LISTEN: Int’l adoptions hit historic low; Winners of 2017 Dove Awards (UCNN, 10/22/17)

According to Christianity Today: The number of international adoptions hit a historic low last year, despite growing attention toward orphan care among US evangelicals. Americans adopted 5,372 children in the year ending September 2016, down from a 35-year low the 12 months before. The number of foreign adoptions annually has fallen to less than a quarter of the totals during peak years over a decade ago, with 22,884 adoptions recorded in 2004. Meanwhile, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) reported “eye-opening numbers” on how Christian investment in orphan care and adoption “continues to climb dramatically”. ECFA calculates that giving to Christian orphan ministries increased by more than 87 percent since 2010, while giving to Christian adoption ministries increased by more than 73 percent.

According to BILLBOARD: MercyMe, CeCe Winans, Zach Williams, the Gaither Vocal Band, Tamela Mann and Reba McEntire were among the top winners at the 48th Annual Gospel Music Association Dove Awards. Held at David Lipscomb University’s Allen Arena in Nashville, the show was hosted by Kari Jobe and Tasha Cobb Leonard and recognized the top artists, songwriters and producers in faith-based music of all styles including rock, rap, country and gospel. MercyMe was named artist of the year and frontman Bart Millard earned songwriter of the year (artist). The band’s album Lifer won pop/contemporary album of the year. CeCe Winans also took home multiple Dove Awards, including gospel artist of the year and contemporary gospel/urban album of the year for Let Them Fall in Love.

According to The Telegraph: A manhunt is underway for a gang suspected of abducting a British-led missionary team working in a crime-plagued region of southern Nigeria. The four missionaries were abducted from their accommodation in a remote part of Nigeria’s Delta State late last Friday night. They had been operating a series of clinics there for the past 14 years, despite the high risk across Delta State from kidnappers, armed robbers and pirates. Zanna Ibrahim, Delta’s police commissioner, said the prime suspects were a local militant group called the Karowei, and that the kidnapping may have been in response to “Operation Crocodile Smile”, a recent law and order operation.

According to BCNN1: Gospel artist Tasha Cobbs has found herself in a dispute after she failed to appear as scheduled at the Canadian Women of Gospel event in Toronto on Saturday. A statement from Tasha Cobbs Ministries implies that the concert organizers, Gospel Connection Canada, didn’t promote Cobbs’ appearance as much as promised. But a dueling statement from Gospel Connection Canada indicates that Tasha Cobbs Ministries didn’t meet financial obligations. Either way, concert attendees are upset and some have demanded refunds for their tickets.

According to the Associated Pres: Alexei Navalny, Russia’s most prominent opposition figure, was released from jail Sunday after serving a 20-day sentence for calling an unauthorized demonstration. Navalny was arrested on Sept. 29 as he planned for a rally that officials had sanctioned. But a court sentenced him for organizing another event, an unauthorized protest in President Vladimir Putin’s hometown of St. Petersburg. Navalny plans to run for president against Putin in next March’s election. He has repeatedly served jail terms connected to rallies critical of the Russian government.

According to the San Diego Union Tribune: Six years after purchasing an aging Mission Valley hotel, longtime San Diego televangelist Morris Cerullo won approval Tuesday from the City Council to transform the site into a $160 million religious-themed resort and conference center, complete with replicas of the Western Wall and Roman catacombs. The 7-2 vote came almost a month after a majority of the council balked at moving forward with the controversial project because of concerns that the environmental analysis may have underestimated the retreat’s potential impacts on Mission Valley traffic.

According to Baptist Press: Most churchgoing Protestant parents of young adults say their kids grew up to be Christians. But, according to a LifeWay Research survey, half of them don’t actually practice the Christian faith, their parents say. And the biggest factor predicting their spiritual health as young adults is whether they read the Bible regularly as kids. Jana Magruder, director of LifeWay Kids and author of Nothing Less, said it’s easy for parents to be caught up in the busyness of life — and not to ground their kids in the practice of reading the Bible. She said, “The key takeaway from the study is a simple yet profound finding that God’s Word truly is what changes lives.”

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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!