Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Daily Brief - Tuesday, April 8, 2008

""Like Your name, O God, Your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is filled with righteousness." (Psalm 48:10)

Today's Daily Brief
1. U.S., North Korea Hold New Nuclear Talks Amid Warning While Iran Rejects Nuclear Incentives - Fox News, Ha'aretz; NewsMax

U.S. envoy, Assistant Secretary of State Christopher Hill, warned North Korea that time was running out in negotiations as he held a new round of talks with North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, his diplomatic counterpart to resolve a deadlock over the communist nation's nuclear program. "We are not looking for an agreement," said Hill, a top U.S. nuclear negotiator.

Meanwhile, Iran rejected recent European overtures to halt its uranium enrichment program in return for incentives and vowed Saturday to continue to expand its nuclear program. Iran's president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, boasted on state television that Iran has begun installing 6,000 new centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz.

· Heavenly Father, how much longer will You allow man to act as if they were a god? May those who selfishly seek to harm others, including Israel, be put out of leadership and be brought down in humility so that they cannot advance their destructive nuclear plans. May they and their people repent of their sins and be saved unto You. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

· "At Your rebuke they fled; at the voice of Your thunder they hastened away."
(Psalm 104: 7 NKJV)

2. Security in Iraq: Better, But Also 'Fragile and Reversible' -

Gen. David Petraeus said in the past seven months, there has been "significant but uneven security progress" in Iraq. He also said he's not ready to keep pulling troops out of Iraq beyond July. Gen. Petraeus, updating the Senate Armed Services Committee on the security situation in Iraq Tuesday morning, said in the past seven months -- since Petraeus last appeared before Congress -- there has been "significant but uneven security progress" in Iraq. The top military commander in Iraq also said he's not ready to keep pulling troops out of Iraq beyond July.

On the bright side, Petraeus said security now is better than it was last September -- and it is "significantly better" than it was 15 months ago, when the troop surge decision was made. He said not only has the U.S. troop surge helped -- but the Iraqis have had a surge of their own, adding more than 100,000 additional soldiers and police to its forces in 2007. He also mentioned an attitude shift in the Iraqi population, which is more willing to contribute to local security; and the ceasefire declared by anti-American Shiite cleric Muqtada al Sadr last fall.

· Gracious Father, we thank You for the positive shift in attitude towards America and her forces in Iraq. Please continue to grant wisdom to General Petraeus as he deals not only with the troops that You've entrusted to him, but also as he interfaces with the President, the Administration and Congress. May the American people see the truth and revere and thank this gallant soldier whom You've chosen to help keep Iraq free. May many be saved in Iraq and throughout this incredible world that You have created! In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

· "You have also given me the shield of Your salvation; Your right hand has held me up, Your gentleness has made me great." (Psalm 18: 35 NKJV)

3. 70 Percent of Voters Oppose China Hosting Olympics -; Reuters

Most U.S. voters say it was wrong to let China host the Olympic games, but they also say boycotting the Beijing Games would not change the country's human rights policies, a new poll revealed Tuesday. Zogby International said 31 percent believe the U.S. Olympic Committee should boycott the Beijing Games and 23 percent think President George W. Bush should order a U.S. boycott to protest China's record on human rights. The Olympic Torch is scheduled to arrive in San Francisco this Wednesday despite previous attempts in London and Paris to extinguish the flame.

· May we seek Your Face, Lord, in matters of national accomplishment; and not seek fame through a man- made Olympic Torch tour. The ancient Greeks' great civilization that spawned the Olympics is now history. May we remain a civilization that forever honors You and Israel, and be a force for good in the world that You created. For Your glory, we pray. Amen.

· "Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God." (1 Corinthians 10: 31 NKJV)

4. Iran Rejects Nuclear Incentives - NewsMax

Iran rejected recent European overtures to halt its uranium enrichment program in return for incentives and vowed Saturday to continue to expand its nuclear program.

· Continue to pray for the people of Iran, that they might find Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord. Continue to bring "pressure" to bear, through intercession, against President Ahmadinejad, asking God to soften his heart in this nuclear race, responding to these incentives. Pray!

· "For it is not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord." (Zech. 4:6)

5. Ahmadinejad: We've expanded nuke program with 6,000 centrifuges - Ha'aretz

Iran has begun installing 6,000 new centrifuges at its uranium enrichment plant in Natanz, state television quoted President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as saying Tuesday.

· Pray that this stubborn spirit be bound from President Ahmadinejad and that this captive be set free to know Jesus! Ask our Lord to loose His angels to "stand guard" over these centrifuges, so that harm comes to no one.

· "Pray without ceasing . . ." (I Thess. 5:18)

The Middle East in Focus

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

"Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for you are My servant: I have formed you; you are My servant: O Israel, you shall not be forgotten of Me." (Isaiah 44:21)

1. 'Day Four of the War' - Israel's Largest Emergency Drill Ever - (

The State of Israel is under attack from Syria, Lebanon and Gaza according to the practice exercise starting Sunday. The IDF Home Front Command, in cooperation with "Rachel" (the newly established National Emergency Authority), local authorities, different governmental offices, security and rescue teams and the educational system will participate in a comprehensive national training exercise which will take place across the country beginning Sunday.

