· The Daily Brief
· The Middle East in Focus
· Pray for the Persecuted Church
· The White House in Transition
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The Daily Brief Tuesday, December 2, 2008
"Salvation belongs to our God, who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb." (Revelation 7:10)
The Daily Brief
1. Churches Stand to Lose Several Billion Dollars in Lost Donations Due to Economic Downturn - Barna Group
A new survey from The Barna Group shows that more than 150 million adults said they have been affected by the economic turbulence, and most of them expect it to take several years before the nation fully recovers. Americans are now passing on their financial pain to churches and other non-profit organizations, by cutting back substantially on their giving during the fourth quarter of 2008.
· Lord, we pray pastors and church leaders will begin instructing believers about tithing and giving. People are being robbed when they do not know of God's promise to bless them if they are faithful to tithe. Let Your people become tithers.
· Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be food in My house, and try Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts, "If I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you such blessing that there will not be room enough to receive it. (Malachi 3:10 -13)
2. Early data show strong Black Friday - USA Today
The nation's retailers got a much-needed sales boost during Black Friday's traditional shopathon, as consumers, lured by deep discounts, spent nearly 3% more than they did last year. "Under these circumstances, to start off the season in this fashion is truly amazing and is a testament to the resiliency of the American consumer, and undeniably proves a willingness to spend," ShopperTrak co-founder Bill Martin said in a statement.
· Thank You, Lord for giving our people confidence to get their lives back in order. Let them be prudent to spend on the right things. Give all our nation a desire to save and be thrifty. Especially impress our leaders to show restraint.
· A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep. So shall your poverty come on you like a prowler, and your need like an armed man. (Proverbs 6:10, 11)
3. God in middle of security debate - Washington Times
State Representative Tom Riner, a Southern Baptist minister who was instrumental in establishing that requirement in 2006, disapproves of the fact that Homeland Security doesn't currently mention God in its mission statement or on its Web site. Included in the law is a requirement that the office must post a plaque at the entrance to the state Emergency Operations Center with an 88-word statement that begins, "The safety and security of the Commonwealth cannot be achieved apart from reliance upon Almighty God."
· We thank You, Lord for people like this minister to be bold and to speak up for righteousness! Bless him and give our other church leaders boldness also to speak out against those who go against You, and Your laws.
· But the Lord stood with me and strengthened me, so that the message might be preached fully through me, and that all the Gentiles might hear. And I was delivered out of the mouth of the lion. (2 Timothy 4:17)
4. U.S. 'Not Getting What We Pay For' - Washington Post
Talk to the chief executives of America's preeminent health-care institutions, and you might be surprised by what you hear: When it comes to medical care, the United States isn't getting its money's worth. Not even close. One fundamental problem is how doctors are paid, he said. Under the current fee-for-service scheme, "the more you do, the more you make," Kaplan said. There is no incentive to keep people out of doctors' offices, hospitals, imaging centers and dialysis clinics.
· We pray that this new administration and its leaders will get rid of wasteful programs and institute only the programs You would have in our government. We pray that no laws would be passed in healthcare to provide for abortions.
· Oh, that my ways were directed to keep Your statutes! Then I would not be ashamed, when I look into all Your commandments. (Psalms 119:5, 6)
5. Prop 8 Rematch Possible in 2010; Vt. Gov. Opposes 'Gay Marriage' Bill - Baptist Press
The American Civil Liberties Union, the city of San Francisco, and a host of liberal and homosexual activist groups remain hopeful that the California Supreme Court will overturn Prop 8 - a constitutional amendment that defines marriage between one man and one woman - but if they fail, they have a Plan B. The backup plan - already in the very early stages - is to place a constitutional amendment on the ballot to reverse Prop 8's effect. With Hollywood backing it, such a signature drive no doubt will be well-funded.
· Lord, we pray that all the plans that people have to legalize actions that go against your laws will be brought to nothing. We pray that they will come to an intimate knowledge of You, Lord, leading to salvation.
