Sunday, May 18, 2008

The Daily Brief - Wednesday, May 14, 2008

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

Today's Daily Brief

1. China Earthquake: 60,000 Still Missing:
President Bush Speaks With Chinese President Hu Jintao And Offers Aid

- London Telegraph and Associated Press

Around 60,000 people are still reported missing near the epicentre of the Chinese earthquake, prompting fears that the death toll could rise dramatically. "President Bush spoke by phone with Chinese President Hu Jintao on the powerful earthquake that hit central China." White House spokeswoman Dana Perino said. He expressed his condolences on the thousands of deaths in the quake and offered to assist where possible, and said that the U.S. is offering an initial $500,000 in earthquake relief in anticipation of an appeal by the International Red Cross. Return to China the help they have given to others.

· Gracious Father, we cannot imagine the depth of suffering of those in China and Myanmar. Please continue to be a Light to them in their time of need, and also to those Americans who have been hurt in the tornadic activity this year. Please give our president wisdom on how to respond to these catastrophes, and may many seek salvation because of these calamities. We also ask that the president not seek to divide Israel, especially now that he is there for their 60th Anniversary. May his actions glorify You. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

· "This is a faithful saying: For if we died with Him, we shall also live with Him. If we endure, we shall also reign with Him. If we deny Him, He also will deny us. If we are faithless, He remains faithful, He cannot deny Himself. " (2 Timothy 2: 11-13 NKJV)

2. UN says another cyclone forming in Myanmar area - AP

A second cyclone was forming Wednesday near Myanmar, less than two weeks after it was devastated by a killer storm, the UN said. The United Nations' weather center is tracking a nascent tropical storm that is likely to become a cyclone, said Amanda Pitt, the spokeswoman of the world body's humanitarian relief program, in Bangkok, Thailand. "This is terrible," she told reporters, adding that it could further jeopardize the people who survived Cyclone Nargis on May 3 and the efforts to distribute aid for them. The UN's World Meteorological Center said on its Web site that "the potential for the development of a significant tropical cyclone within the next 24 hours is good."

· CRY OUT on behalf of the people of Myanmar (Burma)!! Ask our Lord to intervene, in His great mercy, and to avert this storm that it might pass out to sea and be harmless to anyone on the land. PRAY!

· "Who then is this? for He gives orders both to wind and waves, and they obey Him." (Luke 8:25)

3. Florida Wildfires Force Hundreds of Evacuations- AP

Wildfires in the southeastern U.S. state of Florida have forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes and shut down a number of major roads. Florida officials say the fires started Sunday and engulfed a combined area of nearly 11 square kilometers in two counties, Brevard and Volusia. One fire in Brevard County covered more than eight square kilometers alone.

Officials say about 500 homes were under mandatory evacuations, while people in another 200 homes were asked to leave voluntarily. The Florida Division of Forestry warns that windy and dry conditions are making it difficult to contain the fires.

· Offer praise that no lives have been lost in these fires; and pray for those who are fighting them now. Pray for the victims, that they would find comfort amidst their losses.

· "When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze." (Isa. 43:2)

4. UN Alert: One-Fourth Of World's Wheat At Risk From New Fungus - World Tribune

The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) warned in March that Iran had detected a new highly pathogenic strain of wheat stem rust called Ug99. Scientists and international organizations focused on controlling wheat stem rust have said 90 percent of world wheat lines are susceptible to Ug99. The situation is particularly critical in light of the existing worldwide wheat shortage.

· Father of the Harvest, we implore You to allow this plague to pass and that there will be an abundant wheat harvest this year. We ask that a world famine not happen, especially in light of a small corn harvest due to ethanol demand. May Your Holy Spirit intercede for these worldwide food needs because they are truly too much for us to ascertain how to pray and ask for the requirements for the world. Thank You for always answering our prayers. We praise You in advance for what You will do to help the hungry. In Jesus' Name we pray. Amen.

· "Sing, O heavens! Be joyful, O earth! And break out in singing, O mountains! For the Lord has comforted His people, and will have mercy on His afflicted." (Isaiah 49:13)

5. Sweet Sorghum Sap May Trump Corn As 'Potent' Biofuel -

Sweet sorghum is grown in the U.S. for cooking and livestock feed. But the tall plant, which can grow as tall as 12 feet, also might help at the gas pump. A sugary sap inside the plant's stalk can be turned into a potent biofuel, and experts and companies are studying its potential hoping that farmers will want to plant more of it.

