Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Daily Brief - Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles." (Psalm 34:17)

Today's Daily Brief

1. Security Guard 'Probably Saved Over 100 Lives' -

Many people are expressing relief that a volunteer security guard used her own gun to stop a man on a shooting spree Sunday. "She probably saved over 100 lives," said Brady Boyd, the pastor of the New Life Church in Colorado Springs.

· We thank You, Lord, that You raised up a Deborah and Jael in a time of need! We pray that all who have affected by this attack will turn to You and give You the glory as this woman did! Bless her for not being proud and taking the credit, but giving it to You alone!

· "Most blessed among women is Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite; Blessed is she among women in tents . . . At her feet he sank, he fell, he lay still; at her feet he sank, he fell; where he sank, there he fell dead." (Judges 5:24, 27)

2. President Declares Disaster in Northwest - AP

President Bush declared a federal disaster for 11 counties in the Pacific Northwest on Saturday, clearing the way for federal aid after severe storms ravaged parts of Oregon and Washington.

· Lord, we pray that You will direct the steps, minds, and hearts of those You have appointed to restore all these counties. Let the restoration be quick, gentle, and thorough! And let everyone proclaim the mercy of the Lord that has lifted them from the miry pit! Hallelujah! Amen!

· "He also brought me up out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my steps. He has put a new song in my mouth. Praise to our God; Many will see it and fear, and will trust in the Lord." (Psalms 40:2, 3)

3. Midwest Ice Storm Causes Blackouts, Traffic Deaths - AP

Roads were treacherous Monday from the Plains into parts of the Northeast as a storm spread a coating of ice and freezing rain that blacked out a more than half-million homes and businesses. At least 15 traffic deaths were linked to icy roads. A state of emergency was declared for the entire state of Oklahoma, while Missouri had declared an emergency on Sunday and put the National Guard on alert.

· Lord, we pray for the first responders and everyone who have been affected by this treacherous ice and freezing rain so that they are covered with Your loving wings of protection and safety. Give them abatement from this and a time to be healed and be reestablished!

· "I will say of the Lord, "He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust." Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler." (Psalms 91:2, 3, 4)

4. Iran 'hoodwinked' CIA over nuclear plans - London Telegraph

British spy chiefs have grave doubts that Iran has mothballed its nuclear weapons programme, as a US intelligence report claimed last week, and believe the CIA has been hoodwinked by Teheran.

· You have said that every lie and secret sin will be uncovered, Lord. We believe that for whatever reason these reports were released, You will give wisdom and discernment to those who need to make critical decisions! Let the enemies of the U.S. be exposed in this!

· "Though his hatred is covered by deceit, His wickedness will be revealed before the assembly. Whoever digs a pit will fall into it, And he who rolls a stone will have it roll back on him." (Proverbs 26:26, 27)

5. Climate Change Meeting Moves Into High Gear -

An international U.N. conference in Bali moves into high gear on Monday with the arrival of senior delegations. But a spokesman said the U.S. team was "not ready" to make commitments on CO2 emission reduction targets.

· Heavenly Father, we know that You are in control over all of mankind's' resources and You are over all the earth! We pray that the leaders from the States will not be pressured by the senior delegates at this conference but, instead those in charge will make decisions only under Your direction! Amen!

· "For thus says the Lord, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: "I am the Lord, and there is no other." (Isaiah 45:18)

6. Chinese Factory Set to Become World's Largest Bible Producer - Fox News

The only authorized Christian publisher in China is celebrating a milestone on Saturday as the 50 millionth Bible rolls off the presses, according to a report in the Times of London.

· We rejoice at this news! Nothing is a surprise to You, Lord. Now help us to be ready and willing to spread the gospel when You open these doors of opportunity. Let nothing or no one impede this eternal work and let everyone be ready to receive salvation for eternity!

· Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; and let them say among the nations, "The Lord reigns." ( 1 Chronicles 16:31) Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: "Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." (Isaiah 6:8)

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:

Therefore thus says the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: My house shall be built in it. . . and a line shall be stretched forth upon Jerusalem." (Zechariah 1:14-16)

1. EU: 'Settlements could undermine Mideast peace' - Ynet News

The European Union joined the United States on Monday in expressing concern about new Israeli settlement activity, saying it could undermine US- brokered peace efforts.

