Did Abraham always know he was going to father a nation? Did David always know he was going to be king? Did Jonah always know he was going to be a prophet for the Lord? Did Esther know that her being queen was going to save the Jews from extinction? God had plans for each of their lives - and yours! Like Abraham, David, Jonah, Esther, we may not know the plans the Lord has for us, but He has one!
In the Old Testament, God spoke to reveal His word and His plans to His chosen. How does God speak to us today? From the scriptures! We can only learn to hear Him through study of His word! Let us help you in your study! Every year, we at The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries, invite you to participate in our “52 Week Bible Reading Plan” (available here). By using this plan, you will, within one year, have completely read through the entire Bible! No matter if this is your first time - or one-hundredth time! - reading through the Bible, a daily study is the only way to hear God’s word!
Diligent study of God’s word does not end upon reading the Bible. As with any subject of study, once you have grasped the basics, you dig deeper and increase your learning! In addition to a brief commentary on each day’s reading, we also provide focus verses for each day. After reading the through the day’s passages, go back and re-read the focus verses. Contemplate on the questions asked. What questions does the text pose for you? Check back to our website, www.theforgivenessfoundation.org, for each day’s reading. If you miss a day, past commentary can be found under our “Scriptures” tab.
Additional, we provide a weekly verse or verses for study. Consider this passage each day as well. Pray, meditate, and reflect each day on the weekly verse or verses.
Our 2017 plan began on January 1, 2017, but it is never too late to join! The Bible is not a book to be read once, but a book to be read again and again (and again and again) - learning something new and gaining deeper understanding each time it is read! Join in our Bible study at any time and discover God’s plan for you!
Updated: Thursday, August 17, 2017 1:39 pm EDT
The Missouri Supreme Court has declined to stay the execution of Marcellus Williams. Marcellus' lawyer has announced that he plans to appeal the Supreme Court of the United States and request that Missouri Governor Eric R. Greitens intervene. A spokesperson for the governor has announced that he is currently reviewing the case.
Updated: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 12:35 pm EDT
An attorney for Marcellus Williams has requested that Marcellus' execution by halted. The attorney is arguing that Marcellus should be granted a stay due to his DNA not being found on the murder weapon. The attorney is also asking for a new trial or a reduction in sentence to life in prison, at the very least. DNA found on the murder weapon, a knife, belongs to an unknown male. DNA testing was ordered in January of 2015, which was Marcellus' first execution date.
Updated: Monday, August 14, 2017 10:54 am EDT
Marcellus S. Williams is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on Tuesday, August 22, 2017, at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri. Forty-eight-year-old Marcellus is convicted of murdering Felicia “Lisha” Gayle on August 11, 1998, in University City, Missouri, while robbing her home. Marcellus has spent the last 14 years on Missouri’s death row.
As a child, Marcellus alleges he was physically and sexually abused by family members. He also says his family encouraged him into criminal behavior. He was exposed to guns, drugs, and alcohol at a young age, which he later became addicted to. His family was impoverished and dysfunctional. Marcellus had a lengthy criminal record, including 16 convictions for robbery, burglary, assault, and unlawful use of a weapon, among others. According to his family, Marcellus was a loving and supportive father to his son and step-daughter.
On August 11, 1998, Marcellus Williams took a bus to University City, Missouri and began looking for places to burglarize. Williams noticed the home of Lisha Gayle. He knocked on the door, and, after receiving no answer, broke into the home. He heard water running from the bathroom. He grabbed a butcher knife from the kitchen and waited of Lisha to come into the kitchen.
Williams stabbed and cut Lisha 43 times. Seven of the wounds were fatal. After killing Lisha, Williams washed his hands and put on his jacket to hide the bloodstains. He also took Lisha’s purse and her husband’s laptop computer. Williams then took the bus to return home.
Updated: August 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).
Due to ongoing legal challenges, Ohio has rescheduled multiple executions. This list contains only current Ohio executions. Click here for more information about Ohio's legal challenges.
