Tuesday, December 7, 2010

CHPP Daily Brief - December 7, 2010

In This Issue
• The Daily Brief
• The Middle East in Focus
• The Daily Jot
• Unemployment Rate at 9.8%
• The Battle of the Smithsonian
• CPC Sends a Letter to the President
• Urgent Prayer for Pastor in Iran
• The Good News Corner
• Celebrating Chanukah!

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172-1970

The Daily Brief - Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." (Matthew 5:8)

The Daily Brief

1. WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange Arrested - MSNBC

British police arrested WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange Tuesday on a European warrant issued by Sweden. Assange has been hiding out at an undisclosed location in Britain since WikiLeaks began publishing hundreds of U.S. diplomatic cables online last month. The pressure on WikiLeaks mounted from other quarters Monday: Swiss authorities closed Assange's bank account, depriving him of a key fundraising tool.

And WikiLeaks struggled to stay online in the face of more hacker attacks and resistance from world governments, receiving help from computer-savvy advocates who have set up hundreds of "mirrors" - or carbon-copy websites - around the world. WikiLeaks' huge online following of tech-savvy young people has pitched in, setting up more than 500 mirrors.

"There is a whole new generation, digital natives, born with the Internet, that understands the freedom of communication," said Pascal Gloor, vice president of the Swiss Pirate Party, whose Swiss Web address, wikileaks.ch, has been serving as a mainstay for WikiLeaks traffic. In what Assange described as a last-ditch deterrent, WikiLeaks has warned that it has distributed a heavily encrypted version of some of its most important documents and that the information could be instantly made public if the staff were arrested.

• Lord, we are in modern warfare with more than just physical weapons. We pray for wisdom upon those who are entrusted to keep us safe. Remove those who shirk their responsibility, and provide vigilant people to secure our defenses. Let these last leaks not be used by anyone - but destroy them before they are seen.

"The Lord kills and makes alive; He brings down to the grave and brings up - He will guard the feet of His saints, But the wicked shall be silent in darkness. "For by strength no man shall prevail." (1 Samuel 2:6, 9)

2. Gates Doubts Military Rules on Gays to Change Soon - AP

Defense Secretary Robert Gates is predicting the "don't ask, don't tell" policy on gays in the armed forces will be around for a while longer. Senate Democrats want to vote this month to overturn the 1993 law, which bans gays from serving openly. But Republicans have blocked the proposal, insisting that Congress deal instead with tax cuts and spending. Gates said he is concerned that Congress will drag its feet too long and federal courts will intervene.

• Lord, we pray that those who are pushing this policy, and other liberal agenda will not succeed. Block them at every attempt, so they do to change our way of life and Constitution. Give us godly leaders, judges, and courts!

And you, Ezra, according to your God-given wisdom, set magistrates and judges who may judge all the people who are in the region beyond the River, all such as know the laws of your God; and teach those who do not know them. (Ezra 7:25)

3. US Unemployment Rate Hits Seven-month High - BBC

The US unemployment rate rose to 9.8% in November, the highest rate since April, the US Labor Department has said, raising fears about the strength of the country's economic recovery. The US Labor Department said 15.1 million people were now unemployed in the US, equating to a rate of 9.8%. Economists are particularly concerned about the unprecedented level of long-term unemployed during the current slump, as these workers typically find it hardest to find work again.

At the beginning of last month, the US Federal Reserve, spurred by weak economic growth, announced a stimulus program to pump $600bn into the economy. This is the second major stimulus package the Fed has introduced to try to kick-start the recovery, having pumped $1.75tn into the economy during the downturn.

• Lord, now that the elections are over, we pray that the newly elected leaders will have a strong backbone to do the necessary work on introducing policies that will be friendly toward businesses, so they will once again not be afraid to hire employees. Help us stop the over-spending and cut unnecessary projects. Help the poor during this season.

The righteous God wisely considers the house of the wicked; overthrowing the wicked for their wickedness. Whoever shuts his ears to the cry of the poor will also cry himself and not be heard. (Proverbs 21:12, 13)

4. Military Chaplains Debate Their Role Without 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell" - CNN

As Congress debates the repeal of the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy, military chaplains are doing their own soul-searching. Among the issues raised by chaplains, according to the report, is whether a change in policy would hinder ministers' religious expression, particularly for those faiths that consider homosexuality immoral.

"Chaplains who aren't able to proclaim what they believe is true about this issue . . . means that the soldier then, the airman, the sailor, the guardian, the Marine aren't able to get the full opportunity to hear religious faiths," retired Army Chaplain Brigadier Gen. Douglas Lee tells CNN.

