Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
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The Daily Brief Wednesday, December 26, 2012
"Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son,
and shall call His name Immanuel." (Isaiah 7:14)
The Daily Brief
1. Obama announces Kerry Secretary of State nomination - Reuters
President Barack Obama on Friday announced the nomination of US Senator John Kerry to replace Hillary Clinton as secretary of state, calling him the "perfect choice" to guide American diplomacy in the years ahead. Obama settled on Kerry, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and the 2004 Democratic presidential candidate, after UN Ambassador Susan Rice withdrew from consideration last week. He said he expected quick Senate confirmation of the Massachusetts lawmaker. Read more.
- Our Gracious and Powerful God, we ask that You would arrange for us to have Godly and morally upright men who love our country and our Constitution to be leaders in our land. We ask that Your hand would stay the nomination of anyone who would act harmfully against America. Lord, we put You in charge of this nomination procedure.
- "Choose wise, understanding, and knowledgeable men from among your tribes, and I will make them heads over you." (Deuteronomy 1:13)
2. 'Abomination': Rand Paul slams NDAA as bill passes US Senate - RT
The controversial NDAA bill, which allows for the indefinite detention of US citizens, was approved by the Senate despite White House threats to veto the legislation. Republican Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) has decried the law as an "abomination."
- Father, take up our defense and block this law. This bill allows for US citizens to be detained without trial. This is certainly an abomination!
- "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: 'I brought Israel up out of Egypt, and I delivered you from the power of Egypt and all the kingdoms that oppressed you.' (1 Samuel 10:18)
3. Hawaii Lt. Gov. Schatz named to Inouye's seat - The Hill
Hawaii Gov. Neil Abercrombie (D) chose Hawaii Lieutenant Gov. Brian Schatz (D) to fill the seat left open by the death of longtime Sen. Daniel Inouye (D-Hawaii), deciding against Inouye's deathbed wish that Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (D-Hawaii) succeed him. The move comes as a surprise - most expected Abercrombie to honor Inouye's wish, delivered in a letter to the governor on the day of his death earlier this month. Abercrombie chose Schatz over Hanabusa and former congressional candidate Esther Kia'aina (D), the options presented to him by the state Democratic committee. Read more.
- As we do with all new incoming members of the House or the Senate, we ask our Lord to grace the new senator from Hawaii with every thing needful for him to serve the people of his state with success. May Senator Schatz be shielded from every influence of "darkness" on the Hill, and instead be guided by the Light of our Savior. Amen!
- "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you." (Psalm 32:8)
4. Senators suggest only fiscal deal remaining is scaled-back compromise
- Fox News
Democratic and Republican senators suggested Sunday the only remaining fiscal deal in Washington before the New Year's deadline is a small-scale plan to stop tax increases for the majority of Americans while leaving spending cuts and other financial issues for the next Congress.
- Father, bring our lawmakers together to create a bill that is agreeable to both Democrats and Republicans. Give wisdom and creative ideas to these men and women.
- "Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know." (Jeremiah 33:3)
5. Sen. Michael Crapo arrested on DUI in Virginia - CBS News
Sen. Michael Crapo, R.-Idaho, was arrested in Virginia early Sunday morning and charged with driving under the influence, Alexandria, Va., police say. . . Crapo, a Mormon who has been a bishop in the church for decades, has said before in interviews that he doesn't drink alcohol, consistent with his church's doctrine.
Crapo is slated to take the top GOP spot on the Senate Banking Committee. He is also a member of the so-called "Gang of Eight," which CBS News describes as "a bipartisan group of senators who came together to work on a budget deal to avoid the upcoming 'fiscal cliff.'"
- If, as a Mormon, Senator Crapo does not drink alcohol, could it be that someone might have spiked his soda? As the ranking member of the Senate Banking Committee, and as a member of the "Gang of Eight," as described, this senator bears much responsibility for the good of the nation. Please pray for his protection as well as that of all others who are working, as we write tonight, to resolve or to modify the pending "fiscal cliff." May God help us all!
- "For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; In the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock." (Psalm 27:5)
6. Revealed: NSA targeting domestic computer systems in secret test - Cnet
Newly released files show a secret National Security Agency program is targeting the computerized systems that control utilities to discover security vulnerabilities, which can be used to defend the United States or disrupt the infrastructure of other nations.
- We plead the Blood of Jesus over our computer systems. May they be protected from all cyber-attacks. May all vulnerabilities be corrected. In Jesus Name.
- "I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions." (Proverbs 8:12)
7. Own a gun? We know where you live - WND
A New York newspaper has gone to the effort to map out and publish online -- complete with names and addresses -- all the people in its area who own handgun permits.
- Father, what an enormous number of problems this newspaper has created in order to reveal the names of these gun owners! Many criminals would like nothing more than to steal those guns, now that these names and addresses have been revealed. Gun control is certainly a controversial issue in our country. May cool heads prevail while the debate on gun control is being considered.
