Tuesday, December 9, 2008

CHPP Daily Brief - December 9, 2008

In This Issue
· The Daily Brief
The Middle East in Focus
Pennies add up to abortion message
· Anh Cao: A New Member from Louisiana
· MT Judge: Assisted Suicide a Legal Right
· Water Crisis in Israel

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The Daily Brief Tuesday, December 9, 2008

"Let the wicked forsake his way and the evil man his thoughts. Let him turn to the LORD, and he will have mercy on him, and to our God, for he will freely pardon." (Isaiah 55:7)

The Daily Brief

1. Just $15B left of first $350B of government bailout - USA Today

The government has $15 billion left to spend from the first $350 billion of financial bailout money, the Treasury Department said Monday. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson, who is overseeing the program, is weighing tapping the second $350 billion. The main goal of the program is aimed at getting financial institutions to lend money more freely again, which would help revive the economy.

· Lord, we have elected officials who have forgotten that they are to represent us and that the budget of our government has to be like our own at home. We cannot overspend. We pray that You will give them Your wisdom and restraint.

· Whoever has no rule over his own spirit Is like a city broken down, without walls. (Proverbs 25:28)

2. Accused 9/11 plotters say they want to confess - AP

The five men charged with coordinating the Sept. 11 attacks are in a hurry to enter guilty pleas on their apparent quest for martyrdom, with only six weeks remaining before President-elect Barack Obama takes office. The war-crimes detainees said they decided on Nov. 4 - the day Obama was elected - to abandon their defenses against the capital charges. Obama opposes the military trials and has pledged to close Guantanamo's detention center, which holds some 250 men.

· Lord, we pray for the salvation of these terrorists who have great designs to attack not only our nation but others; we pray for justice for the families of those who have been killed. Give us wisdom on how to punish these terrorists.

· The great God who formed everything Gives the fool his hire and the transgressor his wages. Do you see a man wise in his own eyes? There is more hope for a fool than for him. (Proverbs 26:10, 12)

3. Bush Says Creation 'Not Incompatible' With Evolution - Fox News

President George W. Bush said his belief that God created the world is not incompatible with the scientific theory of evolution. Asked about creation and evolution, Bush said: "I think you can have both. I think evolution can -- you're getting me way out of my lane here. I'm just a simple president. But it's, I think that God created the earth, created the world; I think the creation of the world is so mysterious it requires something as large as an almighty and I don't think it's incompatible with the scientific proof that there is evolution."He added, "I happen to believe that evolution doesn't fully explain the mystery of life."

· Lord, many good people like President Bush have confusion over the inerrancy of the Bible. It is true - every word of it. You are able to guard over it so we have confidence to believe it is all true. Help these people to learn that.

· "Every word of God is flawless; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him. Do not add to His words, or He will rebuke you and prove you a liar. (Proverbs 30:5, 6)

4. Study: Americans pray just to get through the day - Washington Times

Ninety percent have a spiritual interlude with God every day, according to a study released Thursday by Brandeis University. Half pray several times a day, in fact. "Most prayer writers imagine a God who is accessible, listening, and a source of emotional and psychological support, who at least sometimes answers back," said Wendy Cadge, a sociologist who directed the research.The experience is intensely personal, with eight out of 10 beginning their prayers with a familiar greeting, like "Dear Lord" or "Hello Jesus."

· Let our hearts and minds never forget, Lord, that it is You who have made us and not we ourselves! All creation worships You. We pray that we shall also worship You with all our hearts, minds, and our strength.

· "Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments, His judgments, and His statutes which I command you today, lest - when you have eaten and are full . . . then you say in your heart, 'My power and the might of my hand have gained me this wealth.' (Deuteronomy 8:11, 17) NIV

5. Poll: Netanyahu most likely to advance peace

War and Peace Index shows 31% of Kadima voters believe Netanyahu can promote peace while safeguarding Israel's interests. The index further showed a solid majority among the Jewish public of 58% (vs. 36%) who support the establishment of an independent Palestinian state, and a slightly larger majority (61% vs. 35%) who see the Palestinians' claim to an independent state of their own as justified.Most of the Jewish public is prepared to accept the idea of an independent Palestinian state while, at the same time, assuming that the Palestinians' intentions toward Israel are not to accept its existence but rather to destroy it.

· Lord, there seems to be confusion in the minds of Israelis about creating an independent Palestinian state. We pray that You will reveal to them and other nations Your desire for Israel and Your plan for their future.