• Lord, we pray against this attack on Christians - especially the chaplains in the military, who because of their faith, cannot speak God's truth to the troops. Lord, put people in places of authority who will not go against your laws. Give us a deep hunger to be a Holy nation!

The adversaries of the Lord shall be broken in pieces; from Heaven He will thunder against them. The Lord will judge the ends of the earth. "He will give strength to His king, And exalt the horn of His anointed." (1 Samuel 2:10)

5. List of Facilities 'Vital to US Security' Leaked - BBC

A long list of key facilities around the world that the US describes as vital to its national security has been released by Wikileaks. The list includes pipelines, communication and transport hubs. The geographical range of the document on installations is extraordinary, our correspondent says. Several UK sites are listed, including cable locations, satellite sites and BAE Systems plants.

The cable contains a simple listing. In many cases towns are noted as the location but not actual street addresses, although this is unlikely to stop anyone with access to the internet from locating them. There are also no details of security measures at any of the listed sites. What the list might do is to prompt potential attackers to look at a broader range of targets, especially given that the US authorities classify them as being so important. Former UK Foreign Secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind condemned the move. "This is further evidence that they have been generally irresponsible, bordering on criminal," Sir Malcolm said. "This is the kind of information terrorists are interested in knowing."

• Heavenly Father, we know that our Hedges of Protection are down. We have brought much on ourselves by our rebellion. Lord, we cry out for forgiveness, and once again restore your protection from those who seek our destruction. Stop those who have released this sensitive information. We pray confusion over the terrorist organizations that would use this against us. Place leaders in authority who will implement more secure defenses!

There are many plans in a man's heart, Nevertheless the Lord's counsel that will stand - The fear of the Lord leads to life, and he who has it will abide in satisfaction; he will not be visited with evil. (Proverbs 19:21, 23)

6. Deal Struck on Tax Package - Wall Street Journal

Obama reached agreement Monday with Republican leaders in Congress on a broad tax package that would extend the Bush-era income tax cuts for two years, reduce worker payroll taxes for one year and give more favorable treatment to business investments. As part of the deal, the White House is proposing a provision to encourage more investment in plant and equipment, by letting companies claim deductions on 100% of most kinds of investment.

Also, a program of extended benefits for the long-term unemployed, which lapsed last month, would be revived for 13 months, the White House said. The jobless benefits would be financed by federal borrowing rather than by spending cuts. White House officials will now try to persuade Democrats to back the agreement, but anger on the left suggests that Mr. Obama might need to rely heavily on Republican support to move legislation through Congress.

• Thank you Lord, that our government has come to an agreement to extend the Bush Tax Cuts. We pray that before the two years are up, our new Congress will make these cuts permanent without strife. Let this new group of conservatives quickly repeal all the negative decisions that have been made, and restore balance to our nation.

By humility and the fear of the Lord are riches and honor and life. Thorns and snares are in the way of the perverse; He who guards his soul will be far from them. (Proverbs 22:4-5)

7. Cold temps burst on South, Midwest - AP

A blast of cold weather is bursting on the South and Midwest, bringing significant snow from North Carolina to Minnesota. Schools in Tennessee and West Virginia canceled classes Monday. Parts of West Virginia were expecting as much as 18 inches of snow, coupled with high winds that were expected to reduce visibility. Winter storm warnings were being issued. Below freezing temperatures were forecast as far south as central Florida. Crop damage was possible.

The storm system has dumped as much as 11 inches of snow in southern Minnesota. Three inches of white powder had fallen in Greensboro, N.C. Tennessee saw less than an inch, but it was enough to disrupt schools.

• Heavenly Father, we pray for the elderly, poor, sick, and homeless - because many do not have the money for heat. Help them get assistance, so they will not suffer and die because of the cold weather. Surround them with your shield and watch over and help them.

This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles. The angel of the Lord encamps all around those who fear Him, and delivers them. (Psalms 34:6-7)

The Middle East in Focus

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

"When the heavens are shut up and there is no rain because your people have sinned against you, and when they pray toward this place and give praise to your name and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, 36 then hear from heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel. Teach them the right way to live, and send rain on the land you gave your people for an inheritance." (I Kings 8:35,36))

1. Report: Hezbollah missiles can reach Tel Aviv - Ynet News

US diplomats play a major role in trying to prevent arms from reaching world hotspots, but cables released to The New York Times show an uphill battle against the likes of Iran, Syria and North Korea.

