Wednesday, May 21, 2008

The Daily Brief - Tuesday, May 20, 2008

"You have given a banner to those who fear You, That it may be displayed because of the truth. " (Psalm 60:4,5 NKJV)

The Daily Brief

1. Sen. Ted Kennedy Has Malignant Brain Tumor, Doctors Say
- AP

Sen. Ted Kennedy has been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital announced Tuesday, four days after the Democratic senator was rushed to the hospital following seizures. Kennedy, 76, was diagnosed with the tumor Tuesday morning after he underwent a biopsy.

"Preliminary results from a biopsy of the brain identified the cause of the seizure as a malignant glioma in the left parietal lobe," his doctors said in a statement, adding that treatment would likely include "combinations of various forms of radiation and chemotherapy."

Kennedy's colleagues on Capitol Hill reacted with shock and sadness Tuesday morning, but expressed confidence in his ability to fight through the illness. "Every one of us knows what a big heart this fella has. He's helped millions and millions of people," said fellow Massachusetts Democratic Sen. John Kerry. "Everybody needs to pull for him and his family and remember that this guy is an unbelievable fighter." "I'm betting on Senator Kennedy," said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., who himself has been battling Hodgkins lymphoma. "He's been such a champion on so many causes . . . he's been a shining example of crossing the aisle." "The news has been met throughout the country with great concern," said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif.

President Bush released a statement saying "Laura and I are concerned to learn of our friend Senator Kennedy's diagnosis. "Ted Kennedy is a man of tremendous courage, remarkable strength, and powerful spirit. Our thoughts are with Senator Kennedy and his family during this difficult period. We join our fellow Americans in praying for his full recovery."

· Even though the doctors' diagnosis today looks grim, we believe in the healing power of our Lord Jesus Christ. Continue in prayer for the healing and full recovery of Senator Edward (Ted) Kennedy. May he find a new dimension of faith and trust in our Savior as he goes through this life-threatening crisis.

· "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed." (Isaiah 53:4,5)

2. Supreme Court Upholds Law Against Child Porn - Christian Newswire

"We have long held that obscene speech-sexually explicit material that violates fundamental notions of decency-is not protected by the First Amendment," begins the opinion handed down today by the Supreme Court in US v. Williams, a clear statement of law too often overlooked by our judiciary and law enforcement. In a 7-2 decision, the Court reversed the Eleventh Circuit opinion declaring the 2003 law unconstitutional and restored the much needed protections against the distribution of child pornography.

· Offer PRAISE TO THE LORD for this great victory! Praise God!

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

3. Massive Plume of Smoke Moving Toward Miami - AP

A large fire in the Everglades and other smaller fires in various parts of Florida brought smoky conditions across Florida on Sunday, even as increased humidity in some areas was helping firefighting efforts. The Florida Divison of Forestry, which handles fires on state property, says it was fighting 90 fires around the state. Those total about 39,500 acres, up about 500 acres from Saturday.

· Offer praise that the arsonist who started these fires has been arrested; and pray for his salvation. Offer praise, too, that no one has been killed in this disaster. Pray for the safety of all residents in the State of Florida, and ask our Lord to comfort those whose lives have been affected by these fires.

· "And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive." (Matthew 21:22)

4. Burma's Neighbors Meet, Look for Ways to Overcome Aid Hurdles -

More than two weeks after a massive cyclone hit Burma, foreign ministers of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are finally meeting on Monday to discuss how they can help the country respond to the disaster. The meeting in Singapore comes amid ongoing international frustration about the restrictions placed by Burma's military junta on outside aid efforts since the storm hit on May 3. The official death toll is nearly 78,000, with an estimated 56,000 people missing. Western governments have accused the regime of exacerbating the crisis by limiting aid and blocking the entry of foreign disaster response experts. Humanitarian agencies warn that many more people - including tens of thousands of children - may yet die without food, medicine and shelter.

· Father God, at times we are amazed at the stubborness and cruelty that can fill the hearts of men. We pray for the junta in Burma to have a change of heart and to welcome aid workers who are bringing life-sustaning provisions to the people of Burma. We lift up the leaders of the ASEAN conference, that they might act now QUICKLY to coordinate relief efforts for their neighbor, Burma. We continue in prayer for those suffering from the cyclone. As they cry out in their time of need we ask for Holy Spirit activity in the revelation of Jesus Christ. You are Lord over Burma!

· "For he hath not despised nor abhorred the affiction of the afflicted; neither hath he hid his face from him; but when he cried unto him, he heard. Thou which hast shewed me great and sore troubles, shalt quicken me again, and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth." (Ps. 22:24, 71:20)

5. Bush offers Saudis nuclear power in exchange for more oil - Ha'aretz

U.S. President George W. Bush, visiting the Saudi capital on Friday, hoped to formalize new agreements that would give the relationship between the two countries a boost.

