Friday, July 11, 2008

CHPP Daily Brief July 11, 2008

In This Issue
The Daily Brief
The Middle East in Focus
Iran in the News
Pray for the Persecuted Church
Religious Liberty in the Crosshairs
Bible Publishers Sued

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief Friday, July 11, 2008

"Open the gates that the righteous nation may enter, the nation that keeps faith." (Isaiah 26:2)

The Daily Brief

1. U.S. Home Foreclosure Filings Rocket 53 Percent in June - Fox News; NY Sun

The number of homeowners stung by the rout in the U.S. housing market jumped last month as foreclosure filings grew by more than 50 percent compared with June a year ago, according to data released Thursday. Meanwhile, in Congress, a long- stalled mortgage rescue inched yesterday toward Senate passage, only to be sent back to the House for more votes and intense negotiations to resolve disputes that are delaying help for hundreds of thousands of homeowners.

· Well, Babylon is falling. Pray that the Senate and the House can agree on the package that is now in the works to rescue the homeowners who have fallen pray to these machinations. May God's grace yet be sufficient for all involved in this debacle. Amen.

· "Call upon Me and I will show you great and mighty things that thou knowest not." (Jer. 33:3)

2. California National Guard Lends Hand Against Wildfires - AP

California's wildfire season has become so severe so swiftly that for the first time in more than 30 years, National Guard troops have been deployed to fight the flames on the ground. Many are arriving at the fire line just after returning from combat zones. The Guard is stepping in as crews across the state struggle to contain hundreds of lightning-sparked fires that have burned more than 1,000 square miles and destroyed nearly 100 homes in the last three weeks.

· Continue to pray for strength for all firefighters; and protection for the citizens of the State of California.

· And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive. (Matthew 21:22 )

3. United States And Czech Republic Sign Missile Defense Agreement - Washington Post

The United States and the Czech Republic signed an initial agreement Tuesday allowing the U.S. military to build a radar station southwest of Prague as part of an antiballistic missile defense system in Eastern Europe. 'It is an agreement for friends and allies who face a common threat in the 21st century and wish to address it through the application of the best defensive technologies that we can bring to bear,' Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said after signing the agreement at a ceremony in the Czech capital.'We have made the point to our Russian colleagues,' she said, 'that we all face the threat from states like Iran that continue to pursue missiles of ever-longer range, and we must be in a position to respond.'

· Offer prayer in agreement with the statement of our Secretary of State: that the Russians will welcome this new alliance as one that will strengthen Europe's ability to defend itself against a possible attack from Iran. Ask our Lord to bless and to strengthen the friendly ties that now exist between the United States and the Czech Republic.

· "For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and his ears attend to their prayer." (I Peter 3:12)

4. Joint Chiefs Of Staff Chairman: "Security In Iraq Is 'Much Better . . .'" - AP

Even in the chin-high piles of roadside rubble, the crumbled cinderblock and the eerily empty streets of this neighborhood in western Mosul, America's top military officer sees hope. But he also sees peril and an urgent need to get the economy going - jobs, services, some semblance of regular life. 'The security is there, it's much better, it's going to continue to evolve,' Adm. Mike Mullen said Tuesday in an Associated Press interview after a walking tour of this recent combat zone.

· Offer praise for this good report from Admiral Mullen, and continue in prayer for the officials in Iraq as they work to accommodate their ethnic and sectarian differences and get the economy moving again. Pray!

· "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)

5. G8 Leaders Agree To Seek U.N. Sanctions Against Zimbabwe - Reuters

The Group of Eight has agreed to seek U.N. sanctions against Zimbabwe after a violent election that extended President Robert Mugabe's 28-year rule, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said on Tuesday. 'The need and the urgency was indicated for sanctions at the U.N. Security Council,' Berlusconi told reporters during a break in the talks. 'Given that even Russia decided to go ahead, it seemed to me important to join in, voting unanimously.' Tanzanian President Jakaya Kikwete, who is also head of the African Union told President George W. Bush that there was still room for discussions to end the crisis.

· Thank the LORD that He HAS heard our prayers over this very issue! (Please see Monday's OCAP, 18b) When you pray specifically, He answers specifically! Now that the U.N. has taken this action to punish Mr. Mugabe, pray that these sanctions WILL take effect; and pray for the safety of the Christians in the nation of Zimbabwe.

· "For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and his ears attend to their prayer." (I Peter 3:12)

6. Report: Emirates calls on GCC countries to depeg currencies from US dollar - Jerusalem Post

A newspaper in the United Arab Emirates says the tiny Gulf state's government is lobbying neighboring countries to depeg their currencies from the US dollar to curb inflation. The National, which is owned by the Abu Dhabi ruling family, reported Sunday that the UAE is calling on all six Gulf Cooperation Council member states to "rethink" their monetary policy amid soaring inflation in the oil-rich region. It cited an internal report by Abu Dhabi's Department of Planning and Economy. The GCC members are Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Oman. All of their currencies are pegged to the dollar except Kuwait, which depegged its currency, the dinar, from the dollar in May 2007 in favor of a basket of currencies.

