Volume XV, Number 10a
April 21 - 25, 2008
"The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped." (Psalm 28:7)
On Capitol Hill This Week; Vol. XV, No. 10a
1. AMERICA PREPARES TO OBSERVE THE NATIONAL DAY OF PRAYER
57th Annual National Day of Prayer to be Observed on Thursday, May 1st
The theme for NDP 2008 is: Prayer: America's Strength and Shield
Millions of Americans will gather at tens of thousands of prayer events on May 1, the 57th annual National Day of Prayer. They will gather at churches, parks and on courthouse steps to pray for our nation, leaders, media, military, schools, churches, businesses and families. Some will even gather on airplanes. In the first event of its kind, planes with prayer warriors aboard are scheduled to fly over all 50 state capitols. They will take off at noon local time.
Kenny Wortman is a founding member of PrayerFlight, an Ohio group that organizes prayer-based flights. Ahead of the National Day of Prayer, the group contacted airports near each state's capitol. "All we ask for is a plane and a pilot and some prayer warriors," Wortman said. "Most of the people are just so excited, they don't know what to do." So far, he has volunteers in 42 states.
The National Day of Prayer was created in 1952 by a joint resolution of Congress, and signed into law by President Harry S. Truman. The theme for this year is Prayer! America's Strength and Shield and is based on Psalm 28:7: "The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped." Mrs. Dobson is chairman of the National Day of Prayer Task Force. Dr. Zacharias is this year's honorary chairman. "We're living in very serious and uncertain times," Mrs. Dobson told CitizenLink recently. "Without God, we will never be able to navigate the turbulent waters that we're going through. As long as God is on His throne, there is always hope."
In Washington, D.C., the national observance runs from noon to 3 p.m. ET on Thursday, May 1, and will be broadcast live on GOD TV (Ch. 365 on Direct TV), and over the Internet.
· Offer praise for the fact that, in the United States of America, we have the freedom to observe a National Day of Prayer. In this critical hour in our national history, please pray about joining forces with an NDP event in your own area. You can learn about what's planned by going to: www.nationaldayofprayer.org.
· This year, we all have an opportunity to join in a second day of Repentance: REIGNDOWN USA on Saturday, April 27. To learn more about that event -- and local observances in your own area, go to: www.reigndownusa.org. Pray for all who are involved in NDP events this year . . . anywhere in the nation . . . that they/we be graced with strength, joy, peace, unity and anointing. In His Mighty Name, amen!
· "The Lord is my strength and shield; my heart trusts in Him and I am helped." (Psalm 28:7)
2. POPE VISITS THE UNITED STATES; MAJOR QUAKE HITS CENTRAL REGION
5.2 quake in Ill. shakes large part of Midwest 'This is a fairly large quake for this region,' USGS says
Sometimes the news is coincidental; sometimes it is not.
We find it very interesting that, just at the time that Pope Benedict was getting ready to leave Washington, D.C. en route to his stay in New York City, the nation was hit with a 5.2 earthquake in Salem, Illinois. The quake is believed to have involved the Wabash fault, a northern extension of the New Madrid fault about 6 miles north of Mt. Carmel, Ill., said United States Geological Survey geophysicist Randy Baldwin. For the rest of the article, go here.
Could this be a precursor quake to "The Big One?"
We quote from Jim Bramlett: "A rare 5.2 earthquake hit the mid-west this morning, April 18, at 4:37 a.m. near W. Salem, Illinois. In Hebrew, Salem is a root word for Jerusalem, around which world history and present world events revolve. Is it on the Pope's agenda to pressure Bush to pressure Israel to divide or give up Jerusalem, the City of David, which God has given to the Jews? Is the earthquake a warning? I suspect it is."
We suspect that this is a warning, too.
