Tornado kills 13, thousands flee flooding in Texas; Cleveland churches protest officers acquittal (UCNN #647)


1. According to ABC News, A tornado ripped through a city on the U.S.-Mexico border today, killing at least 13 people, and more storms and flooding battered Texas and the southern Great Plains. The tornadoes and flooding that forced at least 2,000 Texans from their homes came out of a line of storms that stretched from the Gulf of Mexico to the Great Lakes, dumping record rainfall on parts of the Plains and Midwest. The deadly tornado that hit Ciudad Acuna, Mexico was one of at least 15 reported. The 12 people missing were all staying in a vacation home that was swept away by rushing floodwaters.

2. According to The AP, Two people died and several more were injured in a shooting early Tuesday at a Wal-Mart Supercenter store in Grand Forks, North Dakota. Deputy Police Chief Mike Ferguson would not say if the gunman was arrested, at large or among the dead, but did say he believed there wasn’t any further risk to the public following the shooting. Ferguson did not provide names of the dead or say how many have been injured. It was not immediately clear if the two dead died at the scene or at the hospital.

3. According to The AP, Members of about 40 Cleveland-area churches planned to protest the acquittal of a white patrolman charged in the deaths of two unarmed black motorists. Parishioners from the churches making up the Greater Cleveland Congregations planned to march through downtown Cleveland late Tuesday morning. The Rev. Jawanza Colvin said the rally would be peaceful and police had been contacted in advance. A judge on Saturday found Patrolman Michael Brelo not guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the November 2012 deaths of two unarmed motorists in a 137-shot barrage of police gunfire after a high-speed chase.

4. According to Reuters, Vice President Joe Biden reassured Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar al-Abadi of the U.S. commitment to help fight Islamic State militants in an effort at damage control on Monday after Defense Secretary Ash Carter questioned Iraqi troops’ desire to fight. Carter told CNN on Sunday that Iraqi forces showed no will to battle against Islamic State militants during the fall of Ramadi a week ago, and U.S. forces were trying to encourage them to engage more directly. His remarks drew a rebuke from Abadi, with whom President Barack Obama has sought to build a positive relationship despite tension over the U.S. role in the country. Biden’s call was an effort to patch things up after Carter’s remarks.

5. According to CBS Baltimore, It’s been a violent 72 hours in Baltimore after a surge of shootings-some deadly across the city. Police say 26 people were shot, 9 of them killed over this weekend, adding to the record-breaking violence. New police video of a person of interest in Sunday’s deadly shooting in Druid heights. It’s one of several active investigations following a Memorial Day weekend riddled with gun violence across Baltimore City. Councilmember Mary Pat Clarke links the violence to a city still reeling from weeks of unrest.

6. According to AFP, Moscow and Tehran have concluded negotiations on the delivery of the Russia’s long-range S-300 surface-to-air missile system to Iran, which should take place “within a short period,” according to an Iranian Deputy Minister. He said, “The negotiations were completed successfully. I believe that the delivery of the S-300 will take place in a relatively short time. It will be done at the earliest possible opportunity.” The Russian Foreign Ministry has not confirmed the statement, merely reiterating in a statement “the importance of maintaining a regular Russian-Iranian dialogue”.

7. According to Reuters, About 100 fighter jets from the United States and eight European nations began an Arctic training exercise in the Nordic nations on Monday, a region worried by increased Russian military activity. The exercise, based in the north of Norway, Sweden and Finland with 4,000 personnel, is meant to test cooperation among Arctic nations near Russia. It was planned before Moscow’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimea region last year raised regional tensions. The exercise, lasting from May 25 to June 5, is one of the biggest fighter jet exercises in Europe this year and the second of its type after one in 2013.

8. According to AFP, At least 800 people have died in a major heatwave that has swept across India, melting roads in New Delhi as temperatures neared 50 degrees Celsius (122 Fahrenheit). Hospitals are on alert to treat victims of heatstroke and authorities advised people to stay indoors with no end in sight to the searing conditions. In the worst-hit state of Andhra Pradesh, in the south, 551 people have died in the past week as temperatures hit 47 degrees Celsius on Monday.

9. According to The AP, A United Nations official says that armed gunmen fired on a U.N. vehicle in Mali’s capital, killing one peacekeeper and injuring another. The U.N. official said an investigation is being opened into Monday night’s ambush on the peacekeepers working for the U.N. mission in Mali. He said the attackers have not been identified and spoke on condition of anonymity. The attack comes after weeks of flaring violence between separatist rebels, the military and armed groups allied with the military, mostly in Mali’s north.

