Update: Friday, October 24, 2014 7:19 pm EDT
At 10:39 am PT, a freshman student starting shooting at Marysville-Pilchuck High School, about 30 miles north of Seattle, Washington. The shooter, a Native American, died of self inflicted gun shoot wounds. A second student has also died from their injuries. Three other students remain in critical condition at a local, hospital, all with gun shot wounds to the head. An injured fourth student is also in serious condition, although not as badly wounded as the other three. Please pray for healing for all those injured. Please pray for the family of the shooter. Please pray for the community during the trying time.
The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of October 19-25, 2014, is Habakkuk 2:4-5. Habakkuk’s book is not a traditional book of prophecy. The book records his conversation with the Lord. Habakkuk asks many of the same questions that we ask today. In this week’s passage, the Lord is responding to Habakkuk’s inquire about why evil is permitted and appears to prosper.
“Look at the proud!
They trust in themselves, and their lives are crooked.
But the righteous will live by their faithfulness to God.
Wealth is treacherous,
and the arrogant are never at rest.
They open their mouths as wide as the grave,
and like death, they are never satisfied.
In their greed they have gathered up many nations
and swallowed many peoples.
(Habakkuk 2:4-5, NLT)
The Lord’s response to Habakkuk is the same response he has for us today. Nothing has changed! The prideful, the untruthful, the wicked, the arrogant, the greedy, and the unrighteous may appear to prosper, but only on this earth. They will be punished for eternity, while the righteous and the faithful will be rewarded. As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s passage, consider the Lord’s message and if you live by faithfulness.
Daily Bible Reading for October 25, 2014, with Commentary: Acts 9-10
Click here for the Daily Reading.
Context: When we last read of Saul, he was witnessing the execution of Stephen. Saul did not want to stop with Stephen but requested and received permission to round up disciples — man, woman, and child — of the Lord Jesus Christ in Damascus. It is on his way to Damascus that Saul’s dramatic encounter with the Lord occurs. We are then told of Saul’s amazing conversion into the person who will significantly impact the early Christian church and take the Gospel outside of Palestine. What can we learn from Saul’s conversion? God can take us as we are and transform us to be shining light for Him, no matter who we are or what we have done in the past. Part of that transformation may come through assistance by others, as there are several recorded individuals who assisted Saul. In the last part of chapter 9, Luke returns to Peter, who had been traveling and healing in the name of Jesus Christ. While Paul is most remember for his work with the Gentiles, it is Peter who first understands that Gentiles are not to be excluded from salvation through Jesus Christ. Through Peter and Cornelius, we see the importance of opening ourselves up to the Lord’s instructions and obeying. The Lord does not show favoritism, and we are not to show it either. Peter did not go alone to see Cornelius, rather he took six other Jews with him. We do not have to do everything on our own. It is important to have support of fellow believers, especially during times of struggles.
Olen E. Hutchison was convicted of murdering 45-year-old Hugh Huddleston by drowning on August 14, 1988, in order to collect Hugh’s life insurance. Hugh was a father figure to Olen. Olen was the beneficiary of Hugh’s will. Olen was scheduled to be executed on May 12, 2015. At 8:55 am CDT, on Sunday, October 19, 2014, Olen died of natural causes at the Riverbed Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tennessee. Olen was 61 years of age.
Please pray for the family of Hugh. Please pray for the family of Olen.
October 24, 2014
IDPN 2014 Issue 43
China: Although the exact number of executions carried out in 2013 is considered a state secret, the Dui Hua Foundation estimated that approximately 2,400 people were executed in 2013. The Dui Hua Foundation expects that approximately the same number of individuals will be executed in 2014. For 2012, they estimated that 3,000 people were executed. Executions are carried out in secret in China. The organs of executed inmates are used for transplants, although China has been attempting to move away from that practice in recent years.
Egypt: On Tuesday, October 21, 2014, an Egyptian militia court sentenced seven individuals to death and two individuals to life in prison for planning and execution attacks on the military. The attacks killed two military officers. All nine men are members of the Islamist militant group Ansar Beit Al-Maqdis, which claims to support the Islamic State.
Iran: On Sunday, October 19, 2014, four unnamed men, aged 32, 46, 44, and 32, were executed by hanging in the prison of Rasht in the Gilan province. All were executed on drug related charges.
Fardin Jafarian was charged with murder at the age of 14. He was executed on Sunday, October 19, 2014, at Tabriz Central Prison. He was 18 at the time of the execution. Fardin’s execution violates the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Children, which the nation signed on September 5, 1991, and the Islamic Consultative Assembly approved on February 20, 1994.
On Sunday, October 19, 2014, eight unnamed inmates were executed by hanging at Ghezel-Hessar prison. Their crimes have not been reported. Also on Sunday, October 19, 2014, six unnamed inmates died due to excruciating conditions at a death camp.
On Tuesday, October 21, 2014, three Afghan men were execute by hanging. The men were not named. They were executed for drug related charges.
On Wednesday, October 22, 2014, a 35-year-old unnamed prisoner was executed by hanging in northern Iran. He had spent the last six years on death row.
Update: Tuesday, October 21, 2014 10:30 am EDT
Miguel Angel Paredes is scheduled to be executed at 6 pm CST, on Tuesday, October 28, 2014, at the Walls Unit of the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Thirty-two-year-old Miguel is convicted of murdering 23-year-old Nelly Bravo, 23-year-old Shawn Michael Caine, and 37-year-old Adrian Torres on September 17, 2000, in San Antonio, Texas. Miguel has spent the last 13 years on Texas’ death row.
Miguel is one of 20 children, although seven of his siblings died before he was born. Miguel was born in Chicago, Illinois to Mexican immigrant parents. Miguel’s parents eventually moved the family to San Antonio, Texas, where Miguel eventually fell in with the violent Hermanos de Pistoleros Latinos gang. Miguel claimed he joined the gang thinking he had found loyalty and love. By the age of 15, Miguel had a pregnant girlfriend and a criminal record.
Early in September of 2000, Adrian Torres, a member of the Mexican Mafia, had given John Anthony Saenz over $800 worth of cocaine. Shortly thereafter, he began calling Saenz’s house seeking repayment. On September 17, 2000, Saenz told his wife to leave because Adrian was coming over and he was “going to take care of business.” Saenz called and asked Greg Alvarado and Miguel Paredes to come over with weapons for back up.
Adrian brought Nelly Bravo and Shawn Caine along with him. The three were ambushed by Saenz, Alvarado and Paredes. After Adrian, Nelly, and Shawn were killed, they were wrapped in carpet and placed in the back of a pick-up truck. After driving for a while, they pulled over on a dirt road and burned the carpets and the bodies.
Saenz and Alvarado each received a life sentence. Paredes was sentenced to death.
Please pray for peace and healing for the families of Adrian, Nelly, and Shawn. Please pray for strength for the family of Miguel Paredes. Miguel claims that he has accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. Please pray that he may find peace and continue to grow in his relationship with the Lord.