The Bible passage for meditation, prayer, and reflection for the week of September 14-20, 2014 is Psalm 113:1-6. Praise be to the Lord! How awesome is our God? This psalm is a psalm of praise to our Lord God, for there is no other like Him!
Praise the Lord!
Praise, O servants of the Lord,
praise the name of the Lord!
Blessed be the name of the Lord
from this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its setting,
the name of the Lord is to be praised!
The Lord is high above all nations,
and his glory above the heavens!
Who is like the Lord our God,
who is seated on high,
who looks far down
on the heavens and the earth?
Psalm 113:1-6, ESV
Does your heart not lift reading this psalm? In our times of struggle, we often turn to scriptures that provide comfort. We can also turn to scriptures of joy. Let the joy of praising the Lord ease your burden! Who is like the Lord our God…? No one! Our Lord God reigns supreme. With Him in our lives we have nothing to fear. As you meditate on, pray over, and reflect upon this week’s verse, consider your relationship with the Lord. Do you take time to praise Him?
Daily Bible Reading for September 16, 2014, with Commentary: 2 Chronicles 1-5
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Author: Unknown, possibly Ezra
Date: Unknown, after the return of the Israelites from captivity
Context: Following David’s death, Solomon became king of Israel. Solomon requested from the Lord God wisdom and knowledge. It was a wise request and the Lord blessed him for it. Notice what Solomon did not ask for: spiritual discernment. Lacking spiritual discernment would lead to Solomon’s downfall, which Solomon began early in his role as king. The next four chapters of today’s reading focuses on the building of the Temple. This was Solomon’s greatest accomplishment before the Lord. Many details are provided for the temple. What is focused on and why is important to the Lord? Although the Temple was small compared to pagan temples, considerable wealth, silver and gold, went into constructing the Temple. After the temple was completed, the Ark of the Covenant was placed in the Temple.
Update: September 15, 2014 10:12 pm, EDT
Lisa Ann Colman's execution is scheduled for 6 pm CDT, on Tuesday, September 17, 2014, inside the Walls Unit at the Huntsville State Penitentiary in Huntsville, Texas. Thirty-eight-year-old Lisa is convicted of starving to death nine-year-old Davontae Williams, the son Marcella Williams, her lover. Lisa has spent the last eight years of her life on Texas’ death row.
Lisa was born in Tarrant County, Texas. She worked as a laborer prior to being arrested. She had previously been arrested for possession of drugs with intent to deliver and sentenced to five years. She also received a two year sentence for burglary.
On July 26, 2004, Davontae was found unconscious on the bathroom floor by his mother, Marcella Williams. Emergency response personnel found Davontae laying on the bathroom floor clad only in a disposable diaper. His body was in full rigor mortis, which occurs several hours after death. Williams insisted that Davontae was breathing when she first called the police. Davontae also had traces of vomit around his mouth and nose.
According to the autopsy, Davontae, who was nine-years-old, weighed less than forty pounds. The cause of death was extreme malnourishment, along with slight pneumonia, which could have been caused by infected injuries. Evidence also suggested that Davontae had been continuously bound by his wrists and ankles. Additionally, Davontae had injuries to his ears and lips, which would have made eating difficult. There were also cigarette and cigar burns and numerous cuts on his arms and legs. As of December 2002, according to medical records, Davontae was growing normally and had no indications of any disease which would stunt his growth.
Lisa Coleman, who said she lived with the Williams, confessed to beating the boy with belt, leaving welts, but said she stopped earlier in the year. Coleman stated that the night Davontae died, she was awakened by Williams, who was screaming and attempting to administer CPR. Coleman attempted to revive him by placing him in warm bath. Coleman said she did not know how Davontae’s arms and legs were injured.
Davontae’s sister, Destinee, who was eight at the time, testified that Coleman would tie up Davontae in the bathroom with an extension cord. Davontae had also been removed from Williams’ care by Child Protective Services, because Coleman would physically abuse him.
