August 27, 2016: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for John 10-12
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Commentary: Jesus spoke in a way that the people listening to Him could easily understand. Even today, we can easily understand His message and we have resources at our fingertips that allow us to grasp a deeper understanding of His message if we take the time to study. Jesus was sent to lead people, not to force them to do anything. It remains that way today. Jesus cares for those who have put their faith in Him. The death of Lazarus was another teaching opportunity. Jesus could have save Lazarus from a distance, as soon as He knew Lazarus was sick, however He waited and arrived four days after Lazarus’ death. This ensured that everyone knew Lazarus and died. The dinner recorded next did not immediately occur after Lazarus’ revival. During this dinner, Mary cleaned the feet of Jesus with her hair and expensive perfume, must to the distaste of Judas. Judas attempt to disguise his selfishness as concern for the poor, however Jesus rebukes him, as Jesus, and the ability to honor Him on earth, will only be for a short while. The perfume used by Mary cost on year’s wages. Today, people will spend that on a new car or house for themselves, but how many would spend it to honor a friend? Interestingly, Judah would go and betray Jesus for less than half the amount the perfume was worth. Jesus’ entrance into Jerusalem is not as detailed as in other accounts. The author makes clear that the disciples failed to grasp the importance of the event taking place before them.
Focus Verse: 11:35 It is the shortest verse in the Bible; just two words. Most can quote it, even if they don't know the reference. But have you ever stopped to think beyond the words; stopped to ask why? Why was Jesus weeping? He knew Lazarus would rise again, so it couldn't be grief at the death of Lazarus. Why was Jesus weeping?
“Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose.” Although a US Representative, he also served in the Navy in World War II, where he earned the Silver Star. He is one of four people to have served in four elected federal offices: Representative, Senator, Vice President, and President. He was the first president to be sworn in on airplane, although it was not in flight. He was the first, and only president to be sworn in by a woman and on Texas soil. He is Lyndon Baines Johnson, 36th President of the United States, serving from November 22, 1963, until January 20, 1969. Lyndon was born on August 27, 1908, near Stonewall, Texas. He had a love for learning at a young age, running a mile to school at the age of four. Lyndon father and grandfather were members of the Christadelphian Church, which claims that its beliefs are based entirely on the Bible, although they reject many current teachings of Christianity (such as the Trinity), claiming that mistakes have occurred through translation errors.
Lyndon was introduced to the world of politics as a child, often campaigning with his father, State Senator Sam Johnson. Lyndon planned on being president from a young age. Lyndon attended and graduated from Texas State Teachers’ College (now Texas State University) and went on to briefly teach before entering politics. He married his wife, Claudia Alta “Lady Bird” Taylor on November 17, 1934, after attending Georgetown University Law Center for several months.
Lyndon entered politics in 1930, when he became a legislative secretary for Congressman Richard Kleberg, a position for which he was recommended by Texas State Senator Welly Hopkins. As a legislative secretary, Lyndon was chosen by the group of Congressional aids to be their speaker. This position allowed him to begin developing relationships with Congressmen, newspapermen, and lobbyists.
From April 10, 1937, until January 3, 1949, Lyndon was a United States Representative, and became trusted by President Franklin Roosevelt. Lyndon supported Roosevelt’s New Deal plan and supplies Roosevelt with information regarding internal politics in Texas. After the United States entered World War II following the attack on Pearl Harbor, Lyndon joined the Naval Reserve and asked for a combat assignment. He was denied, but later given a special assignment by President Roosevelt to report on the conditions in the Southwest Pacific, where his plane was allegedly shot at by the Japanese. This claim is disputed by the various members of the flight crew.
In 1948, Lyndon was elected as a US Senator in a highly controversial election, with charges of fraud on all sides. Lyndon quickly advanced in the Senate, due in large part to his ability to form friendships with the older Senators. From 1951 to 1953, Lyndon served as Senate majority whip. In January 1953, Lyndon was elected Senate minority leader, the most junior senator to ever hold the position. In 1954, Lyndon’s party regained power in the Senate and Lyndon became Senate majority leader. During his time in the Senate, Lyndon supported and helped pass many of President’s Dwight D. Eisenhower’s plans. In 1955, Lyndon suffered a near fatal heart attack, which was linked to his 60-cigarettes-per-day habit. Lyndon quit smoking, with a few exceptions, and did not resume until after he left the White House. In 1960, after failing to obtain the nomination for the Democratic Presidential ticket, Lyndon was offered the vice-presidency by John F. Kennedy.
