What is something you have dreamed of doing? Has a comment or comments stopped you from achieving that dream? Or did a comment or comments inspire you to achieve it?
Christy Henrich was a little girl with a big a dream - she wanted to be an Olympic gymnast. Her goal was the 1988 Olympic games. From the age of four, she worked hard to accomplish that dream, spending hours everyday, perfecting every skill, every move, every toe point, every hand motion, every facial expression, every landing. Leading up to the Olympics, it was suggested that she drop a few pounds. She missed the Olympic team by a minuscule amount. Christy, who already weighed less than 100 pounds, took the comments about her weight to heart, drastically reducing the amount of food she ate; sometimes less than an apple a day. She never did achieve her dream. Her change in lifestyle took a drastic toll on her body and on July 26, 1994, Christy died, at the age of 22, from multiple organ failure as a result of years of eating disorders. She weighed just 47 pounds.
King David lusted after Bathsheba. He acted on that lust, taking Bathsheba to his bed, resulting in her becoming pregnant. But Bathsheba was already married to another man, a man who was a soldier and away at war. Her husband would know the child was not his. In an attempt to fix the problem both he and Bathsheba were now in, King David first attempted to trick Bathsheba’s husband into thinking the unborn child was his. When that plan failed, King David order the man to the front lines of the war, where he would certainly be killed. (2 Samuel 11)
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits. (Provers 18:21, ESV)
August 18, 2018: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for John 5-6
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Commentary: Jesus continues to enrage the Pharisees by disregarding their rules and healing on the Sabbath. Jesus also claims equality with God and offers evidence to His claim in accordance with Jewish law, which requires at least two witnesses (Jesus offered five). The feeding of the 5,000 is the only miracle recorded in all four Gospels. The bread and fish are reminiscent of the manna and water given to the Israelites in the desert after the first Passover. The people however, quickly forgot the miracle and demanded to see more proof before they would believe, in part because they were hungry again the following morning. Jesus explained that He had come to offer bread and water that would forever fill a person. The crowd did not understand Jesus was speaking metaphorically. Our faith in Jesus Christ is to nourish us and provide us strength. Salvation through faith cannot be earned by works. Both were concepts the Jews, including the disciples found difficult to understand.
Focus Verses: 5:16-30 What is Jesus saying in this passage? What is the importance? What does it mean to you, in your life?
“Our democracy must be not only the envy of the world by the engine of our renewal. There is nothing wrong with America that cannot be fixed by what is right with America.” He excelled at playing the saxophone in high school. He is the only president who was a Rhodes Scholar. He was inspired by President John F. Kennedy, whose hand he shook when he was just 16, four months before Kennedy’s death. He is William “Bill” Jefferson Clinton, 42nd President of the United States, serving from January 20, 1993, until January 20, 2001. He was born William Jefferson Blythe III, on August 19, 1946, in Hope, Arkansas. Bill’s father died shortly after his birth, and his mother left him with his grandparents while she completed nursing school. During his time with his grandparents, a discipline for education was established, which would last for a lifetime.
In 1950, Bill’s mother completed her nursing degree, and he and his mother moved back to Arkansas. In Arkansas, Bill’s mother remarried and both Bill and his mother adopted the new surname of Clinton. During his childhood, Bill was drawn to the Baptist Church by their gospel music. Neither his parents or grandparents were religious, so Bill would wake early, dress in his best clothes and walk half a mile to the local Baptist Church. It was their music which inspired him to learn to play the saxophone.
Unfortunately, Bill’s stepfather would often drink and become abusive towards him, his mother, and his younger half-brother. At the age of 14, Bill stepped between his step-father and his mother, finally stopping the abuse, but not the drinking. Bill’s mother obtained a divorce in 1962.
Bill did well in school, earning an invitation to meet President John F. Kennedy at the White House. Also during that trip, Bill met another of his political heroes, J. William Fulbright, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. After graduating high school, Bill attended Georgetown University and studied international affairs, also becoming involved in university politics and working under Senator Fulbright.
Bill graduated from Georgetown University in 1968, and won a Rhodes Scholarship for a two year study at Oxford University, however, Bill received his draft notice after arriving, forcing him to return to Arkansas. Bill avoided the draft by enrolling in the ROTC program at University of Arkansas Law School, however he never attended, and instead returned to Oxford. Bill did resubmit his name to the draft board, however he was never drafted again. Bill eventually attended and graduated from Yale Law School. During his time at Yale, Bill met and married his wife, Hillary Rodham. Bill quickly entered politics after his graduation.
In 1974, Bill entered his first political election, challenging the incumbent for a seat in the US House of Representatives. Although Bill lost the election, he firmly established himself as a rising star. In 1976, Bill was elected as Arkansas’ Attorney General before being elected, at the age of 32, as Governor of Arkansas in 1978. Bill became one of the youngest individuals to be elected governor in America’s history. Two years, and several mistakes later, Bill failed to be re-elected. In 1982, Bill once again sought and won the governorship, holding the position for four consecutive terms.
