Juror#97 Death Penalty, Part V WHEN? 

It is exactly 365 days since the June 3, 2022 sentence of the death penalty for Joshua Lee Burgess.  His immediate verdict of guilty and sentencing by the twelve jurors in Union County North Carolina was the first in this quiet county in over 21 years.   There was zero doubt

Break Room at Central Prison Raleigh for Death Row Prisoners

regarding his guilt of the murder of his own daughter, kidnapping, torture, and sexual assault.  Aside from obvious DNA evidence, he traveled the thirteen miles from his Monroe area home to the Sheriff’s station to confess, in great deal, about all he had done.  JLB’s despicable and heinous crime was deserving of nothing less than the death penalty.   One year later he sits in the protected confines of the NC State ‘Central Prison’ in Raleigh primarily watching TV and sucking up an estimated $ 1.2 million per year of taxpayer dollars.

Within the document highlighted above it is noted that once the date of execution is set it is required that the sentence takes place quickly.  He/she must be executed by lethal injection, by law, in not less than 15 days nor more than 120 days.  In other words, as I covered in part III justice is supposed to be performed very quickly for the sake of all the victims and for the collateral damage that the criminal executed upon the people and community.  The WHEN is set up by the laws to happen very quickly.  Yet here, one year later, with as clear cut and dry of a case as you can possibly have he sits in prison with the odds of him being executed at most likely NEVER

If you noticed on the cover page of this article it is Part 5 of the story of Zaria Burgess tragic death by her Father.   You can find the first four easily in the search field, just type ‘Juror #97’.  The first four parts provide much detail on this case and the justice system as it relates to violent crime in America.  You’ll find that the death penalty has basically been eliminated in the whole United States of America.  I provided many links with statistics about the victims and the collateral damage that violent criminals leave behind.

I also explain how this not-so Average Joe had several astounding coincidences to be chosen as juror #97 (booted out in the selection process).  I took it as a sign to do the research for interested parties and tug at the heartstrings of the indifferent.  In my part II’s of each story, I give the option to read my analysis and opinion from a Biblical perspective on the controversial topics as well.   It seems either people are unaware of what is happening in our criminal justice system, or they feel helpless as to how to change it.

One stat regarding Burgess is that he became astoundingly only death row inmate #137 in North Carolina.  You can find the complete list and other death row details by clicking the line.  No one has been executed in NC since 2006.  U.S.-wide, although the statute and procedures are law in half the states, you will see the number of criminals on death row has dwindled.  Some had the sentence reduced in costly follow-up trials or via Governor pardons, or because of natural deaths.  When I wrote about this a year ago the total number on death row in the U.S. was 2,436.  Despite more being added to the list, like Burgess, and only 29 executions carried out in the last 18 months, the number has dropped to 2,397 total as of today.

So why write about it a year later, just move on Average Joe, who cares about this dead topic?  The real reason is there are way more Joshua Burgess’s in our community than most realize.  Your son or daughter could easily become a victim like 15-year-old Zaria Burgess.  Let me explain why we need to awaken from indifference.

One of my ‘coincidental’ scenes about this case was as a counselor where I had ‘help’ discussions with first a relative of Burgess.  Next was a person who later I found was a first responder at the crime scene.  Third I had counseling sessions with many ex-cons and several survivors of sex/human trafficking.  If you are involved in the rehab and helping people business you end up with lots of ‘coincidences.’   The latter added to my drive to help the abused.

A young couple showed up needing much help.  Their beat-up car had a broken windshield and we found they were living in it, as they were on the run from something.  The story the woman told was far worse than the scenes of JLB’s crime, believe it or not.  She was kidnapped in broad daylight off the street.  She was split from her family due to a disaster during the hurricanes and floods on the east coast of the Carolinas.  At the time of her kidnapping, she was near the same age as Zaria.

She was tossed in a prison like-home with other human trafficking victims.  The atypical process by the ‘pimps,’ or let’s call them slave drivers, is to turn them into drug addicts.  They first lace their food with addictive drugs and then slowly advance them into coke, heroin, and fentanyl.  The next step is often raping them or bribing them with unwanted sex in exchange for food or drugs.   They are psychologically abused sometimes being treated nicely, and at others like rabid dogs.