As vice-president, Lyndon helped secure the votes of the Southern Democrats, which led to a victory over Richard Nixon by a small margin. During his time as vice-president, Lyndon headed the space program, oversaw negotiations on the nuclear test ban treaty, and supported equal opportunity legislation for minorities. Lyndon was also frustrated with his lack of influence with President Kennedy.
On November 22, 1963, immediately following the assassination of John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson was sworn in as President of the United States by US District Judge Sarah T. Hughes aboard Air Force One. As no Bible was onboard, Lyndon was sworn in using a Roman Catholic missal (a book containing instructions for mass) found in Kennedy’s desk. Lyndon then immediately returned to Washington DC, to show a smooth transition of power for the grieving nation. His quick actions called some to question him as being too eager to assume power. To quell rumors sure to crop up surrounding Kennedy’s death, one of Lyndon’s first acts was to put together a commission, headed by Chief Justice Earl Warren, to investigate the Kennedy’s death. The Warren Commission unanimously determined that Lee Harvey Oswald was alone responsible for the death of President Kennedy. In a speech to Congress, Lyndon promised to honor Kennedy by passing the Civil Rights Act, which was passed in 1964. Lyndon also continued to support many of Kennedy’s programs, in addition to having many of his own bills, such as tax cuts, passed by Congress.
Lyndon was elected President by a high majority in 1964. Lyndon continued his work on civil rights, which he had supported for years, by the passage of the Civil Rights Act and the Voting Rights Act. Lyndon also championed and signed into law many social programs, including Medicare, Medicaid, Head Start, food stamps, Work Study, and the Economic Opportunity Act. These programs were designed to aid education, promote urban renewal, beatification, conservation, and control and prevent crime. Lyndon also declared “War on Poverty.” Lyndon was a great supporter of the space program and oversaw the travesty of Apollo 1 and the success of Apollo 8 orbiting the moon, which paved the way for Apollo 11 to land on the moon six months later.
During his Presidency, Lyndon increased the number of soldiers on the ground in Vietnam. Lyndon also gained permission to use military force without consulting the Senate. As his presidency wore on, public support for Lyndon and his policies, especially regarding Vietnam, continued to decline. His waning popularity and uncertain health prompted him to announce that he would not be seeking another term as President, although he was eligible since he served less than 24 months of Kennedy’s term.
In January 1969, Lyndon left Washington and returned home to Stonewall, Texas. After leaving office, Lyndon embarked on what some historians have called a self destructive path, indulging in cigarettes and gaining weight. He died at his ranch on January 22, 1973, following a massive heart attack. He was 64 years of age.
Happy Birthday Mr. President!
August 26, 2016
IDPN 2016 Issue 35
Iran: On Tuesday, August 23, 2016, one individual was executed by hanging at Sirjan Prison in south-central Iran and another was executed by hanging at Bandar Abbas prison in southern Iran. Neither man was identified by name. One man was convicted on drug related charges, while the other’s charges were not reported.
On Wednesday, August 24, 2016, five prisoners, identified by initials only, were executed by hanging in the prison of Bandar Abbas in southern Iran. All were convicted of drug related charges.
Iraq: On Sunday, August 21, 2016, 36 men were executed by hanging in a prison in Nasiriya in southern Iran. The 36 men, who were not named, were convicted of being involved with the 2014 massacre of approximately 1,700 Shiite military personnel at Camp Speicher near Tikrit, which was the hometown of Saddam Hussein. The Islamic State was responsible for the attack and released videos of the attack. The area was recaptured from the Islamic State in 2015.
Photos have emerged of the Islamic State murdering four individuals for homosexually on August 20, 2016. The men, including two members of the Islamic State, were blindfolded, taken to the top of a tall building, held by their ankles, and then thrown from the roof. The murders were carried out in Mosul. After being thrown, the men were stoned.