2. Argentina follows Brazil, recognizes Palestinian state - Jerusalem Post

Argentina announced on Monday that it has decided to recognize a "free and independent" Palestinian state, just days after Brazil said it would do so, unleashing sharp criticism from the US and Israel, reported AFP.

3. Abbas to seek int'l recognition if talks with Israel fail - Jerusalem Post

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says his government will push for international recognition of the Palestinian state if deadlocked talks with Israel fail.

The Daily Jot

Of Soros, Wikileaks and the White House: A prophetic exposure

Wikileaks owner Julian Assange is funded by George Soros and/or his affiliates, according to a July 30 broadcast on World Crisis Radio hosted by Washington, DC investigative reporter Webster Tarpley. Tarpley gained a reputation for his unauthorized biography of George W. Bush. His credibility may be in question do to his position as a 911 "truther." Tarpley, however, analyzed the Wikileaks board of directors in his program. He said that the Wikileaks board is closely associated with leftist billionaire George Soros and his ilk in the federal government. He concluded that "its a gaggle of so-called democracy advocates all in the orbit of the US intelligence community and especially of the Soros wing thereof."

Since the Wikileaks scandal began in July, there have been very few stories about the funding of Wikileaks. As with any scandal, if you follow the money, you will find who is behind it. Tarpley says the web search giant, Google, is represented on the Board of Wikileaks by former Google security officer Ben Laurie. Tarpley says China is also represented through leaders of Radio Free Asia, the National Endowment for Democracy and a Tibetan democracy activist, all linked to Soros. Tarpley is not alone. These names were also confirmed by the Huffington Post. Another Washington-based investigative reporter, Wayne Madsen, independently confirmed in March that Soros was closely tied to Wikileaks.

Radio talk show host Glenn Beck also said on "The O'Reilly Factor," "I know Assange is being represented by the attorney who does the pro bono work for George Soros' Open Society Insititute." Beck has received considerable ridicule for his claim. But a Soros connection to the Wikileaks scandal would explain the extraordinary ineptness the current Administration has displayed in handling secret government documents being poured into the public crucible. Soros was a major funder of the president's campaign, through organizations like MoveOn.org, the Center for American Progress and ACORN. The Wikileaks scandal fuels the flames of those who believe the current White is purposely dismantling America.
In Luke 12, Jesus Christ spoke to his disciples about the Pharisees, who were the rulers over the Jews under the Roman occupation. He said in verses 2-3, "For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed; neither hid, that shall not be known. Therefore whatsoever ye have spoken in darkness shall be heard in the light; and that which ye have spoken in the ear in closets shall be proclaimed upon the housetops." Could this embarrassing exposure of how our government operates, perhaps intended to harm all of America, be a warning to all citizens that we need to repent as a nation and seek God's righteousness or face severe consequences ahead?

Some Sources:

* http://www.huffingtonpost.com/social/Billy_Hell/wikileaks-we-wont-be-thre_n_682222_57213675.html
* http://groups.google.com/group/newslog /browse_thread/thread/57ae9c3ae9032909
* http://geraldcelentechannel.blogspot.com/2010/08/webster-tarpley-julian-assange-soros.html (Segment 4)
* http://townhall.com/tipsheet/CarolPlattLiebau/2008/10/20/obamas_soros_ties

Blessed and Powerful Day!
Bill Wilson
Word of Life Ministry

Unemployment Rate at 9.8%

According to the latest figures from the Labor Department, the unemployment rate now stands at 9.8%. The Drudge Report put it best by featuring a picture of Barack Obama's stitched-up, swollen lip from an elbow in a recent basketball game above the headline "Unemployment Up To 9.8%." The obvious implication is that Obama is getting beaten up by the bad economy.

While there have been some positive developments recently indicating economic growth, the creation of just 39,000 new jobs means the recovery -- if you can even call it that -- is weak and very fragile at best. Most economists had expected the figure to be 150,000 new jobs. To give you some indication of just how tough things are, Delta reported that its advertisement for 1,000 new flight attendant positions resulted in 100,000 applications.

So why on earth are Democrat leaders so determined to raise taxes on anyone right now, especially small business owners, entrepreneurs and those with capital to invest in job creation? This only makes sense if you believe Big Government is the fount of all blessings.

