Please be sure to see our Good News report today. Thank you! :)
Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172-1970
The Daily Brief
Friday, December 20, 2013
"'Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is
Christ the Lord." ( Luke 2:10,11)
The third (pink) candle on the Advent Wreath is JOY!
The Daily Brief
1. Harry Reid hospitalized - Washington Post
Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D- Nev.) was hospitalized early Friday after not feeling well, according to his office. "Early this morning, Senator Reid was not feeling well and as a precaution decided to go to the hospital. Tests have been conducted and everything is normal. He is alert, resting and feeling better," according to a statement issued by his office. "Doctors have asked that he remain in the hospital for observation so he will not be working today," the statement said. Reid's hospitalization comes on the final scheduled day of the Senate for 2013 . . . (Read more)
- Pray for God's perfect will to be done in and through the life of Harry Reid. A practicing Mormon, Senator Reid has yet to come to the fulness of faith in our Messiah. Please pray that revelation knowledge will visit the Senate Majority Leader during this Christmas season, that he, too, will come to know the King of all kings and the Lord of all Lords, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
- "For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God." (Romans 14:11)
2. Senate approves budget, sends to Obama - CNN
For the first time in what seems like ages, Congress has passed a government spending plan without resorting to last-minute brinkmanship such as midnight negotiations to prevent an imminent government shutdown.
- Lord, we ask that there be a stop to all these temporary "bubblegum" fixes to the budget, and that real negotiation would take place among the adult men and women in Congress to settle on a wise plan of action. We do ask that they would have we, the people, as their number one priority, and not their own selfish political aspirations. We ask this in Your precious Name, Amen.
- "Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you. The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding. Cherish her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you." (Proverbs 4:6-8)
3. Senators bring sanctions bill that could 'kill' Iran deal - Times of Israel
A bipartisan group of US senators on Thursday introduced new sanctions legislation that Iran has warned could "kill" its interim nuclear agreement with the six world powers. The "Nuclear Weapon Free Iran Act" was headed up by senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Mark Kirk (R-IL), who were joined by 24 additional lawmakers.
- Lord we thank you for these senators who have had the courage to stand up to the Obama administration by violating the White House's current policy of appeasement towards Iran. The easing of sanctions in that nation will only extend the time they have to continue to develop their nuclear arsenal, with the purpose of eventually attacking and destroying the nation of Israel. Lord, we ask a special blessing upon the 26 senators who stood tall in this legislative battle and who have thereby worked to see the nation of Israel protected. Thank You, Lord, in Your name, amen.
- "I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse those who curse you . . ." (Genesis 12:3)
4. Obama adviser Podesta under fire for comparing GOP to 'Jonestown' - Fox News
Long-time Clinton hand John Podesta is in trouble with Republicans just days after joining the Obama White House, after he described the House GOP as a "cult worthy of Jonestown."
- Abba, we are appalled at these irresponsible, bigoted remarks made by John Podesta toward the Republican members of Congress, likening them to deserving a Jonestown massacre. We pray that others would see the lack of tolerance among many on the left toward the Republicans. We need a two-party system, and checks and balances to keep the right perspective. We pray for Mr. Podesta, that he would realize his own bigotry and confess that attitude to You, and receive Your forgiveness. We choose to forgive him as well. Thank You Lord, for Your mercy! "
- "Those who guard their lips preserve their lives, but those who speak rashly will come to ruin." (Proverbs 13:3)
5. Proposed homeschool law would require background checks on parents - WatchDog
An Ohio senator wants the state to investigate parents who decide to homeschool their children.
> > > Editor's note: Sometimes an issue is so critical to the well-being of our nation, it deserves a "double measure" of intercession. This is one of those times . . . thank you for continuing to lift up this wicked initiative in the State of Ohio, agreeing that it be cast down in the Name of Jesus, amen.
- Abba, we thank You that there are Christian parents who do not want their children to be fed lies from the "re-writing" of the history books in the public school system. Many of them cannot afford to send their kids to a Christian school, so they choose to purchase historically accurate textbooks and teach them to their children at home. We ask Lord, that harassment of these parents would cease. Protect them, we pray in Jesus Name, amen.