· For all the land which you see I give to you and your descendants forever. (Genesis 13: 15) It shall be in that day that I will seek to destroy all the nations that come against Jerusalem. (Zechariah 12: 3, 9)

6. Illinois Governor Arrested for Trying to Sell Barack Obama's Vacant Senate Seat - AP

Patrick J. Fitzgerald, the renowned federal prosecutor who won the conviction of both Daily Telegraph chairman Conrad Black and the US vice-president's chief of staff Lewis "Scooter" Libby, said in a statement that "the breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering." They allege that Blagojevich put a 'for sale' sign on the naming of a United States senator, involved himself personally in pay-to-play schemes with the urgency of a salesman meeting his annual sales target; and corruptly used his office in an effort to trample editorial voices of criticism," Mr. Fitzgerald said. The prosecutor alleged that Blagojevich is heard on tape demanding a corporate board seat for his wife worth as much as $150,000 a year; promises of campaign funds, including cash up front; and the post of secretary of health and human services or an ambassadorship for himself in the Obama administration.

· Lord, we thank You for revealing the hidden things that corrupt officials are doing in our government. We pray that You will continue to remove those who are doing harm to our nation! We pray for officials that will uphold righteous laws!

· "Also today the Lord has proclaimed you to be His special people, just as He promised you, that you should keep all His commandments, and that He will set you high above all nations which He has made, in praise, in name, and in honor, and that you may be a holy people to the Lord your God, just as He has spoken." (Deuteronomy 26:18, 19)

7. Democrats Hopeful of Auto Bailout Deal - Fox News

Weary Democratic congressional leaders pushed to clear the final obstacles to a $15 billion bailout of U.S. automakers Tuesday night, but the rescue plan faced new snags as Republicans raised deep concerns.

Top Democrats said they were still hopeful of a deal by the end of the night -- with a vote to follow by the end of the week -- though significant sticking points remained. Still unresolved were the precise requirements to be placed on carmakers by a new "car czar" who would be named by President George W. Bush and could ultimately force the carmakers to reinvent themselves. Republicans also were demanding -- so far unsuccessfully -- that Democrats scrap language that would force the carmakers to drop lawsuits challenging tough emissions limits in California and other states. Still, leading Democrats voiced optimism that a deal would emerge.

· As Congress prepares to enter into another marathon, late-night session tonight, intercede for each member -- and for your own congressman, in particular -- that in the heat of the battle and the weariness of the hour, mistakes will not be made that would be difficult to correct later on. Pray for wisdom as the 110th Congress meets to consider yet one more bailout at the end of this difficult economic year. Pray for "wisdom from above" to prevail in this very serious debate.

· "But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)

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: "It is of LORD's mercies that we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning, Great is Your faithfulness." (Lamentations 3:22-23)

1. Israel gives NATO intel on Iranian nukes, says Iran is threat to Europe - Ha'aretz

Israel has provided NATO with substantial intelligence about the Iranian nuclear program and the development of long-range missiles by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards, diplomats in Jerusalem said.

2. EU presidency to boost ties with Israel - Jerusalem Post

The EU's foreign ministers approved a significant upgrade in the body's diplomatic relationship with Israel on Monday, despite Palestinian opposition and some calls in Europe that this should be linked to developments on the ground.

3. Sarkozy calls for direct Israel-Syria talks - Jerusalem Post

French president Nicholas Sarkozy said on Monday that it was imperative that Israel and Syria commence in direct talks now. According to Sarkozy, this will not happen without Syrian President Bashar Assad, therefore he must not be isolated, Israel Radio reported.

4. Likud veterans prevail in primaries - Ynet News

A total of 48,458 out of 99,000 Likud members voted on Monday's primary elections, in all 49.17% of the party's eligible voters cast their ballots.

5. Mofaz: Dialogue with Iran needs timetable - Ynet News

Any dialogue with Iran needs to have a timetable, said Transportation Minister Shaul Mofaz in a meeting with US Secretary of State Condoleeza Rice and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs William Burns on Monday.

Pennies add up to abortion message

Pennies add up to abortion messageChurch fills glass house with symbolic protest

There's a half million dollars sitting on the corner of Mississippi and President streets in Jackson, but no one could possibly steal it.The Memorial to the Missing outside the Mississippi Baptist Convention building in downtown Jackson, Miss., is filled with pennies representing the approximately 50 million abortions performed in the U.S. since 1973.

That's because the cash is in the form of pennies -- 50 million of them -- that collectively weigh 156 tons. The coins, which fill a glass house outside of the Mississippi Baptist Convention building, provide a visual reminder of the number of abortions performed in the United States since the Roe vs. Wade decision in 1973.

"We just needed something to memorialize and help people see the magnitude of abortion over the last several decades," said Rev. Jimmy Porter, executive director of the Mississippi Baptist Convention's Christian Action Commission.Called the "Memorial to the Missing," the penny-filled structure is a project of the Mississippi Baptist Convention, which set out more than two years ago to collect one penny for each child who would have been born were it not for legal abortion.

The plaque says the coins not only represent aborted babies but "the difficult process of decision-making, fear and loneliness" involved with abortion. It asks passersby to "stop, pray, consider what we are doing as a nation, ask God to forgive us, seek ways to help those who are struggling with the decision and look to the Lord to restore each of us."