· May our people -- and our leaders -- heed and take notice. A loving and a merciful God warns His people before disaster strikes. Offer praise that this quake was relatively moderate; and that no lives were injured or lost -- this time. Stand in the gap and cry out for mercy, even as our leaders still seem so bent on dividing not only Israel, but now also Jerusalem -- the city that bears His Name. May Grace yet be found that will soften the hearts of President Bush and all others to "stand down" from this dangerous policy . . . before it is too late.
· "Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul." (Ezekiel 33:2-5)
3. CONGRESSMAN TOM TANCREDO TO POPE: DROP AMNESTY AGENDA
In House speech suggests pontiff trying to bolster church membership. Rep. Tom Tancredo - who vied for the Republican presidential nomination to make illegal immigration a priority issue - suggested in a House speech yesterday that Pope Benedict XVI is encouraging Latin Americans to come to the U.S. to bolster flagging membership in the Catholic Church. The pontiff, asked by reporters on his flight to the U.S. Tuesday if he would address Hispanic immigration, said the U.S. must do "everything possible to fight all forms of violence so that immigrants may lead dignified lives."
Tancredo, a former Catholic, told House colleagues, "I would like to know what part of our lax immigration policy is considered 'violent.' I fail to see how accepting more refugees than any other nation while providing free health care, free education, free housing and free social service benefits to millions of illegal aliens in this country is any way 'degrading' to them or 'undignified.'" About 40 percent of the 70 million Catholics in the U.S. are Hispanic.
Tancredo also took exception to the pope telling U.S. bishops Wednesday in Washington, "I want to encourage you and your communities to continue to welcome the immigrants who join your ranks today, to share their joys and hopes, to support them in their sorrows and trials and to help them flourish in their new home."
The Colorado congressman, who now attends an evangelical church in suburban Denver, suggested the pope's comments were, in part, an attempt to recruit more Catholics. "I suspect the pope's immigration comments may have less to do with spreading the gospel than they do about recruiting new members of the church," he said. "This isn't preaching, it is faith-based marketing."
Tancredo opened his remarks on the House floor by welcoming the pope to the U.S. and commending the Vatican for its strong voice for religious freedom and for helping defeat communism in Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union. But the lawmaker said "most Americans might be surprised the pope isn't here just to minister to his flock. He's also here to lobby for amnesty for illegal aliens." Tancredo said Benedict "added his voice to the open borders lobby by encouraging the president to give the 20 to 30 million illegal aliens in this country a free pass to stay here." "I'm not taking issue with the pope's moral authority," Tancredo said. "I respect his views on the threats of Islam and the sanctity of human life, but I don't think it's in his job description to engage in American political activity." Read more. (WorldNetDaily)
· Offer praise for the courage and the boldness of this member of Congress, to correctly identify a "hidden agenda" on the part of Pope Benedict XVI and to announce that agenda on the House floor. Pray for protection for Rep. Tancredo at this time, and for his continued favor with many in Congress. We need more like him!
· "Simply let your 'Yes' be 'Yes,' and your 'No,' 'No'; anything beyond this comes from the evil one."(Mt. 5:37)
4. PENNSYLVANIA PRIMARY IS ON TUESDAY; CLINTON, OBAMA CLAIMING VICTORY
Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama embarked Thursday on a five-day march toward the pivotal Pennsylvania primary, as the endgame opens in the Democratic White House tussle. Campaign aides for each White House hopeful claimed victory after the senators clashed in a tense and grim debate here late Wednesday, both arguing their candidate was best placed to beat Republican John McCain in November.
In the run-up to Tuesday's primary, Obama was blanketing the airwaves in the gritty northeastern state with millions of dollars in campaign advertising. He was also due to launch Friday a trek through Pennsylvania by road, rail and air, even as his campaign downplayed expectations for him in a state where Clinton is favored to win. Obama lashed the format of the debate on ABC television, after he was put on the defensive over his fiery former pastor, comments that some working Americans were "bitter" and his reluctance to wear a US flag lapel pin. Decrying the moderators, he said it was "45 minutes before we heard about health care, 45 minutes before we heard about Iraq, 45 minutes before we heard about jobs, 45 minutes before we heard about gas (gasoline) prices."
