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March is about to wrap up. Here in Oklahoma, it seems this month is posing more of a lion than a lamb departure. I give thoughts about the Wednesday night storm along with five other timely topics in this week’s DHD.

  1. Untimely tornadoes

First, let me begin by saying I feel for those who live in Sand Springs and Moore. Those areas were affected greatly by the storms on Wednesday night, and I lift up those who suffered because of this unexpected weather.

And unexpected it was. I know the weather experts were forecasting hail and winds, but the probability of tornadic activity was considered low. Then, all of a sudden, as I’m watching David Payne on Channel 9, even he was surprised as tornadoes were forming and causing damage, once again, in Moore.

Usually, tornadic activity doesn’t happen until May, or at least from what we have experienced in the past few years. We know a tornado could hit at any time. There’s no set schedule, but we know Who does control the weather.

One of my favorite authors is Jerry Bridges, and my favorite book he wrote is Trusting God. Chapter six is titled “God’s Power Over Nature,” and Bridges addresses God’s control over the weather and references Job 37, Psalm 147, Jer. 10:13 and Amos 4:7 to clarify God’s sovereignty over such forces of nature.

The struggle we may have with God’s control of the weather would be the unfortunate and tragic results such storms cause. The movie Where Was God? about the tornadoes affecting Moore in 2013 addresses this struggle.

But I appreciate what Bridges says: “God does not willingly bring affliction or grief to us. He does not delight in causing us to experience pain or heartache. He always has a purpose for the grief He brings or allows to come into our lives. Most often we do not know what that purpose is, but it is enough to know that His infinite wisdom and perfect love have determined that the particular sorrow is best for us. God never wastes pain.”

  1. Controversy with OU basketball players

I recently commented in the March 13 DHD about the issue at OU involving the dismissal of a fraternity over a racially-insensitive video. This week, concerns have been expressed about some players on the OU men’s basketball team allegedly using the N-word.

I find Berry Tramel’s explanation about this topic appealing, but of course I don’t condone his usage of the B-word. Some have read this and got caught up in what Berry shares on why it appears justifiable for an African American to use the N-word. However, they seem to overlook Berry’s admittance that he prefers everybody would stop using the word.

I will choose my words carefully here. Don’t use the word… EVER. If you hear someone else using the word, have some discretion on the best way to address the person, if appropriate. But don’t get caught up in the perceived unfairness of who can say it over who cannot.

Eph. 4:29-32 would be a good passage to study regarding this subject. This encourages us to have a mindset of reconciliation (one of my favorite words) with other people and the proper way to communicate.

  1. Colorado, Crime and The Unborn

The Bible affirms the humanity and value of unborn life in various passages (Psalm 139), and it also associates a crime with causing a pregnant woman’s baby to perish (Exodus 21:22).

Out of Colorado comes news of a horrific crime by which one woman assaulted another woman who was pregnant, cutting with a knife her seven-month-old out of her womb. The baby subsequently died.

This horrific murder, to the outrage of many, will reportedly not be prosecuted in a way that acknowledges the child’s life. I share this outrage and only add that in a culture of death like ours, in which, casual abortion on demand is upheld, we should not be surprised that an outright crime like this can happen

May the Lord use Christians to help build a culture that respects all life, born and unborn, so that crimes like this – and also everyday abortions – are not only unheard of, but unthinkable.

  1. Thoughts on the Thunder

The Oklahoma City Thunder end the month of March in a good standing for making the playoffs. Though it is not definite, they do have an advantage for eighth place and the final playoff spot.

I don’t know for sure how this season is going to end for the Thunder. With all of the injuries that have affected the team’s performance, it is not too promising, but this squad has surpassed discouraging situations in the past. Even last year, when OKC thought they were going to be without Serge Ibaka in the Western Division Finals, yet he was able to appear after the first two games of the series against San Antonio.

Yes, the Thunder ended up losing the series, but I bring up this situation to remind Thunder fans that sometimes things are not as bad as they may appear. Plus, the future is looking bright!

  1. Movies about Christ

Biblical movies have been very popular over the years. I remember when I was younger around this time of the year, NBC would show the television series Jesus of Nazareth. Every time I viewed the scene showing the crucifixion of Christ, I would cry heavy tears, and my mom would remind me, “Now you know what happens, don’t you?” Of course, I did, but it is still a difficult scene to watch.

There are many television and film productions about Jesus, and there is another show debuting on Sunday night, March 29, on the National Geographic channel. Based on Bill O’Reilly’s book Killing Jesus the show of the same name may receive similar interest as O’Reilly’s “Killing” book series.

Movie critic Phil Boatright gives a review about the film and claims the show “stops short of affirming (Christ’s) deity.” The conundrum continues when it comes to movies that emphasize Christianity – either the movie is done by Hollywood’s best with inaccuracies, or it is done by Christian film producers but doesn’t generate box office interest being interpreted as a “lower-scale” quality of entertainment.

Of course, there are exceptions, such as Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ, where Hollywood did it right. And Sherwood Production films, such as Facing the Giants, Fireproof and Courageous, reveal aspects of Christian faith and have improving acceptance from movie fans.

Nevertheless, despite the shortcomings of these shows, Christians should be encouraged that Christianity remains a topic of interest, even among unbelievers. And even through incorrect interpretations, the Gospel is still relevant and can be shared when movies are discussed.

  1. Palm Sunday

Palm Sunday will happen in two days. Churches around the world will observe this significant day of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem riding a donkey and people waving palm branches along His journey. It fascinates me how the many who celebrated Jesus on this day would be the same who would demand his crucifixion days later. It reveals the capriciousness of humanity and the importance of the Gospel. Thank you, Jesus, for Your willing sacrifice on the cross for me.