I was told firsthand stories of how she was forced into prostitution.   She was completely stripped of her identity, yet meanwhile, the traffickers had her cell phone and secretly communicated via text with her parents scamming money out of them acting as if she was making the requests for funds.  She described how the traffickers ‘sold her’ multiple times per day for several years.   She was on constant guard and beaten if attempting to escape.  Or she was punished if she talked too much to the many willing Johns that paid for services.  At times some of them were brutal as well, adding to the agony.   This went on for four horrific years.

We in our hidden and protected suburbs think such a story is just a movie script, yet it is happening right here in our own communities, state, and country.  It is a $150billion industry.  North Carolina ranks as #8 in the nation for reported cases of human/sex trafficking. The Charlotte area is #1 in NC.

The above is noted by Justice Ministries a rescue group in Charlotte.      Her story is similar to many told by another North Carolina rescue group in this east coast area called Cry Freedom Missions.    I was in a training class with CFM during the time of attempting to help this young couple.  One statistic they noted is that 40% of sex trafficking victims are put in the system by get this – relatives or friends.  That’s right, people like JLB are not doing a one-time crime, but making a sadistic business of it.

They told of stories where young men on college campuses and even high schools began a dating relationship with women and then lured them to the traffickers where they were kidnapped and placed on milk cartons as ‘missing.’  There was also a case where a church Pastor and his wife were tied to a group where they had a ministry ‘helping poor homeless girls or runaways,’ yet nefariously were selling some of the girls and boys to these gangs. Many of the stories were similar to what this young lady described.  I point these examples out for the scoffers and indifferent ones who might say (and I had someone tell me this, ‘they’re just lyin’ to ya to get free stuff and money’)  those are just stories.  They also had true stories of male victims and transgenders suffering similar plights and one who suffered 1000+ assaults. A subject that few dare mention.  It is no longer a singular issue.  Perhaps if the LGBTQ movement spent some time working with authorities on fighting these atrocities (and less on parades promoting their lifestyle) and seeking change in the justice system for all, we could all find ways to end these atrocities together.

Sadly, some may say well they probably just made bad choices and suffered the consequences of those choices.  Yes, there may be those who may have made such a choice, but factually, 80% of all people chained into the dark sex worlds, (men and women), are known to have been victims of abuse in their childhood.  And others may say, well those bad guys didn’t kill anyone, so just lock them up and throw away the key. Not so.

Recently in the little suburban town of Waxhaw that I live in there was a drug bust –

Narcotics officers in Waxhaw arrested a drug trafficker (and who knows what else this fiend does) who had 2 kilos of fentanyl in the car.  They found it in the back seat of the car where a female toddler was in the back seat.  In her cute little backpack pictured were stacks of $100 bills and the drugs that are so sensitive that just handling it alone could have killed the police officers or certainly the child.  It takes only two milligrams of fentanyl to kill a person.  If you take out your calculator you’d find that 2 kilos of fentanyl is enough to kill 1,000,000 people.   That for my local readers is four times the entire population of  Union County.

People ask naive questions like why don’t these ‘prostitutes’ just quit and go find a real job?  Or the religious folk might say they just need to find Jesus and repent of their sins and all will be well.  The young woman I mentioned before said there is no escaping the sexual trafficking world as not only do they threaten them with death, but they also threaten their families.  Those little cell phone calls and texts soon turned to blackmail of her family as well as threatening the woman that if she left – then her family would be harmed.  Or horribly, those who were on the verge would simply be slipped three milligrams of fentanyl into their food or drugs and…

The young lady who remains in hiding today (I have minimal contact with her as she is in a protective program) said she believed at least four women who were dumped on the streets dead.  They merely appear to the police as drug addict prostitutes that overdosed.  Some sadly were identified only as Jane Doe’s.

Thank God she was able to escape one day when at a gas station someone slipped a note to her asking if she was in trouble.   She was able to signal to them and carefully the rescue group worked out a way for her to escape without being harmed.   The long road to recovery for her seems unfathomable.  But, at least in our encounters, she was getting better and re-adjusting to life.

In most cases, the traffickers like hers seldom are caught or brought before a court.  But, then when they are the best the judicial system can do is convict them of drug trafficking.  Rarely are they able to get any women or men brave enough to testify against them.  Since these organizations (no trafficker works alone) have large sums of money from their illegal activities they easily have the means to cover bail and are back on the streets soon after the rare arrests.  The victims are aware of how powerful the organizations are.  Fear is a powerful weapon.

