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Confederate Railroad founding member Chris McDaniel now working for the Lord, leads 2,700 people to Jesus so far this year

Chris McDaniel, a founding member of the country music band Confederate Railroad, poses with an elk mount he displays when he preaches at church-sponsored wild game dinners. McDaniel has introduced some 2,700 people to Christ through his ministry so far this year. (Photo/Chris McDaniel Ministries)
DALTON, Ga. — A Georgia man’s chance meeting with country music star Chris McDaniel in a Delaware store led to a life-changing encounter with someone far more famous. McDaniel, a founding member of the multi-platinum-selling band Confederate Railroad, had stopped at the store for a soft drink as he prepared to drive back to Georgia. When he walked to the counter to pay for it, a man he came to know simply as Pablo was there with a basket of groceries and no way to pay for them because he had left his wallet at home.
Members of the Armed Forces carry the casket after the funeral service for former first lady Rosalynn Carter at Maranatha Baptist Church, Wednesday, Nov. 29, 2023, in Plains, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)
Rosalynn Carter's intimate funeral is held in the town where she and her husband were born
PLAINS, Ga. (AP) — With her frail husband as a silent witness, Rosalynn Carter was celebrated by her family and closest friends Wednesday at her funeral in the same tiny town where she and Jimmy Carter were born, forever their home base as they climbed to the White House and traveled the world for humanitarian causes.
Former President Jimmy Carter arrives to attend a tribute service for his wife and former first lady Rosalynn Carter, at Glenn Memorial Church, Tuesday, Nov. 28, 2023, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
Rosalynn Carter honored by family, friends, first ladies and presidents, including husband Jimmy
ATLANTA (AP) — Rosalynn Carter was remembered Tuesday as a former U.S. first lady who leveraged her fierce intellect and political power to put her deep Christian faith into action by always helping others, especially those who needed it most. A gathering of first ladies and presidents — including her 99-year-old husband Jimmy Carter — joined other political figures in tribute. But a parade of speakers said her global stature wasn’t what defined her.
Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers, in their trademark yellow shirts and caps, feed crowds in crisis situations across the state and nation, as was the case in this file photo from Kentucky last year. This week they're feeding the men and women providing security around former first lady Rosalynn Carter's memorial services. (Photo/Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief, File)
Georgia Baptists serving free meals for security teams at Rosalynn Carter's memorials
PLAINS, Ga. — The chefs who are preparing meals for hundreds of Secret Service agents, Georgia Highway Patrol troopers, National Guard troops, and others providing security during three days of memorials for former first lady Rosalynn Carter have vast experience feeding huge crowds, usually in disaster zones. In their trademark yellow shirts and caps, Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers will spend the next three days in the mobile kitchens where they will prepare tasty cuisine served at no charge.
Students watch as family members participate in a wreath laying ceremony to honor former first lady Rosalynn Carter at the Rosalynn Carter Health & Human Services complex on the campus of Georgia Southwestern State University, Monday, Nov. 27, 2023, in Americus, Ga. (AP Photo/John Bazemore, Pool)
Rosalynn Carter tributes highlight her reach as first lady, humanitarian and Georgian
AMERICUS, Ga. (AP) — Hundreds turned out to salute Rosalynn Carter on Monday with the former U.S. first lady and global humanitarian's final journey from her rural hometown to the Jimmy Carter Presidential Center in Atlanta as her family began three days of memorials following her death at age 96.
An Amazon river dolphin, known as a boto, plays in a nature preserve and tourist visitation area on the banks of the Tocantis River, in the municipality of Mocajuba, Para state, Brazil, Saturday, June 3, 2023. (AP Photo/Eraldo Peres)
Scenes from the mission field: The Brazilian Amazon's vast array of people and cultures
Renowned for its stunning biodiversity, the Amazon rainforest region is also home to a vast array of people and cultures. “People usually think that the environment doesn’t contain and include people, but it does,” said soil scientist Judson Ferreira Valentim, who lives in Brazil’s Acre state. “There are many different Amazonias and many different Amazonians.”
Baptist Life

Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission provides 85 ultrasound machines to pregnancy resource centers, including 12 so far this year

Brent Leatherwood, acting president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, urges messengers to the annual meeting to defeat a motion to abolish the ERLC, Wednesday, June 15, 2022, in Anaheim, Calif. (ACTS2 TV)
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission has provided more than 85 ultrasound machines to pregnancy resource centers since 2004 through what the organization calls the Psalm 139 project. That includes 12 machines, which cost, with training included, about $40,000, so far in 2023.
Last week at Thanksgiving we had our entire family together for the first time in a good while.  Our youngest daughter, who is disabled, at times chooses to not join.  It’s just a lot …
JACKSON, Miss. — Nurses and other medical staff from across the United States attended the Baptist Nursing Fellowship Summit 2023 at First Baptist Church Jackson, Mississippi, earlier this month. This year’s conference was unique because the 60 registered guests celebrated 40 years of encouraging, engaging, and equipping nurses to share God’s love and healing with others. 
GHENT, Belgium — After a long night of concerts and parties, crowds trickled through the streets in the early morning hours. Along the main path back to hotels and homes stood volunteers armed with thermoses, serving hot drinks. The coffee and conversations have become part of the annual Ghent Festivities landscape, so much so, that these volunteers and missionaries are known as “the Jesus People.” 
One of the most celebrated events in our culture is the news of a pregnancy. When a young couple discovers a baby is on the way, an overabundance of emotions and thoughts rush through their minds. Everything from joy to fear will abound as plans for the new addition take place.

Texas man sentenced to 2 years in prison for threatening Georgia election workers after 2020 election

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Texas man who was the first arrest by a Justice Department task force that investigates threats to election workers has been sentenced to two years in prison over posts made following the 2020 election, federal prosecutors announced Wednesday. Chad Christopher Stark, 55, was accused of posting threatening messages on Craigslist about killing government officials in Georgia. He pleaded guilty earlier this year to one count of communicating interstate threats.

Kemp's chief of staff resigning to become senior VP at Georgia Power

ATLANTA — Gov. Brian Kemp’s chief of staff is resigning to become senior vice president over external affairs for Georgia Power, effective Jan. 15. Kilpatrick will lead the company’s strategy and engagement in economic development, legislative and regulatory affairs, region external affairs and corporate communication. 

Legislative study committee recommending quicker action on foster care cases

ATLANTA – A combination of legislation and spending increases are needed to improve Georgia’s foster care system, according to a report a legislative study committee adopted Monday. The state Senate Study Committee on Foster Care and Adoption unanimously recommended legislation to shorten the time it takes children entering the foster care system to reach a permanent status – either reunification with parents or adoption – and to provide free photo IDs to foster kids.

Georgia case over railroad's use of eminent domain could have property law implications

ATLANTA (AP) — It's a fight over land in one of rural Georgia's poorest areas, but it could have implications for property law across the state and nation. A hearing is scheduled to begin Monday to help determine whether a railroad can legally condemn property to build a rail line 4.5 miles long that would serve a rock quarry and possibly other industries.
Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger is seen during a meeting with President Vladimir Putin in the Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow, June 6, 2006. (AP Photo/Sergey Ponomarev, File)

Henry Kissinger, secretary of state under Presidents Nixon and Ford, dies at 100

WASHINGTON (AP) — Former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, the diplomat with the thick glasses and gravelly voice who dominated foreign policy as the United States extricated itself from Vietnam and broke down barriers with China, died Wednesday, his consulting firm said. He was 100.

3 dead, 1 hospitalized in explosion that sparked massive fire at Ohio auto repair shop

HILLSBORO, Ohio (AP) — An explosion at an auto repair shop in Ohio that killed three people and sent a fourth person to a hospital sparked a massive fire that burned for hours and spewed thick, black smoke into the air.

