Mission 2014: Sharing The Love of Jesus
April 2014 Theme
Prayer is a very important part of Christian living. Prayer is important because it recognizes God for who He is and is an outward demonstration of our desire to grow in our knowledge of Him and lead a life that is pleasing to Him. Prayer is talking to God about what is on your mind. It may be about understanding scripture, or healing for a friend who is ill, about the new job offer, or just because you want God to know that you love Him. Pray is about relationship with God, it is worship, it is sharing, it is caring – it is seeking the best for the entire world through your relationship with God. Prayer is about Christian Love!
Intercessory Prayer Need!
First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior,… 1 Timothy 2: 1-3 (ESV)
The pictures above depict intercessory prayer needs. World leaders in need of God’s guidance, tragic accidents, intentional infliction of serious bodily harm, Mother Nature withholding rain, missing passenger planes, military provocation, and needed revival, are all in need of prayer, your prayer. You do not need military might, guns, or a fancy title to change the world. The world is changed one prayer at a time. Become a world changer –be in a constant state of Prayer!
The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of April 20 - April 26, 2014, is Mark 14:32-42. Jesus and His disciples have celebrated their final meal together, which included the first communion. Together, they went to the Garden of Gethsemane near Mount Olive. It was one of Jesus' favorite places, as He went there frequently. Today's passage describes Jesus' final hours before His arrest.
And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.” And going a little farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him. And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” (Mark 14:32-42, ESV)
It was very late, possibly even the early hours of the next morning, when the group headed out to pray. The disciples were tired and unable to remain awake and pray. They did not fully comprehend what was coming. They did not realize how badly they needed to pray for strength and courage. In this passage, Jesus is portrayed as very human. He was fearful, sorrowful, grievous, and troubled, so much so that He sweat blood according to Luke. He could have used the prayers of His friends, instead they slept.
The disciples did not know the events that were rapidly going to enter and change their lives - neither do we! We never know when a test or a trial is going to come into our lives. We never know when our life is going to change. Jesus was not only encouraging us His disciples to stay awake and pray, He is encouraging us! When you decide to run a full marathon, you do not show up the day of the race without having run the previous weeks. You spend weeks training, strengthening and preparing your body. We must treat our spiritual relationship with Jesus Christ the same way. We must train to rely on Him and turn to Him in all circumstances. We must strengthen our relationship to learn when and how He is talking to us. We must be prepared to trust in Him when we face our trial. As you meditate, pray, and reflect on this week's verse, consider how do you show up on race day?
Daily Bible Reading for April 23, 2014, with Commentary: Psalm 48-50
Click here for the Daily Reading.
Context: Psalm 48 and 49 were written by the Sons of Korah. Psalm 48 is a Messianic psalm which tells of the final victory of the Messiah who will then reign supreme forever. Psalm 49 speaks of the shortness of life and how little riches are actually worth. In the end all die, and riches cannot come with us in death. Psalm 50 was written by Asaph. It is a psalm of judgment against hypocrisy, against those who outwardly appear to be following and serving the Lord but are not doing so in their hearts.
World History: Asaph was appointed by Levites to serve as a temple musician. During King David's reign, Asaph was the chief of the temple musicians. Approximately 300 years after Asaph lived, he was considered to have been a prophet.
Update: April 23, 2014 1:21 am EDT
Shortly after 12:01 am, on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, William Rousan was executed at the Eastern Reception, Diagnostic and Corrections Center in Bonne Terre, Missouri. William was 57 years of age. He was executed for his part in the murder of 67-year-old Charles Lewis and his wife 62-year-old Grace Lewis. The murder occurred on September 22, 1993 in Bonne Terre, Missouri. William spent the last 17 years of his life on Missouri's death row.
William Rousan, his son Brent, and his brother Robert got together on September 21, 1993, and decided to steal some cattle from Charles and Grace Lewis. The put together a plan and set out. On the way to the Lewis farm, the trio discussed killing Charles and Grace. They agreed that “if it had to be done it had to be done." They parked two miles from the farm, walking the rest of the way. Before they set out on foot, William removed a .22 caliber rifle, which belonged to his girlfriend Mary Lambing, with whom he lived. William loaded the rifle. William and Brent argued over who was to carry the gun, with Brent finally saying he was “man enough to do whatever needed to be done" and that he would use the weapon. William, after some hesitation, agreed and the group began walking.
During the walk, William made the comment that if they were caught, they would “fry.” Upon arriving at the home, the trio hid and waited behind a fallen tree.
Charles and Grace arrived home between 3 and 4 pm. Charles began mowing the lawn. Grace spoke to her daughter who called around 4 pm. It was around this time that Brent grew tired of waiting, exclaiming he wanted to “do it.”
William and Robert went to secure the house. Before they could do so, Charles saw Brent, who shot him six times, killing Charles. Grace told her daughter she heard gunshots and then hung up. Grace went to the door, where Brent shot her several times. Grace’s arms were fractured, but the injuries were not fatal. Grace ran back into the house, followed by William. William placed a garment bag over Grace’s head and upper body and took her outside, laying her on the ground. William told Brent to “finish her off.” Brent shot the left side of her head, killing her.