· The sale of oil based upon the dollar -- rather than the euro -- has been the lynchpin of our economy. If and when this policy is implemented, the dollar will be quickly devalued on the world market.

CRY OUT TO GOD AT THIS REPORT, ASKING FOR HIS MERCY. The second "lynchpin" is ISRAEL, for we have continued to puruse a policy of dividing their land, incurring the wrath of God (Joel 3:2). May He yet show his mercy to us as a people, in the midst of His wrath.

· "In wrath, remember mercy. . ." (Habakkuk 3:2)

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. Hamas seen using new Russian weapons to break Israelis' will following invasion - World Tribune

Hamas has been training on a range of new Russian- origin weapons meant to incur heavy civilian casualties in any war with Israel.

2. Hezbollah movement triples number of rockets - RIA

NovostiIsrael's state-controlled radio claimed Wednesday that Islamic Hezbollah has increased its rocket arsenal threefold since the start of an armed conflict with Israel two years ago.

3. IDF prepares as truce 'could end soon' - Jerusalem Post

Following a week of near-daily Palestinian violations of the Israeli-Hamas cease-fire, senior defense officials said Thursday that the truce could be in its final stages and that as a result the IDF was preparing for possible future incursions into the Gaza Strip.

4. Bank of Israel to buy more US dollars - Jerusalem Post

The Bank of Israel will increase the rate of purchasing US currency to $100 million per day beginning Thursday, the bank announced.

Iran in the News

For all the headlines below, we thank God for the promise of His Word: It is written, "The Lord is on my side; I will not fear: what can man do unto me?" (Psalm 118:6)

1. Rice Warns Iran That U.S. Will Defend Israel - Fox News

Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice warned Iran on Thursday that the United States will not back down in the face of Iranian threats against Israel.

2. Israel Prepared To Act On Iran for Firing Missiles - NY Sun

Israel's defense minister warned Iran yesterday that his country was ready to act if threatened, as Tehran test fired another salvo of missiles capable of hitting the Jewish state.

3. Barak to tell Bush time is running out on thwarting Iran - Jerusalem Post

In a series of consultations apparently aimed at coordinating policies against the Iranian nuclear threat, Defense Minister Ehud Barak will head to the US on Monday for talks at the Pentagon, days after Mossad chief Meir Dagan was in Washington for meetings with key intelligence officials. Sources say Israel is urgently trying to convince the US that Iran is closer to passing the nuclear threshold than Washington believes.

4. China says concerned about Iran tensions - Reuters

China expressed concern and urged restraint in the standoff over Iran's nuclear programme on Thursday, while avoiding direct condemnation of Teheran for test- firing missiles that alarmed Western powers. As a major oil customer of Iran and veto-wielding permanent member of the UN Security Council, China has become a focus of this diplomatic standoff. But its reaction to the missile tests was guarded and directed not only at Teheran. 'We express our concern about these developments,' Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao told a news conference when asked about Iran's missile tests. 'The situation in the Middle East is now complicated and sensitive, and we hope that measures taken by all sides will be to the benefit of regional peace and stability.'

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. Iran: Ex-Muslims Detained for 'Apostasy' - Worthy News

Iranian authorities have detained two converts to Christianity in the southern city of Shiraz for eight weeks on suspicion of "apostasy," or leaving Islam. In Iran, apostasy is a crime that can be punishable by death.

2. China Sentences Evangelical Leader To Two Years Forced Labor - Worthy News

An evangelical pastor who trained Christian missionaries and evangelized in northwest China and Tibet has been sentenced to two years forced because of his Christian activities, investigators said.

3. Christian Community Again Attacked In India's Orissa State - Worthy News

Christian orphans were without shelter Wednesday July 9, as Hindu militants attacked their orphanage, a Jesuit Residence and a nearby Christian village in the troubled state of Orissa, where believers are still recovering from recent anti-Christian violence, BosNewsLife established.

4. Indonesia: Church in West Java Bulldozed - Worthy News

Public Order officials on June 26 demolished a church building in Cimahi regency of Bandung district, West Java, to make way for a new shopping mall and bus terminal after church leaders failed to convince authorities that they owned the land on which it was built.

