Tuesday, March 24, 2009

CHPP Daily Brief - March 24, 2009

In This Issue
• The Daily Brief
• The Middle East in Focus
• The First 100 Days
• If You Plan to Be in D.C. Tomorrow --
• Good News Corner

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief - Tuesday, March 24, 2009

"The LORD loves the just and will not forsake His faithful ones. They will be protected forever." (Psalm 37:28)

The Daily Brief

1. Former 'enemy combatant' pleads not guilty in Ill. - AP

Al-Marri, 43, was arrested in late 2001 while studying at Bradley University in Peoria after federal authorities alleged he was tied to organizers of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. A legal U.S. resident, the native of Qatar was declared an "enemy combatant" by the Bush administration and held without charges for more than five years at a Navy brig in South Carolina.

The designation was dropped when a federal grand jury in Illinois indicted al-Marri on charges of conspiracy and providing material support to terror, which each carry a penalty of up to 15 years in prison.

• Lord, we pray that you will give our government Your wisdom to know how to deal with these 'enemy combatants.' We pray that no one will be released that would bring harm to our country.

Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land. (Exodus 1:10)

2. Obama set to unveil Mexico border drugs/guns plan - Reuters

The Administration is poised to announce as early as Tuesday Obama's plan to send more agents and equipment to the U.S.-Mexican border to fight violent trafficking in drugs, guns and money, government sources said. The plan represents a growing emphasis by the Obama administration on fighting weapons smuggling to the Mexican drug cartels, which helped fuel deadly turf wars and battles with authorities that killed 6,000 people last year.

Investigators say nine out of 10 guns retrieved from crime scenes south of the border are traced back to U.S. gun dealers.

• Lord, we pray against this violence and drugs in these cities. We pray for gun sales to these criminals to be stopped. We pray this Administration will make more of an effort to stop these crimes at our borders.

Therefore thus says the Lord God: "Your slain whom you have laid in its midst, they are the meat, and this city is the caldron . . . You have feared the sword; and I will bring a sword upon you," says the Lord God. (Ezekiel 11:7. 8)

3. AIG Getting the Message on Corporate Jets? - ABC News

"As part of a comprehensive expense reduction plan, AIG has dramatically reduced airplane usage and sold several aircraft," said AIG spokesperson Joe Norton. AIG sold two jets in its corporate air fleet in the last two months, a Dassault Falcon 900EX and a Falcon 2000EX EASy. It has also cancelled a 2010 order for a Dassault Falcon, and was able to transfer the sale of another Falcon to a third party, according to Norton. Norton says the use of corporate jets at AIG is down about 70% from last year.

"It would be a very good thing for America for these executives to learn to fly coach," said Nell Minow of the Corporate Library, an independent research group.

• Lord we pray against this over-reaction to the CEO's flying. Let this nation have wisdom that not just CEO's are hurt by these actions but others also who service these planes! Let there be balance in our nation.

Poverty and shame will come to him who disdains correction, But he who regards a rebuke will be honored . . . A good man leaves an inheritance to his children's children, But the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous. (Proverbs 13:18. 22)

4. Unemployment hits harder among Latinos, blacks - AP

Since the recession began in December 2007, Latino unemployment has risen 4.7 percentage points, to 10.9 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Black unemployment has risen 4.5 points, to 13.4 percent. White unemployment has risen 2.9 points, to 7.3 percent. "You worry about populations of concentrated poverty and having less access to the safety net." "It could lead to social unrest, higher crime rates - no one knows," said Harry Holzer, former chief economist for the Department of Labor who now is a professor at Georgetown University and the Urban Institute.

• Lord, we pray for everyone who has been unemployed and those who will be; let them find creative and lawful ways to make enough money for their families. Let them turn to Christ, who will direct their steps. Let them see this adversity as opportunities.