- "For as churning the milk produces butter, and as twisting the nose produces blood, so stirring up anger produces strife." (Proverbs 30:33)
8. Court blocks California law banning gay therapy - Fox News
A federal appeals court on Friday put the brakes on a first-of-its-kind California law that bans therapy aimed at turning gay minors straight. A three-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals issued an emergency order putting the law on hold until the court can hear full arguments on the measure's constitutionality. The law was set to take effect Jan. 1.
Licensed counselors who practice so-called "reparative therapy" and two families who say their teenage sons have benefited from it sought the injunction after a lower court judge refused the request. The law, which was passed by the Legislature and signed by Gov. Jerry Brown this fall, states that therapists and counselors who use "sexual orientation change efforts" on clients under 18 would be engaging in unprofessional conduct and subject to discipline by state licensing boards. (Read more)
- Father in Heaven, we come to You with heavy concerns about the outlawing of good mental heath practices by a government that is so out of line with Your will and purposes for mankind. We bind up the attempts to normalize an abnormal behavior by declaring by law that evil is good. We bind up the ungodly influence the LGBT lobby has had on the laws of both California and the rest of the country. We bless those who are standing up for what is right and we furthermore speak success to them, in the name of Jesus. Amen.
- "Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools." (Romans 1:22)
9. Russian military presence in Syria poses challenge to US-led intervention
- UK Guardian
Russian military advisers are manning some of Syria's more sophisticated air defences -- something that would complicate any future US-led intervention, the Guardian has learned.
- Father, remove all complications from the deliverance of the Syrian people. Work out all circumstances and hindrances for the aid of Syria.
- "Deliver the poor and needy; rescue them out of the hand of the wicked."(Psalm 82: 4)
10. Iran re-arrests Pastor Nadarkhani on Christmas Day - Fox News
The Iranian Christian pastor who had been imprisoned in Iran for converting from Islam to Christianity was taken into custody again on Christmas Day, according to several Iranian media sources and individuals close to the pastor and his family.
Youcef Nadarkhani, 35, has been summoned to return back to Lakan Prison in Rasht, the facility where he served time and was then released, based on the charge that he must complete the remainder of his sentence, according to several reports and confirmed by those close to Nadarkhani in Iran.
- Father, we intercede for Pastor Nadarkhani. May he be released permanently, and never have to face prison again in his lifetime. We plead favor, mercy, and grace over his life. In Jesus Name.
- "For You, O Lord, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield." (Psalm 5:12)
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:
" . . . the Most High rules in the kingdom of men, and gives it to whomever He will." (Daniel 4:25)
1. Likud-Beytenu puts Jerusalem, settlement construction at fore of its election campaign - Times of Israel
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his No. 2, Avigdor Liberman, on Tuesday officially launched the elections campaign of Likud-Yisrael Beytenu, and announced that continued construction in East Jerusalem and West Bank settlements -- despite international censure -- stood at the forefront of the party's game plan.
2. Senior Hamas leader calls for third intifada - Jerusalem Post
A senior Hamas leader called on Tuesday for a third intifada and the resumption of suicide bombings against Israel.
3. After upgrading status, UN officially switches from 'Palestine' to 'State of Palestine' - Times of Israel
While legislative scholars and political pundits continue to debate the exact meaning of the upgrade of the Palestinians to a nonmember observer state, the United Nations last week officially changed the way it refers to the body: it's now the "State of Palestine," as opposed to merely "Palestine."
4. Netanyahu calls on Christians to visit - UPI
Israel's Christian community is fully active in the life of the nation and is strong and growing, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said in a Christmas message.
5. Human Rights Watch blasts Hamas for targeting Israeli civilians with rockets - Times of Israel
Palestinian rocket attacks on Israel's civilian population have no lawful justification and are a war crime, Human Rights Watch said in a scathing report published on Monday, assigning Hamas blame for civilian deaths in Israel and Gaza during last month's Operation Pillar of Defense.
6. Hamas preparing for West Bank takeover - Jerusalem Post
Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal instructed the terror group's sleeper cells in the West Bank to prepare themselves for armed struggle to take control of the Palestinian territory, The Sunday Times reported.
7. Palestinian officials warn of retaliation if Benjamin Netanyahu re-elected - UK Telegraph
Palestinian officials have warned they will take retaliatory steps, including joining the International Criminal Court (ICC), if Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, is re-elected in a general election due next month.
8. Netanyahu: Western Wall belongs to Israel despite U.N. pronouncements - JTA
The Western Wall belongs to Israel, despite what the United Nations says, Israeli Prime Minister said in interviews with Israel's three major networks.
9. Netanyahu warns Hamas: We're not finished with you yet - Times of Israel
The Israeli army is preparing to deal Hamas "a heavier blow" than it sustained in last month's Operation Pillar of Defense, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said in a television interview broadcast on Saturday night.
The Daily Jot
The Truth of Christmas
"For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon His kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this."-Isaiah 9:6-7. This prophecy was written by Isaiah some 755 years before the birth of our savior Jesus Christ. You know, the mere birth of Yeshua Ha Mashiach (Jesus Christ) fulfilled 332 prophecies.
