Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172-1970
The Daily Brief Friday, March 15, 2013
"The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace." (Psalm 29:11)
The Daily Brief
1. Intelligence Chief: US Ability to Detect Threats Degraded - VOA
The top U.S. intelligence official says automatic government spending cuts are reducing the nation's ability to detect and respond to threats across the globe, from terrorist plots to the nuclear ambitions of North Korea and Iran. The comments were made in testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. National Intelligence Director James Clapper told senators Tuesday that budget sequestration is degrading America's early warning apparatus for threats at home and abroad. The top U.S. immigration enforcement official acknowledged Thursday that the Obama administration has in fact released thousands of illegal immigrants from local jails over the last month despite prior claims that the release was only in the hundreds. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton, at a House appropriations subcommittee hearing, said the agency released a total of 2,228 illegal immigrants from local jails "throughout the country" between Feb. 9 and March 1 for "solely budgetary reasons."
~Lord, we are concerned about these "cut-backs" of what should be "top priority" in defending our nation. Budgetary cuts should not be worth throwing our national security under the bus. We realize that our President is trying to make a case in order to raise taxes, saying that we cannot cut vital services, however, our national priorities need to be rearranged, to fund basic security needs and fighting crime, keeping criminals incarcerated. There are many frivolous projects that could actually be cut from the budget. We ask that the President would stop "playing games" with our lives, and get serious about working hand-in-hand with lawmakers to come up with a reasonable budget that will benefit all of us. In Your Name, we pray.
- "You are not to distort justice or show favoritism, and you are not to accept a bribe, for a gift blinds the eyes of the wise and twists the words of even the upright. Justice, only justice, you must pursue; so that you will live and inherit the land Adonai your God is giving you." (Deuteronomy 16:19,20)
2. National Archives joins White House in cutting back tours - Washington Times
First the White House, now the National Archives. Once again, the sequester is to blame for canceled tours.The National Archives said Friday that visitors who had reserved times for tours of the facility later than 4:45 p.m. will have to reschedule.
~Abba, this is obviously an example of "symbolism over substance". The funds saved by stopping tours of the White House and now the National Archives is miniscule, at best. In fact, many of these tour guides are unpaid volunteers. We pray that our citizens will recognize the "absurdity" of these "cut-backs", and demand real change. We again ask for Your wisdom in prioritizing needs and funding them accordingly. Amen.
- "Listen carefully to wisdom; set your mind on understanding. Cry out for wisdom, and beg for understanding. Search for it like silver, and hunt for it like hidden treasure." (Proverbs 2:2-4)
3. Democratic Budget Includes $1.5 Trillion in Tax Hikes - Weekly Standard
The Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee claims the budget released today by Senate Democrats will raise taxes by $1.5 trillion. Before being released today, it had been reported that the Democrats' budget would raise taxes by $1 trillion, but number appears to have been far enough.
~Father, raising taxes and the debt limit does not solve the problem, but rather makes it worse. We ask for fiscal sanity to be given to these Senate Democrats, who apparently believe we can spend our way out of debt. We ask that You enable them to receive a "reality" check, and heed the warnings of so many economists to "rein in" spending, and make some tough choices for the benefit of all Americans. Amen.
- "I look to the faithful of the land, so that they can be my companions; those who live lives of integrity can be servants of mine. No deceitful person can live in my house; no liar can be my advisor."(Psalm 101:7,7)
4. House Republicans, Senate Democrats Clash On US Budget - VOA
The U.S. House of Representatives Budget Committee Chairman, Republican Paul Ryan, has introduced his 2014 budget proposal. It would cut $4.6 trillion in government spending and balance the U.S. budget in ten years. Democrats are criticizing the plan, saying it would hurt middle class Americans. House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan appeared confident as he held up his "Path to Prosperity" budget plan Tuesday, which would erase the deficit in ten years - without raising taxes.
~O Lord, we ask for cool heads to prevail in this budget struggle. We beg that partisan politics would be laid aside and that both parties will sign on to a budget that is doable, and will benefit the vast majority of our people. We thank You, that You said if we lack wisdom, we should ask You, and You will give it without criticism. We do ask this wisdom for all of our senators, representatives, and president. In Your name, we pray. Amen and Amen.
- "If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God, Who gives to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given to him." (James 1:5)
5. Court revives suit over CIA drone records - Reuters
(Reuters) - In a rebuke of government secrecy, a federal appeals court ruled on Friday that the CIA must give a fuller response to a lawsuit seeking the spy agency's records on drone attacks. The CIA's claim that it could neither confirm nor deny whether it has any drone records was inadequate.
~Father, we do ask that these records concerning the use of drones would be made known, as long as they do not jeopardize our security. We thank You that You do reveal the secret things, and we ask for truth to come forth and prevail for the good of our nation, and our citizens. We also ask that our Constitutional right to privacy would not be breached. In Your name we pray, Amen.