Having written four previous articles on JLB and the plight of Zaria Burgess, in no way do I wish to diminish the suffering and pain she and her family had to go through.  I write now to emphasize and remind everyone that it has been exactly a year since the sentencing and nearly four years since her death in 2019. That is too long!

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. The opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.” — Elie Wiesel -Nobel Laureate and Holocaust survivor.

It is extremely important that society can recover from such atrocities by carrying out the death penalty for at least an obvious and easy-to-prove situation like this case.   Recovery includes justice being served while also having the punishment setting a deterrent for anyone ever thinking they could get away with such a thing again.  There are thousands of incidents of similar abuse taking place regularly on our soil (maybe not directly as JLB did, but the fact 40% are from relatives selling them into the system is mind-boggling).  Very few if any of these murderers and life destroyers found a path to death row.

It is time we get back to sanity in this country and not only reinstate the death penalty but swiftly complete the executions.  Until our laws, the ones on the books, are followed by the Judicial system – our violent society will only get worse.  More importantly, more needs to be done to help free the victims and restore their lives.  There are too few willing to step into the dark places and shine a much-needed light.  Consider volunteering with organizations helping victims and fighting to stop criminals.

So what does the Bible have to say about this topic?  As always in every blog I write for everyone in part 1 and give you the option to hear a spiritual/Biblical view on the topic.  You can stop here and move on or if you are open to more continue on, otherwise I hope I have stirred you to join in the fight against violent crime and abuse in America.

Please don’t go away yet! Keep reading past red line for more. If this is your first time visiting Average Joe’s Portico, every post is written in two parts. You have just read the portion challenging the mind, body, and soul.  In or on The Portico (as in Solomon’s Portico/Porch), I seek to tap into your spiritual side, but only IF YOU DARE.   If you are in a mood of ‘don’t shove God down my throat’ this may not be for you, it is your other.  Otherwise keep reading past the Red Line Below to read the Part 2 Spiritual side of the story.  (For an explanation of this creative writing attempt – read the ‘Do You Dare’ Tab) 

_________________________________________________________________________________Being Juror #97 almost meant nothing to me until I heard that small whisper from God that He had placed me in a solo position to take notice of the odds of me being on jury duty for this case, and thus to pull out the blog pen.  I also pulled out the Bible (this is covered in detail in part 1) to find Psalm 97 is all about Justice.  If you want to set the tone in your stirred heart click on this link and listen to an eerie portrayal of a portion of  Psalm 97 to music:This YouTube playlist starts with a Psalm 97 song and has other Psalms performed by 21st century artists.

Psalm 97  is a prophetic Psalm that speaks of  the return of Jesus to judge the earth.  For believers in Jesus Christ this is joyful and exciting news.  It is the moment we all are waiting for as His return includes all believers of God being united together in a new heaven and a new type of earth like the Adam and Eve heavenly place.  It has to be new since the Psalm and other words in the Bible indicate it will be destroyed.  It is good sometimes to be sobering in our understanding of God and Jesus. Very sobering.  We need someone to bring justice for victims, that is HIM. 

Psalm 97 (song rendition)

Clouds and thick darkness surround Him
Righteousness and justice are His foundation
Fire, it goes out before Him
Consuming all His foes on every side
His lightning lights up the world
The earth sees and trembles
The mountains melt like wax before Him
The Lord of all the earth proclaimed in heaven
The people will see His glory
All who worship idols will be put to shame
Worship Him, all you gods
Zion hears and is glad
Of your judgment

For you, for You, are Lord most high
Over the earth
Over all other gods

You who love the Lord, hate evil
He protects the lives of His godly people
Delivers them from hands of wicked
Joy will shines on those with hearts upright
Be glad in the Lord, you righteous
And give thanks to His holy name

For you, for You, are Lord most high
Over the earth
Over all other gods

So this says God protects us from evil, we are to love God and hate evil.  We give thanks to Him for taking care of us. Yet I just described the horrors of what is happening in our world as evil and lawlessness seemingly is drastically increasing. In reality, although there are more people in the world I would guess that the percentage of really evil people versus mostly nice and caring people probably is no worse than in other generations.  In Jesus’ time, the Jewish nation was under the strong arm of the immoral and sadistic Roman Empire.  Shortly after His death it actually got worse in some ways as the Romans were known to bring Christians into a large coliseum filled with fans to watch lions chase them around for fun until they were eaten alive.  Jesus Himself was tortured by hanging on the Cross for no reason by evil men, after being turned in by religious leaders that didn’t agree with Him.

