1. CT – Despite a new wave of contemporary church buzzwords like relational, relevant, and intentional, people who show up on Sundays are looking for the same thing that has long anchored most services: preaching centered on the Bible. “Sermons that teach about Scripture” are the No. 1 reason Americans go to church, according to a new Gallup poll. Researchers found that 82 percent of Protestants and 76 percent of all regular worshipers consider sermons’ biblical lessons as a major factor that draws them to services.
2. Baptist Standard – Baylor University has elected Linda Livingstone, a veteran dean and business professor, as its 15th president and the first woman to lead the school, founded by Texas Baptists in 1845. Livingstone received unanimous support from Baylor’s board of regents after being recommended by a 12-member presidential search committee, the university announced April 18. She will assume the office June 1. She succeeds Ken Starr, who lost his job almost 11 months ago in the sexual assault scandal that rocked Baylor, and particularly its football program, the past two years.
3. CNN – Convicted murderer and former NFL star Aaron Hernandez was found hanged in his Massachusetts prison cell Wednesday morning, officials said, just days after his acquittal in a double murder case. The 27-year-old former tight end for the New England Patriots hanged himself with a bedsheet attached to a window in his cell at the Souza-Baranowski Correctional Center in Shirley, the Massachusetts Department of Correction said. His body was discovered at 3:05 a.m. “Lifesaving techniques were attempted on Mr. Hernandez, and he was transported to UMass Leominster, where he was pronounced dead at 4:07 a.m.,” the correction department’s statement reads.
4. NYT – Representative Jason Chaffetz, the powerful chairman of the House Oversight Committee, told supporters on Wednesday that he would not seek re-election to Congress — or for any office — in 2018. Chaffetz, 50, a Utah Republican who plainly relished his oversight role more under a Democratic administration, said he was ready to return to the private sector after more than 13 years in public service, calling his decision a “personal” one. “I have long advocated public service should be for a limited time and not a lifetime or full career,” he said in a statement posted on Facebook. “After more than 1,500 nights away from my home, it is time.”
5. AP – A Georgia congressional election is headed to a high-stakes runoff that’s shaping up as a referendum on President Donald Trump ahead of crucial midterm elections next year. Democrat Jon Ossoff, a little-known 30-year-old former congressional staffer, fell a few percentage points shy of an outright victory Tuesday amid an 18-candidate scramble in Georgia’s 6th Congressional District. His strong showing in the conservative district, driven by eye-popping fundraising numbers from out-of-state donors, underscored Democrats’ eagerness to get a win against Trump as they strive to take back House control in 2018. Republican Karen Handel, a former Georgia secretary of state, finished a distant second in the crowded field, qualifying for the June 20 runoff.
6. AL.com – At least three people were arrested and at least one was left bloodied after dueling demonstrations outside Auburn University’s James E. Foy Hall turned raucous before Richard Spencer spoke there Tuesday night. The speech was a lightning rod for controversy both on campus and online, as the “alt-right” leader’s past white supremacist rhetoric proved divisive enough to cause Auburn to cancel the event on Friday. But Spencer obtained a federal court order Tuesday afternoon that forced the university to allow him to speak as scheduled Tuesday evening. “We won a major victory for the alt-right,” Spencer said of the order during his remarks, which were repeatedly interrupted by shouts from the crowd. And Spencer did not fail to deliver the kind of inflammatory speech that had raised concerns among many members of the Auburn community and beyond last week.
7. Baptist News Global – More than three years after being pulled out of line by Homeland Security at Nashville International Airport while waiting to board a flight to Germany and being told he was wanted for murder, former Southern Baptist minister Richard Shahan can have his passport back. Court records filed April 17 indicate the Jefferson County circuit clerk must return the passport taken as a condition of bond after the former children’s and family minister at First Baptist Church in Birmingham, Ala., was arrested on New Year’s Day 2014 in connection with the stabbing death of his wife, Karen, at the couple’s home the previous July, according to the Birmingham News. Shahan’s murder charge was dismissed April 10 after the Alabama Attorney General’s Office acknowledged there wasn’t enough evidence to prosecute. Because there is no statute of limitation for murder, the case could be reopened if new evidence emerges.
As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Hebrews 13:5 says, “Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.”
Jim Rohn said, “Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going.”
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!