10. According to Reuters, Charter Communications Inc said it would buy Time Warner Cable Inc in a cash-and-stock deal that values the larger rival at $78.7 billion, to compete with No. 1 U.S. cable services provider Comcast Corp. The deal values each Time Warner Cable share at about $195.71 based on Charter’s closing price on May 20, the companies said in a joint statement on Tuesday.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: John 3:17 says, “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.”

Joseph Addison said, “If you wish to succeed in life, make perseverance your bosom friend, experience your wise counselor, caution your elder brother, and hope your guardian genius.”

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.

3 people killed in flooding across OK, TX; Shooting of CT pastor investigated (UCNN #646)


1. According to NBC News, Weekend flooding that had killed three people through Sunday night left eight other people missing and forced the evacuations of hundreds more across Oklahoma and Texas as emergency crews took stock of the damage caused by the severe weather. A thousand residents in San Marcos’ Hays County were displaced by the heavy flooding, which damaged or destroyed at least 400 homes. Rescue crews were searching for 8 people from 2 families who were missing in the Hays County town of Wimberly. Among them were three children under age 10.

2. According to WFSB, Hartford police officers are investigating a shooting that left a pastor injured Sunday morning. Police identified the victim as 54-year-old Augustus Seal of Shrewsbury, MA. Officers on scene said the victim was placing flags outside the Hartford First Church of Nazarene when he was shot. When police arrived on the scene, they located Sealy who had three gunshot wounds, two to the right leg and one to the left shoulder area. Sealy is listed in serious, but stable condition. A man associated with the church said the victim is the pastor of the church, Rev. Dr. Augustus Sealy.

3. According to Fox News, The Iraqi forces defeated by Islamic State fighters in their takeover of Ramadi were not outnumbered and in fact showed “no will to fight,” Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Sunday, an indication that even a top-ranking administration official thinks President Obama’s plan to defeat the extremist group appears in trouble. The Iraqi forces outnumbered their opposition in Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, in the battle last weekend. Carter said, “What apparently happened is the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight. They were not outnumbered. In fact, they vastly outnumbered the opposing force. That says to me, and I think to most of us, that we have an issue with the will of the Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves.”

4. According to AFP, Boko Haram fighters killed several people and destroyed dozens of homes in a raid on a town in northeast Nigeria’s Borno state, local residents, a vigilante and the military said on Sunday. Scores of Islamist militants in trucks and on motorcycles stormed the town of Gubio, 60 miles north of Maiduguri. Resident Babor Kachalla, who fled following the attack, told AFP, “Boko Haram invaded our town and killed many of our people and burnt more than half of the town.” Civilian vigilante Babagana Gunda predicted a high death toll because Boko Haram “had a field day”.

5. According to WBTV, A Charlotte family is forever changed after an accident near Wilmington killed their young son and forced his pregnant mother to undergo an emergency C-Section to save their unborn child. Troopers with the North Carolina Highway Patrol said the crash happened on Saturday along Highway 17. Investigators say a commercial box truck was approaching, stopped traffic, and failed to stop in time, resulting in a chain-reaction crash. Gentry Eddings is a worship leader at Forest Hill Church in south Charlotte. A Go Fund Me website on the church’s facebook page says Gentry, his wife Hadley, and their 2-year-old son, Dobbs, were in a vehicle hit by the box truck. Dobbs passed away and Hadley, who was eight months pregnant, had to have a C-Section. The website says the next few days are critical for their newborn, named Reed.

6. According to The AP, The streets returned to calm Sunday after police arrested dozens of demonstrators overnight when protests grew increasingly aggressive in the wake of a patrolman’s acquittal in the deaths of two unarmed black suspects. In total, 71 people were arrested, including several who turned their anger toward bystanders in downtown Cleveland. Officer Michael Brelo faces administrative charges while remaining suspended without pay after he was found not guilty on two counts of voluntary manslaughter, but he no longer faces the prospect of prison. The anxious city now awaits a decision on criminal charges against a white officer in the fatal shooting of a black 12-year-old boy with a pellet gun.