Before I was afflicted I went astray, But now I keep Your Word. It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes. (Psalms 119: 67, 71)

5. Connecticut lawmakers consider apology for slavery - AP

The resolution mentions how Connecticut's wealth grew as merchants participated in the Triangle Trade, which carried slaves, crops and goods among West Africa, the Caribbean and America.

It also mentions how Connecticut legislators rejected emancipation bills in 1777, 1779 and 1780 and how the new state Constitution in 1818 specifically denied the right of blacks to vote. But it later mentions how Connecticut changed its ways and played a key role in abolition efforts, culminating in the outlawing of slavery in 1848.

The resolution would need to be voted on by the Government Administration and Elections Committee, possibly next week, before going to the House of Representatives and then the Senate.

• Lord, we pray for this nation to be truly color-blind. Let minorities be able to move forward and not continue to look back. As long as people keep looking back - they can not make progress.

Hurry, escape there. For I cannot do anything until you arrive there . . . But his wife looked back behind him, and she became a pillar of salt. (Genesis 19:22, 26)

6. Rep. Frank Calls Justice Scalia a 'Homophobe' - Fox News

Masscahusetts Rep. Barney Frank called Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia a "homophobe" in an interview released Monday on a gay online news site, and said he hoped a challenge to a federal law widely disliked in the gay community will not be heard before the high court until new justices are seated on the bench.

• Lord, we pray that the new justices seated on the bench will be righteous judges. Let the wicked fall into their own nets. I pray that prayer shall be made for the justices continually. That they give stability to the land by justice. We pray they may be surrounded with many wise and righteous counsellors who love peace.

In righteousness shalt thou be established; thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee, behold, they shall surely gather together, but not by me: whoseover shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake. No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord. (Isa 54: 14-17)

7. A bill to shift cybersecurity to White House - CNET News

Forthcoming legislation would wrest cybersecurity responsibilities from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and transfer them to the White House, a proposed move that likely will draw objections from industry groups and some conservatives. CNET News has obtained a summary of a proposal from Senators Jay Rockefeller (D-W.V.) and Olympia Snowe (R-Maine) that would create an Office of the National Cybersecurity Advisor, part of the Executive Office of the President. That office would receive the power to disconnect, if it believes they're at risk of a cyberattack, "critical" computer networks from the Internet. "I regard this as a profoundly and deeply troubling problem to which we are not paying much attention," Rockefeller said a hearing this week, referring to cybersecurity.

• Lord, we pray for your wisdom on this legislation. We pray that any wrong motives of transferring this responsibility to the White House be brought to light, and dealt with.

Wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of their times, and strength of salvation; and that the fear of the Lord is their treasure. (Isa 33:6)

The Middle East in Focus

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

"Keep not silence, O God. Hold not your peace. Be not still, O God. For, behold, Your enemies make a huge noise. They that hate You have lifted up their head. They have taken crafty counsel against Your people, consulted against Your hidden ones. They have said, Come, let us cut them off from being a nation; that the name of Israel may be no more in remembrance. For . . . they are confederate against You:" (Psalms 83:1-5)

1. UN report accuses Israel of using human shields - Ynet News

Israeli soldiers used an 11-year-old Palestinian boy as a human shield during the war against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, UN human rights experts said Monday.

2. Marathon negotiations between Labor, Likud - Ynet News

The Likud and Labor launched a marathon negotiation session on Monday evening, in a bid to reach the finish line before Labor votes on whether to enter a coalition under Benjamin Netanyahu.

3. Hamas leader hails Obama's new approach: report - AFP

The exiled leader of the Palestinian Islamist movement Hamas on Sunday hailed the "new lexicon" being used by US President Barack Obama towards foreign policy issues in the Middle East.

The First 100 Days

DAY 64

"The king's heart is in the hand of the LORD; he directs it like a watercourse wherever he pleases." (Proverbs 21:1)

1. House Decides Against Fast-Tracking Obama's 'Cap and Trade' Proposal

House Democratic leaders have decided against using fast-track budget rules to ram through President Obama's environmental initiative known as cap and trade, FOX News has confirmed.