Clinton was also planning to criss-cross the state, the gateway to the intense closing weeks of the punishing Democratic race, which has now lasted 15 months. "We feel good about it, if Senator Obama is unable to win Pennsylvania, it will show once again he is having problems winning the big swing states," Clinton communications czar Howard Wolfson told MSNBC television. Wolfson told reporters that Obama had a "very bad night" in the debate, and failed to adequately answer questions about his character that Republicans would use against him if he emerges as the Democratic nominee.
Despite their disagreements, both candidates insisted that whoever wins the nomination would beat McCain in November. (Newsmax)
· The primary election next Tuesday in the State of Pennsylvania seems to be one that may determine who will be the Democratic candidate for President of the United States. As the Democrats go to the polls in that election, pray for the voters, asking God to lift the veil of confusion off of each one, releasing the spirit of TRUTH.
· "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)
5. ALL PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES VOTED FOR EMBRYONIC STEM-CELL RESEARCH
Scientists and ethicists are anticipating more federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research after President Bush leaves office next year. None of the presidential candidates are as strict as Bush, who has used an executive order to keep embryonic research from receiving federal money. Senators Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain each voted last year for an unsuccessful bill that would have overturned that order. But while the Democratic candidates have been firm in their support of embryonic stem-cell research, McCain has not. "We don't know what McCain will do," said Nigel Cameron, president of the Institute on Biotechnology and the Human Future. "He signed on to efforts to overturn the President's policy with a heavy heart and a lot of thought. He's had a totally prolife voting record." (Family Research Council)
· Redeemer, our hearts cry out to You for an absolute end of ALL embryonic stem cell research. Ask God to grant His Mercy and compell a change of mind and heart in each of the presidential candidates that believe this type of research is necessary.
· "And be renewed in the spirit of your mind. . ." (Eph. 4:23)
6. PRESIDENT BUSH SIGNS "SECOND CHANCE ACT" INTO LAW
U.S. Shifting Prison Focus to Re-Entry Programs
About 700,000 state and federal prisoners are released annually, many of them with little education or employment prospects and destined to be imprisoned again within a few years.
President Bush is to signed the Second Chance Act in a public ceremony on Wednesday, April 9, making rehabilitation a central goal of the federal justice system. In a sign of how far the pendulum has swung, the measure passed Congress with nearly unanimous bipartisan support. The act authorizes $165 million in spending per year, including matching grants to state and local governments and nongovernmental groups to experiment with efforts like more schooling and drug treatment inside prison and aid with housing, employment and the building of family and community ties after release.
Mr. Bush called for such a law in 2004 and in Congress, key sponsors included Senator Sam Brownback, a conservative Republican from Kansas, and Representative Danny K. Davis, a liberal Democrat from Illinois. (NYT 4/8/08) [Also reported by: Intercessors for America]
· Give thanks to our Father for the bipartisan sponsorship of Senator Sam Brownback and Rep. Danny Davis for the Second Chance Act. Proclaim that the signing of this bill by President Bush will initiate successful programs for American prisoners, enabling hearts and minds to be changed for the good of all mankind, In Jesus Name.
· "For Thou art great and doest wondrous things: Thou art God alone." (Psalm 86:10)
7. IN THE SENATE: "LOST" TREATY VOTE DUE SOON
Concerned Women for America calls for action
LOST is a treaty that was negotiated in the 1970's and rejected by President Reagan. If LOST is ratified, the U.S. would give up its sovereignty in exchange for begging hostile, unelected international officials for permission to use its own resources. The treaty establishes a governing authority called the International Seabed Authority (the "Authority") which has the power to tax countries for using their own property.
