LISTEN: Pence Travels to DMZ Between North & South Korea (UCNN 04/17/17)

1. AP – In a trip full of Cold War symbolism, U.S. Vice President Mike Pence traveled to the tense zone dividing North and South Korea and warned Pyongyang that after years of testing the U.S. and South Korea with its nuclear ambitions, “the era of strategic patience is over.” The unannounced visit Monday at the start of his 10-day trip to Asia was a U.S. show of force that allowed the vice president to gaze at North Korean soldiers from afar and stare directly across a border marked by razor wire. As the brown bomber jacket-clad vice president was briefed near the military demarcation line, two North Korean soldiers watched from a short distance away, one taking multiple photographs of the American visitor. Pence told reporters near the Demilitarized Zone that President Donald Trump was hopeful China would use its “extraordinary levers” to pressure the North to abandon its weapons program, a day after the North’s failed missile test launch. But Pence expressed impatience with the unwillingness of the regime to move toward ridding itself of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

2. AP – Authorities in several states were on the lookout Monday for a behavioral health case manager who posted gruesome Facebook video of himself randomly shooting a Cleveland retiree who was collecting discarded cans. Cleveland police allege 37-year-old Steve Stephens shot a 74-year-old passer-by on Sunday in an apparently random attack. While authorities said Stephens might have left Ohio, the city’s police chief added that his last known location was at the site of the shooting Sunday afternoon and that detectives spoke with the suspect by cellphone. Officers have searched dozens of places around the city, said Chief Calvin Williams, who warned residents to be careful as the go about their day.

3. Reuters – The U.S. Supreme Court is set this week to hear a closely watched case testing the limits of religious rights, and new Justice Neil Gorsuch’s judicial record indicates he could tip the court toward siding with a church challenging Missouri’s ban on state funding of religious entities. Trinity Lutheran Church, which is located in Columbia, Missouri and runs a preschool and daycare center, said Missouri unlawfully excluded it from a grant program providing state funds to nonprofit groups to buy rubber playground surfaces. Missouri’s constitution prohibits “any church, sect or denomination of religion” from receiving state taxpayer money. Gorsuch, who embraced an expansive view of religious rights as a Colorado-based federal appeals court judge, on Monday hears his first arguments since becoming a justice last week. He will be on the bench on Wednesday when the justices hear the Trinity Lutheran case, one of the most important of their current term.

4. CBN – Thousands of believers gathered on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ on Sunday. Captial Church in Leesburg, Va held the special sunrise service in Washington D.C. and close to 1,700 people joined to worship, pray, and hear a sermon from the church’s founder, Pastor Amos Dodge. “19 centuries, now we push into 20, have come and gone and he is the central figure of the human race,” he shared during his message.

5. WashPost – Linda Hopkins, a Tony Award-winning singer and actress, who brought a full-throated, gospel-driven spirit to her concert performances and long-running Broadway musical shows, died April 10 in Milwaukee. She was 92. Her death was announced on the website of the New Pitts Mortuary in Milwaukee, where Hopkins had lived in recent years. She had a severe stroke 10 years ago. Hopkins began performing as a gospel singer in her native New Orleans at age 3, standing on a box to be heard in church. She emulated two singers with huge voices, gospel star Mahalia Jackson and Bessie Smith, known as the Empress of the Blues.

6. HuffPost – After her Emmy Award-winning success on ABC’s “American Crime,” Regina King is now focused on highlighting the Atlanta child murders for FX’s upcoming series “No Place Safe.” The developing drama series, based on Kim Reid’s 2007 memoir of the same name, will find the actress reuniting with “American Crime” executive producer John Ridley, according to Deadline. Reid’s book explores details from her childhood during the summer of 1979 in Atlanta, where her mother was tasked as an investigator in solving a string of homicides that ended in 1981 with more than two dozen children and teens killed. The series is a part of King’s two-year deal with ABC Studios for her production house, Royal Ties.

7. AP – Turkey’s main opposition party on Monday urged the country’s electoral board to cancel the results of a landmark referendum that granted sweeping new powers to the nation’s president, citing what it called substantial voting irregularities. An international observer mission that monitored the voting also found irregularities, saying the conduct of Sunday’s referendum “fell short” of the international standards. It specifically criticized a decision by Turkey’s electoral board to accept ballots that did not have official stamps, saying that undermined safeguards against fraud.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: James 1:12 says, “Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.”

Pablo Picasso said, “Action is the foundational key to all success.”

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!