1. A. Larry Ross – A racially diverse group of evangelical leaders and thousands of Christian followers met with police and community representatives Sunday night to discuss solutions to rising violence in our cities and racial divisions in our country. An estimated crowd of 2,600 attended The Reconciled Church’s Celebration of Unity Service at Free Chapel’s campus in Gainesville, a suburb located approximately one hour outside of Atlanta. The Reconciled Church is a movement working to shift the racial atmosphere of the nation by healing the racial divisions in the church. It held its first conference in January 2015 in the wake of police killings of unarmed black men in Ferguson, Missouri and Staten Island, New York. Since then, such incidents have become increasingly common.
2. NBC – An Alabama megachurch is seeking to establish its own police department — and a bill that would green light the force is already moving through the state senate. The 4,100-member strong Briarwood Presbyterian Church, located in suburban Birmingham, contends it needs its own police force to counter any potential threats because it is also home to a K-12 school and a theological seminary with 2,000 students and teachers. The church would pay the bill for its officers. Last week, Alabama’s Senate Judiciary Committee voted to send the bill, SB 193, to the full Senate for a full vote.
3. AFP – Israeli Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman on Sunday threatened to destroy Syrian air defence systems after they fired ground-to-air missiles at Israeli warplanes carrying out strikes. “The next time the Syrians use their air defence systems against our planes we will destroy them without the slightest hesitation,” Lieberman said on Israeli public radio. Israeli warplanes hit several targets in Syria on Friday, with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying the strikes targeted weapons bound for Lebanon’s Shiite Hezbollah movement.
4. AP – The St. Louis childhood home of late poet Maya Angelou is up for sale. With a listed price of $159,000, the 1,100-square-foot place at 3130 Hickory St. was Angelou’s home for her first three years and, after her death in 2014 at the age of 86, was given local landmark status. The three-bedroom, three-bathroom dwelling is 129 years old.
5. Reuters – Canada’s border authorities detained more Mexicans in the first 67 days of 2017 than they did annually in any of the three previous years, according to statistics obtained by Reuters. The spike comes immediately after Canada’s federal government lifted its visa requirement for Mexican citizens in December. Many Mexicans looking north have shifted their focus from the United States to Canada as President Donald Trump vows to crack down on America’s undocumented immigrants, about half of whom are Mexican.
6. WFTV – Murder suspect Markeith Loyd was back in court Monday for the first time since State Attorney Aramis Ayala announced she would not seek the death penalty in his case, or any other during her time in office. Loyd’s case, however, is in new hands. State Attorney Brad King, who represents Lake and Marion counties, was also in court Monday. King is crossing district lines to take over the case, days after Gov. Rick Scott pulled Ayala from the case after she made her death penalty decision. In court Monday, Ayala told the judge she believes the governor overstepped his bounds and she had already turned in a notice to not seek the death penalty against Loyd.
7. Daily Star – North Korea has pledged to launch a nuclear strike on the US if a “single bullet is fired” as US forces flood the Korean Peninsula. Kim Jong-un’s rogue state issued the stunning warning as Washington and South Korea carry out war games in the region. Pyongyang blames the rest of the world for rising nuclear tensions as the DPRK continues its quest for nuclear missiles capable of striking the US mainland.
As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Jeremiah 17:7-8 says, “Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is. For he shall be as a tree planted by the waters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the river, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green; and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.”
Alexander Graham Bell said, “When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us.”
God loves you. He always has and He always will. 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 Jesus as your Saviour, today is a good day to get to know Him. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose from the dead for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart 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 and may God bless your day!