LISTEN: Amber Guyger Convicted of Murder of Botham Jean (UCNN 10.01.19)

According to The Christian Post, “God is good. Trust him,” declared Allison Jean Tuesday after a Dallas County jury convicted ex-police officer Amber Guyger of murder for fatally shooting her son, Botham Jean, in his apartment last year. The verdict which was reached shortly after 10:30 a.m., according to The Dallas Morning News, also triggered cheers in the hallway outside the courtroom where the late worship leader’s family and friends celebrated. Video captured inside the courtroom showed Texas State District Judge Tammy Kemp delivering the verdict of the jury after less than 24 hours of deliberation. “We the Jury unanimously find the defendant Amber Guyger guilty of murder as charged in the indictment,” the judge declared while warning “no outbursts” as a muted celebration could be heard off camera. That is when Allison Jean could be heard saying, “Oh, thank God. Thank God,” as she was shown worshiping inside the courtroom with her hands lifted high. Botham Jean’s sister sobbed as his mother declared “God is good” as she raised her fist in the air, The New York Times said. Guyger, 31, fatally shot Botham Jean, 26, in his apartment in 2018. She claimed that she mistook his apartment for her own and thought Jean was a burglar. She is the first Dallas officer convicted of murder since the 1970s, The Dallas Morning News said, which was a surprise for many tracking the case.

According to Charisma News, The Los Angeles Dream Center celebrated another year of miracles this past weekend during their annual Night of Dreams on Saturday, Sept. 28. This year’s event included many moments of reflection on the past 25 years of service to the people of Los Angeles. And they are pleased to report a record-breaking achievement—raising nearly $2 million for the residential programs they offer at their 555-bed facility in the former Queen of Angels Hospital. A live auction took place on Saturday, with co-founders Pastor Tommy Barnett and his son Pastor Matthew Barnett inspiring guests to give with the needs of the people of Los Angeles in mind. In just one night they were able to raise a majority of the money needed to fund their residential programs for an entire year. The evening was filled with inspiring stories from individuals and families whose lives have been radically transformed as a result of the work that takes place at the Dream Center. Many of the staff that have been involved since the beginning gave an account of the growing impact they’ve been able to achieve since the Dream Center first opened its doors in 1994. Several faithful donors were in attendance as well, many of whom gave tearful and passionate speeches throughout the evening. The celebration also included music and comedy, with a special performance from “Heavenly Joy” of America’s Got Talent. “What a memorable and joyful weekend it was for everyone at the Dream Center,” said co-founder Matthew Barnett. “I can’t thank our community enough for the faithful support and generosity that has led this dream from 25 years ago to become a reality. And the additional generosity we witnessed throughout this past weekend has left me speechless. What an amazing, miracle-working God we serve. I know every penny raised will drastically change the trajectory of thousands of lives for an eternity.” Over the course of 25 years, more than 46 million pounds of food has been distributed throughout Los Angeles by way of the Dream Center, and more than 8.5 million people have been served through their outreach programs.

According to NBC News, A black student at a Christian school in Virginia who accused three white sixth grade boys of cutting her dreadlocks and calling her ugly now says she was lying about the attack. The alleged incident garnered national attention partially because Vice President Mike Pence’s wife, Karen, teaches part-time at Immanuel Christian School. On Monday, Stephen Danish, the head of Immanuel Christian School, said in a statement that Amari had “acknowledged that the allegations were false.” Danish thanked the Fairfax County Police Department for their work investigating the accusations. The Fairfax Police Department had no comment Monday. Amari’s family’s attorney told NBC Washington that security camera footage viewed during the investigation showed that the attack did not happen where and when Amari alleged. She does maintain that she has been bullied, the attorney said. “While we are relieved to hear the truth and bring the events of the past few days to a close, we also feel tremendous pain for the victims and the hurt on both sides of this conflict. We recognize that we now enter what will be a long season of healing,” Danish’s statement said. “This ordeal has revealed that we as a school family are not immune from the effects of deep racial wounds in our society. We view this incident as an opportunity to be part of a learning and healing process, and we will continue to support the students and families involved,” he said. In a statement, Amari’s family apologized to the three boys and their parents, the school and the community. “We understand there will be consequences, and we’re prepared to take responsibility for them. We know that it will take time to heal, and we hope and pray that the boys, their families, the school and the broader community will be able to forgive us in time,” the statement said.