7. According to Reuters, One week after a gathering of biker gangs in Texas that resulted in nine deaths and 170 arrests, thousands of motorcycle riders roared into the nation’s capital Sunday to honor military veterans, prisoners of war and soldiers missing in action. Rolling Thunder, an annual event that has been bringing motorcyclists and spectators to the National Mall in downtown Washington since 1988, started the “Ride for Freedom” at the Pentagon in Virginia, crossed over the Memorial Bridge and circled the Mall. Organizers estimated that more than a million bikers and spectators attended, making it the largest one-day motorcycle gathering in the world. There were no reported criminal incidents at the event.

8. According to AFP, Thousands of panic-stricken villagers fled their homes fearing flash floods after an overnight landslide blocked a river in quake-hit Nepal’s mountainous northwest. The landslide at around midnight sent mud and rocks tumbling into the Kali Gandaki river in Myagdi district, causing water levels to rise by 490 feet. No one was hurt in the landslide.

9. According to Reuters, A New Orleans housing authority police officer was found shot to death as he sat inside a patrol car near a construction site, officials said on Sunday, in a fresh reminder of the dangers of working in law enforcement in the United States. The officer, 45, was on patrol near the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, and was believed to have been shot while inside his marked patrol car, which had come to a stop after striking a curb. The officer, whose name was not released pending notification of his family, had been a member of the Housing Authority department since 2013.

10. According to PTI, Canadian technology firm Blackberry is cutting jobs globally as it plans to consolidates its various business verticals — device software, hardware and applications. Blackberry said in a statement, “We have made the decision to consolidate our device software, hardware and applications business, impacting a number of employees around the world. We know that our employees have worked hard on behalf of our company and we are grateful for their commitment and contributions.”

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: James 1:19 says, “My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry,”

Walter Elliott said, “Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.”

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.

Cleveland peaceful after officer’s acquittal; Duggar police records destroyed (UCNN Weekend Report #136)

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Texas lawmakers approve pastor protection bill; Ireland approves same-sex marriage (UCNN Weekend Report #135)

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ISIS takes Palmyra in Syria; Gov. Haley holds prayer rally in S. Carolina (UCNN #644)

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Obama signs police Blue Alert bill into law; Iraq prepares for counter-offensive near Ramadi (UCNN #643)


1. According to USA Today, President Obama has signed into law a measure that will require instant nationwide “Blue Alerts” to warn about threats to police officers and help track down the suspects who carry them out. The Rafael Ramos and Wenjian Liu National Blue Alert Act of 2015 is named for the two New York Police Department officers killed in an ambush attack last December. The assailant, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, had killed his girlfriend earlier in the day, and then threatened on his Instagram account to kill police officers in retaliation for the recent police killings in Ferguson, Mo. and New York City. But that information never made it to New York. The system is modeled after Amber Alerts for abducted children and Silver Alerts for missing seniors. It’s the 12th bill Obama has signed into law so far this year.

2. According to Reuters, Iraqi security forces on Tuesday deployed tanks and artillery around Ramadi to confront Islamic State fighters who have captured the city in a major defeat for the Baghdad government and its Western backers. As pressure mounted for action to retake the city, a local government official urged Ramadi residents to join the police and the army for what the Shi’ite militiamen said would be the “Battle of Anbar”. The White House said a U.S.-led air campaign would back multi-sectarian Iraqi forces in their attempt to regain Ramadi, whose fall exposed the limits of U.S. airpower in its battle against the radical Sunni Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria.

3. According to the AP, An estimated 21,000 gallons of crude oil dumped into the ocean from a broken pipeline just off the central California coast before it was shut off on Tuesday, creating a spill stretching about 4 miles along the beach. Santa Barbara County health officials have shut down Refugio State Beach, the central site of the spill, though many had abandoned the site already because of the foul smell. The pipe is operated by Plains All American Pipeline LP who did not respond to messages for comment.

4. According to Huffington Post, The Federal Trade Commission, along with officials from every state in the country, announced on Tuesday that they were filing charges alleging that four cancer charities misled donors and stole nearly $200 million. In a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona, the commission accused four charities along with former and current organization officials of misleading donors about the services they provide and misusing over $187 million. The complaint claims that the charities misrepresented themselves by claiming to provide legitimate assistance to cancer patients, helping with costs for things like transportation to chemotherapy. In reality, the FTC alleges, the charities used the money for things like luxury cruises, jet ski outings and to pay family members’ salaries.

