Thursday, February 28, 2013

CHPP Daily Brief Thursday, February 28, 2013

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

The Daily Brief Thursday, February 28, 2013

"At night my soul longs for You, indeed, my spirit within me seeks You diligently; for when the earth experiences Your judgments, the inhabitants of the world learn righteousness."(Isaiah 26:9)

The Daily Brief

1. Republican leaders' 'meeting' with Obama: Seven minutes - Washington Times

Never let it be said that President Obama has failed to spend time with Republican leaders in seeking an alternative to automatic budget cut that are due to hit most federal departments on Friday.

- Our Mighty God, we ask that these wicked maneuvers would be exposed for the controlling mechanism that they are, even as the man in this high office is pretending to present himself as someone who wants to work with the leadership of both parties. We speak a spirit of cooperation into this situation for the good of the entire country and a balance of power as the Constitution has authorized. In Jesus' Name, amen.

- "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to his purpose." (Romans 8:28)

2. CBO: Democrats' Sequester Replacement Plan Would add $42 Billion to 2013 Deficit -

According to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), a sequester replacement plan offered by Senate Democrats would add $41.5 billion to the deficit in 2013, even though it would utilize the so-called "balanced approach" favored by President Barack Obama. Over 10 years, the bill would add another $7.2 billion to the deficit.

Known as the American Family Economic Protection Act, the bill was introduced by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) on Wednesday. "CBO estimates that S. 388 would increase direct spending by $62.4 billion and revenues by $55.1 billion over the 2013-2023 period. Thus, the cumulative deficit would increase by $7.2 billion from those changes," the CBO said in its report on Wednesday. 

- Repent for the never-ending greed that has engulfed this administration. More is not better; more is often foolishness. Pray that this administration will take heed to the many verses of the Word of God that encourage us to not be greedy in wanting everything under the sun.

- Then he said to them, "Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; a man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." (Luke 12:15)

3. Rep. Steve King: Conservatives Should Refuse to Pass CR Unless it Protects Conscience Rights of Americans Against Obamacare -

Rep. Steve King (R-Iowa) said Wednesday that conservatives in Congress should "band together" in refusing to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government unless it includes language protecting Americans from being forced by the federal government to act against their consciences. "This is a principle--this is a constitutional principle--that's been handed to us from our Founding Fathers, and it's not something that I think we should be negotiating on," said Rep. King.

"I would like to see the conscience protection language go into that CR, and I'd like to see conservatives band together and refuse to pass the CR until such time as we get that language in there." Under the Obamacare law, the administration has issued a regulation requiring health-care plans to provide cost-free coverage for sterilizations, contraceptives and abortion-inducing drugs.

- Offer praise for these strong words spoken by Rep. King. Pray that this Congress will heed his wisdom as they prepare to vote on the CR (sequester) tomorrow. Amen!

- "Surely you desire truth in the inner parts; you teach me wisdom in the inmost place." (Psalm 51:6)

4. Woodward: White House Threatened Me Over Attacks on Budget - Newsmax

Newspaper editor and book author Bob Woodward said on Wednesday that a senior White House official threatened him for suggesting the President was at fault for the sequestration crisis.

Woodward said a "very senior" White House official warned him in an email that he would "regret doing this" - referring to the legendary journalist's criticisms of the Obama administration over its actions regarding the upcoming sequester. "It was said very clearly, 'You will regret doing this,'" Woodward told CNN's Wolf Blitzer Wednesday night, who then asked him who sent the email. "I'm not going to say. It was a very senior person.

Woodward, an associate editor for The Washington Post, began stirring controversy last Friday when he lambasted Obama in an op-ed piece for not taking responsibility for the sequester itself. And earlier on Wednesday, Woodward slammed as "madness" Obama's decision to not deploy the USS Harry S. Truman aircraft carrier to the Persian Gulf earlier this month - also because of the impending cuts. 

- Offer praise that respected members of the media are now voicing their concerns over the policies of this administration, and pray for their protection. Pray for a profound change of heart to occur in the heart of our own head of state, leading to repentance and new life in Him.