Ethanol made from the stalk's juice has four times the energy yield of the corn-based ethanol, which is already in the marketplace. Sweet sorghum produces about eight units of energy for every unit of energy used in its production. That's about the same as sugarcane but four times as much as corn.

· Heavenly Father, may America seek Your Face in its quest to find viable alternative fuel sources. May sweet sorghum and other natural materials that You created be brought to light and successfully examined to end our nation's fuel crisis. For Your glory we pray these things will happen. Amen.

· " Who among you fears the Lord? Who obeys the voice of His Servant? Who walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the Lord and rely upon his God." (Isaiah 50: 10 NKJV )

6. Genetically Modified Human Embryo Stirs Criticism - Associated Press

News that scientists have for the first time genetically altered a human embryo is drawing fire from some watchdog groups that say it's a step toward creating "designer babies." But an author of the study, Dr. Zev Rosenwaks, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine and Infertility at NewYork- Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, says the work was focused on stem cells and that the researchers used an abnormal embryo that could never have developed into a baby anyway.

The study appears to be the first report of genetically modifying a human embryo. It was presented last fall at a meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, but didn't draw widespread public attention then. The result was reported over the weekend by The Sunday Times of London, which said British authorities highlighted the work in a recent report. A London-based group called Human Genetics Alert criticized the work.

· How can man think that he can improve on the genetic makeup You created for those created in Your Image? We ask for forgiveness for these misguided scientists and that they will repent and turn to You for guidance in their future scientific experimentations. May they be saved for Your glory and their works and actions not be imitated by anyone else. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

· "Let no one deceive himself. If anyone among you seems to be wise in this age, let him become a fool that he may become wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God." (1 Corinthians 3: 18-19a)

7. Congress Votes Overwhelmingly to Stop Oil Reserve Shipments - AP

Congress voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to challenge President Bush to temporarily halt the daily shipment of thousands of barrels of oil into the government's emergency reserve. Lawmakers disagreed on what - if any - impact the suspension might have on gasoline prices and acknowledged it was but "a modest step" in addressing public anger over soaring energy costs.

Bush has steadfastly refused to halt shipments of about 70,000 barrel barrels of oil a day into the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, a system of salt caverns on the Gulf coast. The reserve, created to respond to major oil supply disruptions, holds 701 million barrels and is at 97 percent of capacity. "There is no evidence that (suspending shipments) will affect the price of oil or gasoline in a meaningful way," said White House spokesman Scott Stanzel. He said the president opposes any congressional mandate to stop deliveries and believes Congress should focus on broader energy issues.

The Senate voted 97-1 to suspend the shipments for the rest of the year. Hours later, the House followed suit, voting 385-25 to halt the deliveries. The votes don't compel Bush to act because the measures differ somewhat and would need to be reconciled before final congressional approval.

· Father God, as Congress struggles to respond to our oil crisis during this election year, we ask for Your wisdom to be with the members of both the House and the Senate as they work now to reconcile these two bills before they are sent to the White House for signature. We ask that You would soften the heart of President Bush, so that he will sign this bill when it reaches his desk. ANY RELIEF at the gas pumps is most welcome! Amen!!

· "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matt. 21:22)

8. One in Five Democrats Set to Defect to McCain, Polls Show -

A string of polls conducted by the Suffolk University Political Research Center over the past month--in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana and, now, West Virginia-- show that roughly 20 percent of Democratic primary voters are ready to vote for Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in November if their choice candidate isn't the nominee.

The latest survey, which questioned 600 likely voters in Tuesday's West Virginia Democratic presidential primary, shows Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) trouncing Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.), the national front-runner, by 36 points in West Virginia, 60 percent to 24 percent. A Pennsylvania poll done by a separate polling firm in March showed similar results, indicating that 19 percent of Pennsylvania Clinton supporters said they would vote for McCain in November, while 20 percent of Obama supporters said they would vote for the Republican.

· Dear Father Who Places Those In Authority, we humbly ask You to complete the good work that You Have started in our hearts and answer our prayers for You to choose the next President of the United States. We pray that he will be a man after Your own heart, just like Your son, King David. Please prepare the hearts of Americans to be able to listen to Your Holy Spirit's guidance now and as they enter polling places this November to choose officials who will govern justly and wisely for Your glory. In Your Name we pray. Amen.

