Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief Friday, March 1, 2013
"At night my soul longs for You, indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; for when the earth experiences Your judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness."(Isaiah 26:9)
The Daily Brief
1. Sequestration process begins: Congress fails to reach agreement on budget fixes before deadline - Washington Times
The federal government careened into the $85 billion spending sequesters Friday, embracing some of the biggest budget cuts in American history -- though it will take weeks for most of the pain to be felt. House Speaker John Boehner, emerging Friday from a White House meeting with President Barack Obama and congressional leaders, declared that higher taxes won't be part of any deal to solve the country's budget mess. No closer to a deal to undo $85 billion in automatic spending cuts taking effect Friday, Boehner said the House will move ahead next week with legislation to keep the government running beyond March. He said he hopes the country won't have to deal with the threat of a government shutdown.
- Abba, we come before You, asking that You would give Your wisdom to our Congress, Senate, and President, as they deal with this fiscal crisis. We ask that those who oppose the "tax and spend solutions" will be resolute in their opposition to more taxes, and hold the line firmly. We ask that a wave of patriotism would flood them, and they would actually enact a budget and legislation that would benefit the nation as a whole. We ask that partisanship be put aside, and be replaced by patriotism with godly wisdom. Amen.
- "But if any of you needs wisdom, you should ask God for it. He is generous to everyone and will give you wisdom without criticizing you." (James 1:5)
2. Corporations urge Supreme Court to embrace gay marriage - Reuters
More than 200 businesses on Wednesday urged the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a federal law that restricts the definition of marriage to heterosexual unions, in one of corporate America's most prominent efforts to support same-sex marriage.
- Father, we thank You that the Supreme Court is hearing this case. We repent for our nation's sin and doing that, which You call, "unnatural". We do ask that the Supreme Court would vote in support for the "Defense of Marriage Act", defining marriage as being between a male and a female. We ask for affirmation of the Christian beliefs of our Founding Fathers, and the honoring of Your Law. In Your Name, Amen.
- "Do not judge unfairly or take sides. Do not let people pay you to make wrong decisions, because that kind of payment makes wise people seem blind, and it changes the words of good people. Always do what is right so that you will live and always have the land the Lord your God is giving you." (Deuteronomy 16:19-20)
3. U.S. resigned to Iran getting nukes? - Israel Today
The Obama Administration keeps insisting that it will never allow Iran to attain nuclear weapons, but Israel is growing increasingly concerned that the Washington has in fact resigned itself to the idea of a nuclear-armed Iran. A joint resolution set to be introduced by Sens. Lindsey Graham (SC) and Robert Menendez (NJ), a Republican and Democrat, respectively, declares U.S. support for an Israeli military strike against Iran's nuclear program.
- Lord, we come before You, humbly asking that our nation would be supportive of Israel, and her security, from her neighbors who wish to obliterate her. In particular, we ask that our nation will never allow Iran, or any other surrounding country to attain nuclear weapons, which they would like to use against Israel. May we be a blessing to Israel, and not a curse, we pray. We thank You that our Congress is supportive of Israel, and we ask You to visit our President, and turn his heart in that same direction. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
- "Blessed are you, Israel! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord? He is your shield and helper and your glorious sword. Your enemies will cower before you, and you will tread on their heights." (Deuteronomy 33:29)
4. Rare superbug emerging in U.S. elicits advisory warning from CDC
- Fox News
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is alerting clinicians of an emerging untreatable multidrug-resistant organism in the United States.
- Abba, we thank You that You are our Shelter and Protection from every sickness and disease, and plagues. We bind up a spirit of fear from the people, and ask that they turn to You, as their Savior and Healer. Amen.
- "You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you." (Psalm 91:5-7)
5. U.S. Economy Expanded Slightly in 4th Quarter - NY Times
Breathe a tiny sigh of relief, if not exactly contentment: the American economy grew just barely in the last quarter of 2012.
- Father, we are always glad to hear good news, even if its a small step in the right direction. We again ask You for our government leaders to come into alignment with Your laws and ways, and that You grant them Your wisdom in financial matters, that will benefit all the people. Thank You. Amen.
- "This is what the Lord says: 'The wise must not brag about their wisdom. The strong must not brag about their strength. The rich must not brag about their money. But if people want to brag, let them brag that they understand and know Me. Let them brag that I am the LORD, and that I am kind and fair, and that I do things that are right on earth. This kind of bragging pleases me," says the LORD. (Jeremiah 9:23,24)
6. French Muslim Leader on Papacy: 'A New Beginning Is Necessary' - Spiegel
Dalil Boubakeur is one of France's most prominent Muslims. In a SPIEGEL ONLINE interview, he discusses what retiring Pope Benedict XVI did wrong in bridging the Muslim-Catholic divide and how the two religions need to make a fresh start at interfaith dialogue.
