The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of August 20-26, 2017, is Psalm 100:1-5. The author of this psalm is unknown, but it is easy to understand the emotion and joy the writer of this psalm felt.
Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Know that the Lord, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture. Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the Lord is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations. (Psalm 100:1-5, ESV)
What do you focus on in your life? The good or the bad? Do you beat yourself up for the small mistakes? Do you remember the things that went wrong? Are you constantly praying for solutions to your problems? Good! Keep praying! But do you also remember to give God the credit for the good things in your life? As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s passage, take some time everyday to celebrate God for the good in you life! What can you praise Him for today?
August 20, 2017: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for 1 Timothy 4-6
Click here for the reading
Commentary: Paul continues giving instructions to Timothy, which are instructions for all believers. Paul warns against legalism, taught by false teachers. Age does not denote wisdom, rather wisdom comes with spiritual development. No matter where we are or what we are doing, we are representing Christ. Paul’s personal note to Timothy is not an encouragement to believers to drink! It is likely a reminder to Timothy to not conform to legalism and sacrifice his health. We, unfortunately, live in a world that is not run by Christian values, yet we must live it in without conforming.
Focus Verses:4:7-10 What is Paul saying in these verses? How can this be applied to your own life? How does it already apply?
Have you ever observed an event that was so truly amazing that you completely recognized it as something only God could create? God’s power in creating the universe has left lasting impressions. We may take everyday things - flowers blooming, a clear sky, water at the perfect temperature for a swim, a rainbow, the way the snow shines after a snowfall - for granted, but there are those occasions when we just have to stop and say, “Wow!” recognizing God’s handiwork in what we are seeing.
This Monday, August 21, 2017, one of those events will happen - a Total Solar Eclipse. Beginning mid-morning, the moon will pass directly between the earth and the sun, completely blocking out sunlight for up to two minutes! Surrounding the moon during this time will be haze of light caused by the sun. This total solar eclipse will be visible in many areas around the world.
We, at The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries, encourage you to find out if this amazing phenomenon will be visible from where you are! We would also like to warn you against looking directly at the sun during this event, as it can cause loss of eyesight, including blindness. Sunglasses alone are not enough to protect your eyes against the sun’s harmful rays. Special glasses can be purchased to view this event. If you are unable to see the event, NASA will be live streaming it. So get out and see God’s amazing creation in action!
“Prayer steadies one when his walking in slippery places - even if the things asked for are not given.” He is the first president to have his voice preserved by means of recording. He was also the first president to have electricity in White House, however, he and his wife were so fearful of being electrocuted, they refused to touch the light switches, often sleeping with the lights on! He was also the only president to lose a presidential re-election to a former president. He is Benjamin Harrison VI, 23rd President of the United States, serving from March 4, 1889, until March 4, 1893. Benjamin, the grandson of William Harrison, 9th President of the United States and great-grandson of Benjamin Harrison V, signer of the Declaration of Independence, was born on August 20, 1833, in North Bend, Ohio. Benjamin’s family was one of the First Families of Virginia, with roots going all the way back to Jamestown. Benjamin attended Farmer’s College, where he met his first wife, Caroline Scott. In 1850, he transferred to Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, and went on to study and practice law.
In 1853, Benjamin married Caroline, in a ceremony, that her father, a Presbyterian minister, presided over. Benjamin and Caroline were both also Presbyterian. In 1856, Benjamin joined the Republican party and was elected Indianapolis City Attorney. Two years later, Benjamin opened his own law practice with William Wallace. Benjamin remained active in politics, becoming Reporter of Decisions for the Indiana Supreme Court in 1860. That same year, Benjamin opened a new law firm with William Fishback.
The Civil War interrupted Benjamin’s political ambitions, as he joined the Union Army as a captain and company commander in 1862. Benjamin went on to participate in Sherman’s Atlanta Campaign. By the conclusion of the war, he had reached the rank of brigadier general. Throughout the war, he maintained his position as Reporter of Decisions, which provided his family with a steady income, as well as kept him politically active.
Upon returning from the war, Benjamin ignored urgings to run for Congress, instead choosing to speak on behalf of other politicians, a task for which he was highly praised. In 1872, Benjamin unsuccessfully campaigned to receive the nomination for governor of Indiana. This defeat led Benjamin to return to his law practice, in which he was successful. Benjamin continued to serve in small capacity as needed.
In 1880, Benjamin was elected as a United States Senator for Indiana. Benjamin also campaigned for James Garfield, who was running for president. Upon his election, the president offered Benjamin a cabinet position. Benjamin respectfully declined the offer, instead choosing to remain in the Senate, where he served until 1887. During his time in the Senate, Benjamin campaigned for generous pensions for veterans and their widows and greater educational opportunities for Southerns, including African Americans. Benjamin lost his re-election bid in 1886, due to a re-drawing of the districts by the Democrats.
Following his defeated, Benjamin returned to his law practice, but stayed politically active. In 1888, the Republican Party favorite, James G. Blaine, withdrew his name from contention of the Presidential nomination. Ultimately, Benjamin was selected to run in his place. Although he lost the popular vote by 90,000, he carried the electoral college, defeating incumbent Grover Cleveland, leading to many to claim the election was corrupt. Benjamin was inaugurated 100 years after George Washington was inaugurated as 1st President of the United States.