Prior to Davontae being pulled out of school, his teacher and the cafeteria workers noticed that Davontae was always hungry. His teacher also noticed strange markings on his body, which was reported to Child Protective Service. Coleman and Williams would lie about Davontae’s whereabouts to those who asked.
The Texas Court of Criminal Appeals has rejected a request for a stay of execution by Lisa Colman. Lisa requested a stay claiming she had ineffective counsel during her trial, leading to her sentence of death.
Please pray for peace and healing for the family of Davontae Williams. Please pray for the family of Lisa. Please pray that Lisa may come to find peace through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, if she has not found one already.
Update: September 15, 2014 10:16 pm, EDT
Ronald Phillips' execution, scheduled for 10 am EDT, on Thursday, September 18, 2014, at the Southern Ohio Correctional Facility in Mansfield, Ohio, has been rescheduled for 10 am EST, February 11, 2015. Forty-year-old Ronald is convicted of killing 3-year-old Sheila Marie Evans on January 18, 1993. Ronald has spent the past 20 years on Ohio’s death row.
Ronald was originally scheduled to be execution on November 14, 2013. He was granted a last minute stay of execution by Ohio Governor John Kasich after Ronald requested to donate his organs to his mother and sister upon his death. The stay was granted in order to allow time to consider this request. His execution was rescheduled to July 2, 2014. State law requires that the inmate have 100 days to recover from surgery before an execution. In order to perform the surgery, specifically donating his kidney to his mother, Ronald's mother needed to lose weight. She was unable to do so before the 100 day deadline, meaning Ronald was unable to donate his organ.
In January of 2014, Ohio executed Dennis McGuire using a new two-drug execution process. The execution took far longer than expected and resulted in McGuire making unusual sounds. Following his execution, Ohio examined their execution protocol and McGuire's death, eventually concluding that McGuire was indeed unconscious for the execution. However, the state plans to increase the dosage of each drug given to alleviate any further concerns regarding the execution process. Federal Judge Gregory Frost, in late May, ordered a moratorium on executions in Ohio until August 15. In August, shortly before the moratorium was scheduled to expire, Judge Frost expanded the moratorium until January 15, 2015, to allow time for appeals of Ohio's new execution procedure. Ronald’s July 2, 2014, execution was rescheduled for September 18, 2014. His September execution date has been rescheduled for February 11, 2015. He is scheduled to be the first inmate executed after Judge Frost's moratorium ends.
Fae Evans, Sheila’s mother, was dating Ronald Phillips and occasionally co-habitating with him, along with her three children, Sheila, 29-month-old Sara, and Ronald Jr. , Phillips’ infant son. On January 18, 1993, Fae took Ronald, Jr. to a doctor’s appointment and left Sheila and Sara to be watched by Phillips. Fae returned to the apartment around 11:25, and found Phillips sitting in the kitchen. When Fae called for her daughters, they failed to respond. Phillips went into the girls’ bedroom, where she found Sheila laying cold, motionless, and pale. Phillips took Sheila downstairs to his grandmother’s apartment, where they called an emergency operator. Since Sheila was not breathing, the operator told Phillips how to perform CPR until paramedics arrived.
Once paramedics arrived, they immediately transferred Sheila to the Children’s Hospital in Akron, Ohio. Dr. Eugene Izsak, the first doctor to examine Sheila, noticed that she had multiple bruises on her torso, a distended stomach, apparent internal abdominal injuries, and a stretched anus with acute, recent changes. After obtaining a steady pulse, surgery was performed on Sheila, which showed the extent of her severe internal injuries. Sheila died from her injuries later that day.
September 12, 2014
IDPN 2014 Issue 37
Afghanistan: Seven men have been sentenced to death for gang-raping four women. The women were driving home from a wedding when they were attacked, kidnapped, and raped by men wearing police uniforms. The seven were found with the uniforms and later confessed.
China: Zhou Junhui and Qin Xing were sentenced to death for the rape of an 11-year-old girl, daughter of Tang Hui, a social campaigner. Zhou and Qin then forced the girl into prostitution, along with others. Their death sentence has been reduced to life in prison.
