· The Daily Brief
· The Middle East in Focus
· Pray for the Persecuted Church
· And now . . . Hallmark!
· Exit Petraeus, Without Fanfare
· Obama Citizenship Challenged in Federal Court
· Pray for the Conventions
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The Daily Brief August 26, 2008
"Deliver me, O Lord, from my enemies; I take refuge in You." (Psalm 143:9 NKJV)
The Daily Brief
1. Rice Returns for Peace Push; Palestinians Released - Bloomberg
U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice returned to Israel Monday to press the goal of reaching the guidelines for a Middle East peace agreement this year, as Israel freed Palestinian prisoners in a goodwill gesture. Rice is scheduled during her two-day visit to meet with senior Israeli and Palestinian officials to discuss "progress toward the shared goal of a peace agreement in 2008," State Department spokesman Sean McCormack said on Aug. 22. Rice and President George W. Bush had banked on reaching an accord this year after a U.S. diplomatic push toward a Palestinian state began at a summit in Annapolis, Maryland, last November."
· Lord, we pray that these negotiations will not include dividing Israel. We pray that You will direct the talks as to what Your will is for this situation. Let Your will be done and not man's will be done! And Your wisdom be upon the leaders.
· For the Lord has driven out from before you great and strong nations; but as for you, no one has been able to stand against you to this day. (Joshua 23:9)
2. U.S. Navy Warship Arrives With Humanitarian Aid In Georgia - AP
A U.S. Navy warship carrying humanitarian aid for Georgia has anchored in the southern Georgian port of Batumi. The arrival of the guided-missile destroyer USS McFaul on Sunday is a strong signal of support for an embattled ally. On Friday, Russia said it had pulled back forces from Georgia in accordance with a EU-brokered cease-fire agreement. "There are very specific requirements for Russian withdrawal. Putting up permanent facilities and checkpoints are inconsistent with the agreement. We are in contact with the various parties to obtain clarification," White House spokesman Gordon Johndroe said.
· Heavenly Father, tame this brashness that the leaders of Russia are displaying. Through super-natural means let them know that they are coming against You when they persecute the people of Georgia and the smaller nations.
· "I will send My fear before you, I will cause confusion among all the people to whom you come, and will make all your enemies turn their backs to you. And I will send hornets before you, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite from before you." (Exodus 23:27, 28)
3. Gay Marriage Foes Mobilize for Ban in California - NewsMax
Michael Bumgarner says he's never campaigned for a political cause before, but his strong opposition to same-sex marriage has prompted him to join thousands of volunteers going door-to-door in support of a ballot initiative that would ban gay nuptials here.
· Lord, we pray that Christians will rise up out of their slumber and begin to take back what the devil has stolen through homosexuality - our families, future, and blessings. Let Christians not be lukewarm or slothful about getting involved in politics for the sake of our children, their children and our nation. Let them persevere.
· The curse of the Lord is on the house of the wicked, but He blesses the home of the just. (Proverbs 3:33) So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. (Revelation 3:16)
4. Fed Chief: Financial Crisis, Inflation Taking Toll on Economy - Fox
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday the financial crisis that has pounded the country -- coupled with higher inflation -- is taking a toll on the economy and poses a major challenge to Fed policymakers as they try to restore stability. "Although we have seen some improved functioning in some markets, the financial storm that reached gale force" around this time last year "has not yet subsided, and its effects on the broader economy are becoming apparent in the form of softening economic activity and rising unemployment," Bernanke said in a speech to a high-profile economics conference here.
· Lord, we repent we have robbed You over and over again in not sowing our tithes and offerings. Our nation is beginning to show the consequences of not obeying You in this command of Yours. Let us be faithful and quick to obey You.
· "Will a man rob God? Yet you have robbed Me! But you say, 'In what way have we robbed You?' In tithes and offerings." (Malachi 3:8) "Therefore if you have not been faithful in the unrighteous mammon, who will commit to your trust the true riches?" (Luke 16:11)
5. U.S. Deaths Reach 101 for the Year in Afghanistan - AP
Taliban Turns Into Lethal Fighting Force. Taliban insurgents once derided as a ragtag rabble unable to match U.S. troops have transformed into a fighting force - one advanced enough to mount massive conventional attacks and claim American lives at a record pace. Rep. Chris Shays, a Republican member of the House Homeland Security committee, said it appears the United States is making some of the same mistakes in Afghanistan that it did in Iraq, such as underfunding the training of the Afghan army. He also called for an increase in the use of "soft power" like aid work and "some sort of effort in reconciliation."
· Lord, we know that You gave us Gen. Petraeus to help us get control over the violence in Iraq; we pray that You will give us more leaders who also will have Your wisdom as to how to defeat these Taliban rebels once and for all.