2. In Setback for Labor, Sen. Specter to Oppose Card Check Bill

WASHINGTON -- In a setback for organized labor, Pennsylvania Sen. Arlen Specter said Tuesday he will oppose a bill that makes it easier for workers to form unions.

3. Obama Tries to Break Down Rising Resistance Over Budget

The president, who last month held a prime-time press conference to build confidence in his stimulus package, is holding another one Tuesday night to promote his $3.6 trillion budget proposal.

4. Insurers Offer to Stop Charging Higher Premiums to the Sick

America's Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association say they are willing to "phase out the practice of varying premiums based on health status in the individual market" if all Americans are required to get coverage.

5. Gov. Jindal Speaks Again Opposite Obama Primetime Appearance

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is slated to headline a major congressional fundraiser that coincidentally fell on the same night as President Obama's planned news conference.

6. Rep. Frank Says Committee Will Repeal Dodd's Bonus Provision

The provision, added to the economic stimulus package last month, exempted bonuses previously agreed to by bailed-out companies from certain pay restrictions. (All articles from Fox News)

If You Plan to Be in D.C. Tomorrow --

You are invited to: Freedom Tour USA History - Wed. March 25, Washington, DC

10am-10pm - 12hr worship & intercession meeting on the National Mall.

Rain or shine under the big white tent.

We will be on the center grass lot between 3rd & 4th street.
. . . we are launching the Freedom Tour, starting March 25 on the National Mall. Our theme and Platform for the Freedom Tour will be: "Forgiveness and Repentance". We will be worshiping with music, teaching, preaching, and asking the Lord for miracles on the Mall in front of the Capital in Washington DC under the same big tent that we had on the Mount of Olives. This will be the first stop of our tour across the USA. From DC, we will head to Fredericksburg, VA on April 2-5 where Freedom Tour will join forces with "Awaken the Dawn", which is working to raise up a 24/7 house of Prayer and missions training base. Future cities and dates will be added as the Holy Spirit directs.
Freedom Tour is led by Neil Blake, from North Carolina. His ministry is also known as "Fulfillment Fest" and has already brought forth the Praises of the King on the Mount of Olives in Jerusalem!

See you on the Mall tomorrow!!

Good News Corner


By Joel C. Rosenberg

(Reported on Monday, March 2, 2009)

On Monday night, something remarkable is going to take place in the capital of Syria. More than 1,100 senior Syrian government officials, journalists, business leaders and religious leaders -- Muslim, Catholic and evangelical Christian -- will attend the gala premiere of a major motion picture entitled "DAMASCUS," written, produced and directed by entirely Arab Christians. The film, part documentary and part narrative drama, tells the story of how Saul of Tarsus -- one of the first prominent persecutors of Christ-followers in the Holy Land -- himself became a follower of Jesus during a miraculous encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus and eventually became known as the Apostle Paul, going on to write much of the New Testament.

It is unheard of in the Middle East to have a major Christian film about the events of the New Testament debut in a Muslim-majority country run by the secular Ba'ath Party, much less have the premiere supported and attended by senior government officials. That's what makes the "DAMASCUS" docu-drama project so extraordinary. What's more, the film is hosted and narrated by one of the most well-known Syrian TV newscasters who explains the historic events of the life of Paul in the very places where those events occurred. Numerous events in Paul's life are then dramatized using famous Syrian Muslim actors playing the parts of Jews and Jewish followers of Jesus.

After the premiere, the film is expected to be launched throughout Syria and the rest of the Muslim world. Sources indicate senior Catholic leaders in the Vatican recently reviewed the film and were favorable.

The remarkable film debut comes at a sensitive time for Syrian officials who are feeling quite isolated from the West. U.S. and European leaders have been sharply critical of President Bashar al-Assad's government on a number of fronts, for supporting Hezbollah's war against Israel, supporting Hamas' war against Israel, forming a strategic alliance with Iran, buying billions of dollars worth of advanced weapons systems from Russia, and building a nuclear facility with the help of North Korea (a facility that was bombed and destroyed by an Israel airstrike several years ago). Syria's government has never been controlled by Radical Islamic jihadists. Still, it has long stifled activities by Arab Christians to teach others about their faith. It is not clear what the Assad government's motives are for both allowing and supporting the release of the "DAMASCUS" film. But it is an encouraging development indeed.