- "Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord." (Acts 3:19)

5. Calif. gay-rights bill aims to strip Boy Scouts of tax-exempt status - Washington Times

Scouting organizations in California that bar open homosexuals as leaders and members could lose their state tax-exempt status if a bill is enacted. 

- Our Father God, how we cry out for this fine boys' organization that has taught and upheld high standards for generations of our young men. In the name of Jesus, we come against this continued, planned pressure to yield to the destructive Canaanite spirit that is deceiving so many in authority. We ask that You would supernaturally devise a way for this persecution to cease and for this organization to flourish unhindered.

- "But whoso shall offend one of these little ones who believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea." (Matthew 18:6)

6. Arkansas Abortion Law Takes Effect After State Senate Overrides Veto Of Restrictive Bill - Huffington Post

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Arkansas Senate voted Thursday to override a veto of a near-ban of abortions starting in the 20th week of pregnancy and backed a separate measure that would only allow the procedures before the 12th week, with few exceptions.

The Republican-led Senate voted 19-14 along party lines to override Democratic Gov. Mike Beebe's veto of the 20-week bill, a day after the GOP-led state House voted to override it. A simple majority was required in each chamber.

That law, which took effect immediately, is based on the contested claim that fetuses can feel pain by that point. It includes exemptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. 

- Praise You, Lord, for this override of this Governor's veto and praise You, for the numerous lives it will save from the abortionist's knife. We rejoice at the furtherance of the culture of life and pray it spreads over the entire country. Thank You for these life-affirming legislators and may more in other states be encouraged to take up this cause.

- "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore chose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:" (Deuteronomy 30:19)

7. Dem lawmaker prepares bill to allow Obama direct arms sales to Syrian rebels - Washington Times

One of the top Democratic lawmakers on foreign policy is preparing to introduce a bill that would authorize President Obama to begin sending arms directly to rebels fighting to overthrow Syrian President Bashar Assad -- legislation that would open the way for significantly deeper U.S. involvement in Syria's bloody civil war.

Rep. Eliot Engel, the ranking Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, would authorize "the president to provide vetted Syrian opposition members with appropriate lethal military assistance," according to a summary of the legislation obtained by The Washington Times.

The bill would also clear the way for "a program to facilitate destruction of Syrian chemical and biological weapons." 

- Pray in the spirit over this report. The Lord has a Kingdom destiny for the people of Syria . . . heaven forbid we would arm the wrong side, or enter directly into this civil war without His approval. Pray for wisdom for Congress as it takes up this bill. Pray!

- "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express." (Romans 8:26)

8. Putin calls for upgrade of Russian army - AP

Russian President Vladimir Putin told the country's top brass on Wednesday to drastically upgrade the armed forces in the next few years as part of response to attempts by the United States and NATO to "tip the strategic balance" in the world. In his address to Russia's defense ministry and top military officials, Putin said Russia is witnessing "insistent attempts" to change that balance and complained about U.S. plans to create a new missile defense system in Europe and the potential expansion of NATO to former Soviet republics. 

- This is another sign that we are now living in perilous times. Lift up our own military authorities as they monitor this development, and ask our Lord to grant His wisdom to each one as they weigh an appropriate response on our side. Pray!

- "If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)

9. Navy to pull aircraft carrier from Persian Gulf over budget worries - NBC News

Budget constraints are prompting the U.S. Navy to cut back the number of aircraft carriers in the Persian Gulf region from two to one, the latest example of how contentious fiscal battles in Washington are impacting the U.S. military. According to Defense Department officials, the USS Harry S. Truman, now remains stateside, based in Norfolk, Virginia.  (posted Feb. 6) 

- Lord, we pray that budget difficulties will never bring destruction or danger to US interests around the world. We ask that You stand solidly near the one US aircraft carrier that is deployed in the Gulf, and surround it with Your protection.

