June 27, 2016: Daily Bible Reading Commentary for Leviticus 10-12
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Commentary: The Lord continues providing instructions for the priests. Two sons of Aaron failed to follow the Lords instruction. They were killed for their disobedience. Priests were not to drink alcohol while serving the Lord, as it impairs the senses and a person’s judgement, and a clear head is needed to serve the Lord. Chapters 11 and 12 provide instructions to the Israelites on diet and cleanliness.
Focus Verses: 10:6-7 Why was Aaron not mourn the deaths of his sons? What does this tell you about the importance of obeying the Lord?
Who is the most influential man in your life? No, seriously. Think about it! It doesn't have to be your father or even a relative. He can even be someone younger than you. What man has made a difference in your life? How would you feel if that man was suddenly ripped away from you - forever! How would you feel if you knew that his death could have been prevented?
According to the Center for Disease Control, in eight out of the top ten leading causes of death (heart disease, cancer, unintentional injuries, chronic lower respiratory disease, strokes, diabetes, alzheimer’s, pneumonia/flu, suicide, homicide, and HIV/AIDS), men have a higher rate of death than women. Alzheimers is the only ailment where women are more likely to die, and men and women have a nearly equal chance at dying from a stroke. Some refer to these statistics as the Silent Health Crisis.
Women will, on average, live five years longer than men By the age of 100 women outnumber men 8 to 1. This is likely do to the far greater willingness of women, to have annual exams, which can detect health problems earlier, allowing treatment to be more effective. That’s right men - your tough macho act can actually kill you!
So this month, men get yourself checked out! Make an appointment and talk to a doctor about that nagging problem you have been ignoring! Nothing is off limits when you talk to a doctor about your health. Because never forget - to someone, YOU are that inspirational man!
June 24, 2016
IDPN 2016 Issue 26
Canada: In 1974, Elery Long was convicted of murdering Staff Sergeant Ron McKay and sentenced to death. Two years later, Canada outlawed the death penalty and his sentence was commuted to life in prison. In 2000, Elery was granted parole, however he spent the next several years in-and-out of prison for numerous offenses including drug use, stalking, and lying to his parole officers. In March of 2015, he was again granted parole, which was suspended in April when a woman alleged that Elery assaulted her. Elery has denied the charges and has once again been released on parole, with the court ruling that he has potential to reintegrate into the community.
Indonesia: Four businessmen have been convicted of smuggling crystal methamphetamine from Malaysia. They have been sentenced to death by the Medan District Court.
Iran: On Thursday, June 16, 2016, three prisoners, identified by initials only, were executed by hanging at Bandar Abbas Central Prison in southern Iran. All were executed on drug related charges.
Tunisia: The leader of a 13 member group of Takfiri Salafists has been sentenced to death for his part in the murder of a guard at a Sufi shrine in Menzel Bouzelfa. Three of the group members were acquitted, with the remaining nine receiving various prison terms. Tunisia has not carried out an execution since 1991, and has recently voted in favor of a UN moratorium on executions.
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.
John sat up, swinging his feet off the bed onto the floor. He rested his elbows on his knees, rubbing his face with his hands. His night had been like many others he had recently; what seemed like a few minutes of peaceful sleep, between the unpleasant memories that haunted him. Once he found himself awake, crouching and peering around the bed towards door, grabbing for the weapon that wasn’t there, before remembering where he was, and where he wasn’t. John shook his head, as if to clear the memories, before pushing himself up to get ready for the day. John was hyper-aware of his surroundings. He kept an eye on his coffee timer, so that he would not be startled when it went off. He still flinched when it went off, as if struck. Upon hearing a knock at the door, John’s first reaction was to take cover, already crouching and moving before it registered that it was simply Nicole, his friend, at the door, whom he had asked to stop by at this exact time.
Nicole understood why it took him longer than it should have to open the door. She understood why he hesitantly peered around the door before opening it enough to allow her in. She understood why he quickly shut the door behind her. John had been an active duty soldier for years before returning home. She didn’t know what he had been like before the military, before returning to his hometown suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, more commonly referred to as PTSD. She had heard that he once use to be life of parties, regaling those around him with stories of his high-school antics. He now preferred to avoid large social situations altogether, standing off to the side, usually with his back to a wall, when did attend one.
