1. WashPost – Former Obama national security adviser Susan E. Rice said Tuesday that she “absolutely” never sought to uncover “for political purposes” the names of Trump campaign or transition officials concealed in intelligence intercepts, and she called suggestions that she leaked those identities “completely false.” “I leaked nothing, to nobody, and never have and never would,” Rice said in response to the latest charges and countercharges flowing from politically charged investigations into Russian interference in the presidential election. Since they first surfaced over the weekend, the Rice reports have quickly overtaken the steady drumbeat of revelations about connections to Moscow that have dogged President Trump for months. On Tuesday, the subject dominated cable news and flooded Twitter.
2. BP – Healing has just begun at First Baptist Church of New Braunfels, Texas, pastor Brad McLean told the congregation April 2 in the first Sunday worship service since the loss of 13 members in a bus accident days earlier. “We gather as a church family who has suffered the loss of 13 of our family members, and so we gather with a heavy heart this morning,” McLean said during the service, according to the church’s April 3 press release. “It is important for us to recognize that our pain is real, our loss is real, our grief is real, and as a church family we will have to work through these losses together. It will not be done in one Sunday. It will not be done after one week of memorial services — it will take time.” The pastor, who also serves as a trustee for LifeWay Christian Resources, has the task of shepherding the congregation of more than 500 in the aftermath of the March 29 tragedy. Only one passenger of the church bus, 64-year-old Rose Mary Harris, survived the wreck. She is still hospitalized at Antonio Military Medical Center in San Antonio.
3. ABC – The number of companies pulling their advertising from Fox News’ “The O’Reilly Factor,” hosted by Bill O’Reilly, continues to increase — the current tally now stands at 22, with Coldwell Banker being the latest. Firms are bolting following allegations of misconduct published by The New York Times this past weekend. The companies are GlaxoSmithKline, BMW, Mercedes-Benz, Hyundai, Constant Contact, UNTUCKit, Sanofi, Allstate, Ainsworth Pet Nutrition/Rachael Ray Nutrish, T. Rowe Price, Mitsubishi, Wayfair, MileIQ, Lexus, Bayer, Esurance, Credit Karma, True Car, The Wonderful Company, Society of Human Resources Management, Coldwell Banker and Orkin.
4. CP – Franklin Graham’s backing of President Donald Trump and his policy stances on refugees and immigration have offended conservative evangelical groups in Europe. Leading evangelicals and churches in Norway are reportedly withdrawing from a “revival festival” in late 2017 in Oslo where the renowned evangelist is scheduled to speak. In a CP opinion piece Wednesday, Stefan Fisher-Høyrem, a historian in the Department of Religion, Philosophy, and History at the University of Agder, Norway, who has also taught Christian apologetics at Norway’s evangelical NLA University College, noted that while politics may be local, the Church of Jesus Christ is universal. And Graham’s close ties and vocal support of the 45th U.S. president is greatly harming the witness of the Gospel in Europe, he argued. Fisher-Høyrem also cited several Norwegian evangelical leaders, Christian members of Parliament, and even the head of Norway’s largest Christian think tank who share Graham’s core theological convictions but no longer want to be connected to him.
5. Charisma – One of Britain’s largest banks is to offer “gender-neutral” options for filling out forms, so as not to offend those who do not identify as their birth sex. HSBC will offer 10 “gender-neutral” titles in addition to the standard ones of Mr., Mrs., Ms. and so on. The titles include “Ind.,” short for “individual,” “Mre.,” which is short for “mystery” and “Pr.,” which means “person.” Christian Concern’s Andrea Williams has described the new options as a “denial of reality” that will “confuse people.”
6. CNBC – The year’s fast start for job creation showed no signs of letting up in March as private payrolls saw another big boost, according to a report Wednesday. Companies added 263,000 jobs for the month, ADP and Moody’s Analytics said. That was well above the 185,000 expected from economists surveyed by Reuters and also better than the 245,000 reported for February. The February number was revised significantly lower, however, from the originally reported 298,000. In addition to the big gain on the headline number, the month also continued a trend away from services-oriented positions dominating job creation. Goods-producing firms contributed 82,000 to the total, as construction led the way with 49,000 new jobs.
7. CP – The United States is ending its support for a United Nations entity that promotes abortion overseas, the State Department has announced. Pro-life leaders are praising President Trump for the move. In an official letter to Bob Corker of Tennessee, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the State Department said it would no longer fund the United Nations Population Fund (UNPFA) because the group “supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization.” The State Department also noted that since the nation of China’s “family planning policies still involve the use of coercive abortion and involuntary sterilization” and that the “UNFPA partners on family planning activities with the Chinese government agency responsible for these coercive policies,” it warranted withdrawing financial support. Pro-life advocates and longtime opponents of population control were delighted.
As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Matthew 18:3 says, “And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.”
John Quincy Adams said, “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
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!