· No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. (Joshua 1:5)
6. Iraq PM: All U.S. Troops to Exit by 2011- AP
Iraqi Prime Minister Prime Nuri al-Maliki said on Monday that an agreement had been reached in negotiations on a security pact with the United States to end any foreign military presence in Iraq by the end of 2011. The Iraqi government has said it is proposing U.S. troops end patrols of Iraqi towns and villages by the middle of next year and U.S. combat troops leave Iraq by 2011.
· Heavenly Father, the nation of Iraq is so strategically located among the nations of that region. We pray that You will give the U.S. leadership favor with Iraq's leaders and give them wisdom as to what should be allowed in these negotiations. Let nothing be put forth that would jeopardize our security and interests in that region.
· Little children, let no one deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous, just as He is righteous. (1 John 3:7) Let those be put to shame and brought to dishonor who seek after my life; let those be turned back and brought to confusion who plot my hurt. (Psalms 35:4)
7. Democrats open faith-filled convention with prayer - AP
There will be four "faith caucus" meetings, blessings to open and close each night, and panels and parties run by Democratic-leaning religious advocacy groups that didn't even exist in 2004 - not to mention protests from religious groups and leaders opposed to the Democratic platform. "Now there's a genuine interest in speaking with groups and religious groups who were previously considered enemies," said Rachel Laser, who works on culture issues for the centrist Democratic think tank Third Way. "There still is a possibility that Obama will chip into the Republican advantage with this religious outreach," Hertzke said.
· Lord, we pray that people will not be deceived by groups wanting to use faith as a leverage to win elections. Let a genuine desire for the things of God come from pure intentions. Man sees the outer view, but God sees the heart.
· These six things the Lord hates, Yes, seven are an abomination to Him: A proud look, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that are swift in running to evil . . . (Proverbs 6:16, 17)
8. Flight Delay Nightmare - AP
A failure in a Federal Aviation Administration computer system that processes flight plans delayed hundreds of flights nationwide Tuesday, though the FAA expected to have the problem fixed by the evening. "Our estimate is a return to normal ops in an hour in Atlanta," Hank Krakowski, chief operations officer for the FAA, told reporters Tuesday afternoon. "The airlines have been working quite well with us. It looks like we're slowly starting to dig out of this."
· This is a "real-time" problem as we post tonight's edition of the Daily Brief. We ask prayers for wisdom for those in authority at the FAA and all airline personnel; and strength for each one as they work to sort out this mayhem and have order restored. Pray!
· "For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and his ears attend to their prayer." (I Peter 3:12)
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: "May the LORD answer you in the day of trouble; may the name of the God of Jacob defend you." (Psalm 20:1)
1. Peace Now reports 'surge' in settlement building - Ynet News
"Israel is working to erase the Green Line," the Peace Now organization asserts in a report issued Tuesday morning regarding construction efforts in the West Bank for the first two quarters of 2008.
2. Barak to Rice: Israel won't accept nuclear Iran - Ynet News
Defense Minister Ehud Barak met with visiting US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice Monday evening, and told her that Israel is committed to the safety of its citizens while at the same time acting to improve the lives of the Palestinians in the West Bank.
3. Rice admits tough task to reach Mideast peace deal by year-end - AFP
US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice admitted on Monday that the Israelis and Palestinians have a lot of work to do if they are to strike a peace deal by the end of the year.
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. American Pastor Disappears In Beijing After Protest
As the Beijing Olympics drew to a close Sunday, August 24, with televised fireworks and a multi-million dollar show, there was concern over rights abuses of Christians in Communist-run China, amid reports that an American pastor disappeared.
2. Yemen Detains Nine Ex-Muslims For Converting To Christianity
At least some nine Christian converts remained detained in Yemen Friday, August 22, amid international concerns they may be tortured or even killed because of their decision to abandon Islam.
3. Pastor Attacked, Churches Burned in Wake of Swami's Murder in Orissa, India
At least one Gospel for Asia missionary has been attacked, churches and homes have been destroyed and Christians are fleeing for their lives in India's Orissa state in the wake of the murder of a leading anti-Christian activist leader.
4. Six Missionaries and a Bible College Student Beaten in Uttarakhand
Anti-Christian extremists brutally attacked Rasul Sarvak, a Bible college student, and seven Gospel for Asia missionaries on India's Independence Day, August 15. The mob became enraged after they saw Rasul passing out Gospel literature with a team of other students from the college.
And now . . . Hallmark!
Care Enough to Send the Very Worst
Hallmark, a privately owned company and the biggest name in greeting cards, is releasing same-sex marriage cards. This latest marketing venture comes despite the fact that homosexual "marriage" has only been imposed by the courts in two states. The cards include two tuxedos on the front or two hearts intertwined.