Nicole had come to walk with John that day. For John, her presence was reassuring. It let him know that he was not alone in his struggle. He had learned that an estimated 7-8 percent of the US population will have PTSD at some point in their lives. During any given year, approximately 5.2 million people will suffer from PTSD. John also knew that his story was unique, because it is his story! PTSD is not the same for everyone. Each person who suffers, suffers in their own way. No two persons’ experience is the same, even if they had the exact same trauma to cause their PTSD!
Shortly after the nightmares and erratic behavior began, John learned all he could about PTSD, hoping that knowledge would help him combat his sleepless nights and hyper-vigilance. Upon hearing PTSD, many people imagine soldiers, but PTSD can be caused by any traumatic or life-threatening event in a person’s life. This can include a personal experience, simply witnessing the event, or in-depth research of such events. PTSD can occur to anyone, of any age, of any race, for any number of reasons. PTSD can manifest in a multitude of different ways, with different intensities for different people. John and Nicole are examples of that.
John’s case is severe, but he is, slowly, getting better. He is beginning to be able to sleep without medication, something that was impossible when he first returned home. He attends counseling everyday. It helps. John has also begun expanding his activities, by volunteering, along with another member of his support group who also has PTSD. He is exploring the idea of buying a dog. Not only will it give him a purpose, but he thinks it may help ease his mind to have someone else watching his back. It will also force him out of the house.
Some of John’s old friends wonder what’s wrong with him. He is no longer willing to throw back a few beers with them on Saturday’s during the game, or any other time. John has tried to explain, but they do not understand; drinking and drugs simply make him worse, intensify his already heightened feelings of worry and anxiety. Should anything happen, he could lose control. His friends loudness do nothing to ease his troubled mind. So for now, John avoids them.
Nicole also suffers from PTSD, although not as severe. She has held down a job for the past year. A quiet, but physically active job. She is an encouragement to John, that one day his life may once again have a semblance of normality. Nicole told John to let her know when he thinks he may be ready to start working. Her boss is understanding, willing to let him start just a few days of week.
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June is Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder Awareness Month. We ask that in your prayers this month, you remember those like John and Nicole, those suffering from PTSD. Please pray for healing.
Do you know how Noah knew it was safe to leave the ark? Do you know who the first Israelite king was and how he was appointed? Saul did not became the well-known Apostle Paul overnight. Peter did not suddenly go from fisherman to a leader in the early Church. Even Jesus did not go from a carpenter’s son to correcting Pharisees’ overnight! Before reaching prominence and influence, each were faced with trials. Each spent time studying the Word of God, just as we must do today. It is because of their trials, not despite, because of their studying, that they transformed from who they had once been into the influential figures that associate their names with today. To become the person God desires us to be, we too must diligently study God’s word.
Unsure of where to start your study? Let us help! 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, an excellent way to begin your study!
Paul, Peter, and Jesus each knew the Torah, the first five books of the Old Testament. They also knew what the prophets had foretold and even the psalms written by David and others! Their knowledge came from years of study. By reading through the entire Bible, your knowledge and understanding of the history of Israel and the key figures in both the Old and New Testament, will grow. Always accompany your reading with prayer, reflection, and meditation. What does God want you to learn today? Check out our Commentary (available under the “Scriptures” tab on our website www.theforgivenessfoundation.org) for 2015, to learn more about world history during each day’s reading.
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! We can help! This year, in addition to providing an overview of each day’s reading, we will also be providing focus verses. After reading 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.
Our 2016 plan begins on December 27, 2015, but join in at any time! Saul spent years as a pharisee, persecuting those who followed Jesus Christ, before understanding the truth. Peter was an adult when he was called to follow Christ. Even Jesus spent time in prayer and meditation, learning, before and during His ministry! It is never too late, or too early, to start studying God’s word. What is God’s plan for you?