· Obviously, many agreements were made last week between the United States and the nations of the Middle East. Some of these accords are public information; others must be kept hidden for now. Pray that all agreements that were made that are in the center of the will of God be carried out in truth; and that all else would fall to the ground and be of no effect.

· "Thy Kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven." (Matthew 6:10)

6. Lebanon gov't challenges Hezbollah on weapons arsenal - Ha'aretz

Lebanon's U.S.-backed ruling coalition challenged their Hezbollah-led rivals Saturday, demanding that top-level talks in Qatar on ending Lebanon's 18-month political crisis - which turned violent a week ago - also tackle the issue of Hezbollah's weapons.

· Offer prayer in the spirit over the volatile news out of Lebanon. This situation is changing hour by hour, so we must remain on watch. Pray that all hidden things related to Iran's support of the Hezbollah terrorists be revealed and that Iran be held accountable for its actions against the democratic government of Lebanon.

· "There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known." (Luke 12:2)

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:

"Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; cause Your face to shine, and we shall be saved!" (Psalm80:19)

1. Barak: Incursion into Gaza imminent - Jerusalem Post

Even as Defense Ministry officials said Sunday that Israel was likely to accept the Gaza Strip cease-fire deal brokered by Egypt, Defense Minister Ehud Barak, in a meeting with a high-level US congressional delegation, did not mention the cease-fire and talked instead about a possible large-scale military incursion.

2. Palestinians demand regular army for new state - Ynet News

Despite previous understandings that a future Palestinian state would be demilitarized, Ynet has learned that in talks held behind closed doors, the top negotiator for the Palestinian Authority, Ahmed Qureia, is demanding the establishment of a regular army.

3. Olmert: We're close to decision on Gaza - Jerusalem Post

Continuous rocket barrages fired by Palestinians against Israeli towns in the western Negev cannot persist and a decision on how to act on the matter is near, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert warned on Sunday.

4. PA sources: Agreement of principles by Aug '08 - Jerusalem Post

Although the discouraging pace of peace talks has led many to doubt the feasibility of US President George W. Bush's goal that a peace deal between Israel and the Palestinians could be realized by 2009, Palestinian Authority officials seemed optimistic on Sunday, telling the London-based newspaper, Al-Hayat that an agreement of principles between the two sides would likely be signed by August 2008.

Iran in the News


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

"The wicked plot against the righteous and gnash their teeth at them; but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he knows their day is coming." (Psalms 37:12,13)

1. Iran Is a Key Concern as President Returns From Middle East Trip - NY Sun

As he toured the Middle East over the past five days, President Bush tried to shore up support for his strategy of isolating Iran in meetings with the leaders of Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and the Palestinian territories. But the one session that did not take place laid bare the problems his administration faces as it tries to persuade its allies to keep the faith.

2. Deputy IDF chief, top US military official discuss Iran - Ynet News


IDF Deputy Chief of Staff Major-General Dan Harel met this past weekend with the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Michael Mullen, to discuss the Iranian threat, Yedioth Ahronoth reported Sunday.

3. US House speaker: Nothing should be ruled out in order to stop Iran - Jerusalem Post

US House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Sunday that no option should be ruled out in order to stop Iran's march toward nuclear weapons. "Iran must be stopped. They are a threat to the neighborhood and a source of funding for Hamas and Hizbullah," Pelosi told Channel 1. While hoping there would be no need for a military strike, the House speaker stressed, "I do think we must not take anything off the table."

4. Russia takes measures to protect its facilities and citizens in Iran - (RIA Novosti)

Russia is taking steps to ensure the safety of its facilities and citizens in Iran following reports of a planned terrorist attack on the Russian consulate in Rasht, the Foreign Ministry said on Thursday. Iran said on Wednesday it had arrested a terrorist group that planned to blow up the Russian consulate building in the town of Rasht near the Caspian Sea. "The Russian Foreign Ministry and the Russian Embassy in Tehran, in cooperation with the Iranian authorities, are taking additional security measures to ensure the safety of Russian citizens and facilities in Iran," the ministry said in a statement.

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:

" . . . evil men will be cut off, but those who hope in the LORD will inherit the land." (Psalm 37:9)

1. Vietnam: Officials Confiscate Home of Evangelist - Worthy News

Local officials in Lao Cai province have confiscated the land and home of a former opium addict because of his phenomenal success as an evangelist, local Christian sources said.

2. Pakistan: Doctor Jailed on 'Blasphemy' Charges - Worthy News

Pakistani police have jailed a Christian doctor after "blasphemy" charges incited a mob attack on his home last week in Punjab province.

3. Zimbabwe Christians Facing Famine And Persecution, Aid Workers Say - Worthy News

Christians in several areas of Zimbabwe faced more food shortages Wednesday, May 14, amid ongoing turmoil and reported persecution of churches in the country, once called 'the breadbasket of Africa.'