Wednesday, November 21, 2012

CHPP Daily Brief Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This is Part One of a two-part edition of today's Daily Brief. HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172-1970

Wednesday, November 21, 2012 

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you." (1 Thessalonians 5:18) 

We Gather Together . .

We Gather Together . .
We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;
Sing praises to His Name; He forgets not His own.

Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side, all glory be Thine!

We all do extol Thee, Thou Leader triumphant,
And pray that Thou still our Defender will be;
Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;

Thy Name be ever praised!

O Lord, make us free!

The Daily Jot

We've come a long way since 1620, or have we?

My grandfather 13 generations back was William Bradford, co writer of the Mayflower Compact and eventual leader of the Pilgrims who came to America on the Mayflower in 1620. There were some 102 passengers and about 30 crewmen on that ship that braved horrible weather, disease, and other hardships to come to this new place that later would become the greatest Christian nation in the world. Bradford wrote, "So they committed themselves to the will of God, and resolved to proceed. In several of these storms the wind was so strong and the seas so high that they could not carry a knot of sail, but were forced to hull for many days." The trip in of itself to find a place to worship without persecution was most difficult.

Once landed, it was no picnic either. Bradford says, "But soon a most lamentable blow fell upon them. In two or three month's time half of their company died...scarcely 50 remained, and sometimes two or three persons died in a day. In the time of worst distress, there were but six or seven sound persons, who, to their great commendation be it spoken, spared no pains night or day, but with great toil and at the risk of their own health, fetched wood, made fires, prepared food for the sick, made their beds, washed their infected clothes, dressed and undressed them; in a word did all the homely and necessary services for them which dainty and queasy stomachs cannot endure to hear mentioned."

"...And what I have said of these few, I should say of many others who died in this general visitation, and others yet living, that while they had health or strength, they forsook none that had need of them. I doubt not that their recompense is with the Lord." Their Virginia Company Charter, however, called for common ownership of land, property, food, drink, clothing, and provisions. Bradford saw that this socialist experiment was detrimental to the colony because it inspired laziness and a lack of productivity. Bradford then did away with this structure, giving ownership of land to each person and two days a week for "their own private employment." This was the first capitalist system and the colony then prospered.

The headlines 392 years later are that 42.2 million Americans (the total population of California and Connecticut combined) will eat their Thanksgiving dinner purchased by food stamps. Liberals say without the government, these people would starve. No, I don't believe it. Without the government, the citizens across the land would be blessed as the Pilgrims were by reaching out to their neighbor and helping him from the goodness of their hearts. We have come full circle in nearly 400 years. We are now in a stage of socialism where the government is truly robbing its citizenry of blessing others, promoting laziness and lack of productivity.

But you know, just as Bradford knew in 1621, government won't save you. Only the Lord will save you. He chooses to do it through his people. As written in 2 Corinthians 9:11-12, "Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causes through us thanksgiving to YHVH. For the administration of this service not only supplies the want of the saints, but is abundant also by many thanksgivings unto YHVH." How much spiritual starvation and dependency on the false god of government will it take before we begin to collectively change our hearts? Like Bradford, we who know the truth, must lead in truth.

Have A Blessed And Powerful Day,

Bill Wilson

Three Stones for Which to Give Thanks

Three Stones for Which to Give Thanks:

Three Foundation Stones in our Nation's History

STONE #1 - The Huguenots at Matanzas

In 1565 near St. Augustine, Florida a settlement later known as Matanzas was founded for religious freedom by (Reformed) Lutherans from France. (The Reformation was returning to the Christian Beliefs as practiced by the Apostles and followed for the first 1,100 years of Christianity.) Some 350 men were put to the sword while their woman and children were sold for profit into slavery in Cuba. All the men were given an opportunity to allege they were orthodox Roman Catholics, but only 10 or 12 renounced their faith. The others chose martyrdom.
Reported by the Chaplain of the Spanish Army Unit:

Finding they were all Lutherans, the captain-general ordered them all put to death; but, as I was a priest, and had bowels of mercy, I begged him to grant me the favor of sparing those whom we might find to be Christians. He granted it; and I made investigations, and found ten or twelve of the men Roman Catholics, whom we brought back. All the others were executed, because they were Lutherans and enemies of our Holy Catholic faith. All this took place on Saturday (St. Michael's Day), September 29, 1565. I, Francisco Lopez de Mendoza Grajales, Chaplain of His Lordship, certify that the foregoing is a statement of what actually happened."

