Saturday, January 5, 2008

The Daily Brief - Friday, January 4, 2008

"I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. " (Rev. 22:13)

Today's Daily Brief
1. Obama, Huckabee Win Iowa Caucuses - AP

Sen. Barack Obama swept to victory in the Iowa caucuses Thursday night, pushing Hillary Rodham Clinton to third place and taking a major stride in a historic bid to become the nation's first black president. Mike Huckabee rode a wave of support from evangelical Christians to win the opening round among Republicans in the 2008 campaign for the White House.

· Pray that the Lord will sort out the presidential candidates as the primaries take place during the next several months and that His choice will come to the front. Many opinions will be expressed and much hype voiced, but the word of the Lord is what we want to hear. Pray for His man. · "Blessed is the man whom Thou chooseth, and causeth to approach unto Thee, that he may dwell in Thy courts." (Psalm 65:4a)

2. Electronic Passports Raise Privacy Issues -Washington Post

The federal government will soon offer passport cards equipped with electronic data chips to U.S. citizens who travel frequently between the United States and Canada, Mexico or the Caribbean. The cards can be read wirelessly from 20 feet, offering convenience to travelers but raising security and privacy concerns about the possibility of data being intercepted.

· Praise the Lord that doubts about security are being raised about the convenience of these new passports. Let the issuance of these passports be postponed until more security can be guaranteed. Terrorists, illegal aliens, and criminals must not be allowed to steal people's identity information to travel freely in the USA, and American citizens must be aware of the dangers. · "The thief cometh not, but to steal, rob, and destroy: I [Jesus] am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly." (John 10:10)

3. Doubts raised on sales of U.S. high-tech equipment to China - Int'l Herald Tribune

Six months ago, the Bush administration quietly eased some restrictions on the export of politically delicate technologies to China. The new approach was intended to help U.S. companies increase sales of high-tech equipment to China despite tight curbs on sharing technology that might have military applications.

· This business of selling technology to China, military or otherwise, must be curtailed. China is not our friend but will use our science and largess to copy whatever it can. Pray that Congress will examine closely our Fair Trade deals will China and put a stop to greedy deals. Pray that Congress will not be caught up in greed but will exercise wisdom in overhauling business with China. Communism still rules in China. · "He that hasteth to be rich hath an evil eye, and considereth not that poverty shall come upon him." (Proverbs 28:22)

4. Al Qaeda Announces Upcoming New Video by American-Born Spokesman - Fox News

The militant group Al Qaeda announced Thursday the imminent arrival of a new video message from American-born Islamist Adam Gadahn, making it the first message from the organization in 2008.

· Pray for this young American Adam Gadahn, for surely he has allowed himself to be strongly deceived by Islam. Probably there is is a wounded spirit within that opened the door to this deception. Pray that Christians will surround him and lead him to salvation in Jesus Christ. Ask the Lord to cancel the publication of this video. · "The bloodthirsty hate the upright: but the just seek his soul." (Proverbs 29:10)

5. Bush Urges Reconciliation In Kenyan Dispute - Reuters

President George W. Bush urged Kenyans on Thursday to refrain from further violence and called on Kenya's president and opposition leader to work together to resolve a bitter election dispute that has sparked bloody turmoil. 'It's very important for the people of Kenya to not resort to violence," Bush told Reuters in an interview at the White House.

Asked whether Kibaki and opposition leader Raila Odinga should share power, Bush said, "I believe that they have an opportunity to come together in some kind of arrangement that will help heal the wounds of a closely divided election."

· Continue to cry out to God, that He would show His mercy upon the nation of Kenya, and bring it his peace. Kenya has traditionally served as a light for the Gospel to go forth out of East Africa, and a "safe haven" and a refuge for that part of the continent. Bind the enemy that would rob, steal and destroy the destiny of Kenya; and pray for peace. · "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven." (Matt. 18:18)

6. Secretary Rice Meets With Libyan Foreign Minister Shalgam - Agence France Presse

Rice and Abdelrahman Mohammed Shalgam met for about an hour in what was the first meeting in Washington between a Libyan foreign minister and US secretary of state for 36 years, a symbolic US embrace of a former pariah state. Secretary Rice urged Libya to move forward in resolving outstanding claims by families of terror victims against the Libyan government and raised human rights as an important agenda item for our bilateral relationship.

