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Greetings! This is the first appearance of a weekly column, which I give commentary on six timely social topics. I hope it will provide some extra thought to what the public is currently discussing, but my intention is to offer a Christian worldview. I welcome your feedback.

  1. Ferguson Fallout

There is much that could be discussed since the ruling of the grand jury was reported last week, regarding Police Officer Darren Wilson’s shooting and killing Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo. Ryan Polk offers a valid perspective in his piece “When The Fires Burn Out…Then What?”

Many public figures have offered their perspectives. St. Louis Rams football players attempted to show support of the Ferguson community. I suspect more news to come out this week and the days beyond, relating to this tragic incident.

I won’t offer anything new, but I do believe there are two things that onlookers can do. And when I say “onlookers,” I mean those who are not members of the Brown family and Ferguson residents.

1. Pray – Spend time lifting up those who have been affected by what happened Aug. 9. Pray for God to intervene, to bring peace and restoration, to let Himself be glorified even through this tragedy. God can do great and powerful things through this divisive ordeal that has the whole country in an uproar, but He wants us to ask Him.

2. Listen – “Fools think their own way is right, but the wise listen to others” (Prov. 12:15, NLT). This is a great verse to apply to everybody, regardless of viewpoint. Many people are angry because they have jumped to conclusions and are unwilling to listen to what others have to say. The ones who genuinely want to resolve this will objectively listen. Only then can progress begin.

  1. Ray Rice’s Recent Result

I wrote about Ray Rice in September. The blog was titled “Two Takeaways from the Rice, Mixon Cases.”

Now that his indefinite suspension to play in the NFL is over, I have noticed many “talking heads” have spoken favorably for the running back. Some say he still may not be considered to play for a while, as the majority of NFL teams will avoid considering picking him up, but other commentators believe if Michael Vick could find redemption, Rice could too.

One thing I pointed out in my previous piece is how Rice was considered a role model and participated in many charitable events prior to his incident with his then-fiancé now-wife. Again, the lesson is everybody is vulnerable. And again, everybody can be reconciled.

  1. Sadie’s Rising Star

Last week, I wrote about Sadie Robertson in “Good job, Sadie,” talking about her recent success on “Dancing With The Stars.” The 17-year-old reality TV star and outspoken Christian has had her own clothing line for a year, and more dresses are being released soon for Prom 2015.

Why do I care about high school prom? I don’t, but I do like the description of “daddy approved.” It gives the perspective that modesty in appearance can still be valued. I hope it sparks a trend.

Also consider these links to blogs on modest dress by Annie Corser: Talking Modesty: Who Wears Short Shorts? and Talking Modesty: Midsummer Mid-drift. Annie reminds readers that there is a heart issue behind every decision made, even when choosing a wardrobe.

  1. Franklin Graham coming to OKC

Many know him as the son of the world-renowned evangelist Billy Graham. But Franklin Graham has demonstrated himself to be a Godly leader and a prominent speaker for the Gospel.

Next month he will be in the Oklahoma City area, speaking at the State Evangelism Conference, hosted by the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. Graham will speak the first night of the two-day event, Jan. 26-27, at Del City, First Southern.

I believe the next generation needs great Christian leaders. Right now, they don’t seem to be prevalent. Could Graham be among those of the previous years who stirred our country that brought the Great Awakenings? Only time will tell, but if you have a chance to hear him while he is in OKC next month, I hope you will come and decide for yourself. A schedule and more information can be found on this post from The Baptist Messenger.

  1. Locust Grove can leave a legacy

One of the big buzz stories in Oklahoma right now is the result of the Douglass-Locust Grove high school football playoff game. Last Friday night, the two 3A schools met in the state quarterfinals, and Locust Grove won as the result of an “improperly-enforced penalty” which erased the go-ahead touchdown by Douglass in the final minute of the game. The governing body, OSSAA, offered an apology for what happened but said the result will stand.

I read Berry Tramel’s column this morning, suggesting that Locust Grove should take the lead and offer to replay the final minute.

“This isn’t about who’s right,” wrote the Oklahoman sports columnist. “This is about what’s right. This is about freeing the Locust Grove players from a lifetime of what-ifs. Freeing them from the gnawing feeling of ill-gotten gain. Giving them the precious gift that there are more important things than finishing first and having the most toys. What an opportunity to show, instead of tell. What an opportunity to instill those life lessons.”

I think Tramel has a point. Mark off the penalty on the kickoff after awarding Douglass the touchdown, and allow Locust Grove the chance to win in those final 60 seconds.

“…while winning a state championship would be great for Locust Grove, even greater would be teaching a bunch of teen-agers that doing the right thing is never a wrong way to go,” wrote Tramel.

I love this comment. I think it goes along with what is said in I Pet. 2:15: “For it is God’s will that you, by doing good, silence the ignorance of foolish people.”

Granted, I realize my quoting this verse gives the impression I may calling those who support Douglass’ cause foolish. That is not my intention. Instead, consider how foolishness can grow from those who participate in such arguments over the result of this game. That is what will be silenced.

  1. Favorite Christmas shows

Christmas is officially here. Many are well into the season and participating in the various traditions. I love this time of year, and ultimately I love what Christians are doing to acknowledge its original purpose, the celebration of the Christ child.

Movies and television shows that recognize the Christmas spirit are also popular to watch. I end the inaugural “Doyle’s Half Dozen” with my list of favorites:

  • “A Charlie Brown Christmas” – No scene tops Linus reciting the Christmas story.
  • “How the Grinch Stole Christmas” – Hearing the Grinch stealing the “roast beast” brings back childhood memories.
  • “Miracle on 34th Street” – I loved watching the friendship develop between Kris Kingle and Susan.
  • “It’s a Wonderful Life” – I confess, I used to not like this movie. I guess because it seemed like it was on TV a thousand times during Christmastime. But it’s hard not to smile while watching Jimmy Stewart run through the town, showing exuberant joy and yelling “Merry Christmas you wonderful old Building and Loan!”
  • “Elf” – Great lines from this movie. And probably the cleanest movie Will Ferrell will ever make.