2. Olmert pledges to 'forge path' to peace deal - Jerusalem Post

On the eve of the first peace talks in nearly seven years, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert on Monday promised to "forge a historic path" toward a final settlement with the Palestinians.

3. Egypt uncovers 500 kilograms of explosives in northern Sinai - Ha'aretz

Egyptian security forces have found 500 kilograms of TNT explosives in the northern Sinai desert believed to be destined for the Gaza Strip, a security official said Monday.

4. 60 Palestinians detained in IDF operation inside Gaza - Jerusalem Post; ICEJ News

About 30 IDF tanks and bulldozers moved into the southern Gaza Strip on Tuesday in an operation against Palestinian terrorists, the military said, setting off clashes with Hamas fighters firing rocket-propelled grenades and mortar shells. The incursion has cast doubts on whether the Palestinians will attend the first round of post- Annapolis talks scheduled for Wednesday at the King David hotel in Jerusalem.

5. Shas minister: Americans' attitude to report reminiscent of Auschwitz - Ynet News

"The manner in which the Americans relate to the intelligence report on Iran is similar to the way in which they viewed those reports they received during the Holocaust on railways transporting hundreds of thousands of Jews to their death at Auschwitz," Minister Yitzhak Cohen of Shas said during a security cabinet meeting Sunday morning on the Iranian nuclear issue.

Summary: Floor Action this Week in Congress



The Week of December 10<br>
Congress revs up the pre-Christmas cram this week with goals to put away budget, farm and defense bills.

In the House:

A year's worth of budget jockeying and jostling comes to a head this week, with Congress hoping to send the president a 0 billion bill, bundling in all discretionary spending minus the already passed defense bill. To win over enough GOP votes, while also appeasing anti-war Dems and avoiding a presidential veto, the final budget slims down billion in spending (half of the billion the president objected to) at the same time as adding billion in no-strings-attached funding for Iraq and Afghanistan and billion in "emergency" funding at home (for border security, farm disaster relief, and low-income heating).

House leaders battle back on the Alternative Minimum Tax this week. Like the Senate - and pretty much everyone in the US - the House wants to extend middle-class exemptions from the dreaded AMT. Unlike the Senate, the House prefers to cover the billion cost of a one year extension by raising taxes (or closing loopholes - take your pick) on hedge fund managers and multinational companies.

In the Senate:

The Senate revives the farm bill for debate this week, running the catch-all bill - that covers everything from food stamps to land conservation - through a gamut of amendments aimed at trimming down subsidies to high income farmers.

Senators may also squeeze in a second vote on a broad energy bill that didn't make it past the 60 vote threshold last week. This time around senators will carve out the controversial bits. What'll stay in: hiking gas mileage standards to 35mpg by 2020 (up from 25mpg today) and forcing gas companies to use 36 billion of biofuel by 2022 (with over half coming from "cellulosic" biofuel made from grass and woodchips). What's probably out: a requirement that 15% of electricity come from alternative energy and rollbacks on tax perks for oil companies.

Congress may also polish off a defense authorization and a terrorism insurance bill this week.

Focus on the Family Grieves Loss of Life

Focus on the Family Grieves Loss of Life

The Focus on the Family staff gathered Monday morning to offer prayer and support for the families and churches affected by two deadly shootings over the weekend.

Early Sunday, a shooter opened fire at a Youth With A Mission (YWAM) missionary center in a Denver suburb, killing two and injuring two. Later that afternoon, a gunman fired shots at New Life Church in Colorado Springs, taking the lives of two teenage sisters and wounding three others before being shot to death by a church security guard.

"The Focus on the Family community is grieving over the Sunday shootings at New Life Church and Youth With a Mission missionary center," said Dr. James C. Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family. "Focus on the Family was founded to help families and, during this time of crisis, we will continue to do that. We are working with area churches and pastors to provide counseling and support to those affected by the shootings."

