LISTEN: Pastors Sue Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association (UCNN 07/15/17)

1. WashPost – William Lamar, the senior pastor at D.C.’s historic Metropolitan African Methodist Episcopal Church, is tired of presiding over funerals for parishioners who died of heart disease, diabetes and stroke. So on Thursday, he and another prominent African American pastor filed suit against Coca-Cola and the American Beverage Association, claiming soda manufacturers knowingly deceived customers about the health risks of sugar-sweetened beverages — at enormous cost to their communities. The complaint, filed in D.C. Superior Court Thursday on behalf of the pastors and the Praxis Project, a public health group, alleges that Coke and the ABA ran an intentional campaign to confuse consumers about the causes of obesity.

2. Richmond Free Press – For the Rev. Joseph Roger Young, the call to ministry came late in life. The retired insurance claims adjuster was 65 when he entered Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond to begin his new career. He was 68 when he emerged from the seminary in 2004 with his master’s in Christian education and divinity, and 70 when he was ordained and called to his first pastoral assignment at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Amelia County. He led the church until his death on Friday, June 30, 2017, in Richmond. He was 81. Family and friends gathered Friday, July 7, 2017, at Ginter Park Presbyterian Church to remember the minister and Richmond resident they described as a warm, friendly and generous man who lived up to the Christian values he espoused.

3. LC – The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) recently sent a letter to GuideStar reprimanding them for their recent labeling of Liberty Counsel and certain other nonprofit organizations as “hate groups” at the recommendation of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). ECFA President Dan Busby wrote: “The practice by GuideStar of labeling any 501(c)(3) organization as a hate group undermines GuideStar’s credibility among nonprofit leaders as a neutral, objective source of information about the nonprofit sector.” The ECFA provides accreditation to leading Christian nonprofit organizations that faithfully demonstrate compliance with established standards for financial accountability, transparency, fundraising, and board governance.

4. ABC – Following a series of meetings Thursday in Washington examining Title IX sexual assault procedures on college campuses, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is reexamining guidance to schools. In addition to survivors’ groups and educational institutions, DeVos met with “men’s rights” organizations, including the National Coalition for Men (NCFM), as well as groups that speak out on behalf of the accused, including Families Advocating for Campus Equality (FACE) and Stop Abusive and Violent Environments (SAVE). Though the secretary refused to say whether the administration wants to amend directives to colleges and universities, survivors’ advocates worry that DeVos’ engagement with these controversial groups — which opponents have dubbed insensitive to victims — signals a possible willingness to shift the process to the advantage of alleged perpetrators by rolling back Obama-era guidance directing schools to use a “preponderance of the evidence” standard of proof, rather than the higher “clear and convincing” standard, during Title IX sexual assault violence investigations.

5. NYT – In an extraordinarily brazen assault early Friday, three Arab citizens of Israel armed with guns and knives killed two Israeli police officers guarding an entrance to Jerusalem’s holiest site for Jews and Muslims, an emotional and volatile focal point of the Israeli-Arab conflict. Security camera footage showed the armed assailants emerging to attack from within the sacred compound in the Old City of Jerusalem that Jews revere as the Temple Mount and Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary. Police officers pursued the assailants, who fled back inside the compound and exchanged fire; all three assailants were killed.

6. IANS – A Christian man was arrested by police in Pakistan’s Gujrat province on charges of blasphemy, the media reported on Saturday. The police on Friday arrested the man, who works as a sweeper at a private hospital, after Nadeem Ahmed, the owner of an electric shop in Dinga town, registered a case against him for uttering provocative remarks about the Prophet Muhammad, Dawn online reported. Mr. Ahmed said in his complaint that his friend Ishtiaq Ahmed Jalali had on Thursday told him about the remarks.

7. AP – France’s foreign minister on Saturday called on Qatar’s neighbors to immediately lift measures impacting thousands of people in the Gulf, becoming the latest foreign diplomat to visit the region and attempt to find a resolution to a crisis that has dragged on for more than a month. In early June, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Egypt cut ties with Qatar and moved to isolate the small, but wealthy Gulf nation, canceling air routes between their capitals and Qatar’s and closing their airspace to Qatari flights. Saudi Arabia also sealed Qatar’s only land border, impacting a key source of food imports in the mostly desert nation.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Psalms 91:1 says, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.”

George Addair said, “Everything you’ve ever wanted is on the other side of fear.”

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!