Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Daily Brief - Wednesday, April 2, 2008

"All the nations will come and worship before You." (Rev. 15:4)

Today's Daily Brief
1. Bush Sees NATO Backing Missile Defense - Associated Press

In Romania Wednesday, President Bush expressed confidence NATO will endorse a missile defense system for Europe and pledge additional troops for Afghanistan. He made his opening comments in a meeting with NATO's secretary-general, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, basing his remarks on what he is hearing from other leaders about sending more troops to Afghanistan to battle resurgent Taliban forces. Bush also said that it looks as if NATO is coming together to support a missile defense shield in Europe that Russia opposes. The president also indicates it is an open question whether NATO will agree to put Ukraine and Georgia on the path to eventual membership in NATO.

· The intrigue of foreign relations in war and peace times are doable for You, Lord. We ask Your favor upon the NATO leadership and its members, and our President. We intercede for him and these current and future NATO countries and leaders, that they will be reminded to seek Your face all the days of their lives. In Your Name we pray these things, Lord Jesus. Amen.

· "The Lord your God will make you abound in all the work of your hand, in the fruit of your body, in the increase of your livestock, and in the produce of your land for good. For the Lord will again rejoice over you for good as He rejoiced over your fathers, 'if you obey the voice of the Lord your God, to keep His commandments and His statutes which are written in this Book of the Law, and if you turn to the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul." (Deuteronomy 30: 9-10 NKJV)

2. Senate Announces Breakthrough On Housing Rescue Bill - Fox News; New York Sun

Bernanke Warns of Shrinking Economy
Democrats and Republicans in the Senate agreed on Tuesday to draft a housing rescue bill that could deliver billions of dollars to homeowners facing foreclosure and help steer the economy away from a deep recession. On Wednesday, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke, warned Congress that a recession is possible and policymakers are "fighting against the wind" in trying to steady a shaky economy. He said that the economy may shrink over the first half of this year, which would signal the start of a recession. Yet, he didn't offer assurances of further interest rate cuts.

· Father of all treasures, please continue to give Mr. Bernanke wisdom on how to avert a national recession and a potential international financial crash. May he be used by You to give divine and unbiased advice to Congress and the President to chart a positive financial course for America. May those involved, who need Your Son's Gift of Salvation, receive it through dealing with these crises. For Your Glory, we pray. Amen.

· "The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms; He will thrust out the enemy from before you, and will say, 'Destroy!'" (Deuteronomy 33: 27 NKJV)

3. China Provided IAEA With Iranian Nuclear Program Intelligence - Ynet News; Associated Press

China, an opponent of harsh UN Security Council sanctions against Iran, has provided the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) recently with intelligence linked to Tehran's alleged attempts to make nuclear arms, diplomats have told The Associated Press. Beijing, along with Moscow, has acted as a brake within the council, consistently watering down a U.S.- led push to impose severe penalties on Tehran for its nuclear defiance since the first set of sanctions was passed in late 2006. A Chinese decision to provide information for use in the agency's attempts to probe Iran's purported nuclear weapons program would appear to reflect growing international unease about how honest the Islamic republic has been in denying it ever tried to make such arms.

· Omniscient God, we come before You and ask You to give Your "God-sight" to sanctions against Iran. It seems that some nations speak expediently for or against Iran to benefit themselves lest they come under intense U.N. scrutiny. May these games cease and may the truth about nuclear and arms development come to light worldwide. For Your Glory, we pray. Amen.

· Woe to those who speak lies and do not fear the Coming Lord: "But who can endure the day of His coming? And who can stand when He appears? For He is like a refiner's fire and like launderer's soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver." (Malachi 3: 2-3a NKJV)

4. Poland's Senate Adopts New EU Treaty - ABC News

The upper house of Poland's parliament has approved a bill allowing the president to ratify the new European Union treaty. Polish senators voted 74-17 on Wednesday to adopt the so-called Lisbon Treaty, which streamlines how the 27-member bloc is run. The lower house approved ratification Tuesday, following a deal between the government and opposition-linked President Lech Kaczynski that ended weeks of squabbling. The squabbling was over opposition demands for additional regulation guaranteeing Poland's sovereignty within the union. The final ratification now rests with the president, who has said he will sign it.

· Gracious Lord, it seems like the world is bent upon becoming a one-world government. We know that You oppose this as its leader would try to usurp You as the One True Leader and Creator of the Universe. We pray for Your divine appearance and guidance in Poland, a country that has revered and honored You through history. May the other members of the European Union and the rest of the world that You created, also receive You as its true Leader. In Your Holy Name we pray. Amen.

· "Then those who feared the Lord spoke to one another, and the Lord listened and heard them; so a book of remembrance was written before Him for those who fear the Lord and who meditate on His Name. 'They shall be Mine,' says the Lord of hosts, 'On the day that I make them My jewels. And I will spare them as a man spares his own son who serves him.'" (Malachi 3: 16-17 NKJV)

5. British Researchers Create Human-Animal Hybrid Embryos - Fox News

Embryos containing human and animal material have been created in Britain for the first time, a month before the House of Commons votes on new laws to regulate the research. But, their creation is already allowed, subject to the granting of a licence from the Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA). A team at Newcastle University announced yesterday that it had successfully generated "admixed embryos" by adding human DNA to empty cow eggs in the first experiment of its kind in Britain.

