Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief
Friday, January 10, 2014
"I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears." (Psalm 34:4)
The Daily Brief
1. Holder says federal government will recognize same-sex marriage in Utah - Fox News
Attorney General Eric Holder says government will recognized same-sex marriages in Utah for the purposes of federal benefits, despite governor's directive not to pending Supreme Court's review of state's ban. (Read more)
- Lord, we are dismayed to see this report, of the federal government undermining the will of the state of Utah and its citizens. We are reminded that we are the "United States" of America, and our forefathers believed strongly in state's rights. We ask, Lord, that this would be challenged in the courts, and that our Constitution would be upheld, in Your Name we pray, Amen.
- "Say among the nations that the Lord reigns; the world also is established, so that it cannot be moved; He shall judge and rule the people righteously and with justice." (Psalm 96:10)
2. State Department names groups behind Benghazi strike - Fox News
The State Department for the first time blames specific groups and militants for the Sept. 11, 2012, Benghazi attack, designating them as terrorists, further undermining initial claims the attack was spontaneous. (Read more)
- Lord, we thank You that our State Department is finally naming these terrorist organizations, and thereby admitting that this was not a spontaneous demonstration in the Benghazi massacre. We ask for accountability for all concerned, including then Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton. We are still grieved at our government's lack of support to our Ambassador and the Navy Seals, all of whom gave their lives for their country, without reciprocal protection from that country. We ask forgiveness for those responsible, and ask that they come to know You as Saviour, as a result of this event. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
- "The Lord is my rock, my protection, my Savior. My God is my Rock. I can run to Him for safety. He is my Shield and my saving Strength, my Defender. I will call to the Lord, Who is worthy of praise, and I will be saved from my enemies."
3. House passes Obamacare security-notification law; 67 Democrats join GOP majority - Washington Times
The House passed a bill Friday that requires the federal government to notify consumers within two days if their personal data has been breached on online-based insurance markets tied to the new health care law.Roughly one third of voting Democrats joined the Republican majority in passing the Health Exchange. (Read more)
- Father, we thank You for this legislation and that both political parties are supporting it. We ask that not only would consumers be notified of security breaches regarding the new health care law, but that safeguards would be put in place to avoid such breaches. Give wisdom to all of us, we pray. Amen.
- "Things are hidden temporarily only as a means to revelation. For there is nothing hidden except to be revealed, nor is anything temporarily kept secret except in order that it may be made known." (Mark 4:22)
4. Proposed Medicare drug change stirs access worries - NPR/AP
In a move that some fear could compromise care for Medicare recipients, the Obama administration is proposing to remove special protections that guarantee seniors access to a wide selection of three types of drugs. (Read more)
- Abba, we come to You on behalf of all the Medicare recipients, and those who will be going on Medicare in the near future. We see this desire to "remove special protections" that guarantee seniors access to three types of drugs, as an ominous sign of lack of caring for the elderly, who have paid into Medicare all of their lives. It seems to be a "precursor" to eventual euthanasia of the elderly, who are no longer paying into the system; but also need medications to stay alive. We pray that all Americans will see this tactic, and not support it in any way, but do what they can to stop it, through their Congressional Representatives and Senators. We ask this in Your Name. Amen.
- "Even in old age they will be vigorous, still full of sap, still bearing fruit."
5. U.S. Congress to pass stopgap funding bill next week: top Republican - Yahoo
The U.S. House of Representatives next week will pass a stop-gap funding measure to prevent a government shutdown for three days as negotiators try to finalize a $1 trillion spending bill, Republican Majority Leader Eric Cantor said on Friday. This will allow more time for the spending bill to clear often lengthy procedural hurdles in the U.S. Senate. Lawmakers have been trying to reach agreement on the massive funding bill by January 15, when all government spending authority expires for military and domestic discretionary programs and federal agencies. But negotiators on the measure, which sets thousands of budget line items from national parks to Pentagon weapons programs, still have a number of funding and policy issues to resolve that will likely take through this weekend.
- Abba, it seems like "deja vu" here again! Didn't we just "kick this can down the road" in October, and now we are having to deal with it again, so soon? We pray for our two houses of Congress, and our President, that they would be graced by You with sanity, discretion, wisdom, and the desire to agree on a measure that will benefit all Americans, and end these "stop gap" measures that lead nowhere. We ask that You would give them servant-hearts to truly serve their constituents, and not their own political aspirations, this election year. We ask You to reveal to the American people any disingenuousness on the part of their Congressmen and women. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
- "So give your servant a discerning heart to govern Your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of Yours?"