· Offer praise for this new reality in Libya, and pray the blessing of the Lord over our renewed relationship with that nation. · "Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord; praise ye the Lord!" (Psalm 150:6)

7. The Enemy is "On The Run" in Iraq: Maj. Gen. Rick Lych Reports - AP

"Violence in Iraq has decreased by 60% since June, according to U.S. military figures, and the government has been sounding upbeat. The country is notably calmer than it was at the same time last year, when there were fears of all-out civil war," Maj. Gen. Rick Lynch told the Associated Press.

"My concern is when people begin to use words like defeat. We haven't defeated the enemy; we clearly have the enemy on the run. The main focus right now is al-Qaeda."

· Again, offer praise for this good report; and ask our Lord to continue to strengthen all troops that have been deployed to bring peace and stability to Iraq. · "In that day the LORD of hosts will be . . . for (a) strength to those who turn back the battle at the gate." (Isaiah 28:5a, 6b)

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:

"Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; Let Your glory be above all the earth. " (Psalm 57:11)

1. Bush sees Israeli-Palestinian peace deal in 2008 - AFP

US President George W. Bush believes an Israeli- Palestinian peace deal will be reached this year, according to excerpts of an interview published on Thursday ahead of his visit to the region.

2. Bush: Expansion of settlements hindering peace talks - Ynet News

US President George W. Bush on Thursday called Israeli settlement expansion an "impediment" to the success of revived peace efforts and urged the Jewish state to follow through on its pledge to dismantle unauthorized settler outposts.

3. Jerusalem seeks Bush okay for IDF free hand in West Bank - Ha'aretz

Israel is seeking to reach an understanding with the U.S. administration that would safeguard Israel's security interests in a future final-status agreement with the Palestinians and during current negotiations, government sources have said.

4. PA rejects Israeli demands for a demilitarized Palestine - Jerusalem Post

The prospects for a breakthrough in the peace process in the near future have dwindled following reports that Israel will demand that the future Palestinian state be demilitarized, Palestinian Authority officials in Ramallah said Thursday.

5. Olmert, Jordan's King Abdullah meet in Aqaba - Ynet News

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert met with Jordan's King Abdullah II in the latter's palace in Aqaba Thursday afternoon.

Prayers for the Persecuted Church

Prayers for the Persecuted Church

Tonight we are introducing our new, daily prayer point: Prayers for the Persecuted Church. Please join us in praying in the Spirit over the neediest among us, worldwide, who are suffering for the cause of Christ.

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

The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' (Matthew 25:40)

1. Pastors in Kenya Continue to Ask for Prayer (Personal message)

Kenya needs prayers for peace !

The situation here in Kenya is not promising yet, the opposition side have stood firm to proceed with the outlawed rally right in the heart of the busy Kenyan capital city Nairobi. There are Gun- Shots everywhere, with many families taking refuge in churches which are not safe either following the 300 people from Kikuyu community burned in a church building. There are over 40 different tribes who feel the elections where not free, and fair and that the president rigged the election. In my personal view it is true that the president rigged this election, and he should step down.

This unrest situation have claimed over 500 lives in most parts of Kenya and the government is playing it cool.There are many taking refuge in the police stations, transportation is now a dream to us, no food supplies in the towns, and even other basic needs are not accessible. We now fear for our lives. In Western Kenya, a police station was stormed and burned.

We lift up our eyes to Our dear Lord God, and so very strongly grab hold the book of Psalms 121, and 91.

Please, we need your prayers so very much at this point of need. May all the Glory be to Christ Jesus !

2. India: Fact-Finding Mission Suggests Christmas Violence was Preplanned - Compass Direct

Emerging facts indicate that India's largest spate of anti-Christian violence, which has rendered thousands homeless in Orissa's Kandhamal district, was preplanned. Three months before the series of attacks began on Christmas Eve in the mountainous district of Kandhamal, a newspaper report had warned that tensions were brewing between the Christian and non-Christian tribal communities over governmental affirmative action. Anticipating attacks during Christmas week, local Christians had on December 22 urged district authorities to provide police protection. Their pleas went unheeded.

