In today’s social media obsessed, 24/7, instant access society, judgements are formed immediately. Decisions made rapidly. Words, written and spoken, delivered without thought, sometimes anonymously. There is always so much to be done, that there is no time to stop and think about what we are doing, what we are saying, what we are typing.
Of course, this problem is not limited to today’s society. Peter often had a problem of speaking and doing without thinking. He jumped out of a boat to meet his Lord, only to start drowning when he actually thought about what he was doing! (Matthew 14:28-30) When asked a question, Peter would often say the first thing he thought, without actually thinking about the question (Mark 9:2-6). Peter swore he would never betray Jesus, yet did so three times just a few hours later, not realizing what he did until after it was over (Matthew 26:31-35, 69-75). Are you noticing a pattern?
When we understand the power words hold, we must be careful how we use them. That means going against the tide of the world and stopping to think about what are words are saying, how they are being used, and how they might be interpreted.
Understand this, my beloved brothers and sisters. Let everyone be quick to hear [be a careful, thoughtful listener], slow to speak [a speaker of carefully chosen words and], slow to anger [patient, reflective, forgiving]; (James 1:19, AMP)
April 27, 2018: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Jeremiah 22-26
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Commentary: We are to use what God has given us for the Lord’s purpose. We are to always listen to the Lord. Following those harsh pronouncements comes a ray of sunlight in the darkness. God has not forgotten His people. They will not be held captive forever. Chapter 25 occurs nearly 20 years before the previous chapter (Jeremiah in NOT arranged chronologically). It foretells of Babylon conquering Judah and the Israelites being captives for 70 years. In chapter 26, Jeremiah is threatened with death for prophesying against Judah. Jeremiah was the only true prophet of the Lord at this time. There were others who were considered prophets but they did not speak for the Lord and were prophesying peace. The temple priests support these false prophets over the Lord's true prophet, Jeremiah.
Focus Verses: 24:1-10 What is being said in this passage? How is it demonstrated? What can be learned from it?
“In every battle there comes a time when both sides consider themselves beaten, then he who continues the attack wins.” He was tone deaf and failed to recognize most songs. Hiram, despite being a Civil War hero, only graduated 21st out of 39 students at West Point in 1843. He did not enjoy his time at the school, but managed to distinguish himself as an excellent equestrian. Unfortunately, due to his poor grades, Hiram was denied entry into the Calvary. Hiram was eventually elected president, although it may never have happened if he had chosen to attend Ford Theater with Abraham Lincoln the night Lincoln was shot, instead of visiting his children in New Jersey. Having trouble recognizing this American President born on April 27, 1822, in Point Pleasant, Ohio? Perhaps you will recognize this name better: Ulysses S. Grant, who served as president from March 4, 1869, until March 4, 1877. Born Hiram Ulysses Grant, it was during an administration error at West Point that he became known by the moniker we recognize today.
Although Ulysses did not excel at West Point, he did excel during his career in the military, serving in both the Mexican War and the US Civil War. Ulysses, while young during the Mexican War, later described it as a “wicked war,” but said that at the time, did not have the moral courage to resign. He served as a quartermaster during the war, under General Zachary Taylor. He had the chance to closely observed military tactics and showed bravery and leadership under fire. After the Mexican War, he served in several posts in the western coast, eventually resigning in 1854.
Ulysses was rather unsuccessful at civilian life and volunteered for the military again in 1861, shortly after the Civil War began. His first request was actually lost by the War Department, only found again after the war was over! Ulysses was eventually, and rather reluctantly, assigned command of an unruly 21st Illinois volunteer regiment. Ulysses proved an apt commander, and had the regiment combat ready within months. Ulysses continued to gain success throughout the war, and held the unique view that defeating the Confederate armies was more important than taking land. This view led Ulysses to relentlessly track down and destroy General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, leading to a surrender, and the end of the war, on April 9, 1865. After the war, Ulysses was promoted to full general and oversaw a portion of the Reconstruction.