It is especially noteworthy given two Bible prophecies - - one in Isaiah 17 and the other in Jeremiah 49 -- that suggest the city of Damascus will be obliterated in what the Bible calls "the last days." The Scriptures do not say exactly when or how the Syrian capital will be destroyed. But let us pray that the powerful message of Paul's life and Jesus Christ's love and forgiveness for all people is clearly communicated to every Syrian, particularly those in the capital.

PART TWO: UPDATE -- Posted on March 10, 2009

Last week, as you'll recall, I alerted you to the fact that a major motion picture about the life of the Apostle Paul and how he came to faith in Jesus Christ on the road to Damascus was going to premiere in the Syrian capital. I also asked you to pray that God would bless the showing of the film entitled, Damascus.

Let me report that your prayers have been answered. More than 1,000 Syrian political, business, and religious leaders -- along with journalists -- attended and there is a lot of buzz in the region about the film.

Here are excerpts from an email I just received from one of the film's producers, that I post with his permission:

* "It is with great joy that I report to you that the Lord, in His love and mercy, accorded us a truly historic event for the premier of Damascus, in the capital city of Syria, Damascus, where it all began 2,000 years ago. The Government took a personal interest in the production of this film, made it very easy for us, and facilitated everything we needed. The invitation for the premiere went all the way to the Presidential palace, which received it with great favor, delegating the responsibility of hosting the premier to the Minister of Culture, and designated that it should be held in the Opera in Damascus . . .

* "A huge [billboard] was hung in a public place for several weeks leading up to the premiere, literally seen by at least one million people every day . . . 1,135 people attended the premier, so the Opera was a full house. We were honored by the presence not only of the Minister of Culture, but also of other Cabinet members, very high government officials, and two patriarchs, with a third sending his inaugural speech to be delivered by his assistant.

* "The head of the Synod of the Evangelical churches of Lebanon and Syria sent his speech, to be delivered by his vice-president, who represented him . . . All the main actors and crew were also present, also the head of the Islamic community sent his inaugural speech, to be delivered by his right-hand man, one of the main Sunni leaders in the country . . .

* "All the speeches were extremely positive, and all gave honor and glory to God, and also commended the Syrian government for its support of the production of this film, and the potential it has to revive the Christian message, and transform lives, as it happened with Saul on the way to Damascus . . .We were honored by having with us representatives of the mainstream Christian denominations from all the neighboring countries as well . . .

* "The film was positively received. In fact, the crowd broke into applause at the opening of the eyes of Saul, at the baptismal scene, and also at the scene when followers of the Way were first called Christians . . . [Let us give] honor and glory to God and our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, who still transforms lives, and proclaim that, from this evening on, Paul, as promised by the Lord, will appear before Kings and Presidents and will take the message to all the nations of the world, on the large as well as the small screen . . .

* "Twelve television stations and all the main newspapers in the country and the Arab world were represented, as part of the press group. Dozens and dozens of people were interviewed before and after the showing. Today, literally the entire Arab world is talking about this premiere and the inaugural showing of Damascus. The English dubbing was completed last week, and it should be ready very soon. Other languages are underway: Turkish, Farsi, Russian, Urdu, Hindi, Kurdish, and many others.Thank you so much for praying for the inaugural showing in Damascus. Please continue to pray."

There is plenty of bad news coming out of the Middle East, including out of Iran. But let us keep in mind that the God of the Bible is faithful. He is on the move. He loves all the people of the epicenter, and His message cannot be thwarted by the kingdoms of mankind. What a message of hope as we head into the Easter season.

And all God's people said, 'PRAISE THE LORD!!"