Thursday, September 6, 2007

The Daily Brief - Wednesday, September 5, 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. Ohio Rep. Paul Gillmor Dies at 68 - AP

Ohio Rep. Paul Gillmor, a Republican whose political career covered four decades, has died. The body of the 68-year-old congressman was found by staff members who went to his apartment Wednesday after he failed to show up for work, according to a Republican aide who spoke on condition of anonymity pending an official announcement. There was no immediate word on the cause of his death.

"Born, raised and educated in our home state of Ohio, Paul never lost sight of the reason he came to Congress - to serve this great institution and his constituents with dedication and distinction," House Republican Leader John Boehner, also of Ohio, said in a statement. "With the passing of Paul Gillmor, the people of northwest Ohio have lost a favorite son," said House Republican Conference Chairman Adam Putnam, R- Fla.

Congressman Gillmor is survived by his wife, Karen, and five children.

· Ask our Lord to bring His comfort, in the way that only He is able to do, to the family of Paul Gillmor and to his friends. May he long be remembered for the good work he did while he served in the United States Congress.

· "Blessed are those that mourn, for they shall be comforted." (Matthew 5:4)

2. Sen. Craig Backpedals on Resignation After Arrest in Sex Sting - Fox News

Sen. Larry Craig says he may still fight for his Senate seat, a spokesman says - if the lawmaker can clear his name with the Senate Ethics Committee and a Minnesota court where he pleaded guilty after his arrest in an airport men's room sex sting.

· Pray for clarity in thinking for Senator Craig. The scripture says "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one," causing confusion (Matthew 5:37). May the truth be undeniably revealed!

· "Wisdom's ways are pleasant ways, and all her paths are peace." (Proverbs 3:17)

3. Building Projects Fill Gap In Economy - USA Today

State and local governments are in the middle of a building boom that has helped keep the economy afloat and offset job losses from the decline in home construction. The construction of sewer plants, schools, ball fields and other government facilities soared 11.1% in the first four months of the year to a record annual rate of $257 billion, according to a USA TODAY analysis of the most recent Census data.

· We thank You, Lord for the increase in our nation's building industry!

· "May the Lord give you increase more and more, you and your children. May you be blessed by the Lord, who made heaven and earth." (Psalm 115:14-15 NKJV)

4. Churches May Get Pressure On "Gay" Tenets - NY Sun

Congress may soon call on religious institutions ranging from summer camps to charities to declare up-front whether they are unwilling to hire gay employees. A bill that, if passed, would become the first federal law to prohibit employment discrimination against gays contains a broad exemption for religious organizations. But to qualify for that exemption, religious groups would have to declare "which of its religious tenets are significant" and must be adhered to by employees.

Lawyers say this requirement could put pressure on religious organizations to state a doctrinal prohibition against homosexuality in order to continue to legally exclude gay job applicants.

· Heavenly Father, we humbly ask and plead with You to stop this onslaught of homosexual favoritism in America and throughout the world! May You be glorified through this latest assault on Your natural order of things in the universe that You created!

· "I love the Lord, because He has heard my voice and my supplications. Because He has inclined His ear to me, therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live." (Psalm 11: 1-2 NKJV)

5. Germany Foils Terror Plot, Defense Official: 'There Was An Imminent Threat' - AP

Three suspected Islamic militants allegedly plotted 'massive' attacks on major U.S. Air Force base and Frankfurt airport. The terrorists, from an al-Qaida- influenced group nursing "profound hatred of U.S. citizens" were arrested on suspicion of plotting imminent, massive bomb attacks on U.S. facilities in Germany, prosecutors said Wednesday.

German Federal Prosecutor Monika Harms said the three, two of whom were German converts to Islam, had trained at camps in Pakistan run by the Islamic Jihad Union, a group based in Central Asia. They had obtained some 1,500 pounds of hydrogen peroxide for making explosives.

· Gracious Lord, again You have thwarted a massive plot to kill unsuspecting soldiers and civilians! Only You know the past, present and future and we are grateful for all that You do to protect us. We would not have survived this far as a nation since the 9/11 attacks without You!

