Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief
Thursday, December 19, 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.Saudi ready to act alone on Iran, Syria: ambassador - AFP
The West's policies on Iran and Syria are a "dangerous gamble" and Saudi Arabia is prepared to act on its own to safeguard security in the region, a top Saudi diplomat said.
- Father, we pray that You will establish Your power and protection over the Middle East. We ask that You prevent anything that is not of Your heart, and be with anything that protects the people from Iran's deceptions.
- "Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! When God brings back the captivity of His people, Jacob shall rejoice and Israel shall be glad." [Psalm 53:6]
2. Russia plans new ICBM to replace Cold War 'Satan' missile - Chicago Tribune
Russia will begin deploying a new type of long-range missile in 2018 to replace a Cold War standby known in the West as "Satan", a military commander said on Tuesday in a signal to the United States that Moscow is improving its nuclear arsenal.
- Lord, Russia is more than what we think, and since the cold war, they have increased in abilities and strength from a leader that appears "good" on the outside but comes from a KGB background.
- "No weapon formed against you shall prosper" [Isaiah 54:17a]
3. Court Rejects Obama Admin Executive Privilege Arguments -Washington Free Beacon
A federal judge Tuesday rejected the Obama administration's sweeping claims of executive privilege and ordered the disclosure of a foreign aid directive signed by President Barack Obama in 2010 but never publicly released.
- Thank You, Lord, for this small victory over the President's penchant for ignoring the courts. We pray that the American people will truly see what he has been doing and stand against it.
-"O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help." [Psalm 71:12]
4. Federal Reserve scales back quantitative easing program by $10 billion - Washington Examiner
The Federal Reserve began winding down its unprecedented efforts to stimulate the economy through quantitative easing Wednesday, capping months of speculation about the timing of the "taper" of its open-ended monthly bond purchases.
- Father, we need Your help in the economy. We cannot dig ourselves out of the hole we are in without You.
-"For the Lord is good; and His mercy is everlasting; and His truth endures for all generations." [Psalm 100:5]
5. Senate clears budget deal easing threat of second shutdown in January- Washington Examiner
The Senate on Wednesday cleared a two-year, $1.014 trillion budget deal that prevents a government shutdown in January and brings greater fiscal stability to a federal government that has been lurching from crisis to crisis for years.
- Lord, You know the consequences of this budget deal. We can only plea for Your mercy over America, and ask that you take care of us in Your grace and love.
-"I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread."
6. ALERT!! Federal Judge Calls Obamacare "Totally Ineffective" - TownHall.com
Strikes Down Contraception Mandate
Yesterday, Judge Brian Cogan of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York, not only struck down Obamacare's contraception mandate as applied to religious non-profit organizations, but also sent a strong signal that federal courts were losing patience with President Obama's many stitches of executive power .
Previous courts had ruled against President Obama's contraception mandate as applied to for-profit entities (see Sebelius v Hobby Lobby), but this was the first court to hold that participating in Obama's scheme to provide free birth control is a substantial burden on the free practice of religion (specifically the Catholic Archdiocese of New York and its affiliate organizations). The contraception mandate "directly compels plaintiffs, through the threat of onerous penalties, to undertake actions that their religion forbids," Cogan wrote. "There is no way that a court can, or should, determine that a coerced violation of conscience is of insufficient quantum to merit constitutional protection." (Read more)
- Father God, the fact that Judge Cogan was appointed to the bench by President George W. Bush tells us how important it is that we place a man of principle inside the Oval Office. Praise God for Judge Cogan and others like him who still call "good, good" and "evil, and evil," and pray for the protection of each judge, as well as his or her family members.
- "I will restore your leaders as in days of old, your rulers as at the beginning. Afterward you will be called the City of Righteousness, the Faithful City." (Isaiah 1:26)
7. South Carolina voting on bill to end Obamacare in state - Daily Caller
A bill set for fast-track passage in the South Carolina Senate in January aims to eliminate Obamacare in the state. The law could become a model for other states fed up with the federal health-care law. (Read more)
- Offer praise to the Lord for this good report. When our citizens -- and our legislators -- do not lose track of their senses, bills like this one can become a reality, to preserve our rights as free citizens. Pray for the safety and the protection of everyone who is a "gatekeeper" in the process of introducing and passing this bill in South Carolina; and intercede that the legislatures in all other 50 states would "catch the vision" and pass bills of a similar nature.