The coins are piled 6 feet deep in the 13-by-7 glass house. The structure weighs more than 300,000 pounds, or the equivalent of 100 sedans stacked on top of each other.Now that the convention reached its goal of collecting 50 million pennies, it plans to invest the money in a fund dedicated to anti-abortion causes. (Associated Press)

[To see a photo of this moving memorial, go

Anh Cao: A New Member from Louisiana

House Now a Home for Louisiana's Anh Cao

A Vietnamese refugee at the tender age of eight, Louisiana's Anh Cao remembers a letter he received from his father, who spent more than a decade in prison after the fall of Saigon. "Give back to the community," it read. After an improbable victory over House incumbent William Jefferson (D), Cao is poised to do just that. Our sister organization, FRC Action, endorsed the long-shot candidate, who unseated Jefferson with 50% of the district's vote to his 47%, putting a Republican in the Second District seat for the first time since 1890. "I think people just ran out of gas a bit," the Democrat said in his concession speech.

More likely, voters ran out of patience with their ethically-challenged leader. Until now, Jefferson had been all but untouchable in New Orleans, despite allegations of money laundering, corruption, and racketeering. Even the $90,000 in bribes that authorities allegedly found in his freezer in 2005 did little to dent Jefferson's political invincibility. It took an outspoken pro-lifer, a compelling story, and a thirst for real leadership to finally oust a man whose scandals were an embarrassment to the U.S. House. In Cao, the city finally has a chance to move forward. When asked about his priorities, Cao said, "The only thing I am certain of is that I am anti-abortion."

We applaud his courageous campaign and look forward to working with him in defense of life. Social conservatives, now deep in the minority, will need all the help they can get from giant-slayers like Cao if they hope to challenge the House's liberal Goliaths. (Family Research Council)

MT Judge: Assisted Suicide a Legal Right

Treasure State Judge Ignores Life's True Riches

If Friday's ruling is not overturned, Montana could become the third U.S. state to legalize assisted suicide -- and the first to sanction it from the bench instead of the voting booth. Last week, state district Judge Dorothy McCarter issued her opinion in the case of Robert Baxler, who, according to Billings' KULR, died late Friday of incurable cancer. Using "human dignity" as justification, Judge McCarter created a "right" to euthanasia citing the state's privacy laws. In oral arguments, McCarter was unsympathetic from the start, equating euthanasia with putting down pets. "[Y]et, if we want to do it to our loved ones, it's considered murder," she said. For now, the ruling will allow "mentally competent" patients to take their lives through lethal prescriptions. State Attorney General Mike McGrath has indicated that his office will appeal.

If McCarter's opinion stands, Montana would be the only state to legalize euthanasia through the courts. In both Oregon (1997) and Washington (2008), voters approved their assisted suicide laws directly through ballot initiatives. According to the Oregon Department of Health, 341 patients have taken their own lives under the state's law. One hundred twenty-two of those deaths were funded by taxpayers through Medicare or Medicaid. Twenty experienced complications from the drugs.

Proponents of assisted suicide laws say the government should have no authority to interfere in patients' lives. Sound familiar? Here the authority at issue is really a temptation: will cash-strapped governments turn more and more to euthanasia and limits on life-saving care to protect the bottom line? Montana may not wish to open such a Pandora's Box and unleash the evils of a culture of death. (Family Research Council)

Water Crisis in Israel

Leaders Meet to Discuss the Regional Water Crisis

Delegates from Israel, Jordan, and the so-called Palestinian communities will meet this week to consider the severity of the current water crisis. The Friends of the Middle East will convene their fifth annual conference and mayors from the three regions will attend. Nader Khateeb, a Director of Friends of the Middle East said Israel is reducing agricultural water quotas and in the village of Auja, the entire agricultural sector has come to a complete halt due to the drying of the Auja Stream. Nader said these restrictions have also dried up local resources for income.

Gidon Bromberg, Israeli Director of Friends of the Middle East, said "while the national leadership seeks supply-side solutions such as desalination of sea water and various canals, the local leadership which experiences the impact directly, is focused on demand-side management, conservation and wise water use."

The conference held in the framework of Good Water Neighbors has the participation of the Ambassador of the EU delegation to the state of Israel, the Director of the US Agency for International Developments, numerous mayors, diplomats, community leaders and residents. The conference will be held at Baka Gharbia, at Al Kasami College-November 25-26. (By Ron Ross,
BFP Israel Mosaic Radio, November 24, 2008)

Prayer Focus:
At Bridges for Peace we are encouraging our prayer supporters world-wide to seek the Lord for mercy and grace in Israel and the region. Pray that He brings relief to this very critical water shortage.

"He shall come down like rain upon the grass before mowing, like showers that water the earth" (Psalm 72:6)