This is the Urban Christian News podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to Charisma News, Liberty University has announced that Chairman Jerry Prevo has accepted the appointment by the executive committee of the board to serve as the acting president of the university. This follows the announcement on Aug. 7 that the board of trustees and President Jerry Falwell Jr. agreed to Falwell’s indefinite leave of absence. All members of the board expressed their support for the executive committee’s appointment of Dr. Prevo in a meeting today. This announcement comes two weeks before the start of the 2020-21 academic year. Dr. Prevo has served on the Liberty University board of trustees since 1996 and has been the board chairman since 2003. He recently retired as the senior pastor of Anchorage Baptist Temple in Anchorage, Alaska, after serving that community for 47 years. Dr. Prevo said, “I want to thank my fellow board members for having confidence that I could be entrusted with the responsibility of serving as the acting president during this time of Jerry Falwell Jr.’s indefinite leave of absence. We have a world-class leadership team at Liberty University who will support me in running our operations on a day-to-day basis and fulfilling our spiritual mission unabated: ‘Training Champions for Christ.’ Please pray for us as well as the Falwell family as we embark on our academic year and so we may continue to be united in our common purpose and our faith in Christ.”
According to CNN, Police Chief Carmen Best announced her retirement Monday night, shortly after Seattle’s City Council voted to cut nearly $4 million from the police department’s budget. Best’s announcement came on the same day the council approved the mid-year budget cut from the police department’s 2019-2020 budget of $400 million. The reduction to the police department budget will equate to $11 million over the course of a year, an amount that is far less than a 50% budget cut that had earlier been discussed. Seattle City Council President M. Lorena González said in a statement that the city council rebalanced the budget in light of the economic crisis brought on by the Covid-19 pandemic and calls to redistribute funds from policing to community programs in the wake of the protests following the death of George Floyd. Best said in a letter to members of the police force: “I want to thank Mayor (Jenny) Durkan for her continuous support through good times and tough times. I am confident the department will make it through these difficult times.” The chief stressed on Tuesday that her decision “is not about the money,” but about losing part of the team she said she had worked hard to put together. “It really is about the overarching lack of respect for the officers, the men and women who work so hard, day in and day out.” Best said her retirement will be effective September 2. Durkan said Deputy Chief Adrian Diaz will become interim chief.
According to The Christian Post, megachurch pastor and author David Platt is asking Christians to pray that their third adopted child, who turned 4 on Sunday, would come into their family soon. Platt, the lead pastor of McLean Bible Church in Vienna, Virginia, wrote on Twitter: “Today was my son’s 4th birthday. But I haven’t met him yet. We were 5 days away from going overseas to adopt him when travel to his country shut down in early February. For the last 6 months, I’ve been pleading every single day for a way to go to him. As a dad, I would do anything possible to make that happen.” Platt added, “I woke up this morning to new pictures of him in his orphanage, and then I read the first verse that just so happened to be in my Bible reading plan. ‘Jesus told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not lose heart’ — Luke 18:1.” The former leader of the Southern Baptist Convention’s International Mission Board then urged Christians “to pause for a moment, pray for J.D., and ask God to make a way for him to come into our family.”
According to Daily Mail, More than 860 students and teachers from a single school district in Georgia are currently quarantining after dozens of COVID-19 infections were reported when in-person classes resumed a week ago. Schools in the Cherokee County district have asked 826 students and 42 teachers to quarantine for 14 days due to possible coronavirus exposure just six days into the new school year. The 42,000-student district, which is just outside Atlanta, said on Monday that 38 students and 12 teachers had tested positive for the virus in the week that in-person classes resumed. Those who have been asked to quarantine were identified as part of the district’s contact tracing efforts as people who may have come into close contact with an infected student or teacher. The school district drew national attention last week when a photo of students at Etowah High School squeezed together for first-day-of-school senior photos without wearing masks.
According to The Christian Post, Pastor Adam Carter of Leawood Baptist Church is pleading with social media users to “help us find my sweet wife,” as police in Kansas and nearby states are searching for 36-year-old Marilane Carter, a mother of three. Carter wrote on Twitter, “Please help us find my sweet wife. If you see anything please contact law enforcement.” Marilane left her home in Overland Park last Saturday, driving to Birmingham, Alabama, to seek mental health treatment, and was last seen in Memphis, southwest Tennessee, according to KSHB. A woman said she helped Marilane get gas. Afterwards, she was seen going into the bathroom, wearing a white shirt, black yoga pants and a backpack. Her phone went dead somewhere in the area of the I-55 bridge coming into Memphis, KMBC reported. Pastor Carter was quoted as saying, “I had offered to take her to a hospital there in the Kansas City area, but she wanted to go somewhere to just get some help at a place that she felt that she could trust and was familiar with.” Marilane also has family in Alabama, where she was headed.
According to CNN, The Big Ten and Pac-12 conferences each voted Tuesday to postpone college football and all other fall sports seasons as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 global pandemic, a development that may signal the beginning of the end for all sports at the collegiate level in 2020. Both leagues hope to play football in the spring. Big Ten Commissioner Kevin Warren said, “As time progressed and after hours of discussion with our Big Ten Task Force for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Big Ten Sports Medicine Committee, it became abundantly clear that there was too much uncertainty regarding potential medical risks to allow our student-athletes to compete this fall. Everyone associated with the Big Ten Conference and its member institutions is committed to getting everyone back to competition as soon as it is safe to do so.” University of Michigan Athletic Director Warde Manuel said the conference “will continue to evaluate a number of options” regarding fall sports, “including the possibility of competition in the spring.”
According to CBS News, Actor Chris Pratt and author Katherine Schwarzenegger announced the birth of their first child together on Monday on social media — and shared a sweet photo with their new baby girl. The couple said they named their daughter Lyla Maria Schwarzenegger Pratt. great,” Pratt wrote on Instagram and Twitter, “We couldn’t be happier. Both mom and baby are doing. We are extremely blessed. Love Katherine and Chris.” He also included two Bible verses in the Instagram post. Schwarzenegger posted a similar message to her own social media accounts. The pair also posted a photo alongside the announcements, which appeared to show the hands of Pratt, Schwarzenegger and their new baby girl.
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In closing, remember, 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!