As lawlessness increases the easier it is for crime to increase.  It is why, principle wise, the Bible states in Ecclesiastes 8:11 Because the sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.‘   So just what are we supposed to do with the dilemma of seeming chaos??

Why does God let this stuff happen, why doesn’t  He just wipe out all the bad people?  So let’s get philosophical but mixed with Biblical history and truth.  He has done that, but the message did not get across. Remember Noah and the flood, where God gave us the symbol of a rainbow saying He would never wipe out everyone and everything by a flood again. To wipe everyone out again would not be fair although it would be justified, and God/Jesus promised He would never send a near world-ending flood again. The old testament laws on one crime alone were severe.  Thou shalt not murder. If you murder someone the penalty is death.   When Jesus came along some people think He changed the standard and removed the death penalty. He did Biblical LAW-wise, but that did not exempt us from the laws of the land.  I take you to a major example in a seemingly puzzling story.

First, if you were in tune with the music I suggested to set your tone, let us change the channel to soothing thoughts via the merciful and compassionate Jesus with my YouTube Playlist titled Thought-Filled Tunes.  This is a full-experience article, but only if you click on the links.

The first song is about John 8 and a woman caught in Adultery.  It’s a middle-of-the-road topic, not murder, not rape or child abuse.  Yet Biblically in the old testament, it was subject to a possible sentencing to death:  “‘The man who commits adultery with another man’s wife, he who commits adultery with his neighbor’s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress, shall surely be put to death. Leviticus 20:10 NKJV

Let’s look at what Jesus did as a group of angry Christians pointing their fingers and judging someone accosted Him. er no wait, that can’t be true as they weren’t called Christians yet.  They were angry religious law leaders. The same ones who put Jesus on a Cross to die.  I am being sarcastic on the first part, but maybe not totally.

 In John 8   ‘As Jesus was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. 10 Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?”11 “No, Lord,” she said.  And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.”  John 8:3-11 (NLT)

Jesus easily recognized that this group was out to trap Him in words using rules and Bible verses.  They however were in complete denial that they were actually talking to the One who wrote the Bible, subtly symbolized by Jesus writing in the dust with his finger.  If you watched the movie The Ten Commandments you’d remember that God wrote the ten commandments with His finger on stone tablets.  Those ‘stone’ tablets were never intended to be thrown at someone to kill them.  It was also obviously hypocritical in that they stated the ‘woman was caught in the act’.  Then why did they NOT bring the man along with her to be stoned also?   They also were ready to stone her without a trial, which was never the intention of the laws of Moses.

One of the 10 commandments also states to honor your parents. Leviticus 20:9 states that If anyone curses his father or mother, he shall most certainly be put to death.‘ By the letter of the law, a child is possibly subject to the death penalty if taken to court for it as a crime.  So what’s up in the Bible with all this killing say those who scoff?

A lack of understanding causes some to toss a Bible aside and use it as an excuse to ignore it completely.  It is important to clarify the difference between the Old Testament and New Testament. Under the Old Covenant law, given to ancient Israel under a theocracy, punishments were established for the completely lawless by putting them to death.  Putting people to death was I believe a rarity!   We see many examples of more serious crimes not resulting in a death sentence such as King David’s adultery affair, one of his son’s abusing one of his daughters, and another son trying to overthrow his kingdom and kill him along the way.  This video gives a very good explanation of the law and how it related to the verses in John 8 I laid out.     It shows that in actuality the way it was carried out in Jewish times was even better than our jury system today.  If you have questions on this topic watch the video, it is enlightening.

In the New Testament, Jesus, who Himself was not under the law of Moses, brought a new but old law or principle into effect. We like to call it the golden rule: “So then, in everything treat others the same way you want them to treat you, for this is the essence of the Law and the writings of the Prophets.” Matthew 7:12 (AMP)      Paul lays it out that nobody is perfect, and all of us die which is the payment we have to pay for that word few want to hear called sin: “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God [that is, His remarkable, overwhelming gift of grace to believers] is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.”   Romans 6:23    Adultery no longer carries the death penalty civilly. Modern Christians are not living under the old theocracy and are not commanded to harm anyone because of their sins.  We are expected to treat others the way we want to be treated.  No one WANTS to be abused, robbed, made fun of, murdered, or anything else. 

