1. CP – A group of evangelical leaders prayed over President Donald Trump in the Oval Office, with Vice President Mike Pence in attendance as well. Following a meeting hosted by the Office of Public Liaison on Monday, the evangelical leaders met with President Trump and administration officials in the Oval Office. Johnnie Moore, president of the KAIROS Company and an attendee of the prayer meeting, snapped a photo of the laying of hands on Trump that is garnering immense attention on social media. In a statement emailed to The Christian Post, Moore described the event as “a very special moment but it was also not an unusual one.” “Various ones of us have prayed with him many times and have been praying for him for a long time … We believe we are a praying nation, and we begin by praying for our leaders,” stated Moore.
2. RNS – Christians made up the majority of refugees admitted to the U.S. in the first five full months of the Trump administration, reversing a trend that saw Muslims entering the country at higher numbers under President Obama, a new Pew Research report shows. Out of all the refugees who arrived between President Trump’s inauguration and June 30, about half were Christians and 38 percent were Muslims, according to data released Wednesday (July 12). But when monthly figures are viewed, the data (originally from the U.S. State Department) reveals a steady decline for Muslims, from about 50 percent of refugees in February to 31 percent in June.
3. CNN – Cadaver dogs led authorities to a “common grave” where they found the body of one of four men who had been missing in suburban Pennsylvania since last week, Bucks County district attorney Matthew Weintraub said. At a midnight news conference, Weintraub identified the man as 19-year-old Dean Finocchiaro. He was found in what was described as a 12.5 foot deep common grave in a sprawling property at the center of the investigation. “We are not done yet. This is a homicide, make no mistake about it,” Weintraub told reporters. Additional human remains were found inside the grave, but were not yet identified, Weintraub said.
4. EURWeb – A coffee table book featuring images of Michelle Obama during her eight years as First Lady will arrive this fall, three weeks before a book of Barack Obama photographs is due from White House photographer Pete Souza. “Chasing Light,” featuring 150 color shots of the former FLOTUS by White House photographer Amanda Lucidon, along with Lucidon’s personal commentary, is due on Oct. 17, from Ten Speed Press.
5. Reuters – Chinese Nobel Peace Prize laureate Liu Xiaobo, a prominent dissident since the 1989 Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests, died on Thursday after being denied permission to leave the country for treatment for late-stage liver cancer. Liu, 61, was jailed for 11 years in 2009 for “inciting subversion of state power” after he helped write a petition known as “Charter 08” calling for sweeping political reforms. Mourning his death, German Chancellor Angela Merkel called Liu a “courageous fighter for civil rights and freedom of expression”, while the French and U.S. governments called on China to allow Liu’s family to move around freely.
6. AP – Senate Republican leaders are trotting out their new, but reeling, health care bill and angling toward a showdown vote next week amid signs that they have lots of work ahead to win over GOP lawmakers or face a resounding failure. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., planned to present the revamped measure rolling back much of President Barack Obama’s health care law to GOP senators Thursday. He’s aiming at a do-or-die vote next week on whether to begin debating the bill – a roll call for which he’s got no margin for error.
7. EURWeb – Whoopi Goldberg was among many who thought Black Lives Matter activist DeRay McKesson took things a bit too far by accusing filmmakers behind “War for the Plant of the Apes” of invoking his image by dressing one of the apes in a blue vest similar to one he often wears. “Given the history of rendering black people as apes, I’m offended & appalled by the lack of consciousness in Hollywood,” the civil rights activist wrote in tweets that have since been deleted. “In associating black people with apes, active work is being done to perpetuate the dehumanization of black people in mass media.” Welp, Whoopi weighed in on Wednesday’s episode of “The View,” insisting McKesson learn about the film’s history before tweet-crying racism. “DeRay, you need to go back and watch the 1968 original and check out what the apes were wearing,” Goldberg said, referencing the 1968 film “Planet of the Apes,” which depicted the apes in similar blue jackets. “This has nothing to do with you. This was a movie about what happens when mankind doesn’t pay attention to environment, to how we treat animals and each other. That’s what that movie was about. And at the end of the movie, when they’re riding around and you realize it’s here, that’s what the movie was about. Get over yourself!”
As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: 1 Peter 1:3 says, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
Erma Bombeck said, “When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left and could say, I used everything you gave me.”
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!