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.
Updated: Tuesday, August 15, 2017 12:37 pm EDT
The Florida Supreme Court ruled that the state could go ahead with the scheduled execution of Mark Asay. If executed, Mark will be the first person executed in Florida in over 18 months. Executions have been on hold due to legal problems with Florida's death penalty sentencing procedure. Mark was also asking that his execution be stayed due to plans to use a never-before-tried executed method.
Updated: Monday, August 14, 2017 10:49 am EDT
Mark James Asay is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm EDT on Thursday, August 24, 2017, at the Florida State Prison near Raiford, Florida. Fifty-three-year-old Mark is convicted of murdering Robert Lee Booker and Robert (Renee) McDowell on July 18, 1987, in Jacksonville, Florida. Mark has spent the last 28 years of his life on Florida’s death row.
Mark was the youngest of seven children. Mark had previously been arrested and served time in a Texas prison in 1985, for auto theft. He was on parole at the time of the murders. While serving time, Mark earned his general equivalency diploma (GED).
Mark Asay, his brother Robbie Asay, and Robbie’s friend Bubba O’Quinn all went out to a local bar on Friday, July 17, 1987. They spent the evening drinking and playing pool together. Around midnight, the three decided to leave and go to another bar. By 2 am, on the morning of Saturday, July 18, 1987, all three men had each drank approximately 12 beers. Bubba admitted that they were all “buzzed.” At some point throughout the night, Bubba and Robbie had also smoked marijuana.
After leaving the bar, Robbie wanted to pick up a girl he had seen, while Bubba suggested they all find prostitutes; he also volunteered to pay. Mark and Bubba drove off by themselves in Mark’s vehicle. After failing to pick up two women, they observed Robbie’s vehicle parked nearby. They observed Robbie talking to a black male, Robert Lee Booker, a local pimp.
Mark assumed that Robbie was having difficulties with Robert and exited his vehicle and started swearing at Robbie. After Robert used a derogatory term towards Mark, Mark pulled out a gun and shot once at Robert. Robert grabbed his side and ran. His body was later discovered under the edge of a nearby house. Robert died from internal bleeding.
Updated: Monday, August 14, 2017 10:51 am EDT
Steven Lynn Long is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CDT, on Wednesday, August 30, 2017, at the Walls United of Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Steven was previously scheduled to be executed on Wednesday, June 28, 2017, before it was rescheduled. Forty-five-year-old Steven is convicting of raping and murdering 11-year-old Kaitlyn Briana Smith on May 21, 2005, in Dallas, Texas. Steven has spent the last 11 years of his life on Texas’ death row.
According to testimony at his trial, Steven’s mother, by her own admission, neglected her children. She would frequently take them to bars and leave them sitting in the car. She also threatened to take and leave them in an orphanage if they misbehaved. Steven was arrested several times a child, misbehaved at school, and suffered from anxiety attacks. As he grew older, his attacks became more violent; once threatening his mother with a knife and physically assaulting his daughter. While serving time for attempted murder, Steven alleges he was sexually abused by another inmate. Prior to his arrest, Steven worked on refrigerators.
On May 20, 2005, 11-year-old Kaitlyn Smith went over to her neighbor’s house to spend the night. The following morning, it was discovered that she was missing. Following that discovery, a search of the neighborhood commenced. Kaitlyn’s grandfather noticed the skirting around a vacant home had been disturbed. Upon further investigation, he found Kaitlyn’s body beneath the house.
A bloody fingerprint was found near her body. The fingerprint matched that of Steven Long, who had also been staying the night in the same house as Kaitlyn. An autopsy revealed that Kaitlyn had been violently sexually assaulted for a prolonged period of time. Long confessed to killing and raping Kaitlyn shortly after police arrested him.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Kaitlyn Smith. Please pray for strength for the family of Steven. Please pray that if Steven is innocent, lacks the competency to be executed, or should not be executed for any other reason that evidence will be provided prior to his execution. Please pray that Steven will come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if he has not already.