Israelis awoke to radio announcers describing the scenario being practiced for: It is the fourth day of the war. Israel is under missile attack from the Hizbullah in Lebanon and from Syria. Kassam rockets and Grad- type Katyusha missiles are being launched at Netivot and Ashkelon from Gaza.The IDF dispatched a statement assuring citizens that the drill has been planned "as part of the IDF 2008 work plan," and emphasizing: The exercise was not planned in relation to any current events.

2. Civilian Population Joins Nationwide Home Front Drill on 3rd Day - (

Israelis throughout the country were "alerted to a nationwide emergency" at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday morning when air raid sirens kicked off Day 3 of the five-day Home Front security drill to implement lessons learned in the 2006 Second Lebanon War. Tuesday marks the first day in which the civilian population joins the IDF and government workers in the exercise, which is continuing at local authorities, public institutions, IDF bases and police stations.

The sirens were activated for 90 seconds, prompting teachers and school administrators to take children in schools and preschools to shelters where they were to stay for approximately 10 minutes as sirens rose and fell, rose and fell. In an actual emergency, the public will be notified and given instructions over public address systems and through the media.

3. Olmert and 'Abbas Point Fingers, Achieve Little - The Media Line

The first meeting between Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud 'Abbas in more than seven weeks offered little beyond finger-pointing, each leader accusing the other side of failing to perform its obligations under the Road Map peace plan. The three-hour meeting at the prime minister's official residence in Jerusalem on Monday followed U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's visit, during which she obtained a series of Israeli gestures aimed at alleviating the situation of the Palestinians.

Israel has since removed 50 road obstacles and one permanent checkpoint and has made a number of concessions regarding manpower and equipment for the Palestinian security forces. But the Palestinians say that the gestures are not enough and charge that continued building by Israel in post-1967 territories and continued military operations in Palestinian areas negate those gestures and prevent any progress toward peace. The Israelis contend that the Palestinians have made little or no progress in ending terror, as is mandated according to Road Map. They point to the ongoing firing of rockets from the Gaza Strip into Israel. Despite the lack of progress, the two leaders expressed their belief that an agreement could still be signed by the end of President George W. Bush's term - a statement seen more in the nature of an obligatory mantra than a heartfelt conviction.

4. Israel won't work with fence watchdog - Jerusalem Post

Israel will not cooperate with the head of a UN body surveying Palestinian damages resulting from the West Bank security barrier, an official in the Israeli Mission to the UN said Monday.

5. Insider leaks plans for Palestinian state - WND

U.S.-backed negotiations between Israelis and Palestinians are expected to generate an agreement by the end of the year that would set up a Palestinian state in the West Bank and eastern sections of Jerusalem, according to a source who has participated in the talks.

Prayers for the Persecuted Church

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

"God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer." (Psalm 66:19)

1. China Detains House Church Leaders For Running "Evil Cult" -- Worthy News

House church leaders and other Christians remained detained Sunday, April 6, in China's Sichuan Province, on charges of running an "evil cult" after security forces raided their house church and Sunday School, fellow Christians said.

2. Uzbekistan Police Raid Christian Gathering -- Worthy News

A devoted Christian in Uzbekistan's second largest city faced more police interrogations Saturday, April 5, after security forces broke up a Christian home meeting, a well-informed rights group told BosNewsLife.

3. Vietnam Christian Prisoner Tortured To Death, Friends Say -- Worthy News

A Vietnamese Degar Montagnard Christian who refused to join the Communist-backed church in Vietnam's Central Highlands has been tortured to death in prison, while other detainees were beaten for declining to renounce their faith in Christ, representatives told BosNewsLife.

Is "Conceiving a Child" Punishment?

Is "Conceiving a Child" Punishment?

Question Raised by Senator Obama is Debated on the House Floor

Congressman Joseph Pitts (R-PA), Chairman of the House of Representatives Values Action Team, vigorously responded yesterday on the House floor to Senator Barack Obama's speech in which Obama said a child would be a punishment for one of his daughters (along the same lines as a sexually transmitted disease).

Congressman Pitts stated in his remarks on the House floor on Thursday: "Mr. Speaker, in a recent speech in my home State of Pennsylvania, one of the candidates for President referred to the possibility of his daughter conceiving a child as a ``punishment.'' In referring to his own two daughters, he said, 'I am going to teach them first about values and morals, but if they make a mistake, I don't want them punished with a baby. I don't want them punished with an STD.'"

I agree that teens should be taught about values and morals. But I find it disturbing that any candidate for high office finds the notion of a grandchild to be punishment, a punishment on the same level as a sexually transmitted disease. Have we come this far? Has the opposing party embraced an ideology that is so opposed to life that a grandchild is seen as a punishment? In the same speech he said, 'This is an example where good people can disagree.' Well, I see nothing good about believing a grandchild is a punishment. Not his most eloquent or uniting speech."