The company made the controversial decision to begin releasing the cards, despite the fact that a vast majority of Americans support traditional marriage as between one man and one woman. We can only wonder whether the company, which also owns the Hallmark Channel that defines itself as "the quintessential 24-hour television destination for family- friendly programming and a leader in the production of original movies," will try to push this new view of "family values" through its television broadcasting.
We shouldn't be totally surprised by this latest move. Last year, Hallmark started offering "coming out" cards for homosexuals to announce their sexual orientation to their family and friends. Placing profits over character should never be a good business decision. This is far from being "the Very Best" and I suggest you contact Hallmark and let them know that when it comes to greeting cards you are considering the rest. (Family Research Council)
Exit Petraeus, Without Fanfare
General David Petraeus's tenure in Iraq draws to a close at the end of the month, and it's a measure of his success that he is departing to far less political fanfare than when his tour began. In September 2007, MoveOn.org called him General "Betray-Us," and Hillary Clinton said his claims of progress weren't credible. Now those critics are silent.
When General Petraeus took command 18 months ago, Iraq was sliding into chaos, and President Bush's "surge" was the last chance to bring the country under control. Last April, Majority Leader Harry Reid confidently declared, "The war is lost," and it would have been, if Mr. Bush had taken Mr. Reid's advice. Instead, he stuck with General Petraeus's counterinsurgency strategy, and now violence of every measure has been tamped down; Sunni-Shiite political reconciliation is underway; the Iraqi Army is growing in expertise; and the U.S. and Nouri al- Maliki's government are finishing negotiations toward a long-term security agreement.
However impressive, such gains remain fragile, as General Petraeus is noting in exit interviews this week. "It's not durable yet. It's not self-sustaining. You know -- touch wood -- there is still a lot of work to be done," he told Dexter Filkins of the New York Times.
American military engagement is crucial in the months and years ahead, and will fall now to the capable hands of Lieutenant General Ray Odierno, General Petraeus's chief deputy and co-prosecutor of the anti-al Qaeda success of the last 18 months. General Petraeus will leave Iraq to take control of Central Command, which includes Iraq and the wider Middle East theater including Afghanistan and Iran. With the resurgence of the Taliban, Americans are fortunate the General has signed up for more hard duty.
Editorial The Wall Street Journal August 22, 2008
Obama Citizenship Challenged in Federal Court
Democratic Lawyer Challenges Obama Citizenship In Federal Court
The Democratic National Convention will attempt to portray a Democratic Party unified for its candidate B. Hussein Obama, the right man for the right time for the right kind of America. But just hours before the convention, a hardly-reported snag has appeared in the courts that may turn the convention and Obama's candidacy upside-down. It has been reported on the Internet, complete with court documents, that a well known Democratic lawyer from Philadelphia has filed for a Temporary Restraining Order to prevent Obama from running for President, to prevent the Democratic Party from nominating him and to prevent Obama's name from appearing on the ballot as a Presidential candidate.
Phillip Berg, a Democratic activist, has filed the injunction in Federal District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Berg makes the case in his filing that Obama is not a citizen of the United States and is therefore not eligible to become President. Berg claims documentation that Obama was born in Kenya rather than Hawaii. He has shown a birth certificate from Kenya with Obama's name, his father's name and his mother's name on it. And he says that Hawaii public records show only a "registry of birth" for Obama--not that he was born there. Berg says that Obama is a citizen of Kenya and has never renounced his citizenship there.
Further, Berg cites the section of the Immigration and Nationality Act of June 27, 1952 that required Obama's mother to have resided in the United States for five years after she turned 14 in order for her son to be a natural born citizen if he were born in another country. Obama's mother was only 18 when he was born. Berg says that the only way for Obama to become a citizen was to be naturalized. According to the Constitution, a naturalized citizen is not eligible to become President. Berg further alleges that when Obama's mother married his stepfather, she became a naturalized Indonesian citizen. According to US law, a minor child would lose his US citizenship when that child's parent was naturalized as a citizen in another country.
Berg cites that when Obama was 20 years old, he traveled to Pakistan using his Indonesian passport. Since Indonesia does not allow dual citizenship, Berg says Obama had to have been an Indonesian citizen at the time of his travel. There are many more specifics in the court document cited by Berg. It is unlikely, however, that a Philadelphia judge--an area that Obama carried in the primary by a significant margin--would act on such an injunction. America will see whether the scales of justice are truly blind. Jesus said in John 8:32, "You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free." In this case, if America does not know the truth, it may well lose its freedom.
The Daily Jot www.dailyjot.com