Thursday, February 27, 2014

CHPP Daily Brief - Thursday, February 27, 2014

Capitol Hill Prayer Partners
"A National Prayer Alliance"
P.O. Box 5152
Herndon, VA 20172-1970

The Daily Brief

"Praying for All in Authority"

Thursday, February 27, 2014

"Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven." (Matthew 5:16)
Thank you for praying for the Persecuted Church!
Please visit the website for the International Christian Concern to find ongoing needs for prayer among the persecuted around the world. Thank you.

The Daily Brief

1. Kenyan Pastors Protest Pay-to-Preach Laws

Hundreds of Central Kenyan pastors marched to the Nyeri County governor's office last week to protest a proposed bill that would charge clergy for the privilege of preaching in public outside of their own churches, according to World Watch Monitor.

- Lord, let this bill fail. Protect Your people from this kind of governmental action.

- "The wicked plots against the just, and gnashes upon him with his teeth. The Lord shall laugh at him, for He sees that his day is coming." [Psalm 37:12-13]

2. Fukushima's Radioactive Ocean Water Arrives At West Coast - LiveScience

Radiation from Japan's leaking Fukushima nuclear power plant has reached waters offshore Canada, researchers said today at the annual American Geophysical Union's Ocean Sciences Meeting in Honolulu.

- Father, we plead the Blood of Jesus over America. We take authority over this contamination and declare that "nothing shall by any means hurt us."

- "if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them" [Mark 16:18b]

3. Drought leaves California farmers choosing which crops get water and which wither - Fox News

A federal agency's recent announcement that the California's Central Valley will get zero percent water allocation this year was devastating for farmers already dealing with the worst drought seen in decades.

- Father, we stand in the gap for our nation and ask for mercy over the land.

- "And I sought for a man among that should make up a hedge, and stand in the gap before Me for the land, that I should not destroy it: but I found none." [Ezekiel 22:30]

4. Richard Clarke: Potential for American 'police state' created by NSA - Washington Times

A former cybersecurity adviser to President George W. Bush fears that the NSA has created the "potential for a police state" to emerge in the United States.

- Lord, it appears in many ways that we have already made the transition to a "police state," so we pray Your power and protection over Your people.

- "He that digs a pit shall fall into it, and whoever breaks a hedge, a serpent shall bite him." [Eccl 10:8]

5. Arizona governor vetoes controversial bill allowing religious beliefs as defense for denying service - Fox News

Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer announced Wednesday she has vetoed a controversial bill that would have allowed religious beliefs as a defense for denying service to gays and others.

- Father, we pray Your mercy over our nation as the ability to freely choose is deleted from our rights. Awaken our nation to Your love.

- "quicken us, and we will call upon Your Name" [Psalm 80:18b]

6. Federal judge rules Texas' gay marriage ban is unconstitutional - Dallas Morning News

Texas became the biggest conservative state to have its gay marriage ban declared unconstitutional by a federal judge Wednesday, though he held his ruling in abeyance so higher-ranking jurists, possibly even the U.S. Supreme Court, can weigh in.

- Father, as the march toward "gay rights" continues, we pray for a move of Your Spirit over these people, from the courts down through the LGBT community.

-"They kept not the covenant of God and refused to walk in His law;" [Psalm 78:10]

7. Attorney General Holder hospitalized - The Hill

Attorney General Eric Holder was hospitalized Thursday after experiencing a medical emergency during a morning meeting with senior staff. "The Attorney General began experiencing symptoms including faintness and shortness of breath," Justice Department spokesman Brian Fallon said in a statement. "As a precaution, the Attorney General was taken to MedStar Washington Hospital Center to undergo further evaluation."

UPDATE: Attorney General Holder discharged from hospital after experiencing 'faintness,' 'shortness of breath.' Holder was released around 1:15 p.m. Thursday and went home to rest after receiving a full range of tests. (Read more)

- As brothers and sisters in Christ, we never wish harm for anyone, but we do ask for God's redemptive plan to come forth in any traumatic experience. As we pray for "all in authority," according to I Timothy 2:1-4, we lift up Eric Holder, our Attorney General, before the Throne of Grace, asking that this event today would cause him to consider things eternal. We ask this in Jesus' name, amen.