On Thursday, September 4, 2014, 50-year-old Li Lijuan was executed for starting a fire in a warehouse on January 1, 2013. Three firefighters died while attempting to extinguish the fire. The fire also caused millions of dollars worth of damage.
Three of the four individuals accused of leading and organizing a deadly, mass knife attack in Kumming station, Iskandar Ehet, Turgun Tohtunyaz, and Hasayn Muhammad, have been sentenced to death. The three did not participate in the attack as they were arrested two days prior. The fourth, Patigul Tohti, has been jailed for life. The attack on March 1, 2014, killed 31 people and injured 141 others. Four others were also involved in the attack. They were killed at the scene.
Egypt: Former Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi, along with 10 others, may face the death penalty for leaking national security secrets to Qatar. Qatar is an ally of the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been declared a terrorist organization by the Egyptian government which ousted Morsi in 2013.
Iran: Souhail Arabi, a 30-year-old social media activist was sentenced to death for insulting the prophet Mohammed. Souhail is currently in prison in Tehran.
Pastor Matthias Haghnejad and Silas Rabbani, both Christians, have been charged with “mofsed-e-filarz” or “spreading corruption on earth,” a more serious charge than “moharebeh” or “enmity against God.” The two men, along with a third Christian, have been tortured into confessing that they are “spies.”
On Wednesday, September 10, 2014, 24-year-old Vahid Q, and 22-year-old Bahman Moussavi were publicly executed by hanging in Hamadan. They were executed for “being evil.”
Prepare your work outside; get everything ready for yourself in the field, and after that build your house. (Proverbs 24:27, ESV)
“Be prepared.” Growing up and participating in the Boy Scouts, Alec heard this motto frequently. Scout organizations around the world have been using this as their motto since 1907. The motto became a part of Alec’s everyday life. In high school, Alec was the guy who kept jumper cables, sand, chains, food, water, and an all weather blanket in the back of his car - just in case. In college, he was always the guy that had the tools to fix just about anything. In his professional career, he was always looking for what could go wrong with a presentation or project - so he could have the necessary tools or information to fix the problem immediately. When going on business trips, Alec ensured his wife had all the necessary phone numbers and knew when he should be calling. Alec’s children had several “safe” questions, in case anyone tried to pick them up from school that they did not know. In case of an emergency, Alec’s children knew where to go and whom to call. They knew where the emergency kits were in the home. Alec was always prepared for whatever life may throw at him.
Are you prepared?
September is National Preparedness Month! Established in 2004 by the Federal Emergency Management Agency within the Department of Homeland Security, National Preparedness Month is dedicated to reaching out and educating people on the importance of begin prepared to respond to emergencies, including natural disasters and potential terrorist attacks.
In recent years, preparedness has become even more important with disasters seeming to increase every year. Families need to be prepared to regroup at a safe location if their house is destroyed. They also need to be prepared to survive if they become stranded in their homes with no power.
Are you prepared?
If you openly declare that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by openly declaring your faith that you are saved. (Romans 10:9-10, NLT)
Alec was physically prepared for life’s events. He prepared his family for life’s events. But what about spiritually? If Alec were to die of a heart attack tomorrow, would he be prepared to face God’s judgment? There is so much more to life than being prepared for the physical events that may be thrown your way. We must also be prepared for spiritual disasters. Preparation begins with salvation. Accepting that Jesus Christ came to this earth as a man, experienced the same temptations and trials that we face everyday, and did not fall into sin. Accepting that Jesus Christ, a sinless man, was killed - brutally executed - for you, for me, so that we could spend eternity with Him.
In your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect. (1 Peter 3:15, ESV)
After accepting Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, we must be prepared to be a witness for Him. Daily study of His Word, the Bible, is a key part of our preparation. As a follower of Christ, Satan will attempt to entice us, to snare us, to cause us to sin. We must be prepared to stand against Satan, to stand against the world, and to stand for Christ, because, one day, He will return!
Are you prepared?