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Capitol tours offer Georgia Baptists look at breathtaking Christmas decor while praying for government leaders

ATLANTA - God can use  prayer for government leaders “to make a difference in our lives.” That’s what the Georgia Baptist Mission Board’s Mike Griffin says is the driving force behind the annual Christmas Prayer tour he leads through the state Capitol. Beginning next week, Georgia Baptists will once again have an opportunity to see the Capitol in its Christmas finest while also praying for lawmakers and other political officials.
Former Southern Seminary professor files defamation suit against SBC, others
MOBILE, Ala. (BP) – A former Southern Baptist seminary professor and his wife have filed suit against the SBC and 10 other individuals and entities connected to the SBC, including Jennifer Lyell and Guidepost Solutions. In a filing made in the Mobile, Ala., Circuit Court, David and Mary Sills allege “defamation, conspiracy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, and wantonness concerning untrue claims of sexual abuse” initiated by Jennifer Lyell.
Lifeway survey: 'Tis the season for church pews to fill up
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The closer it gets to Christmas, the more likely it is church pews will be filled.  Half of U.S. Protestant pastors (48%) say a Christmas Eve service is their churches’ largest event during the holiday season, according to a Lifeway Research study. The frequency of the highest attendance events builds up to Christmas Eve and then tapers off into January. 
Nearly 10,000 needy kids to receive backpacks filled with Christmas gifts courtesy of Georgia Baptists
DAWSON, Ga. – Christmas will be merrier for nearly 10,000 kids who will receive backpacks filled with toys and other goodies courtesy of Georgia Baptists. The Christmas backpack ministry – done through a partnership with the Georgia Baptist Mission Board, the state’s Baptist associations, and local churches – ensures that every needy child receives gifts. “This is a ministry that our churches have gotten excited about in a big way,” said Ricky Thrasher, the state Mission Board’s liaison to the associations.
Jesus film translated into 2,000th language thanks to voice of seminary student
FORT WORTH, Texas (BP) – Texas seminary student Mang Siing recently became a part of history when he served as the narrator for the Zo language translation of the world-famous Jesus film. The effort marked the film’s 2,000th available language.
Marie Still has 197 reasons to be thankful this holiday season
GRAYSON, Ga. – Marie Still is thankful for all that the Lord has given her, but, this Thanksgiving, she’s even more thankful for what He has taken away. Excess weight. Still has lost 197 pounds over the past two years, an answer to prayer for a bubbly Christian lady who desperately wanted to improve her health so she could better serve Christ.
Baptist Life

Georgia's Lynnette Ezell talks adoption, need for Christians to open homes to children

ALPHARETTA, Ga. (BP) – About five years ago, Lynnette Ezell and a friend walked into a north Georgia Department of Family Services office bearing diapers. “I made an appointment and said, ‘How can we help?’” Ezell told Baptist Press in a phone interview, recalling the moment she sat down across the desk from a social worker.
Camden, our 6-year-old grandson spent the night last week.  He was sleeping on a pallet in our room. About 3:00 in the morning I heard him get up.  He came to my side of the bed and said, “I just feel like I need to get in the bed with you and Buddy,” so, of course, I let him.
WASHINGTON (BP)— The U.S. Senate voted to enshrine same-sex marriage as the law Tuesday while rejecting efforts to strengthen religious freedom protections in the proposal. With 12 Republicans joining all Democrats present, the Senate voted 61-36 for the Respect for Marriage Act after defeating three GOP-offered amendments intended to heighten safeguards for religious liberty. By passing the bill, senators voted to repeal the 1996 Defense of Marriage Act and to require federal and state recognition of any same-sex marriage considered legal in the jurisdiction where it took place.
Despite the uncertain economy, retailers saw record sales on Black Friday and a similar surge is expected for Cyber Monday. The question now is whether inflation will impact charitable donations on Giving Tuesday, Nov. 29.
This Bible study expands upon the Explore the Bible curriculum from Lifeway Christian Resources. This week's study focuses on John 1:1–14.

New 'dirty dozen' report highlights how Georgians have acted to protect state’s waterways

ATLANTA – Growing up, Linda Smith enjoyed swimming in the Canoochee River and resting on one of its white sandbars near her family home. But by the 1990s, she and her family could no longer swim there because the water was covered with a thick, dark algal bloom – the product of runoff from Claxton Poultry, a chicken processing facility located upstream.  