(I Kings 3:9)
6. US Jobless Rate Hits 5-Year Low, but Hiring Slows - VOA
The U.S. jobless rate dropped sharply in December to 6.7 percent, its lowest point in more than five years, but employers added just 74,000 new workers to their payrolls. The government said Friday that unemployment dropped from 7 percent in November. However, the U.S. labor statistics chief, Erica Groshen, said two-thirds of the decline in the jobless rate was accounted for by workers ending their search for new jobs, and thus not being counted by the government in the jobless numbers.
- Father, we are happy to see the jobless rate decline, but we are also saddened to see that 2/3 of that decline was because workers gave up their job searches. We ask that You would renew the hope and confidence of these workers, that they may still seek and find jobs with adequate incomes to feed and care for their families. We come against discouragement and despair, and ask for an infusion of Your view of them, being of great value to You. Amen.
- "Yes, let none who trust and wait hopefully and look for You be put to shame or be disappointed; let them be ashamed who forsake the right or deal treacherously without cause." (Psalm 25:3)
7. Poverty level under Obama breaks 50-year record - Washington Times
Fifty years after President Johnson started a $20 trillion taxpayer-funded war on poverty, the overall percentage of impoverished people in the U.S. has declined only slightly and the poor have lost ground under President Obama.
- Abba, we are sorry to hear this news. We know that the president's political party always refers to itself as the party of compassion, and champion of the poor. We thank You that these numbers are being made known, and, perhaps, because of them, our President is endeavoring to launch a new "promise areas" to target poverty. We ask that You reveal the truth of reality, that all may see that "promises" do not solve the problem. Even Chicago, where Mr. Obama has lived and served, has more people on welfare, than working. We ask for a restoration of hope and truth, and true reform to help these folks get on their feet, and have the self-esteem to provide for themselves and their families. In Your Name we pray, Amen.
- "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going." (Eccl. 9:10)
8. Obama edges closer to decisions on intelligence reforms - Reuters
President Barack Obama consulted intelligence officials on Wednesday on ways to rein in U.S. surveillance practices as he nears the end of a review likely to lead to changes as to how bulk telephone data is handled as well as restrictions to spying on foreign leaders. The president is meeting Thursday with key congressional leaders who oversee American intelligence efforts and lawmakers who have been sharply critical of the scope of the U.S. surveillance. The White House talks are part of a series of meetings Obama has held this week about the NSA spying. He is expected to announce his decision regarding this issue on January 17.
- Lord, we are somewhat troubled that our President wishes to make decisions about our national security, as this seems more like an issue to be dealt with in Congress. We are glad he is consulting congressional leaders. We pray that they will all come to an agreement as to what safeguards to implement in protecting the privacy rights of private law-abiding citizens, while also exposing those who have evil intents toward our nation and its peoples. We thank You for Your wisdom, and discretion! In Jesus' Name, Amen.
- "Where no wise guidance is, the people fall, but in the multitude of counselor there is safety." (Proverbs 11:14)
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:
"Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge
in him." (Psalm 34:8)
1. Tamar Natural Gas Field Worth $52 Billion to Israeli Economy - Algemeiner
The natural gas in Israel's Tamar field is worth some $52 billion to the Israeli economy, accountants Ernst & Young Israel said in a new report. The CPA firm will present their report at a gas and energy conference in Tel Aviv next week, according to Israel's Globes business daily.
2. Kerry threatens to cut PA aid if no peace deal signed - Times of Israel
US Secretary of State John Kerry has threatened to discontinue all American aid to the Palestinian Authority if the current round of negotiations does not result in a peace agreement, a senior Palestinian official claimed Thursday.
3. Abbas, Abdullah agree to coordinate unified response to Kerry - Jerusalem Post
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan's King Abdullah on Wednesday discussed US Secretary of State John Kerry's latest proposals for achieving peace between the Palestinians and Israel.
4. Dramatic deterioration in Ariel Sharon's condition - Ynet News
The condition of former Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has dramatically deteriorated in the last 24-hours.
