Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Daily Brief - Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Daily Brief - Tuesday, May 13, 2008

"The Light of Israel will become a fire; their Holy One a flame . . . " (Isaiah 10:17)

Today's Daily Brief

1. Strong China Quake Felt as Far as Thailand
- AP; ABC News

An earthquake with a magnitude of 7.8 struck China's Sichuan province on Monday, less than 100 km (60 miles) from the provincial capital of Chengdu. The death toll is soaring, now nearing 10,000, and nearly 900 students buried in rubble.

· Lord, we pray for the people affected by this quake. God of comfort, we pray that You will help the rescuers quickly find those in the tons of rubble. We pray that the rescuers will quickly know how to set up places to treat the people and that many will be saved!

· "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God." (2 Corinthians 1:3,4)

2. "I Could See Cars Floating" - AP

Twister havoc leaves trail of death, destruction -- Storms sweep across Plains and South, killing at least 23 and marking the deadliest tornado season in a decade; Missouri hardest hit with 16 dead.

· We pray that You will give encouragement to these people who have been so hard hit with these storms and tornadoes. We ask for the rains to stop, Lord. We pray that there will be shelter for the people and that they will be able to reorganize their lives with ease and efficiency.

· "And there will be a tabernacle for shade in the daytime from the heat, for a place of refuge, and for a shelter from storm and rain." (Isaiah 4:6)

3. Clinton Eyes W. Va. Landslide - AP
Clinton hopes big win will boost long-shot bid

Polls show Clinton leading Obama by as much as 40 points ahead of today's West Virginia primary.

· Continue to pray in the spirit over all aspects of this year's presidential election. God is up to something; and as we yield our hearts to His Will, He WILL make his will known, in time.

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

4. Voter ID battle in U.S. shifts to proof of citizenship - Int'l Herald Tribune

The battle over voting rights will expand this week as lawmakers in Missouri are expected to support a proposed constitutional amendment to enable election officials to require proof of citizenship from anyone registering to vote.

· We thank you Lord, for allowing these laws to enable election officials to require proof of citizenship from anyone registering to vote. These elections must be kept as pure as possible without someone altering their card! Thank you that our federal constitution guarantees the rights of the states to determine these laws for their own elections. In Your Name, amen.

· "Therefore do not fear them. For there is nothing covered that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known." (Matthew 10:26)

5. Drug Civil War Rages in Mexico - NewsMax

Drug cartels seeking to keep control over huge swathes of Mexico have been on a rampage. In the past two weeks alone, at least 10 police officials have been murdered -- including the chief of Mexico's federal police, Edgar Millan.

· We have so many people trying to enter our borders. We know, too, that we have failed to pay attention to the drug cartels who are promoting this immigration. We pray today that the leaders of the drug cartels will be arrested and put in jail indefinitely. We ask You, Lord, to protect those who are looking for these criminals, and we pray too for their families. In Jesus' Name, amen.

· Then Joshua said to them, "Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight." (Joshua 10:25)

6. Beijing and Riyadh will call the shots on ailing dollar's future - London Telegraph

Only a month ago the dollar slumped to an all-time low against the euro. And it's just five weeks since the greenback hit a 12-year low against the yen.

· Lord, we ask Your forgiveness for our own greed and and that we have become lax in watching over our economy. Certain decisions have been made that have caused our dollar to weaken. Help us now to make the right decisions and to strengthen our dollar and for our nation to learn what caused this situation so that we will not repeat it again. Help us, too, to always remember our covenant with Zion, for in its blessing, we shall be blessed.

· "And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day." (Deuteronomy 8:18)

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:

"Yet have I set My king upon My holy hill of Zion. I will declare the decree: LORD [YHWH] has said unto Me, You are My Son; this day have I begotten You." (Psalms 2:6-7)

1. US warship heads back to Mediterranean amid Lebanon crisis - Ynet News

A US warship, which was deployed off Lebanon in February amid concern over Beirut's political crisis, crossed Egypt's Suez Canal on Sunday on its way to the Mediterranean, an official with the canal authority told AFP.

2. Lebanon prime minister accuses Hezbollah of staging coup - Ha'aretz

Lebanese Prime Minister Fouad Siniora called on the army on Saturday to restore law and order across Lebanon and remove gunmen from the streets, accusing Hezbollah of staging an armed coup.

3. Israel leans toward Gaza truce, despite fatal Kassam attack - Jerusalem Post

An elderly woman was killed by a Kassam rocket that scored a direct hit on a western Negev community Monday evening, hours after Israeli leaders said they were leaning toward accepting an Egyptian cease-fire deal with Hamas.

4. Bush: Abbas is a viable peace partner - Jerusalem Post

US President George W. Bush said on Monday that he could not envisage the Middle East evolving "without a Palestinian state that's free and democratic." Bush, who flies to Israel on Tuesday, told The Jerusalem Post that he remains convinced that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is a partner for peace. And he went on to say, at a briefing with the Post and three other Israeli journalists in the Oval Office, that he was still convinced that an accord on Palestinian statehood was attainable this year.

5. Poll: Livni would beat Netanyahu, Barak - Jerusalem Post

Even as Kadima ministers continued to position themselves for the possibility of party primaries, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni - shown by a recent poll to be the party's clear frontrunner - kept a sense of diplomatic business-as-usual Monday, maintaining a determined silence on domestic issues, including Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's investigation.

Iran in the News


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

" Let God arise, let His enemies be scattered: let them also that hate Him flee before Him." (Psalms 68:1)

1. In Iran, Cover Christian Converts Live With Secrecy and Fear - US News and World Report

Illyas, 20, precariously straddles two worlds. At home with his family, he's a devout Christian who wears a silver cross around his neck, devotionally reads the Bible, and, on the Sabbath, hums hymns of praise to Jesus. Easter and Christmas are celebrated with homemade grape wine, even though alcohol is banned in Iran.