The bodies were wrapped in a tarp and tied with rope. The bodies were moved to near a shed, while they cleaned up the blood and shell casings. The trio came back later, along with Jerry, another brother, and loaded the bodies into Charles’ truck, along with the cattle. In addition to the two cows, they also stole a VCR, jewelry, soda, two gas cans, and a saddle. The four men returned to Mary’s farm, during which time, Brent bragged about the killings.
They buried the bodies in a shallow grave by the barn, poured concrete over the bodies, and covered the grave with a pile of manure. They also burned the rags used to clean up the blood. That night, they consumed the soda they stole. They later sold the cows at auction. The VCR was given to Robert’s sister and brother-in-law Barbara and Bruce Williams, the following day. They pawned it approximately eight months later. Personal items taken from Charles and Grace were buried. The jewelry was given to Mary as gifts during the year. The truck was hid and later burned.
Charles and Grace’s daughter was unable to get a hold of her parents the following day, prompting her to call the police who investigated the couple’s disappearance for nearly a year before they were able to arrest William, with the help of Bruce Williams. William was arrested on September 20, 1994.
William told police that he killed Charles and Grace out of mercy. William claims he first became acquainted with the couple in 1975, and then again in 1989, when they fed and clothed him after his escape from custody in Washington state. In 1993, after he was released from prison, he returned to their farm to thank them and rekindle their friendship. It was during that time that Charles asked William to put Grace, who was in poor health, out of her misery, and then to kill him because he did not want to live without his wife. Additionally, William claims he was to be paid $50,000 for killing Charles and Grace by their son, however, his primary motive was mercy.
Following a police investigation of Mary’s farm, during which time they found the bodies, William was charged with their murder. He was convicted and sentenced to die for the murder of Grace. He received a life sentence for the murder of Charles. Brent, who was 16 at the time of the crime and pled guilty, received two consecutive life sentences without parole. Robert, who also pled guilty and agreed to testify against his brother, received 15 years in prison.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Charles and Grace. Please pray for strength for the family of William Rousan. In a letter written us, William professed to be a child of God and that he had turned to Him in his time of need.
April 23, 2014
Pennsylvania has only had one president elected from the state. This president is also the only president to have never married. James W. Buchanan, Jr., who served as the 15th President of the United States from March 4, 1857 - March 2, , was born on April 23, 1791, in Cove Gap, Pennsylvania. He was one of six presidents born in a log cabin. In 1819, Buchanan almost married but his fiancée broke off the engagement. Since Buchanan never married, his niece, Harriet Lane Johnson served as the official White House hostess at social functions. It may seem Buchanan was destined to become President, as he is a direct descendent of King James I of Scotland and Queen Cleopatra of Egypt.
President Buchanan presided over the United States of America during a turbulent time. The United States was divided over the issue of slavery, with several states threatening to secede.
"Having determined not to become a candidate for reelection, I shall have no motive to influence my conduct in administering the Government except the desire ably and faithfully to serve my country and to live in grateful memory of my countrymen." President Buchanan's First Inauguration Address ~ March 4, 1857
Buchanan wanted to be great president, comparable to George Washington, but he failed to grasp the reality of the political situation between the north and the south. Buchanan thought that the slavery issue could be solved through the law and through compromise. He failed to realize that neither side was willing to compromise with the other. Following the election of Abraham Lincoln, South Carolina seceded, the first state to do so, in December 20, 1860, with six more following by the time Buchanan left office in March of 1861. During his time in office, Buchanan managed to alienate both sides of the issue by declaring that states did not have the right to secede, yet the government did not have the authority to stop them from doing so. When President Buchanan left office, the nation was on the brink of civil war.
Buchanan all but disappeared from public life after he left office. Buchanan was and still is judged harshly for his actions as president, especially for failing to stop the Civil War. He is frequently rated as among the least, and as the least, effective Presidents of the United States. In October of 1862, Buchanan attempted to defend himself and his actions as President in the National Intelligencer newspaper. James Buchanan died on June 1, 1868, shortly after becoming ill. He was 77 years of age.
Happy Birthday! Mr. President.
March 25, 2014
Robert Eugene Hendrix's execution is scheduled for 6 pm EST on Wednesday, April 23, 2014, at the Florida State Prison near Raiford, Florida. Forty-seven-year-old Robert is convicted of murdering 25-year-old Elmer Scott, Jr. and his wife, 18-year-old Susan Michelle Scott on August 27, 1990, at the Elmer's Sorrento, Florida home. Robert has spent the last 22 years of his life on Florida's death row.
As a child, Robert was, according to his sister, beaten with belts by his father, who had a bad tempter. Another sister claimed that Robert was a good brother and wonderful uncle.
On August 28, 1990, Robert Hendrix had a court date set for a prior burglary which he committed with his cousin, Elmer Scott. Elmer had been apprehended by police and, in exchange for a lesser sentence, Elmer agreed to plead guilty to a lesser charge and testify truthfully against Hendrix. Following Elmer's deposition, Hendrix was arrested and also offered a plea deal which he rejected.
Prior to his court date, several of Hendrix's friends had heard him say he planned to kill Elmer to keep him from testifying. Hendrix also discussed his plan to kill Elmer with his live-in girlfriend Alma Denise Turbyville. Several people were approached by Hendrix who was attempting to purchase a "throw-away" pistol that could not be traced back to him. On August 27, 1990, Hendrix arrived back at his residence with a pistol and attempted to construct a silencer for it.
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