Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Daily Brief - Wednesday - March 26, 2008

" He rules forever by his power, his eyes watch the nations - let not the rebellious rise up against him." (Psalm 66:7)

Today's Daily Brief

1. Large Derivative Dangers Threaten Global Markets - CBN News

Add up the gross domestic product for all the world and it comes to about $50 trillion. And now there's wild trading going on between investors in something called "derivatives" that adds up to more than $700 trillion. The Federal Reserve and other officials, are worried this massive trade in derivatives is so big and in some cases, possibly so dangerous, it could threaten the world's markets and your pocketbook.Phil Kerpen, a policy analyst at Americans for Prosperity, a group promoting free markets, said that if you go back a few centuries, you'll find the origin of derivatives was innocent enough: farmers wanting to protect the price for their crops. The contract itself was the "derivative" because it was derived from something else: the crops and the agreed-upon price for them. Over time, the derivatives market exploded, from simple futures contracts for farmers to buying heating oil. So derivatives aren't actually assets, but deals made about assets. And in many cases, they're just bets.·

Whew! Only You God would understand and give us "heads up" knowledge concerning such an involved way of investing that could threaten the entire world's economy. May those who deal in derivatives come to see Your law of weights and measures and not bet on future profits before they are available and in the bank for payment. Lord, may we as a nation be saved from greed and learn to rely on You, the God who owns everything.·

"Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths."(Prov 3: 5-6)

2. Government Benefit Programs In Trouble - ABC News

Trustees for the government's two biggest benefit programs warned that Social Security and Medicare are facing "enormous challenges" with the threat to Medicare's solvency far more severe. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, one of the trustees, warned of a fiscal train wreck unless something is done.In their once-a-year analysis, the trustees said the resources in the Social Security trust fund will be depleted by 2041. The reserves in the Medicare trust fund that pays hospital benefits were projected to be wiped out by 2019. Both programs are expected to come under increasing pressure as 78 million baby boomers start retiring and drawing benefits.·

Gracious Lord, You have taught us wisely to number our days. May we do that and walk ever more closely with You, praying for our government officials and asking that they will seek Your guidance and make wise decisions regarding our retirement benefits that we have paid into over the years.

Please, may our youth inherit a positive and not a negative economic and retirement benefit situation, one in which they will prosper, too, like you have allowed us to do; and not perish.· "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)

3. Big Chunk Of Antarctic Ice Shelf Falling Apart - AFP

Antarctica's massive Wilkins Ice Shelf has begun disintegrating under the effects of global warming, satellite images by the University of Colorado's National Snow and Ice Data Center showed. The Wilkins Ice Shelf is a broad plate of permanent floating ice 1,609 kilometers (1,000 miles) south of South America, on the Southwest Antarctic Peninsula.Ultimately, ice shelf breakup in the Antarctic -- more than 13,000 square kilometers (5,000 square miles) have been lost over the past 50 years -- could significantly increase ocean levels around the world.

According to some calculations based on the present sea level rise of three millimeters per year (0.11 inches), ocean levels could rise by 1.4 meters (4.6 feet) by the end of the century.

· Dear Lord, You knew that this melting of ice shelves would happen when You created the world. May man, and especially scientists, realize that You hold all of the earth's future in Your hands. May all people turn to You for truth if afraid of global warming stories like this. May global warming, if true, be used as a tool by the scientific community and not as a fear tactic to sway people to a politically correct way of thinking.

· The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; and He knows those who trust in Him." (Nahum 1: 7 NKJV)

4. Obama Pastor's Houston, Tampa Appearances Canceled for Security Reasons - Fox News and Associated Press

The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. - the former pastor of the church Barack Obama has attended for 20 years - has canceled scheduled appearances in Houston and Tampa, Fla., citing security issues. The Rev. Marcus Cosby, pastor at Wheeler Avenue Baptist Church, told Houston television station KTRK and the Houston Chronicle that safety concerns had prompted Wright's decision. Wright was scheduled to give three sermons there on Sunday.

Cosby told the Chronicle that Wright cited three reasons for canceling: "the safety of the institution to which he has been invited; the safety of his family, which has been placed in harm's way; and for his own safety."Wright also had been expected to speak at the Bible- Based Fellowship Church of Temple Terrace, Fla., near Tampa, for three nights starting Tuesday evening. Rev. Earl Mason, senior pastor at the church, said he canceled Wright's appearance because the local sheriff's office would not agree to provide the necessary security without charging the church extra, and that he had concerns about escorting Wright and maintaining crowd control.

