LISTEN: Half of all Americans still say grace over meals (UCNN, 06/25/17)

1. WashPost – A new poll by The Washington Post and the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that saying grace is a widespread practice in the United States. About half of all Americans take a minute to say a prayer over their food at least a few times a week, the poll reveals, making grace an unusual commonality in a politically divided nation. Rural and urban Americans are equally likely to say grace, the poll shows. Northerners and Southerners, Catholics and Protestants, Democrats and Republicans, all say grace to varying degrees. Even some Americans who reject organized religion still say grace. “It’s a powerful way of reminding yourself that you are not self-sufficient, that you are living by somebody’s grace, that plenty of other people who work just as hard as you don’t have anything to eat,” said Tim Keller, a prominent New York City pastor who wrote a book on prayer.

2. LA Sentinel – The National Newspaper Publishers Association will honor Martin Luther King, III with the 2017 Lifetime Legacy Award during the group’s annual conference this week at the Gaylord Convention Center at the National Harbor in Prince George’s County, Md. As the oldest son of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Mrs. Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King III serves as an ambassador of his parent’s legacy of nonviolent social change. In 1997, King was elected as the fourth president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference where he co-sponsored the 40th Anniversary of the historic March on Washington.

3. USA Today – NFL Hall of Famer Deion Sanders announced plans Saturday to join forces with the conservative Koch brothers to launch a new $21 million venture to work on anti-poverty programs in Dallas. The project, called Prime 5, will expand the Kochs’ work with two existing Dallas programs focused on building young entrepreneurs and reducing gang violence. Organizers plan to expand their support to other groups working in the city.

4. CP – The United States Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled against a Kansas Catholic woman who claims that she was ordered by police to stop praying in her own home. On Tuesday, the three-judge panel voted to uphold a judge’s dismissal of Mary Anne Sause’s lawsuit against two Louisburg officers, who she said demanded to be allowed into her home and wouldn’t tell her why they were there. She alleged that when she began praying, the officers, who were there because of a noise complaint, ordered her to stop.

5. LA Sentinel – American vocalist, songwriter, and National Recording Academy Member, Sheila Raye Charles; the daughter of the music icon, the legendary Ray Charles and Sandra Jean Betts has passed away after a gallant battle with breast cancer. Sheila Raye was 53. Sheila Raye has traveled across the United States and abroad spreading her message of love and redemption while also keeping her legendary father’s memory alive through song, worship, and praise.

6. CP – Baseball player Chris Singleton has been drafted by the Chicago Cubs two years after his mother was murdered during a Bible study at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. Singleton, 20, was drafted by the Cubs in the 19th round last week. When the news broke, he took to social media to glorify God for the honor. Singleton’s mother, the Rev. Sharonda Coleman-Singleton, was among nine people killed at Charleston’s Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church on June 17, 2015, in a racially motivated murder committed by white gunman Dylann Roof. While the Chicago Cubs are aware of his heartbreaking story, it was his talent on the baseball field that drew their interest in Singleton.

7. AP – An off-duty black St. Louis police officer’s race factored into him being mistakenly shot by a white officer who didn’t recognize him during a shootout with black suspects this week, the wounded officer’s lawyer contends. The 38-year-old black officer was off duty when he heard a commotion near his home and ran toward it with his service weapon to try to help his fellow officers, police said. St. Louis’ interim police chief, Lawrence O’Toole, said the incident began when officers with an anti-crime task force followed a stolen car and were twice fired upon by its occupants. One suspect was shot in an ankle and was arrested, along with another teenager who tried to run from police, O’Toole said. A third suspect is being sought.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Psalms 25:5 says, “Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation…”

John Stott said, “We should not ask, “What is wrong with the world?” for that diagnosis has already been given. Rather, we should ask, “What has happened to the salt and light?”

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!