On January 13, 1984, President Ronald Reagan proclaimed that January 22 would be the first National Sanctity of Human Life Day. January 22 is the anniversary of the Supreme Court decision to legalize abortion-on-demand in the U.S. in 1973. This month marks the 50th Anniversary of the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision, which led to the deaths of over 60 million preborn children in the United States alone. But this year, on the National Sanctity of Human Life Day we will be celebrating last year’s overturning of Roe v. Wade on a Sunday. This will be the first time in 50 years.

I read recently that thousands of churches close their doors every year. Who knows how many others are on life support? We live in a time when, more than ever, congregations need revitalization and renewal. The eternal destiny of millions depend on the faithful witness of our local churches. As I think about churches dying, I’m reminded there are certain poisons that trigger death.

Bills-Bengals game Monday night, January 2. The Bills medical staff immediately responded with CPR and an AED that made a difference. Miraculously, Damar is still with us. This game-halting play in the first quarter suddenly made football secondary to a life hanging in the balance. This episode starkly reminds us life is fragile and uncertain. We’re one heartbeat away from eternity.

In 1980, two years after Charlotte and I got married, I started my MDiv program at one of our sister seminaries. I remember our excitement in those days. Even though we were poor (like most seminary students) and did not know how the Lord intended to use us for his mission, we were passionate to serve him. That is why I chose the MDiv program.

When the centuries-old church was written off by the Diocese of London, God provided a miracle from unlikely places. Once again proving God, and God alone, has the final word in the affairs of mankind and His church. It was a beautiful bright Sunday afternoon in London in the fall of 2019, a few months before the pandemic shuttered the cities of the world. The morning was spent attending church, the London museum, and several other points of historical interest in the area around St. Paul’s Cathedral. Realizing there was extra time before meeting up with my traveling companion, another history nerd, later in the day, I decided to walk the mile and a half down Fleet and Strand Streets to Trafalgar Square.

On January 9 the Georgia General Assembly will convene for its 2023 legislative session. This year is set to begin what will be the first of a two-year legislative cycle. Therefore, new legislation will be introduced to the Georgia General Assembly. It is not uncommon that over a two-year period, Georgia Baptists will monitor anywhere from 25 to 30 pieces of legislation, covering approximately 18 or more subject headings.

Georgia Baptists pull together through Mission Georgia to share the gospel with some of the state's most vulnerable and hardest-to-reach people. Fueled by the generous giving of Georgia Baptists, Mission Georgia provided nearly $392,000 in 2022 to ministries that provide direct care to children, mothers-to-be, victims of human trafficking and international refugees.

Commentary: Prayer makes a difference

Leonard Ravenhill, the English evangelist, wrote, “The greatest undiscovered area in the resources of God is the place of prayer . . . at the judgement seat, the most embarrassing thing the believer will face will be the smallness of his praying.” The Bible tells us prayer is important. God calls us to pray (Jeremiah 33:3). We also know prayer makes a difference in our lives and impacts the lives of others (James 5:16).

Bells clanging, bodies burning, smoke rising — I’ll never forget my first experience of the Aarti along the banks of the Ganges. People were passionately worshiping. Not the Most High God, but the goddess of the Ganges River. Every year hundreds of thousands of worshipers make the pilgrimage from around the world to Varanasi. Every night thousands gather along those banks and in small boats on the river to experience this unique and well-choreographed worship service.

DULUTH, Ga. – Georgia lawmakers will see a renewed effort from the state’s largest religious group to protect biblical definitions of gender and to oppose efforts to expand gambling when they convene next month in Atlanta for the start of the 2023 legislative session. Messengers to the 1.4 million-member Georgia Baptist Convention approved a series of resolution last month, including one that reiterates their opposition to allowing male athletes to compete as females in sporting events.

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