Sunday, June 22, 2008

The Daily Brief - Friday, June 20, 2008

"You hear, O LORD, the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry . . . " (Psalm 10:17)

The Daily Brief

1. President Bush Visits Iowa, Discusses Aid For Flooding
- Reuters

President Bush got a close-up view of damage from the worst Midwest flooding in 15 years on Thursday as his administration promised funding from a multibillion- dollar disaster relief fund. "I know a lot of farmers and cattlemen are hurting right now," Bush said at an emergency center in Cedar Rapids, among the cities hit hardest by this week's flooding. "It's a tough time," he said before taking a helicopter tour of flooded areas with Iowa Gov. Chet Culver. . . During the trip to Cedar Rapids with Bush, Federal Emergency Management administrator David Paulison said the $4 billion currently in FEMA's Disaster Relief Fund should be "more than enough" to provide federal aid.

· Lord, as we have faced many disasters, bring these situations to cause hearts to turn toward You. Bring the comfort of the Holy Spirit to meet the enormous needs of many affected. Give power to the church to minister the help and healing needed. May salvation and blessing flow over these regions.

· But if from thence thou shalt seek the LORD thy God, thou shalt find him, if thou seek him with all thy heart and with all thy soul. And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, LORD, hast not forsaken them that seek thee. ( Deut. 4:29, Ps. 9:10)

2. Bush Calls For End To Ban On Offshore Oil Drilling - New York Times

President Bush urged Congress on Wednesday to end a federal ban on offshore oil drilling and open a portion of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for oil exploration, asserting that those steps and others would lower gasoline prices and 'strengthen our national security.' In recent years, the president said, 'scientists have developed innovative techniques to reach Anwar's oil with virtually no impact on the land or local wildlife,' referring to the wildlife refuge by its acronym. He continued, 'I urge members of Congress to allow this remote region to bring enormous benefits to the American people.' 'I know the Democratic leaders have opposed some of these policies in the past,' Mr. Bush said. 'Now that their opposition has helped drive gas prices to record levels, I ask them to reconsider their positions. If Congressional leaders leave for the Fourth of July recess without taking action, they will need to explain why $4-a-gallon gasoline is not enough incentive for them to act.'

· Lord, we pray for Congress to have Your vision for the future oil drilling needs of America. Give Congress God-ordained plans and goals. Lead them to the conduct that will always invest in the future. We ask for wisdom to be faithful and good stewards over the resources You have so mightily blessed us with.

· For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. (Jeremiah 29:11)

3. Congress Moves To Override Bush's Second Farm Bill Veto - The Wall Street Journal

The House of Representatives on Wednesday again voted to override a veto by President Bush of a 2008 farm bill. The first time Mr. Bush vetoed the five-year farm bill, the document was incomplete because of an error in transmitting the bill to him. Mr. Bush vetoed it again Wednesday before the override vote. Bush, in a message sent to the House Wednesday along with the veto, called the farm bill 'fiscally imprudent.' 'At a time of high food prices and record farm income, this bill lacks program reform and fiscal discipline. It continues subsidies for the wealthy and increases farm bill spending by more than $20 billion, while using budget gimmicks to hide much of the increase,' Mr. Bush said.

· Lord, let godly counsel and wisdom have an influential voice over the farm bill. There are many plans in a man's heart; nevertheless Your counsel will stand. We ask for discernment to make wise decisions on the farm bill spending.

· A wise man will hear, and will increase learning; and a man of understanding shall attain unto wise counsels. ( Prov. 1:5)

4. Bush Sending Energy Chief To Saudi Oil Parley - AP

President Bush is sending Energy Secretary Samuel Bodman to Saudi Arabia for a one-day meeting of oil producers. Bodman is leading a U.S. delegation to the meeting on Sunday in the port city of Jiddah in Saudia Arabia, the world's largest oil producer. Saudi Arabia has called the meeting of oil producing countries and consumers to discuss ways of dealing with soaring energy prices and preventing further increases. The director of the president's economic council, Keith Hennessey, said oil costs are soaring because demand exceeds supply. Saudi Arabia takes the position it is pumping enough oil to meet the requests of all buyers.

· Pray blessings over Samuel Bodman and the delegates attending the meeting. Pray for truth to be revealed. Ask God for the results to be favorable, successful and prosperous.

· Moreover the profit of the earth is for all: the king himself is served by the field. Every man also whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God. ( Eccl. 5:9,19)

5. Paulson Pushes Oversight Changes of Financial Markets - The Wall Street Journal

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson has called for faster changes to the oversight of financial markets that would expand the role of the Federal Reserve, in the wake of the collapse of brokerage firm Bear Stearns & Cos. In a speech delivered on Thursday, Mr. Paulson said that the fall of Bear Stearns has expedited the need for the government to address the 'outdated' regulatory oversight structure while not intervening too much in the functioning of markets. 'We must dramatically expand our attention to the fundamental needs of our system, and move much more quickly to update our regulatory structure always keeping in mind that there must be a balance between market discipline and market oversight,' he stated.

· Lord, we pray for these necessary changes to be made with Your guidance. Watch over these regulations that they have the proper boundaries and structures. Bring the financial markets into proper alignment and balance.