- Father, now that Pope Benedict has gone into retirement, we pray for Your wisdom to be given to those Cardinals who will be choosing the next Pope. We ask that he be the man of Your choosing, at this precise moment in history. We ask for one who knows and loves You above all else, and is a man of integrity, and great, godly wisdom. May he have the courage to stand for Your edicts and laws, we pray. Amen.
- "Now therefore, [reverently] fear the Lord and serve Him in sincerity and in truth; put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the [Euphrates] River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. The people answered, Far be it from us to forsake the Lord to serve other gods." (Joshua 24:14-16)
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:
"For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob." (Malachi 3:6)
1. White House slams Erdogan's Zionism remark - Jerusalem Post
The White House on Friday condemned a remark made by Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, characterizing Zionism as a crime against humanity.
Speaking Wednesday before a Vienna forum of the Alliance of Civilizations - a UN framework for West-Islam dialogue - the Turkish prime minister said, "It is necessary that we must consider - just like Zionism, or anti-Semitism, or fascism - Islamophobia as a crime against humanity."
"We reject Prime Minister Erdogan's characterization of Zionism as a crime against humanity, which is offensive and wrong," White House spokesman Tommy Vietor said in a statement.
2. Lapid challenges Likud effort to break gov't pact - Jerusalem Post
In an apparent dig at Likud Beytenu's coalition-building strategy, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid on Friday questioned statements made by officials of the Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's party following a meeting between the two factions on Thursday.
In a continued effort to break the pact between Lapid and Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett that they will only join the coalition together, Likud Beytenu officials said that Yesh Atid has made it clear that it sees no place for haredim in the next government and encouraged Bennett to joint the government alone.
3. US senators to Israel: We have your back - Jerusalem Post
A bipartisan group of United States senators are introducing a resolution to support Israel's right to defend itself when it comes to a nuclear-capable Iran, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said at a press conference Friday.
"No one wants another conflict in the world, militarily, but we also do not want a nuclear-capable Iran. It would create an arms race in the Middle East and would put Israel and our own nation in great peril," said Graham.
Graham acknowledged US President Barack Obama's initiative to put a stop to Iran's nuclear ambitions, and said "the people who want to destroy Israel very much have us in their cross-hairs too... since America has no better friend in the Middle East than Israel."
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"And David said to his son Solomon, 'Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God-my God-will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.'" (1 Chronicles 28:20)
1. CHINA: Persecuted Pastor Turns to Law for Help - China Aid
China Aid Association reported in October 2012 the incident of persecution suffered by Pu Wanming and his wife, pastors of Chaoyang TSPM church in Shushan District, Hefei, Anhui Province. So far, things have not improved, so these victims are asking a Christian human rights lawyer to submit an application for administrative reconsideration in accordance with law to defend their own legitimate rights.
2. TURKEY: Christian Exodus from Syria Raises Hopes for Resurrection in Turkey - Christianity Today
Escalating violence in northern Syria is forcing Christians to flee their homeland and take refuge in nearby regions of Armenia and Turkey. The New York Times reports that several hundred Syrian Christian refugees have arrived in Turkey throughout the past few weeks, heading for "the monasteries and towns of Mardin and Midyat in Tur Abdin, an ancient region in southeastern Turkey, less than 50 kilometers, or 30 miles, from the Syrian border that is the historical heartland of the Syriac Orthodox Church."
3. UNITED STATES: Indonesians living in NJ church get reprieve - Fox News
Eight Indonesian Christians who defied U.S. deportation orders by seeking refuge in a church have been granted a temporary reprieve, immigration officials and church leaders confirmed Monday.
The Indonesians, five who had been living for months inside the Highland Park church and three who lived nearby, were granted a temporary stay of their deportation orders, allowing them to remain in the U.S. legally for a year.
The Daily Jot
Illegal and Unconstitutional
It is hard to believe what I am reading in the news. I have read reports that the White House has grounded warships in anticipation of budget cuts; that Immigration and Customs Enforcement have released several hundred criminals because they might face budget cuts; that Republicans who favor the budget cuts are fomenting the abuse of women and domestic violence because of services that will be cut; that the Pentagon will lose thousands of employees--the government knows that gets to people understand the Constitution; that programs for school children are being cut--we knew that would hit the presses sooner than later. What is the occupant of the Oval Office doing about it? He wants a $1.2 TRILLION tax hike.