-"A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you." [Psalm 91:7]

10. Mayor of Alabama City Reverses Decision to Disarm Citizens during a Disaster - CHPP

The mayor of Guntersville, Alabama has posted a statement in the "mayor's corner" of the town home page, dated today, as follows:

"It was never the intent of the City of Guntersville Mayor or City Council to disarm individuals during a disaster. As of February 27, 2013, the Emergency Preparedness Ordinance was officially withdrawn from consideration."

- Praise the Lord for the quick action by the mayor of this city in response to a report broadcast the day before by a local television station. Pray that this kind of action, by any authority, would stop here.

- "This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt."
(Job 38:11)

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:

"For I am the Lord, I do not change; Therefore you are not consumed, O sons of Jacob." (Malachi 3:6)

1. Netanyahu said ready to cut deal with Yesh Atid, Jewish Home - Times of Israel

Realizing that he cannot break an alliance between Yesh Atid and Jewish Home, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is ready to build a coalition with these two parties and exclude the ultra-Orthodox Shas and United Torah Judaism, sources close to the coalition negotiations said on Wednesday night.

2. Israel military: Mortar shell from Syria lands in Israel-controlled Golan Heights; no injuries - Fox News

A mortar shell fired from Syria exploded in the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights on Wednesday, falling in an open area and causing no casualties, the Israeli military said.

3. Netanyahu urges 'military sanctions' threat against Iran - Jerusalem Post

As the major powers' talks with Iran ended in Kazakhstan Wednesday with only a promise to meet again in March and April, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said the world must make clear to Tehran that there will be "military sanctions" if it does not halt its nuclear program.

4. Lapid joins Bennett in opposing Hatnua coalition deal - Times of Israel

After the Jewish Home party fought to bring Likud-Beytenu closer to Yesh Atid's position on the universal draft issue, it seems Yesh Atid plans on returning the favor: Yair Lapid's party has come out against Benjamin Netanyahu's coalition agreement with Tzipi Livni's Hatnua party, echoing objections raised by Naftali Bennett of Jewish Home, Maariv reported on Wednesday.

5. Hamas agrees to Palestinian state on '67 lines - Times of Israel

Hamas is prepared to accept a Palestinian state demarcated by the pre-1967 lines, with Jerusalem as its capital and without any Jewish settlements within its borders, an official in Hamas's political bureau said, noting that the sole difference in outlook between his organization and Fatah on the matter concerns recognition of Israel.

The Persecuted Church

Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church

"And David said to his son Solomon, 'Be strong and of good courage, and do it; do not fear nor be dismayed, for the Lord God-my God-will be with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you, until you have finished all the work for the service of the house of the Lord.'" (1 Chronicles 28:20)

1. The silent Islamization of Egyptian society - AsiaNews

Cairo (AsiaNews) - From the continuing attacks against Christians, to the proposed ban on alcohol and belly dancing, Egypt is increasingly being transformed into an Islamic state. The signs of this change are not only within the Constitution, based on sharia, but the imposition of customs until now the preserve of a minority of society.

In recent days, a decision of an Administrative Court of Cairo has made headlines. The court is allowing police officers to wear beards the "Islamic way" after a thirty years ban. In February, dozens of police officers were suspended for violating the law. They protested for days in front of the headquarters of the Ministry of the Interior arousing the sympathy of several Salafi imams and police officers who lobbied on the Court to remove the ban.

Dating back to the regime of Hosni Mubarak, the law was introduced to prevent the entry in the police force of elements of radical Islamism who would not be impartial in administering the law. Anyone who sported an Islamic beard was suspended.

2. Assyrian Christians Return to Turkey, But Not Without Struggles -

In recent years, around 60-100 Syriac Orthodox families have returned from central Europe to Turkey. Encouraged by changes in the political atmosphere, the minority nonetheless faces a host of problems, from the expropriation of land belonging to a monastery, to a ban on special schools and kindergartens, and also a lack of places of worship in Istanbul.