Yesterday afternoon 231 House Democrats followed Nancy Pelosi's lead and voted for higher taxes. And so far President Obama has not publicly changed his position in favor of the tax hikes. Firm opposition by Senate Republicans is the only thing that can prevent a massive tax hike on January 1st. (Gary Bauer)

The Battle of the Smithsonian

The Battle of the Smithsonian is more than a Ben Stiller movie--it's reality for conservatives on Capitol Hill, who are disgusted by the latest exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. Just across the street from FRC headquarters, a month-old display called "Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture" is causing quite an uproar for a series of images that range from homo-erotica to religious blaspheme. The exhibit is so graphic that curators posted a "mature themes" warning on the doors outside. One video on a constant loop showed Jesus lying on a crucifix, covered in ants. Or it used to.

CPC Sends a Letter to the President

Members of the Prayer Caucus to President Obama: Issue Correction for Inaccurate Reference of National Motto

President Obama Inaccurately States National Motto is "E Pluribus Unum"

Washington, D.C. - Congressman J. Randy Forbes (VA-04), along with 42 bipartisan Members of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, today sent a letter to President Barack Obama calling on him to issue a correction to a speech he gave in Jakarta, Indonesia, in which he inaccurately referred to our national motto as being "E Pluribus unum." The official national motto is "In God We Trust."

"For the President of the United States to incorrectly state something as foundational as our national motto in another country is unacceptable. The President is the primary representative of our nation to the world, and whether mistake or intention, his actions cast aside an integral part of American society," said Forbes. "President Reagan once warned that 'If we ever forget that we're one national under God, then we will be a nation gone under.'"

In his speech on November 10, 2010 at the University of Indonesia in Jakarta, Obama said "But I believe that the history of both America and Indonesia should give us hope. It is a story written into our national mottos. In the United States, our motto is E pluribus unum - out of many one...our nations show that hundreds of millions who hold different beliefs can be united in freedom under one flag."

"In God We Trust" has been a foundational phrase used throughout our nation's history, from Presidential proclamations, to engravings in both the House and Senate chambers, to the oath taken by all federal employees. In 1956, Congress passed and President Eisenhower signed into law establishing "In God We Trust" as the official national motto of the United States. The motto is referred to in the national anthem and is engraved on U.S. coins and currency.

In addition, on October 18, during a fundraiser, President Obama said, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that each of us are endowed with certain inalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." This was the third time in over a month that the President omitted the word "Creator" from the Declaration of Independence. The Declaration of Independence specifically recognizes God, the Creator, as the source of inalienable rights.

"Once may be a mistake. But twice is a pattern. These omissions and inaccuracies are a part of a larger pattern we are seeing with the President where he is inaccurately reflecting America and undercutting important parts of our nation's history," said Forbes. "Trust in God is embedded into the fabric of society and history in the United States. If we allow these threads to be pulled, we will begin to unravel the very freedoms that birthed America."

In the letter, the members asked that the President issue a correction to the speech he gave in Jakarta and expressed their willingness to meet with him to discuss the issue further. A copy of the letter is available here.

The Congressional Prayer Caucus is a bipartisan group of Members of Congress dedicated to preserving America's religious heritage and protecting religious liberties. The Prayer Caucus successfully led efforts to ensure that "In God We Trust" was included in the newly constructed Capitol Visitor Center after it had been removed and the national motto incorrectly noted as "E Pluribus unum." Congressman Forbes is founder and chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus.


- Pray that our Lord would move upon the heart of Barack Hussein Obama to receive this word of correction from these members of Congress, and would take action in the future to ensure that these mistakes are not repeated.

- Lift up a prayer that more members of Congress would add their own names to this letter.


(For Obama) "Remove not the ancient landmark, which thy fathers have set." (Proverbs 22:28)

(For more members of Congress to sign onto this letter) "Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power . . ." (Psalm 110:3 NAS)

Urgent Prayer for Pastor in Iran

IRAN -- Imprisoned Pastor Officially Charged with Apostasy

(From Voice of the Martyrs)

The Assize Court of the province of Gilan, Iran, has officially charged Pastor Youcef Nardarkhani with denying that Mohammed was a prophet.

The court stated that this resulted in apostasy because Nardarkhani believes in Jesus and has shared his faith with others, according to The Voice of the Martyrs contacts. The indictment, which was issued by a public prosecutor in the presence of a jury, stated, "He has frequently denied ... the great prophet of Islam and the rule of the sacred religion of Islam. ... He has proven his apostasy by organizing evangelistic meetings and inviting others to Christianity, establishing a house church, baptizing people, expressing his faith to others and denying Islamic values."

