Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Daily Brief - Tuesday, January 9, 2007

1. U.S. Launches Attack on Suspected Al Qaeda Members in Somalia - AP

United States forces have launched a strike against suspected Al Qaeda members in Somalia, a senior U.S. official tells FOX News. The attack by the Air Force AC-130 gunship, capable of firing thousands of rounds per second, left casualties on the ground, but is not sure if any are suspected terrorists, the official said. The U.S.S. Eisenhower aircraft carrier is also in the region, within striking distance and loaded with firepower, and could be called into action if necessary.

• Pray that as the U.S., coalition, and Israel make these strikes against the terrorists, there will be no mistakes and innocent people killed. Pray that the violent gangs in Baghdad and other countries will dwindle immediately! • "When you go out to battle against your enemies, and see horses and chariots and people more numerous than you, do not be afraid of them; for the Lord your God is with you, who brought you up from the land of Egypt." (Deuteronomy 20:1) The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, And will say, 'Destroy!' (Deuteronomy 33:27)

2. President Bush to Address Nation Wednesday Night on Iraq - Washington Times

President Bush will address the nation at 9 p.m. EST Wednesday about his new approach to the war in Iraq, the White House said. Mr. Bush is expected to announce an increase of up to 20,000 additional U.S. troops.

• Praise God that He will direct the steps of men in spite of themselves! Pray that God’s plan will be followed instead of man’s ways in the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan. • "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8)

3. Pelosi Hints at Denying Bush Iraq Funds - AP

Democrats now running Congress will not give President Bush a blank check to wage war in Iraq, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday, suggesting they could deny him the money should he call for additional troops. "The burden is on the president to justify any additional resources for a mission," said Pelosi, D-Calif. "Congress is ready to use its constitutional authority of oversight to question what is the justification for this spending, what are the results we are receiving." She also said Democrats would not cut off money for those troops already in Iraq.

• Father, many have been filled with dread because of the recent elections. You remind us through this scripture that YOU ARE STILL IN CONTROL, and You will accomplish that which concerns You. We pray for those who have determined in their hearts that THEY can control things. Lord, we pray that You would have Your way with them, BEFORE they are humbled as King Belshazzar was.

"Because of the high position he gave him, all the peoples and nations and men of every language dreaded and feared him. . . But when his heart became arrogant and hardened with pride, he was deposed from his royal throne and stripped of his glory. He was driven away from people and given the mind of an animal; he lived with the wild donkeys and ate grass like cattle; and his body was drenched with the dew of heaven, until he acknowledged that the Most High God is sovereign over the kingdoms of men and sets over them anyone he wishes." (Daniel 5:19-21)

4. Breakthrough in Stem Cell Research May Influence Debate in the House - Los Angeles Times

Researchers have found stem cells in human amniotic fluid that appear to have many of the key benefits of embryonic stem cells while avoiding their knottiest ethical, medical and logistical drawbacks, according to a study published today. The stem cells – easy to harvest from the fluid leftover from amniocentesis tests given to pregnant women – were able to transform into new bone, heart muscle, blood vessels, fat, nerve and liver tissues, the study said. The finding points to a promising avenue of research that sidesteps the hurdles facing embryonic stem cell research, which has been stymied by moral objections to the destruction of embryos that occurs when the cells are harvested." (See article, below, from the Family Research Council for more on this vital topic and how it might relate to the Democratic agenda in the House.)

• Praise the Lord that new ways to arrive at critical medical solutions are being revealed to researchers without compromising ethical values and killing life – the embryonic stem cells. • "There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death." (Proverbs 16:25)

5. 110th Congress Most Religiously Diverse in History - Newhouse News Service, ABP

The new Congress will, for the first time, include a Muslim, two Buddhists, more Jews than Episcopalians and the highest-ranking Mormon in congressional history. Roman Catholics remain the largest faith group in Congress, accounting for 29 percent of all members of the House and Senate, followed by Baptists, Methodists, Presbyterians, Jews and Episcopalians. Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) is the first Muslim to be elected to Congress. His decision to take his oath of allegiance on the Quran - rather than a Christian or Hebrew Bible, as is typical for incoming members of Congress - prompted Virginia Rep. Virgil Goode to call it a threat to American values. The Buddhists are Reps. Mazie Hirono (D-HI) and Hank Johnson (D-GA). Unlike Ellison, their religious affiliation was not publicized during their campaigns. (Reported by Intercessors for America)

• Pray that even with the diversity, Congress will be directed by the one and only true God. Pray for Christian Congressmen to be a strong witness of true Christianity these next two years. No one comes to the Father except by Christ! • Jesus said to him, "I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me." (John 14:6)

6. "Families First on Immigration" Urges Compromise on Reform - Sons of Issachar

More than thirty leading Christian organizations have come together to forge a compromise on the controversial issue of immigration reform. “Families First on Immigration” is urging both Democratic and Republican leaders to adopt a compromise that would ensure border security, provide “amnesty” for illegal aliens already in the US that are relatives of citizens, and end birthright citizenship. The coalition is headed by Manuel Miranda, the chairman of the Third Branch Conference. The proposal is likely to evoke criticism from both camps in the immigration debate.

• Pray for godly wisdom for our leaders in both houses of Congress as they grapple with the thorny issues of border security and possible immigration reform. Immigration reform proposals are extremely controversial and provoke much disagreement, even among Christian leaders. Pray for passage of legislation that emphasizes our security first and foremost, before addressing the status of illegal aliens, a guest worker program, etc.
"For the upright will dwell in the land, and the blameless will remain in it; but the wicked will be cut off from the earth, and the unfaithful will be uprooted from it." (Proverbs 2:21,22)

7. Gas-Like Odor Spreads Through NYC - AP

A natural gas-like odor hung over much of Manhattan and parts of New Jersey, confounding authorities. The smell seemed to be gone by early afternoon. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said there was no indication the air was unsafe. "It may just be an unpleasant smell," he said. He said sensors did not show an unusually high concentration of natural gas, and the city's major utility company reported it found no gas leaks.

• Pray for the safety of the citizens of New York City and its surrounding communities. • "He will give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways." (Psalm 91:11)

8. Execution sparks Arab support for Saddam - Houston Chronicle

"Five sublime minutes at the hanging rope created the myth," columnist Abdel-Halim Qandil wrote in Al- Karama. "The story of Saddam the bloody dictator has become a martyr and hero . . . Saddam's stature has grown since his execution - when he answered insults and taunts with disdain - overshadowing the memories in much of the Arab world of the massacres and other atrocities committed by his regime.

• Lord, we pray for the heavy slumber that You can bring upon all those who would stir up strife and violence! • "The stouthearted were plundered; they have sunk into their sleep; and none of the mighty men have found the use of their hands. At Your rebuke, O God of Jacob, Both the chariot and horse were cast into a dead sleep."(Psalms 76:5,6)