LISTEN: Urban Christian News Network #551 with Daniella Whyte

1. According to The Washington Times, The Islamic State has taken responsibility for the terror attacks in Paris and vowed, watch out Britain and America — you’re next. Cleric Abu Saad al-Ansari said, “We started with the France operation for which we take responsibility. Tomorrow will be in Britain, America and others.” Haaretz reported that al-Ansari said the warning was “to all countries participating in the [U.S.-led] coalition that has killed Islamic State members.” The Paris terror attacks at the satirical Charlie Hebdo newspaper left 12 dead.

2. According to In Faith Media, A celebration of Andraé Crouch’s life will take place on Tuesday, January 20th and Wednesday, January 21st at West Angeles Church of God In Christ, located at 3045 Crenshaw Blvd in Los Angeles, California. Both services will be open to the public. Andraé’s accolades include 7 Grammy Awards, 6 GMA Dove Awards, an Academy Award nomination for “The Color Purple,” induction into the Gospel Music Hall of Fame and a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. His songs have been recorded by everyone from Elvis Presley to Paul Simon, and he worked as a producer and arranger with many top artists, including Michael Jackson, Madonna, and Quincy Jones.

3. According to The Washington Post, Frustrated by the failure of U.S.-brokered peace talks and under growing pressure from his people to confront the Israeli occupation, Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas is launching diplomatic war against Israel, betting on a risky campaign to fully “internationalize the struggle” by moving toward the UN and away from the US. As part of this strategy, which the Israelis have dubbed a “diplomatic intifada,” the Palestinians are seeking support for statehood from the international community via resolutions at the United Nations and in European parliaments calling for the end of Israeli occupation within two years and the establishment of a Palestinian state. The stated goal is to embarrass, anger and isolate Israel, and thereby pressure ordinary Israelis to push their government to make a peace deal with the Palestinians.

4. According to The New York Times, The F.B.I. and Justice Department prosecutors have recommended bringing felony charges against David H. Petraeus, contending that he provided classified information to a lover while he was director of the C.I.A., officials said, and leaving Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. to decide whether to seek an indictment that could send the pre-eminent military officer of his generation to prison. The Justice Department investigation stems from an affair Mr. Petraeus had with Paula Broadwell, an Army Reserve officer who was writing his biography, and focuses on whether he gave her access to his C.I.A. email account and other highly classified information. F.B.I. agents discovered classified documents on her computer after Mr. Petraeus resigned from the C.I.A. in 2012 when the affair became public. Petraeus, has said he never provided classified information to Ms. Broadwell. A lawyer for Mr. Petraeus, Robert B. Barnett, said Friday he had no comment.

5. According to CBN News, The state of Oklahoma has replaced its Ten Commandments monument after the original one was destroyed last fall. In October, a 29-year-old man drove his car across the Capitol lawn and crashed into the monument, smashing it into pieces. Police arrested him the next day and he was admitted to a hospital for mental health treatment. Formal charges were never filed. The replacement 6-foot-tall headstone-like granite monument is identical to the original and an exact replica of the Ten Commandments monument at the Texas Capitol.

6. According to The Orlando Sentinel, Orange Circuit Judge Renee Roche, saying that “forgiveness doesn’t have a role in the legal system,” sentenced former FAMU band member Dante Martin to more than six years in prison Friday for organizing the fatal hazing of drum major Robert Champion. It was the harshest sentence yet in the beating death of the drum major three years ago in Orlando. Martin was one of 15 people charged in Champion’s death but the only ex-band member to get prison time in the case. In October, an Orange County jury found Martin guilty of manslaughter and other charges in the hazings of Champion and two other band members.

7. According to DailyMail, one of Britain’s most influential Jewish journalists said, Jews are fleeing terror-hit Paris because of growing anti-Semitism in France. Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, spoke out after an Islamic terrorist took six people hostage and held them captive in a Kosher supermarket in the French capital. Shortly after, police ordered all shops in a famous Jewish neighborhood in central Paris to close. Mr Pollard said today’s terror attack in Paris, linked to the massacre at the office of Charlie Hebdo, will force more French Jews to flee the country. Many are moving to Britain or to Israel, according to a report published in the newspaper last year. 18 months ago France had around 500,000 Jewish residents – the largest population in the EU – but this may now be below 400,000, Mr Pollard’s newspaper said. Pollard said: ‘It is the largest emigration of Jews anywhere since the war.’

8. According to The Oklahoman, Several Oklahoma ministers are planning to wear hoodies when they preach at their churches on Jan 18 as a way to protest a proposed law they feel seeks to criminalize the wearing of hooded shirts that are popular in today’s culture. The Rev. Jesse Jackson of East Sixth Street Christian Church will wear a hooded sweatshirt instead of his usual preacher’s robe when he steps into the pulpit of his northeast Oklahoma City church on the Sunday before the Jan. 19 federal holiday honoring Martin Luther King Jr.

9. According to JNS.org, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi has become the first holder of his office to ever attend a Christmas mass. El-Sisi was present at the Christmas mass at Cairo’s Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral, where he visited with Coptic Pope Tawadros II and gave a brief speech. Unlike Christians in the West, Coptic Christians celebrate Christmas on Jan. 7 due to their use of the older Julian calendar. El-Sisi has embarked on an ambitious plan for a “revolution” in Islam, in order to reform the faith that he says has made the Muslim world a source of “destruction” that is “making enemies of the whole world.”

10. According to CBN News, Ebola survivor and medical missionary Dr. Rick Sacra will return to Liberia next week to serve patients at ELWA Hospital in the capitol of Monrovia. Sacra, 52, a family physician from Holden, Massachusetts, contracted Ebola while serving last year in Liberia with SIM, an international Christian mission organization. He successfully completed treatment for the virus in September at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. Sacra plans to treat general patients at the hospital for the next month. He will not work at the Ebola treatment units on the ELWA campus but will see patients with malaria, chronic health problems, and provide maternity and pediatric care.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: 1 Peter 1:15-16 says, “But be holy now in everything you do, just as the Lord is holy, who invited you to be his child. He himself has said, ‘You must be holy, for I am holy.'”

Maya Angelou said, “What you’re supposed to do when you don’t like a thing is change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you think about it. Don’t complain.”

God loves you. He always has and He always will. He loves you so much that the Bible says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” If you don’t know the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, why don’t you get to know Him today. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose by the power of God for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, and He will. Romans 10:13 says, “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Thanks so much for listening. May God bless your day.

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