Onward, Christian Soldiers!
Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
P.O. Box 5152
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The Daily Brief
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
Please note: We are going to publish today's headlines now, with more prayers to follow tomorrow. We feel it is urgent that all of you be in prayer for Mrs. Saeed when she appears before the Congressional Panel tomorrow morning. Thank you.
On this second week of Advent, the second candle is lit . . . the Candle of Peace.
The Daily Brief
1. Israeli Defense Minister: Iran Has Terror Infrastructure in Central, South America - Washington Free Beacon
Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon said yesterday that Iran has built up a terror infrastructure in Central and South America from which to attack Jewish and Israeli targets in the region and as a base for attacking inside the United States.
2. Obama Faces Backlash Over New Corporate Powers In Secret Trade Deal - Huffington Post
The Obama administration appears to have almost no international support for controversial new trade standards that would grant radical new political powers to corporations, increase the cost of prescription medications and restrict bank regulation, according to two internal memos obtained by The Huffington Post. The memos, which come from a government involved in the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership free trade negotiations, detail continued disputes in the talks over the deal. (Read more)
3. U.S. Budget deal reached amid conservative opposition - Reuters
Budget negotiators in the Congress have reached an agreement on Tuesday that, if approved by the House and Senate, could restore some order to the nation's chaotic budget process and avoid another government shutdown on January 15. As the terms of the prospective budget plan became clearer, conservative groups warned that they would oppose it because it would blunt some of the automatic spending cuts known as "sequestration." (Read more)
4. Senate confirms first 'post-nuclear' nominee - The Hill
The Senate voted 56-38 Tuesday to confirm Patricia Millett to the D.C. Circuit Court, making her the first nominee of President Obama's to clear the Senate since Democrats unilaterally changed the rules in a vote last month. Republican Sen. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) voted with Democrats. The rule change means only 51 votes are needed to end a filibuster on nominations below the level of the Supreme Court. (Read more)
5. Regulators move to approve Volcker Rule for banks after three-year wait - Washington Examiner
Federal regulators moved Tuesday morning to approve a final draft of a long-awaited provision of the Dodd-Frank financial reform law that would limit banks from making speculative bets for their own profit and from running hedge funds. (Read more)
6. Federal deficit shrinks 20 percent in fiscal 2014 - Washington Times
Federal spending continues to drop and, combined with this year's tax increases, the healthier fiscal operations are making a dent in the federal deficit, according to the latest numbers released Friday by the Congressional Budget Office.
- Lord, this report sounds good, but we are skeptical. May truth be revealed in all reports released hereafter. We come against all false reports intended to deceive the people. In Jesus Name.
- Do not lie. Do not deceive one another. (Leviticus 19:11)
7. Okla. Satanists seek monument by Statehouse steps - USA Today
In their zeal to tout their faith in the public square, conservatives in Oklahoma may have unwittingly opened the door to a wide range of religious groups, including Satanists who are seeking to put their own statue next to a Ten Commandments monument outside the Statehouse.
- Lord, we intercede over this issue. May this monument of the Ten Commandments continue to stand alone to represent the One True God.
- 23) Get two bulls for us. Let Baal's prophets choose one for themselves, and let them cut it into pieces and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. I will prepare the other bull and put it on the wood but not set fire to it. 24) Then you call on the name of your god, and I will call on the name of the LORD. The god who answers by fire-he is God." (1 Kings 18:23-29)
8. Gene therapy scores big wins against blood cancers - NBC News
In one of the biggest advances against leukemia and other blood cancers in many years, doctors are reporting unprecedented success by using gene therapy to transform patients' blood cells into soldiers that seek and destroy cancer.
- Lord, we praise you for this advancement of gene therapy. May more therapies be discovered to heal those with various cancers. You are our healer! In Jesus name.
- I wisdom dwell with prudence, and find out knowledge of witty inventions. (Proverbs 8:12)
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:
"You, O God, sent a plentiful rain, by which You sustained Your inheritance when it was weary." (Psalms 68:9)
1. Palestinian Hamas says it has 'resumed' ties with Iran - AFP
The Palestinian Hamas movement has "resumed" relations with Iran after a temporary falling out over the Syrian conflict, a senior member of the Islamist movement said Monday.
2. US defense bill boosts funding for joint Israel missile defense projects - Jerusalem Post
A compromise defense bill proposed on Monday by US lawmakers would boost spending on missile defense by $358 million to $9.5 billion, mandating an additional homeland defense radar and increasing funding for US-Israeli cooperative efforts.
3. IDF's Jordan Valley chief sees no possibility of army's withdrawal from area - Israel Hayom
Against the backdrop of a U.S. security plan which includes the gradual withdrawal of Israeli forces from the Jordan Valley, GOC Central Command Maj. Gen. Nitzan Alon met Sunday with the heads of the Yesha Council, which represents communities in Judea and Samaria, and attempted to allay their concerns about the reports suggesting a permanent peace deal with the Palestinian Authority would include changes on the ground in the Jordan Valley.