Source: Go here.

> > > A number now see these martyrs as a spiritually powerful cornerstone for our future nation, a. "Solely Scripture" - (without man's changes per Luther) and b. loyalty to the Trinity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, without waivering.

STONE #2 - The Pilgrims at Plymouth

The next spiritual foundation stone for our future nation was set in place by the Pilgrims. Two died on the 65 day voyage from England, while the ship was forced by storms from its intended destination of the Hudson River further south than more austere New England. Arriving Nov 21st, 1621 the common house they built burned on Jan 14th causing them to lose supplies and to shelter on the cramped ship. During that winter 45 more died, including 13 of the 18 mature women. Approximately 55 starved people remained. Yet, in March when the ship left, not one retreated to England with the ship.

The Pilgrims created a written Compact, a unique forerunner of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. It was revolutionary in establishing self-government by majority rule. This rejected all the types of Lords, Kings and government officials who ruled Europe.

The area was abandoned but had been home to a small tribe of Indians, many of whom in 1616 were seized by slavers while all the rest died of European diseases. They left behind some structures and a few food supplies. One escaped from slavery, Squanto, and somehow returned. His knowledge of the land and English was seen as a "special instrument sent of God". The larger nearby tribe sought a mutual defense treaty against the slavers and further helped the Pilgrims with trade and knowledge. These Indians and the Pilgrims then jointly celebrated for three days a mutual Thanksgiving after harvest - for deliverance by God. The Pilgrims were serious about the rights of Indians and about the Ten Commandments; three of their men killed an Indian, and after a trial the three men were executed. For a generation there was peace and trade between the Indians and the Pilgrims. 

> > > Another principle stone of the American foundation was laid; a. God, not men, is sovereign, b. His merciful Commandments will be followed and c. Under God power is lodged in the citizens. Forty seven gave their lives to lay this stone.

STONE #3 - The "Martyrs of Memphis"

Self-sacrifice has been exemplified by Constance and Her Companions known throughout the Anglican Communion, informally, as the "Martyrs of Memphis."

Memphis suffered periodic epidemics of yellow fever, a mosquito-borne hemorrhagic viral infection (related to dengue fever and Ebola) throughout the 19th century. The worst of the epidemics occurred in the summer of 1878, when 5,150 citizens of Memphis died and the fast-growing city lost its charter due to depopulation.

A number of priests and nuns (both Protestant and Catholic), doctors-and even a bordello owner, Annie Cook-stayed behind to tend to the sick and dying, despite the high risk of contracting the disease, which often resulted in a painful death. The Episcopal nuns' superior, Sister Constance, three other Episcopal nuns, and two Episcopal priests died.

A traditional Anglican Prayer remembers them:

We give thee thanks and praise, O God of compassion, for the Heroic witness of Constance and her companions, who, in a time of plague and pestilence, were steadfast in their care for the sick and the dying, and loved not their own lives, even unto death. Inspire in us a like love and commitment to those in need, following the example of our Savior Jesus Christ . . .

> > > Self-sacrifice is a stone in the American foundation.

The Real Pilgrim Story

The Real Pilgrim Story
(An inspiring video of the historical record of the life of the Pilgrims before they came to America)

This video was filmed on location in England just last week. The historian, Sue Allan, was also seen in Kirk Cameron's film "Monumental". Sue is, from my standpoint, one of the foremost experts on pilgrim history. She lives it, she breathes it, and she writes about it. She is the author of "Steps Along The Pilgrim Trail."

Knowing what happened to the pilgrims once they landed was one thing, but understanding the context and background of their lives prior to leaving England is yet another story. This video is an attempt to chronicle that story.

Our 2012 Pilgrim tour took us to such places as: - Gainsborough - where William Bradford walked 15 miles to hear Richard Clyfton preach. - Scrooby Manor - where William Brewster, Bradford and the early pilgrims started to secretly meet. - Austerfield - the home and church of Bradford.

We hope you enjoy this fascinating off-the-grid look at Pilgrim England!!