Bill worked to increase his national visibility, especially beginning in the late 1980s. In 1990, he became actively involved in the Democratic Leadership Council, and in 1992, Bill easily won the Democratic nomination for President. He chose Tennessee Senator Al Gore as his vice president. Amidst claims of draft dodging and marital infidelity, Clinton and Gore went on to defeat incumbent President George HW Bush, who had broken his promise of “No new taxes.”
As president, Bill ratified the North American Free Trade Agreement, and signed into law the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993, and the “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy, both major accomplishments at the time. He also endorsed a heath care reform act, designed to provide universal health coverage, however it was defeated in Congress. In 1994, his administration launched the official White House website! It was seen as a way to increase communication.
To restore his waning popularity, Bill increased the minimum wage in 1996, and increased the number of policemen, as well as increased punishments for a variety of crimes. In 1996, Bill won re-election.
Internationally, Bill faced the Battle of Mogadishu in Somalia, which resulted in an attack on US Soldiers, with several being trapped behind enemy lines. Eighteen American soldiers were killed, with 73 wounded. This battle caused US troops to withdraw from Somalia, although the United States later participated in attacks to in defense of United Nations safe zones. Bill helped increase relations between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization, leading to the signing of the Osla Accords in 1993, although the result was short-lived.
Although the nation experienced its lowest unemployment rates in recent history, low inflation rates, and improved economic quality, Bill’s second term was over shadowed by a personal scandal. He was accused of having sexual relations with 22-year-old intern Monica Lewinsky. Bill vehemently denied the charges at first - “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” - before eventually confessing. Bill was impeached by the House of Representatives for perjury and obstruction of justice. He was later acquitted by the Senate. Bill is only the second president to be impeached; Andrew Johnson was the first. Despite the scandal, Bill left office with one of the highest approval ratings. He has remained popular in polls since leaving office.
Since leaving office, Bill is the only President to have had his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton also run for the office. Bill has participate in many speaking engagements, most notably, supporting the election of Barack Obama. Bill has also supported his wife in her political endeavors. The world is an every changing place and it will be years before history can truly judge Bill’s actions as President, for better or worse.
Happy Birthday Mr. President!
“Great lives never go out; they go on.” He is the first president to have his voice preserved by means of recording. He was also the first president to have electricity in White House, however, he and his wife were so fearful of being electrocuted, they refused to touch the light switches, often sleeping with the lights on! He was also the only president to lose a presidential re-election to a former president. He is Benjamin Harrison VI, 23rd President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1889, until March 4, 1893. Benjamin, the grandson of William Harrison, 9th President of the United States and great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Ohio. Benjamin’s family was one of the First Families of Virginia, with roots going all the way back to Jamestown. Benjamin attended Farmer’s College, where he met his first wife, Caroline Scott. In 1850, he transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and went on to study and practice law.
In 1853, Benjamin married Caroline, in a ceremony, that her father, a Presbyterian minister, presided over. Benjamin and Caroline were both also Presbyterian. In 1856, Benjamin joined the Republican party and was elected Indianapolis City Attorney. Two years later, Benjamin opened his own law practice with William Wallace. Benjamin remained active in politics, becoming Reporter of Decisions for the Indiana Supreme Court in 1860. That same year, Benjamin opened a new law firm with William Fishback.
The Civil War interrupted Benjamin’s political ambitions, as he joined the Union Army as a captain and company commander in 1862. Benjamin went on to participate in Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. By the conclusion of the war, he had reached the rank of brigadier general. Throughout the war, he maintained his position as Reporter of Decisions, which provided his family with a steady income, as well as kept him politically active.
Upon returning from the war, Benjamin ignored urgings to run for Congress, instead choosing to speak on behalf of other politicians, a task for which he was highly praised. In 1872, Benjamin unsuccessfully campaigned to receive the nomination for governor of Indiana. This defeat led Benjamin to return to his law practice, in which he was successful. Benjamin continued to serve in small capacity as needed.
In 1880, Benjamin was elected as a United States Senator for Indiana. Benjamin also campaigned for James Garfield, who was running for president. Upon his election, the president offered Benjamin a cabinet position. Benjamin respectfully declined the offer, instead choosing to remain in the Senate, where he served until 1887. During his time in the Senate, Benjamin campaigned for generous pensions for veterans and their widows and greater educational opportunities for Southerns, including African Americans. Benjamin lost his re-election bid in 1886, due to a re-drawing of the districts by the Democrats.
Following his defeated, Benjamin returned to his law practice, but stayed politically active. In 1888, the Republican Party favorite, James G. Blaine, withdrew his name from contention of the Presidential nomination. Ultimately, Benjamin was selected to run in his place. Although he lost the popular vote by 90,000, he carried the electoral college, defeating incumbent Grover Cleveland, leading to many to claim the election was corrupt. Benjamin was inaugurated 100 years after George Washington was inaugurated as 1st President of the United States.
During his presidency, six states - a record! - were admitted into the Union: North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, and Idaho. A deep rivalry existed between North and South Dakota, which were both signed into the Union on November 2, 1889. Due to the rivalry, Benjamin ordered that the papers be shuffled and he not see the states names when signing. To this day, no one knows which state was admitted first, although North Dakota has gained the title of the 39th state because it came first alphabetically.
