Friday, May 15, 2009

CHPP Daily Brief - May 15, 2009

In This Issue
• Today's Daily Brief
• The Middle East in Focus

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The Daily Brief - Friday, May 15, 2009

"O worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness . . ." (Psalm 96:9)

Today's Daily Brief

1. America is Now a Pro- Life Nation - AOL News

A new poll by Gallup shows a stunning reversal in American perceptions on the question of abortion. For the first time since Gallup started surveying the country on this subject, more Americans self-identify as being "Pro-Life" than "Pro-Choice." And the turn around has been marked over the course of the past year. 51% of those surveyed now say they are "Pro- Life" whereas a year ago that number was just 44%. Those who declare themselves "Pro-Choice" saw their numbers fall from 50% in 2008 to just 42%.

- We rejoice in this news! Lord, may the softening of hearts toward the innocent continue and may these changes in people's attitudes have an influence on the actions of our government officials.

- "She will pursue her lovers, but she will not overtake them; And she will seek them, but will not find them. Then she will say, 'I will go back to my first husband, For it was better for me then than now!'" (Hosea 2:7)

2. Obama Says U.S. Long- Term Debt Load 'Unsustainable' - Bloomberg

President Barack Obama, calling current deficit spending "unsustainable," warned of skyrocketing interest rates for consumers if the U.S. continues to finance government by borrowing from other countries. "We can't keep on just borrowing from China," Obama said at a town-hall meeting in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, outside Albuquerque. "We have to pay interest on that debt, and that means we are mortgaging our children's future with more and more debt." Holders of U.S. debt will eventually "get tired" of buying it, causing interest rates on everything from auto loans to home mortgages to increase, Obama said. "It will have a dampening effect on our economy."

- Glory to You that there is a dawning understanding of the effects of continued borrowing on the future of this nation. Lord, may we be good stewards of that which You have given us and may we only take that which we can afford.

- "The king's heart is like channels of water in the hand of the LORD; He turns it wherever He wishes." (Proverbs 21:1)

3. GM Begins Announcing its 1,100 Dealership Closures - Fox News

GM began contacting dealers Friday morning, advising what it calls "underperforming and very small sales volume U.S. dealers" that they no longer will be part of its dealer network. Their current agreements will terminate at the end of October of 2010, the company said. GM's cuts, combined with Chrysler's dealership closing announced Thursday, could put more than 100,000 dealership workers to the unemployment line.

- The on-going struggles of the automakers are causing great anxiety in this country. We pray for peace for those who have been affected, and we pray that everyone will use this time to re-focus on You as our sustainer and the giver of all gifts.

- "Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your anxiety on Him, because He cares for you." (1 Peter 5:6-7)

4. U.S. journalist freed from Iran prison lands in Austria - USA Today

After four months in an Iranian prison, American journalist Roxana Saberi was savoring her first taste of freedom back in the West - beaming a confident smile Friday upon touching down in Austria's capital but keeping silent about the details of her ordeal.

- Lord, we thank You for the safety and release of this woman out of Iran. We pray for sustenance and peace for others who are currently being held and for their families.

- "Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much." (James 5:16)

5. Muslim Aaqil Ahmed chosen as BBC's head of religion - Times of London

The BBC has appointed its first Muslim head of religion. Aaqil Ahmed, who is to become jointly head of Religion and Ethics and commissioning editor for Religion TV, has made his name at Channel 4 where is he currently commissioning editor for Religion and Multicultural.

- Lord, nations that formerly, or even currently, called themselves "Christian" are moving away from You and turning to idols. May there be revival throughout the world so that people will turn to You and be saved.

- "For they themselves report about us what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who rescues us from the wrath to come." (1 Thessalonians 1:9-10)

6. Mohamed ElBaradei warns of new nuclear age - The Guardian

In a Guardian interview, Mohamed ElBaradei said the threat of proliferation was particularly grave in the Middle East, a region he described as a "ticking bomb". He predicted that the next wave of proliferation would involve "virtual nuclear weapons states", who can produce plutonium or highly enriched uranium and possess the knowhow to make warheads, but who stop just short of assembling a weapon. They would therefore remain technically compliant with the NPT while being within a couple of months of deploying and using a nuclear weapon. "This is the phenomenon we see now and what people worry about in Iran. And this phenomenon goes much beyond Iran. Pretty soon .. you will have nine weapons states and probably another 10 or 20 virtual weapons states." ElBaradei pointed to the spread of uranium enrichment technology around the world, but he was most concerned about the Middle East. Only deep strategic cuts, coupled with internationally agreed bans on nuclear tests and on the production of weapons-grade fissile material, could restore the world's faith in arms control, he argued. "If some of this concrete action is taken before the NPT [conference], you would have a completely different environment. All these so-called virtual weapons states, or virtual wannabe weapons states, will think twice .. because then the major powers will have the moral authority to go after them and say: 'We are doing our part of the bargain. Now it is up to you.' "

- Lord, please bring to light the actions of those who plot evil in the dark and may the alliances forged between aggressor nations be broken. We pray for wisdom for those in authority in governmental agencies and may they act in ways that will be helpful and not based on utopian fantasies.

- "The bows of the mighty men are broken, and they that stumbled are girded with strength." (1 Samuel 2:4)

The Middle East in Focus

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

" For ever, O LORD, Your Word is settled in heaven." (Psalm 119:89)

1. Jordan king touts Arab peace plan's '57-state solution' - Ha'aretz

Jordan's King Abdullah II used a speech at an economic forum on Friday to push the idea of expanding an Arab initiative for peace with Israel to include the entire Muslim world.

2. UN Security Council committed to 2-state solution - Jerusalem Post

The United Nations Security Council unanimously endorsed a statement Monday calling for the establishment of a Palestinian state and pushing for Israeli-Palestinian peace negotiations in Moscow this year under the auspices of the UN's Middle East Quartet.

3. Hussein Obama faces tricky talks with Netanyahu - Financial Times

President Barack Hussein Obama will face one of his toughest diplomatic tests so far on Monday when he seeks to persuade Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister, to pledge to work towards a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict.

4. Hamas warns Abbas not to form new government alone - Jerusalem Post

After failing to reach agreement with Hamas over the formation of a Palestinian unity government, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is planning to form a new government that would not include representatives of the Islamic movement, a PA official in Ramallah said Thursday.

5. Hussein Obama warns Netanyahu: Don't surprise me with Iran strike - Ha'aretz

U.S. President Barack Hussein Obama has sent a message to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu demanding that Israel not surprise the U.S. with an Israeli military operation against Iran. The message was conveyed by a senior American official who met in Israel with Netanyahu, ministers and other senior officials. Earlier, Netanyahu's envoy visited Washington and met with National Security Adviser James Jones and with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and discussed the dialogue Obama has initiated with Tehran.