From FRC: Thanksgiving 2012

From FRC: Thanksgiving 2012

We who are blessed to be both Christians and Americans are immeasurably blessed. We have an abundance for which to be thankful. While it is true that we face ongoing political turmoil and have endured a rancorous election campaign season, we still have much about which we can give thanks. For example, it was a peaceful election. There was no bloodshed at the polling places and no fighting in the streets. The elections were decided without prolonged recounts or U.S. Supreme Court hearings. It is true that we have a divided nation. Yet we have been blessed with liberty such that if we seek God, exercise our liberty to preach and teach his Word, and partner together with other Christians and God-fearing Americans and get involved, we can make a difference. Through the power of the Gospel, people's hearts and minds can be changed. And it was for that very purpose that Christ put us on this earth, saved us, and commissioned us (Mt 28:18-20.) 

The strength of our nation is in our being "One Nation under God." From the beginning, we were mostly made up of many Christian denominations and a few adherents to Judaism, but we had agreement in the essentials. No other modern nation has been built upon the acknowledgment of God as Creator, as Author of our human and civil rights, and the Supreme Judge of the World to Whom we must give an account. After producing the Constitution upon which our limited federal government would run, the original states went to work to create a Bill of Rights. The First Amendment includes the cornerstone of all rights - religious liberty:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances."

For those of us who know Christ as our Savior have the certainty and joy of eternal life, what more could we ask? God has seen fit to place us in a nation with more freedom and hope than any other nation on earth! Look around, where would you prefer to live? Why is it that so many people immigrate to America? Because more opportunity, more liberty (and the blessings that come with it) can be found here than anywhere else. And that liberty is based upon our Judeo-Christian foundations. May God turn our nation wholeheartedly back to Him!. 

Dear Friends, thank you for your faithful prayer throughout this year. May you and your family have a powerful and prayer-filled Thanksgiving. As we give thanks, may we remember our fellow citizens in the Northeast, who are still under deep distress because of Hurricane Sandy, along with all who are in real need in our nation and around the world. Please remember the families in Midland, Texas who lost sons, brothers and husbands in the terrible train accident there. Pray for our military, foreign service personnel, and Christian missionaries around the world who are in harms way. Pray, too, for the persecuted saints at home and abroad and for our closest national ally, Israel. As we are instructed by Scripture, pray too, for the peace of Jerusalem (Ps 122: all). May God bless you this Thanksgiving Week!
Rev. Pierre Bynum
Chaplain & National Prayer Director

Family Research Council
801 G Street, NW
Washington, DC 20001
Phone: 202-393-2100
Fax: 202-393-2134

Gary Bauer: To Give Thanks

Gary Bauer: To Give Thanks

Tomorrow the nation will pause as we spend time with friends and family in a day of thanksgiving for the tremendous blessings of this land. Some years, when things are going well and life glides along smoothly, celebrating is easy. But this year thanksgiving may be tough. Our country faces difficult times, economically and politically, and we are facing tremendous threats to our national security.

But giving thanks is especially important in tough times. During times of instability and peril, our minds and hearts are focused more sharply on the important things in life, the things that truly matter -- faith, family and freedom.

I love this uniquely American holiday. Thanksgiving traces its origins back to the Pilgrims -- those hardy pioneers who arrived on the shores of North America and, against all odds, carved a nation out of the wilderness. They came to the New World not seeking fortune, but in search of freedom, and, more specifically, the freedom to worship God as they wished. 

Testifying to the strong religious foundation of this country, thanking God for His blessings was a routine experience in our early years. The first official National Proclamation of Thanksgiving was issued by the Continental Congress on November 1, 1777 in celebration of the victory against the British at the Battle of Saratoga. In 1941, as America confronted a world at war, Congress voted to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday. 

In spite of the challenges we face today, I believe all of us can be thankful to be Americans. We are the descendants of the patriots who declared that "All men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness." (Excerpt) 

Giving Thanks in Hebrew!

Giving Thanks in Hebrew!

This is a beautiful dance from the Bezalel School of Dance and Galilee of the Nations. It is perfect, both for the current situation in Israel and for the Thanksgiving holiday. The lyrics are: 

Hodu l'Adonai ki tov; ki l'olam chasdo.
Hodu l'Adonai ki tov; ki l'olam chasdo.
Hodu, hodu, hodu, hodu, hodu l'Adonai ki tov.
Hodu, hodu, hodu, hodu, hodu l'Adonai ki tov. 

Give thanks to the Lord He is good; His mercies forever endure.

Give thanks to the Lord, He is good; His mercies forever endure.

Give thanks, give thanks, give thanks, give thanks, give thanks to the Lord, He is good.

Give thanks, give thanks, give thanks, give thanks, give thanks to the Lord, He is good.

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving!