Friday, May 5, 2017

CHPP Daily Brief: Thursday, May 4, 2017

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The Daily Brief:
Thursday, May 4, 2017


"Standing Together as One
. . . Under the Cross of Christ"

"O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, listen and do; defer not, for your own sake, O my God: for your city and your people are called by your name." (Daniel 9:19)

NDP News

"Freedom is a gift from God"-President Trump Marks the National Day of Prayer with Leaders of Faith in the Rose Garden, and Signs Executive Order Protecting Religious Liberty

"We're giving churches their voices back" -President Trump.

(Washington, DC)-With Pastor Paula White and other leaders of faith behind him, President Donald Trump recognized the National Day of Prayer while gathered in the White House Rose Garden-a first for the event.

Calling America a "nation of Believers," Trump noted, "Faith is deeply embedded into the history of our country, the spirit of our founding, and the soul of our nation ... We remember this eternal truth; freedom is not a gift from government, freedom is a gift from God."

Prior to signing the executive order protecting religious liberty, the President said, "We will not allow people of faith to be targeted, bullied or silenced again and we will never stand for religious discrimination."

During his address, Trump invited some of the sisters from Little Sisters of the Poor, who had recently won a lawsuit against the Obamacare birth control mandate. He congratulated them-along with their lawyer-on their victory, quipping that he might like to use their lawyer too sometime.

After finishing his message, President Trump then moved to a desk set up in the Rose Garden, where he signed the two-fold executive order, handing the first pen to Dr. Alveda King, in honor of her uncle, Martin Luther King Jr., and giving the second pen to Pastor Paula White, because "she fought hard" for this.
Read more

Focus on Israel

1. 4 yeshiva students stabbed in southern Israel - Israel National News

Four students in a yeshiva in Netivot were wounded Tuesday when a local man broke into the building and attacked those inside.

The incident occurred inside the Beit Avraham kollel yeshiva on Malachei Yisrael Street in Netivot just before noon Tuesday.

Three of the victims have been listed in moderate condition, while a fourth was lightly injured. The victims in moderate condition range in age from roughly 70-years old to approximately 50 and 45-years old.

Read more

2. Minister calls for annexation of Jerusalem-area towns - Israel National News

Transportation and Intelligence Minister Yisrael Katz calls on Israel to annex large parts of Judea and Samaria in response to UNESCO's vote rejecting Israeli sovereignty over Jerusalem.

"The appropriate answer to UNESCO's decision and to anyone else who doubts our right to sovereignty is to pass the 'Greater Jerusalem Law' that includes extending Israeli sovereignty to the surrounding communities of Greater Jerusalem: Ma'ale Adumim, Givat Ze'ev, Beitar Illit, and the Etzion Bloc," Katz said in a statement.

Read more

3. Jewish Human Rights Group Warns of Potential UNESCO 'Catastrophe' as Saudi Arabia, Iran Join Qatar as Frontrunners for Leading Posts - Algemeiner

Israel could face a trio of hostile nations leading UNESCO - the UN's cultural agency - following elections to be held at the group's 39th General Conference in Paris this coming November, according to an official with a Jewish human rights organization.

As The Algemeiner reported last week, the US-based Simon Wiesenthal Center (SWC) - which has observer status at UNESCO - has already expressed concern that the former Qatari culture minister Hamad Bin Abdulaziz Al-Kawari could become UNESCO's next director-general (replacing Bulgaria's Irina Bokova).

The gravity of that potential outcome for Israel, the SWC's Dr. Shimon Samuels said, has been exacerbated by reports that Saudi Arabia and Iran are front-runners to be elected as the next chairs of the UNESCO General Conference and Executive Board, respectively, in November.

Read more

4. Israel cuts funding to UNESCO - World Israel News

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced that Israel will cut $1 M. of the funds it transfers to the United Nations following a resolution by its Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) declaring Israeli sovereignty and jurisdiction over Jerusalem "null and void."

Speaking at the start of the weekly Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, Netanyahu called the resolution "delusional" and an "absurd decision."

Read more

5. Hamas rejects Abbas peace proposal outline to Trump - Times of Israel

The Hamas terror group swiftly rejected statements made by Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas with US President Donald Trump Wednesday, saying he had no authority to negotiate on behalf of the Palestinians.

"No one has authorized Mahmoud Abbas to represent the Palestinian people and no one is obligated to any position he's issued," Hamas spokesperson Sami Abu Zuhri wrote on Twitter.

Read more

The Daily Brief

Please note:
Every prayer below is presented to our Lord in the Name of Jesus Christ, amen.

1. Trump To Sign Executive Order That Allows Churches To Endorse Political Candidates - Daily Caller

Donald Trump will mark the National Day of Prayer by signing an executive order that scales back the restrictions placed on churches that prevent them from being politically active in order to maintain their tax-exempt status.

The order, which a senior administration official said makes it the policy of the administration to "protect and vigorously promote religious liberty," focuses specifically on the Johnson Amendment, the federal tax law from 1945 that prevents tax-exempt groups, like churches, from endorsing or opposing political candidates. The president will sign the order in the Rose Garden Thursday as he hosts religious leaders at the White House.

