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After all the discouragement that happened last week, and even carried over to this week, I decided I’d take a page out of Pollyanna’s story and make this week’s edition “Doyle’s Happy Half Dozen.” By the way, Pollyanna would be an appropriate movie to watch this weekend. Haley Mills singing “God Bless America” as part of the children making a human American flag is a heart-stirring scene for any patriot.

1. Depew Does Diligent Deeds Due to Developing Designs

Depew FirstStudents from First Baptist Church in Depew, Okla., were scheduled to attend Falls Creek youth camp last week, but because of major flooding at Falls Creek, the encampment had to cancel regular activities for that particular week.

So, what did the youth group do instead? They spent the week as flood relief volunteers, helping the Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief ministry serve flood victims in Durant and in the Lake Texoma area.

To all the students and sponsors of FBC Depew who missed out going to Falls Creek, I commend your willingness to redeem the time helping others.

2. Speaking of Falls Creek…

The world’s largest Christian youth camp was back in action this week. Early reports said more than 5,000 were at the conference center, and the number of decisions made is exciting.

With one more service scheduled this evening, so far Falls Creek witnessed 234 students make professions of faith, 209 make recommitments and 114 answer a call to ministry. On Thursday night alone, there were 106 who committed to ministry service.

Praise to the Lord for impacting these students! May they go make a difference in this world for the furtherance of His Kingdom!

3. Kingdom Work in Calgary

A story was released by Baptist Press this week about Calgary’s population growth, spurring the need for more church plants. Though there is a long way to go, as the current ratio is one church for every 55,000 people, I am encouraged when I think of the five college students from my church who are doing summer mission work up there right now.

God bless Brittany, Caroline, Collin, Kendall and Tanner, as well as others on their team. May He use them to spread the Gospel to the many who need to hear it.

4. Celebrating Independence Day on My Block

DSC_0844Tomorrow is the 4th of July which commemorates the 239th year we have been declared an independent country. I do appreciate the freedoms we cherish in America and thank the Lord for His provisions to allow such freedoms.

Every year, my neighbor down the street allows every house on our block to reflect patriotism, as he and his wife place many small American flags in front yards. I appreciate his efforts and hope this tradition continues in many years to come.

5. A Very Special Birthday

One year ago, on July 2, my friends welcomed their daughter to the world. She was born 24 weeks and four days early and was only 14 ounces, because her mother was experiencing a life-threatening condition. Though I never shared my feelings with my friends, I now confess I was discouraged for them, figuring this little one did not have much hope to live.

Thankfully, I was wrong, and throughout this year, many experienced firsthand a work of God, as many (and I mean MANY) joined together in fervent prayer for this tiny baby. Here’s what the mother recently shared:

“We were humbled and truly overwhelmed at the outpouring of love and prayer and support from people near and far; even people who had no idea who we were. From 14 ounces to now a little over 14 pounds this little miracle is a living testimony of the mighty and faithful hand of GOD who has sustained her life and preserved mine as well. Looking back at where we were this time last year I have so much gratitude and thankfulness to God that we are where we are today.”

6. Vacay next week

I end Doyle’s Happy Half Dozen with my excitement of going on vacation next week. Karen and I will literally be traveling down memory lane for me, as we will visit my alma mater, Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

Much has changed since I left working at LU in 1999 (graduated in ’92 and worked in sports information office for seven years). I have twice visited the campus since I moved, but knowing there has been an extreme makeover, I will be curious to see what I still recognize. We also will get to visit some friends, having them meet Karen, which means the stories told may cause me some apprehension.

Lord willing, I plan to submit a DHD next week, possibly on my adventures in Virginia. I’m sure I will be able to come up with six relevant topics next Friday.