Thursday, December 13, 2007

The Daily Brief - Wednesday, December 12, 2007

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

1. A Time To Weep For Colorado Church - CBN News, Fox News and The Denver Channel

Colorado Springs' New Life Church's Senior Pastor Brady Boyd sent out words of hope and direction to his congregation as it continues to deal with the deadly shooting at it's worship center Sunday. In an email update on the church's website, Pastor Boyd wrote, "The Book of Ecclesiastes says there's a time to weep, a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance." He asked New Life members to gather today for a special "family meeting," to worship, pray, mourn and begin their healing process. After the meeting, personal ministry and counseling will be available for attendees.

Boyd told his church family that despite the loss of sisters Rachael and Stephanie Works at the hand of gunman Matthew Murray, God's Spirit is sustaining this church family. "I have found that hope, faith and courage are alive and well in the people of New Life Church. We continue to pray for the Works family, who lost two teenage daughters, for the others who were injured, and also for the shooter's family. We all need the Lord's comfort and strength in the midst of this tragic situation." A "Works Family Memorial Fund" has been set-up by the church for those who would like to help meet the family's financial needs at such a tragic time.

On Monday, New Life volunteer security guard Jeanne Assam said she "did not think for a minute to run away," when a gunman entered the New Life Church in Colorado Springs and started shooting. She told the media that she had just concluded a three-day fast that morning seeking God's direction for her life. When confronted by the gunman, she knew without a doubt that, "God guided me and protected me." The 24-year old gunman, who is thought to have been seeking revenge against the Arvada, CO, Youth With A Mission (YWAM) ministry he once served; took his own life after being shot multiple times by Assam. New Life also hosts a YWAM ministry on site, and the Works sisters were participants.

· As news crews gather for tonight's New Life Church's Family meeting, may You Lord provide them privacy to heal. Thank You again, Lord, that more were not killed in Colorado this Sunday, and for providing protection for those in harm's way. May You be glorified in these tragedies and may many come to know You as their Savior as they seek help with understanding why You allowed these killings to happen. May You bless New Life Church with true "new life," and restore Youth With A Mission as it serves You worldwide.

· "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear." (Psalm 46: 1-2a NKJV)

2. Fed Cuts Key Interest Rate A Quarter-Point - MSNBC

The Federal Reserve gave borrowers a rate cut present for the holidays. Wall Street's response: Bah humbug!

Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke and all but one of his colleagues agreed Tuesday to trim the central bank's most important interest rate by one-quarter percentage point to 4.25 percent. That left the federal funds rate at a nearly two-year low. The action is aimed at preventing a housing and credit meltdown from pushing the economy into recession.

· Again, we pray Father, that Chairman Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve Board will turn to You for guidance in the wake of the Sub-prime mortgage debacle. May they know that You will correct those who created this financial calamity, and may they allow You to be their Guide as they seek ways to avoid a national recession.

· "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath; do not fret--it only causes harm. For evildoers shall be cut off; but those who wait on the Lord, they shall inherit the earth." (Psalm 37: 7-9 NKJV)

3. 'No Deal' On Spending On Hill - Washington Times

Capitol Hill Democrats' plan to pass long-stalled spending bills before the Christmas break by coupling it with emergency war funds unraveled as the White House and congressional Republicans held firm on budget limits. "There's no deal," said Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican. He vowed that his party wouldn't sell out either taxpayers or U.S. troops in Iraq as part of a budget compromise.

As negotiations faltered on the $522 billion omnibus spending package - which exceeds Mr. Bush's limit by about $18 billion - the Democrats' top appropriators lashed out at the administration. Congress is rushing to finish an omnibus package of 11 overdue spending bills before adjourning for the year. It passed into law one of the 12 annual appropriations bills for the fiscal year that began Oct. 1.

Currently, the federal government is running on a stopgap funding measure known as a continuing resolution, which expires Friday. The Democratic-led Congress could pass another continuing resolution to keep the government going into next year, but that would be an embarrassment for Democrats who promised to clean up the spending process. Lawmakers hoped to head home for the holidays by December 21st, at the latest.

· Dear Jehovah Jireh, the God Who Provides. May You please be the One who will provide for our nation's needs in spite of the dereliction of duty of those in Congress who should be leading and providing for our government, troops and country's overall well-being. May You receive all the glory for Your incredible help in our time of need. Amen.

· "Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." (Hebrews 4: 16 NKJV)

4. CIA Spy Calls Waterboarding Necessary But Torture - ABC News

A leader of the CIA team that captured the first major al Qaeda figure, Abu Zubaydah, says subjecting him to waterboarding was torture but necessary. In the first public comment by any CIA officer involved in handling high-value al Qaeda targets, John Kiriakou, now retired, said the technique broke Zubaydah in less than 35 seconds.

"The next day, he told his interrogator that Allah had visited him in his cell during the night and told him to cooperate," said Kiriakou in an interview broadcast on ABC News. From that day on, he answered every question," Kiriakou said. "The threat information he provided disrupted a number of attacks, maybe dozens of attacks."

· Thank You, Heavenly Father for working in terrorist Abu Zubaydah's life to make him speak the truth; even if it is through an interrogation procedure that may seem cruel, but has been proven essential to saving civilian and military lives. May he know that the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has visited him in prison and not allah, and may he have the opportunity to accept Your Son, Jesus Christ as his Savior. Thank You for saving many lives!

· "As He says also in Hosea: 'I will call them My people, who were not My people, and her beloved, who was not beloved. And it shall come to pass in the place where it was said to them, You are not My people, there they shall be called sons of the living God.'" (Romans 9: 25-26, and Hosea 2: 23 and 1: 10 NKJV)

5. Vladimir Putin Will Retain Power As Russia's PM - London Telegraph

Vladimir Putin will remain Russia's most influential man next year -- but as prime minister rather than president, his handpicked successor revealed today. Putin endorsed as his successor on Monday, Dmitri Medvedev, a young protégé with no background in the state security services and virtually no power base in the Kremlin.

Mr. Medvedev, a former First Deputy Prime Minister, who has no independent political pedigree and no ideology save for loyalty to his mentor of 17 years, is likely to be a ceremonial figure who defers to his prime minister.

· Oh help, dear Lord as "here we go again" with puppet governments. May Mr. Putin one day realize his days are numbered by You and that time is running out for him to meet and accept Your Son, Jesus as his Savior. May Russia and the world be protected from this demagogue who makes use of popular prejudices, false claims and promises in order to gain and retain power.

· "So teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom." (Psalm 90: 12 NKJV)

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. Post-Annapolis Talks Today In Jerusalem - NY Sun

Israeli and Palestinian Arab negotiators are expected to meet today in Jerusalem for the first in a series of talks scheduled after last month's gathering at Annapolis, Md.

2. Palestinian officials: IDF Gaza actions may sabotage talks - Ha'aretz

Palestinian officials warned Tuesday that Israel Defense Forces raids in the Gaza Strip endangered the newly revived peace process, coming a day before the first Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in seven years.

3. 'Limited Gaza ops having effect' - Jerusalem Post

A large-scale operation in the Gaza Strip has dropped to the back burner in recent days after an assessment within the defense establishment found that the daily border raids the IDF has been conducting have had an effect on Hamas's military capabilities, senior defense officials said Tuesday.

4. Rice rebukes Israel for divisive building plans - USA Today

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice on Tuesday rebuked Israeli officials for plans to expand a settlement in East Jerusalem, a step announced on the eve of a new round of Israeli-Palestinian negotiations.