Religious Liberty in the Crosshairs

FRC held a standing-room-only panel discussion this morning about the California same-sex marriage ruling and its effects on religious liberty. Many religious organizations in California and elsewhere are worried about the possible erosion of their First Amendment rights and religious liberty protections. The panel addressed key issues being asked by religious organizations: Will churches be able to refuse to marry homosexual couples? Will they be able to deny access to their facilities? Will other Christian organizations be able to retain their religious identity and beliefs in light of the court's decision? I was joined by scholars and lawyers from both sides of the argument: Seamus Hasson, founder, chairman of the board, and president of the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty; Professor Teresa Stanton Collett, University of St. Thomas School of Law; Nathan J. Diament, director of the Institute for Public Affairs of the Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America; Professor Chai R. Feldblum, Georgetown University Law Center; and Benjamin Bull from the Alliance Defense Fund.

The reality is that the religious liberty of Americans is under fire, as evidenced by the loss of tax exempt status for a New Jersey Methodist organization that refused to allow lesbians to have a commitment ceremony at their site, and a lawsuit against a Christian photographer in Arizona who refused to take pictures of a lesbian commitment ceremony, to name just a few examples. The panel also addressed the incidents in Sweden and Canada under their hate speech laws, including the prosecution of Swedish pastor Ake Green for speaking of homosexuality as a sin, and Pastor Stephen Boisson in Canada for the same offense.

A part of the California ruling allows homosexual couples from out-of-state to travel there and get married. The ACLU and Lambda Legal Defense have already filed court papers in California to prevent the marriage amendment from being placed on the November ballot. California is the second state to allow and recognize same-sex marriage. The first state to allow same-sex marriage is Massachusetts, which is bound by a 1913 law that prevents out-of- state gay and lesbian couples from getting married there. The law prevents the state of Massachusetts from recognizing marriages that are not legal in the state where the couple lives. It was originally enacted to prevent interracial couples from violating their own states' ban by traveling to Massachusetts; however, it was a rarely used law until it began to be used to prevent same-sex couples from circumventing their own states' laws and amendments protecting man- woman marriage. Massachusetts lawmakers are expected to vote next week to repeal the 1913 law. If the Massachusetts lawmakers do so, it would put Massachusetts on par with California.
(Source: Family Research Council)

To view the video of the entire hearing, go

Bible Publishers Sued
Bible Publishers Sued for Anti-Gay References

A Michigan man is seeking $70 million from two Christian publishers for emotional distress and mental instability he received during the past 20 years from versions of the Bible that refer to homosexuality as a sin. Bradley LaShawn Fowler, a gay man, claims his constitutional rights were infringed upon by Zondervan Publishing Co. and Thomas Nelson Publishing, both of which, he claims, deliberately caused homosexuals to suffer by misinterpretation of the Bible. Fowler, 39, is seeking $60 million from Zondervan and another $10 million from Thomas Nelson.

According to a USA Today report, Fowler's two separate suits against the publishers claim the intent of the Bible revisions that refer to homosexuals as sinners reflect an individual opinion or a group's conclusion. Fowler says the deliberate changes made to first Corinthians, chapter six, verse nine caused him "or anyone who is a homosexual to endure verbal abuse, discrimination, episodes of hate, and physical violence . . . including murder."

Fowler, who is representing himself in both lawsuits, claims the publishers are misinterpreting the Bible by specifically using the word homosexuals, which made him an outcast from his family and contributed to physical discomfort and periods of demoralization, chaos and bewilderment. "These are opinions based on the publishers and they are being embedded in the religious structure as a way of life," he tells a local NBC TV station affiliate in Grand Rapids. Fowler admits that every Bible printed is a translation that can be interpreted in many ways, but he says specifically using the word "homosexual" is not a translation but a change. Fowler says Zondervan Bibles published in the '80s used the word homosexuals among a list of those who are "wicked' or unrighteous and won't inherit the kingdom of heaven."

Zondervan, for its part, issued a statement to the Grand Rapids press stating it does not translate the Bible or own the copyright for any of the translations it publishes "We rely on the scholarly judgment of the highly respected and credible translation committees behind each translation and never alter the text of the translations we are licensed to publish," the statement reads. "We only publish credible translations produced by credible Biblical scholars."

U.S. District Judge Julian Abele Cook Jr., who will hear Fowler's case against Thomas Nelson, says the court "has some very genuine concerns about the nature and efficacy of [Fowler's] claims." (Newsmax)

· " . . . for the word of the cross to those indeed perishing is foolishness, and to us -- those being saved -- it is the power of God . . ." (I Corinthians 1:18)

UPDATE: CRY OUT AMERICA Momentum Building for 9/11 Prayer Initiative
Since we published our alert about the formation of the
Awakening America Alliiance, representatives of over half the states in our nation have stepped forward to organize a time of repentance on the steps of their county courthouses in America at noon on Thursday, September 11, 2008.

Organizers of the initiative are now asking for support from the following 19 states.:Alaska, California, Colorado, Idaho, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maine, Mississippi, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Utah, Washington State, Wyoming

If you live in any of these states, and would like to learn more about the Awakening America Alliance, please call their office at: 423-478-7078, or visit their website at:

Thank you!