Investor's Business Daily has analyzed the occupant's budget proposal to end sequestration. IBD reports that his "balanced" plan is calling tax increases "spending reductions." Here are some examples cited by IBD : His plan to "strengthen" unemployment insurance is labeled as a cut, but it's really a $50 billion tax hike; The $35 billion from the federal worker retirement programs involves boosting worker contributions; Most of the $35 billion in Medicare savings comes from charging wealthy seniors more; The $140 billion in "reduced payments to drug companies" are in fact rebates Obama wants drugmakers to pay Uncle Sam for selling drugs to poor seniors; and there are many more.
IBD says, "Viewed correctly, it turns out that more than $300 billion - about a third - of [the president's] proposed "spending cuts" are actually revenue increases. Forgive me for repeating: $85,000,000,000 is slated to be cut from the government budget. Now that is a budget with pre-programmed increases from the previous budget. In other words, there will be no cuts in current spending, only cuts in the budget request for future spending. On top of that, the government debt is 16,618,562,350,747 and rising about a million dollars every 20 seconds. Total unfunded liabilities are 8 times that amount. Do you really think that by cutting $85 billion out of the budget will cause the sky to fall? Can you afford more tax increases?
This continues because We the People allow it. A government that refuses to enforce the law is no government at all. Unjust laws are no law at all. How can you tell? Read your Bible and your history. All Constitutional law is based on God's law. As Peter and the Apostles said in Acts 5:29, "We ought to obey God rather than men." There should be accountability here. What the occupant is doing is illegal and unconstitutional by not enforcing laws, turning criminals loose on the streets and endangering our national security--only to try to force tax increases down our throats. He should be brought up on charges for breaking the law, just like what would happen to any of us if we did that. Also, the deceit and lies must stop.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Sex Ed in Chicago: Time to Repent
Windy City Blows away Parents with Sex Ed Plan
Kindergarteners are usually worried about catching cooties--not Chlamydia--but that hasn't stopped the City of Chicago from considering a full-blown sex education curriculum for kids as young as five! The plan, presented last night at the city's Board of Education meeting, would make Chicago the first U.S. school district with a minimum number of sex ed minutes and a curriculum for every grade level.
Stephanie Whyte, Chicago's chief health officer, explained that in addition to lessons on puberty, STDs, and contraception, the program would include conversations about homosexuality, transgenderism, and bullying. A CPS spokesman said, "It is important that we provide students of all ages with accurate and appropriate information so they can make healthy choices." She's right. Information is important--from parents, in their own time and in accordance with their own values.
Whyte insists the changes stemmed out of new "national and local standards," but the truth is, this is all part of a coordinated effort to sexualize and indoctrinate children. Liberals understand that if they can break down a child's inhibitions early enough, he or she will become the next generation of either homosexual activists or Planned Parenthood clients. Look at what's happening in Massachusetts, where boys and girls can't even use sex-specific restrooms! If this were truly about minimizing risks (and not maximizing exposure to radical liberalism), Chicago would be implementing the only program that eliminates risk: abstinence. It would be my hope that this ill-conceived policy would encourage another form of abstinence: abstaining from public school education in Chicago! (Family Research Council)
Texas Leaders Stand with BSA
FRC Praises Over 60 Texas Leaders for Standing with Boy Scouts of America
Family Research Council (FRC) praised a group of over 60 Texas elected officials who have signed on to an open letter encouraging the Boy Scouts of America to stay true to their long-standing support of family values and moral principles. They joined Gov. Rick Perry, who had previously announced his support for the Boy Scouts and their current policy on homosexuality.
Of the open letter, FRC President Tony Perkins said:
"Gov. Rick Perry, and now over 60 fellow elected officials in Texas, are showing the Boy Scouts that they're not alone in standing for their values. As leaders from the Boy Scouts organization meet in Texas, we hope that seeing the solidarity of so many Texas leaders will encourage them to reaffirm their current policy on homosexuality.
"Thanks to the organizing efforts of Texas Values, the Lone Star State's vocal support of the Boy Scouts and parental rights is being heard.
"Last year the Boy Scouts confirmed that 'the vast majority of the parents' of Boy Scouts reserve to themselves the right to introduce and give guidance on sexual topics. Gov. Perry and these Texas officials understand that, and are putting parents' rights first, and we applaud them for it."