Christian Coalition of America commends House Values Action Team Chairman Joe Pitts for not allowing this to go unnoticed by the American people! (Christian Coalition of America) · Praise the Lord for the alertness of Congressman Joe Pitts to Sen. Obama's ill-conceived remarks. Ask the Lord to bring more morally alert representatives to Congress, more who, like Congressman Pitts, are pro-life and able to recognize the difference between a sexually transmitted disease and a grandchild. Please pass this article along to your friends and neighbors. Pray for the soul of Sen. Obama.

· "They [ workers of iniquity] gather themselves together against the soul of the righteous and condemn the innocent blood." (Psalm 94:21)

Are the Golden Arches . . . Pink??

McDonald's signs onto 'gay' agenda

Family restaurant puts executive on board of homosexual chamber

McDonald's restaurant's, famed for the Golden Arches, Ronald McDonald and kids meals, has signed onto a nationwide effort to promote "gay" and "lesbian" business ventures.

The company, which is listed on the website of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce as a "corporate partner and organization ally" for an undisclosed financial contribution, also recently placed one of its executives on the NGLCC board of directors.

Earlier this month, the chamber confirmed that Richard Ellis, vice president of communications of McDonald's USA, was elected to the special interest chamber board.

"We could not be more delighted with the addition of Richard to the Board," said NGLCC co-founder Justin Nelson. "Richard brings his extensive experience in communications and public affairs to a dynamic team of leaders."

Said Ellis: "I'm thrilled to join the National Gay & Lesbian Chamber of Commerce team and ready to get to work. I share the NGLCC's passion for business growth and development within the LGBT community and I look forward to playing a role in moving these important initiatives forward."

McDonald's officials declined today to return a WND call seeking a comment on the placement of its executive on the "gay" advocacy organization, but did send a subsequent e-mail confirming the corporation's support for the agenda of the homosexual business lobby.

"McDonald's is indeed a Corporate Partner and Organizational Ally of NGLCC. Our vice president of U.S. communications, Richard Ellis, was recently elected to its board of directors," said the brief statement from Heidi M. Barker, senior director of media relations, to WND. (Read more.) [WorldNetDaily]

· The majority of the employees of the MicDonald's Corporation are genuinely shocked and grieved at this news, for McDonald's has ALWAYS been a "family friendly" company -- in the traditional sense of the word. Pray that Senior Management in this company will come to its senses and REVERSE its support for the NGLCC, for if not, a major boycott will surely follow. Pray!

· "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him,[a] who[b] have been called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

MLK's Niece: Calling America Back to the Cross

MLK's niece calls U.S. back to the cross of Christ

Last week marked the 40th anniversary of the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr. Dr. Alveda King says her uncle would have been proud of the great leaps made by the civil rights movement. However, she says her uncle would not approve of the overall state of the nation and its moral decline.

"He would not be calling on God to do anything really bad to America; although, he would warn us [that] God's judgment is here. [He would remind us that] if you don't do what God says, you will experience His judgment. But there's a wonderful [verse], many times in the Scripture it says, the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life. So he would always be pointing back to the victory at Calvary," Dr. King contends.

She is encouraging Christians to vote their values in the upcoming presidential election. But for, she notes, there is one issue that trumps all others.

"I have to vote for life -- so whatever candidate is in there, if he or she is not for life and not for strong marriage and family, I can't vote for them. But I told everybody to look at all three candidates. Don't give anybody a free pass. Make sure that your candidate is lining up with your values and things that you believe in." she notes.

Dr. King has just co-authored a new book titled Freedom. She is also author of How Can the Dream Survive If We Murder the Children? Abortion is Not a Civil Right. She is also the founder the faith-based organization King for America. (One News Now)


San Francisco Braces for "THE TORCH"

The Olympic torch will arrive in San Francisco on Wednesday, making its only U.S. appearance en route to Beijing. San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom talks about the symbolic visit, and how the city is bracing for planned demonstrations protesting China's failure to address human rights issues. (NPR) Read more.

· Please cover this event in earnest prayer, for there are many issues being stirred up on Wednesday in San Francisco. Offer repentance for our culture, which has followed the teachings of Greek humanism rather than the teachings of Scripture, leading us astray. The Greek culture is a root of homosexuality and perversion. As the Torch touches ground in San Francisco, break the "soul tie" between the Greek spirit and one that hovers over that city.

Regarding the Olympics to be held in Beijing, lay axe to every bitter root that has caused friction over the years between America and China, asking for cleansing and reconciliation between our two peoples. (See our "Call to Repentance," April 6, for more details on this point.)

Finally, pray for the SAFETY of all the citizens of San Francisco tomorrow, and repent for the idolatry that surrounds this flame. Amen.

· Because of the covenant I made with you, sealed with blood, I will free your prisoners from death in a waterless dungeon. Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles. Judah is my bow, and Israel is my arrow. Jerusalem is my sword, and like a warrior, I will brandish it against the Greeks. (Zech. 9:11-13)