· For God doth instruct him to discretion, and doth teach him. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, thou wilt revive me: thou shalt stretch forth thine hand against the wrath of mine enemies, and thy right hand shall save me. ( Is. 28:26, Ps. 138:7)

6. Department Of Homeland Security Begins Testing Nuclear Detectors - USA Today

In between two hangars, near planes used to transport heads of state and military cargo, agents from the Homeland Security Department are searching every cranny of a DC-9 and a Gulf Stream jet. They are looking for what security officials say could be the components of terrorists' deadliest weapon yet: radioactive and nuclear material that could be used to make bombs. Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff calls it a 'very real threat' that terrorists could smuggle a weapon of mass destruction into the country on a private plane. Based on a report about the threat from Oxford's office, Chertoff ordered that all 'general aviation' planes from overseas be scanned when they land in the USA. General aviation planes are private jets and charter planes that aren't put through the same security as commercial airlines before they take off.

· Thank You, Lord, for the wisdom of searching all 'general aviation' planes. We ask You for protection from the enemy that seeks to destroy life. Expose the plans of the enemy and uncover hidden things of destruction. You are the fortress, strength, shield, and stronghold that is securing our steps. We give You praise.

· The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust, my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower. I will call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised: so shall I be saved from mine enemies. ( Ps. 18:2-3)

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:

"Moreover you shall provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God: men of truth, hating unjust gain; and place such over them, to be rulers." (Exodus 18:21)

1. U.S. trains Egyptians on tunnel detection system near Gaza Strip - World Tribune

The U.S. military has begun testing tunnel detection systems along the Egyptian border with the Gaza Strip.

2. Olmert: Israel ready for major concessions - Ynet News

"There is no cause or reason to enter a war with Syria" - said Prime Minister Ehud Olmert in an interview broadcast Thursday on BBC Arabic Television. Israel, he said, is ready to make major concessions on the redrawing of its borders in an effort to secure peace with the Palestinians and Syria. Olmert declined to elaborate.

3. Assad: Meeting Olmert now pointless - Ynet News

Syrian President Bashar Assad said on Thursday that any meeting between him and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will be pointless at this time; and that he needed to see more progress in Turkey-mediated indirect peace talks with Israel before he agrees to a meeting with the Israeli prime minister.

4. Hamas unilaterally extends ceasefire to West Bank- ICEJ News

The shaky truce along the Gaza border lasted into its second day on Friday, but Hamas added a new twist by saying it will extend the ceasefire to its forces in the West Bank as well, a move that Israel has opposed in the recent Egyptian-brokered truce talks.

5. Knesset holds key vote next week on new elections - ICEJ News
Poll finds Labor would shrink to third largest party

Efforts to initiate a new elections in Israel will continue next week when the Knesset votes on the preliminary reading of Likud MK Silvan Shalom's bill to disperse parliament, a move that some coalition lawmakers are still trying to avert by forming an alternative Kadima-led government through forcing the resignation of Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and a leadership primary to select his replacement.

Iran in the News


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

"For by strength no man shall prevail. The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces. From heaven He will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth." (1 Samuel 2:9-10)

1. Israel May Be Training for Strikes at Iran Sites - NY Sun

The window for diplomatic solutions to Iran's enrichment of uranium may be closing.

2. IAF said to have held drill for strike on Iran - The New York Times

US officials have told The New York Times that Israel carried out a large military drill during the first week of June that appeared to be a rehearsal for a bombing mission against Iran's nuclear sites. At least 100 Israeli F-16 and F-15 fighter jets were involved in the exercises carried out over the eastern Mediterranean and Greece, which focused on long-range air skills. The exercises were so extensive, Washington believes they were meant to be picked up by other Western intelligence agencies as a demonstration that Israel was prepared to act militarily if diplomatic efforts to stop Iran from developing a uranium nuclear weapon fail.

3. Iran says West's 'new nuclear game' to fail - AFP

President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said Thursday the "new game" of the West in the nuclear standoff with Iran would end in humiliation, days after world powers presented a new offer to end the crisis.

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:

"May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend you." (Psalm 20:1)

1. Muslims Fight to Keep Church Out of Village

Muslim fundamentalists in a village 192 kilometers (119 miles) north of the capital have threatened to kill a pastor as part of an effort to keep his church from constructing a church building, according to the head of the Isha-e-Jamat Bangladesh (Jesus' Church) denomination.

2. Sri Lanka: Large Anti-Christian Rally Planned

Buddhist extremists have invited residents of Middeniya, a town in Hambanthota district, southern Sri Lanka, to attend a huge anti-Christian rally this Sunday (June 22), where they have promised to "expose the great [Christian] conspiracy."

3. China: Bookstore Owner Due to Appear in Court

Christian bookstore owner Shi Weihan, detained in a Chinese prison without his medication for diabetes, is due in court Thursday (June 19) to face as yet unspecified charges.

4. China Detains Church Leader Due To Meet EU Official

The president of the Chinese House Church Alliance, a major umbrella group of underground churches, has been detained along with his interpreter while on his way to meet a senior European Union official, fellow Christian workers said.

(Source for all articles in this section: Worthy News.)