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Number of salvation decisions now at 38 in Tugalo Baptist Association's learning centers

EASTANOLLEE, Ga. – Eight more students made professions of faith during the past week in the Tugalo Baptist Association where churches have opened off-campus Christian learning centers near schools to teach Bible classes. That brought the total number of salvation decisions to 38 since August at the learning centers in Stevens and Banks counties, said Associational Missions Strategist Mike Blount.
Moultrie's Pine Grove Baptist Church purchases ultrasound for crisis pregnancy center
MOULTRIE, Ga. – The first glimpse that many young mothers-to-be get of their babies in this part of Georgia 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 having abortions.
South Korean believers worry about secularization of America, pray for spiritual awakening
CARTERSVILLE, Ga. – Concerned about the growing secularization of America, hundreds of South Korean believers will be arriving in the U.S. next month to pray for another spiritual awakening for the nation that brought them the gospel. “It’s time for us to repay the spiritual debt South Korea owes to America,” said Nam Soo Choi, president of the World School of Prayer, a missionary organization in Seoul.
Bangkok here we come: Georgia's John Blackmon and family preparing for next ministry assignment
MEANSVILLE, Ga. – A U-Haul won’t cut it for John Blackmon’s next ministry move. The longtime Georgia pastor and his family are heading to Bangkok, Thailand at the end of July, a 9,000-mile trip, to join the staff of Calvary International Baptist Church. That Blackmon, his wife, Cheryl, and their two toddlers will soon be leaving the U.S. is in response to a divine calling that became clear to them in recent years. “We’re sure this is what God wants us to do,” Blackmon said. “We have no doubt this is where He wants us right now.”
Heaven Bound Mud Bogger: 'Covered in mud, but washed in the blood'
There’s a lot to see at a mud bogger race. The trucks are big. They’re loud. You can’t avoid seeing them. But somehow, in the middle of all of that, you notice Terry Billings’ truck — the Heaven Bound Mud Bogger. It’s bigger and louder. People want to look at it, climb up the step ladder, sit in the truck and get their picture taken.
Pastor of charred church: 'God's got this, and we can trust Him'
WRIGHTSVILLE, Ga. – The pastor of a Georgia church that lost a historic building to fire was be back in the pulpit on Sunday, sharing a message of hope with his congregation. “God’s got this, and we can trust Him,” said Pleasant Grove Baptist Church Pastor Chris Mitchell.
Baptist Life

Cascade Hills Baptist Church baptizes 204 new believers so far this year

COLUMBUS, Ga. – Cascade Hills Baptist Church, which on average has baptized someone every day since 2015, appears on track to have one of its best years ever evangelistically. The church had 187 salvation decisions during the Easter weekend alone and has baptized 204 new believers so far this year. “It’s all God doing this,” said Pastor Brent Purvis, “He is the Lord of the harvest.”
ANAHEIM, Calif. (BP) – The California Southern Baptist Convention (CSBC) is asking fellow Southern Baptists to join them in Anaheim and consider taking the next step. In a video called “Consider California,” released by the CSBC, church leaders take viewers on a tour of the Golden State and highlight the need for Gospel impact.
RIO PIEDRAS, Puerto Rico (BP) – Students at Universidad de Puerto Rico (UPR) have not only a space to study, but also a safe place to ask spiritual questions, thanks to a Send Network church plant.
NASHVILLE (BP) – Churches are taking another look at their security plans after a weekend when 10 died in a shooting at a Buffalo, N.Y., grocery store and another the next day at a California church.
Blue is the brown horse that lives at the mouth of our hollow.  (“Holler” if you are from the mountains.) Everybody loves Blue.  It’s not unusual to see little kids walking up our narrow road with carrots in hand, taking them to their favorite horse.  Cars are often stopped by his pasture, ours included.  Drivers and walkers speak in hushed tones drawing Blue right over. 
Georgia

Georgia unemployment remains at record low

ATLANTA – Georgia’s unemployment rate held steady at 3.1% last month, equaling the all-time low set in March, the state Department of Labor reported Thursday.

Defendant testifies he falsely confessed to killing teacher

OCILLA, Ga. (AP) — The man on trial for the murder of a Georgia teacher who vanished in 2005 says he gave a false confession to investigators. Ryan Duke took the witness stand Tuesday in Irwin County Superior Court and testified that he never harmed Tara Grinstead and wasn't at her home when she was killed.

Insurance company and hospital face off in Georgia Supreme Court

Two health-care players embroiled in a legal controversy that could affect the health care of hundreds of thousands of Georgians faced off in state Supreme Court, Tuesday, May 17.  The dispute is rooted in Anthem’s decision to terminate Northside from its insurance network in May 2021.

Port of Savannah reports record-breaking April

ATLANTA – The Port of Savannah set a record for containerized cargo last month, while the Georgia Ports Authority reported its third busiest month ever.
Nation

Oklahoma passes strictest abortion ban; services to stop

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Abortion providers in Oklahoma say they will no longer provide the service in the state after the governor signs the latest pro-life measure heading to his desk.

Grand jury indicts man in Buffalo supermarket shooting

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — The white man accused of killing 10 Black people at a Buffalo supermarket appeared briefly in court Thursday after a grand jury indicted him on a first-degree murder charge. Assistant district attorney Gary Hackbush said the indictment of Payton Gendron, 18, was handed up Wednesday.