5. According to Reuters, Colombian rescuers on Tuesday continued searching for victims of a landslide that sent torrents of water and mud crashing onto a neighborhood in the town of Salgar, killing 78 people and injuring dozens in the worst disaster of its kind for a decade. Rescue efforts using search dogs resumed at dawn after being suspended overnight to find a still unknown number of people missing since the landslide occurred in the early hours of Monday. The national disaster unit said in a statement that 78 were killed and at least 40 others had been treated for injuries. The homes of more than 500 people were destroyed or damaged.

6. According to The Washington Post, The Waco, Tex., sports bar where a meeting of outlaw motorcyclists turned into a bloodbath Sunday is closed for good, the Waco Tribune-Herald reported. Less than 24 hours after a spasm of deadly violence at the Waco Twin Peaks left nine dead and 18 wounded and led to 170 arrests, a spokeswoman for the Dallas-based chain told the Tribune-Herald that “the Waco location will be closed and will not reopen.”

7. According to The Associated Press, The State Department has proposed releasing portions of 55,000 pages of emails from former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton by next January. The department made the proposal in a federal court filing Monday night, in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by Vice News. In the filing, a State Department official said the department plans to post the releasable portions of the 55,000 pages on its website. He said the review will take until the end of the year — and asked that court to adopt a completion date of Jan. 15, 2016.

8. According to Reuters, A conductor critically injured in last week’s deadly train derailment in Philadelphia has sued Amtrak, accusing the publicly funded passenger rail company of negligence, his lawyer said on Tuesday, adding to a string of lawsuits since the crash. Emilio Fonseca was taking a restroom break in the first car during his work shift when the passenger train went off the rails, attorney Bruce Nagel told a news conference, saying the train suddenly surged forward and then crashed. Fonseca, who is married and lives in Kearney, New Jersey, suffered a broken neck, back and both shoulders, and was believed to be the most severely injured Amtrak employee. He is among five people still in critical condition and is expected to remain hospitalized for several weeks. Eight people died and more than 200 others were injured.

9. According to NY Times, The Obama administration on Tuesday announced the arrest of a Chinese professor and the indictment of five other Chinese citizens in what it contended was a decade-long scheme to steal microelectronics designs from Silicon Valley companies. The indictment was the broadest since five members of the People’s Liberation Army were indicted last year by the United States, accused of hacking into the computer systems of American companies to steal technology for state-owned companies. The arrest and indictments revealed on Tuesday seemed bound to revive the tensions with Beijing.

10. According to CBN News, Students at a Welsh university voted to ban Bibles from residence halls in the name of “multiculturalism.” Placing Gideon Bibles in dorm rooms is a long-standing tradition at Aberystwyth University, the alma mater of Britain’s Prince Charles. But following a decision by the Student Union alleging that Bibles could offend non-Christians, they will be removed at the end of this academic year.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Romans 15:5-6 says, “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

Thomas A. Edison said, “Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

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.

Largest Christian celebration in modern Jerusalem set to take place; Group condemns Air Force general for mentioning God in speech (UCNN #642)

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Yemen ceasefire ends, airstrikes resume; Kenyan pastors tell Obama not to promote homosexuality in their country (UCNN #641)

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Bodies of 8 missing in Nepal chopper crash found; Projectile reportedly struck Amtrak train before derailment (UCNN Weekend Report #133)

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ISIS captures Ramadi; Slain Mississippi police officer laid to rest (UCNN #640)


1. According to Reuters, Islamic State militants raised their black flag over the local government compound in the Iraqi city of Ramadi on Friday after overruning most of the western provincial capital. The insurgents attacked Ramadi overnight using six suicide car bombs to reach the city center, where the Anbar governorate compound is located. Fighting continued on Friday in parts of Ramadi and government forces were still in control of a military command center in the west of the city. If Ramadi were to fall completely to Islamic State it would be a strategic blow to Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s government, barely six weeks after the army and Shi’ite militias recaptured the city of Tikrit from Islamic State.

2. According to Hattiesburg (Miss.) American, In his 34 years, Hattiesburg Police Department Patrolman Benjamin J. Deen managed to live a life that meant so much to so many others. Thursday, his family asked that his life have an even bigger impact with his death. Deen was the first of the two Hattiesburg police officers who lost their lives Saturday to be laid to rest. Deen and Patrolman Liquori Tate both died from single gunshot wounds inflicted during a traffic stop. They were the first HPD officers killed in the line of duty in more than 30 years.