· You shall not lie with a male as with a woman. It is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22) Nor shall you bring an abomination into your house, lest you be doomed to destruction like it. You shall utterly detest it and utterly abhor it, for it is an accursed thing. (Deuteronomy 7:26)
6. Russia to Upgrade Missiles to Evade US Space Arms - Townhall.com
Russia's military is planning to upgrade its missiles to allow them to evade American weapons in space and penetrate any prospective missile shield, a Russian general said Monday. Although windfall oil revenues allowed the Kremlin to boost military budgets, Russian arms makers have had trouble producing new weapons because of the loss of key technologies and the exodus of qualified workers.
· Heavenly Father, we pray that all the tension between the United States and other countries - especially Russia, calms down.
· O my God, I trust in You; Let me not be ashamed; Let not my enemies triumph over me. (Psalms 27.1)
7. India: Pakistan must take 'strong action' against those behind attacks - Jerusalem Post
India has formally demanded that Pakistan take "strong action" against the people behind the Mumbai attacks.
· At last report, five terrorists who committed the atrocities last week in Mumbai, India, had not yet been found. Pray that they be found quickly, and stand against any further attacks in this normally peaceful and friendly city. Pray for wisdom and for calm, measured dialogue between the leaders of these two nations, as justice is served. Pray!
· "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)
8. Thailand slips further into chaos as court dissolves government - London Times
Thailand's government has been disbanded and the Prime Minister barred from politics for five years in a court ruling that has prompted fears of a slide into civil war.
· South Asia seems to be in turmoil these days, with Thailand the next nation that clearly needs our prayers. Ask our Lord to visit the people of Thailand with a supernatural infusion of His peace, and to grant their leaders "wisdom from above" as they seek to avoid civil war in the land. Pray, too, for the safety and the protection of the many Christian missionaries who are now inside Thailand. In these days of turmoil, may they find many opportunities to bring the unsaved to find the peace that salvation brings though the Blood of the Lamb.
· "The Lord loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of his unfailing love." (Psalm 33:5)
The Middle East in Focus
The Middle East in Focus This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming
THIS DECREE: "Arise, shine; for your light has come! And the glory of the LORD is risen upon you. For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and deep darkness the people; but the LORD will arise over you, and His glory will be seen upon you." (Isaiah 60:1-2)
1. 'Iran and Israel-PA peace to top agenda' - Jerusalem Post
President-elect Barack Obama named the Iranian threat and the effort to make peace between Israelis and Palestinians as two of the top three issues facing the incoming US secretary of state, in announcing Hillary Clinton as his choice for the post Monday.
2. Olmert refuses to heed Kadima call to resign - Jerusalem Post
The rift between Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and members of his Kadima Party is widening, with Olmert apparently working behind his finance minister's back by trying to come up with his own pension safety net plan.
3. Police heighten alert in Tel Aviv area - Ynet News
Police raised their alert level in the Tel Aviv metropolitan area following a warning on Palestinians' plan to carry out a terror attack. Roadblocks were set up in the entrances to, and exits from Tel Aviv, causing traffic jams.
Pray for the Persecuted Church
For all the needs listed below, let's pray THIS PROMISE this week for the persecuted church across the world: "And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto Me." (Matthew 25:40)
1. Hundreds Dead As Christians, Muslims Clash In Nigeria - Worthy News
At least some 400 people have been killed and thousands forced to flee their homes in the central Nigerian city of Jos where Christians and Muslims clashed in the worst sectarian violence in Africa's most populous nation in years. Fighting began Friday, November 28, amid a dispute over the result of a local election, witnesses said Saturday, November 29.
2. Egypt: Thousands Protest, Vandalize Church - Worthy News
Thousands of Muslim protesters on Sunday (Nov. 23) attacked a Coptic church in a suburb of Cairo, Egypt, burning part of it, a nearby shop and two cars and leaving five people injured.
3. Mexico: Oppression of Christians Persists in Various Parts of Country - Worthy News
As the number of evangelical Christians in southern Mexico has grown, hostilities from "traditionalist Catholics" have kept pace, according to published reports.