3. Honduras: Pastor Says Robberies Target Ministries - Compass Direct

Church leader believes criminals infiltrating congregations to thwart social programs. The pastor of a large church here who was beaten and robbed last month for the second time in three years says organized criminals opposed to his stand against violence are behind the attacks.

4. Turkey: Police Arrest Suspect Plotting to Kill Pastor - Worthy News

Turkish police authorities over the weekend arrested a young suspect allegedly plotting to assassinate a Christian pastor in Antalya during the Christmas and New Year holidays.

5. Pakistan Christians Losing Hope As Ballot Is Postponed After Assassination - Worthy News

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf announced Wednesday, January 2, that Britain will assist in an investigation into the assassination of opposition leader and former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto who Pakistani Christians described as "the only hope" to end religious persecution.


January 9 - President Bush arrives in Tel Aviv in the afternoon

The President changed the itinerary of his trip late this week in order to fit in a visit to Capernaum, the Christian holy site.

January 9, 10 - On Wednesday and Thursday, while in Israel and the West Bank, (Judea and Samaria) the President will have meetings with Israeli President Peres and Prime Minister Olmert, and separately with Palestinian President Abbas and Prime Minister Fayyad.

January 11 - On Friday, the President will meet with Quartet representative Tony Blair to get an update on efforts to help build the institutions of a Palestinian state and enhance the Palestinian capacity to self-govern.

The President will also lay a wreath at the Holocaust memorial Yad Vashem before traveling to Kuwait, where he will meet with Amir Sabah.

January 12 - On Saturday, President Bush will visit with U.S. troops at Camp Arifjan (Kuwait). He will meet with Ambassador Crocker and General Petraeus to get an update on the current situation in Iraq. Also, the President will have a roundtable on democracy and development with Kuwaiti women. The President will then travel to Bahrain, where he will meet with King Hamad.

January 13 - On Sunday, President Bush will visit the U.S. Navy Fifth Fleet before traveling to the United Arab Emirates, where he will meet with President Khalifa. Following this meeting, President Bush will deliver a speech in Abu Dhabi. In that speech, he will talk about the progress we have seen in the Gulf, the progress of the freedom agenda in the region, emerging economic progress, and how regional security is important for both continued economic growth and for the spread of freedom.

January 14 - On Monday, President Bush will travel to Dubai, where he will be greeted by the ruler of Dubai. President Bush will then travel to Saudi Arabia, where he will meet with King Abdullah.

January 15 - On Tuesday, President Bush will be in Riyadh for meetings.

January 16 - On Wednesday, President Bush will travel to Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, where he will meet with President Mubarak. The President will depart Sharm el-Sheikh on Wednesday January 16 in the afternoon en route to Andrews Air Force Base.

(White House Press Briefing 1/3/08)

Pray for the safety and protection of President Bush, his aides, members of the Secret Service teams attending the Middle East meetings.

Ask the Lord to send GOSPEL MESSENGERS into their midst - that they may give a loving demonstration, and a compassionate witness of Jesus of Nazareth.

Jerusalem police chief Aharon Franco was quoted as saying that the three-day visit, which will start next Wednesday, will see a total of 10,450 police officers on the streets of Jerusalem to safeguard President Bush and his entourage.

[This article was reported by Intercessors for America.]

We also note that White House reporter Bill Koenig has been asked to accompany President Bush on this trip. Mr. Koenig is the author of the book, Eye to Eye - Facing the Consequences of Dividing Israel, and knows well the dangers of dividing the land of Israel and/or Jerusalem. Please pray along with us that Mr. Koenig's message, based on the Word of God, would be heard during this trip.

Values Voters Win Big in Iowa

Values Voters Win Big in Iowa

(Tony Perkins, Family Research Council)

Washington is reeling from last night's Iowa caucuses. A loud and clear message was delivered, but whether it will be heard is yet to be seen.