Saudi Arabia: On Wednesday, August 24, 2016, Waqyan bin Shaaf bin Haza’a Al-Dosari was executed in the city of Riyadh. He was likely executed by beheading. Waqyan was executed for the murder of Mohammed bin Mubarak bin Fahd Al-Qarini.
It was a rhetoric repeated so often that many stopped listening. It held little meaning for them, especially the ones it was designed to reach. It was not until he was older and an adult that Lucas came to realize the truth and importance of that all-so-frequently-repeated rhetoric: stay in school, get an education, graduate, and don't break the law.
Lucas was an average student. He occasionally turned in homework - and always had an excuse for when he didn’t. He was much more interested in other pursuits - hanging out with friends, playing video games, constantly trying to prove himself to the older group of boys in the neighborhood. Lucas knew that those boys never graduated high school. Neither did his parents or most of the adult that he knew and their life seemed just fine. So why should he waste his time learning stuff he was never going to use again when there were other things he would rather be doing? Lucas began to more and more frequently skip school because he did not want to go.
Many schools across the nation resume classes in August. It is appropriate, then, that August is National Truancy Prevention Month. Truancy is an intentional, unauthorized or illegal absence from compulsory education. These absences can vary from state to state, according to each state’s own laws. Unfortunately, not all schools report attendance information, and with the variation in laws, truancy data is extremely limited. Usually student who are truant end up dropping out of school. Those results are known. Just half of the students who drop out of school are gainfully employed and those who are employed earn 35 percent less than those who graduate high school. Student who drop out of school are also at a higher risk for criminal behavior and activity and teen pregnancy.
This month, pray for the students returning to school. Pray that they will find encouragement, friendships, and a welcoming environment. Pray that the teachers will engage their students. Pray for families to encourage their children to continue with their education. Pray for the children.
Update: Monday, August 22, 2016 2:52 pm EDT
Rolando Ruiz, Jr., is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on Wednesday, August 31, 2016 at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Forty-three-year-old Rolando is convicted of murdering 29-year-old Theresa Rodriguez on July 14, 1992, in San Antonio, Texas. Rolando has spent the last 23 years of his life on Texas’ death row.
As a child, Rolando was allegedly abused, which led him to be addicted to drugs and alcohol. Rolando also claims that because of his excessive use of drugs and alcohol, he has difficulty distinguishing between fantasy and reality. Rolando dropped out of school following the 10th grade. He worked as a laborer prior to his arrest. Rolando has previously been arrested and served time for assaulting his ex-girlfriend and stealing her vehicle. While in prison, he assaulted a jailer.
In 1992, Rolando Ruiz was hired by Michael and Mark Rodriguez to kill Michael’s wife, Theresa. Michael agreed to pay Ruiz $1,000 up front, with an additional $1,000 being paid once the job was completed. Prior to the hiring of Ruiz, Michael took out a $150,000 life insurance policy on his wife and himself, in addition to the $250,000 policy he already had.
Michael planned for Ruiz to rob and murder Theresa on July 10, 1992, when she arrived for work at a restaurant. Ruiz called off the attack when he spotted a security guard. Michael then asked Ruiz to kill Theresa when they were leaving the movies later that night. Michael and Theresa never showed up at the movies.
What does receiving a personal letter mean to you? How does it make you feel? When we look at a return address and realize that the letter is from a friend, we feel loved. We cannot wait cherish every word in the message held inside! In today’s fast-paced world, letter writing is quickly becoming a thing of the past, yet for some, the men and women on death row, it is the only way they can communicate with the world. Since March 8, 2005, The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries has strived to give the over 3,000 men and women on death row the same feeling that you have when you receive a letter; loved. Our letters carry more than just the love of every member of The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries’ team, which include the individuals (like you!) who help finance the letter writing ministry. Our letters also, and more importantly, carry the love of Jesus Christ! In each letter, we share how much Jesus loves them. He has already paid the debt of their sin, the debt of the murders for which they are convicted. We share with them that Jesus has freely paid that price, and that they are forgiven! They must only accept Jesus Christ’s forgiveness, making Him Lord of their lives! The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries works toward honoring the “Great Commission,” with our mail ministry to the men and women on death row. View our donations page to discover how you can help The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries minister to the men and women on death row.