· May we ask for forgiveness and repentance for this nation, these legislators and scientists who wish to become a god. May Britain be saved unto Christ!

· "Then said Jesus, 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.'" (Luke 23: 34a)

The Middle East in Focus

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

"Praise LORD [YHWH]. Praise the name of LORD; praise Him, O you servants of LORD. You that stand in the house of LORD, in the courts of the house of our God. Praise LORD, for LORD is good. Sing praises unto His name, for it is pleasant. For LORD has chosen Jacob unto Himself, and Israel for His peculiar treasure." (Psalm 135:1-4)

1. Rice seeks 'interim' accord before Bush visits Israel in May - ICEJ News

Paying yet another visit to Jerusalem this weekend, U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice expressed optimism that Israeli and Palestinian negotiators could wrap up a draft agreement on a future Palestinian state even before President George W. Bush arrives for the 60th Anniversary celebrations in mid-May.

2. Netanyahu warns Rice against Israeli concessions - ICEJ News

Israeli opposition leader Benjamin Netanyahu (Likud) inisted in a meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice on Sunday that he would lead the fight against any negotiated deal with the Palestinians calling for dividing Jerusalem or returning to the pre- 1967 borders.

3. Israel says Syria nuclear base was raid target - London Telegraph

Israel has admitted for the first time that an air strike in Syria last year was aimed at a nuclear facility built with assistance from North Korea.

4. A.B.C. kits to be redistributed to public - Ynet News

The defense establishment announced Wednesday that the atomic, biological, and chemical protection kits recently collected from the public will be upgraded and redistributed.

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. "Wave of Persecution in China"; Group Smuggles Millions of Bibles - Worthy News

Government initiated attacks in China against Christians and their churches are "the worst in years" with a "wave of persecution" reported across the Communist nation, a well-informed group revealed Tuesday, April 1.

2. Algeria Continues Widespread Church Closures - Worthy News

Groups of devoted Christians in Algeria were without places to worship Saturday, March 29, after authorities closed down more than a dozen Protestant churches amid anger over alleged attempts by evangelical believers to convert Muslims.

3. Indonesia: 110 Churches Burned in Three Years - Compass Direct News

Islamic extremist groups and local governments in Indonesia closed 110 churches from 2004 to 2007, according to religious and human rights organizations. The Wahid Institute, a moderate Muslim non-governmental organization, along with church associations and the Indonesian Human Rights Commission reported that discrimination and violence against churches was most common in the provinces of West Java, Banten, Central Java, South Sulawesi and Bengkulu. Radical Muslim groups coerced local governments to send letters to churches prohibiting any activities. When churches did not comply, they would be burned or otherwise damaged, as happened last December to Jakarta Baptist Christian Church (Gereja Kristen Baptis Jakarta, or GKBJ) in Sepatan, Tangerang province. Muslim extremists from the Islamic Defender Front kicked out the windows and doors of the pastor's home and threw out his belongings.

U.S. Facing "Nuclear Threat"

Experts To Testify Of 'Real And Growing' Nuclear Threat To U.S.

Testifying today as part of a months-long Senate investigation into the government's ability to prevent a nuclear attack, experts from Homeland Security Department-funded National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism and the Department of Energy's Office of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, will paint a chilling picture of a post-nuclear America: hundreds of thousands dead, $1 trillion in damage and panic nationwide.

Among the steps taken to address the threat since 9/11:

· The Energy Department has stepped up efforts to secure nuclear stockpiles worldwide and stop illegal trafficking. It also has beefed up teams capable of disarming a nuclear device.

· Myriad government agencies are developing a national registry to identify and track nuclear materials in the USA.

· Homeland Security is testing radiation-detection equipment and working at overseas ports to screen cargo containers before they are loaded onto ships headed to the USA.

Committee Chairman Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn., said Tuesday that the hearing "is not to encourage unnecessary fear but to confront the threatening realities so that we can then deal with them in defense of our country and people." Charles Allen, intelligence chief at the Homeland Security Department, said, "One of our gravest concerns is the entry of a nuclear device or materials into the U.S." In testimony, Allen said he does not believe that any terrorist group has a nuclear device in hand, but "the terrorist threat is dynamic and constantly evolving." (USA Today)

· Dear Creator and Protector of the Universe, we humbly beseech You to grant divine guidance to those involved with the protection of America, her airspace, waters and borders. May their hearts be turned to You in all of their deliberations and may they give You the credit for the security You have and will provide for America. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

· "The Lord will cause your enemies who rise against you to be defeated before your face; they shall come out against you one way and flee before you seven ways." (Deuteronomy 28: 7 NKJV)