On the Republican side, Mike Huckabee's huge victory can be attributed to two primary reasons. First, he is real and his style reflects it. He is engaging and he talks with people, not at them. He is a great campaigner; he is the communicator in this presidential election cycle. Second, evangelicals, dispirited by Republican indifference if not outright hostility to their concerns, cast their ballots for candidates who line up with them on their top priority issues (for example, all of the top five finishers contend that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and should be corrected). Significantly, the top two finishers on the Republican side, Huckabee and Romney, were also the top two finishers in the Values Voter Straw Poll at FRC Action's Washington Briefing in October. Four months ago the talk was that Rudy Giuliani was going to be the GOP standard bearer. The party establishment's push for Giuliani is an outright message to values voters that their issues will not only take a backseat, as they have in so many Republican administrations, but they will be thrown off the bus entirely. Iowa evangelicals' voting pattern says, "If that is the way we are viewed by the other members of the conservative coalition, we are going with one of our own whom we can trust on our issues." The road ahead will be filled with challenges, but one thing is clear: the values voter turnout has reshaped this presidential campaign in a very good way.

On the Democratic side Barack Obama's victory last night sent a very similar message to a party that has grown accustomed to humoring its base. The message is: "Move over, we are taking the wheel." Like Huckabee, Obama comes across as real and he connects with his party's grassroots. On both sides, the next few months are going to be a contest between the party establishments and their respective bases. The presidential election will not be taking place in a vacuum; what happens here on Capitol Hill and in the White House is going to continue to influence this election. If each party continues to ignore the concerns of its core constituency, it will only fan the flames of change. More than any other election in recent time, this election has the potential to change the political landscape in America. One final note: there is less division on some issues in the land than our polarizing media often suggest. A Gallup survey that was released the day after Christmas and received little coverage reported that three in four Americans say that "family values" will play a role in determining their choice for president - for one in three Americans, "family values" are extremely important. Candidates who deny this fundamental "longing to belong" are the ones who are dividers, not uniters.

Dr. Dobson: Media 'Dead Wrong' About Values Voters

(Citizen Link; Focus on the Family)

Just a few months ago, the media were busy writing an obituary for Values Voters. On Thursday night, those voters apparently came back from the dead.

In Iowa's first-in-the-nation presidential caucuses, former Gov. Mike Huckabee finished first among Republicans, thanks in large part to evangelical voters.

"The results of the Iowa caucuses reveal that conservative Christians remain a powerful force in American politics," said Dr. James Dobson, founder and chairman of Focus on the Family Action. "That had to be a great shock to those on the far Left! The New York Times wrote a demeaning obituary of Values Voters in an article called The Evangelical Crackup. CNN piled on, proclaiming the demise of the 'old values,' referring to traditional marriage and the sanctity of human life. They and other media elites turned out to be dead wrong.

"Sixty percent of the GOP participants in the Iowa caucuses were self-identified evangelicals, and 45 percent of them backed Mike Huckabee," Dr. Dobson added. "The former governor may not become the Republican nominee, and I have not endorsed him, but what happened there last night was evidence of an energized and highly motivated conservative community. Not bad for a supposed bunch of demoralized, depressed, disillusioned and disengaged Reaganites."

Religion Deciding Factor In Iowa Caucuses
Religion Deciding Factor In Iowa Caucuses

The Iowa Caucuses proved, if anything, that religion is a driving force in American politics. Why else would an Islamic born and named candidate like Barack Hussein Obama and a Baptist preacher Mike Huckabee come from the back of the pack to win what is considered the first Presidential primary of 2008. The so-called front-runners were rejected by middle America-not by a little, but by wide margins. B. Hussein Obama won 38% of the Democratic vote, eight points better than John Edwards and a solid nine points ahead of Hillary Clinton who finished a distant third. Huckabee scored 34% of the Republican vote, trouncing Mitt Romney by 11 points and John McCain and Fred Thompson by 21 points.

Despite vicious attacks by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney about raising taxes and being weak on illegal immigration, evangelicals turned out in groves to support Huckabee. Huckabee, beginning the presidential race as a dark horse long shot, got nearly 40,000 votes in Iowa, compared with a little over 29,000 for Romney. Huckabee has not been afraid to discuss his faith and show his faith during his campaign life. He often invokes God and Jesus as he moves along the campaign trail in what seems to be natural and comfortable fashion. Romney, however, has been put on the defensive about his religion, Mormonism, considered by many as one of the largest cults in the world.