During his presidency, six states - a record! - were admitted into the Union: North Dakota, South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Washington, and Idaho. A deep rivalry existed between North and South Dakota, which were both signed into the Union on November 2, 1889. Due to the rivalry, Benjamin ordered that the papers be shuffled and he not see the states names when signing. To this day, no one knows which state was admitted first, although North Dakota has gained the title of the 39th state because it came first alphabetically.
Also during his presidency, Benjamin oversaw the last major American Indian battle, the Battle of Wounded Knee, in which over 100 Sioux, including many women and children, were killed. Another domestic issue facing President Harrison was civil rights for Negros. Despite Benjamin’s attempts, congress consistently denied approval for such bills.
As the re-election approached, Benjamin’s popularity began to decrease, along with his wife’s health. What had once been a national surplus had turned into a deficit, and Benjamin was accused of wasteful spending. Some of the surplus had been spent on the Dependent and Disability Pension Act which provided pensions to disabled veterans, regardless of the cause of their disability. Benjamin also greatly increased the number of naval ships, further depleting government funds. Additionally, Benjamin chose to not actively campaign, instead he stayed with his wife and cared for her. Caroline died two weeks before the election, which Grover Cleveland, his opponent, decisively won.
After leaving the White House, Benjamin briefly lived in California, giving lectures at Stanford University. He also traveled around the nation giving speeches in support of William McKinley. In 1896, Benjamin was married to Mary Scott Lord Dimmick, a women 25 years his junior and of whom his two children disapproved. He also returned to his law practice. He went on to try a case before the Supreme Court of the United States, one of three former president’s to do so (John Quincy Adams and Grover Cleveland being the other two.)
Benjamin died of pneumonia on March 13, 1901, in Indianapolis, Indiana, at the age of 67. He was buried in Indianapolis, along side his two wives.
Happy Birthday Mr. President!
It was a rhetoric repeated so often that many stopped listening. It held little meaning for them, especially the ones it was designed to reach. It was not until he was older and an adult that Lucas came to realize the truth and importance of that all-so-frequently-repeated rhetoric: stay in school, get an education, graduate, and don't break the law.
Lucas was an average student. He occasionally turned in homework - and always had an excuse for when he didn’t. He was much more interested in other pursuits - hanging out with friends, playing video games, constantly trying to prove himself to the older group of boys in the neighborhood. Lucas knew that those boys never graduated high school. Neither did his parents or most of the adult that he knew and their life seemed just fine. So why should he waste his time learning stuff he was never going to use again when there were other things he would rather be doing? Lucas began to more and more frequently skip school because he did not want to go.
Many schools across the nation resume classes in August. It is appropriate, then, that August is National Truancy Prevention Month. Truancy is an intentional, unauthorized or illegal absence from compulsory education. These absences can vary from state to state, according to each state’s own laws. Unfortunately, not all schools report attendance information, and with the variation in laws, truancy data is extremely limited. Usually student who are truant end up dropping out of school. Those results are known. Just half of the students who drop out of school are gainfully employed and those who are employed earn 35 percent less than those who graduate high school. Student who drop out of school are also at a higher risk for criminal behavior and activity and teen pregnancy.
This month, pray for the students returning to school. Pray that they will find encouragement, friendships, and a welcoming environment. Pray that the teachers will engage their students. Pray for families to encourage their children to continue with their education. Pray for the children.
August 18, 2017
IDPN 2017 Issue 33
Belarus: On July 21, 2017, Ihar Hershankou and Siamion Berazhnoy were convicted and sentenced to death by the Mahiliou Region Court. Including these two men, three individuals have been sentenced to death so far this year in the nation.
Iran: On Wednesday, August 16, 2017, eight prisoners were reportedly executed by hanging at Karaj’s Rajai Shahr Prison. All were executed on murder charges. Only five of the eight individuals were named - Mostafa Bashkouh, Rasoul Gol Mohammadi, Shahram Abadeh, Seyed Mohammad Seyed Abdollah, and Moharram Abdi.
India: Ishawari Lal Yadav and his wife Kiran Bai have had their executions stayed by the Chattisgarh High Court, in order to allow the court time to review the case. Ishawari and Kiran have been convicted of murdering two-year-old Chirag Rajput, who went missing on November 23, 2010. The couple is convicted of offering the boy as a human sacrifice in an ancient yogic spiritual practice. Chirag’s body was discovered chopped into pieces. The couple, along with five others, were linked the disappearance of 10 others.
Seven individuals - Manoj Atram, Devidas Atram, Yadhavrao Tekam, Punaji Atram, Ramchandra Atram, Motiram Atram and Yashodabai Meshram - were sentenced to death for “sacrificing” 7-year-old Sapna Palaskar on October 23, 2012. Another individual, Durga Shirbhate, has been sentenced to five years rigorous punishment for being part of the conspiracy. The group murdered the young girl to appease a goddess that was possessing one of their group and spare them and their village from her wrath.
Nigeria: Airman Kalu Bernard has been sentenced to death for the March 12 murder of his girlfriend, Oladipupo Sholape. Kalu has also been accused of housebreaking, impersonating a commissioned officer on Facebook with intent to defraud, and the attempted murder of Samuel Onah. Executions are carried out by hanging in Nigeria.