LISTEN: Urban Christian News Network #540 with Daniella Whyte

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1. According to Breitbart, On Friday’s edition of CNN’s “New Day,’ Milwaukee Co., WI Sheriff David Clarke criticized President Barack Obama, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio and Attorney General Eric Holder for their handling of the aftermath of two New York City Police officers last week and for what he called creating a “pathway” for hatred toward police in general. He said, “Well police officers on a daily basis live in a state of hypervigilance, about their exterior surroundings. But what’s going on in New York right now, and many other cities across America, here in Milwaukee as well, is this unjustified, if you will, hatred toward the police. And that pathway was created recently by some very powerful people in the United States who have made some very inflammatory comments about our American police officers, that being Mayor de Blasio, that being President Obama and that being Eric Holder. So I’m not going to engage in hyperbole and say they caused what’s going on. But like I said, they created that pathway for purely political purposes and I think that’s what the shame is here.”

2. According to the Associated Press, President Barack Obama marked the end of more than a decade of combat in Afghanistan by paying tribute to America’s military, telling troops on Christmas Day that their sacrifices have allowed for a more peaceful, prosperous world to emerge out of the ashes of 9/11. At an oceanfront Marine Corps base in Hawaii, Obama told troops that while tough challenges remain for the U.S. military in hotspots like Iraq and West Africa, the world as a whole is better off because American troops put country first and served with distinction. He said Americans and their president could not be more thankful.

3. According to Christian Today, The Archbishop of Canterbury has been diagnosed with pneumonia after failing to deliver his Christmas sermon at Canterbury Cathedral yesterday. Archbishop Justin Welby was initially said to be suffering from a severe cold, but Lambeth Palace today confirmed that he was diagnosed with the respiratory tract infection on Thursday afternoon. The Dean of Canterbury, the Very Rev Robert Willis, delivered a homily yesterday instead. It is the first time in living memory that an Archbishop of Canterbury has failed to preach in the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion on the Christian festival that celebrates the birth of Christ.

4. According to CNN, Seven men have been arrested in connection with alleged threats made toward police officers since Saturday afternoon, when two NYPD officers were shot in the head from behind while sitting in their patrol car, New York City police said. Police said in a statement Wednesday that they have assessed hundreds of online postings and calls to 911 and pressed the public to continue to report any suspicious activity. “All threats against members of the NYPD are taken seriously and are investigated immediately to determine the credibility and origin of the information,” the statement read.

5. According to CBN News, The Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem — the traditional site of the birth of Jesus — is one of the most revered places in all of Christendom and the destination of Christian pilgrims from all over the world. Now, the 600-year-old church is getting a much-needed face lift. The first stage of restoration began to repair water damage to the rooftop and windows. As one of Christianity’s most revered sites, the church attracted more than 2 million visitors last year. But the building, with remnants up to 1,500 years old, has been neglected for decades. The pilgrims who visit the church don’t seem to mind the restoration work.

6. According to CNN, The latest ISIS-appointed governor of Mosul was killed in coalition airstrikes on Thursday, according to Iraqi police. Hassan Hassan Saeed Al-Jabouri, also known as Abu Taluut, was killed 18 miles south of Mosul in the village of Qayyara, according to Maj. Gen. Watheq Al-Hamdani, a senior regional Iraqi police commander who is leading the government’s efforts to retake Mosul from ISIS. Jabouri is the second ISIS-appointed governor of Mosul killed by airstrikes and had been in office for less than 25 days.

7. According to Reuters, Somali Islamist militant group al-Shabaab attacked the main African Union (AU) peacekeeping base in the capital Mogadishu on Thursday, killing 14 people, a spokesman for the group said. There were conflicting reports about number of dead in the attack which has now lasted several hours. In the past, al-Shabaab has exaggerated numbers, while officials have played down losses. AU spokesman Colonel Ali Houmed said it would provide an update later in the day on possible casualties and fatalities among AU troops, but added that three al-Shabaab gunmen were killed and AU troops were seeking to overpower another three.

8. According to The Times of Israel, a top Russian official said on Thursday that Moscow will support a draft resolution on Palestinian statehood at the United Nations Security Council. Deputy Foreign Minister Gen-na-dy Gat-i-lov said Russia would vote in favor of the controversial bid, which calls for an Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines by the end of 2017. Moscow also expressed hope that all other members of the Security Council would support the measure and that it will not be vetoed.

9. According to Reuters, Russia said on Wednesday that NATO was turning Ukraine into a “frontline of confrontation” and threatened to sever remaining ties with the Atlantic military alliance if Ukraine’s hopes of joining it were realized. The Kiev parliament’s renunciation of Ukraine’s neutral status on Tuesday in pursuit of NATO membership has outraged Moscow and deepened the worst confrontation between Russia and the West since the end of the Cold War. Russia’s deputy defense minister said, “NATO countries pushed Kiev to this counterproductive decision, trying to turn Ukraine into a front line of confrontation with Russia. If this decision in the future takes on a military character (by joining NATO), then we will respond appropriately.”

10. According to the Times of Israel, Iran’s national army has begun a massive military drill near the strategic Strait of Hormuz at the entrance to the Persian Gulf. The chief of the army’s ground forces said that the maneuvers were aimed at “transferring experiences” to a younger generation of Iranian soldiers. Earlier this week, the commander of the Iranian navy said “the Islamic Republic of Iran’s might will be displayed in a joint maneuver by the Army’s Ground, Naval and Air Forces.” He added that various warships, destroyers, submarines, missiles, aircraft and helicopters would be used in the drill in a bid to improve the naval forces’ power.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Luke 2:28-32 says, “Simeon took [Jesus] in his arms and praised God, saying: “Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel.””

God loves you. He always has and He always will. He loves you so much that the Bible says in 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 the Lord Jesus Christ as your Saviour, why don’t you get to know Him today. Just believe in your heart that Jesus Christ died, was buried, and rose by the power of God for you. Pray and ask Him to come into your heart today, 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. May God bless your day.