- "Listen, children, to a father's instruction; pay attention, in order to gain insight; for I am giving you good advice; so don't abandon my teaching. For I too was once a child to my father; and my mother, too, thought of me as her special darling." (Proverbs 4:1-3)
6. Half of America strips religion from Christmas - Washington Times
Nine out of 10 Americans do Christmas and three-quarters believe in the biblical account of Jesus' birth -- but only a little more than half actually regard the holiday primarily as a religious celebration.
- Father, we are so sorry to hear these statistics that so few Americans regard Christmas as a religious celebration. We pray that somehow You would make it known that the real reason we celebrate Christmas, is that You have given us Your "unspeakable" gift of love in the form of Jesus/Yeshua, as our Sin-Bearer, to reconcile us back to You. We love because You first loved us; and we give because You first gave to us! We praise You for giving us the Gift of Your Son, and made us Your sons and daughters! We pray You would reveal Yourself to the world in the same way You revealed this truth to us, and we embraced it/You. In Your Name, Amen.
- "Thanks be to God for His indescribable Gift . . . His Gift that is too Wonderful for words." (2 Corinthians 9:15)
7. New Mexico legalizes same-sex marriage - NBC News
New Mexico became the latest state to legalize gay marriage Thursday as its highest court declared it is unconstitutional to deny marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples.
- Father, we are grieved as we see another state legalizing "marriage" of same-sex couples. We ask for forgiveness for defying Your Word in this manner. We know that these practices are a defiance of Your laws of nature, and we repent as a nation, for incurring Your wrath in these decisions. We ask that in judgment you will remember mercy. We ask You to bring clarity to the gender confusion of these who do not follow Your Word. Give them insight, we pray, in Your Name, Amen.
- "So God created man in His own image, in the image and likeness of God created him; male and female He created them. And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it." (Genesis 1:26-28)
8. 'Duck Dynasty' star sparks culture war with opinions on gays, sin - Washington Times
For a few hours, it looked like Americans would quietly accept the suspension of popular "Duck Dynasty" star Phil Robertson for his unfiltered opinions about sin, sex, gays and blacks in a magazine interview.
- Lord, we thank You for this outcry from the public regarding our first amendment's "right to free speech". We ask that the American people will rally around our rights to speak our opinions freely without censorship. We ask that those rights will be enforced, regardless of whether one agrees or not. We thank You for this nation, and ask that You spread Your wings over us, and protect and defend those of us who choose to live according to Your Word, and are not ashamed to confess You. In Your Name we offer this prayer, amen.
- "Therefore, everyone who acknowledges Me before men and confesses Me [out of a state of oneness with Me], I will also acknowledge him before My Father Who is in heaven and confess [that I am abiding in] him. But whoever denies and disowns Me before men, I also will deny and disown him before My Father Who is in heaven." (Matthew 10:32,33)
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:
" . . . He who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep."
1. Erekat: Final peace accord won't be reached by April, but framework deal might - Jerusalem Post
A final peace accord between Israel and the Palestinians will not be reached by the end of the nine-month period set for the talks, but an initial framework agreement could be reached, chief PLO negotiator Saeb Erekat told reporters on Wednesday according to Palestinian news agency Ma'an.
2. Foreign Affairs Committee chair spot strains coalition to breaking point - Ynet News
Knesset's Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee will go to Yesh Atid's No. 2 man, but only as part of a larger rotation, a senior coalition source told Ynet Wednesday, hinting the issue was the least of the coalition's problems.
3. Jordan to Israel: Stop Watching Temple Mount - Bible Prophecy Blog.com
one of then-Defense Minister Moshe Dayan's first post-war acts was to hand control of the sacred plateau back to the Hashemites. Many Israelis now see that decision as a historical mistake, given that today Jews and Christians are unable to pray on the Temple Mount without sparking an outburst of Muslim violence.
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler. . ." (Psalm 91:3)
New Rash of Church Closings Sweeps Across Indonesia- International Christian Concern
I watched as the pastor began to cry, tears welling up in his eyes as he described the scene to me. It was May 18th, 2012, and there were hundreds upon hundreds of screaming fanatics hurling rocks, dirt, and even bags filled with urine at his congregation as the police stood by and watched. Signs hanging near his church read "Jesus is a dog" and "Kill the Christians." The rioters claimed the pastor had never obtained the proper permits to operate his church, and the local government agreed, sealing the building and prohibiting the pastor and his congregation from ever returning.