In Lee Strobel's book, "The Case for Christ," he points out that the probability of just eight prophecies being fulfilled is one chance in one hundred million billion. Strobel then quotes mathematician Peter Stoner who calculated that the probability of fulfilling 48 prophecies was one chance in a trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion, trillion! Think about the probability of fulfilling 332 prophecies. But Jesus did just that. I have heard that the entire state of Texas could be filled six foot deep in silver dollars and ask a blind man to find one special marked dollar and he would have about the same chances in finding it as a person fulfilling just 48 of these prophecies.
The prophecy of Isaiah, however, says that "The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this." How fantastic, the miracle of miracles performed by the ZEAL of the God. I do not know the chances of a worldwide flood, but we have seen floods before and they are something we can comprehend. I do not know the chances of changing water into wine, but we have seen that wine is a liquid made up of water and juice, so it is something we can understand. I do not know the chances of a virgin birth, but we see children being born everyday, so perhaps that is possible. But the Lord of Hosts wanted the world to know that His Son's birth, life, death and resurrection was THE miracle. And just His birth fulfilled 332 prophecies given over a span of thousands of years.
We do not know the exact timing of our Savior's birth. It was not during this season. The season before us is entwined with pagan holidays and has been quite tainted by man. However, we can celebrate our Savior any time, any day. So while we spend time with family, exchange gifts, eat good food, feel the warmth and love around us, where ever we are, let us remember the miracle of Jesus Christ, that He was born into this world as performed by the ZEAL of the Lord of Hosts. That "zeal" was for us, that we might have a way to spend eternity with God. Jesus said in John 3:16, "For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." Share Christ with someone today.
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
P.M. Netanyahu's Christmas Message
P.M. Netanyahu's Christmas Message
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu would like to share with you his best wishes for the Holiday Season.
Please go to this link to view PM Netanyahu's Christmas greeting.
As always, we thank you for your ongoing friendship and support and look forward to sharing a New Year of peace, promise and prosperity for all.
Advisor for Christian Affairs
Prime Minister's Office
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner
The Christmas Truce
In the Trenches of World War I
December 25, 1914
The Christmas truce was a series of widespread, unofficial ceasefires that took place along the Western Front around Christmas 1914, during World War I. Through the week leading up to Christmas, parties of German and British soldiers began to exchange seasonal greetings and songs between their trenches; on occasion, the tension was reduced to the point that individuals would walk across to talk to their opposite numbers bearing gifts. On Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, many soldiers from both sides - as well as, to a lesser degree, from French units - independently ventured into "no man's land", where they mingled, exchanging food and souvenirs. As well as joint burial ceremonies, several meetings ended in carol-singing. Troops from both sides were also friendly enough to play games of football with one another.
The truce is seen as a symbolic moment of peace and humanity amidst one of the most violent events of modern history. It was not ubiquitous; in some regions of the front, fighting continued throughout the day, while in others, little more than an arrangement to recover bodies was made. The following year, a few units again arranged ceasefires with their opponents over Christmas, but the truces were not nearly as widespread as in 1914; this was, in part, due to strongly worded orders from the high commands of both sides prohibiting such fraternisation. . .
In the early months of immobile trench warfare, the truces were not unique to the Christmas period, and reflected a growing mood of "live and let live", where infantry units in close proximity to each other would stop overtly aggressive behaviour, and often engage in small-scale fraternisation, engaging in conversation or bartering for cigarettes. In some sectors, there would be occasional ceasefires to allow soldiers to go between the lines and recover wounded or dead comrades, while in others, there would be a tacit agreement not to shoot while men rested, exercised, or worked in full view of the enemy. The Christmas truces were particularly significant due to the number of men involved and the level of their participation - even in very peaceful sectors, dozens of men openly congregating in daylight was remarkable.
Though there was no official truce, roughly 100,000 British and German troops were involved in unofficial cessations of fighting along the length of the Western Front. The first truce started on Christmas Eve, 24 December 1914, when German troops began decorating the area around their trenches in the region of Ypres, Belgium.
The Germans began by placing candles on their trenches and on Christmas trees, then continued the celebration by singing Christmas carols. The British responded by singing carols of their own. The two sides continued by shouting Christmas greetings to each other. Soon thereafter, there were excursions across No Man's Land, where small gifts were exchanged, such as food, tobacco and alcohol, and souvenirs such as buttons and hats. The artillery in the region fell silent. The truce also allowed a breathing spell where recently killed soldiers could be brought back behind their lines by burial parties. Joint services were held. . .
(Source: Wikipedia) Read more.
To view a video about this truce, go here. [Note: the first scene is barely visible due to darkness; after that, it gets much better!]
"Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men." (Luke 2:14)
Worship with Us Today!
Worship with Us Today!
"Amazing Grace" sung by a 10-year-old Brazilian boy
Enjoy and worship with Jotto here.