January 25, 2010
THE FORGIVENESS FOUNDATION
As I write this letter, the State of Georgia is preparing to execute Emmanuel Hammond for a murder he committed in 1988. I placed an article on our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org, about Emmanuel and his life of crime which was not intended to look at his life as a criminal; but, our responsibility to Emmanuel as Christians. I will not recite it here but I encourage you to take a moment to read it. So far this month three men have been executed and I expect that Emmanuel will be executed by Georgia, tonight, bringing the total to four. Five men were executed during the month of January 2010.
There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of
Jesse, and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit,
and the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him, the
Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of
counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the
fear of the Lord.
And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord, he
shall not judge by what his eyes see, or decide
disputes by what his ears hear,
but with righteousness he shall judge the poor, and
decide with equity for the meek of the earth; and he
shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth, and
with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.
Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and
faithfulness the belt of his loins.
Isaiah 11: 1-5 (ESV)
The purpose for writing the article on Emmanuel Hammond was not to justify his punishment; the purpose was to show that God’s judgment is based on righteousness and not a set of codes established by man. Nothing in the article was intended to excuse Emmanuel from the criminal sentence that Georgia law demands, it was intended to show that Georgia, nor any governing body, determine the final destination of Emmanuel. The verse I quoted tells us that Jesus does not judge by what can be seen or heard. He judges us of our sin; sin is anything that separates us from God, but judges us in righteousness. Righteousness is asking Jesus to be Lord and Savior of our lives, repenting of our sin and asking for forgiveness of our sin. Sin is as complex as murder and as simple as taking a piece of paper from the office where we work – both separate us from God. As believers we have a duty to share the message of the Gospel with all we encounter in our life, the paper thief and the murderer: it is the Great Commission. I cannot comprehend the righteousness of Jesus and will only fully understand it when I am with Him in heaven so I encourage you to allow the law of man to handle it’s affairs without confusing it with the grace, mercy and love of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, his righteousness.
One of the ways to better understand the righteousness of God is to study the Bible and The Forgiveness Foundation launched a read the Bible in a year study to help us all draw nearer to God. You can print a copy of the read the Bible in a year program by going to our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org, and printing a copy or you can follow along with our daily readings posted on the website: Hundreds of people across the world do. We are overwhelmed by the response to our read the Bible in a year study from all over the world. Praise the Lord!
The Christmas card outreach response has been outstanding. If you would like to see a sampling of the letters we received from men on death row you can read some posted to our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org, by clicking onto our letter section. We had a glitch this year, Oklahoma and Mississippi returned the cards because we abbreviated The Forgiveness Foundation and they require we write it out. This has been corrected and the cards resent with a note of explanation to the recipient explaining the delay.
The following men are scheduled to be executed during the month of February 2011:
February 9 Martin Link Missouri
February 15 Michael Wayne Hall Texas
February 17 Frank Spisak Ohio
February 22 Timothy Adams Texas
Please pray for Martin, Michael, Frank, and Timothy. Please pray for salvation for the unsaved, peace for the saved, and that if any are innocent, that their innocence be discovered before they are executed. I encourage you to pray for their families and the families of the victims of the crimes for which they are convicted. Pray for salvation for the unsaved, peace for the saved, and the ability to forgive. I encourage you to check our website weekly www.theforgivenessfoundation.org for additions to this list.
Have you made a gift to The Forgiveness Foundation this year? We encourage you to make a gift of any size to support our ministry. Your gift helps supply everything we need to minister to the men and women on death row and throughout the world through our website ministry. Your gift provides funds to purchase the paper on which we write to inmates and for our Newsletter, it provides for the toner that allows us to print our mailings, it provides for the postage and envelopes we need to make our mailings, it provides office space for us to work in, it provides telephone and internet service, and pays to maintain our website that allows us to share the Gospel throughout the world. This year it will even allow us to bring paid staff on board to help us do more, more efficiently. If you have asked yourself, what can I do to get involved in Evangelism; this is your opportunity to take that first step by becoming a part of our ministry. After you have made your tithe, I encourage you to consider a gift, a monthly gift or a one-time gift, to help us share the Gospel to men and women on death row and the millions with access to our website throughtout the world. You can make a gift online by going to our website www.theforgivenessfoundation.org and clicking on the PayPal logo or you can mail your gift to:
The Forgiveness Foundation
P. O. Box 24098
New Orleans, Louisiana 70184
In closing, I encourage you to pray for our ministry. The men and women on death row are considered the worst of the worst and I doubt anyone can challenge that taking someone’s life is about as far as a person can go as seen through human eyes. I am thankful that Jesus sees us and the people we minister to through righteousness and not the eyes of man. You may not be able to help us financially, but you can take a moment of your time to thank God for seeing you through the righteousness of Jesus and not for the sinner we all are. Please pray for us, our ministry, the men and women on death row, their families and the families of the victims of the crimes they are convicted of committing and for our rapidly growing website ministry.
I close with this Bible passage, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17 (ESV)
Your brother in Christ Jesus,