Ulysses was overwhelmingly elected President just three years after his victory over the Confederacy in the Civil War. He was re-elected in 1872 with 55 percent of the popular vote and 256 of the 352 electoral votes. Ulysses was the first President to have both of his parents alive for his inauguration. Ulysses’ presidency was during a difficult time for this country. The war, and loved ones lost, was still fresh in the minds of many people. Reconstruction was under way for the South and southern politicians were denying blacks the right to vote. Ulysses fought against this, advocating for the passage of the 15th Amendment (prohibits a person from being denied the right to vote based on race) in 1869, and for the Civil Rights Act, which passed in 1875. Ulysses also oversaw the admittance of Colorado as a state and established the first national park: Yellowstone.
Ulysses was also involved in several scandals during his presidency, including being accused of driving up the price of gold (he actually foiled the plans of those who were responsible), his vice president and members of congress were involved in theft and the cover up from the Union Pacific Railroad, protecting his personal secretary from being punished for failing to pay taxes, and his secretary of war was impeached for accepting bribes. Near of the end of Grant's presidency, the Battle of Little Big Horn occurred, disrupting relations with the Sioux nation.
After leaving office, Ulysses traveled for a bit with his wife, Julia Boggs Dent, whom he married on August 22, 1848, before settling down in Illinois. Ulysses lost everything after borrowing money to help his son start a business, as his son's business partner turned out to be a scam artist. Shortly thereafter, he was diagnosed with throat cancer, likely from the thousands of cigars he had got through. Ulysses often chewed through cigars instead of smoking them. In order to provide for his wife, Ulysses made a deal with author Mark Twain, in which Ulysses would write his memoirs, which he finished days before his death on July 23, 1885. His book provided nearly half a million dollars for his family. Ulysses, who died at the age of 63, and his wife are buried in largest mausoleum in North America.
Happy Birthday Mr. President!
“We must support our rights or lose our character, and with it, perhaps, our liberties.” He was the last Founding Father to serve as President. He was the first president to wear long pants, as opposed to the knee breeches favored by all previous presidents. He was also the first president to ride in a steamboat. He is James Monroe, 5th President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1817, to March 4, 1825. James was born on April 28, 1758, in Westmoreland, Virginia. He was one of seven president’s from Virginia and was born while Virginia was still a colony of England. James excelled at his studies, and, at the age of 16, James began college, attending the University of William and Mary. He married his wife, 17-year-old Elizabeth Kortright in February of 1786.
James did not attend the University of William and Mary for long, as he dropped out and joined the Continental Army in 1776. His first act of rebellion was to raid the arsenal of the British royal governor and give the stolen supplies to the Virginia militia. James served under General George Washington at the Battle of Trenton, a/k/a the Crossing of the Delaware, where he was severely wounded.
Following the Revolutionary War, James went on to study law under Thomas Jefferson. The two developed a close relationship, both personal and professional, that would last for the rest of their lives. James’ political career began in 1782, when he was elected to serve in the Virginia House of Delegates. Following his marriage, James retired from politics and began farming. He eventually sold his property to begin practicing law, and eventually re-entered politics.
James, in the 1787 Federal Convention, opposed the new constitution because it lacked a bill of rights. However, James, along with several other key figures, chose to ratify the new constitution and push for change once the new government was established. James was defeated by James Madison for a seat in the House of Representatives, but was quickly appointed to the United States Senate. Within one year, he had become the leader of his party in the Senate. He resigned his seat in the Senate to become Ambassador to France, where he arranged for the freedom of all Americans held prisoner by the French, including Thomas Paine. Following harsh criticism by then President George Washington, James was dismissed from his position and returned to Virginia, where he was elected governor in 1799. He later went on to serve as the Secretary of State and the Secretary of War under President Madison, the only person to concurrently hold two cabinet positions.
