Breaking with custom, this weeks scripture reading for meditation, prayer, and reflection does not come from our weekly scripture readings; it is a topical lesson on government and Christian responsibility. Our scripture reading for meditation, prayer, and reflection is Romans 13:1-7, and is taken from the Amplified Bible’s rendition of the Holy Scripture.
Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God [granted by His permission and sanction], and those which exist have been put in place by God. Therefore whoever resists [governmental] authority resists the ordinance of God. And those who have resisted it will bring judgment (civil penalty) on themselves. For [civil] authorities are not a source of fear for [people of] good behavior, but for [those who do] evil. Do you want to be unafraid of authority? Do what is good and you will receive approval and commendation. For he is God’s servant to you for good. But if you do wrong, [you should] be afraid; for he does not carry the [executioner’s] sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an avenger who brings punishment on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be subject [to civil authorities], not only to escape the punishment [that comes with wrongdoing], but also as a matter of principle [knowing what is right before God]. For this same reason you pay taxes, for civil authorities are God’s servants, devoting themselves to governance. Pay to all what is due: tax to whom tax is due, customs to whom customs, respect to whom respect, honor to whom honor. (Romand 13:1-7, AMP)
The breaking of custom is the direct result of the pointless rhetoric and criminal actions which transpired prior to and on inauguration day in Washington, D.C. by some claiming to be protesters. Violence against innocent people and destruction of private property is not a protest - it is criminal action. The Bible makes it clear that the only people who need fear the government are those who engage in bad behavior. Unlike many countries in the world, citizens of the United States of America, have the right to protest against the government: provided it is done in a lawful manner. It is apparent that the criminal actions taken by those claiming to be protestors is nothing more than an attempt to intimidate and silence those who spoke clearly on November 8, 2016, by attempting to suppress their right to lawfully express their views in a form of protest that has serviced this country well for over 200 years: the ballot. The ballot allows all citizens of the United States the right to express their satisfaction or dissatisfaction with government by casting a vote to continue on the same course or, as in 2016 Presidential election, seek a new direction. This, my Christian friends, is government sponsored protest.
A new President and Congress has taken charge. We at The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries, Inc. encourage you to take some time this week to carefully study Romans 13:1-7, pray over it, seek a pure understanding of it from God, and reflect over your relationship with your Government in light of God’s instruction to all Christians.
Final thought is to pray daily for God’s direction and guidance for all elected officials throughout our nation and the world. Special prayer for our 45th President, Donald J. Trump, that he will be wise enough to seek God’s guidance to lead our county, The United States of America.
January 23, 2017: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Genesis 12-15
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Commentary: In today’s reading, Abram(Abraham) is introduced. No longer are we seeing how the Lord deals with the entire human race, but rather one man and his family. God asks a great sacrifice of Abram, but promises an even greater reward. For everything that Abram is asked to give up, the Lord promises to return to him. This promise becomes the Abrahamic Covenant. Abram’s journey begins with a trip to Egypt and we learn how Lot came to be in Sodom.
Focus Verses: 13:10-13 Lot was greedy in his choice. How? Knowing the result of his choice, how should that affect you when making choices in your life? When making choices, do you think beyond the immediate moment and how it could affect your future?
Updated: Monday, January 16, 2017 1:38 pm EST
Kosoul Chanthakoummane's execution is scheduled to occur at 6 pm CST, on Wednesday, January 25, 2017, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Thirty-six-year-old Kosoul is convicted of the murder of 40-year-old Sarah Ann Walker on July 8, 2006, in Mckinney, Texas. Kosoul has spent the last nine years of his life on Texas’ death row.
Kosoul spent time in juvenile facilities growing up for robbery. He also had attacked a friend, causing six fractured ribs, and a concussion, in addition to other injuries. Kosoul had previously been convicted of aggravated robbery and kidnapping in North Carolina, where he had served time, after which, he had been paroled to Texas to live with relatives. At the time of Sarah’s murder, he was wanted for a parole violation. While in Texas, he worked as a delivery man and a warehouse man.