Several Focus counselors have volunteered to serve on a local counseling team to help the community. The Focus emergency response team also has been working to increase security on campus, which is just down the road from New Life.

In an e-mail to employees, Focus on the Family President Jim Daly said: We all share the "same mixed emotions in light of the tragic shootings this weekend, the joy of the Christmas season inextricably mingled with sadness and sorrow for the families who have lost loved ones, as well as disbelief over the depth of despair that must have led to such violent and desperate acts."

May we "continually hold out the hand of all hope, strength, and comfort to a fallen and hurting world."

Shirley Dobson, chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force, said: "This is a disturbing and painful reminder of the culture of violence in which we live. During this time of deep sorrow, may God's comforting and loving presence sustain the many whose lives have been forever changed by this heartrending tragedy."

FOR MORE INFORMATION To assist those in the midst of tragedy, Focus on the Family is offering the following free resources:

Why God, Why? by Dr. James C. Dobson (for teens)

Good Grief: A Healthy, Courageous Response to Loss (for teens)

Surviving the Crises of Life

Colorado: Faith Under Fire

Colorado: Faith Under Fire

More information is coming out today surrounding the attacks on a Christian missionary center in Arvada, Colorado, and a mega-church in Colorado Springs this weekend. We do know that the shooter, Matthew Murray, reportedly came from a strong Christian family. He had been dismissed from the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) training program for "health problems" years ago but only recently started sending hate mail to the Arvada YWAM center.

There are several disturbing parallels to the Virginia Tech massacre. First, it appears as though his final online post occurred between the two attacks. Second, despite his upbringing, he was clearly motivated by an intense hatred for Christians, just as the Virginia Tech murderer was.

In his last online message, Murray reportedly wrote, "You Christians brought this on yourselves. All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world." It is worth noting that this hatred of Christians is constantly promoted by the radical Left - on their websites and in their books, articles etc.

But the heroism of Jeanne Assam, the volunteer security guard who confronted Murray, is also getting attention today. Assam is a former Minneapolis police officer whose training and faith clearly prevented a greater massacre. Before confronting Murray, she prayed.

Recounting the harrowing scene, Assam told reporters, "Because of the firepower [he had] versus what I had, I did not run away. I did not think for a minute to run. I was given the assignment to end this before it got too much worse. I just said, 'Holy Spirit be with me.' My hands weren't even shaking."

Christianity is defined by love and compassion, ultimately manifested in the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. In this fallen world, individuals and nations are required to make hard decisions. Sometimes those hard decisions involve a compassion that includes the just use of force in defense of innocent human life.

(Gary Bauer; End of Day; 12/11/07)

White House Celebrates Hanukkah

White House Celebrates Hanukkah

President Bush recognized Hanukkah on Monday by remembering the kidnapping and murder in 2002 of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl at the hands of Islamic militants in Pakistan. "His only crime was being a Jewish-American - something Daniel Pearl would never deny," Bush said as he celebrated the Jewish holiday that commemorates religious freedom and the successful fight against oppression.

Earlier in the day, Bush met in the Roosevelt Room with Jewish leaders, including many who have fled from religious oppression in countries like Iran and Syria and the Soviet Union. He also marked International Human Rights Day. "They came to America because our nation is a beacon of freedom," Bush said. "And they see a day of hope on the horizon when people all across the world will worship in freedom. The forces of intolerance can suppress the menorah, but they can never extinguish its light." (Associated Press)

[For more information on the White House Hanukkah celebration, including details of how the White House kitchen was "made kosher" for this event, please visit the White House website at:]

Links to Other Resources

Links to Other Resources

In order to keep our Briefs "brief," we ask you to explore other key sites on your own, as you continue to pray for our nation, for Israel, and for His Kingdom on earth.

Recommended sites include the following:


a. Intercessors for America

b. Family Research Council

c. End-of-Day by Gary Bauer

d. Citizen Link (Focus on the Family)

e. The Daily Jot

f. Traditional Values Coalition

g. Christian Coalition of America


a Worthy News

Bridges for Peace

c. Intercessors for Israel

d. The JerUSAlem Connection

" . . . every joint supplies . . ." (Eph. 4:16)