Friday, September 7, 2007

Daily Brief - Friday, September 7, 2007

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!" (Psalm 46:10)

1. Bin Laden Video Urges Americans to Convert to Islam - AP

Usama bin Laden appeared for the first time in three years in a videotape Friday released ahead of the 6th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, telling Americans they should convert to Islam if they want the war in Iraq to end, according to a transcript obtained by FOX News. Bin Laden made no overt threats and did not directly call for attacks, according to the transcript. Instead, he addresses Americans, lecturing them on the failures of their leaders to stop the war in Iraq despite growing public opposition in the U.S.

· This tape is actually a very dangerous signal to all Americans, for before a Moslem attacks, he must invite his intended target to embrace the teachings of Islam. Continue to stand your watch against any and all incursions in the days immediately ahead. Cry out for mercy for our nation -- a mercy which we do not deserve, but which is the nature of our heavenly Father to bestow, even so. Stay alert and be prepared in all ways: spiritually, mentally, physically and emotionally.

· "Have no fear of sudden disaster or of the ruin that overtakes the wicked, for the LORD will be your confidence and will keep your foot from being snared." (Proverbs 3:25,26)

2. Western Interests At Risk in Nigeria, US Warns - MSNBC

U.S. and other Western installations are at risk of terrorist attack in Africa's most-populous nation, and U.S. citizens should exercise vigilance in the West African nation, the U.S. Embassy said Thursday.

· Lord we thank You for this warning and pray that Your shield of protection will be in place over the Western interests in Nigeria.

· "The Lord is my strength and my {impenetrable} shield." (Psalm 28:7 Amp)

3. Study Shows Iraqi Forces Far From Ready To Take Over - AP

Critical to U.S. plans for redeploying American troops from the battlefield, Iraq's security forces appear far from ready to take over the fight against al-Qaida and insurgents, an independent report concluded.

· Lord we once again come before You in humility. We understand that it is not by might nor by power that we can win any conflict, but by Your Spirit. We ask that You send Your Spirit to move in the Iraqi people to change the very nature of the battle in Iraq so that democracy and freedom can come to this nation.

· "Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit says the Lord of hosts." (Zech 4:6)

4. Judge rules parts of USA Patriot Act anti-terror law unconstitutional - Int'l Herald Tribune

A federal judge struck down parts of America's top anti-terror law as unconstitutional Thursday, saying courts must be allowed to supervise cases where the government orders Internet providers to turn over records without telling customers.

· Our Righteous Judge and Governor of Nations, we ask for Your wisdom to flow into and over our judicial system. We pray for protection and laws intended for the good of our nation.

· O let the nations be glad and sing for joy: for thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth. (Ps.67:4)

5. Impact of Financial Upheaval 'Yet to Play Out,' Treasury Official Tells House Panel - Fox News

The full impact of the upheaval in financial markets "has yet to play out," a top administration official said Wednesday, while stressing that the effect will be dampened somewhat by solid economic growth.

· Our trust is forever in you, O Lord. We ask for Your blessings of labor and provision as we seek Your kingdom. We seek Your protection from financial failures in our economy.

· Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labor: this is the gift of God. ( Eccl. 5:19)

6. Virus linked to destruction of honeybee hives - USA Today

Scientists may have discovered the cause of a devastating syndrome in honeybees that has destroyed 50% to 90% of hives in the USA -- posing enormous problems for crops that depend on them to reproduce.

· Lord, our land needs healing in many areas. Stir Your people to seek Your face in prayer that brings healing and blessing.

· If my people which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; them will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. ( II Chr. 7:14)

The Middle East in Focus

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

"Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care. Today, if you hear His voice." (Psalm 95:6-7)

1. Israel 'prepared' for conflict after Syria alleges IAF flyover - Jerusalem Post

Israel is "fully prepared" for the possibility of a conflict in the North, defense officials said late Thursday, after Syria alleged it had fired on a pre-dawn IAF flight over the coastal city of Latakia.

2. Barak: IDF nearing large Gaza operation - Jerusalem Post

Defense Minister Ehud Barak confirmed Wednesday that Israel was nearing a large incursion into the Gaza Strip in response to Kassam rocket fire.

3. 'IDF aircraft didn't attack' - Ynet News

Israeli aircraft "dropped bombs on an empty area while our air defenses were firing heavily at them," a Syrian official said Thursday, clarifying an earlier Syrian accusation that Israel had bombed its territory. A Syrian minister admitted that it remained unclear whether the Israeli aircraft had actually carried out an attack.