3. Nigerian Christian Remembered at Vigil in London - Christian Today

Christian women from across the UK staged a vigil in London at the weekend for their sisters around the world who are suffering for their faith. The focus of the vigil was a Nigerian Christian woman who "died of trauma" after being attacked for a second time by militants.

Nvou Dauda was shot 20 times by Muslim extremists in 2002. The attack killed her unborn child and destroyed her home. She received support from Release International partners in Nigeria, who rebuilt her home, and Nvou was even able to forgive her neighbour who was among the attackers.

However, in 2012 attackers struck again and her new home was destroyed. She was living in a refugee camp when Release partners say she "simply slumped and died of trauma".

White House vs. Woodward

White House vs. Woodward

As we predicted, the Obama White House was quick to retaliate against veteran journalist Bob Woodward. Yesterday evening, Woodward told CNN that a "very senior person" in the White House warned that he would "regret doing this." We now know that the person who relayed that threat was Gene Sperling, the director of the White House Economic Council.

Woodward added, "It makes me very uncomfortable to have the White House telling reporters, 'You're going to regret doing something that you believe in.'" It should make all of us very uncomfortable, because this isn't the first time the Obama White House has threatened the media.

Obama's loathing of Fox News has been well documented. Top White House officials have repeatedly tried to delegitimize Fox. But they have turned on liberals too.

The Woodward flap has given Lanny Davis, a former top lawyer for Bill Clinton, the courage to come forward and tell his story about the Obama White House's vindictiveness. This morning, Davis told a leading Washington, D.C., talk radio show that the Obama White House tried to shut down a column Davis was writing for the Washington Times because, even though he supported Obama, he was occasionally critical of some of his policies.

According to Davis, someone at the White House called his editor at the Times and threatened to revoke the press credentials for its reporters if Davis' column was not cancelled!

Referring to the White House's attack on Bob Woodward, Davis added, "You don't threaten Bob Woodward. He's one of the best reporters ever. He's factual. Don't mess with him about his facts. You can mess with him about the interpretation of his facts, but this is not a reporter you tangle with."

Our Founding Fathers knew how vital a free press was to the preservation of freedom. That's why they insisted on the First Amendment guaranteeing the freedom of speech. Bob Woodward is living proof of the power of truth and a free press to check a rogue government.

But members of the media increasingly see themselves as partisan players rather than independent reporters. How else can you explain Dan Rather shamefully falling for fake documents in his overzealous quest to defeat George W. Bush? How else can you explain Big Media's attempt to ignore Jeremiah Wright or Chris Matthew's remark that it was his job to make sure Obama succeeded?

Conservatives have warned that this Chicago gang plays hardball. Now even members of the liberal media are on the receiving end of it. (Gary Bauer)

Fact Checking Sequester Hysteria

Fact Checking Sequester Hysteria

For weeks now, President Obama has been barnstorming the country, holding campaign rallies trying to convince us that the sequester cuts will result in the end of civilization as we know it. The Wall Street Journal published an editorial explaining just how much authority Obama has to minimize the "doom" he has been predicting, if he chooses to do so.

The Journal editors added some perspective too, noting, "The truth is that the sequester already gives the White House the legal flexibility to avoid doom, if a 5% cut to programs that have increased more than 17% on average over the Obama Presidency counts as doom."

Sunday, on CBS's "Face the Nation," Secretary of Education Arne Duncan did his best to scare the American people when he said, "There are literally teachers now who are getting pink slips, who are getting notices that they can't come back this fall."

The news was so sensational that the Washington Post decided to check it out. But when Duncan was challenged to back up his claims of "pink slips," he could point to only one county in West Virginia. According to county officials, however, the notices involved transfers, not layoffs, and were unrelated to the sequester.

