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Greetings and Happy post-Thanksgiving!

I hope you have been able to enjoy the time off with family and friends and have been able to pause and offer thanks. Thanksgiving Day is the only holiday that literally reflects a response in its name. Though eating, family time and shopping are the most popular activities, may there also be an emphasis to sincerely thank God for who He is, what He has done and will continue to do.

All of these things are for your benefit. And as God’s grace brings more and more people to Christ, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.” (II Cor. 4:15).

This week’s DHD include topics involving shared posts or articles I found directly that were challenging or fascinating. I hope you enjoy!

  1. Bravo Mr. President!

Dr. Everett Piper is the president of Oklahoma Wesleyan University. An out-of-state friend shared a blog that Piper posted that needs to be read by a wider margin.

This is Not a Daycare. It’s a University!” is an excellent response Piper offers directly to a student, but his message is one that college students across the country should learn. Too much proclaimed “victimization” and self-absorption is running rampant, and for the sake of maturity and sensibility, this trend needs to stop, especially on college campuses.

I applaud Piper for speaking the truth, helping this student recognize the importance of a conscience and be willing to accept godly instruction. May others learn this lesson as well.

  1. Convicting Information on Women Facing an Abortion

Baptist Press released a report this week that convicted me. The article is titled “Abortion, women’s views of church focus of study,” and I’m glad such a study was done.

According to the article, Lifeway Research discovered that 75 percent of the women surveyed said the church had no influence on their decision to have an abortion and 64 percent believed the church would gossip about them instead of offer them support.

What this article tells me is the abortion crisis could be diminished if the church demonstrates more grace and support. If you’re a reader who gets bogged down by reading statistics, then just focus on the following takeaway from the article, which was a major conviction point for me:

“For most women with an unwanted pregnancy, if nobody is willing to say, ‘We’re going to help you through this,’ it’s hard for them to rationally say they should keep the child.”

Would you like to help with this? Contact me, and I’ll be happy to tell you about Hope Pregnancy Center or help you connect with a pregnancy center near you.

  1. Another study involving two celebrities

Trevin Wax shared an article by Dustin Messer titled “The Foolishness of Stephen Colbert.” The article expounds on Colbert, a professing Catholic, interviewing Bill Maher, a professing atheist.

There are some fascinating conclusions from this piece, as it also links to the interview. You should watch this conversation and see why Messer states “the exchange should be studied by the church which finds herself in a similarly awkward, tense cultural moment.”

Whether Colbert was serious or not, it was great to see him invite Maher back to the church. I’m glad he brought up Pascal’s wager. I’m glad, as Messer points out, that Colbert offer to go the route of love instead of peace. I also liked Messer’s comment “it’s clear that neither Maher nor Colbert are likely to pick up a coexist sticker…”

Please understand, this isn’t an endorsement for Colbert but rather a provision of a case study for Christians to watch and be encouraged to engage in respectful exchanges with unbelievers and share the Gospel.

  1. Good assessment on presidential candidates

A friend shared Joel C. Rosenberg’s blog that gives Rosenberg’s takeaways from a GOP presidential candidate debate in Iowa. This was great read for me. I have similar conclusions to Rosenberg’s.

I also enjoyed reading his piece titled “America needs a Josiah.” This is a great Bible study and applicable for how Christians should consider to elect as next U.S. President. Here’s a great snippet from the article, “I’m going to pray for wisdom and clarity and discernment and see if a true Josiah emerges over the next few months. I hope you will do the same.”

  1. Early assessment on the Thunder

Kevin Durant returned this week after missing some games due to a hamstring injury. The former NBA MVP came back when it started to look rather bleak for the Oklahoma City Thunder. The squad had an embarrassingly poor performance at home against the Knicks last week.

Since that loss, the Thunder have won three in a row and look to make it four tonight against Detroit, with former Thunder guard Reggie Jackson coming to OKC.

I am not totally convinced the Thunder have completely turned the corner after that poor stint. Overall, the team’s start to the season was surprisingly poor, but other than the Golden State Warriors, most teams that were projected to do well this season have started poorly.

I am starting to believe the coaching adjustment has been a factor, but I think the change has the potential to make greater strides later in the season. Though they have struggled, the Thunder have demonstrated willingness to allow other players to be involved in late game possessions. The team also has not been as predictable and has shown willingness to field different lineups at different times of the game. Both traits could benefit at the end of season and playoff time.

So be patient, Thunder fans. I’m trying to do the same.

  1. A great gift for Falls Creek

It was reported earlier this week that a $500,000 gift was made to the Falls Creek building campaign. Falls Creek Conference Center has made many renovations and is involved in multiple construction projects, and the majority of this new look will be completed next year, allowing for great facilities and housing to be enjoyed by those attending retreats and summer camps.

The building campaign is projected to be completed in 2017, the centennial year of Falls Creek, but with this announcement of a half-million dollar gift, the campaign may reach its goal of almost $5 million much earlier, as approximately $300,000 is all that is left to raise.

This is a sign of God’s provisions and His blessing of the great work for the Kingdom that is happening every year at Falls Creek.