According to the Associated Press, A federal judge Tuesday cleared Harvard University of discriminating against Asian American applicants in a ruling that was seen as a major victory for supporters of affirmative action in college admissions across the U.S. In a closely watched lawsuit that had raised fears about the future of affirmative action, a group called Students for Fair Admissions accused the Ivy League college of deliberately — and illegally — holding down the number of Asian Americans accepted in order to preserve a certain racial balance on campus. U.S. District Judge Allison D. Burroughs, however, ruled that Harvard’s admissions process is “not perfect” but passes constitutional muster. She said there is “no evidence of any racial animus whatsoever” and no evidence that any admission decision was “negatively affected by Asian American identity.” “Race conscious admissions will always penalize to some extent the groups that are not being advantaged by the process,” Burroughs wrote, “but this is justified by the compelling interest in diversity and all the benefits that flow from a diverse college population.” Her ruling, which came after a three-week trial a year ago, brings temporary relief to other universities that consider race as a way to ensure campus diversity. But it also sets the stage for a prolonged battle that some experts predict will go all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court. While Harvard President Lawrence S. Bacow welcomed the ruling, saying that the consideration of race and many other factors “helps us achieve our goal of creating a diverse student body that enriches the education of every student,” Students for Fair Admissions said it will appeal. In the case against Harvard, the plaintiffs argued that Asian Americans were held to a higher standard in admissions, amounting to an “Asian penalty,” while the school gave preference to black and Hispanic students with poorer grades.

According to The Daily Beast, Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, has taken legal action against a U.K. newspaper that published a private letter she wrote to her father earlier this year. In a statement, Prince Harry wrote that his wife has become “one of the latest victims of a British tabloid press”—which he said has waged a “ruthless campaign” against her. “The contents of a private letter were published unlawfully in an intentionally destructive manner to manipulate you, the reader, and further the divisive agenda of the media group in question,” the Duke of Sussex wrote. “There comes a point when the only thing to do is to stand up to this behavior, because it destroys people and destroys lives.” He then wrote that he feared “history repeating itself,” referring to how his late mother, Princess Diana, was treated by the press. “I’ve seen what happens when someone I love is commoditized to the point that they are no longer treated or seen as a real person,” he wrote. “I lost my mother and now I watch my wife falling victim to the same powerful forces.” Markle is suing British newspaper The Mail on Sunday and its parent company, Associated Newspapers, over the “misuse of private information, infringement of copyright and breach of the Data Protection Act 2018.” The case is being funded by the Duke and Duchess privately, and the royals say any money resulting from the case will be given to an anti-bullying charity.

According to the New York Post, The chairman of a performing arts school in Brooklyn has to pay an almost $500,000 verdict after he installed spying software in his estranged tobacco-heiress wife’s iPhone, the New York Post reports. Jurors ordered Crocker Coulson, Brooklyn Music School chairman, to pay Anne Resnik $200,000 in compensatory damages, $200,000 in punitive damages, and $41,500 in statutory damages—or $100 for each of the 415 days he accessed her phone between 2012 and 2014. Coulson was also ordered to pay $10,000 to Resnik’s mom, sister, and psychiatrist because he also intercepted their communications by spying on his wife. Resnik’s divorce lawyer reportedly discovered Coulson’s spying after he found a $50 PayPal charge in his financial records for OwnSpy, a software that would let him listen in on her conversations. He also installed mSpy onto Resnik’s phone, which let him access her emails, texts, photos, and GPS data. “The court is mindful that [Coulson] probably never contemplated that his initial investment of approximately $50 of spyware would start him on this path or have such dire consequences for his financial future,” Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Jeffrey Sunshine reportedly wrote in his ruling.

According to Faithwire, Pop singer Selena Gomez took to Instagram Sunday to thank Christian artist Lauren Daigle for her music, sharing a clip from her concert Friday with her 157 million Instagram followers. “This girl is a ball of sun,” Gomez wrote. “She has an anointing that bursts out ferociously in her voice, words, and music. You and your music are a blessing @lauren_daigle.” “Love you girl,” Daigle responded in the comments. The video Gomez shared shows Daigle performing one of her popular songs, “Rescue,” which peaked at number 2 on the Billboard chart for Christian digital song sales. This was not the first time that Gomez publicly declared her love for Daigle’s music. This time last year, Gomez opened up about her battle with depression and anxiety to her followers, encouraging them to listen to her songs to help process those feelings.

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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!