· Praise the Lord, for He is stopping Rev. Wright's appearances that feature hate speech against America! He is shutting the mouths of the "lions" who oppose His ways and further bind our nation into deception favoring the evil one and his spirits.

We thank You Lord that Your Spirit is speaking and that OUR REPENTANCE and OUR FORGIVENESS of those who are walking in error and who are still bound by sin are releasing a GRACE to bring about the RESTORATION of SANITY in our land. We pray, too, for safety and protection for Rev. Wright, even as we intercede for him to come to the fullness of the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ in his life.

· May we have the faith of Daniel and continue to pray for the salvation of apostates so that they will have their mouths shut just like the real lions that could have ended his life.

"Then Daniel said to the king, 'O king, live forever! My God sent His angel and shut the lions' mouths, so that they have not hurt me, because I was found innocent before Him; and also, O king, I have done no wrong before you.'" (Daniel 6: 21-22 NKJV)

5. No Secret Service Protection for This Old Warrior -

Sen. John McCain is the only major candidate who is not guarded by a Secret Service detail, the Arizona Republic reported.

· Pray that this situation is corrected quickly. All presidential candidates and their families should be receiving Secret Service protection!· "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)

The Middle East in Focus

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

"If it had not been LORD who was on our side - now may Israel say - if it had not been LORD who was on our side, when men rose up against us, then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us." (Psalm 124:1-3)

1. Gov't sources: Russia set on Mideast parley - Jerusalem Post

Russia is determined to go ahead with an international Middle East conference in Moscow in June whether Israel likes it or not, government sources told The Jerusalem Post on Tuesday, summing up Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit here last week.

2. U.S. road map monitors: PA failing in fight against terror - Ha'aretz

The American officers responsible for monitoring Israeli and Palestinian compliance with the road map peace plan recently criticized the Palestinian Authority's counterterrorism efforts.

3. Messianics: Attack on boy one of many - Jerusalem Post

Members of the Messianic community in Israel said Monday that while the near-fatal attack last week on 15-year-old Ami Ortiz of Ariel marks a major escalation, it comes after years of anti-missionary violence directed at the community by both Jews and Muslims.

4. Cheney wraps up Mideast peace push - AFPUS

Vice President Dick Cheney on Monday wrapped up a visit to Israel and the Palestinian territories aimed at energizing the faltering Middle East peace talks.

5. U.S. anti-rocket system fails test to protect Israel - World Tribune

Israel has concluded that a U.S. laser system would not serve as an interim defense solution for the frequent rocket and missile attacks it has sustained.

6. Israel's chief rabbi in favour of Saudi's proposal for inter-faith talks - EJP

Rabbi Metzger said he is in favour of the proposal made by Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah to organize a conference of Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Pray for the Persecuted Church

Prayers for the Persecuted Church This week, for all the headlines cited below, please join us in proclaiming THIS DECREE: "God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer." (Psalm 66:19)

1. CALIFORNIA: Rally at Capitol speaks for Hmong lost in Laos - Sacramento Bee

The tear-stained struggle to save several thousand Hmong hiding in the Lao jungles and another 8,000 Hmong refugees in Thailand returned to the State Capitol on Monday morning. Hundreds of Northern California Hmong, along with Vietnam veterans and state legislators, rallied around 71 white wooden crosses, each representing the soul of a Hmong who died this year in Laos.The Lao government has repeatedly denied that Hmong are being hunted, persecuted or killed, and the U.S. State Department has been unable to confirm the 71 deaths.

2. MALAYSIA: Malaysian Christians Face Threats, Worries - CBN

Malaysia bills itself as a moderate Islamic country, but today powerful forces are trying to turn it into a fundamentalist Islamic state. This has Malaysian Christians worried about the future of religious freedom.

They forced me to renounce Christ but I said no way!" said Daniel, a Christian convert. Daniel is a young Malaysian who has lived a secret and sometimes dangerous life. "I've been threatened with death so many times by radical Muslims, but by the grace of God I'm still alive," he explained. "We want people around the world to pray for us," Daniel said. "We want people to speak out on our behalf so that we can have the freedom to practice our faith."

3. QATAR: The invisible church prays for a quiet Easter in the emirate of Qatar - International Christian Concern

Qatar's first Christian church has no cross, no bell and no steeple. And when thousands of worshippers gather at Our Lady of the Rosary to mark Easter, they pray no one will notice. "The idea is to be discreet because we don't want to inflame any sensitivities. There isn't even a signboard outside the church. No signs at all," said Rev. Tom Veneracion.