I am no expert on Mosaic law, here is a tab that explains this if you want to research more, otherwise this write-up will be another 625 pages.  There are many more writings on this and all the topics.  Don’t take my word for all of it, challenge yourself to find and know the whole truth.   Don’t use the excuse that I am not going to believe in God ever because of churches and hypocrites.   Jesus is the one to follow not a religion, church, or imperfect person like myself or any other.  Some areas in the Bible are subject to varying opinions including the death penalty for today.

What the Bible does teach from Jesus’ example is it is our job as Christians to first be a light that shows goodness, kindness and love as He did.   We also are to share the Good News that people can be freed from bondage, that is the bondage of that thing called sin.  In some situations some people’s religion itself may be a form of bondage.  Some do not wish to hear any of that. It is a choice to reject the message but also a freedom for someone to speak it, at least in the USA today.  That is not necessarily a Biblical law as obviously there were people who opposed the message.  So much so that Jesus and all but one of His disciples were killed for speaking these words I write for those who choose to read it.

When we say the word ‘Saved’ loosely it means saved from the guilt that comes from being under bondage.   We have a meter built inside of us that fears being punished for breaking laws.  It is sort of like when you are driving down the street and see a police car on the side of the road we immediately hit the brakes and our heart races for fear of being caught speeding.  We don’t want to get a ticket or be tossed in jail.  If we happen to have 2 kilos of fentanyl in our trunk and we take off running because we know we are guilty, but don’t care at all about what we did, then the circumstances change drastically.  Old Testament wise serious crimes with no remorse and extended evil in a person’s life meant – the death penalty.  It also did in Jesus’ time, the guys next to him on the cross were ‘merely thieves’ being given the death penalty.  I say merely as thieves get probation in our society if any punishment at all.

New Testament wise in Acts 25:11 Paul was being questioned by a Roman court and in his defense he stated “Therefore, if I am guilty and have committed anything worthy of death, I do not try to escape death;”  His statement recognized the Roman laws that if he were guilty (which he was not) he was willing to accept the death penalty for the wrong.  Thus we follow the instruction and also accept the laws of the land.  Bondage to sin is a separate personal thing.  But, that too often leads to breaking laws beyond personal ones.  Everyone is required to follow the laws whether we like them or not, some exceptions apply if they force us to consciously reject God’s principles, which is somewhat rare in the USA.

We all are subject to the laws of the land as a citizen of the land.  There are laws on the books for going thru stop signs. If you break the law there is a penalty. Christians do not get an exemption because of the saving blood of Jesus dying on the cross for them if running a stop sign. The President nor his family members (lol, theoretically) do not get out of a ticket because of their position. All citizens and visitors are supposed to be subject to the laws of the land. I mention this basic principle because it is a human job to create laws and rules to protect good people from being hurt by bad people and to set a level of law and order.  The Death Penalty is a law in some states and should be carried out as it is written, once a person has been found guilty.  I agree we do need to be 101% sure they are guilty, but that should not take 25 years to prove, nor should we wait to see if the person becomes a better citizen during rehab in prison.  We certainly hope they do, but as a deterrent for onlookers and victims, examples must be made.  It is my opinion, some will agree and some disagree.  That is Ok, we have free will and a free mind.

Our society has evolved into seemingly ignoring morality laws.  Sadly it almost seems as if murder and hate have been exempted for some, while sexual immorality has been completely erased.   God gave us a FREE WILL to do whatever we want which includes having other gods beside Him.   But, He does point out that if you reject Him here on earth He will let you go far away from Him after death.  The choice is made while we live, not after death.  A person who rejects God openly basically is not judged at all, they make their own choice and end up, according to the Bible in a place that is exempt of God’s presence for all of eternity.   That free will choice of living separately from Him has a price to pay later.   

There are also consequences for doing things that are written in the Bible that are there for our own good.  Some are allowed per the laws of the land yet still not recommended for various reasons in the Bible.  Things like excessive alcohol are not recommended as we do stupid things and it is bad for our health. Yet free will allows you to do those.  The laws of the land, however, say you will be held responsible if you do stupid things like get in fights or drive a motor vehicle under the influence.  And if you kill someone while under the influence of some substance, it is no excuse, it could lead to the death penalty in some states.    