4. Palestinians reject US proposal for 10-year IDF presence in Jordan Valley - Times of Israel
An American proposal that Israel station IDF soldiers in the Jordan Valley for the first 10 years after the signing of a peace deal with the Palestinians has garnered angry reactions from Palestinian leaders.
The Persecuted Church
Today's Focus: The Persecuted Church
"Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked."
Why U.S. Failed to Free Pastor from Iran - WND
WASHINGTON - It was literally a question of life and death, and the answer by Secretary of State John Kerry puzzled the congressman.
Rep. Christopher Smith, R-N.J., wanted to know why the Obama administration did not even ask for the release of pastor Saeed Abedini, the American imprisoned in Iran, while negotiating a nuclear deal.
"They (prisoners) would become pawns to the process and it could prolong it, it could make it more risky or dangerous," said Kerry.
Smith had already noted, "But he is at risk right now of death. He's been transferred to an even more ominous prison. He's in a cell with known murderers. He woke up with a knife next to his face."
The 33-year-old pastor was sentenced in January to eight years in prison for spreading Christianity in Iran. He was convicted of attempting to undermine the government and endangering national security by persuading youth to leave Islam.
'Nothing could be done'
Smith said Kerry's State Department had told Abedini's wife, Naghmeh, "there was nothing that could be done," leaving her "shocked and dismayed."
Naghmeh said her husband had been beaten until the pain became so great he couldn't even stand.
Smith said Naghmeh Abedini will testify before his subcommittee Thursday that she "was devastated to learn that the administration didn't even ask for my husband's release when directly seated across the table from the leaders of the government that hold him captive."
Yes and no
Smith asked Kerry, "So my first question would be, is that true? Did we raise Abedini's case directly with the Iranians in the negotiations on the nuclear issue?"
Befitting a diplomat, Kerry answered both yes and no.
"The answer is that is not true. I personally raised the issue with Foreign Minister Zarif when I first met him, the very first time," he began.
But then the secretary seemed to contradict himself by confirming that the release of the pastor was not one of the Americans' conditions for a deal.
For more news about the Persecuted Church, and how you can be more involved in intercession for these precious saints, go here.
The Madison Report
The Madison Report
Week of December 9 - 13, 2013
While everyone was focused on Obamacare on other broader issues last week, the Republican-controlled House inexplicably jammed through a ban on "undetectable guns." Nestled between a series of votes on "non-controversial" suspension bills, the House unanimously voted to extend the Undetectable Firearms Act for 10 years (H.R. 3626). Indeed, this 1988 law which banned the sale of guns that cannot be detected by security systems has been considered a non-controversial law for quite a while. However, there is an unanswered question as to why Republicans gratuitously gave Senate Democrats a vehicle and a platform from which to add on more onerous gun restrictions.
The Senate plans to take up this bill this week, and Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY) is eager to expand some of the restrictions. There was no pressing need to extend the plastic gun ban. Much like with other gun laws, terrorists seeking to smuggle undetectable guns onto an airplane will not hesitate just because Congress makes it illegal. The high rate of gun violence in cities with strict gun laws is a vivid example of the non-existent deterrent power of gun laws. Moreover, why would Republicans pass any gun law under this administration? Attorney General Eric Holder can easily use his latitude under this bill to expand the ban to guns that contain non-metal parts. Many of the restrictions are already subjective. For example, there might be some lighter guns that are not picked up by junky metal detectors but would be caught by more advanced ones.
Simply put, amidst the disaster of Obamacare, why would Republicans want to grant Democrats any opportunity to push gun control? Conservatives should urge their senators to place a hold on the bill and block it from going through before the end of the year.
The Daily Jot
The real truth: Separating Church and State
During this time of the year, every year, we have story after story where leftist, godless groups file suits against the display of nativity scenes and other expressions of joy for the birth of Christ. We have countless other government entities banning nativity scenes. They do it in the name of "Separation of Church and State." This is shear folly. It is based on a faulty interpretation of both the Constitution and a letter written by Thomas Jefferson in which he used the words describing the First Amendment as "building a wall of separation between Church and State. The context of the 1802 Jefferson letter to the Danbury Baptists Association suggests that Jefferson was "hands off" of government in religion.
The Danbury Baptists Association inquired of Jefferson if their religious rights as a minority denomination in Connecticut would be protected under the Constitution. Ephraim Robbins and Stephen S. Nelson wrote: "Our sentiments are uniformly on the side of religious liberty--that religion is at all times and places a matter between God and individuals--that no man ought to suffer in name, person, or effects on account of his religious opinions--that the legitimate power of civil government extends no further than to punish the man who works ill to his neighbors; But, sir, our constitution of government is not specific."
They asked, "If those who seek after power and gain under the pretense of government and religion should reproach their fellow men...as a enemy of religion, law, and good order, because he will not, dare not, assume the prerogatives of Jehovah and make laws to govern the kingdom of Christ." Jefferson responded, "Believing with you that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man & his God, that he owes account to none other for his faith or his worship, that the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, & not opinions, I contemplate with sovereign reverence that act of the whole American people which declared that their legislature should "make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof," thus building a wall of separation between Church & State."