LOST threatens our national sovereignty by subjecting our military and U.S. businesses to mandatory international dispute resolution by others who may be motivated by anti-American agendas. The decisions made by the "Authority" would be final and devoid of any appeals process. Although LOST allows a party to exempt itself from disputes concerning "military activities," the treaty does not define those activities, and it is uncertain whether our decision to exempt ourselves from such dispute resolutions would be honored by other nations - particularly in light of the fact that any supposedly exempt "military activity" can be framed as an "environmental activity" by those hostile to the United States.
This treaty would also require U.S. companies to transfer strategic technologies to Third World countries, some of them declared or potential enemies of the U.S. America's technological superiority in business and military innovation would be utterly compromised. This provision would strip businesses of their natural and constitutionally protected right to private property. Furthermore, there are enough security issues to deal with currently without voluntarily handing over military secrets to countries which seek to harm us.
This treaty is dangerous! It not only gives away American resources but undermines our national security. (Concerned Women for America)
· Since this LOST treaty keeps surfacing, obviously some parties want it ratified by the US Congress so that the USA can be submitted to international authority. Pray that this treaty will never come to the Senate floor for any debate and that no president will ever agree to it. Decree that all conditions of this treaty are null and void in the USA. Your action is needed now to protect our national sovereignty! Please call/e- mail your Representatives and ask them to sign onto an open letter to the United States Senate urging them not to ratify the Law of the Seas Treaty (LOST).
· "But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived." ( 2 Timothy 3:13)
8. IN THE SENATE: PEPFAR UPDATE
PEPFAR Passes House, All Eyes are on the Senate
Last week the U.S. House passed the five-year, $50 billion reauthorization of the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) by a vote of 308 to 116. The bill addresses some but not all of FRC's concerns regarding abortion, contraception, and conscience protections. It more than triples the U.S. financial commitment to the most successful program to deal with HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment in history. FRC has long called for stronger oversight to make sure the law does not become a slush fund for the "comprehensive sex education" industry to export its failed schemes abroad on a massive scale. The House version doesn't explicitly fund "family planning services," but neither does it prevent them. FRC has labored to make sure the ABC formula remains in place ("A" for "Abstinence" and "B" for "be faithful, the formula that made PEPFAR a success in the first place).
The House and Senate versions require a "balanced" approach to prevention but do not require a fixed percentage to go for abstinence education, as did the last bill. Planned Parenthood types will attempt to exploit this loophole. The conscience protection provision in the bill was actually improved. Faith- based groups will not be required to perform procedures and activities with which they conscientiously disagree. Nor can governments discriminate against religious organizations that seek funding. Thus, while improvements were made, the bill needs further improvement. (Family Research Council Prayer Targets)
· May the Lord empower FRC and our allies to succeed in our work with Congress and the Administration to make sure abortion advocates do not achieve their goals for this bill! May the Senate version be improved and the final bill contain the successful components of the original.
· "Marriage is honorable in all, and the bed undefiled: but whoremongers and adulterers God will judge." (Hebrews 13:4)
9. IN THE SENATE: PREGNANT WOMEN HEALTH AND SAFETY ACT
Pregnant Women Health and Safety Act - Sens. David Vitter (R-LA), Sam Brownback (R-KS) and George Voinovich (R-OH) are working to establish limited federal oversight over the abortion industry. Under the Act, clinics would be required to educate women on all the risks of the abortion procedure. Similar to a bill Tony Perkins authored and passed in Louisiana, every abortionist will be required to have "clinical privileges" at a neighboring hospital should complications arise and to notify "patients" of a hospital where follow-up care can be obtained. Clinics would be required to meet all the state standards for "ambulatory surgery centers." (FRC Prayer Targets)
· May God hear the cries of unborn babies and moms and grant favor to the passage of pro-life legislation in Congress and every state that restrain abortionists and their victims.
