A five-year recovering alcoholic is struggling. It has been a rough day, roughest in a long while and he is craving a drink. He calls his friend who is willing to drop everything and be with him if needed. As they talk, he is reminded by his friend of rough days in the previous five years, reminded of how far he has come in his recovery. “Do you need me there? I can stay the night to make sure you don’t relapse.” The conversation had helped, the reminders of the past made him feel empowered; he had succeeded before and he would again. His friend’s offer was also motivation. Knowing that others believed in him and wanted him to continue his success.
“Come on!” “You can do it!” “Let’s go!” The screams echoed throughout the gym. The weightlifter stood beside the squat rack - weights racked, ready to go. She looked at the weights, mentally calculating the amount. It was a record breaker and her teammates knew it. She stepped up, position herself, took a deep breathe, and lifted the weights away from the rack. Her teammates screams of encouragement, motivated her, making her believe that she could do it.
The disciples had self-doubt. For many months, they had followed Jesus, seeing Him perform miracles and listening to His teachings. Now it was their turn. They were being sent out on their own, without Jesus, to minister, to teach others. They things they had seen and heard were extraordinary! But they were ordinary men. How could they do as Jesus did?
October 15, 2018: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Deuteronomy 1-3
Click here for the reading
Commentary: This book was written by Moses for a generation that was not present at Mt. Sinai. This book is Moses’ final instructions before the Israelites are to enter the Promised Land, where they will no longer have Moses to guide them. Today’s reading recounts some of the significant events that have happened over the last 40 years. Forty years ago the Israelites lacked the faith in the Lord to enter the Promised Land. Through his writing, Moses is encouraging the Israelites to not make the same mistake twice.
Focus Verses: 2:1-23 Why is it important to remember the wanderings of the Israelites? What do we learn by studying the history of the Israelites? What do we learn about the Lord?
Updated: Monday, October 15, 2018 9:54 am EDT
Raymond Tibbetts was scheduled to be executed at 10 am EDT, on Wednesday, October 17, 2018, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Mansfield, Ohio. Raymond has been granted clemency by Governor John Kasich. Sixty-one-year-old Raymond is convicted of murdering his wife, Judith Sue Crawford, and 67-year-old Fred Hicks on November 6, 1997, inside of Fred’s Cincinnati home, where they all lived. Raymond has spent the last 20 years of his life on Ohio’s death row.
Raymond alleged that he had a “miserable” and “horrible” childhood, as his parents were drug users, causing him to be in and out of foster care beginning at an early age. Raymond played football in high school until he suffered a knee injury. At a young age, Raymond began getting into trouble with law enforcement, eventually resulting in prison time.
Fred Hicks suffered from emphysema and had hired Judith Crawford as his live-in caretaker in his Cincinnati, Ohio home. In late September 1997, Judith married Raymond Tibbetts who also moved into Fred’s house. Fred’s sister, Joan Landwehr would often visit with Fred to check on him.
On November 6, 1997, Joan arrived at Fred’s home for a lunch date. Upon knocking and receiving no response, Joan let herself into the house with her spare key. She noticed that Fred’s vehicle was missing. After entering, Joan went to the second floor where she found her brother’s body slumped in a chair. Fred’s chest and stomach were bloody and the pants pocket where he normally kept his money was turned inside out. Joan immediately called the police.
October 12, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 41
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 was the 16th Word Day Against the Death Penalty. Read more about it here.
Bangladesh: The nation’s Supreme Court has upheld the death sentence for Saiful Islam Mamun. He has been convicted of murdering Saudi embassy official Khalaf Al Ali. Three others - Mohammad Al Amin, Akbar Ali Lalu, and Rafiqul Islam - have been sentenced to life in prison for their parts in the murder of 45-year-old Al Ali.
Iran: On Monday, October 2, 2018, Hamed Valizadeh was executed by hanging at Qazvin Central Prison. Thirty-eight-year-old Hamed was executed for murder.
On Tuesday, October 3, 2018, three prisoners were executed by hanging at Rajai Shahr Prison. They were identified as Mahmood Akbari, Yasser Eslami, and Omid Khosrongejad. All three were convicted of murder. These executions have not yet been reported by state media.
The judiciary has requested that 17 striking truck drivers be sentenced to death for attempting to stop other truck drivers from breaking the strike. Allegedly, the 17 who were arrested and charged were using violence in their attempts to stop others. Truck drivers have been striking for three weeks in protest of low pay, skyrocketing prices for parts to fix their trucks, and authorities refusing to respond to the truckers demands.
Pakistan: Since December 2014, the nation’s Supreme Court has overturned 85 percent of death penalty cases brought before them, according to the Justice Project Pakistan. Pakistan resumed carrying out executions, after a six year moratorium, in December 2014, following a mass shooting at a school. The average person spends 11 years on death row before their sentence is overturned.
In 2010, Asia Bibi, a Christian woman, was sentenced to death after being convicted of blasphemy against Islam. Since then, her case has received international attention and raised awareness about blasphemy laws. In 2009, Asia was working on a farm and went to get water. When she tried to share the water, two Muslim women refused to drink from the same container as a Christian. A few days later, she was accused of blasphemy, then convicted and sentenced to death. Sadly, many blasphemy cases are similar, with evidence often lacking. And the law appears to be misused as a way to settle personal disputes and silence opposition.
Do you aspire to be a “better Christian?” Do you want to deepen and strengthen your relationship with the Lord? Well, I’ve got good news for you! It is possible! In as little as one year, The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries can help you transform your relationship with the Lord!
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. (James 4:8)
Right there! That is how you are going to grow and deepen your relationship with the Lord! You have to take the first steps and draw near to Him! You have to actively seek after a relationship with the Lord. How?
A great starting point is simple: daily study of His Word, the Bible. God has given us the Bible as a history book, a textbook, a praise book, a philosophy book, a book of warning of the coming future, and so much more! By following along with our “52 Week Bible Reading Plan” (available here), daily study will allow you to completely read through the Bible in one year. It is perfect for beginners who don’t know where to start, or for those who have already read the Bible a couple dozen times. Each reading, each study can bring new meaning and realization.
The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries wants to help you! Each day, we will post a summary of the day’s reading on our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org. We will also post specific verses to focus on each day. Read through the entirety of the day’s reading. Then come back and re-read the focus verses. Prayerfully contemplate the questions asked about the reading. If you miss a day, don’t worry! Past commentary can be found under our “Scriptures” tab.
Our 2018 Daily Bible Study begins on December 31, 2017, but join us anytime! So, are you ready to deepen and strengthen your relationship with the Lord this upcoming year? Then let’s go!
Updated: October 11, 2018
Please pray for these men and women. Pray for salvation if unsaved, peace if saved, and that the innocent shall be revealed before they are executed. "The Lord is slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance." (2 Peter 3:9 ESV).
Due to ongoing legal challenges, Ohio has rescheduled multiple executions, multiple times. Beginning with 2018, this list contains only current Ohio executions. Click here for more information about Ohio's legal challenges.