My interview with Pastor Palti Panjaitan of the GKI Yasmin church was eye opening. For years the world, including the United States, has lauded Indonesia as the prime example of a tolerant, Muslim democracy. The largest Muslim-majority nation in the world, Indonesia embraces a welcoming political philosophy known as "Pancasila," composed of five "inseparable" principles, including social justice. The vicious attack Pastor Palti described hardly seemed synonymous with Indonesia's pristine reputation. After further investigation, it proved to merely be the tip of the iceberg.
Across Indonesia in 2012, International Christian Concern (ICC) found that at least 50 churches like Pastor Palti's were forcibly shut down, almost always under pressure from radical Islamic groups. These groups usually claim the church lacks the proper permits to operate, based on a 2006 zoning law that requires "places of worship" to obtain signatures of approval from surrounding neighbors. The law is well-known to be a charade, as it is almost never applied to anyone except religious minorities. It is also well-known among Indonesia's church leaders that obtaining a permit can be nearly impossible and usually requires hefty bribery of local officials. In 2012, I was told of one very large church which had to spend more than a million U.S. dollars to obtain a permit that is, officially at least, supposed to be free.
By early 2013, the closure of churches had begun to garner international attention. In March, photos and video of a Batak Protestant Christian church being demolished by the government was picked up by international news agencies. The video showed radical Muslims cheering and applauding as the building was torn apart, all while members of the congregation stood by and watched helplessly. The next month, ICC took the issue to Congress and the State Department. Soon after, reports of churches being sealed shut by local governments plummeted to almost zero.
That is, until three weeks ago. Now, seemingly out of nowhere, a new rash of church closings appears to be sweeping across Indonesia. On Dec. 1, radicals belonging to the Islamic Defenders Front stormed a church service in North Sumatra, creating such havoc that the church members had to be escorted home by riot police. Future services were indefinitely suspended.
On Dec. 6, the Jakarta Globe reported that two new churches had been sealed shut, one in West Java and one in South Sulawesi. The church in South Sulawesi was subsequently demolished by local authorities, leaving hundreds of Christians in the area without a single church to attend.
Then on Monday, ICC received word that at least two more churches, located near Jakarta, had been forced to stop services by radicals last week, bringing the total number of closed churches to five in just three weeks.
The reason behind this month's rash of church closures, especially after seven months of relative quiet, is not exactly clear. It may be that the coming Christmas holiday has ignited always simmering anti-Christian sentiment among radical groups. In 2000, 16 were killed by bomb attacks on churches over the Christmas holiday.
On Monday, Indonesia's national police chief, General Sutarman, announced that 87,000 police personnel would be mobilized to "prevent disruptions to Christmas and New Year's Eve celebrations." The majority of the police forces will be tasked with guarding churches and "other places of worship."
Yesterday, AsiaNews, a Catholic news service, also reported that an Islamic council in the province of Aceh had recently ordered Muslims not to participate in Christmas celebrations, calling the activities "forbidden."Aceh is the only province in Indonesia fully governed by Sharia law and was the site of several church closures last year.
The one thing that is clear is the need for an international spotlight to shine once again on what can only be defined as religious discrimination protected by badly misused legislation. Recent history has shown that without the glare of this spotlight, Indonesia's federal government has little, if any, incentive to protect its Christian population from mistreatment.
For more news about the Persecuted Church, and how you can be more involved in intercession for these precious saints, go here.
The Daily Jot
Why homosexuals bully and hate Christians
The Bible believing Christian is the biggest roadblock to acceptance of homosexuality. I say "Bible believing" because there are a huge number of Christians who pick and choose what parts of the Bible they want to obey and follow, and what parts they reject as not in alignment with their way of thinking. These are not Bible believing Christians. I use the word "acceptance" of homosexuality in the context that it is not "sin." To discount homosexuality as some sort of aberration that the Holy Spirit somehow missed is bumping up close to the line called heresy. From Genesis through the Pentateuch through the Gospels through the Epistles, homosexuality is considered abomination and sin. No question.
From the beginning, God created man and woman--told them to be fruitful and multiply. He destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for their sexual sin which was predicated on homosexuality. Genesis 19:5, "Where are the men which came in to thee this night? Bring them out unto us, that we may know them." The laws given by God to Moses commanded that men should not "lie" with men as with women, "It is abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)." Christ spoke of the union between man and woman in both Matthew and Mark, that what God joined together let no man put asunder. Romans Chapter 1, verses 25-32 describe the sin of homosexuality and its consequences. There are many more examples.