Back to Jesus’ examples.  We saw where He was compassionate with the adulteress woman and gave her grace and forgiveness while also saying Go and sin no more.’   It is a wonderful picture of John 3:17: “God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” The punishment for adultery, or for any other sin, is wiped away when we receive Christ’s taking of that punishment for us and extending His grace to those who accept it.   JESUS was involved in the rehab and helping people business.  His love, mercy, and compassion set the woman free from some type of bondage that perhaps came from a sex trafficking scheme as I described.  But, He did ‘recommend’ she learn from the lesson and His mercy towards her to not do it again, lest she end up with greater consequences the next time.

In another scene, He met a foreign woman at a well and prophetically told her all about the six husbands she had.  The laws of the land at that time allowed men to leave their wives for literally all kinds of excuses leaving them on the street to fend for themselves.  Perhaps the adulteress woman was in a similar boat.

The women both had little chance of finding a good job or ‘career’ because the rules were set up to prevent them from succeeding, and the pay was always lower. (sounds like a society we live in today doesn’t it?)  And God forbid, if they got rehabbed and became a well-known follower of Christ like Mary Magdalene, then they’d accuse the church leader of being weak and a friend of prostitutes.  Which is what Jesus was called.  Kind of like some of the supposed men of God who criticize Joyce Meyer and Beth Moore, both of whom have horrific stories of being abused as children, for sharing their amazing stories. 

Let’s do better and raise the bar. 

First, As Christians, to change society on the outside we must constantly work on the insides of ourselves.  Constantly growing in understanding of God’s word and grasping the grace and forgiveness God has granted us.  Individually our pursuit in life should be to grow closer to God so we by the power of the Holy Spirit become more passionate and merciful like Him in even the hardest-to-understand situations. And, understand we may have to spiritually (not with fists) fight evil doers on behalf of those being abused.  

We also are called to a higher standard and MUST work on it daily.  I guarantee you that JLB did not just one day wake up with a perversion as great as he had to do what he did to his daughter.  If we men think that a little peak here and there at porn will not grow into something further we are playing with gasoline and fire.  Porn btw comes from the sex trafficking world, don’t contribute to it.  Here’s a great verse you probably won’t hear on the popular mega-church teachings to ‘work at‘:  ‘Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord.‘  Hebrews 12:14 (NLT)

2nd let’s hold a higher standard in the churches we belong to.  How can we expect society to listen to our ‘wisdom’ when our example is so low?  When Pastors and  Priests are let off the hook for sexual abuse of women, children, and even boys how can we expect them to listen to a word we say?  When adultery, power abuse, and abuse of finances are left unchecked, why would politicians, governments, businesses, and fathers of families listen to a word we say?

3rd let’s shine a much brighter light into the dark world we live in.  Volunteerism in abuse ministries, children’s welfare, and care for single moms is a full-time everyday job.  Showing up as a church group for an hour once a year if at all to assist these much-needed ministries is not enough.  Yes, some are helping in great ways please keep it up, but much more is needed from others. Let’s break out of the holy huddles and help those in need.

“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves; ensure justice for those being crushed.  Yes, speak up for the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.”  Proverbs 31:8-9

On a positive note, the one example I mentioned of the female who went through such horrific times, is doing well, although solo.  Here is an old incognito photo of her going through a class on how to get closer to God with worship music.  The class is summarized in a previous blog post titled How to worship at home.    We all need ways to grow closer to God and learn to be more like Him, this teaching is helpful for all, check it out.  There is so much to cover on the topic of helping people that have been abused, I could write continuously and not cover every detail.I borrow this day of the sad anniversary date of the death penalty being applied to the killer of young Zaria Burgess.  It is in hopes that the sickness of this case and other shocking stories mentioned bring awareness to what getting lax in the laws in our country has produced.  Please pray for our country for an awakening as only God can change it for the better.  We are the instrument to make it happen.  I risk my all to perhaps be off a bit in theology and offend some with topics few wish to discuss.  May it honor Zaria and other victims who have no voice and bring others to stand up for them.

P.S. – I do not like pop-up ads, sign-up requests, book/conference promos, and requests for donations everywhere, don’t you?   But, getting the word out about new posts for a 100% free-to-you website is a tough task on social media.  If you would like to be notified about new posts and occasional insiders-only heart-pours, pop me a quick email to JoesPortico@gmail.com, and I’ll add you to my mailing list.   And please make a comment or ask a question in the block below that says ‘I’d love to hear your comments on this topic’, we all love interaction and opinions from readers and I don’t claim to be an expert on anything.

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