Judge to arraign ex-DA charged in Arbery killing's aftermath

SAVANNAH, Ga. (AP) — A former Georgia prosecutor charged with hindering the police investigation into the 2020 killing of Ahmaud Arbery is scheduled to make her first court appearance in the case next month. A superior court judge on Tuesday ordered a Dec. 29 arraignment for former District Attorney Jackie Johnson. More than a year has passed since Johnson was indicted on misconduct charges alleging she used her office to try to protect two of the white men who chased and fatally shot Arbery after he ran past their home on Feb. 23, 2020.

Eighteen killed on Georgia roads during Thanksgiving travel period

Eighteen people died in traffic incidents in Georgia over the Thanksgiving travel period, the Georgia Department of Public Safety said in a statement issued Tuesday.

$10M settlement announced in heat death of Georgia student

ATLANTA (AP) — The parents of a Georgia high school basketball player who collapsed while practicing outdoors in sweltering heat and later died announced that they have agreed to a $10 million settlement with the school district. Their lawyers said Tuesday that, as part of the settlement, the Clayton County school system agreed to rename the gymnasium at Elite Scholars Academy for Imani Bell. The 16-year-old was a junior at the school when she died.

Higher food prices worsen hunger crisis this holiday season

WASHINGTON (AP) — What many Americans hoped would be the first normal holiday season in three years has instead been thrown into crisis by inflation, with Christmas on the horizon. Food banks and charities across the country are reporting higher than expected levels of food insecurity as prices rise and food becomes less accessible to millions of American families.

Indiana attorney general seeks penalty for doctor who spoke of 10-year-old's abortion

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Indiana’s attorney general has asked the state medical licensing board to discipline an Indianapolis doctor who has spoken publicly about providing an abortion to a 10-year-old rape victim who traveled from Ohio after its more-restrictive abortion law took effect. The complaint alleges Dr. Caitlin Bernard violated state law by not reporting the girl’s child abuse to Indiana authorities and violated patient privacy laws by telling a reporter about the girl’s treatment.

Hakeem Jeffries elected to lead House Dems' next generation

WASHINGTON (AP) — New York congressman Hakeem Jeffries has been elected House Democratic leader and will become in the new year the first Black American to lead a major political party in Congress. Democrats met Wednesday behind closed doors for the internal party elections as Speaker Nancy Pelosi and her team step aside. House Democrats are ushering in a new generation of leaders.

Dozens of tornadoes cause widespread damage across South

WETUMPKA, Ala. (AP) — Tornadoes damaged numerous homes, destroyed a fire station, briefly trapped people in a grocery store and ripped the roof off an apartment complex in Mississippi and Alabama. Two deaths were reported as the storm front continued to threaten parts of the Deep South on Wednesday.

Chinese spaceship with 3 aboard docks with space station

BEIJING (AP) — Three Chinese astronauts have docked with their country's space station where they will overlap for several days with the three-member crew already onboard and expand the facility to its maximum size. The latest crew includes the veteran of a 2005 space mission and two first-time astronauts. The six-month mission will be the last in the construction phase of China’s space station.

Egyptians call on British Museum to return Rosetta stone

CAIRO (AP) — Thousands of Egyptians are demanding that the British Museum return the Rosetta stone. The bilingual carvings on the relic proved to be the breakthrough in the decipherment of ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics after being unearthed by colonialists in Egypt in 1799. The stone is the centerpiece of a new exhibition at London’s largest museum, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the stone's decipherment.

Jiang Zemin, who guided China's economic rise, dies

BEIJING (AP) — State media report former Chinese President Jiang Zemin has died at age 96. Jiang led China out of isolation after the army crushed the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests in 1989. He supported economic reforms that led to a decade of explosive growth. State media say Jiang died in Shanghai of leukemia and multiple-organ failure.