- "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."
(2 Peter 3:9)

8. Putin orders 'combat readiness' tests for western, central Russian troops -

Vladimir Putin has ordered an urgent military drill to test the combat readiness of the armed forces across western and central Russia. The drill included troops dealing with mock security and terrorist threats. "The drills are not connected with events in Ukraine at all," Sergey Shoigu, Russia's Defense Minister, told journalists Wednesday. As part of the test, several drills will be held on Russian borders with other countries, including with Ukraine. The main purpose of these drills is to check the combat readiness of the Russian armed forces, Shoigu said.

- Today, Secretary of State John Kerry also announced that the Russians state that they will respect Ukraine's borders, but the evening news is reporting a significant "ramping up" of tensions between these two nations. We lift up intercession over this region, asking our Lord to dispatch His angels to protect all who are there, and especially His children. Decree Psalm 91 over the nation of Ukraine. In His Name, amen.

- "The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." (James 5:16)

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:

"Blessed are those who keep judgment, he who does righteousness at all times." (Psalm 106:3)

1. Kerry: Peace talks to extend past April deadline - Times of Israel

US Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged Wednesday that his quest to seal a full Middle East peace deal will slip beyond an April deadline.

2. PLO official: Abbas' successor could return to armed resistance - Ynet News

A senior official within the Fatah movement warned that the next Palestinian leader might return to violent resistance should peace talks fail, Israel Radio reported.

3. Jordan PM warns Israel over Temple Mount authority - Times of Israel

Jordan warned Wednesday that it might review a 1994 peace treaty with Israel after Israeli MPs began a debate on allowing Jewish prayers at Jerusalem's sensitive Temple Mount.

4. Hezbollah vows retaliation against Israel for airstrike against site in Lebanon - Washington Post

Lebanon's Shiite Hezbollah movement threatened Wednesday to retaliate against Israel for carrying out an airstrike against one of the group's positions in Lebanon for the first time in eight years, raising the stakes in Syria's steadily expanding war.

5. Obama to press Netanyahu, Abbas to accept framework - Times of Israel

US President Barack Obama is gearing up to take a more active role in Israeli-Palestinian peace talks and will begin by pressuring the sides to accept US Secretary of State John Kerry's framework proposals, according to a report that cited administration officials on Wednesday.

6. Kerry's framework reportedly left Abbas fuming in Paris - Times of Israel

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas left a two-day meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Paris last week fuming over Kerry's proposals for a framework accord between Israel and the Palestinians, according to a Palestinian report.

The Daily Jot

Slip Slidin' Away

"Whoah God only knows, God makes his plan...The information's unavailable to the mortal man...We're workin' our jobs, collect our pay...Believe we're gliding down the highway, when in fact we're slip sliding away...Slip sliding away, slip sliding away...You know the nearer your destination, the more you slip sliding away." These lyrics, written 37 years ago in 1977 by Paul Simon, seem prophetic to our current times. At the end of the day, when Americans take time out of their busy schedules to assess the state of the nation, their society, even their families, they would see that the nearer their destination of their perceived success in life, the more they are slip sliding away.
We live in a nation where people in the know are paralyzed to action because they hardly know where to begin and are overwhelmed by the circumstances of society. Those who are not in the know are also paralyzed to action because they don't care enough to get the facts or are so apathetic and cynical that they believe nothing can be done. Then there are just the ignorant who go about their lives each day, wandering through life thinking they have a purpose, but they, too, are slip sliding away. We as a nation are slip sliding away. We need to awake from our slumber and start paying attention to what is around us or the bad guys are going to take what we have and keep it.
I'll give you an example. The news media is all hyped up over the governor of Arizona vetoing a "religious freedom" bill. That bill is no more about religious freedom than are the homosexuals who opposed it. It was about gaining votes and making people believe the heroic legislators did something to protect the people from unelected judges eroding their freedoms. The nearer the destination, the more they are slip sliding away. Why? Because the Constitution already protects the right to free exercise of religion. If these legislators were really out to do their job and protect religious freedom, they would take the necessary steps to remove the judiciary that threatens all freedom--not pass legislation that restates what we already have.

