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The middle of May has materialized. Which means school is out or almost out for the summer for many in the academic world. School doesn’t apply to me as much anymore, but this time just naturally makes me happy.

And I’m happy to offer a new list of DHD for the week. Happy reading!

  1. Christianity on the decline?

The Pew Research Report has been a hot topic this week, as a 200-page study was released on “America’s Changing Religious Landscape.” The number of professing Christians has dropped by 8 percent since 2007, and the number of “Nones” or unaffiliated with religion has risen by seven percent.

Many good Christian leaders have commented on this report, but I personally believe Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission gave the best response in his post “Is Christianity Dying?

I hope more people, especially Christians, become more and more familiar with Moore. I’m now convinced he is one of the best current leaders among Evangelical Christians and may be the best communicator of speaking the Gospel in relevant terms regarding current issues. And this piece “Is Christianity Dying?” may be his finest hour. Please read it, and be encouraged.

  1. Deflate-gate

The ruling finally happened. New England Patriots’ Super Bowl honeymoon is over early. Quarterback Tom Brady will be suspended for four game next season (at least that’s the ruling for now); the Patriots are fined $1 million and lose two draft picks.

I wrote about this mess in January – “Morally deflated: New England Patriots, Public Opinion & Principles.” And I find it interesting that this penalty was handed down during a usually dead time for the NFL, about four months after the accusations arose. No more NFL Combine; the NFL Draft is over; nothing relevant to discuss until August.

I don’t have much of an opinion. I also don’t think Brady will sit for four games, probably will end up being a two-game suspension. But I will be curious to see how well the Patriots perform from here on out. After being caught cheating twice, there’s going to be a lot of eyeballs on that fishbowl in Foxboro this season.

  1. House passes bill to prevent abortion after 20 weeks

A victory for the sanctity of life happened on the national level this week, as the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill to prevent any abortions after 20 weeks to occur. Although this bill may eventually be vetoed (Lord, please intervene), this is a good sign that the practice of abortion may be declining, as more people in the U.S. are favoring birth.

May we see more victories in the near future, not just in the political landscape, but in the convictional mindset. God is the Author and Giver of life, and what the U.S. congress men and women did this week honors what only God can provide.

  1. DeYoung on importance of church membership

Last week I gave my advice to graduates and emphasized how important it is to plug into a local church. Kevin DeYoung is one of my favorite Christian bloggers, and he elaborates further on this issue in his piece “6 Reasons Why Membership Matters.

Check out reason #2, as he explains “Making a commitment makes a powerful statement in a low-commitment culture”: “Even if you will only be in town for a few years, it’s still not a bad idea to join a church. It lets your home church (if you are a student) know that you are being cared for, and it lets your present church know that you want to be cared for here.”

  1. Great remarks by Former New Orleans Hornets coach Monty Williams

A friend on Facebook shared a raw footage video of a Monty Williams. The former coach of the New Orleans Pelicans gives some classy remarks about the unfortunate situation, but he goes further in expressing his faith, even sharing Rom. 8:28. Watch here:

  1. Thunder stuff

Next week the Oklahoma City Thunder will participate in the NBA Draft Lottery to see if the team can move up from their current 14th pick position.

Also, basketball analyst Fran Fraschilla gave some encouraging thoughts about the Thunder, especially in his perspective on new coach Billy Donovan:

“Billy is going to have an easier adjustment than most college coaches for a number or reasons. No. 1, he was a player in the league. The second thing is he is inheriting a very good team with high-character guys, and the third thing is Billy is a guy who has always thought outside of the college box. He’s coached a number of times in USA Basketball events where he’s had the exposure to the international game, that’s very similar to the NBA game with the 24-second clock, a lot of pick-and-roll offenses and defenses. Billy is a very intelligent guy, who is headed to the Basketball Hall of Fame when his career ends. I think he’ll have an easy adjustment because he has a high emotional IQ, and by that I mean he understands people really well. And he’ll know that this is a players’ game in the NBA, where the players do want direction, they do want instruction, and they do want coaching, but by in the large, teams are successful because of the players and not the coach. And Billy will get that intuitively.”

This encourages me even more about Coach Donovan.

Stay dry this weekend, and be “weather aware”!