The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection, for the week of September 28-October 4, 2014, is Jonah 4:2. Jonah fled from the Lord because he did not want to minister to the people of Nineveh, as Jonah had hatred in his heart for them. After ministering to them, the Ninevites repent of their evil ways. Jonah went to a spot outside the city because he did not believe that the Ninevites had truly repented.
And he prayed to the Lord and said, “I pray You, O Lord, is not this just what I said when I was still in my country? That is why I fled to Tarshish, for I knew that You are a gracious God and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and [when sinners turn to You and meet Your conditions] You revoke the [sentence of] evil against them.” (Jonah 4:2, AMP)
Jonah knew God. Only one who knew the Lord God could give such a description of Him. Yet, Jonah failed to acknowledge that God knew the intention of the Ninevites’ hearts. Jonah knew God but did not consider all aspects of God’s character. Meditate on, prayer over, and reflect upon Jonah’s description of the Lord. What is missing from the description? This week, truly examine all aspects of the Lord.
Daily Bible Reading for October 2, 2014, with Commentary: Proverbs 28
Click here for the Daily Reading.
Context: What proverbs from today’s reading can you apply to your life? Is there a situation you are in, or have recently been in, to which you can apply the wisdom written in this chapter? Study this chapter carefully. Absorb the wisdom and ask the Lord for understanding.
Mark arrived home from a hard day at work. His wife berated him for forgetting to take out the trash before he left that morning. She told him he would not be eating until he fixed the leaky pipe. An hour later, Mark realized the problem was not one he could solve. His wife called him “useless” and “pathetic.” All evening she continued to criticize him. She began swearing at him when he went to make himself dinner and relax before going to bed. Mark is a victim of domestic abuse.
Jenny cracked open her door and peered out. She had heard her parents screaming and cursing at each other. Her father reached over and slapped her mother, knocking her down. He picked her up and pushed her up against a wall, continuing to yell. Her mother fought back, escaping his grasp. Jenny wished she did not have to hear the yelling every night and see the fights. Jenny is a victim of domestic abuse.
Katie and her husband both work hard. When they get home, he cooks dinner and cleans the kitchen, while she works at laundry and vacuuming. They enjoy a meal together and watch their favorite television show together, laughing at the ridiculous situations the characters get themselves into. Katie is tired and has an early morning. She wants to go straight to sleep. Her husband has other plans. He ignores her protests. Katie is victim of domestic abuse.
Eric is in third grade, struggling with multiplication, just as he struggled with addition and subtraction for the past two years. He does not understand his homework, but does not want to ask for help. His mother, who used to help him died, and his father’s girlfriend laughs at his questions, calling him “dummy” and “slow,” asking him how he can be so stupid. Eric is a victim of domestic abuse.
October is national Domestic Violence Awareness Month.* Domestic violence is a topic that has recently been brought into the spot light by accusations against star athletes like NFL players Ray Rice, Adrian Peterson, Greg Hardy, and Ray McDonald, and professional soccer player Hope Solo.
Although the issue has received recent attention, domestic violence is not a recent problem. As illustrated above, it takes many forms, from the often identified physical violence, to the lesser thought of emotional and psychological abuse. Domestic violence can also include sexual and verbal abuse. There are over 1.3 million reported cases of domestic violence each year, however it is estimated that the true number of domestic abuse cases is significantly higher as most, especially male victims, are never reported.
For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. (1 Corinthians 7:4, ESV)
God’s plan for a relationship between a man and woman is one of harmony. Eve was created to help Adam. Their relationship was one of unity, never fearing the actions of the other. Sin has corrupted this relationship. Instead of unity and mutual respect, the relationship is one of fear. We must work hard to show our children, and the world, the relationship God designed. Children who are abused or witness abuse are far more likely to enter an abusive relationship.
Fathers, do not provoke or irritate or fret your children [do not be hard on them or harass them], lest they become discouraged and sullen and morose and feel inferior and frustrated. [Do not break their spirit.] (Colossians 3:21 AMP)
Paul warns against being hard on children, yet he is not speaking out against discipline. Discipline is necessary to teach children and is done out of love. Abuse is done out of anger, frustration, and the desire to gain control and manipulate. We are all children of God. We can turn to His examples throughout the Bible when disciplining our children.