NATO seeks to ease war impact on Bosnia, Georgia, Moldova

BUCHAREST (AP) — NATO is struggling to find ways to help three countries shaken by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine — Bosnia, Georgia and Moldova. The military alliance is seeking to extend its security umbrella across Europe. Foreign ministers from the three countries met Wednesday with their NATO counterparts, as the war in Ukraine exposes them to political, energy and territorial uncertainty.
Georgia’s largest religious organization is still growing both numerically and ethnically. In November, 17 new congregations joined the Georgia Baptist Convention, which has some 1.4 million members in about 3,600 churches.
The ruling that overturned Georgia’s heartbeat law on Tuesday risks the lives of countless unborn babies whose best hope at this point is that the attorney general’s office prevails on appeal.
As we think about all elections, we need to remember that it is imperative that Christians vote and be engaged in this process. It’s one of the most basic rights that we have as Americans and one of the great responsibilities we have as followers of Christ.
It’s always something. Last year supply chain issues caused a turkey shortage. This year bird flu (Avian Influenza) is running rampant and impacting chicken, eggs, and turkeys as our Thanksgiving dinner approaches. Hormel tells us to expect a turkey shortage of at least 20 percent, which will drive up turkey prices.
Once again people can get a close-up look at the Christmas decorations at the Georgia state Capitol during a series of Christmas prayer tours which are scheduled starting December 7th. We welcome you to join us! Our prayer tours are designed to give participants the opportunity to be informed about what happens at the Capitol and to pray for those who are making public policy decisions.

Powell: Fed to keep rates higher for longer to cut inflation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Fed Chair Jerome Powell says the Federal Reserve will push rates higher than previously expected and keep them there longer to fight a stubborn bout of inflation. In written remarks to be delivered to the Brookings Institution on Wednesday, Powell also signaled that the Fed may increase its key interest rate by a smaller increment at its December meeting, only a half-point after four straight three-quarter point hikes.

House votes to avert rail strike, impose deal on unions

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is moving urgently to head off the looming U.S. rail strike. The House passed a bill Wednesday that would bind companies and workers to a proposed settlement reached in September that failed to gain the support of all 12 unions involved. The bill now goes to the Senate for consideration. It would impose a compromise labor agreement brokered by President Joe Biden's administration. That agreement was ultimately voted down by four of the 12 unions representing more than 100,000 employees at large freight rail carriers.

US consumer confidence falls in November for 2nd month

U.S. consumer confidence fell for the second straight month in November amid ongoing high inflation, rising interest rates, and layoff announcements by several large tech companies. The Conference Board reported Tuesday that its consumer confidence index fell to 100.2 this month, down from 102.2 in October.

Business groups urge Congress to block potential rail strike

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — Business groups are increasing the pressure on lawmakers to intervene and block a railroad strike before next month's deadline in the stalled contract talks. A coalition of more than 400 business groups sent a letter to Congressional leaders Monday urging them to step in because of fears about the devastating potential impact of a strike that could force many businesses to shut down. Congressional leaders and the White House have said they are monitoring the talks closely.

Police: Walmart shooter bought gun just hours before killing

CHESAPEAKE, Va. (AP) — The Walmart supervisor who shot and killed six co-workers in Virginia left behind what he called a “death note” on his phone that apologized for what he was about to do while simultaneously blaming others for mocking him.

Georgia Tech's Key says 3 assistants will not return in 2023

ATLANTA (AP) — Newly named Georgia Tech coach Brent Key announced Wednesday that three assistant coaches will not return next season. Key said offensive coordinator and tight ends coach Chip Long, wide receivers coach Del Alexander and strength and conditioning coach Lewis Caralla will not return.

Young, Hawks stop 3-game skid with 125-108 win over Magic

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Trae Young had 30 points and 14 assists and the Atlanta Hawks snapped a three-game losing streak with a 125-108 win over the Orlando Magic on Wednesday night. Dejounte Murray added 27 points and Clint Capela finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds after a dominating first quarter in which Atlanta built an 11-point lead.

Atlanta United signs free-agent midfielder Derrick Etienne

ATLANTA (AP) — Atlanta United has signed free-agent midfielder Derrick Etienne, who scored a career-best nine goals for the Columbus Crew this past season. The three-year deal announced Wednesday includes options for 2026 and '27. Etienne has spent his entire professional career in Major League Soccer, the last three seasons with Columbus.

Bridges, Roberts lead Georgia past Hampton 73-54

ATHENS, Ga. (AP) — Braelen Bridges had 21 points and 16 rebounds, Terry Roberts added 16 points, and Georgia defeated Hampton 73-54 on Wednesday night. Bridges, a 6-foot-11 senior, made 9 of 13 shots, and was 3-for-3 from the free-throw line. Roberts added six rebounds and five assists for the Bulldogs (6-2) and reserve forward Jailyn Ingram scored 14 points, which included 4-of-5 from 3-point range. Justin Hill led Georgia with six assists.