Thereafter was a bracket in Jefferson's original draft, which was deleted in the final: "[Congress thus inhibited from acts respecting religion, and the Executive authorised only to execute their acts, I have refrained from prescribing even those occasional performances of devotion, practiced indeed by the Executive of another nation as the legal head of its church, but subject here, as religious exercises only to the voluntary regulations and discipline of each respective sect.]" Jefferson was clearly stating that he would not act as head of the church and Executive of the nation as in England. While not prevented by the Constitution, it was his personal prerogative to refrain from religious expression as the head of state.
The Founders knew the danger of state established religion as in England it resulted in the persecution and murder of thousands who were not part of that religion. The Constitution prohibits government from establishing religion and interfering with its free exercise---that is Jefferson's reference to the wall of separation. Government prohibition of religious expression on public property is interference with religion. Furthermore, public property is not owned by the government, but rather by the people. The government is a steward of public property. We can see that these precepts are twisted by the fallen nature of man, especially when as Peter said in Acts 5:29, "We ought to obey God rather than men."
Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Tomorrow: Congressional Panel to Hear Pleas of Mrs. Saeed
Crucial: Pastor Saeed's Wife to Testify before Congressional Panel
"Pastor Saeed is experiencing increased pain in his stomach as he is being denied necessary medication by Iranian authorities. He is malnourished, covered in lice, and losing weight because of horrendous prison conditions. In light of his deadly situation, it is imperative that Congress speak out. The U.S. State Department and the Obama Administration must make Pastor Saeed's freedom a true priority." -Jordan Sekulow
(Washington, DC)-In a critical development in American Pastor Saeed Abedini's case, Congress will hold a hearing Thursday on his worsening plight.
Pastor Saeed's wife, Naghmeh, and I have been asked to testify about Pastor Saeed's dire situation as Members of Congress seek to once again elevate the plight of this U.S. citizen who (has) been abandoned and wrongly imprisoned in Iran because of his faith.
A joint subcommittee hearing of the House Foreign Affairs Committee has been set for December 12th at 9:30am.
The hearing before the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, chaired by Representative Chris Smith (NJ), and the Subcommittee on the Middle East and North Africa, chaired by Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (FL), will focus on Pastor Saeed's worsening plight.
We are grateful for this opportunity to elevate Pastor Saeed's case, and it could not come at a more pivotal moment. Last month Pastor Saeed was transferred from the political prisoner ward of Evin prison, a notoriously dangerous prison, to the violent criminal ward of Rajai Shahr prison, the deadliest prison in Iran. This week we learned that Pastor Saeed has been repeatedly robbed and threatened at knifepoint in this new prison.
Pastor Saeed's health is also deteriorating. He is experiencing increased pain in his stomach as he is being denied necessary medication by Iranian authorities. He is malnourished, covered in lice, and losing weight because of horrendous prison conditions.
In light of his deadly situation and the Obama Administration's refusal to even ask for Pastor Saeed's release in recent direct negotiations with Iran, it is imperative that Congress speak out. The U.S. State Department and the Obama Administration must make Pastor Saeed's freedom a true priority. The life of a U.S. citizen-whose only "crime" is his Christian faith-is at stake. (Breaking Christian News)
Read more and sign the petition for Pastor Saeed's release by going here.
The Good News Corner
The Good News Corner:
Students Participate in Christmas Festival, Despite Threats
Three Montana high schools refused to cave over threats from secular groups claiming students are not allowed to participate in a community Christmas festival at a church.
The ACLU and the Freedom from Religion Foundation (FFRF) demanded that choir students - at Flathead, Glacier and Whitefish High Schools - not participate in the event, held last week.
Both districts - Kalispell and White Fish Public Schools - let the show go on as scheduled. (Citizenlink)
Worship With Us Today!
Worship With Us Today!
Onward, Christian Soldiers
To lift up this mighty hymn of victory, go here.
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.
Christ, the royal Master, leads against the foe;
forward into battle see his banners go!
Onward, Christian soldiers, marching as to war,
with the cross of Jesus going on before.
At the sign of triumph Satan's host doth flee;
on then, Christian soldiers, on to victory!
Hell's foundations quiver at the shout of praise;
brothers, lift your voices, loud your anthems raise.
Like a mighty army moves the church of God;
brothers, we are treading where the saints have trod.
We are not divided, all one body we,
one in hope and doctrine, one in charity.
Crowns and thrones may perish, kingdoms rise and wane,
but the church of Jesus constant will remain.
Gates of hell can never gainst that church prevail;
we have Christ's own promise, and that cannot fail.
Onward then, ye people, join our happy throng,
blend with ours your voices in the triumph song.
Glory, laud, and honor unto Christ the King,
this through countless ages men and angels sing.
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.
> > > OPTION ONE: AboutJesus.net
> > > OPTION TWO: The Great Commission Map!