January 25, 2013
Re: February 2013 Newsletter
The past month has been a very busy time in the United States. We celebrated the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and welcomed in 2013. Over the past week, our country inaugurated President Barack Hussein Obama to serve a second term and celebrated the contributions made by Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King to our nation and the world during his short life. President’s day, our next national holiday, is February 18, just 27 days from today. In just 70 days, the Christian community will celebrate resurrection Sunday, rejoicing in our salvation through the resurrection of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
The backdrop to all the joy, which the Christmas season, New Year’s celebration, the inauguration, and the celebration of contributions men like Martin Luther King brings, has been a great deal of tragedy. The senseless killing of innocent children and others in our country, and the taking and killing of hostages in Algeria reveals volumes about us as a nation and as individuals. Our nation struggles with how to protect our citizens in this country and all over the world. This Newsletter will offer no opinion on what should be done; however, will offer the path to the solution. Romans chapter 13 offers this insight into a Christian’s relation with our respective governments:
“Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.” (Romans 13:1-7, ESV)
In the United States, we have the opportunity to voice our views quite loudly and, as you can see in the preceding scripture, God does not ask us to remain silent; however, as Christians, the views we express and the government we desire should reflect His view. When our country was founded over 236 years ago our founding fathers, Christian men knowledgeable in God’s word, based our Constitution on the Bible’s principles.
“When you come to the land that the Lord your God is giving you, and you possess it and dwell in it and then say, ‘I will set a king over me, like all the nations that are around me,’ you may indeed set a king over you whom the Lord your God will choose. One from among your brothers you shall set as king over you. You may not put a foreigner over you, who is not your brother. Only he must not acquire many horses for himself or cause the people to return to Egypt in order to acquire many horses, since the Lord has said to you, ‘You shall never return that way again.’ And he shall not acquire many wives for himself, lest his heart turn away, nor shall he acquire for himself excessive silver and gold. “And when he sits on the throne of his kingdom, he shall write for himself in a book a copy of this law, approved by the Levitical priests. And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.” (Deuteronomy 17:14-20, ESV)
Unfortunately, today, our country seems a great deal like Israel during King Solomon’s reign. Solomon, who is credited with being the wisest man that ever lived, decided to step away from God’s instruction to be like the kings of his time. King Solomon’s failure to follow God’s instruction on leadership, resulted in the Nation he led being divided into two countries, Judah and Israel, under the rule of his son Rehoboam. How grave are things in our nation? That really depends on your response to our problems. As previously stated, this Newsletter does not have the answer to the problems the leaders of our nation and community face every day. It does however, have the path to the answer: Prayer. If you sincerely want to see our nation improve, then you need to commit to praying for the leaders of our government. You need to pray for salvation for the unsaved. You need to pray for God’s will to be done in the work that our leaders do. Please be cautioned, your desires are not always God’s will.
Fast and Prayer – A big thank you to those of you who joined us in prayer and fast for ten days last month, January 2-11, 2013. Results are already showing on our World Wide Web ministry. On the fifth day of our fast, the web ministry went viral. Inquiries about scripture skyrocketed. By the end of January, our website will have exceeded the total visits received through March of last year. That is three months in one month! Praise the Lord!
Executions Scheduled For February 2013
Five men were scheduled for execution during the month of February 2013:
February 13 – Chris Sepulvado, Louisiana. Chris tortured and killed his six-year-old stepson by submerging him in scalding water.
February 20 – Britt Ripkowski, Texas. Britt has been granted an indefinite stay of execution due to his bipolar disorder making him mentally incompetent.
February 21 – Carl Blue, Texas. Carl dumped gasoline on his ex-girlfriend and lit her on fire, killing her. One other person was severely injured.
February 26 – Paul Augustus Howell, Florida. Paul killed a Florida Trooper with a homemade pipe bomb.
February 27 – Larry Swearingen, Texas. Larry is convicted of killing a local college student. Larry is seeking additional DNA testing to prove he was in jail at
the time of the murder.
Please pray for Chris, Britt, Carl, Paul, and Larry. Pray for salvation if unsaved, peace if saved, and, if any of these men are innocent, that it be discovered before they are executed. Over 2,000 years ago, Jesus Christ died for the forgiveness of Chris, Britt, Carl, Paul, and Larry’s, sin at Calvary. All that remains is for them to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, to receive the free gift of salvation and eternal life. Please pray earnestly for these men, keeping in mind that in God’s eyes, murder is a sin and in the eyes of Louisiana, Texas, and Florida, murder is a crime that, in these cases, is punishable by death. At Calvary, over 2,000 years ago, Jesus accepted the punishment for the sin of the murders these men are convicted of committing and now they need to accept the salvation and forgiveness Jesus desires to give them.
Please check our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org, for additional information on Chris, Britt, Carl, Paul, and Larry and the most recent information regarding stays of execution and additional people being scheduled for execution during the course of the month.
In order to reach the men and women on death row The Forgiveness Foundation must purchase supplies like all other non-profit organizations and businesses. We need your financial support to purchase the supplies we need. Each month we use postage, paper, envelopes, and toner for our printers, electricity, telephone, and internet charges to take the love of Jesus Christ to the men and women on death row by the mail and to over 122 countries through our web site. We need your assistance to share the Gospel. Prayerfully consider a gift to support The Forgiveness Foundation. You may make your gift online by going to our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org, click on the PayPal logo and follow the instructions. If you prefer, you may mail your gift to:
The Forgiveness Foundation
P. O. Box 2634
Charlottesville, Virginia 22902
In closing, I thank you for your prayers and financial support. I close with Colossians 1:9-10, “And so, from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you, asking that you may be filled with the knowledge of his will in all spiritual wisdom and understanding, so as to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God.” (ESV)
Rodney Rexrode, The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries
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