Perspectives

Facing stress is a fact of life. How we manage our stress says a lot about our depth of faith and how much we rely on God each day. When we manage stress effectively, we can find peace in a stressful world.

The Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act, commonly referred to as Georgia’s Heartbeat Law, was ruled constitutional and was put into full effect by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals on July 20. This legislation outlaws abortions after it is determined that there is a heartbeat. This kind of legislation, even with its exceptions, will save thousands of innocent human lives.

As soon as word began to spread about the massive and deadly flooding in Kentucky, Georgia Baptists responded. As Dwain Carter, who oversees those efforts for the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, describes their mission, Disaster Relief volunteers bring “help, hope and healing while transforming lives with the Gospel.”

As I reflect on my summer as an intern with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board and Mission Georgia, I can recount stories of both the miraculous and the mundane. Mission Georgia serves as a connection point to connect, collaborate with, and support churches as they seek to serve their community. The value and importance of connecting and networking were one of the very first things I learned during my time here.

A study reported by The Washington Post notes people with the highest level of optimism live between 11 and 15 percent longer than those with a less optimistic perspective. Eating a healthy diet, staying physically active, refusing to smoke cigarettes, and learning to manage stress in a healthy manner contribute to longer lifespans.

As Christians, we are called to be salt and light to the world. One way that Georgia Baptists accomplish that is by knowing how to have the greatest impact on shaping public policy in our state. With the constant attacks on our religious liberty (and now, the overturning of Roe) it’s important that church leaders know how to engage the government.  That’s the purpose of training sessions being held across the state by the Georgia Baptist Mission Board.

WASHINGTON, DC – Congressman Barry Loudermilk is a Constitutional Conservative who represents northwest Georgia’s 11th Congressional District in Washington. He is a Baptist, a Christian gentleman, and a faithful follower of Christ, whose values and voting record reflect a Biblical worldview.

Worldwide, 115 people die every minute. That’s 6,928 per hour, 166,279 per day, 5 million per month, and 60 million-plus per year. Sadly, most of them are dying without Christ.

JJ Washington will serve the Southern Baptist Convention well as the new national director of personal evangelism at the North American Mission Board. A fiery preacher, Washington has led the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s state-level evangelism efforts for the past year. He absolutely shined in that role, especially in leading the annual evangelism conference that drew the largest crowd in years.

I had an enjoyable evening recently in Athens visiting with a group of retired missionaries who had devoted much of their lives to delivering the gospel to Uruguay. So successful were they and their predecessors that the International Mission Board was able to pull most missionaries out of Uruguay two decades ago when the churches they started had grown strong enough to stand on their own.

Tony Dickerson is an artist of sorts, painting vivid word pictures each time he steps into the pulpit at Pinehurst Baptist Church in Columbus. The Lord has equipped this godly man with the gift of oratory. His flawless diction and smooth cadence have made him one of the SBC’s top preachers. His kind spirit and loving heart have made him one of the SBC’s top pastors.

Take a blend of red, white, and blue, mix in a hot and humid Atlanta morning, and add nearly 50,000 runners thrilled to see the July 4th tradition return to its normal format, and you get a sampling of the 53rd Peachtree Road Race.  The mid-summer event is a celebration.

My initial reaction to photos showing women using their children at pro-abortion protests was anger. But then the Lord broke my heart.

People watch us and notice what we do. You never know who is watching; thus, we should always be on our best behavior. 

Community newspapers are dying at the rate of two per week in the U.S. Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism, Media and Integrated Marketing Communications delivered that sobering news in a report this week. And it is indeed sobering because newspapers play such a crucial role in our culture, serving as mirrors of sorts that allow us to see ourselves – warts, blemishes and all.

Editor's note: With tensions high following the Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade, here are recommendations from Brotherhood Mutual, a major insurer of churches, on how to handle demonstrations on church grounds.

Living Hope Supportive Maternal Residence, the first residence registered in accordance with “Betsy’s Law,” opened Tuesday. Pregnant women can stay at the home up to 18 months after their child is born, receiving support, care and a comfortable and safe place to live.

Ups and downs

Anyone who lives in a human body with a human mind and relating to the world of humans is going to find that they will always have the ups and downs of living life.  No normal person is always on the "top" and conversely, no normal person is always on the bottom. 

COMMENTARY: Juneteenth - the mission

This weekend is both Father’s Day and a special celebration called “Juneteenth.” Stores are selling associated celebratory products and, in some locations, fireworks. Radio and TV ads are becoming more prominent with a call to remember, and some government institutions are taking Monday off in observance of the holiday.

Studies show fathers have a tremendous impact on their children’s spiritual lives, or at least their church attendance. According to Lifeway Research Group, Father’s Day is the Sunday with the lowest average church attendance, lower than Labor Day, Memorial Day and even July 4th weekends.

I was excited to read a recent report from the International Mission Board about the successes of Southern Baptist missionaries in Taiwan. The stories of changed hearts and lives are an encouragement to every Christian.

From the uttermost parts of the world to right here at home, readers of The Christian Index see various headlines – some joyful and some horrific – posted daily on the newspaper’s website. In the past weeks, you've read of war and violence, famine and illness, and accidents and disasters. You've read of political division and strife.

An article in The Christian Index in mid-May pointed out that the first glimpse that many young mothers-to-be in Moultrie get of their babies is via an ultrasound machine at the Hope House Women's Clinic. They see the developing facial features, the tiny arms and legs, and they fall in love, tossing aside any notion of ending their pregnancies. So, when the ultrasound machine at the Moultrie pregnancy center stopped working, Pine Grove Baptist Church in Moultrie wasted no time in donating the money needed to purchase a new one.

Key misunderstandings of the doctrine of local church autonomy have played a role in the mishandling of reports of sexual abuse at the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. Some of the same misunderstandings were used to object to the Conservative Resurgence on the ground that it violated local church autonomy. As we implement necessary reforms in response to the Sexual Abuse Task Force report, we as a Convention will need to understand which proposed actions respect the autonomy of the local churches and which actions would fail because of that autonomy. To succeed at that task, we would all do well to look back at this historic statement of faith and to refresh our memories about what local church autonomy is and is not.

The SBC exists to advance the Baptist mission—their mission—and never to undermine it. To that end, we must be committed to the inerrancy and sufficiency of Scripture, zealous of the biblically-taught autonomy of our local churches, committed to confessional orthodoxy, and with an emphasis on evangelism and missions. That’s what makes us distinctively Baptist.

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