· " Knowing this, that the law is not made for the righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient, but for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and mothers, for manslayers." (1 Timothy 1:9)
10. IN THE SENATE: GOP STRIKES POSSIBLE DEAL ON 3 JUDICIAL CONFIRMATIONS
Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell says he has a "good faith commitment" from Sen. Harry Reid to confirm three more federal appeals court nominees by Memorial Day. That would bring the total number of judicial confirmations to 10 for the 110th Congress, McConnell said -- "a good step" toward reaching the historical average of 15-17 confirmations, McConnell said in a statement on Tuesday.
The move to advance three more of President Bush's judicial nominees is part of a deal McConnell struck with Reid Tuesday night: Roll Call reported that McConnell used a popular highway funding bill as leverage to prod Democrat action on the judges. Sen. Orrin Hatch (R- UT) noted this month that "The [Democratic] majority has stalled judicial confirmation votes longer this year than in any presidential election year since 1848."
Senate Republican Leader McConnell said following the interim agreement with Senator Reid, "I was encouraged by the Majority Leader's commitment to confirming three more circuit court nominees by Memorial Day. That will bring the total for the 110th Congress to 10, and it is a good step toward reaching the goal that we outlined at the beginning of this Congress of reaching the historical average. "Because of the Majority Leader's good faith commitment, I'm confident that we'll have these additional nominees confirmed by Memorial Day." (CNSNews.com; Roll Call; Chrisitan Coalition of America)
· How much longer, Lord, will America languish in judicial limbo because of Congressional self- interest? Please break down the turf war in our Congress and champion Your agenda in the members' hearts. May they do the right thing and protect America by giving her the justices she needs and please remove those who do not honor You. In Your Name we pray, Jesus. Amen.
· "Do not fret because of evildoers, nor be envious of the workers of iniquity, for they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart." (Psalm 37: 1, 2 &4 NKJV)
11. IN THE HOUSE: TIME TO PUT AN END TO "ENDA"
POLITICAL CORRECTNESS SHOULD NEVER TRUMP EMPLOYEES' RELIGIOUS RIGHTS
The Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which has already passed in the House, would mandate that employers accept gays and lesbians into the workplace regardless of the organization's moral beliefs. Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) would make it illegal to fire, refuse to hire, or refuse to promote an employee based on his sexual orientation or "gender identity." (American Family Association) The bill was originally sponsored by Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) with 175 co-sponsors - 170 Democrats and 5 Republicans.
"ENDA is billed as an expansion of equality, but it is really a 'gay' power grab that would severely curb constitutionally guaranteed 'unalienable' rights that Americans hold dear, including the freedoms of speech, religion and association. . . . Current national policy is committed to upholding and supporting marriage and family. ENDA would initiate an inevitable assault on marriage as 'discriminatory' and further weaken efforts to restore marriage to its societal primacy." (Concerned Women for America)
· Loose the control of all demonic powers behind this Employee Non-Descrimination Act. Ask God to open blinded eyes and deafened ears to this evil political correctness, and raise up a cry against this ENDA bill. Also pray for restoration of the foundation of our Constitutional "inalienable rights." Pray that no form of this bill is ever brought to the floor of the Senate. Praise the Lord for His righteousness.
· "As the whirlwind passeth, so is the wicked no more: but the righteous is an everlasting foundation." (Proverbs 10:25)
12. IN THE HOUSE: UNLAWFUL INTERNET GAMBLING ACT BLOCKED
According to The Hill, an unlikely duo is hoping to crush a law that would crackdown on Internet gambling. House Reps. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) and Ron Paul (R-Texas) have joined to block the enforcement of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Act (UIGEA) through a new bill, H.R. 5767. Although UIGEA was overwhelmingly popular and passed by a 317-93 margin last year, government agencies have worked to implement it. Under H.R. 5767, the Federal Reserve, Treasury Department and Board of Governors would be "forbidden" from even trying. In effect, the bill would repeal a law that has the support of 48 state attorneys general, every major sports association, and pro-family groups.