James was elected as the 5th President of the United States in 1816. He faced little opposition as the other major political party, the Federalists Party, was rapidly losing support. James won all but 34 electoral votes. The same year that Monroe was elected President, the White House was actually painted white, after having been burned during the War of 1812. James was the first president to be inaugurated outside. James faced some problems during his first term, including the nation's first economic depression, which lasted three years. James viewed this as a normal part of nation growing, however, many people suffered during this time.
In the following presidential election, James faced no opposition, as the Federalist Party did not have a candidate. James is the only president, besides George Washington to run unopposed. Surprisingly, James failed to capture all electoral votes, as one elector in New Hampshire voted for John Quincy Adams, who was not running. His second term was known as the "Era of Good Feeling," as the nation appeared to be operating smoothly and there was little political fighting. James is known for his Monroe Doctrine, which forbids the interference of European nations in North and South America. Additionally, during his term, Missouri applied to become a state. In order to appease northerners who feared that this would upset the balance between slave and free states, Maine was also allowed to become a state.
James Monroe died on July 4, 1831, at the age of 73, from heart failure. He was the third President to die on Independence Day, following Thomas Jefferson and John Adams five years earlier. James died 55 years after the Declaration of Independence was signed. Little is known about his religious beliefs, as his surviving letters contain no reference, nor do surviving letters from his family members contain mention of his religious beliefs. Prior to the Revolutionary War, the Monroe family attended the Church of England. During his adult years, James attended an Episcopal church, but there is no record of him taking communion.
Happy Birthday Mr. President!
April 27, 2018
IDPN 2018 Issue 17
Algeria: Seven unnamed individuals have been convicted of spying. The leader of the group, an alleged Mossad agent for Israel, has been sentenced to death, while the six others, who are of African origin, were given 10 year jail sentences.
Iran: On Wednesday, April 18, 2018, eight prisoners were executed by hanging at Rajai Shahr Prison. One of the prisoners was identified as Akbar Eftekhari, who had spent the past 14 years in prison on murder charges. Two others were identified as Afghan nationals. It is believed that most of those executed were convicted of murder, although exact crimes and the remaining names were not reported.
On Monday, April 23, 2018, four prisoners were executed by handing at Urmia Central Prison. The prisoners were identified as Tayyeb Sheikhnejad Moukeri, Qader Mohammad Hassan, Yadollah Samadi, and Eslam Rashidi. All were convicted of murder. Three other unnamed prisoners were executed by hanging at Keramanshah, with another was executed at Ilam.
Iraq: An unnamed defendant has been sentenced to death for being a member of the Islamic State. Specifically, the man was convicted of being a legislative judge, who was in charge of marriage contracts for the terrorist group in the area. Hundreds of individuals have been sentenced to death for being members of the Islamic State since Iraqi forces recaptured Mosul and other areas occupied by the group.
Lamia K., a German woman of Moroccan origin, who was sentenced to death for being a member of the Islamic State, has had her death sentence commuted to life in prison. In Iraq, a life sentence is usually 20 years in prison, or 15 years with good behavior. Lamia is receiving consular assistance from the German embassy.
Nigeria: On Wednesday, April 25, 2018, Kingsley Okorowande was sentenced to death by hanging for armed robbery. Kingsley robbed a woman of her laptops, handsets, jewelry, wristwatches, and money while he was armed with guns and cutlasses. The death sentence was a mandatory sentence upon being found guilty.
Hello, 9-1-1, what’s your emergency?
Hi, umm, yes. I’d like to report - I think - that is - I think that I have been sexually assaulted.
It can be a scary call to make. It can be a difficult fact to face. But when faced with the possibility that you, or someone you know, has definitely, or may have been sexually assaulted, raped, or abused, the first phone call that should be made is the police. Never report it to someone who is in anyway related or dependent upon the abuser. Never report it to someone who may be the abuser or assaulters friend. CALL THE POLICE!