- [Regarding the enacting of the Affordable Care Act by this Congress and our President] "Take counsel together, but it will come to nothing; Speak the word, but it will not stand, For God is with us." (Isaiah 8:10)
8. Target says 40 million credit, debit card accounts may be affected by data breach - Fox News
Target says that about 40 million credit and debit card accounts may have been affected by a data breach that occurred just as the holiday shopping season shifted into high gear.
- Father, we ask Your protection for all who have been affected by this data breach, and justice to root out the perpetrators.
- "To deliver you from the way of the evil man . . . who leaves the path of uprightness to walk n the ways of darkness . . . " [ Proverbs 2:12-13]
9. ALERT! London theater collapses during performance, dozens injured
- Fox News
A packed London theater collapsed in the middle of a performance Thursday night, raining chunks of debris on playgoers and injuring more than 80, according to ambulance services. At least seven of the injuries were described as serious. Police said they weren't aware of any fatalities "at this early stage." Although first reports said the ceiling had collapsed, later accounts indicated it could have been a balcony or the roof.
- Lift up a prayer tonight for all those who have been injured by this incident, asking our Lord to bring healing to each one. Pray, too, for the children who were present, that the memories of this tragedy would not disturb them. Ask our Lord to grant His wisdom to all in authority, that they might determine the exact cause of this collapse. Pray!
- "If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer." (Matthew 21:22)
10. ALERT! Prince Charles Warns of 'Crisis,' Danger of Christianity Disappearing From Birthplace Due to Persecution - Christian Post
Prince Charles said Tuesday that organized persecution of Christians in the Middle East has reached a "crisis" point and that Christianity is in danger of disappearing from its birthplace, which would result in the world losing something "irreplaceably precious." "It seems to me that we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately targeted by fundamentalist Islamist militants. Christianity was, literally, born in the Middle East and we must not forget our Middle Eastern brothers and sisters in Christ," the Prince of Wales said at an Advent reception for Middle East Christians. (Read more)
- Well, hallelujah and praise the Lord! Offer a great chorus of praise to our King of Kings that at least one of the "Kings of the earth" recognizes the perilous state of Christians now living in Middle Eastern nations. Pray that action will follow these words, and that many in authority will rise up to defend and protect religious freedom in the countries that surround Israel. Praise God!
- "Let every thing that hath breath praise the Lord. Praise ye the Lord!"
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. Second Palestinian killed during firefight in Qalqilya - Times of Israel
Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man who opened fire on them during operations in the West Bank city of Qalqilya early Thursday morning, the second such incident in several hours.
2. Israeli military raid in West Bank kills member of Palestinian security forces - Fox News
The Israeli military says it has killed a member of the Palestinian security forces during an overnight arrest raid.
3. Netanyahu defeats Likud hawks' efforts to weaken him - Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces two skeptical audiences as he moves ahead in the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks: international leaders who suspect he is not committed enough, and many of his own Likud constituents who think he is far too committed.
4. 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.
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler. . ." (Psalm 91:3)
Syria: The End of Christian Civilization? - The Voice of Russia
The ousting of Christians from the countries of the Middle East is a sore spot of the modern world. Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt and Syria are in the midst of a civil war - these are only some of the countries where Christian civilization is currently being destroyed. Experts contemplate the issue of who benefits from this and whether Christianity has a chance to survive in the Middle East.
The Syrian city of Homs, the third in the country in terms of population, has almost completely lost its Christian population. Thousands have been killed and about a million have fled. The situation is similar in Damascus, Aleppo, Hama, Latakia and other cities. It is a real religious war, which is being carefully ignored by the world community, thinks Eugeniy Satanovsky, president of the Institute of Middle East:
"It is believed that religious wars are a matter of the past. But they have become a matter of the past only for those western politicians that are not paying attention to them. Religious wars are underway in Africa and in the Middle East. Syria is only one of the platforms of the rapid de-Christianization of that region. And since radical Islamists representing radical terrorist movements wage these wars, it is not in favor of the world community to interfere in them. Nobody has abandoned the double standards. Unlike the XIX century, when people in Europe were still worried about the genocide of Christians in Syria and Lebanon, today people just ignore it based on their economic and geopolitical interests". (Read more)
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
The Daily Jot
Where religious freedom collides with political correctness
Thursday, December 19, 2013
News that A&E has put Duck Dynasty star Phil Robertson on hiatus over his remarks in GQ magazine about homosexuality brings to mind how free speech and religious free speech in particular are no longer really free. Robertson discussed openly his opinion about homosexuality and referred to scripture as the basis for his opinion. He also said several times that it was up to God to sort things out; that he does not judge; that he loves all people; and that his mission is to "tell people about why I follow Christ." The homosexual community went ballistic and in the end, Phil Robertson was axed--another victim of the oppression of free speech and its consequences in the workplace.