Through it all, Frank and Paul seem willfully ignorant of what UIGEA entails. Contrary to what they say, the Act isn't a federal ban on online gambling. Instead it uses federal resources to help the states enforce their bans, as has been done in the past to combat child porn. Of course, it's no secret that Frank is beholden to the banking industry, which rewards him handsomely for opposing UIGEA. Case in point, the Independent Community of Bankers was quick to endorse his new bill, claiming the current banking system "is just not set up to sort out whether one payment is a legal payment and one payment is not." Let's be honest. The problem isn't that bankers don't have the technology to do it, but that they don't have the desire to do it. Fortunately, FRC does. We will continue to be a vocal opponent of H.R. 5767 and any other bill that exposes families to the financial, emotional, and physical ruin associated with pathological gambling. (Family Research Council)
· Pray that these congressmen will not be able to undo a good law for the sole purpose of more tax revenues. Because of the Democratic majority in the House, bipartisan agreement against this legislation will have to be demonstrated. Pray for clean hands and hearts in the House.
· " For rulers are not a terror in good works, but to evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same." ( Romans 13: 3)
13. IN THE HOUSE: MILITARY HONOR AND DECENCY ACT
Congressman Paul Broun Introduced "Military Honor and Decency Act," H.R.5822, to Eliminate Pornography Sold on Military Installations and Facilities Around the World Christian Coalition of America commends Congressman Paul Broun, R-GA, for introducing a bill this week called the "Military Honor and Decency Act," H.R. 5822, to prevent the sale of sexually explicit material on military installations. Congressman Broun is a Marine and a former Naval Medical Officer and is deeply concerned for the welfare of our troops and their mission. He said in a letter to the other 434 Members of the House of Representatives that "While filling the coffers of moguls like Hugh Hefner and Larry Flynt, the sale of pornography has only served to escalate the number of violent, sexual crimes in the U.S., feed a base addiction, and further erode the family as the primary building block of society."
Congressman Broun also told his colleagues that: "The National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 1997 stated, in part, that 'The Secretary of Defense may not permit the sale or rental of sexually explicit material on property under the jurisdiction of the Department of Defense.' "However, broad definitions in the statute have created a loophole which allows publications such as Playboy, Penhouse, and similar material that many (including myself) label as pornography to be distributed to and sold at military exchange stores. That is why I am sponsoring the Military Honor and Deceny Act. My bill will close the statutory loophole and right a bureaucratic -- and moral -- wrong." (Christian Coalition of America)
· Pray for passage of this excellent piece of legislation.
· "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy-meditate on these things." (Phil. 4:8)
This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . . How thankful I am to be able to look at the Sun of Righteousness. You are all the more glorious than I ever could hope for. Thank You for Your good plan for my life. It is a plan for my future and my hope. Thank You, Lord. "In the night I remember Your name, O Lord, and I will keep Your law." (Psalm 119:55) (Taken from: Intimate Moments with the Hebrew Names of God, by Barri Cae Malin and Shmuel Wolkenfeld; Bridge-Logos Publishers; Gainesville, FL, 32614. ISBN: 0-88270-801-5)
SUN OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (Sheh-mesh Ts-dah- kah)
"But for you who revere My name, the Sun of Righteousness will rise with healing in its wings." (Malachi 4:2
This Week, Worship Our Lord As . . .
How thankful I am to be able to look at the Sun of Righteousness. You are all the more glorious than I ever could hope for. Thank You for Your good plan for my life. It is a plan for my future and my hope. Thank You, Lord.
"In the night I remember Your name, O Lord, and I will keep Your law." (Psalm 119:55)
(Taken from: Intimate Moments with the Hebrew Names of God, by Barri Cae Malin and Shmuel Wolkenfeld; Bridge-Logos Publishers; Gainesville, FL, 32614. ISBN: 0-88270-801-5)