Wednesday, January 3, 2007

Daily Brief - Wednesday, January 3, 2007

1. Gerald Ford Laid to Rest in Michigan Hometown - AP

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Vice President Dick Cheney handed the flag which draped Gerald R. Ford's casket to his widow Betty moments before the 38th president was laid to rest at his presidential museum and library in his hometown.

Volleys of ceremonial cannon fire rang out, taps was played, and flights of F-15 Strike Eagles provided a 21-aircraft salute. The echoes of the reverberating cannon fire crackled through the solemn ceremony.

• Offer praise for the gracious manner in which our former president was honored throughout his state funeral. May the unity of our nation in the time of the passing of a head of state serve as a witness to the nations. May we continue to serve as a "light to the nations," showing them the true path of peace. • "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; . . . honour to whom honour." (Romans 13:7)

2. Massachusetts Lawmakers Vote for Proposed Marriage Amendment - AP

Lawmakers in Massachusetts Tuesday voted for a proposed constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, a necessary step to put the measure on the 2008 ballot.

• Lord thank You for the proposed amendment, may it pass easily in 2008. We ask that You move on the hearts of the people of Massachusetts. May You set revival fires in that land, and reach to every citizen with Your love and truth. • "Fools mock at sin, but among the upright there is favor." (Proverbs 14:9)

3. Democrats To Start Without GOP Input - Washington Post

As they prepare to take control of Congress this week and face up to campaign pledges to restore bipartisanship and openness, Democrats are planning to largely sideline Republicans from the first burst of lawmaking. House Democrats intend to pass a raft of popular measures as part of their well-publicized plan for the first 100 hours. They include tightening ethics rules for lawmakers, raising the minimum wage, allowing more research on stem cells and cutting interest rates on student loans. But instead of allowing Republicans to fully participate in deliberations, as promised after the Democratic victory in the Nov. 7 midterm elections, Democrats now say they will use House rules to prevent the opposition from offering alternative measures, assuring speedy passage of the bills and allowing their party to trumpet early victories.

• Father we bind the plans of those who would use midterm elections to promote partisanship in this Congress. We ask that You bring love of country, love of the people, and love of Christ back to our nation's leadership no matter what party they belong to. • ". . . before they call, I will answer; and while they are still speaking I will hear. . ." (Isaiah 65:24)

4. "Israel-Palestinian Conflict Is Key," New UN Chief Says - Jerusalem Post

The new secretary-general of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon of South Korea, said on Monday that the Israeli-Palestinian issue was at the core of solving all the problems in the Middle East. the issues with the conflicts between Israel and Palestine go well, [resolutions of] other issues in the Middle East, including Lebanon, Iran, Iraq and Syria, are likely to follow suit. I will meet with the concerned parties as soon as possible," Ban said in an interview posted on the paper's English Web site Monday.

This position is widely at variance with Jerusalem's position, which is that the roots of the problem in the region are terrorism, Islamic radicalism and extremism, and hatred of the West.Despite Ban's comments, Israel warmly welcomed the new secretary-general, who officially took office on Sunday.

• Lord we apply the Blood of Jesus over Israel and ask that Your angelic host surround them. We declare truth to the region and stand fast against false political solutions that give concessions to a vicious enemy. • "I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth." (Isaiah 62:6-7)

5. Sunni areas erupt in rage over Saddam - AP

Rage over the hanging of Saddam Hussein spilled into the streets in many parts of the Sunni Muslim heartland yesterday, especially in Samarra, where a mob of protesters broke the locks of the badly damaged Shi'ite Golden Mosque and marched through carrying a mock coffin and photo of the executed former Iraqi dictator.

• Lord we ask Your movement across the nation of Iraq for conviction of sin, righteousness, and judgment of the wicked. • "And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment." (John 16:8)

6. Iran: Mahdi will defeat archenemy in Jerusalem - Ynet News

A triumphal religious prophecy has appeared on an Iranian official state media website, heralding the return of the Shiite messiah. According to the website, "Imam Mahdi (may God hasten his reappearance) will appear all of a sudden on the world scene with a voice from the skies announcing his reappearance at the holy Ka'ba in Mecca."

• Father we know that no antichrist may take over the world until the time set forth in Your heavenly realm. We also rejoice that You are the one true God and no other is worthy of praise, glory or honor. • "He is a shield to those who walk uprightly, He guards the paths of justice, and preserves the way of His saints." (Psalm 2:7-8)

7. Romania and Bulgaria join EU - Int'l Herald Tribune

Romania and Bulgaria joined the European Union on New Year's Day, helping to end geographic divisions left over from the Cold War and extending the borders of the now 27-member bloc eastward to the Black Sea.

• Lord may the wind of Your Spirit take down all worldly kingdoms centered at The Hague, and may the mindsets of all 27 EU members be transformed to the mind of Christ. • "And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise. . . " (Daniel 2:21)