Robertson has a right to express his opinion. In this society, however, If you express your opinion and use the Bible to do it, you can expect all hell to break loose. A man like Robertson can say that he doesn't understand homosexuality and just wants to tell people about Christ, and he gets fired from his private sector job. Senior Advisor to the president John Podesta, however, can publicly characterize the Republican Party as a "cult worthy of Jonestown" and he keeps his government job after issuing a mere 22 word "apology" that was more of an excuse. These days, Bible-believing conservatives cannot share the gospel without consequences AND they are depicted as members of a mass murder cult.
However, if you are trying to mandate public acceptance of your non-biblical beliefs, you can bully people with impunity. This is a double standard. The presidential advisor thinks that conservatives are equal to a death cult, though they strongly stand for life; homosexuals demand that all must accept their sexual behavior, even if the Bible speaks to it as sin. As disciples of Christ, we must exercise wisdom and love in addressing the issues of society in these politicly correct times. Even so, there will be consequences to our words. Jesus said in Matthew 10:22, "And you shall be hated of all men for my name's sake." In verse 28 he says, "And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul."
Peter, Paul, John, Luke, Matthew and Mark all were under great oppression when they set out to turn the world upside down with the gospel of Christ. They were beaten, imprisoned, and many were martyred for the words they preached. Christianity is not for the weak at heart. As Paul wrote in Ephesians 6:19-20, "And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly as I ought to speak." There may be a time someday where your life or livelihood will be threatened for your belief in God. Jesus said in Matthew 10:19, "But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what you shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what you shall speak." Be wise. Be kind. Be bold.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Democrat: Investigate Every Homeschool Parent
Democrat: Investigate Every Homeschool Parent
Proposal gives nearly unlimited power to 'unqualified' social workers
A proposal by a state senator in Ohio, Cafri Cafaro, a Democrat, would require every homeschooling parent in Ohio to be investigated - and approved of - by various social services agencies before they would be allowed to teach their own children. And officials with the Home School Legal Defense Association say it is the "worst-ever homeschool law proposed."
"SB 248 is breathtakingly onerous in its scope," says a report assembled by Michael Donnelly, an attorney with the world's premiere homeschool advocacy organization. "It requires all parents who homeschool to undergo a social services investigation, which would ultimately determine if homeschooling would be permitted. Social workers would have to interview parents and children separately, conduct background checks and determine whether homeschooling is recommended or not. "If it is not recommended, parents would have to submit to an 'intervention' before further consideration of their request to homeschool.."
"(Michael Donnelly, an attorney with the world's premiere homeschool advocacy organization) suggested that lawmakers, through SB 248, simply are turning fundamental American values "upside down." "Parents have been deemed by the United States Supreme Court in Parham v. JR to act in their children's best interests. In Pierce v. Society of Sisters, the court ruled that parents have a fundamental right to direct the education of their children," he said. Ohio's plan would replace parents with "unqualified social workers to make educational decisions for children."
". . . HSLDA said it has asked its members in Ohio to recommend the bill's sponsors withdraw the idea. "This misguided attack on homeschooling in Ohio may only be a precursor to more general attempts by some to impose similar restrictions on parents," the group said. (WorldNetDaily) Read more.
- Even though this effort is "only" surfacing in the State of Ohio, if successful, it will be a short time before this initiative appears in all other states, too. And under the current socialists that are in power now in the federal government, it is highly likely that this move may soon appear in the Halls of Congress. Now is the time to fight.
We each have the power of the Holy Spirit within us, and the Word of God as our "weapon of warfare." Let's get engaged in this battle for the freedom of parents to homeschool their children in America . . . now, and let's cut this off at the pass, together. In Jesus' Name, amen.
- ". . . 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt' . . . " (Job 38:11)
"And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." (Rev. 12:11)
Defend The Duck Commander!
Defend The Duck Commander!