Politico also questioned Obama's veracity with a column headlined, "Is President Obama telling the truth about sequestration?" In that column it was noted that education programs are forward funded, meaning that cuts to education programs would take effect next year, not this year, giving administrators that much more time to plan and mitigate their impact. (Gary Bauer)

Illegal Immigrants Released

Illegal Immigrants Released

Now here is something that will make your blood pressure rise. Tuesday federal officials decided to begin releasing illegal immigrants from detention centers in eight states citing sequestration cuts as the reason. But the cuts have not yet gone into effect! Moreover, as I just noted, the administration has some authority to decide how to implement the cuts. Yet already the detention doors are swinging open.

The White House claimed it had no knowledge of this decision, but that seems highly unlikely. Administration officials tried to reassure us that the individuals released were "noncriminals and other low-risk offenders who do not have serious criminal histories." Really?

The New York Times tracked down one of the released illegal immigrants to learn his story. It turns out that he was detained after he had "violated probation for a conviction in 2005" for assault, battery and child abuse. Is that the definition of a "noncriminal" or someone with "no serious criminal history"?
Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chairman of the Judiciary Committee, blasted the administration, saying, "It's abhorrent that President Obama is releasing criminals into our communities to promote his political agenda on sequestration. By releasing criminal immigrants onto the streets, the administration is needlessly endangering American lives." Sadly, Rep. Goodlatte is right. (Gary Bauer)

FRC: White House Hypocrisy

Family Research Council Calls Out Hypocrisy
of Justice Department's Proposition 8 Amicus Brief

Family Research Council (FRC) expressed disappointment in the U.S. Department of Justice decision to file an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case regarding California's Proposition 8, which defined in the California state constitution that marriage is the legal union of one man and one woman.

Of the news about the Justice Department's brief Family Research Council President Tony Perkins said:

"President Obama, who was against same-sex 'marriage' before he was for it, and his administration, which said the Defense of Marriage Act was constitutional before they said it was unconstitutional, has now flip-flopped again on the issue of same-sex 'marriage,' putting allegiance to extreme liberal social policies ahead of constitutional principle.

"The administration had already filed a brief with the U.S. Supreme Court urging that the Defense of Marriage Act be overturned, but now, under pressure from supporters of marriage redefinition, the president and his solicitor general have filed a brief urging that California's marriage amendment, Proposition 8, be overturned as well.

"This is a sharp reversal from the position President Obama articulated just last May, when he declared that 'this is an issue that is gonna be worked out at the local level.'

"For the Obama administration to now challenge Proposition 8 - 'federalizing' what is a settled matter under California state law - is an act of brazen hypocrisy," concluded Perkins.

The Good News Corner

The Good News Corner:

History Channel to Air Five-Part Series -- "The Bible"

Beginning this Sunday, March 3.

(Check local listings for times.)

From Executive Producers Roma Downey (Touched by an Angel) and Mark Burnett (The Voice, Survivor) comes The Bible - an epic 10-part miniseries retelling stories from the Scriptures for a whole new generation.

Breathtaking in scope and scale, The Bible showcases powerful performances and visual effects that span Genesis to Revelation. The Bible features score by Oscar and Grammy winning film composer Hans Zimmer and is narrated by Emmy winner Keith David. Rated PG.

- Thank the LORD for the timing of this series, which "happens" to run for five consecutive Sunday nights from March 3 through March 31 (Resurrection Sunday) and also overlaps Passover.

This seems like one last call for all to hear the Greatest Story Ever Told and culminates the insistent message of Love from our Lord, Who is always reaching out to His beloved children.

Pray for a great harvest of souls to come forth from those who will view this series. Many may tune in, thinking to throw stones at Christians. But GOD has a plan! Thank Him for His plan to reach into the hearts of even the vilest of sinners, unto repentance and salvation. Watch this series, and pray as you do. Thank you!
- "And the Good News about the Kingdom will be preached throughout the whole world, so that all nations will hear it; and then the end will come." (Matthew 24:14)

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.

Worship With Us Today!

Worship With Us Today!

Jesus Is Coming Soon
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Troublesome times are here, filling men's hearts with fear,
Freedom we all hold dear, now is at stake.
Humbling your heart to God saves from the chastening rod.
Seek the way pilgrims trod, Christians awake!