This is the Urban Christian News podcast. Here are the top stories you need to know about today.
According to reports, T. D. Jakes revealed in a statement on Instagram: “This has been an unforgettable week in Dallas! Three pipes burst, wet ceilings in our house. There is flooding in some areas of the church, fighting against the cold and losing. Yet, we are so much better off than some. I’m thankful. But I sure do pray this is coming to an end! Hopefully, this is the last night! Hang in there, Texas. We are all in the same boat!” He added, “I’m praying for people that are cold and or thirsty! Hotels full, and grocery stores are empty.”
According to WTSP 10, At a time when many families are struggling, one church in Lutz is making sure students have food on the table. Idlewild Baptist Church will pay off student lunch debt for all juniors and seniors in Hillsborough County, and all students K-12 in Pasco County. Idlewild hopes this gift, totaling $38,367.33, can be a source of hope amid the coronavirus pandemic. Seior Pastor Ken Whitten says the church community wanted to let families in the area know they have support. Kurt Browning, Pasco superintendent of schools, said in a statement, “We can’t thank Idlewild Baptist Church enough for this generous donation. This will really make a difference. It will come as a relief to so many families, especially at a time when many are struggling.”
According to Religion News Service, Popular Christian author Shauna Niequist has apologized for her silence following the allegations against her father Bill Hybels, the founding pastor of suburban Chicago megachurch Willow Creek Community Church. Niequist spoke out about the allegations for the first time in a long Instagram caption posted Monday (Feb. 22) accompanying a simple image with the words “An apology.” She wrote, “I apologize for my silence & for all that it communicated. I’m so sorry. I continue to grieve alongside every person who’s grieving.” Hybels retired early from Willow Creek in 2018 after he was accused of sexual misconduct stretching back more than 20 years by several women who worked for or attended the church. He has denied the allegations. An investigation by an independent group of Christian leaders advising the church later found those allegations to be credible. Niequist wrote, “That season shook me to the core, & I shut down.” Since then, Niequist said she has been “trying to find the words to write about my dad & our church,” noting she has posted before about how painful different aspects of the past few years have been. She apologized for not speaking more plainly. Niequist said she still loves and has a relationship with her father. She cannot apologize or make amends for him, she wrote, but she hopes her post will be a first step toward apologizing to and making amends with people hurt by her own silence.
According to KHOU 11, A Conroe, Texas, family whose young son died during the winter storm has enlisted to help of high-profile attorney Tony Buzbee in their lawsuit against ERCOT and Entergy. The lawsuit alleges gross negligence by the power grid operator and the electricity provider, saying it led to the death of 11-year-old Christian Pavon. The boy died Tuesday after spending the night in his frigid mobile home that lost power. The lawsuit says Christian died of hypothermia, and the family is asking for more than $100 million in damages. Medical examiners have not yet released his cause of death. Entergy released the following statement on the lawsuit: “We haven’t yet reviewed the lawsuits and will respond accordingly once we do. Our thoughts are with all Texans who “have and are” suffering due to this past week. However, because approximately 46% of privately-owned generation tripped offline this past Monday morning, we are confident that our grid operators made the right choice to avoid a statewide blackout.”
According to Reuters, A very different Australian Open came to a familiar close on Sunday, with Novak Djokovic crowned champion for a record-extending ninth time and Serbian fans hailing a one-sided win over another would-be challenger in Daniil Medvedev. The world number one’s 7-5 6-2 6-2 win on his favourite court secured his 18th Grand Slam title, bringing him within tantalising reach of Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal’s all-time men’s record of 20. “I would like to thank Rod Laver Arena. I love you each year more and more. It’s been a love affair that keeps growing. Thank you so much,” Djokovic said as he cradled the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup once again. Djokovic came into the Grand Slam under fire after offending the Australian public for petitioning organisers to ease quarantine conditions for players. He suffered a painful abdominal injury in the first week and had to manage it through the second. But those challenges were drowned out in the roars of his fans as he thrashed fourth seed Medvedev in a bearpit atmosphere. He said, “It has been definitely emotionally the most challenging Grand Slam that I ever had with everything that was happening, injury, off-the-court stuff, quarantines. It has been, least to say, a roller-coaster ride in the last four weeks.”
According to Reuters, Naomi Osaka crushed Jennifer Brady 6-4 6-3 to secure her second Australian Open title on Saturday and cement her standing as the new queen of the women’s game. Osaka’s one-sided win over the 22nd-seeded American in the final at Rod Laver Arena gave the Japanese juggernaut her fourth major crown, with her career still budding at the age of 23. She joined Monica Seles and Roger Federer as winners in their first four Grand Slam finals, marking her out as the ultimate big match performer. “My reaction is that that’s very amazing company,” Osaka told reporters, sitting next to the winner’s Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup. “I hope that I can have one grain of how their career has unfolded. But you can only wish and you can only just keep going down your own path. But it’s definitely something crazy to hear.” More major trophies surely await if she can convert her irresistible hardcourt form to French Open clay and grass at Wimbledon.
According to USA Today, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes and fiancée Brittany Matthews announced the birth of their first child on their Instagram pages. Sterling Skye Mahomes was born Saturday, and weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces. The couple each posted a photo of their daughter holding Matthews’ finger as she wore a “Sterling'” necklace. Mahomes had told reporters during the week before Super Bowl 55 against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers that the due date was “coming up pretty quickly.” The couple got engaged on Sept. 1, 2020, the same day the Chiefs received their Super Bowl 54 rings.
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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!