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them." (Psalm 34:7)
California First-Grader Told 'Jesus Is Not Allowed in School' - Charisma
On Dec. 13, first-grader Isaiah Martinez took Christmas gifts intended for his teacher and classmates to Merced Elementary in the West Covina Unified School District in California. Each gift consisted of a traditional candy cane with a message attached that recited the legend of the candy cane. The legend references a candy maker who created the candy cane to symbolize the life of Jesus Christ.
When Isaiah brought his Christmas gift to school, his teacher took possession of the candy canes. After conferring with the school principal, she told Isaiah that "Jesus is not allowed in school" and, at the apparent direction of her principal, ripped the candy cane message from each candy cane, threw the messages in the trash and handed the candy canes back to Isaiah for delivery to his classmates. Isaiah then nervously handed the candy canes to his classmates in fear he was in trouble for trying to bring a little Christmas cheer and "good tidings" to class.
Advocates for Faith and Freedom sent a demand letter to the West Covina Unified School District, demanding a written apology and further demanding that a new policy be adopted to prohibit school officials from bullying and intimidating Christian students and religiously affiliated students.
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
Understanding equality in God and liberty on earth
In the early 1600s the Jamestown and Plymouth settlers came to what became the United States to live and worship the one true God as they pleased. They considered the Judeo-Christian God as the one true God--and none other. This is apparent in their writings--both personal and public. There is only one true God--the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They believed Jesus the Messiah's declaration as a foundational tenet of true faith: "I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me." Religion was defined as such. Freedom to worship without government mandates or interference was steeped in this belief; and, in reality, was the very premise of government.
Despite what the leftists, the ungodly, the reformists, and even some so-called theologians would claim, the concept of government came from God. All men (mankind) are equal in the sight of God, God's laws treat all the same, and all mankind has an opportunity for eternal life through Jesus Christ. God gave the law and all were treated the same under it. As Paul writes in Galatians 3:28, "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus." The disciples of Christ who developed this nation, did so patterned after the good and perfect government of God. Because of man, it is not perfect; but it places equality under the law as a foundational tenet.
Herein, mankind, equal in the eyes of God, also equal under the law, has the opportunity to prosper as seen fit--the opportunity to succeed, to fail, to have life, liberty, property, and to pursue happiness. The Judeo-Christian "religion" is the only one that specifically allows this freedom. Therefore, in the Founders eyes there is no other religion and no other government patterned from this religion. Religious freedom from government influence was/is the keystone to the republic of the United States. And that religion was only the worship of the one true God--not Mohammadism, or Ishmaelites, or the philosophical lifestyle concepts found in Buddhism, Zen, Hinduism, etc. They are not of God, they do not qualify.
I know this will draw a lot of fire. Through the 17th-19th Centuries, it was well understood the uniqueness and eternal truth of the one true God found in Judeo-Christian religion--this is before people in the 20th Century twisted the meanings of words and terms. Only Christ on earth in his blood rendered all men equal before God and the hope of Christianity does not despise to see all citizens equal before the law. Therefore it is you, the Christian, who is responsible for keeping the earthly flame of eternity before men. It is also incumbent upon you, the Christian, to preserve the flame of liberty in Christ to the benefit of mankind. Those preaching disengagement as a duty of Christianity are preaching a false gospel.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
FRC Press Release
Obama Administration's Disregard for Utah Law, U.S. Supreme Court
Expands Legal Chaos of Marriage Redefinition
January 10, 2014
Family Research Council (FRC) President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to the announcement today by the Obama administration that it will ignore Utah's marriage law and recognize same-sex "marriages" performed prior to the U.S. Supreme Court stay:
"The Obama administration's decision today is an effort to make law in the breach and shows contempt for the states, the federal courts, and Congress. It only adds to the administrative chaos by flouting Utah's marriage law and is in contrast to the U.S. Supreme Court's cautious approach in granting a stay in the case. The Department of Justice's announcement is doing the very thing which the Supreme Court condemned in the U.S. vs. Windsor decision - 'creating two contradictory marriage regimes within the same State.'
"The administrative chaos in determining martial status is why Family Research Council, just yesterday, endorsed the State Marriage Defense Act. The State Marriage Defense Act requires the federal government to determine marital status based on the state law in which a couple resides. This serves to protect state definitions of marriage against what the Court called efforts 'to put a thumb on the scales and influence a state's decision as to how to shape its own marriage laws,'" concluded Perkins.