-"Indeed, nothing is hidden, except to be disclosed; and nothing is covered up, except to come out into the open." (Mark 4:22)
6. New pope urges Church to return to its Gospel roots - Yahoo
Pope Francis urged the Catholic Church on Thursday to stick to its Gospel roots and shun modern temptations, warning that it would become just another charitable group if it forgot its true mission.
~Abba, we thank You for the new Pope, and we pray Your blessing upon him, and Your protection over him, as he seeks to obey You and Your Word, and minister to Your people. We do agree with his desire that, not only the Catholic Church, but the entire Church world, will return to its Gospel roots, and stand firmly in support of You and Your Word. We thank You for the reminder of our true mission here on earth in these last days, as we point the lost to You!! Amen.
-"You gave the Son power over all people so that the Son could give eternal life to all those You gave Him. And this is eternal life: that people know You, the only true God, and that they know Jesus Christ, the Messiah, the One You sent." (John 17:2,3)
7. GOP Sen. Portman of Ohio now supports gay marriage - CNSNews.com
Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman is now supporting gay marriage and says his reversal on the issue began when he learned one of his sons is gay. As a member of the House in 1996, Portman voted in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act, which defines marriage as between a man and a woman and bars federal recognition of same-sex marriage. Portman's reversal makes him the only Senate Republican to back gay marriage.
- We ask our Lord to forgive Senator Portman for his change of heart, for he knows not what he does. Bind the spirit of deception off of his mind; release truth. Please see the article, below, written by Tony Perkins, on this difficult topic. The times are confusing, but God's word is true, and does not lie. Amen.
- "Every man's way is right in his own eyes, But the LORD weighs the hearts." (Proverbs 21:2)
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:
"He is able also to save to the uttermost those who come unto God by Him, since He ever lives to make intercession for them." (Hebrews 7:22-25)
1. Palestinian leader wants peace talks with Israel - Reuters
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas said on Thursday he hoped peace talks with Israel would restart this year although the chances of a resumption seemed slim.
2. Israel: Assad ready to use chemical weapons - AP
Israel's military intelligence chief says Syria's embattled president, Bashar Assad, is preparing to use chemical weapons.
3. Israel in secret talks with BG on Palestinian gas - Globes
Sources inform "Globes" that Israel is in secret talks with BG Group (British Gas), which owns the rights to the Palestinian Gaza Marine license, offshore from Gaza. The talks concern development of the reservoir for the Palestinian population in the West Bank and Gaza. The talks, which have been going on for several months, are unrelated to next week's visit by US President Barack Obama, but the subject will probably come up during his talks with Israeli leaders.
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand." (John 10:28)
1. Sudan's Security Forces Target Christians in the Nuba Mountains - allAfrica
South Kordofan - "According to HUDO's observation, it is clear that the systematic campaign of the government [of Sudan] is part of a plan targeting the native Nubians. Even the timing is arranged to destroy all institutions that gather Nubians either religious or social as the beginning of implementing the Univision (single Islamic Arabian), denial of Nubian Christians' religion rights and Nuba people's rights to practice their culture or social activities.
This was clear when the government security found no charges to issue against the innocent Nubian church leaders and they began accusing them of Christianization and accessing funds from outside Sudan in illegal ways", says the Human Rights and Development Organization (HUDO).
2. Children's Bibles Confiscated and Court-Order to be Destroyed - forum18
In what may be the first such instance in Kazakhstan, a court has ordered religious literature to be destroyed. A total of 121 books confiscated from a Baptist, Vyacheslav Cherkasov, were ordered destroyed in the northern Akmola Region, according to the verdict seen by Forum 18 News Service. The books comprise Bibles, Children's Bibles, and other books and leaflets on the Christian faith, mainly in the Kazakh language. Cherkasov was also fined one month's average wage. If he loses his appeal, court executors will carry out the destruction. A Justice Ministry official in the capital Astana told Forum 18 that "most likely the books would be burnt".
3. State Department Ducks Hearing on American Pastor Imprisoned in Iran - FoxNews
The State Department ducked a hearing Friday that will focus on the case of imprisoned American pastor Saeed Abedini, just days after the leading U.S. representative to the U.N. Human Rights Council declined to specifically address the pastor's case during a meeting on Iran's human rights record.
Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., chairman of the Capitol Hill commission holding the hearing, slammed the Obama administration for turning down the invitation to testify.
"It is amazing," Wolf told FoxNews.com. "I can't, almost, believe it."
The hearing, which began Friday morning, focuses on the plight of religious minorities in Iran. Slated to testify are the group representing the Abedini family in the U.S. as well as Abedini's wife, Naghmeh.
The Madison Report
The Madison Report
[Every week, we will try to spotlight some positive legislation that is worthy of conservative support.]