3. According to The Washington Times, China is offering to sell Jordan missile-firing drones to fight the Islamic State terror army, according to a U.S. congressman. Rep. Duncan Hunter, California Republican, said in a letter on Thursday to President Obama, “I am now aware that China is presently in Jordan to discuss operations, logistics and maintenance associated with the urgent sale of weaponized unmanned systems.” Rep. Hunter has pressed the Obama administration — to no avail — to approve the sale of Predator unmanned surveillance aircraft to the kingdom.

4. According to The Washington Post, As Europe struggles to stem a spring flood of migrants from Africa and the Middle East trying to cross a deadly Mediterranean Sea, Israel has begun to toughen its stance toward refugees. Israeli authorities are sending letters to the first of 45,000 Eritrean and Sudanese refugees, informing them they have 30?days to accept Israel’s offer of $3,500 in cash and a one-way ticket home or to an unnamed third country in Africa, or face incarceration at Saharonim prison. Israeli leaders have proclaimed that their tough approach — building a fence along its border, denying work permits for illegal migrants, forcing them into a detention center in the desert — may ultimately save lives by dissuading migrants from attempting a perilous journey. Critics of the Israeli policy counter that a country built by refugees should be more accepting of those fleeing war, poverty and oppression.

5. According to Religion News Service, After decade-long resistance, the Southern Baptist Convention will admit missionary candidates who speak in tongues, a practice associated with Pentecostal and charismatic churches. The new policy, approved by the denomination’s International Mission Board on Wednesday, reverses a policy that was put in place 10 years ago. Allowing Southern Baptist missionaries to speak in tongues, or have what some SBC leaders call a “private prayer language,” speaks to the growing strength of Pentecostal churches in Africa, Asia and South America, where Southern Baptists are competing for converts and where energized new Christians are enthusiastically embracing the practice.

6. According to the AP, Nepalese rescuers on Friday found three bodies near the wreckage of a U.S. Marine helicopter that disappeared earlier this week while on a relief mission in the earthquake-hit Himalayan nation, and officials said it was unlikely there were any survivors from the crash. The helicopter was carrying six Marines and two Nepalese army soldiers.

7. According to Reuters, Eight people were killed, including seven children, when a rocket hit a residential building in the city of Benghazi in eastern Libya on Thursday, two days after a similar attack claimed by Islamic State militants. A Reuters reporter saw several dead children in a hospital in the city, the oil-producing North African state’s second largest, where army forces and Islamist factions have been fighting each other for a year. The other person killed in Thursday’s rocket strike was an adult whose gender was not immediately known and 11 people were wounded.

8. According to The Wall Street Journal, As the Supreme Court considers whether to strike down state laws barring same-sex couples from marrying, let’s take a step back and look at how far the nation has moved on attitudes toward gays and lesbians. In 2003, 56% of Americans opposed allowing gay and lesbian couples to enter into same-sex marriages. The March Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll-like other national polls-found that 59% of Americans favor same-sex marriage. But Americans’ increasing acceptance of gays and lesbians goes well beyond support for same-sex marriage. 76% of Americans say that when it comes to the way society deals with homosexuality, we have reached a reasonable balance (32%) or not gone far enough in ending discrimination against homosexual people (44%). By contrast, just 20% of Americans believe that we have gone too far in accepting homosexuality. In 2006, 43% of Americans said they would be enthusiastic or comfortable with a gay or lesbian as president. Today that share has jumped 18 points, to 61% of Americans.

9. According to AFP, Seventy-two people died when a fire tore through a footwear factory in Metro Manila, authorities said yesterday, while survivors blamed barred windows for the disaster and described sweatshop conditions. Nearly all of those killed in Wednesday’s five-hour blaze were trapped on the second floor of the two-story building, unable to break steel bars over the windows. Philippine Secretary of the Interior Mar Roxas promised justice for the people killed as he expressed anger over a lack of fire exits and the reported cause of the blaze — welding that was being carried out near flammable chemicals.

10. According to the AP, B.B. King, the legendary blues singer, songwriter, and guitarist, died Thursday in Las Vegas. He was 89 years old. Attorney Brent Bryson told The Associated Press that King died peacefully in his sleep at 9:40 p.m. local time at his home, where he had been in hospice care. Bryson added that funeral arrangements were being made. Although King had continued to perform well into his 80s, the 15-time Grammy winner suffered from diabetes and had been in declining health during the past year. He had 15 biological and adopted children. Family members say 11 survive.

As you go throughout this day, keep this word in mind: Ecclesiastes 11:5 says, “As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the Maker of all things.”

Maltbie Davenport Babcock said, “What a man says and what a man is must stand together.”

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.

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