordering Russia.

· Commander of the Heavenly Host, we humbly ask that the willfulness of Mr. Putin be reigned in so that he and Russia will have opportunities to know Jesus as their Savior and to live in peace, and not at war with the entire world. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

· "It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." (Hebrews 10: 31 NKJV)

7. Russia Plans Buildup In The Mediterranean: 'Russia Has Strategic Interests- World Tribune

Russia has completed a two-week naval exercise in the Mediterranean and plans to re-establish its footprint in the region. Russian Navy commander Admiral Vladimir Vysotsky said his force would establish a presence in areas deemed by Moscow as strategic. Vysotsky said this would include the Mediterranean and the neighboring Atlantic Ocean.

"What is important is that we have arrived in the Atlantic and the Mediterranean at a scheduled time and not just that we appeared there," Vysotsky said on February 3. "We'll do all we can to build up our presence where Russia has strategic interests."

· Dear Lord, it seems we ask every week for Mr. Putin to repent of his sins and turn to You for forgiveness and salvation. May we not become weary of asking for him and his people to repent of their sins so that they might be saved. May the strongholds of pride and arrogance be destroyed in his heart, Russia and the world; and may those whom they oppress be saved!

· "Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall." (Proverbs 16: 18 NKJV)

8. Three-Parent Embryo Formed In Lab - BBC

British scientists believe they have made a potential breakthrough in the treatment of serious disease by creating a human embryo with three separate parents, using DNA from a man and two women in lab tests. The Newcastle University team believe this could help eradicate a whole class of hereditary diseases, including some forms of epilepsy; and could ensure women with genetic defects do not pass the diseases on to their children.

Opposition include Josephine Quintavalle, of the pro-life group Comment on Reproductive Ethics, who said it was "risky, dangerous" and a step towards "designer babies." "It is human beings they are experimenting with. We should not be messing around with the building blocks of life." She further added that embryo research in the U.S. using DNA from one man and two women was discontinued because of "huge abnormalities" in some cases. Dr. David King, of Human Genetics Alert, also expressed concern about a "drift towards 'GM babies.'"

· Unbelievable, Lord, that mere humans would think that they can improve upon Your gift of life. May these scientists be forgiven for their audacity to tamper with Your creation of Life and be saved from their sins. May the scientific community look only to You for direction in their experiments. For Your glory we pray. Amen.

· Who among all these does not know that the hand of the Lord has done this, in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind?" (Job 12: 9-10 NKJV)

The Middle East in Focus

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

"I love you, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge. He is my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold." (Psalm 18:1-2)

1. IAF missiles kill 7 terrorists, Palestinian rocket barrage hurts 6 civilians - Israel Insider

In the wake of Monday's double suicide bombing attempt, the Israeli Air Force fired missiles at a Hamas base in Gaza, killing six Hamas militants. Responding to that and earlier targeted killings, Palestinians sent barrages of rockets into Israel, the latest a volley of eight Kassam rockets, one of which scored a direct hit on a home Sderot, leaving six people lightly wounded.

2. 3 Qassam rockets land in Ashkelon - Ynet News

Three Qassam rockets landed Tuesday night in southern Ashkelon. There were no reports of injuries or damage. Hamas claimed responsibility for firing the rockets.

Prayers for the Persecuted Church

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

"But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Mt. 5:44)

1. Egypt: Court Rules Against Convert - Worthy News

In a blow to religious freedom in Egypt, a Cairo court has ruled against a Muslim convert to Christianity who requested that his religious affiliation be changed.

2. Jordan: Authorities Expel Foreign Christians - Worthy News

Jordan has increased pressure on foreign Christians living in the kingdom, expelling many long-time residents over the past 13 months in what local churches see as an attack on their legitimacy.

3. Church Federation: Malaysian Airport Customs Seize Bibles - Fox News

Malaysian customs officials seized 32 Bibles from a traveler, a church federation said Monday, adding its voice to a raft of complaints that the Muslim-majority country is becoming less tolerant of other religions.

Judge Affirms Christian Man's Right to Share His Faith

A federal judge in Nebraska ruled Monday that a Christian can publicly share his faith.

Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed a lawsuit on behalf of Kevin Pulver, who was threatened by police with citations, arrest and a court appearance for attempting to speak peacefully in a public arena near Hastings College.

The court ruled against the unconstitutional ordinance, guaranteeing Pulver's First Amendment right to speak in public about his faith. ADF said the ruling benefits more than freedom of speech for just one individual, and is good for the entire Christian community.

"Christians shouldn't be penalized for expressing their beliefs. This is a public area where all people are allowed to speak their views under the First Amendment," said ADF Senior Counsel Nate Kellum. "Singling out and squelching religious speech is a clear violation of the Constitution."

(Source: CitizenLink; 2/6/08)

Campus Victory in Georgia

Christian Group Allowed to Return to Georgia Campus

Following a lawsuit by the Alliance Defense Fund and National Legal Foundation (NLF), Savannah State University will allow a Christian group to return to campus.

Savannah State expelled the group Commissioned II Love in September after university officials said the group's act of sharing the Gospel was "harassment" and its practice of washing the feet of new members was "hazing."

"The university is doing the right thing now in allowing this student group to return to being part of the campus community in the same way as other groups who also hold to distinctive beliefs and practices," NLF attorney Barry Hodge said.

(Source: CitizenLink)

Prayer for the Primaries

On Tuesday, February 12, two states will hold their primaries, as well as the nation's capital. Please pray now for the voters in these jurisdictions, that they will know and vote the will of God in next week's elections:

-- Maryland

-- Virginia

-- District of Columbia

· Earnestly intercede against media and special interest manipulation during this primary season. Pray that moral, God-fearing, pro-life, pro-marriage, and pro-family men and women be selected, supported, and find favor in local, state, and national campaigns. Intercede that the Lord reveal His choices, expose corruption, immorality, bribery, the occult, and hidden anti-biblical agendas.

(Source: Intercessors for America)

" . . . if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven." (Matthew 18:19)

For a complete guide to the Republican primaries, go here:

For a complete guide to the Democratic primaries, go here:

Frozen Stem Cells Save British Toddler's Life

SUMMARY: She was given just a 30 percent chance of survival before treatment.

A toddler with a rare form of cancer has been saved after she became the second person in Britain to be given a transplant using frozen umbilical-cord stem cells, Fox News reported.

Two-year-old Sorrel Mason, from Great Wratting in Suffolk, was given only a 30 percent chance of survival after being diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. Millions of stem-cell samples across the world were checked after no match was found in Europe. Doctors eventually found a partial match from stem cells taken from an umbilical cord frozen in Tokyo.

Sorrel made a complete recovery after undergoing treatment with the umbilical-cord stem cells from Japan at a Bristol children's hospital last year.

"We've known for some time that leukemia has been successfully treated using adult stem cells," said Dawn Vargo, associate bioethics analyst for Focus on the Family Action. "This story provides hope that the healing properties of adult stem cells can be harnessed even when the cells have been frozen."

Sorrel's mother, Samantha Mason, 38, thanked doctors for "pulling off a miracle."

(Source: CitizenLink)