On July 8, 2006, Mamie Sharpless, a real estate agent received a call from a man claiming to be “Chan Lee.” He wanted to look at a townhouse listed in the Craig Ranch neighborhood of McKinney, Texas. Mamie said that the man told her he had just moved to Texas from North Carolina. Mamie agreed to meet with the man between 11:30 am and noon.
Updated: Monday, January 16, 2017 1:40 pm EST
Terry Darnell Edwards' execution is scheduled to occur at 6 pm CST, on Thursday, January 26, 2017, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Forty-two-year-old Terry is convicted of murdering 34-year-old Tommy Walker and 26-year-old Mickell Goodwin on July 8, 2002, in Dallas, Texas. Terry has spent the last 12 years of his life on Texas’ death row.
Terry graduated from high school. Prior to his arrest he worked as a carpenter, laborer, and warehouseman. Terry had previously been arrested, convicted, and served time for possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance and theft of property. He was paroled in 1999.
In early June of 2002, Terry Edwards was fired from his job at a Subway sandwich shop in Dallas, Texas, allegedly for stealing money. On the morning of July 8, 2002, Terry returned to the store, along with his cousin Kirk Edwards. Kirk was armed. Terry and Kirk ordered the people in the store to lie down, while they stole the security camera footage and money. Tommy Walker and Mickell Goodwin were the two employees working. They were both shot in the head from inches away.
The testimony of Michael Weast, who was preparing to leave when Terry and Kirk entered the store, identified them as the robbers. Michael also identified Kirk as the man with the weapon. Terry was arrested later that day while trying to dispose of the weapon. He denied being the trigger man, instead claiming that AT-Bone had shot Tommy and Mickell and later gave Terry the gun.
Terry and Kirk were both convicted. Terry received a death sentence. Kirk was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Terry was scheduled to be executed earlier this year on May 11, 2016. His execution was rescheduled to October 19, 2016. That executed was then rescheduled to January 26, 2017. The reason for the first delay was due to receiving new lawyers. The second delay was due to his new lawyers being absent leading up to the execution.
Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Tommy Walker and Mickell Goodwin. Please pray for strength for the family of Terry. Please pray that if Terry is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason, that evidence will be presented prior to his execution. Please pray that Terry may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.
January 20, 2017
IDPN 2017 Issue 03
Bahrain: Just days after having their death sentences upheld, 21-year-old Ali Al-Singace, 27-year-old Abbas Al-Samea, and 42-year-old Sami Mushaima, were executed by firing squad on Sunday, January 15, 2017. Allegedly, the men confessed to their crimes, although an international human rights group claims that the “confessions” were extracted through torture. This is the first execution in the kingdom since 2010.
Iran: On Saturday, January 14, 2017, at least 14 prisoners were executed by hanging at Karaj Central Prison. All were executed on drug related charges. Not all of the names have been released. Allegedly, two women were among those executed.
On Monday, January 16, 2017, an unnamed man was executed by hanging in public in Bektash in northwestern Iran. He was convicted of murder five members of a family in 2016.
On Monday, January 16, 2017, Arman Bahr Asemani and Shams Allah R. were executed by hanging at Kerman Prison. Arman was allegedly a juvenile at the time of the crime. The two males were convicted of murder in 2012.
On Tuesday, January 17, 2017, four prisoners were executed by hanging at Vakilabad Prison. Their names and their crimes were not released.
On Wednesday, January 18, 2017, four prisoners, including two Afghan nationals were executed by hanging at Taybad Prison in northeastern Iran. All were executed on drug related charges. The names of all the prisoners were not released.
Nigeria: Lawmakers in Nigeria recently approved a new law permitting kidnappers to be sentenced to death if their kidnapped victims died. The law also increased the penalties for those who threaten to kidnap an individual.
Updated: January 18, 2017
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).