Read more

- Father, we are thankful for this Executive Order by the President, but we continue to pray for action throughout our government, in Congress, and the Judiciary to protect religious liberty.

- It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

2. ObamaCare replacement bill approved in House - Fox News

House Republicans on Thursday narrowly approved their sweeping health care bill aimed at fulfilling a campaign promise to upend ObamaCare, after resuscitating legislation that had flatlined on the floor not six weeks earlier.

The revised American Health Care Act passed on a 217-213 vote.

"We're going to get this finished," President Trump declared in a celebratory Rose Garden event, surrounded by Republican congressional allies shortly after the vote. He vowed premiums and deductibles will be "coming down" and the Affordable Care Act is "essentially dead."

Read more

- Father, thank You that this healthcare bill, AHCA, has been approved by the House, and we now pray it be accepted by the Senate. Help our legislators undergird our healthcare system with stability and financial solvency.

- I instruct you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. (Proverbs 4:11)

3. Trump to visit Israel, Saudi Arabia, Vatican in first foreign trip - The Hill

President Trump will visit Israel, Saudi Arabia and the Vatican during his first foreign trip as president later this month, according to multiple media reports.

Trump is adding those stops to a trip that will now end with appearances at a NATO summit in Brussels on May 25 and a meeting of the Group of Seven major industrialized countries in Sicily May 26-27.

The trip comes after separate meetings with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the White House.

Trump indicated last month he would seek an audience with Pope Francis, who has offered veiled criticism of his stances on immigration and refugees.

"I look very much forward to meeting the pope," Trump said during a press conference with Italian Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni.

Read more

- Father, we pray for President Trump's safety and effectiveness on this trip. Help his staff, secret service, and state department, coordinate a successful trip to promote US interests and peace.

- For the angel of the Lord is a guard; he surrounds and defends all who fear him. (Psalm 34:7)

4. President Obama's team sought NSA intel on thousands of Americans during the 2016 election - Circa

The Obama administration distributed thousands of intelligence reports with the unredacted names of U.S. residents during the 2016 election.

During his final year in office, President Obama's team significantly expanded efforts to search National Security Agency intercepts for information about Americans, distributing thousands of intelligence reports across government with the unredacted names of U.S. residents during the midst of a divisive 2016 presidential election.

The data, made available this week by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, provides the clearest evidence to date of how information accidentally collected by the NSA overseas about Americans was subsequently searched and disseminated after President Obama loosened privacy protections to make such sharing easier in 2011 in the name of national security. A court affirmed his order.

Among those whose names were unmasked in 2016 or early 2017 were campaign or transition associates of President Trump as well as members of Congress and their staffers, according to sources with direct knowledge.

Read more

- Father, we pray this breach of trust between US citizens and the intelligence agencies will be addressed through Congressional oversight and our justice system.

- You have made the land quake, You have split it open; heal its breaches, for it totters. (Psalm 60:2)

5. Susan Rice Denies Senate Request To Testify In Hearing On Russian Election Interference - Daily Caller

Susan Rice has denied a request to testify in front a Senate judiciary subcommittee next week on Russian interference in the U.S. presidential election.

According to CNN, Barack Obama's national security adviser turned down a request from Sen. Lindsey Graham to participate in the hearing.

"Senator Whitehouse has informed us by letter that he did not agree to Chairman Graham's invitation to Ambassador Rice, a significant departure from the bipartisan invitations extended to other witnesses," Rice's lawyer Kathryn Ruemmler wrote in a letter to Graham. "Under these circumstances, Ambassador Rice respectfully declines Senator Graham's invitation to testify."

Rice was the administration official who made the dozens of requests seeking to unmask the identities of Trump associates, which she said were for national security reasons and not politically motivated.

Read more

- Father, we pray for all the facts to be revealed regarding Russian election interference and/or the misuse of intelligence to target US citizens, especially political opponents.

- But the king will rejoice in God. All who swear to tell the truth will praise him, while liars will be silenced. (Psalm 63:11)

6. Franklin Graham: Christians in America Are 'Persecuted' by LGBT Agenda - Christian Post

Evangelist Franklin Graham said Tuesday that Christians in America who oppose the LGBT agenda are being "persecuted" and singled out "over and over and over again" for acting in accordance with their biblical convictions on sexuality.

Graham, the president of both the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the humanitarian organization Samaritan's Purse, spoke as a guest on the "Washington Watch" radio program hosted by prominent social conservative activist and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins to discuss BGEA's upcoming World Summit in Defense of Persecuted Christians being held in Washington, D.C. next week.

The summit, which runs from May 10-13, has been touted by Graham as the "first event of its kind" that will bring together over 600 people from over 130 countries across the globe, many of whom will tell of their own first-hand accounts of being persecuted for their faith in Christ.

The conference comes as tens of thousands of Christians are killed, imprisoned or persecuted worldwide because of their faith every year.