UMC Wrong On Israel

In a few weeks, when the United Methodist Church (UMC) convenes its quadrennial General Assembly, it will consider a variety of legislative items. One item on the agenda will be a vote on divestment from companies that do business with a country that the UMC believes has a particularly poor record on human rights. Is the UMC considering a boycott of China, whose communist regime is brutally suppressing largely peaceful protests for independence in Tibet? Or perhaps the UMC opposes Sudan, whose five- year genocide in Darfur is responsible for the deaths of as many as 400,000 innocent people? No. The United Methodist Church will consider whether Israel ought to be punished, for merely existing. That's right. While Hamas, the Palestinians' political representatives in Gaza, continues its terrorist campaign against Israeli civilians, the UMC feels the time is right to punish America's only reliable ally in the Middle East for its "occupation" of Palestine. The UMC's utter lack of perspective on this issue provides a clue as to why it has experienced declining membership in recent years. (Gary Bauer; End of Day)

House Speaker Pelosi v. the Pentagon

Pelosi: House Rules Are Made to Be Broken

The military follows congressional orders. Unfortunately for Defense Secretary Robert Gates, the House leadership does not. Earlier this year, the Pentagon refused a request by Rep. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) to bring her lesbian partner on a military flight to Europe. Under House rules, only a legal spouse (or, in some instances, an adult child) is eligible to travel with members of Congress when space permits. Baldwin, who claims to have "married" Lauren Azar in 1998, insists on registering her girlfriend as a "spouse" on government forms even though her own home state doesn't recognize same- sex marriage. Secretary Gates insisted that he was following Congress's own protocol in blocking Azar from the transport, but that didn't prevent Pelosi from contacting his office and demanding that he make an exception. According to Pelosi, former Speaker Dennis Hastert authorized similar trips. His former aides, however, disagree, saying that in at least one instance Hastert wasn't informed that Azar was on a trip "until it had already begun." Gates too was unaware of any prior exceptions but said that he would honor Pelosi's request if she issued an official letter approving it.

Pentagon press secretary Geoff Morrell points to the irony of the Speaker wanting to waive her own rules to create gay-friendly exceptions. "This is not an issue of DOD regulations," Morrell says. "Secretary Gates honored a request from Speaker Pelosi, but that's really as far as it goes. This should not be viewed as a precedent." Tell that to the Speaker of the House. Although the matter was temporarily resolved, the dispute is ongoing. There is more behind this than a seat on a military plane, this is about hijacking the meaning of marriage. It is clear that the Speaker's actions are in direct conflict with the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA)--a law that Congress passed and former President Bill Clinton signed. Call the Speaker's office at 225-0100 and ask her to respect the government's policy on marriage. (Family Research Council)

· Pray for a resolution of this conflict, according to the rule of law. God's law defines "marriage" as a covenant between one man and one woman; man's law, through the Defense of Marriage Act, agrees. Praise God!

· "Pray without ceasing." (I Thess. 5:18)

A Bill to Note in the Senate

Three Senators Introduce the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act

Sens. David Vitter (R-La.), Sam Brownback (R-Kans.) and George Voinovich (R-Ohio) are doing their best to create a system of accountability in the abortion industry. Under the Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act, Congress would oversee the clinics to ensure that women who abort receive the proper treatment and are educated on all of the risks of the procedure. Similar to a bill I authored and passed in Louisiana, this legislation would require physicians to hold "clinical privileges" at a neighboring hospital should complications arise and also to notify women of a hospital where they can receive follow-up care. If an abortion clinic is federally funded, it must also meet the state standards that apply to "ambulatory surgery centers." Call your senators and encourage them to fight for the health and safety of women by signing on to this important bill.

(Family Research Council)

More Evidence of Racism at Planned Parenthood

Caught on Tape: New Evidence of Racism at Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood's facade as a compassionate, women's health advocate continues to crumble. Lila Rose, the UCLA student who released recordings of Planned Parenthood employees expressing "excitement" over racially-motivated donations, has new proof of the organization's deep- seated bigotry. This time, fellow student James O'Keefe called clinics in Oklahoma and New Mexico asking to make a donation specifically for the abortion of a black baby. After railing on about his disgust with affirmative action and the need "for less black people," he was told by Irene Grey of Planned Parenthood, Albuquerque, "Yes, yes, it's a strange time to be sure." Over in Tulsa, the response was no different. In this instance, Planned Parenthood employee Susan Riggs said, "We can definitely designate [a gift] for an African-American" when asked whether his money would be earmarked for the abortion of a black baby. To better understand where $300 million of your taxpayer dollars go every year, log on to and listen to these shameless acts for yourself.

(Family Research Council)

· As we continue to stand in repentance for the sin of racism in America, offer quiet praise that these hidden evils and agendas are coming to light, and continue to press in, through prayer, in repentance. Ask God to cleanse us and to heal us of these festering wounds.

· (For Planned Parenthood) "Then said Jesus, 'Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.'" (Luke 23: 34a)

· (For the sin of racism) "If . . . My people, who are called by My name, will humble themselves, and pray, and seek My face, and TURN FROM THEIR WICKED WAYS; then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and HEAL THEIR LAND." (2 Chronicles 5:14)