Another example...Many Christians are upset because the NFL is considering penalizing players who use the "N" word. While they are at it, the liberal media wants to ban the "F" word in reference to homosexuals. Some Christians are saying this is bad because it is giving in to political correctness. See how the ungodly has changed the true debate? Jesus said in Matthew 7:12, "Therefore all things whatsoever you would that men should do to you, do you even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." In other words do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Ephesians 5 says not to let filthiness, foolish talking or jesting even be "once named among you."

We should not be using such words toward one another--neither as terms of endearment or otherwise. But because we are debating the issue on the grounds of the enemy, we are slip sliding away. We need to engage society with the principles of Christ, and speak boldly as we ought to speak, not allowing smooth talkers to grease the skids into the darkness of deception that we might slip slide away.

Have a Blessed and Powerful Day!
Bill Wilson

The Madison Report

The Madison Report


Week of February 24 - 28, 2014


Agenda On Wednesday, the House will bring a bill to the floor that will vitiate some of the reforms to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Congress enacted in 2012. The bill will be brought up as a substitute amendment to an existing flood insurance bill, thereby requiring a two-thirds vote threshold. They will likely reach that threshold.

As part of the reauthorization Congress passed the Biggert-Waters reform bill, which required recipients of NFIP to pay insurance rates that were more actuarially sound. According to the Government Accountability Office, some plans are so heavily subsidized that recipients are only paying about 35-40% of the real actuarial cost of the premiums. The Biggert-Waters bill was designed to close the $18 billion structural debt in the program engendered by these lavish subsidies, which have encouraged property owners to incur more risk than market forces would permit.

Several weeks ago, the Senate passed a bill, S. 1926, which delayed the reduction in subsidies and higher premium requirements even on homes purchased in flood zones after 2012. Those reforms were delayed for four years. The House bill will completely grandfather in any existing property to the fully subsidized rate.

According to Congressional Quarterly, "any property the program insures would forever pay rates based on the property's designated flood zone when it was built, even if the program has later determined through floodplain mapping that the property is in a higher-risk category than before."

Conservative Analysis:

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created in 1968 to provide insurance to those living in flood-risk areas. Ever since the last long-term NFIP reauthorization expired, Congress has passed 17 stop-gap extensions. Not surprisingly, the program has racked up $24 billion in debt during that tumultuous time. The 2012 reforms represented a rare bipartisan moment when members actually made some minor reforms to make the flood insurance program more solvent. This bill will completely erase those reforms and set a precedent for the future that flood insurance subsidies are completely off limits.

It will not be an easy task to eliminate this program. Decades' worth of government incentives to live in flood-prone regions have enticed thousands of homeowners into purchasing houses in areas that will forever necessitate more subsidies. However, we need to start responsibly reducing these incentives. The Senate delayed many of these reforms. Now, ironically, the "more conservative" GOP-controlled House is slated to pass an even worse rollback of those reforms.

When Republicans can't even stick with existing rollbacks of federal subsidies and taxpayer liability does anyone believe they will have the guts to initiate new reforms in other areas of government?

Bills to Watch in the House

House Bills Addressing Marriage And Religious Freedom

Please pray for the successful passage of the following four bills, now in committee in the House of Representatives:

Marriage and Religious Freedom Act H.R. 3133. Prohibits the federal government from discriminating against individuals on the basis of a religious belief about marriage.

State Marriage Defense Act (H.R. 3829). Requires the federal government to respect state laws defining marriage after the Supreme Court stated that the regulation of marriage lies with the states.

State Marriage Defense Act (S 2024). Respects the definition of marriage held by the people of each state and protects states from the federal government's efforts to force any other definition upon them.

Marriage Amendment (H.J.Res. 51). Amends the US Constitution to define marriage as one man and one woman.

(Source: Congressional Prayer Caucus Foundation)

FRC Statement on Arizona Veto

FRC Expresses Disappointment in Veto of Arizona Religious Freedom Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer vetoed a bill that would have strengthened Arizona's Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). Family Research Council (FRC) has long supported state RFRAs, which have been enacted in 18 states since 1997 based on the federal law introduced by now U.S. Senator (then U.S. Representative) Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and former U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.), passed 97-3 in the Senate, unanimously by voice vote in the House of Representatives and was signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

FRC President Tony Perkins released the following statement: "This measure should have been a political no-brainer and only went down because people either chose to ignore the plain language of the bill or refused to read it altogether. Apparently, they're graduates of the Pelosi School of Policy, where they dispose of bills before they find out what's in them. "This bill like the federal RFRA, bars government discrimination against religious exercise, so by vetoing this bill Gov. Brewer is saying she supports government discrimination against people's religious freedoms.