Throughout the years, there have always been rumors. A warning here, a suggestion there. The infamous jokes about the “casting couch” that go back decades. The wonder and intrigue that so many child stars have mental breakdowns and become addicted to drugs and alcohol. Many brush it aside - its all part of growing up in the public eye, in Hollywood. But is it really? #MeToo
He was a world renowned gymnastic doctor - some even called him a miracle doctor - able to fix and heal all injuries. Able to keep gymnasts together during the most important competitions of their lives. But Doctor Larry Nassar was abusing these young girls and women. Under the guise of medically necessary treatment, he would digitally penetrate the athletes he was “treating.” It did not matter where the injury was located on the body. He was a trusted doctor, and he took advantage of that trust.
We send our children to them five days a week. We trust them with their safety, their education, their development for eight hours a day, five days a week, for nine months a year - sometimes even more. Inappropriate sexual relationships between students and adults in our education system, from teachers to administrators to coaches, appear to be on the rise. Social media and texting have made these interactions all the more common and all the easier to initiate and continue.
He was a famous and revered football coach. He started a charity to give disadvantage youth the opportunity to develop life skills, further their education, provide them with mentors. Visits from Penn State players and coaches were common. A select few even got to visit Penn State itself! But Jerry Sandusky took advantage of these disadvantage children, sexually assaulting and raping them on Penn State property.
The Catholic Church is no stranger to accusations of sexual abuse and misconduct. In the past several decades, more and more attention has been paid to the accusations made against the church, with charges being filed against priests, nuns, and other church staff. Sadly, the Catholic Church is not the only Christian denomination, or even religious group, to have such accusations lobbed against them.
Many of these wide-spread cases of sexual assault, sexual abuse, or sexual misconduct have another factor in common - the coverup. When the Jerry Sandusky scandal broke there was outrage! How could this have been going on for so long with no one finding out?! When Larry Nassar stood trial earlier this year, a similar outrage occurred! And who can forget the Hollywood elite feigning outrage and shock at their coworkers and friends being accused of being serial rapists and abusers?
What often falls by the wayside is that many of these abuses were reported shortly after they happened, only not to the police. Victims of Sandusky reported it to Penn State authorities. Victims of Nassar reported it to their coaches, staff at Michigan State, and staff with USA Gymnastics. In Hollywood, you were warned you would be blacklisted, never cast again, if you complained about sexual assault. The Catholic Church would simply move their priests or other staff members to a new location with no explanation. Those who received these reports had a vested interest in keeping the reports quiet and concealed; in justice not being served. It wasn’t until outside forces, the police, were brought in that justice could begin to be served.
Sadly, as the above examples show, sexual abuse can occur anywhere, by anyone! Including those in authority positions and family members. If someone touches you inappropriately, or makes inappropriate suggestions REPORT IT TO THE POLICE! If they suggest that you keep a secret, just between the two you, CALL THE POLICE! An adult wanting to keep a relationship or physical contact of any sort a secret from anyone, is a huge red flag - CALL THE POLICE!
This April is Sexual Assault Awareness month. It is a month to encourage those who have suffered sexual assault/abuse to speak out. If you need someone to talk to, contact the National Sexual Assault Hotline at 800-656-HOPE(4673), or visit their website https://www.rainn.org/get-help to chat with someone online. Additional information is also available at their website. Don’t be afraid to seek out help!
For parents, take time this month to educate your children, no matter their age. Teach them to understand and respect consent. No means NO! Teach them what to do if they are uncomfortable. Teach them where they should not be touched. Teach them how to call the police and make a report. Above all, let them know that you are there for them, and that they can come to you, no matter what should happen. And if any child should ever come to you and say or suggest that they were the victim of inappropriate sexual attention - CALL THE POLICE!
Finally, pray for all who have been victims of sexual assault/abuse. Pray for those who are struggling to overcome. Pray for those who are being sexually abused. Pray for end, so that #MeToo will never be necessary again.