State Marriage Defense Act
Rep. Randy Weber Introduces the State Marriage Defense Act
Protecting State Marriage Laws
It's been a convenient talking point of the media that Republicans haven't said much about the marriage debate since the Supreme Court's summer ruling. Today, they let their legislation do the talking. After a string of bad court decisions, Congress is stepping in to do the job that five justices did not: protect state marriage laws. Under the leadership of Rep. Randy Weber (R-Texas), conservatives are making it clear that they have no intentions of backing away from the unions that a super majority of states respect.
When the Supreme Court overturned part of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) last June, the federal government was suddenly forced to recognize same-sex "marriages" regarding more than 1,000 laws and benefits that apply to "spouses." What the justices didn't do was clarify what the ruling meant for homosexuals who "wed" in a state where it was legal and then moved to one of the 33 states where it isn't. For states, the ambiguity has been a legal and bureaucratic nightmare, as they try to sort out which laws apply to which couples.
Of course, the Obama administration has tried to fill in the blanks by ordering states to recognize all unions, regardless of what their individual constitutions say. In doing so, the Obama administration has created what the Supreme Court specifically condemned: "two contradictory marriage regimes within the same state." While the court didn't strike down every state marriage law, the President has tried to -- using the power of his federal agencies to offer Social Security, veterans, Medicaid, and other benefits to every couple (regardless of where they live) in a backdoor attempt to expand same-sex "marriage" to every state in America.
But, as Rep. Weber points out, that doesn't jive with the Supreme Court's opinion, which insists that states have the "historic and essential authority to define the marital relation." Under Congressman Weber's new bill, the State Marriage Defense Act, the federal government would have to respect the definitions of marriage in all 50 states. A couple's residence would define their marital status. (Family Research Council; excerpt)
January 19: Sanctity of Life Sunday
National Sanctity of Life Sunday:
January 19, 2014
Intercessors for America Sponsors:
7 Days of Prayer and Fasting for the Unborn
Intercessors for America has issued A Call to Prayer and Fasting for the Unborn:
January 19-25, 2014
To learn more about the history of the National Sanctity of Life Sunday, and to receive a prayer guide for every day of this prayer and fasting period, please visit the IFA website by going here.
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
ACLU Threat Defeated: Cross to be Restored on Los Angeles County Seal
The seal should include a cross for accuracy so that the historic site "looks like a mission instead of the back end of a Walmart." -Don Knabe, LA County board member
(Los Angeles, CA)-On January 7, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted to restore a cross to the official county seal, after it was removed in 2004 following the threat of a lawsuit by the ACLU.
According to a report in the LA Times, the cross "will be added to a small depiction of the San Gabriel Mission now on the seal." Supporters, it notes, are calling it a "matter of historical and architectural accuracy."
Don Knabe, one of the county board members who advocated for the change, was quoted as saying he thought the seal's design should accurately depict the historic site so that "it looks like a mission instead of the back end of a Walmart."
Filmmaker and historian John Newcombe, agreed. "Our mountain ranges, our valleys, our hills, all of these things are named after Catholic saints. I'm not a Catholic myself. My wife is Jewish. But I want to see this historically accurate." (Source: Breaking Christian News)
Signs and Wonders
Signs and Wonders:
Hubble Sees a Star Set to Explode
Floating at the center of this new Hubble image is a lidless purple eye, staring back at us through space. This ethereal object, known officially as [SBW2007] 1 but sometimes nicknamed SBW1, is a nebula with a giant star at its center. The star was originally twenty times more massive than our sun, and is now encased in a swirling ring of purple gas, the remains of the distant era when it cast off its outer layers via violent pulsations and winds.
But the star is not just any star; scientists say that it is destined to go supernova. Twenty-six years ago, another star with striking similarities went supernova - SN 1987A. Early Hubble images of SN 1987A show eerie similarities to SBW1. Both stars had identical rings of the same size and age, which were travelling at similar speeds; both were located in similar HII regions; and they had the same brightness. In this way SBW1 is a snapshot of SN1987a's appearance before it exploded, and unsurprisingly, astronomers love studying them together.
At a distance of more than 20 000 light-years it will be safe to watch when the supernova goes off. If we are very lucky it may happen in our own lifetimes. (Source: NASA) Read -- and see -- more here.
"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near." (Luke 11:25-28)
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
How He Loves Us