· " Therefore I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks be made for all men, for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence. For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth." (1 Timothy 2: 1-4 NKJV )

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 President Bush arrives in Israel - Ynet News

United States President George W. Bush arrived in Israel Wednesday for his second visit in four months. This time, the American leader is in the country to mark Israel's 60th anniversary and take part in the Presidential Conference organized by Shimon Peres.

2. Rocket wounds 15 in Ashkelon - Ynet News

As US President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert were sitting down to an intense two-hour meeting in Jerusalem early Wednesday evening, a Palestinian Grad rocket was launched from northern Gaza towards Israel.

3. Tony Blair: Israel will remove Palestinian West Bank checkpoints - London Telegraph

Tony Blair, in his role as Mideast envoy, yesterday said that Israel has agreed to remove several West Bank checkpoints and ease the flow of traffic through others.

4. Ahmadinejad predicts Israel will be 'swept away' by Palestinians - Ha'aretz

In Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's latest verbal outburst against Israel, the Iranian President said Tuesday that it would "be soon swept away" by the Palestinians.

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. Bush Calls Iran 'Single Biggest Threat' to Mideast Peace - NewsMax

President George W. Bush on Monday called Iran the "single biggest threat" to peace in the Middle East ahead of a visit to the region centered on celebrations of Israel's 60th anniversary.

2. Bush warns Syria, Iran over Lebanon violence - Ynet News

US President George W. Bush Monday warned Iran and Syria that the international community would not allow Lebanon to fall under foreign domination again, as he vowed to shore up the Lebanese army.

3. Gillerman: Iran positioning itself on Israel's northern border - Ynet News

Iran has reached Israel's northern border, as well as its southern border, Israeli Ambassador to the United Nations Dan Gillerman said Wednesday, several hours before US President George W. Bush's arrival in the Jewish state.

4. Russia urges int'l partners to provide security guarantees for Iran - AP

Russian news agencies say Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov has urged international mediators on Iran's nuclear program to provide security guarantees that would boost chances of a diplomatic resolution. Lavrov is quoted as making the call on Wednesday after meeting with German Foreign Minister Frank- Walter Steinmeier in Yekaterinburg. Germany and Russia are two of the countries in the so- called "sextet" seeking a resolution to tensions over Iran's alleged moves to develop nuclear weapons. Lavrov said that getting Iran to the negotiating table depends on promises that the country is not under threat of military action. The sextet also includes the United States, China, France and Britain.

The President's Middle East Itinerary


· Join us in praying for the safety and protection of President George W. Bush, First Lady Laura Bush, and all who will be traveling with his adminstration during their tour of the Middle East. Capitol Hill Prayer Partners will publish the president's itinerary, one day at a time, beginning with a review of today's events and then giving a preview of the schedule for the coming day . . . every day that the President is on this trip.

Please join us, too, in praying that every decision our president makes on this trip would be within the perfect will of God . . . for our nation . . . and for Israel. Amen.

TODAY (Wednesday, May 14, 2008):

-- THE PRESIDENT and Mrs. Bush participate in an Arrival Ceremony at Ben Gurion International Airport; Tel Aviv, Israel

-- At 2:30 p.m., THE PRESIDENT met with the President of Israel at the President's Residence in Jerusalem

-- At 3:30 p.m., THE PRESIDENT met with the Prime Minister of Israel at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem

-- At 8:10 p.m., THE PRESIDENT made remarks in Jerusalem at the ICC Jerusalem International Convention Center

ON THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2008:

-- At 9:00 am, THE PRESIDENT and Mrs. Bush will visit the Masada Museum and Visitors Center at the Masada National Park in Masada, Israel.

-- At 1:20 p.m., THE PRESIDENT and Mrs. Bush will participate in an Arrival Ceremony at The Knesset in Jerusalem

-- At 1:45 p.m., THE PRESIDENT and Mrs. Bush will greet Israeli Government Officials at The Knesset in Jerusalem

-- At 2:05 p.m., THE PRESIDENT will make remarks to Members of The Knesset in Jerusalem

-- At 3:45 p.m., THE PRESIDENT will meet with the Quartet Representative at The King David - Jerusalem Hotel in Jerusalem

-- At 7:45 p.m., THE PRESIDENT and Mrs. Bush will participate in a Reception in Honor of the 60th Anniversary of the State of Israel at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem

-- At 8:45 p.m., THE PRESIDENT and Mrs. Bush will attend a Social Dinner with the Prime Minister of Israel and Mrs. Olmert at the Prime Minister's Residence in Jerusalem