As a Christian, I try very hard to look upon everyone as an opportunity to show Christ to them, to "educate" them, if you will, about the better way. Yet, I will not compromise my personal belief or who I am. Homosexuals should understand that in this country all people have the right to free speech and religious expression. Homosexuals often demand tolerance and equality, but do not afford the same courtesy to those with whom they disagree. True Christians will not be bullied into accepting something that God says they cannot accept. We can, however, treat all people equal under the law and show them love and mercy as commanded by our Lord and Savior. It amazes me how Christians are labeled bigots and haters with such vitriol by those who disagree with God's word.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Obama Waives Individual Mandate
Obama Waives Individual Mandate
The disaster-drama that is Obamacare continues to unfold. Last night, the Obama Administration was forced to waive the individual mandate for people who have had their insurance policies cancelled because of Obamacare. According to columnist John Fund, that is "at least the 14th unilateral change to Obamacare that's been made without consulting Congress."
A couple of points come to mind.
First, it was only a few weeks ago that Obama and his Democrat allies shut down the government over their refusal to delay the individual mandate. Now Obama has tacitly conceded that Senator Ted Cruz and House Republicans were right to demand such a delay.
Second, Obamacare was supposed to solve the problem of too many Americans being uninsured. A key element in the Democrats' scheme was the individual mandate, forcing people to buy health insurance.
What's the reality? Millions of Americans have lost their existing health insurance plans and now Obama is waiving the mandate!
Third, the Obama Administration is legislating at whim, threatening our system of checks and balances.
Given all the other abuses and scandals in this administration, the results of a new Gallup poll are not at all surprising: 72% of Americans -- a new record high -- say that Big Government is a threat to the country. (Gary Bauer)
House Republicans Fighting Back
House Republicans Fighting Back
I got a lot of angry feedback about the recent budget deal that cuts military benefits, including those for our disabled veterans. You will be pleased to know that Representatives Martha Roby (R-AL) and Mike Fitzpatrick (R-PA) have introduced legislation to fix this outrage.
Their bill is similar to the Session amendment, which would restore funding for the benefits by closing loopholes that have allowed illegal immigrants to fraudulently receive billions of dollars in child tax credits. The Roby/Fitzpatrick bill currently has 45 co-sponsors, 44 Republicans and only one Democrat. (Gary Bauer)
> > > PRAY FOR PASSAGE OF THIS BILL!
- "Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst." (Matthew 18:19,20)
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
Good News from CHPP!
"Your people will volunteer freely in the day of Your power . . ." (Psalm 110:3)
Just before Thanksgiving, my husband Jim (our treasurer) alerted all of you to the fact that our treasury was looking dangerously low. At that time, if things had not improved we were quite frankly concerned that this ministry may not have made it through the end of the year, much less going forward into 2014.
Well . . . it is now one month later, and I have GOOD NEWS to report to all of you today. . . ALL of you heard, and MANY of you gave, and today we are not only in good shape for this year, but well into the next year as well.
Thank you so much for hearing the prompting of the Holy Spirit on behalf of Capitol Hill Prayer Partners, and for responding as you have.
And now I have even more good news:
Our Board of Directors has approved my hiring an administrative assistant to help me carry the ongoing burden of this ministry in our office here in Herndon, Virginia. The person who will assist me is one who must primarily carry the vision of our work (praying for all in authority), and of course, be one who knows and who serves our Lord, too.
This position will be "super part-time" with only a few hours needed/available per week, either in this office or in your own home.
If you or anyone you know might be interested in applying for this new staff position for Capitol Hill Prayer Partners, please send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org, and please attach your resume and the recommendation of your own pastor.
Once again, my heart is filled with JOY as I share today's GOOD NEWS with you from all of us here at CHPP. And in particular, Jim and I send you our wishes for a very Merry Christmas as you gather with friends and family next week to celebrate the joy of the birth of our Savior.
In His Love and with our gratitude,
Jim and Sara Ballenger
and the Board of Directors of Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
When Hope Came Down
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.
> > > OPTION ONE: AboutJesus.net
> > > OPTION TWO: The Great Commission Map!