4. Egypt: Christians Arrested, Shops Looted in Village - Worthy News
Authorities in an Egyptian village arrested 50 Coptic Christians, whose shops were then looted, to pacify Muslims following violence that erupted on Nov. 4 over a Christian boy's unwitting break with custom.
The White House in Transition
1. World leaders welcome Hillary Clinton nomination - AFP
US allies gave a warm welcome to Hillary Clinton's return to the world stage as secretary of state but her husband, former president Bill Clinton, remained tight- lipped about the appointment. Britain, Japan and Israel all said they relished the opportunity of further strengthening relations with Washington under Clinton, although her nomination appeared to inspire little confidence of an upturn in ties in Russia.
· Hillary Rodham Clinton, in fifteen short years, has moved from serving the nation as our First Lady, to serving the people of the State of New York as their Senator, and now (potentially) to serve as our next Secretary of State. Mrs. Clinton has shown grace and wisdom in each postion she has held; pray that she will be blessed with a smooth transition now into the new mantle she is about to wear.
· "Ask, and ye shall receive . . ." (John 16:24)
2. Obama Dazzles Dems and GOP with Cabinet Picks - Fox News
President-elect Barack Obama has named half of his Cabinet members at record speed and earned positive reviews from both sides of the political aisle. After naming his economic team and his national security team at record speed, President-elect Barack Obama will now focus on filling the last half of his Cabinet. Rounding out his Cabinet will be the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Energy, Health and Human Services, Housing and Urban Development, Labor, Veterans Affairs, Transportation and Education.
· Offer praise the our prayers for the new President- Elect - that he be granted "wisdom from above" - have been heard and are being answered. Continue to pray for "all in authority."
· "Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (I Tim. 2:1-4)
3. Gates: I'll Be More Than 'Caretaker' - Fox News
Defense Secretary Robert Gates, speaking one day after he was formally tapped to stay on in the next administration, said Tuesday he has made an "open- ended" agreement to remain at the helm of the nation's military under Barack Obama.
· Some of Barack Obama's liberal critics are not pleased that Robert Gates has been chosen to remain on as the Secretary of Defense under the new administration. Offer praise that this very skilled leader will be able to continue to lead our defense policy in the days ahead, and ask that he will gain favor in the eyes of many.
· "When a man's ways are pleasing in His sight, He causes even his enemies to be at peace with him." (Proverbs 16:7)
4. Obama to Name Richardson as Commerce Secretary - Fox News
New Mexico Gov. Richardson will join President-elect Barack Obama at a news conference in Chicago on Wednesday.
· As each new name surfaces in this developing cabinet, lift up each one in prayer, again asking that each one be granted wisdom and understanding in his or her new position.
· "If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)
5. Chasm dividing Americans over birth certificate widens - WorldNetDaily
Opinions include, 'Constitution means what we say'The chasm between those who want President-elect Barack Obama to produce his birth certificate to verify his eligibility to hold the nation's highest office and those who simply support the Democrat is widening. "The Constitution means what we today decide it means," opined one participant on a new WND forum that offers readers an opportunity to express their opinion on the birth certificate dispute. Meanwhile, more than 120,000 have signed WND's petition seeking full disclosure of Obama's information.The petition cites the U.S. Constitution's requirement that no one can be sworn into office as president without being a natural born citizen. It also asserts there are questions about Obama's reported Hawaii birth, that the Democrat has refused repeated calls to document his birth, that activist judges have declined to require him to shed light on the issue and that Hawaii - at the time of Obama's birth - allowed parents whose children were born in other locations to register the birth there. (Read more.)
· At the end of the week, the justices of the Supreme Court will go into conference to weigh whether to pick up this case. Pray for wisdom as these justices meet. May our nation yet be not only "one Nation under God," but also "One Nation Under Law." Amen.
· "The Lord loves righteousness and justice . . ." (Psalm 33:5a) ". . . you shall surely set a king over you whom the LORD your God chooses; one from among your brethren you shall set as king over you; you may not set a foreigner over you, who is not your brother." (Deuteronomy 17:15)