Sequestration and the Military
Obama's dangerous defense experiment
Mindful of the repeated rounds of cuts the military has already endured, Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs, recently delivered a grim warning: "If you want [the military] to be doing what it's doing today, then we can't give you another dollar."
His worries reflect reductions that started in 2009 and have reached crippling levels, even in President Obama's proposals to avert sequestration. I take the general at his word, but I am concerned that the president does not
Sequester hurts national security, not just because 50% of the cuts fall on the military's 18% share of the overall budget but because the Pentagon has been the only place the president is willing to cut. For four years he has mismanaged our nation's most vital resource, our uniformed military, fomenting the sequester-inspired readiness crisis it faces today. His actions, his under-resourced strategies, accelerated withdrawal plans and lead-from-behind policies have left the Pentagon far less able to shoulder the burden of another 10% cut.
(Howard P. 'Buck' McKeon, Los Angeles Times, February 28, 2013)
Reported by: Unity Coalition of Israel
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
Guard Puts Bible in Solitary Confinement;
Murderer Becomes Missionary
"By the grace and mercy of God I was sentenced to life imprisonment. I know from personal experience that God can take a murderer and turn him into a missionary." -Former Death Row inmate, Edward Salazar Mauricio
(Lindale, TX)-After killing a man during an armed robbery, Edward Salazar Mauricio knew he might face the electric chair in Texas, a state that often wields the sword of justice with finality. By God's grace he received a life sentence, but he hated and even viciously attacked Christians who attempted to witness to him in his prison cell.
Eventually, however, the power of God's Word penetrated his heart and brought changes he could never have imagined . . .
In May 1966 he sat in a jail cell in the Bexar County Jail. He couldn't get the words of the prosecutor out of his mind: "Your Honor, The State of Texas files notice that it will seek the death penalty (by electric chair)." He was arraigned for robbery and murder with malice aforethought.
"By the grace and mercy of God I was sentenced to life imprisonment," he said. A few days later he was on a bus headed for prison, handcuffed and impaired by heavy chains on his feet.
Prison life was harsh. Physical beatings were not infrequent. Mauricio was required to do manual agricultural labor. "Guards kicked at us and lashed out at us with bullwhips from their horses as we picked cotton, corn, beans, potatoes and other vegetables in the hot sun," he said . . .
. . . "I began to identify with the Brown Power movement of the 1960′s and to subscribe to militant and communist publications such as 'The Guardian' from New York and 'Peking Review' and 'China Reconstructs' directly from the People's Republic of China," he recalled.
These influences only inflamed his violent tendencies. "We began to persuade prisoners to our cause and when Christians would try to witness to me I would threaten them or beat them up. I remember beating up one Christian and banging his head against the prison cell bars until blood was flowing from his head and he was hollering for the guards to rescue him simply for speaking to me about Christ."
Despite this personal animus toward God, during his somewhat frequent trips to solitary confinement the guards left a Bible in his cell. "I started reading the Bible to pass the time," he noted. Little did he realize that God, in His great love, was slowly planting His Word in Mauricio's heart. . .
Years later, in 1978, he attended a prison evangelistic meeting for the first time. "A black minister preached on Saul of Tarsus persecuting Christians and about his subsequent conversion," he recounted.
"That word went straight into my heart. After leaving the meeting I went to my prison cell, got on my knees, and said 'God, I know I am a sinner and that I have destroyed my life through sin, but if you can use my in any way I surrender my life to You right now.'" (God Reports)
Reported by Breaking Christian News.
Pray for the Harvest!
Pray for the Harvest!
"Do you not say, 'Four months more and then the harvest'? I tell you, open your eyes and look at the fields! They are ripe for harvest." (John 4:35)
Every day, in every nation on earth, tens of thousands of men and women are making decisions for Christ. Now, you can monitor this amazing fact online by literally "watching" as these souls are born again into the Kingdom.
Of course, the identities of those who are coming to the Lord are never revealed, but our God knows who they are!
Join us as we monitor these "names" daily, praying over each one to be mentored and to grow in his or her faith . . . even in these perilous times. You may visit either or both of the sites below, to pray for fields that are ripe for harvest.
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
I Stand In Awe
by Annie Herring
You are beautiful beyond description
Too marvelous for words
Too wonderful for comprehension
Like nothing ever seen or heard
Who can grasp Your infinite wisdom?
Who can fathom the depth of Your love?
You are beautiful beyond description
Majesty enthroned above