US life expectancy rose last year, but it remains below its pre-pandemic level

NEW YORK (AP) — U.S. life expectancy rose last year — by more than a year — but still isn't close to what it was before the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2022 rise was mainly due to the waning pandemic, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention researchers said Wednesday. But even with the large increase, U.S. life expectancy is only back to 77 years, 6 months — about what it was two decades ago.

Louisiana's unnapproved schools offer students options beyond traditional education

SPRINGFIELD, La. (AP) — Arliya Martin accepted her high school diploma with relief and gratitude. It was her ticket to better-paying work, she felt, after getting kicked out of high school and toiling for eight years at factory jobs to support her children. “This is a new path for me to get on with my life,” she said.

US Navy warship shoots down drone launched by Houthis from Yemen, official says

WASHINGTON (AP) — A U.S. Navy warship sailing near the Bab el-Mandeb Strait shot down a drone launched from Yemen, a U.S. official said Wednesday, in the latest in a string of threats from Iranian-backed Houthi rebels. The official said according to initial reports, USS Carney, a Navy destroyer, deemed the drone — an Iranian-made KAS-04 — to be a threat and shot it down over water in the southern Red Sea as the ship was moving toward the strait.

Last planned release of hostages in Gaza begins, as mediators aim to extend Israel-Hamas truce

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — International mediators appeared to make progress Wednesday on extending the truce in Gaza, encouraging Hamas militants to keep freeing hostages in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners and further relief from Israel's air and ground offensive. The cease-fire will otherwise end within a day.

Five journalists were shot in one day in Mexico, officials confirm

MEXICO CITY (AP) — Prosecutors in Mexico confirmed Wednesday that a reporter was shot and wounded the previous day in the western state of Michoacan, the fifth journalist shot in the country in one day. Maynor Ramón Ramírez was wounded along with a companion in the attack Tuesday in the city of Apatzingan, the newspaper ABC of Michoacan said. Earlier Tuesday, four news photographers were shot in the neighboring state of Guerrero.

At least 40 civilians killed by al-Qaida-linked rebels in a Burkina Faso town, UN rights office says

ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) — At least 40 civilians were killed last weekend by al-Qaida-linked rebels trying to take control of a besieged town in Burkina Faso’s hard-hit northern region, the United Nations' rights office said, calling the attack a war crime. In one of the largest clashes in recent years in the West African nation under threat from fighters linked to al-Qaida and the Islamic State group, a large number of fighters tried to take control of Djibo near Mali’s border.
Giving Tuesday isn't about giving, it's about supporting ministry efforts like Camp Pinnacle, that witness to young women around the state, by improving the quality of their facilities. By giving, you can help provide a new bunk bed for someone to experience rest and hear the Gospel during camps and retreats.
PLAINS, Ga. – While I have had the privilege of meeting several presidents and attending the inauguration of one president, I only met one first lady, Rosalynn Smith Carter. I met Jimmy Carter when he was governor of Georgia. In fact, I brought a church group to Atlanta from North Carolina in 1971, and he was coming down the steps in the rotunda of the state Capitol as our group was ascending the stairs. I introduced myself and told him that we had 45 senior adults visiting Atlanta and the surrounding area on a three-day excursion. He stopped and spoke to our group for at least 5 minutes and told us about his Baptist background.
As we enter into the holiday season, I’d like to share with you a story. I can hardly believe it myself, but every bit of it is true, “so help me God.” Admittedly, I’m no Charles Dickens and the prisoner next to me is not exactly Tiny Tim but I’ll try my best to tell it. His name is Milton and he walks with a permanent limp now because of an exchange of bullets he had with someone in the streets.
In reflecting on the life of Rosalynn Carter, Americans should note her civility, a character trait that seems to be in short supply in today’s political world. She was a genuinely good woman, a wonderful example of a Christian lady, and a tireless humanitarian. Mrs. Carter didn’t tear others down. Instead, she built them up.
When one reads the fifth chapter of Matthew, he finds out that the blessings of God are so numerous and expansive that they can’t be calculated.  Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, gives us just a few of the blessings that God has for us.  It is easy for a person to live life without ever thinking of the many ways that God blesses our lives each day.  We seem to think that a blessing is something that is physical or material; something that we need but that is a wrong conception. 
United Auto Workers members walk in the Labor Day parade, Sept. 2, 2019, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

