Wednesday, April 9, 2008

The Daily Brief - Wednesday, April 9, 2008

""Like Your name, O God, Your praise reaches to the ends of the earth; Your right hand is filled with righteousness." (Psalm 48:10)

Today's Daily Brief
1. Vatican: Pope Will Address Abuse Crisis - Associated Press

Pope: Looking Forward to U.S. Vis

The Vatican's No. 2 official says Pope Benedict XVI recognizes the damage and pain caused by the clergy sex abuse crisis and will seek healing during his U.S. Trip next week. Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said in an interview Tuesday, that Pope Benedict will deliver a message of "trust and hope."

The pope turns 81 during the trip. Bertone says Benedict is fit, but could not meet all the invitations from U.S. Cities, limiting himself to Washington and New York. Al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden recently accused the pope of helping in a "new Crusade," but Bertone says the Vatican has faith in American security services to keep the pope safe.

· Only You Lord, can truly keep us safe. As Pope Benedict, Cardinal Bertone and their entourage arrive in America on April 15th, may they rely only upon You for their every need. We also pray that You will allow Pope Benedict to minister to those hurt in the clergy sex abuse scandal and that those oppressed will be healed through "Your Stripes." May the Catholic Church, the Vatican, Pope Benedict and Rome itself be saved for Your Good Purposes, Lord. In Your Name we pray, Jesus. Amen.

· "Lord, You have heard the desire of the humble; You will prepare their heart; You will cause Your ear to hear, to do justice to the fatherless and the oppressed, that the man of the earth may oppress no more." (Psalm 10: 17-18 NKJV)

2. Iraq Violence Peaked Just Before U.S. Election, Data Shows -

Data from the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), indicates that enemy-initiated attacks on U.S. troops, Iraqi security forces and Iraqi civilians peaked in October 2006, the month leading up to the U.S. midterm elections. At the time, Vice President Dick Cheney suggested the insurgents were trying to influence the upcoming election.

The DIA data shows that between November 2006 and May 2007, attacks remained at the highest levels of the five-year conflict. Since last summer, however, when the surge in U.S. forces in Iraq reached full strength, attacks have precipitously declined, dropping almost 70 percent between June 2007 and January 2008.

· We Thank You God, for protecting America and her troops against enemy-initiated attacks, leading up to and after the 2006 Elections. May the naysayer's mouths be silenced and the truth be proclaimed that the troop surge strategy worked! Please continue to guide our President, Vice-President and their administration as they tell the world of how the Middle East is becoming a safer place because our brave men and women have chosen to fight for their freedom. May all see how true Freedom only comes from knowing You as their Lord and Savior. May many be saved. In Your Name we pray, Jesus. Amen.

· "The violence of the wicked will destroy them, because they refuse to do justice." (Proverbs 21:7 NKJV)

3. Fed Officials Worried About Recession, IMF Predicts Credit Crisis Could Cost Nearly $1 Trillion - Associated Press, International Herald Tribune and Bloomberg News

Deep recession worries drove the Federal Reserve to slash a key interest rate last month. As they battled to stem a widening credit and housing slump, some Fed members fretted over the possibility of a "prolonged and severe" business downturn. They voted during their closed-door meeting - with some dissent - to cut this important interest rate by three-quarters of a percentage point to 2.25 percent. That action capped the most aggressive Fed intervention in a quarter-century.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said Tuesday, that financial losses stemming from the U.S. mortgage crisis might approach $1 trillion, citing a "collective failure" to predict the breadth of the crisis. Falling U.S. house prices and rising delinquencies may lead to $565 billion in mortgage-market losses, the IMF said in its annual Global Financial Stability report, released in Washington. Total losses, including the securities tied to commercial real estate and loans to consumers and companies, may reach $945 billion, the fund said.

· May we cast all of our cares upon You, Lord, for we know that You care for us. May the Federal Reserve Board and the International Monetary Fund members learn to do the same. We ask this in Your Holy Name, Jesus, the One and True Savior. Amen.

·"Be diligent to know the state of your flocks, and attend to your herds; for riches are not forever -- The lambs will provide your clothing, and the goats the price of a field; you shall have enough goats' milk for your food, for the food of your household, and the nourishment of your maidservants." (Proverbs 27: 23, 24a, 26 & 27 NKJV)

4. Hillary Clinton Joins Calls for Bush to Boycott Olympic Opening Games - Family Research Council

Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY), is the latest to call for President Bush to boycott the opening Olympic ceremonies in Beijing this August 8th. Clinton's objections came just hours before the Olympic torch touched down in San Francisco, its only stop on American soil after a tumultuous tour through Europe. Both Clinton and Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), are protesting on behalf of the Dalai Lama, whose followers were the victims of a brutal clash with the Chinese government.

But, while a handful of mistreated Tibetans have captured the attention of U.S. leaders, the plight of hundreds of Chinese Christian pastors continues to go unnoticed and unopposed. Family Research Council has now waited 118 days for a response from the State Department to our letter on behalf of the scores of imprisoned church leaders. The American ideal is religious liberty for all, not a select few. Our leaders are creating the impression that when it comes to defending religious freedom overseas, Chinese Christians need not apply. Meanwhile, we've heard not a peep from Olympic sponsors that are helping to give China the world stage. McDonald's, Coca-Cola and the other sponsors who stand to gain millions of dollars from their Olympic exposure should send a message that they put a higher value on religious freedom than corporate profits.