4. Iran: Israel will be responsible for escalation in region - Ynet News

Iranian Ambassador to Damascus Mohammad Hassan Akhtari on Thursday condemned the alleged violation of the Syrian airspace by Israeli aircraft.

5. Messianic Jews Under Fire in Israel - CBN News

The state of Israel promises religious freedom to all faiths. However, in some Israeli towns, Jews who believe that Jesus is the Jewish Messiah face persecution. One of those places is in a town called Arad.

Damascus Report: Israeli Warplanes over Syria

Israeli Air Force planes were fired on by the Syrian Army early Thursday morning [September 6]. The Israel Defense Forces [IDF[ refused to comment, telling all media inquiries that they do not respond to "these kinds of reports." Immediate reports were confused. Some described the warplanes as dropping bombs in Syria, while the Syrian new agencies said they "dropped ammunition."

The second assessment is most likely as the Israelis may have wanted to reduce weight to assist their maneuverability. They were fired upon by Syrian air defenses after the planes crossed into Syrian airspace shortly after midnight. Whatever was dropped landed in deserted areas without causing any human or material damage, according to reports.

Haaretz newspaper quoted a Syrian spokesman: "We warn the Israeli enemy government against this flagrant aggressive act and retain the right to respond in an appropriate way! The Israeli enemy aircraft infiltrated into the Arab-Syrian territory through the northern border, coming from the Mediterranean heading toward the eastern region, breaking the sound barrier."

Publicly, both Israeli and Syrian officials have been playing the peace card for months. The European Union foreign policy chief Javier Solana in a recent visit to Jerusalem saw no reason for any immediate conflict between the two. Israel recently reduced its presence on the Syrian border, and IDF intelligence had reported Syria had also downgraded it war readiness.

Some analysts say the Thursday morning incident may have been an attempt to start a new Syrian thrust to access the Golan. This event remains mysterious. If indeed Israel warplanes crossed into Syrian air space, what was their mission? It seems something went badly astray, and an international incident may well be the consequence.

(By Ron Ross, BFP Israel Mosaic Radio, September 6, 2007)

· Pray for Israel and the safety of her people as we wait to see how this crisis develops.

· "In You, O LORD, I put my trust; let me never be ashamed; deliver me in Your righteousness. Bow down Your ear to me, deliver me speedily; be my rock of refuge, a fortress of defense to save me." (Psalm 31:1-2)

(Source: Bridges for Peace)

H.Res. 635: Recognizing Ramadan

Rep. Eddie Johnson [D-TX] introduced H.Res. 635: "Recognizing the commencement of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and spiritual renewal, and commending Muslims in the United States and throughout the world for their faith."

The text of the bill includes this statement: "the House of Representatives recognizes the Islamic faith as one of the great religions of the world," and "the House of Representatives acknowledges the onset of Ramadan and expresses its deepest respect to Muslims in the United States and throughout the world on this significant occasion."

· Stand in repentance that this travesty is even going to be considered for passage next week in the House of Representatives of the United States of America! We are "one nation under God" -- the GOD of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob -- NOT the god of Islam! Cry out for mercy for our nation, for we have surely lost our way . . . and decree that this bill will NOT pass in Congress when it goes to the floor for a vote.

· "All we like sheep have gone astray; we have all turned to our own way, and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isaiah 53:6)

· "O God, restore us and cause Your face to shine upon us, and we will be saved." (Psalm 80: 3,7,9)

White House Calls for "Days Of Prayer And Remembrance"

Today, the White House released a proclamation declaring September 7th, 8th and 9th as National Days of Prayer and Remembrance as we approach the sixth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. Below are excerpts of the president's proclamation:

"During this year's National Days of Prayer and Remembrance, we honor the thousands of victims who died in the brutal and ruthless attacks in New York City, Pennsylvania, and at the Pentagon on September 11, 2001. Our Nation remembers with gratitude the firefighters, police officers, first responders, and ordinary citizens who acted with courage and compassion to save the lives of others, and we pray for the families whose loved ones were taken from them.

"Never forgetting that terrible day, we remain determined to bring our enemies to justice, defy the terrorists' ideology of hate, and work to make our world safer. We honor the members of our Armed Forces who died while taking the fight to our adversaries, and we are grateful for those who continue to protect our Nation and our way of life. Their courage, sacrifice, and dedication help preserve our freedom. We pray for their safety, for all those who love them, and for the peace we all seek.

"During these days of prayer and remembrance, we reflect on all we have lost and take comfort in each other and in the grace and mercy of our Creator. May God guide us, give us strength and wisdom, and may He continue to bless our great country."

(Source: Gary Bauer; End of Day; 9/6/07)