"Under the amended Religious Freedom Restoration Act, what was legislative intent (but ignored by certain courts) would have been clear: individuals do not have to trade their religious freedom for entrance into public commerce. In other words, whether it's a wedding vendor, whose orthodox Christian faith will not allow her to affirm same-sex 'marriage,' or a business like Hobby Lobby or Conestoga Wood, whose faith bars them from providing drugs that have the potential to end a pregnancy, the provisions of RFRA would apply. "Unfortunately, at a moment of testing, Governor Jan Brewer yielded to the cultural bullies and their frenzy-driven opposition instead of consulting the facts," concluded Perkins.

Obama's Brave New World

Obama's Brave New World

Large segments of the public and most elites were absolutely sure that switching the leadership of the United States from the know-nothing, swaggering cowboy Bush to the urbane, ethnically diverse, world traveler Barack Hussein Obama would mean that peace would break out, diplomacy would end strife and we would become one big Coke commercial, all singing in harmony. Whoops.

This morning's news provides adequate headlines to remind us that foreign policy must be grounded in reality. Evil exists in the world. Disputes with foreign nations often are not simple misunderstandings, but clashes between different worldviews about the nature of man and liberty.

North Korea is testing more missiles. A pro-Russian coup is taking place in the Crimea. A Russian warship has docked in Havana. Iranian warships are reportedly headed into the Atlantic. Al Qaeda is spreading throughout Africa. China is in the middle of a massive naval buildup.

Meanwhile, here at home Obama is slashing the Army to pre-World War II levels, and is presiding over the largest growth of the surveillance state in the history of the country.

Feel safe yet? (Gary Bauer)

The Good News Corner

The Good News Corner:

Kansas: Survey Shows Support for Protecting Religious Freedom

As the debate over protections for religious liberty moves forward in Kansas, new numbers reveal overwhelming support for vital legal protections in advance of any federal court rulings regarding the Kansas Marriage Amendment.

Kansas Family Policy Council Action released groundbreaking poll numbers on how Kansans feel about protecting religious liberty today. The findings of the poll show significant support for religious liberty and in particular the protection of religious liberty in the context of marriage.

"These numbers show very strong support for protecting the religious liberty of Kansans, specifically related to the issue of marriage," stated Robert Noland executive director of Kansas Family Policy Council Action.

"We believe that these numbers show that a majority of Kansans are in strong agreement in their desire to preserve key civil liberties. It should also demonstrate to our lawmakers that Kansans are not at all confused about these issues despite misinformation in Topeka about proposed religious freedom legislation."

"We conducted this poll because we wanted to center the debate on what Kansans think, not what the outside groups want Kansans to think. And clearly, they are united in their support for protections for churches, clergy and individuals/business owners," Noland concluded. (Read the full report here.)

Signs and Wonders

Signs and Wonders:

Lake Superior Frozen Over
Winter builds rare icy path to Lake Superior ice caves

(Reuters) - Crowds of people are flocking to northwestern Wisconsin to trek on a frozen-over Lake Superior to reach dramatic ice caves accessible on foot for the first time in several years, courtesy of the long frigid winter.

The ice caves on Superior's shoreline are carved out of sandstone by waves from the lake and derive their name from the icy freeze in winter that makes them glisten with hoar frost, icicles and ice formations.

Reachable in warm weather by boat, the caves are accessible in winter only by walking across ice when it is thick and stable enough.

It has been five years since the ice caves were last reachable in the winter, officials said.

About 35,000 people have hiked the more than 1 mile route across the ice in the Apostle Islands National Lakeshore since officials declared the ice a "low risk" on January 15, park spokeswoman Julie Van Stappen said.

"We have never had this number of people coming," she said. "It has been a bit overwhelming, but it has been great for the local community, and they are gorgeous."

Van Stappen said the round-trip trek to the caves can take three hours or more over a well-packed and slippery path with little cover to break the sometimes fierce winds. (Read more)

"And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be shaken. Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your heads, because your redemption draws near."
(Luke 11:25-28)

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