· "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, keeping watch on the evil and the good." (Proverbs 15: 5 NKJV)

6. Advisers Tell Bush To Stand Pat On Iraq - ABC News

President Bush's senior military and legislative advisers on Iraq have recommended he stand by his current war strategy, and he is unlikely to order more than a symbolic cut in troops before the end of the year, administration officials told The Associated Press on Tuesday.

· Oh Lord, how You are truly the solid rock on which we stand! Please continue to steadfastly influence our president and his advisers on how to proceed with the Iraqi war and may its end be ordained by You, to glorify You, and to bring as many possible into Your kingdom!

· "Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established." (Proverbs 16: 3 NKJV)

7. Iranians Turn "Massively" To Christianity, Despite Execution Threats - BosNewsLife

Despite reported execution threats and police abuse, Iranians "massively" turn to Christianity, fueling an "unprecedented" demand for Persian Bibles and New Testaments, BosNewsLife learned from Iranian sources Saturday, September 1.

· May Your Holy Spirit continue to descend upon Iran, Iraq and the Middle East! May Israel and her allies be saved!

· "And it shall come to pass afterward that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions." (Joel 2: 28 NKJV)

8. Felix, Henriette Pack Dangerous Winds - ABC News

Felix walloped Central America's remote Miskito coastline and Henriette slammed into resorts on the tip of Baja California as a record-setting hurricane season got even wilder Tuesday with twin storms making landfall on the same day. Felix, a Category 5 hurricane, caused at least three deaths and damaged thousands of homes in Nicaragua. It's rains posed a danger to inland villages lying in flood-prone mountain valleys and to urban shantytowns susceptible to mudslides.

· We thank You, Lord for the low number of fatalities and casualities from this monstrous storm that occured so soon after the last Category 5 storm, Hurricane Dean! Please continue to give all of us grace to endure such calamities and cling to You for our true help!

· "Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, 'Peace, be still! And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, 'Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?' And they feared exceedingly, and said to one another, 'Who can this be, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?'" (Mark 4: 39-41 NKJV)

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. Sderot kids to attend school on Knesset lawn - ICEJ News

Ministers call for drastic measures to stem rockets
Following the Kassam rocket strike on a local daycare center early Monday, angry Sderot parents have decided to keep their children out of school indefinitely, and are even arranging to hold classes Wednesday on the Knesset lawn to compel the government to better protect their community.

2. Israel threatens to cut water, lights in Gaza - ICEJ News

Security cabinet decides against large-scale incursion
The Israeli security cabinet met in emergency session on Wednesday to consider a response to Monday's barrage of Kassam rockets on Sderot that nearly struck a daycare center, and although no massive ground assault was ordered, the government is exploring the option of temporary cuts in utilities and commodities to Gaza.

3. IDF warns Hamas stronger than expected in West Bank - ICEJ News

With 80,000 weapons, terror militias could topple Fatah there as well
After making recent re-assessments of the on-going power struggle between Hamas and Fatah, IDF intelligence believes that more than 80,000 illegal arms are in the hands of terror militias in the West Bank and Hamas could oust Fatah from power there just as in Gaza, according to a Jerusalem Post exclusive report.

4. Report: Ahmadinejad to meet Palestinian leaders in Teheran - Jerusalem Post

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad is expected to meet with Palestinian faction leaders in Teheran on Thursday, according to a report Wednesday in the United Arab Emirates paper Al-Khaleej.

5. Court delivers symbolic victory to Palestinians on W. Bank barrier - Ynet News

In an embarrassing blow to the Israeli government, the Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the state to redraw the route of its West Bank separation barrier near a Palestinian village that has come to symbolize opposition to the enclosure.

Coral Ridge Pastor D. James Kennedy Dies at 76

Dr. D. James Kennedy, founder and senior pastor for 48 years of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church (CRPC) in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., passed away peacefully in his sleep at approximately 2:15 a.m. at his home with his wife of 51 years, Anne; and his daughter Jennifer, by his bedside, following complications from a cardiac event last December. He was 76. Dates and times for a public viewing and funeral and private interment will be released when available.