As many of you know by now, A&E, the Arts & Entertainment Network, has "indefinitely" suspended Phil Robertson from its highest-rated show, "Duck Dynasty." Why? Because Robertson dared to speak openly about his biblically-based values on marriage and human sexuality during a GQ interview.
When asked by GQ about his views on homosexuality, Robertson quoted Scripture and, as his many fans appreciate, he elaborated in his own colorful way.
The militant homosexual movement immediately went on the attack, demanding Robertson be fired from the show. This movement, which has wrapped itself in the language of tolerance, is in fact intolerant of men and women of faith and is determined to punish anyone who dares to speak up for biblical values.
Just ask Christian photographers, florists, bakers or college administrators who have been raked over the coals, taken to court and essentially persecuted for their faith. You can add Phil Robertson to that growing list.
A&E's knee-jerk reaction caused even one homosexual columnist to ask, "Why is our go-to political strategy for beating our opponents to silence them? Why do we dismiss, rather than engage them?" He added, "I wonder if the Duck Dynasty fiasco says more about our bigotry than Phil's." I couldn't agree more. In addition, Senator Ted Cruz, Sarah Palin and Rush Limbaugh all spoke out in defense of the Duck Dynasty star.
Men and women of faith must stand up and defend our First Amendment rights of free speech and religion!
TAKE ACTION: Petitions defending Phil Robertson are great, but A&E needs to hear from you now. Contact them at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(Source: Gary Bauer)
Rep. Wolf Retires From The House
Rep. Wolf Retires From The House
Representative Frank Wolf (R-VA), a true "warrior" in defense of religious liberty, has announced he will not run for re-election in 2014. That's the bad news. The good news is that the congressman made it clear that he was not leaving the battle but only leaving the House.
The statement released by Rep. Wolf makes it clear where his heart is. He said:
"As a follower of Jesus, I am called to work for justice and reconciliation, and to be an advocate for those who cannot speak for themselves. I plan to focus my future work on human rights and religious freedom -- both domestic and international -- as well as matters of the culture and the American family. My passion for these issues has been influenced by the examples of President Ronald Reagan, former Congressmen Jack Kemp and Tony Hall, Chuck Colson, and the life of 18th century Member of Parliament William Wilberforce."
Frank Wolf has been tireless in fighting Christian persecution here and abroad. He has regularly confronted the threat of radical Islam. He took on the violation of human rights in Russia, China and everywhere else where the "boot of oppression" robs human beings of their rights and dignity. He will be missed in Congress, and he will be missed wherever political prisoners suffer in the jails of tyrants.
While it meant alienating some business leaders, Rep. Wolf stood firmly against giving the communist Chinese "most favored trade" status. More recently, he has led the fight for a thorough investigation of the Benghazi scandal.
Even the liberal Washington Post praised him this morning, reminding readers that Rep. Wolf regularly put his own safety at risk by visiting hot spots to champion "decency and democracy." The Post noted, "He led the first congressional delegation to Darfur and returned repeatedly to Sudan to call attention to the mass killing there."
Our oldest daughter Elyse has worked for the congressman for years on religious liberty issues. I can't think of a better man for her to serve. And while he will be irreplaceable in Congress, I know Frank Wolf will continue the battle outside the confines of government. (Gary Bauer)
"Well done, thou good and faithful servant." (Matthew 25:23)
- Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
Thousands Call for President Xi Jinping to End China's Violent Treatment of North Korean Refugees, Humanitarians
(Washington, DC)-The North Korea Freedom Coalition (NKFC) has sent petitions to the Embassy of China signed by over 8,000 citizens worldwide calling upon President Xi Jinping to end China's violent repatriation policy.
It's that policy which has led to the torture, imprisonment and death of thousands of North Korean citizens and humanitarian workers.
According to a news release made available to the ASSIST News Service, the NKFC also posted the latest update to THE LIST of those incidences when North Korean refugees were repatriated and humanitarian workers were killed for trying to help them.
"It is fitting that these petitions are submitted on Human Rights Day, the day we recognize the passage of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights," said NKFC Chairman Suzanne Scholte. She added, "North Korea is the only country in the world denied every single one of these universally recognized human rights, which is why so many try to escape. This problem will only continue under the brutal dictatorship of Kim Jong Eun." (Breaking Christian News) Read more from ASSIST News Service here.
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
O Holy Night
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!