B. Hussein Obama is also all about religion. He has successfully run away from his Muslim roots in Indonesia where he was born of an American mother and an Islamic father. Being taught both Islamic and Catholic faiths as he grew up in Indonesia and Hawaii, Obama rejected any direct religion and became a member of a very liberal Church of Christ sect in Chicago where he was organizing churches for "union" causes as a young man. Obama invokes his faith by providing allusions to the Bible in his speeches, by discussing "faith" and "faith values" freely during his campaign, but he has questioned in his own writings whether Jesus Christ is his personal savior.

The two approaches of Huckabee and Obama are indicative of a new age of campaigning. Republicans, who have relied on conservative evangelicals for winning campaigns, are trying to invoke God and country wherever they can to maintain the Christian voting base. Democrats, who are trying to gain the evangelical base, are trying to win votes by talking about faith and faith values without ever mentioning Jesus Christ. Religion will be the deciding factor in the elections. 2 John 7 says, "For many deceivers are entered into the world, who confess not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh. This is a deceiver and an antichrist." Choose your candidates wisely for a nation is blessed or cursed by its leaders.

Bill Wilson

Word of Life Ministry

Remembering Pakistan in Prayer

Musharraf Appeals For Calm, Asks For Help In Bhutto Investigation

Pakistan's President Pervez Musharraf, warning that Pakistan faced "great danger," appealed for calm and unity as his government delayed crucial parliamentary elections until February 18, more than six weeks later than originally scheduled because of the country's "law and order" situation. In a televised address, Mr. Musharraf expressed grief over Mrs. Bhutto's death at a campaign rally last month in Rawalpindi, and announced that a team of British police from Scotland Yard would help in the investigation of Ms. Bhutto's death.

The elections are viewed as a key step in the country's transition to democracy and civilian rule after eight years of authoritarian rule under Mr. Musharraf, who came to power in a military coup in 1999. Musaharraf cited extensive damage caused by the rioting, looting and arson -- mostly in the Bhutto family stronghold of Sindh, and in Punjab -- in the wake of the assassination as the reason for delaying the election. He said that Islamist terrorists, who he blamed for the attack, were seeking to take advantage of the country's political troubles. Security and political concerns have sent Karachi's stocks into a tailspin after a banner year of gains.

Adding to Pakistan's current political uncertainty is the role that Mrs. Bhutto's widower, Asif Ali Zardari, and son will play in the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). Mr. Zardari isn't running for office in the coming parliamentary elections and, therefore, can't become prime minister. But his authority over the party -- he and 19 year-old son Bilawal Bhutto Zardari have been named co-chairmen -- ensures him a say in choosing the next premier if the PPP wins. That job would be likely to go to Amin Fahim, the party's most senior official in Pakistan before Ms. Bhutto's return from self- imposed exile in October.

The U.S. faces a small choice of potential partners in Pakistan; as Mr. Zardari; current President Pervez Musharraf and opposition leader Nawaz Sharif all have political baggage. Mrs. Bhutto's 19 year-old son and named successor in her will, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari won't be eligible to run for political office until he is 25 years-old under Pakistani law. (Wall Street Journal)

· Heavenly Father, only You knew that Benazir Bhutto would die before Pakistan's previously scheduled January 10 elections. Only You knew that her untimely death would set off a firestorm that not only threatens their elections, but the country's safety and the protection of its nuclear capabilities as well. Please restore Your calm and hope of salvation for this country that has been denied a right to know You as its true Savior and King. Please use Mrs. Bhutto's death to save many alive, and may the kind and caring love that she had for her nation live on and serve as a testimony for You. Thank You for allowing Your servant Joseph in Egypt, to know Your same salvation, grace and forgiveness after being sold into slavery by his brothers!

· "'But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant it for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore, do not be afraid; I will provide for you and your little ones.' And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them." (Genesis 50: 20-21 NKJV)