According to court documents, when Pastor Youcef was asked about his faith, he told authorities, "Since I was born in a Muslim family, I was Muslim until I converted to Christianity at the age of 19." He openly acknowledged accepting Jesus Christ. The court also stated that the apostasy charge was determined a crime according to Islamic theologians.

Pastor Youcef's defense attorneys have entered a not guilty plea to the charges, arguing that "since there is no punishment specified in the Islamic judicial system of Iran and other penal laws [on apostasy] . . . their client has not committed a crime to deserve a punishment." The indictment, however, stated that as an apostate, Pastor Youcef will be executed.

His lawyers have 20 days to appeal the indictment. The Voice of the Martyrs encourages you to continue praying for Pastor Youcef and his family. Pray that his appeal will be successful and that he will be released.

- Father, surround Pastor Youcef with a ring of fire that will protect and sustain his life. Stretch out Your hand and hold back the spirit of death before his ministry has been completed. Anoint this pastor with the power of the Holy Spirit and may every word he speaks be creative and declarative so that men who oppose him will feel the presence of Jesus and repent of their sins. Hold the courts to agree with the decision made in heaven and they be unable to go beyond God's perfect will. Bind every idolatrous demon that motivates these men under the blood of Jesus and render them helpless as they war against the servant of Almighty God. In Jesus Name.

- Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. 6 Truly he is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. 7 My salvation and my honor depend on God[a]; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. 8 Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge. (Psalm 62:5-8)

The Good News Corner:

The Miracle of Hanukkah

The festival of Hanukkah, which in Hebrew means "dedication," is an eight-day celebration most famous for the hanukkiah candelabras that traditionally sit in the windowsill during the holiday in Jewish homes around the world. This year, hanukkiah candles will be lit each night from December 1 through December 8. Though not mentioned among the traditional "feasts of the Lord" in the book of Leviticus, the holiday of Hanukkah has important significance for Jews and Christians alike.

The holiday remembers the account of the Maccabee revolt during the second century BC. The Greek empire at the time controlled the Holy Land, and the foreign ruler Antiochus Epiphanes was effectively in the process of cultural genocide in Israel. According to Chabad.org, Jews were prohibited from engaging in essential aspects of their own culture, including circumcising their children, while Anticohus also destroyed the scrolls of the Torah, the first five books of the Bible.

Though the Maccabees were facing a superior foreign army that was even equipped with war elephants, God miraculously led the Maccabean revolt to victory, defeating Antiochus' forces and establishing the first independent nation of Israel in centuries. When the Maccabees took back the Temple, however, they found it had been defiled. The Maccabees then began the process of cleaning up and rededicating it, hence the naming of the holiday as the Feast of Dedication, or Hanukkah.

Tradition holds that as part of that process, it was discovered that additional oil was needed for the Temple's menorah, an oil lamp with seven branches that was supposed to be always lit. However, the amount of time it would take to replenish the holy supply of oil would be eight days, and there was only enough oil for one day. Tradition says that miraculously, the one day's worth of oil burned for all eight days. In honor of the miracle, the hanukkiah candelabra is lit, using either oil or candles. increasing the number of candles lit each night.

Christians also can see God's miraculous provision in the holiday. It marks an immense victory for Israel that vividly portrays God's salvation and blessing. And lest we think such miracles no longer happen, the creation of the modern state of Israel is very similar to the Maccabean revolt. Attacked by five Arab nations and outgunned, God miraculously enabled the Jewish people to hold on in 1948. And like the Maccabean victory, the 1948 war resulted in the first independent Israel in centuries.

For us personally, Hanukkah can be a season to reflect on God's provision and blessing in our own lives. Most importantly, it is an opportunity for us to rededicate ourselves just as the Maccabees rededicated the Temple (1 Cor. 5:19-20). Hanukkah, then is a time when we can search our hearts and remove the selfishness, the immorality, the greed-which is a form of idolatry-and other forms of wickedness, and rededicate ourselves to God's service.

We here at Bridges for Peace would like to wish all our readers a blessed Hanukkah, Chag Sameach! Have a happy feast.

[And Capitol Hill Prayer Partners extends the same greeting, too!]

Prayer Focus
Israel is again facing tragedy and enemies on nearly every side. Pray that the people of Israel will remember the miracle-working God who loves them and will cry to Him for deliverance. Pray that the Lord will move with mighty power to put out fires, rout enemies, bring rain, and bless His people again in this holiday season.

"Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, just as we hope in You." (Psalm 33:20-22)

Chanukah Around the World

Tonight, as Jews around the world light the seventh candle on the Menorah, let's celebrate Chanukah with them with this festive song!