Gunman targets Taiwanese faith with long pro-democracy link

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Officials in California's Orange County are still trying to determine why a gunman opened fire in a Taiwanese Presbyterian church in Laguna Woods. They say 68-year-old David Chou, who has links to both Taiwan and China, was motivated by political hatred against Taiwan.

Biden invokes Defense Production Act for formula shortage

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Joe Biden has invoked the Defense Production Act to speed production of infant formula and has authorized flights to import supply from overseas. He is facing mounting political pressure over a domestic shortage caused by the safety-related closure of the country’s largest formula manufacturing plant.
World

Sweden, Finland push ahead with NATO bids as Turkey objects

STOCKHOLM (AP) — Sweden and Finland have pushed ahead with their bids to join NATO even as Turkey insists it won’t let the previously nonaligned Nordic countries into the alliance because of their alleged support for Kurdish militants.

Man in Japan gambles COVID town funds mistakenly sent to him

TOKYO (AP) — The money was supposed to be COVID-19 assistance for low-income households in a small Japanese town, but police say it was mistakenly wired to a bank account of a resident who refused to return it and spent most of it on online gambling.

Czech zoo gets Taiwanese pangolins after fallout with China

PRAGUE (AP) — Prague’s zoo has introduced to the public a pair of critically endangered Chinese pangolins. It is only the second animal park on the European continent to have them. The arrival of the rare acquisition from Taiwan is the result of a political fallout with China.

Court considers whether US can seize a Russian yacht in Fiji

WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — On May 5, five U.S. federal agents boarded the massive Russian-owned superyacht Amadea that was berthed in Lautoka harbor in Fiji. The ship’s captain wrote in a frantic WhatsApp message to lawyer Feizal Haniff, who represents the company that legally owns the yacht that “They want to take 20 crew and sail east!”
Perspectives
Ecclesiastes, one of the great wisdom books in the Old Testament, contains a familiar passage ascribing times for everything and seasons for every activity under the heavens. Among them, there are times to weep, to mourn, to search and to uproot. 
Sometimes I’m asked why I write. I was always stronger in language arts than math and science. I never could understand algebra. Geometry was worse. No matter how hard I tried, I just “couldn’t get it.”  On one trip home to Milledgeville, I pulled out my report cards for some random reason, taking a walk down memory lane, and noticed my high school geometry teacher had the gall to write in the comment section after one grading period, “I think you could do better if you tried harder.”
One of the often overlooked and under appreciated impacts on our kid’s love for the Lord is the impact Godly adults have had on their lives.
When we look at what is going on today related to the possibility of Roe v. Wade being overturned, I want to set the tone for how we should be thinking. The fight for life is now going to be more intense on the state level! Now is not the time to back down! Now is the time to stand up!
Video from the 2022 evangelism conference sermons are now available on the ACTS2 streaming app. The app highlights the work of Southern Baptists and other evangelicals around the globe to encourage others to live ON MISSION.
Business

Stocks end lower, nearing but not quite in a bear market

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks ended another volatile day lower on Wall Street Thursday, bringing the market closer to its first bear market since the beginning of the pandemic.

McDonald's era in Russia coming to a close, restaurants sold

McDonald’s is selling all of its restaurants in Russia 30 years after the burger chain became a powerful symbol of easing Cold War tensions between the United States and Soviet Union. It shuttered all Russian locations in March because of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

A bear market may be on the horizon. Here’s what that means

NEW YORK (AP) — Investors on Wall Street need a place to hide. The stock market’s skid this year has pulled the S&P 500 close to what’s known as a bear market. Rising interest rates, high inflation, the war in Ukraine and a slowdown in China’s economy have caused investors to reconsider the prices they’re willing to pay for a wide range of stocks, from high-flying tech companies to traditional automakers.

Court: Some railroad rate talks allowed in price-fixing suits

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — A federal appeals court has ruled that details of some of the conversations between the nation’s four largest railroads about their rates can now be included in lawsuits challenging billions of dollars they charged their customers. But the mixed ruling will also exclude some documents.

More Americans apply for jobless benefits last week

WASHINGTON (AP) — More Americans applied for jobless aid last week, but the total number of Americans collecting unemployment benefits is at a 53-year low. Applications for unemployment benefits rose by 21,000 to 218,000 for the week ending May 14, the Labor Department reported Thursday.
Sports

Saban calls out Texas A&M for using name, image and likeness deals to buy players

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (AP) — Alabama coach Nick Saban called out Texas A&M, saying the school was “buying” players with name, image and likeness deals. The Aggies signed the top recruiting class in the country earlier this year.

Hiura's HR in 11th gives Brewers 7-6 victory over Braves

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Keston Hiura hit a two-run, winning homer off Jesse Chavez in the 11th inning as the Milwaukee Brewers rallied from a four-run deficit to beat the Atlanta Braves 7-6.

Acuña returns, Ozuna homers as Braves defeat Brewers 3-0

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Ronald Acuña Jr. returned to action, Marcell Ozuna hit a two-run homer and the Atlanta Braves ended their scoring drought in a 3-0 victory over the Milwaukee Brewers.

Peralta dominates for 7 innings, Brewers 2-hit Braves 1-0

MILWAUKEE (AP) — Freddy Peralta dominated over seven innings, Hunter Renfroe scored on a wild pitch and the Milwaukee Brewers two-hit the Atlanta Braves 1-0.