· We ask You, The Protector Of The Saints, to please go before the Chinese Pastors who are being detained by their government. May they be released for Your Glory as a result of the proposed boycott of the Olympic Games, and with or without a response from our State Department. We ask too, Lord for the salvation of the Dalai Lama and his followers and for forgiveness to those who have harmed the Pastors through their actions. May Tibet and China be free for Your Gospel to flourish and to help bring many souls into Your Kingdom. In Your Magnificent Name, we pray. Amen.

· "But as for you, you meant evil against me; but God meant if for good, in order to bring it about as it is this day, to save many people alive." (Genesis 50: 20 NKJV)

5. Navy SEAL Who Sacrificed His Life Receives Medal of Honor, While Congress Urged to Award 9/11 Heroes With Highest Civilian Honor - and USA Today

Michael Anthony Monsoor, the Navy SEAL who fell on a grenade to save the lives of three fellow SEALs and three Iraqi soldiers on Sept. 29, 2006, was posthumously awarded the Medal of Honor Tuesday at the White House. The Medal of Honor, the highest honor for military valor, is awarded for "conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of life above and beyond the call of duty" by a member of the U.S. Armed Forces during combat against an enemy.

Meanwhile, relatives of the passengers and crew of United Airlines Flight 93 are pressing Congress to decide whether the people who died fighting their attackers on Sept. 11, 2001, deserve the nation's highest civilian award. Five bills have been introduced in six years to award the Congressional Gold Medal to Flight 93's passengers and crew. Some bills say the men who attacked the terrorists should be honored. Rep. Bill Shuster of Pennsylvania said the 40 passengers and crewmembers each deserve a medal for extraordinary heroism. The awarding of a medal requires the approval of two-thirds of the House and Senate.

· Dearest Father, we pray that all of us may be brave with Your help, in life or death circumstances. May Michael Monsoor's family and those families of the brave Flight 93 crew and passengers rest in Your arms knowing that their loved ones did not die in vain, they were just acting like Your Son, Jesus would. They truly already have received the highest reward, by acting as Your Son, Jesus did, going to the Cross and death to save us.

· "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. (1 John 3: 16 NKJV)

The Middle East in Focus

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

"Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for you are My servant: I have formed you; you are My servant: O Israel, you shall not be forgotten of Me." (Isaiah 44:21)

1.Two Killed in Terror Attack at Nahal Oz Crossing In Israel - Embassy of Israel

On Wednesday, Palestinian terrorists fired a salvo of mortars at the Nahal Oz area and penetrated the fuel terminal. Two Israeli civilians employed at the terminal, which supplies the Gaza Strip with most of its fuel, were killed in the attack, which took place just after the latest delivery of fuel for the Gaza power plant funded by the European Union.

An Israeli Foreign Ministry spokesperson said: "Israel views Hamas, who controls the Gaza Strip, as responsible for today's terror attack on the Nahal Oz fuel crossing terminal. Israel transfers food, fuel, medicines, equipment and humanitarian supplies on a daily basis to the residents of the Gaza Strip. The terrorists who attacked the fuel terminal today are trying to harm this activity and thereby harm the lives and welfare of the residents of Gaza."

· Jehovah Jireh, we pray that You will provide the way to true peace for Your beloved Israel. May she seek Your face and know that there is no relief without Your Guidance and Help. May Israel be saved, and many brought to a saving knowledge of Your Son as their Savior because of this attack. In Yeshua's Name we pray. Amen

· "Hear O Lord, when I cry with my voice! Have mercy also upon me, and answer me. When You said, 'Seek My face,' my heart said to You, 'Your face, Lord, I will seek. Do not hide Your face from me; do not turn Your servant away in anger; You have been my help; do not leave me nor forsake me, O God of my salvation.'" (Psalm 27: 7-9 NKJV)

2. Israel 'lacks ways to combat possible chemical attack- Ynet News

"We still don't have the best response for a chemical threat, we're not where we want to be, but in a few years will be able to offer a much better answer," Home Front Command Chief Major-General Yair Golan said Wednesday.

3. U.S. wants to hold summit at Sharm during Bush visit - Ha'aretz

The United States is keen on holding a summit at the Sinai resort of Sharm el-Sheikh to coincide with President George Bush's visit to Israel next month for the country's 60th anniversary celebrations.

4. Israeli intel projects a one-month war with Syria - World Tribune

Israel's intelligence community has concluded that the next war would involve missiles and Hizbullah, last at least a month and include Syria.

Supreme Court Victory
Supreme Court Puts Brakes on Deceptive Acts of Eroding U.S. Sovereignty

The Supreme Court's March 26 ruling regarding Mexican prisoners on death row in American prisons may have dealt a powerful blow to Bush Administration plans for a North American Union, and may well have established more publicly transparent boundaries for future presidents who attempt to weaken the sovereignty of the United States. The decision appears to have far deeper implications than just telling Mexico and other nations that if your people commit a capital crime in the United States, they will be punished to the fullest extent of American law.