2. Iran refuses to stop enriching uranium - Jerusalem Post

Iran won't consider any proposals in talks with the West that would require it to stop enriching uranium, said the country's foreign minister Sunday.

3. "Iran? Nothing is impossible" - Ynet News

Retiring Air Force Chief Maj. Gen. Eliezer Shkedy says he remains concerned about Iranian threat, hints future missions may prove extent of Israel's reach. 'The IAF is outstanding, and it is prepared for any mission the country will task it with,' he says

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. Algeria: Christian Sentenced for Carrying Bible - Worthy News

An Algerian Christian detained five days for carrying a Bible and personal Bible study books was handed a 300-euro (US$460) fine and a one-year suspended prison sentence last week, an Algerian church leader said.

2. Bangladesh: Pastor's 13-Year Old Daughter Gang- Raped - Worthy News

Muslim villagers in Mymensingh district eager to rid the area of the Christian work of a local pastor have gang-raped his 13-year-old daughter, the girl's father said.

3. Christian Villagers "Expelled" In Bhutan; Missionaries Concerned - Worthy News

Christian missionaries in Bhutan, a predominately Buddhist nation, faced new challenges Thursday, May 8, nearly a month after villagers were reportedly expelled from their home for becoming Christians.

4. India Missionaries Facing "Death Threats" In Maharashtra State - Worthy News

Native missionaries in Maharashtra, India's third largest state, continued their activities Wednesday, May 7, amid mounting opposition against Christianity in the area, BosNewsLife learned.

African-American Pastors Take Action


More and more African-Americans are learning about and reacting with new determination to stop Planned Parenthood. Increasingly faced with the fact that Planned Parenthood targets black babies for abortion and black neighborhoods to locate their "clinics," Black pastors and leaders are taking a public stand against PP. The racist vision of Margaret Sanger, an early advocate of eugenics in the 1920s was greatly admired by Adolf Hitler, and she gave birth to Planned Parenthood. African Americans make up 12.3% of the American population, but Black women receive 36% of all abortions, three times as many as white women, fourteen million since 1973. Recent revelations that PP was prepared gleefully to accept contributions earmarked to exterminate black babies, exposed the racism of America's largest chain of abortion clinics. (FRC Prayer Targets)

. May God create a groundswell of black pastors and leaders who will take a public stand against abortion! May they be used to awaken Americans of every color to demand that Congress defund Planned Parenthood! May the pro-abortion "evil empire" come down, including its American and worldwide operations. May PEPFAR and Title X moneys be steered to groups that promote life, health, public and private morals, premarital abstinence and marital fidelity!

. "They that forsake the law praise the wicked: but such as keep the law contend with them." (Proverbs 28:4)

"Countries of Particular Concern"


U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) annual Report
Released on May 2

Months ago, FRC and a dozen U.S. Congressmen asked Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice to intervene in the case of Chinese pastors who were sentenced to labor camps for practicing their faith. On May 2, the independent and bipartisan U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) released its annual report, urging Secretary Rice to recognize 11 countries as among the "World's worst violators of religious liberty" and to designate them "countries of particular concern" (CPCs) - Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sudan Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. A CPC designation is reserved for governments that have "engaged in or tolerated systemic and egregious violations of religious freedom."

Rice seemingly ignored the USCIRF's report last year, and has not designated any CPCs in the past 18 months. USCIRF makes recommendations, but the Secretary of State must decide which countries receive the CPC designation. (FRC Prayer Targets)

· May President Bush and Secretary Rice respond to FRC, to the USCIRF and to Congress! May the U.S.China and elsewhere! May we use our full power to secure the safe release of pastors and people unharmed! May the U.S. take a tougher stand in demanding human rights in China now: before, not after the Olympics.

· "Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Thy Name: the righteous shall compass me about; for Thou shalt deal bountifully with me." (Psalm 142:7)

In Michigan: The People's Court Rules

In Michigan: The People's Court Rules

In what is being called "a vindication of the will of the people," the Michigan Supreme Court upheld the state's marriage amendment as applied to state- funded domestic partner benefits. Upholding a lower court decision, the judges agreed that public employers cannot provide spousal benefits like health insurance to homosexual couples because it would violate Michigan's constitution. By a 5-2 vote, the court effectively ended the policies of 20 universities, school districts, and local governments which covered an estimated 375 homosexual couples.

The ruling was made possible by the 2004 ballot initiative defining marriage as the union of a man and woman. Passed with 59 percent of the vote, the amendment to the state's constitution made the unique status of marriage impenetrable for homosexual activists. Justice Stephen Markman, writing for the majority, addressed the suit's 42 plantiffs who claimed that the amendment was meant to ban gay marriage, not eliminate people's benefits. The judge reminded them that both proponents and opponents of the initiative knew that the privileges of marriage would not be extended to homosexual conduct if the amendment passed. "The role of this Court is not to determine who said what about the amendment before it was ratified, or to speculate about how these statements may have influenced voters," he wrote. "Instead, our responsibility is, as it has always been in matters of constitutional interpretation, to determine the meaning of the amendment's actual language."

It is so refreshing to encounter a high court that understands its limitations in resolving some of the nation's most contentious issues! We applaud these justices for recognizing their role and affirming the democratic process. While we celebrate the victory, it should also serve as a prime illustration of how critical the judicial nomination process is. Join us in urging the Senate to put aside their differences and fill the many bench vacancies with men and women who will submit their personal agendas to the rule of law. For more on the importance of appointing strict constructionists, log on to www.usatoday.com and read my column called "Restrain Judicial Activism."

(Source: Family Research Council)

Links to Other Resources

Links to Other Resources

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