Stop the Land Grab (H.R. 638)
The Federal government already owns more than half the land in many states. Do they really need more? The Fish & Wildlife Service (FWS) is one of the only Executive Branch agencies that can administratively create a new federally managed area without Congressional action. Despite a $3 billion backlog of 3,300 projects, the FWS continues to acquire more land and create new Wildlife Refuges. Rep. John Fleming (R-LA) is sponsoring H.R. 638 to inject a dose of sanity into the current process by subjecting the FWS to Congressional review.
FRC Statement on Senator Portman's Reversal on Marriage
March 15, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Family Research Council President Tony Perkins released the following statement in response to Senator Rob Portman's reversal on the redefinition of marriage:
"I commend Senator Portman for his unconditional love for his son. Regardless of a child's choices, the love of a parent can and should be a guiding beacon in the lives of their sons and daughters. Unconditional love, however, does not mean unconditional support in choices that are both harmful to them and society as a whole. This is especially true when we approach public policy. Our unconditional love for our children should not override the historical and social science evidence which makes abundantly clear what is best for all children and for society - being raised by a married mother and father.
"Senator Portman stated this was a generational issue, with younger Americans more supportive of redefining marriage. However, one of the Senate's youngest senators, Marco Rubio clearly articulated the need for natural marriage and the right of states to preserve it. The Supreme Court should allow the debate about marriage to continue. As this debate goes on, we believe that most states will continue to conclude that marriage exists to bring a man and a woman together as husband and wife to be father and mother to any children their union produces. Marriage is rooted in the reality that children need a mother and a father," concluded Perkins.
Good News Corner (1)
The Good News Corner (1)
Another Blow To Obamacare Mandate
Obamacare's contraception mandate, which many believe is a direct assault on religious liberty, took another blow this week. Thomas Monaghan, the founder of Domino's Pizza and Ave Maria University, sued the federal government, arguing that the mandate violates his religious beliefs.
Judge Lawrence Zatkoff agreed. In his opinion, Judge Zatkoff wrote that the mandate would "result in a substantial burden on Monaghan's right to free exercise of religion, since the mandate requires him to choose whether to comply and violate his beliefs, or accept the financial consequences of not doing so."
This gets us back to the discussion of constitutional liberty that Senator Cruz was attempting to have with Senator Dianne Feinstein. Unfortunately, the left has no problem limiting religious liberty in America. In its view, "free" birth control is more important than freedom of worship. (Gary Bauer)
Good News Corner (2)
Student's right to invite schoolmates to church Christmas party vindicated
PITTSBURGH - The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit ruled unanimously on Tuesday in favor of a student whose invitations to a church Christmas party, while in the 5th grade, were singled out and prohibited even though other student invitations were permitted.
One would have thought that this issue could have been worked out once the Pocono Mountain School District's administration was made aware of the selective censoring of a student's speech. However, the school district in K.A. v. Pocono Mountain School District argued before the District Court and again at the Court of Appeals that its policy was constitutional. The Court of Appeals disagreed, finding that the school district and its policies unconstitutionally suppressed student expression.
"We are grateful that the Third Circuit has affirmed the right of student expression," said Randall Wenger of the Independence Law Center, one of the student's attorneys.
"Public schools should encourage, not shut down, the free exchange of ideas," said David Cortman of Alliance Defending Freedom who argued the case before the Third Circuit. "Those ideas include a 5th-grader's invitations to a religious event. The 3rd Circuit was correct in striking down the school district's unconstitutional ban."
The Independence Law Center is a pro-bono, non-profit law center in Pennsylvania focused on protecting religious liberty.
Good News Corner (3)
The Good News Corner:
North Dakota passes most restrictive abortion bills in nation
A Message from John Bousted, Pastor
My home state North Dakota just passed the "Heart Beat Bill" (also known as the pain bill). The bill passed both House and Senate. Now we just got to get it past the Governor which should not be a problem.
This means NO Abortion is legal upon detecting a heart beat. Thank you Jesus.
Also today we successfully passed a bill ending abortion relative to sex selection or, genetic abnormalities. This bill also must go to the Governor.
More info on the bills!
HB 1305 was successful and passed both House and Senate. This law prohibits abortions based on sex selection or genetic abnormalities.
HB 1456 was successful and passed both House and Senate.
This bill is known as the heartbeat bill. This law will place a limitation on abortion after determination of a detectable heartbeat in an unborn child.
HB 1456 is a huge nation-wide breakthrough. I understand Arkansas is the only other state working on a bill offering this same protection for the pre-born babies.
Please pray our Governor (who has veto power) also agrees with these two bills.
We thank the Lord for all He has brought in these bills. The fervent prayers of a righteous people has availed much
Let's believe North Dakota will take back the high places through the tearing down of darkness and shining a bright light for Godly Biblical principles.
God's great love to His victorious church!
> > > Please stand in agreement tonight with these prayer requests from Pastor Bousted and the people of North Dakota. May this action be repeated in all fifty states, so that the lives of our unborn children in America are, indeed, protected. Amen!
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!
Sons of Korah
14 Put your hope in ADONAI,
be strong, and let your heart take courage!
Yes, put your hope in ADONAI!