We, at The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries, encourage anyone who is being domestically abused, or knowns of someone being abused, to contact the National Domestic Abuse Hotline at 1−800−799−7233. You can also visit their website at http://www.thehotline.org.
*Domestic violence and domestic abuse are two terms used to legally describe what are essentially the same crimes. The term used depends on the state and some states assign certain crimes to a certain term. For the purpose of this article, the two terms are used interchangeably.
Update: Thursday, September 25, 2014 7:40 pm EDT
Billy Ray Irick has been granted a stay of execution by the Tennessee Supreme Court. The stay was granted over challenges to the state's execution drugs and the new law which allows for execution by the electric chair, if execution drugs cannot be obtained.
September 23, 2014 2:20 pm EDT
Billy Ray Irick is scheduled to be executed at 7:10 pm CDT on October 7, 2014, at the Riverbend Maximum Security Institution in Nashville, Tennessee. Fifty-six-year-old Billy is convicted of raping and murdering 7-year-old Paula Kay Dyer on April 15, 1985, in Knoxville, Tennessee. Billy has spent the past 28 years on Tennessee’s death row.
Billy Irick was friends with Paula’s mother, Kathy, and step-father, Kenneth, and lived with them for a time, looking after their five young children while they worked. On April 14, 1985, Paula was living with her mother, while Irick and her step-father were staying with Kenneth’s mother. Paula’s mother left Irick to watch the children while she went out to look for work. She was uneasy about leaving the children with Irick since he had been drinking, although he did not seem intoxicated. She called Kenneth, telling him her fears. He agreed to check on Irick and the children.
Around midnight, Irick called Kenneth, asking him to come by, saying he was unable to wake up Paula. When he arrived, Paula was lying on the living room floor with blood between her legs. Kenneth checked to see if Paula had a pulse, which she did, and then took her to the Children’s Hospital. Paula was pronounced dead a short time after arriving, as they were unable to resuscitate her.
An autopsy determined that Paula likely died from asphyxiation or suffocation. She also had some bruising and cuts on her face. Additionally, evidence showed she had been raped.
Irick was arrested the following day after he was discovered hiding under a bridge. After being arrested, Irick confessed to the crime. He was sentenced to death on December 3, 1986.
September 26, 2014
IDPN 2014 Issue 39
Chad: The nation’s new penal code has abolished the death penalty. The government of Chad has been working on the new code for the past 10 years. Also included in the new penal code is a maximum 20 year sentence for homosexual relations.
Iran: On Thursday, September 18, 2014, four prisoners were executed by hanging in the prison of Bandar Abbas is southern Iran. The condemned, identified by initials only, were executed for various drug related offenses.
On Saturday, September 20, 2014, five prisoners were executed by hanging in the main prison in the city of Zahedan in southeastern Iran. Among the five inmate were two Pakistani women who had been arrested on drug related charges. The names of the executed inmates were not released.
On Tuesday, September 24, 2014, Mohsen Amir Aslani was executed. The state claims that Aslani was executed for rape. Previously, Aslani had also been convicted of “corruption on earth; changing Islam’s principles and secondary laws; and new interpretation of Quran.” He was also charged with heresy, insulting the Prophet Johan, and immoral acts. Iran Human Rights states that Aslani never confessed to the rape and there is insufficient supporting evidence.
On Wednesday, September 25, 2014, five prisoners were executed by hanging in three cities. In the prison of Noshahr in northern Iran, Jaber N. was executed for a murder committed in 2004. In the prison of Qzavin in western Iran, 33-year-old Sadegh Mohammadkhanloo and 35-year-old Asghar Mahtabi were executed for separate drug charges. In Mashhad in northeastern Iran, two men were executed, both for separate murders. One of the men may only have been 18 years of age and committed the murder while a juvenile, although it is not clear.
You know the feeling, the feeling you have when you go to your mailbox or check your email and find a letter or message from someone who cares about your dearly. Since March 8, 2005, The Forgiveness Foundation Christian Ministries has been giving that feeling to many of the 3,351, men and women on death row in the United States. Our letters carry more than the love of every member of The Forgiveness Foundation team; our letters carry the love of Jesus Christ! Out letters share that Jesus Christ paid their sin debt, including the debt for the murder for which they were convicted. Our letters share that eternity awaits them in heaven or hell. Our letters share that Jesus has already paid for their sin; they are forgiven. The only thing they need do is to accept Jesus Christ’s forgiveness by 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.