The Bush Administration, which has used national security concerns to promote a North American Union and globalization of the United States economy through a series of executive decisions, tried to subjugate U.S. law to the International Court of Justice and the 1969 Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties. Since Mexico does not have the death penalty and Mexican nationals had committed capital crimes in the U.S., the International Court of Justice ruled that the U.S. had violated its commitment under the Vienna Convention by sentencing the Mexicans to the death penalty. President Bush then yielded to the International Court decision and ordered the Mexican murderers' cases to be reopened.

The Supreme Court ruled that the "first principles" of the Constitution dictate that the President's authority to act comes either from an act of Congress or from the Constitution itself. The President, therefore, cannot act with unilateral authority to enforce a treaty as federal law when Congress made no law to enforce the treaty. Liberals and the Bush Administration both decried the decision, saying that Americans must be subject to legal enforcement of international treaties as if they were U.S. law. The Supreme Court ruling put on shaky ground leftist plans to integrate the United States with Mexico and Canada, and the U.S. economy with that of the European Union--both of which the Bush Administration is attempting.

The Supreme Court decision puts the Executive Branch on notice that it cannot act unilaterally in establishing global relationships without Congressional approval. The Bush Administration has used the war on terror to justify many unilateral� decisions to ostensibly protect America, but in reality they have advanced globalization. The primary responsibility of the federal government is to defend and protect the nation, but the war on terror deceptively has been used as an excuse to usurp the Constitution and civil rights to advance globalization. Jesus said in Matthew 24:4, "Take heed that no man deceive you." Deception can be found in governments that act apart from their authority.

Bill Wilson

Word of Life Ministry

Israel Approves More Jerusalem Housing
Israel Approves More Jerusalem Housing; International Community Disapproves

Hundreds of new housing units have been approved for an East Jerusalem Jewish neighborhood and around 1000 more could be on the way for other neighborhoods, pending approval from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert. Already approved by Olmert are 330 housing units for the Givat Ze'ev neighborhood, in the northern area of Jerusalem, with 200 units already being built. An additional 220 await approval depending on how the initial ones sell. The international community opposed the announcement, including the United States.

US Department of State Spokesman Sean McCormack said the announcement was "not helpful," and President George W. Bush again referred to the expectation for the parties to stick to the Road Map. A statement released on behalf of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon was even stronger, calling on Israel to halt settlement expansion and terming it "contrary to international law."

Mark Regev, spokesman for the Prime Minister's Office, said the decision to build in Givat Ze'ev was done in 1999, three governments ago, and framed the current administration's decision in light of the prior decision to issue tenders and pass it to the private sector, and because of their stance on expansion in these neighborhood blocs.

In response to sharp Palestinian criticism of the decision, Regev said, "We've been very consistent. We've said from the beginning that in the large settlement blocs, those communities that will remain part of Israel in a final status, there will not be a complete freeze [on construction], that there will be natural growth." Regev also said there was no connection between the timing of the housing announcement and the terror shooting last week that killed eight yeshiva students and invoked the international community's sympathies.

In addition to the Givat Ze'ev approval, the Jerusalem municipality spokesperson office said around 400 apartments for the Neve Yaakov neighborhood, just north of Pisgat Ze'ev in the northeast of Jerusalem, are before a county committee awaiting approval. According to the spokesman office, the apartment plans have been in the works for a while, and the area had already received approval. Jerusalem Mayor Uri Lupolianski released comments arguing in effect that one neighborhood surrounding Jerusalem is just as legitimately developed as another. (By Joshua Spurlock, BFP Israel Mosaic Radio, March 11, 2008)

(Source: Bridges for Peace)

· There are obvious tensions caused by the Israeli decision to continue building in contested areas. Pray those who seek to claim the land according to the Bible will be blessed and anointed to stand.

· "Dwell in this land, and I will be with you and bless you; for to you and your descendants I give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father." (Gen. 26:3)

House Resolution Honors Israel's 60th Anniversary

H.Con.Res. 322: Recognizing the 60th anniversary
of the founding of the modern State of Israel . . .

Rep. Nancy Pelosi [D-CA] introduced H.Con.Res. 322: Recognizing the 60th anniversary of the founding of the modern State of Israel and reaffirming the bonds of close friendship and cooperation between the United States and Israel.

This bill was introduced on April 4, and has been referred to the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

· Pray for quick passage of this bill . . . by a UNANIMOUS VOTE in both the House and the Senate!

· "Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord!" (Psalm 150:6)

A Special Prayer

"Lord, we know our country is in trouble. We know those in power, those with the money, are doing the wrong thing. We know that with you, with your infinite power, all things are possible. So with bended knee and bowed heads, we implore your help in ridding our county of those who would tear our country down. Transform our words and voices into thunder that would cause the bankers and politicians to shake with fear, to know that you are the Lord, as we do. In Jesus Christ's name we pray, amen."

(Source: Anonymous