UAW will try to organize workers at all US nonunion factories after winning new contracts in Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — Less than two weeks after ratifying new contracts with Detroit automakers, the United Auto Workers union announced plans Wednesday to try to simultaneously organize workers at more than a dozen nonunion auto factories. The UAW says the drive will cover nearly 150,000 workers at factories largely in the South, where the union has had little success in recruiting new members.

Consumer Reports: Electric vehicles less reliable, on average, than conventional cars and trucks

DETROIT (AP) — Electric vehicles have proved far less reliable, on average, than gasoline-powered cars, trucks and SUVs, according to the latest survey by Consumer Reports, which found that EVs from the 2021 through 2023 model years encountered nearly 80% more problems than did vehicles propelled by internal combustion engines.

US economic growth for last quarter is revised up to a 5.2% annual rate

WASHINGTON (AP) — Shrugging off higher interest rates, America's consumers spent enough to help drive the economy to a brisk 5.2% annual pace from July through September, the government reported Wednesday in an upgrade from its previous estimate. The government had previously estimated that the economy grew at a 4.9% annual rate last quarter.

Georgians to begin paying tax on gasoline again beginning Thursday when tax rollback expires

ATLANTA (AP) — Georgia drivers are likely to begin paying higher prices for gasoline and diesel as state motor fuel taxes return on Thursday. Gov. Brian Kemp's rollback of the state taxes of 31.2 cents per gallon of gasoline and 35 cents per gallon of diesel ends at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

Cyber Monday marks the year's biggest online shopping day, and one more chance to save on gifts

Consumers are scouring the internet for online deals as they begin to cap off the five-day post-Thanksgiving shopping bonanza with Cyber Monday. Even though e-commerce is now part and parcel of our everyday lives and much of the holiday shopping season, Cyber Monday –- a term coined back in 2005 by the National Retail Federation –- continues to be the biggest online shopping day of the year, thanks to the deals and the hype the industry has created to fuel it.

Coastal Georgia no match for Stetson, loses 94-49

DELAND, Fla. (AP) — Jalen Blackmon scored 32 points as Stetson beat Coastal Georgia 94-49 on Wednesday night. Blackmon was 11-of-20 shooting, including 6 for 12 from 3-point range, and went 4 for 4 from the line for the Hatters (5-2).

Georgia's Beck, Alabama's Milroe lead teams to SEC title game after replacing big-name quarterbacks

Carson Beck and Jalen Milroe had to replace big-name quarterbacks at programs with national title-or-bust expectations. No sweat, right? Beck has kept No. 1 Georgia rolling after replacing two-time national champion quarterback Stetson Bennett.

Kelly has 22 points, 12 rebounds as Georgia Tech tops No. 21 Mississippi State 67-59

ATLANTA (AP) — Mississippi State coach Chris Jans tried to warn his No. 21 Bulldogs that a Georgia Tech team coming off back-to-back losses and playing at home would provide a more difficult challenge than they had seen while winning their first six games. Jans says the message didn't get through.

Loaded field of contenders for last 4-team college football playoff fuels championship weekend drama

The four-team College Football Playoff is going out with the most crowded field of contenders and the most consequential championship weekend in the 10-year history of the system. Eight teams have at least a glimmer of hope to make the field. Yes, that means you, too, Ohio State. The penultimate CFP rankings will be released Tuesday night. The field for the playoff will be announced Sunday.