Also during his presidency, Benjamin oversaw the last major American Indian battle, the Battle of Wounded Knee, in which over 100 Sioux, including many women and children, were killed. Another domestic issue facing President Harrison was civil rights for Negros. Despite Benjamin’s attempts, congress consistently denied approval for such bills.
As the re-election approached, Benjamin’s popularity began to decrease, along with his wife’s health. What had once been a national surplus had turned into a deficit, and Benjamin was accused of wasteful spending. Some of the surplus had been spent on the Dependent and Disability Pension Act which provided pensions to disabled veterans, regardless of the cause of their disability. Benjamin also greatly increased the number of naval ships, further depleting government funds. Additionally, Benjamin chose to not actively campaign, instead he stayed with his wife and cared for her. Caroline died two weeks before the election, which Grover Cleveland, his opponent, decisively won.
After leaving the White House, Benjamin briefly lived in California, giving lectures at Stanford University. He also traveled around the nation giving speeches in support of William McKinley. In 1896, Benjamin was married to Mary Scott Lord Dimmick, a women 25 years his junior and of whom his two children disapproved. He also returned to his law practice. He went on to try a case before the Supreme Court of the United States, one of three former president’s to do so (John Quincy Adams and Grover Cleveland being the other two.)
Benjamin died of pneumonia on March 13, 1901, in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the age of 67. He was buried in Indianapolis, along side his two wives.
Happy Birthday Mr. President!
August 17, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 33
India: President Ram Nath Kovind has approved the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2018, which allows those who have been convicted of raping a girl under the age of 12 to be sentenced to death. Parliament had approved the bill, before it was sent to the President for approval. There have been numerous calls for harsher punishments for rapists, as several well-publicized rapes have occurred in recent years. In addition allowing the death penalty, the minimum punishment for raping a girl under the age of 16 has been increased from 10 to 20 years in prison, with the possibility of life in prison.
Indonesia: Officials have announced that they have enough evidence to charge the two women who have been accused of spraying the chemical nerve agent VX on the face of Kim Jong-nam, the half-brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. If convicted, the two women could be executed. In their defense, the two women - Siti Aisyah, an Indonesian national, and Doan Thi Huong, a Vietnamese national - have said that they thought they were participating in a prank. Four North Korean men also thought to be involved have not yet been caught.
Iran: On Wednesday, August 8, 2018, an execution was carried out at Tabriz Central Prison. The inmate was identified as Eyvaz Bidast. He was convicted and sentenced to death on drug related charges 12 years ago.
On Monday, August 13, 2018, 37-year-old Moslem Shiri was executed by hanging at Ardabil Central Prison. He was convicted of murder.
Updated: Monday, August 13, 2018 11:41 am EDT
Jose Antonio Jimenez was scheduled to be executed at 6 pm EDT, on Tuesday, August 14, 2018, at the Florida State Prison near Raiford, Florida. His execution has been stayed. Fifty-four-year-old Jose is sentenced to death for the murder of 63-year-old Phyllis Minas in Miami, Florida on October 2,1992. Jose has spent the last 24 years on death row in Florida.
The Florida Supreme Court unanimously agreed to issue a stay of execution for Jose. While they did not give a reason for the stay of execution, attorneys for Jose noted in their request for a stay of execution that they received over 1,000 pages of additional documents, including handwritten notes by investigators, that relate to the case. This new information, which attorneys for Jose have never previously had access to, was released just two weeks before the execution. Jose has always insisted upon his innocence. According to Jose's lawyer, the handwritten notes contradict the testimony given by investigators at the trial.
On October 2, 1992, Jose Jimenez entered the home of Phyllis Minas, located in a north Miami apartment complex. Jimenez was also a resident of the apartment complex. Once Jimenez was inside, he beat and stabbed Phyllis. A neighbor heard her screaming “Oh God, Oh my God!” during the attack and attempted to enter the apartment through the open front door. As they were entering, Jimenez slammed the door shut and locked it. The neighbor called the police.
Jimenez exited the apartment by going out onto a balcony, where he jumped to a neighboring balcony before jumping to the ground. A custodian witnessed a man, whom he later identified as Jimenez, drop to the ground from the balcony. Jimenez changed his clothes and cleaned himself up before re-entering the complex and asking someone to use their phone to call a cab.
When rescue workers arrived at Phyllis’ apartment, she was still alive. She died a short time later. Jimenez was arrested on October 5, 1992, at his parents home in Miami. His fingerprints had been found inside Phyllis’ apartment. He was tried, convicted, and then sentenced to death in December 1994. The juries decision was unanimous.
Following his death sentence, Jose was also charged and convicted of second-degree murder of Marie Debas, robbery with a deadly weapon, and burglary with assault for a crime that occurred on October 19, 1990. For that crime he was sentenced to a total of 49 years in prison.
Please pray for peace for the family of Phyllis Minas and Marie Debas. Please pray for strength for the family of Jose Jimenez. Please pray that if Jose is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed or should be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that Jose may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.