Dr. Kennedy preached his last sermon from the pulpit of Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church on Christmas Eve Sunday 2006. He suffered a cardiac arrest four days later on Dec. 28, and has since been unable to return to the pulpit. The church announced his retirement on Aug. 26, beginning a process to choose his successor, and had planned a tribute worship service honoring the extensive ministry of Dr. Kennedy on Sept. 23.

"There are all kinds of wonderful things I could say about my dad," said daughter Jennifer Kennedy Cassidy. "But one that stands out is his fine example. He 'walked the walk' and 'practiced what he preached.' His work for Christ is lasting -- it will go on and on and make a difference for eternity." (

· Abba Father, we know that today, you have welcomed our brother, D. James Kennedy, into Your presence and we thank You for his life that he dedicated to You. Please comfort and keep his wife, daughter, family, friends and all those whose lives have been impacted by his ministries in Your loving care. He will be missed, but we pray his Godly legacy will live on for Your Glory and Praise!

· "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; You have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your Lord.'" (Matthew 25:21 NKJV)

Republicans Slam Islamic Society Convention

Republican lawmakers are urging the Justice Department not to participate in a convention held by the Islamic Society of North America - a group named as an unindicted co-conspirator in an ongoing terrorism-financing case. In a letter to Attorney General Gonzales, Reps. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), ranking member of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, and Sue Myrick (R-NC) called the Justice Department's involvement a "grave mistake." Citing The Washington Times, which broke the story on Monday, the lawmakers' letter said: "Establishing a partnership with ISNA is exactly the wrong approach at this critical juncture in history, setting a precedent that radical jihadists should be the conduit between the U.S. government and the American Muslim population, and we urge you to reconsider your decision to establish an official relationship with ISNA."

Rep. Peter T. King (R-NY), ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee, said he agrees that Justice officials should not attend the conference. "It is absolute insanity for the federal government, especially the Department of Justice, to be giving any credibility at all to a group like the ISNA, which has such strong links to Islamic extremism," Mr. King said.

Justice Department spokesman Erik Ablin said in an e-mail that the Civil Rights Division and other government agencies - including military recruiters - frequently attend the convention "as part of its outreach and education efforts." According to an e- mail from Susana Lorenzo-Giguere, acting deputy chief of the Voting Rights Division, the plan to "co- sponsor an exhibit booth" will involve sending government lawyers to man it for the Labor Day weekend event in Illinois. "This is an important outreach opportunity, and a chance to reach a community that is at once very much discriminated against, and very wary of the national government and its willingness to protect them," Mrs. Lorenzo-Giguere said in an e-mail obtained by The Washington Times.

Rank-and file lawyers within the Justice Department object to participating at the ISNA convention, fearing it will undermine the case against the Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.

An ISNA spokesman attending the conference but not available yesterday for comment previously said the group welcomes any government agency that can provide information beneficial to the Muslim community. According to the ISNA Web site, there are three levels of convention sponsorships that allow organizations to operate a booth in the convention hall: diamond, ruby and pearl. The Justice Department has declined to reveal how much money will be spent to obtain a booth.

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), member of theSenate Homeland Security Committee, said his staff is investigating government spending on conference- related activities. "There are few internal fiscal or policy checks on conference spending to ensure tax dollars are not being wasted or being spent to promote agendas that run contrary to our national interests, such as the Justice Department sponsored event by an unindicted co-conspirator in an ongoing federal terrorist case," Mr. Coburn said. (Washington Times)

· Only the mercy of the Lord could have prompted someone to contact the Washington Times about the Justice Department's involvement in the Islamic convention. Praise the Lord for the watchman's alertness and may that person have the Lord's blessings and personal protection. Consider contacting your federal Congressmen and Senators about this issue that Sen. Coburn has presented. Pray for more committed Christians to have significant positions in the Justice Department.

· "Surely the righteous shall give thanks unto Thy Name: the upright shall dwell in Thy presence." (Psalm 140:13)