"I want our politicians to see what is happening and I want the voices of these people who have been persecuted, I want their voices to be heard. I want to give them a stage for them to be able to tell their stories and do it right there in Washington, where hopefully, we can see some policy changes," Graham said of the summit.

Read more

- Father, we pray this conference would be effective in activating Christians to stand up for their beliefs and protect those who are targeted by LGBT activists.

- Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:11-12)

7. The bolder attacks on religious freedom - Washington Times

"I believe that God has planted in every heart the desire to live in freedom." So said President George W. Bush in 2004. Leave for another day the debate over whether such a belief is more hopeful than realistic. What we do know: Tyrants and terrorists around the world are persecuting, torturing and slaughtering those whose hearts do desire freedom - even the most basic.

Last week, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) issued its annual report covering 37 countries. Thomas Reese, USCIRF's chair, minced no words: "The Commission has concluded that the state of affairs for international religious freedom is worsening in both the depth and breadth of violations."

Read more

- Father, we lift up our brothers and sisters who are suffering around the world for their belief in You. Give them strength and the sweetness of Your Presence to sustain them.

- But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, my glory, and the One who lifts my head. (Psalm 3:3)

8. 'We Lost the Western Kansas Wheat Crop This Weekend' -

Blizzard conditions and heavy snow swept western Kansas, including 14 to 20 inches in Colby in the northwestern quadrant of the No. 1 winter wheat state in the nation, said the Weather Channel. "We lost the western Kansas wheat crop this weekend. Just terrible," tweeted Justin Gilpin, chief executive of the grower-funded Kansas Wheat Commission.

Kansas grew 1 of every 5 bushels of U.S. wheat last year, 467 million of the 2.31 billion bushels nationwide. Its farmers specialize in winter wheat, which is planted in the fall, goes dormant during the winter, and sprouts again in the spring. Winter wheat accounts for two thirds, or more, of the U.S. crop each year.

Read more

- Father, we pray for the most overlooked people in our nation - our farmers. Help them recover from these losses. We also pray for a plentiful harvest to feed our nation and the nations of the earth.

- May grain abound throughout the land; on the tops of the hills may it sway. May the crops flourish like Lebanon and thrive like the grass of the field. (Psalm 72:6)

9. North Korean media issues rare criticism of China over nuclear warnings - Reuters

North Korea's state media published a rare criticism of China on Wednesday, saying Chinese state media commentaries calling for tougher sanctions over Pyongyang's nuclear program were undermining relations with Beijing and worsening tensions.

A commentary carried by the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) referred to recent commentaries in China's People's Daily and Global Times newspapers, which it said were "widely known as media speaking for the official stand of the Chinese party and government."

"A string of absurd and reckless remarks are now heard from China every day only to render the present bad situation tenser," it said.

"China had better ponder over the grave consequences to be entailed by its reckless act of chopping down the pillar of the DPRK-China relations," the commentary said, referring to North Korea by the acronym for its official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

Read more

- Father, we pray these statements, directly from North Korea, now threatening China, will finally lead to a solution to the nuclear and missile crisis on the Korean peninsula.

- Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. (Proverbs 16:18)

10. Puerto Rico Declares a Form of Bankruptcy - New York Times

With its creditors at its heels and its coffers depleted, Puerto Rico sought what is essentially bankruptcy relief in federal court on Wednesday, the first time in history that an American state or territory had taken the extraordinary measure.

The action sent Puerto Rico, whose approximately $123 billion in debt and pension obligations far exceeds the $18 billion bankruptcy filed by Detroit in 2013, to uncharted ground.

While the court proceedings could eventually make the island solvent for the first time in decades, the more immediate repercussions will likely be grim: Government workers will forgo pension money, public health and infrastructure projects will go wanting, and the "brain drain" the island has been suffering as professionals move to the mainland could intensify.

Puerto Rico is "unable to provide its citizens effective services" because of the crushing weight of its debt, according to a filing on Wednesday by the federal board that has supervised the island's financial affairs since last year.

Read more

- Father, we pray for the leaders of Puerto Rico to govern the territory well and make decisions that will lead to solvency. We also pray for the creditors to be restored.

- Leave your simple ways behind, and begin to live; learn to use good judgment. (Proverbs 9:6)

Special Publishing Notice

Special Publishing Notice: CHPP to Publish a Streamlined Edition of the Daily Brief all this Week

Dear Friends, Please note that, this week only, the Daily Brief will include only the following sections each day:

1. Focus on Israel 2. The Daily Brief 3. The Daily Jot
All other regular sections will be posted again next week, beginning on Monday, May 8th.
Today's edition also includes our weekly Bible Study, as usual. See you "in full force" back here again next week! Shalom!

The Bible Readathon

Our Bible Readathon Continues

"Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." (Psalm 119:105)

We are now reading the Word of God every night from midnight to 6:00 a.m. EST. We are reading through the whole Word, from Genesis to Revelation, and beginning again in Genesis when finished.

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[Note: we are reading from these versions of the Scripture: King James, New King James, New American Standard, and NIV.]