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Loving the cooler weather. I would be totally content if it stayed this nice for awhile.

Here’s my thoughts on six timely topics in this week’s edition of Doyle’s Half Dozen.

  1. Dissecting Debate Discussions

The first presidential debate happened this week, featuring GOP candidate Donald Trump and Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton. By the way, for all of you who support her, she spells her first name with two Ls. There were a lot of embarrassing tweets Monday night.

Actually, I thought the whole event was embarrassing. All three on-stage participants were disappointing, which includes moderator Lester Holt. I thought nobody won, and my initial thought after the debate concluded was it was a monumental waste of time.

Brian Hobbs covers a big factor of the debate disappointments in his blog “Five questions about the Presidential Debate.”

Of course, all of the biased pundits will favor their candidate of choice, but the thing I found fascinating was the results of many random unscientific polls reported Trump winning the debate. Obviously, I could expect polls done by Breitbart and Drudge Report to favor Trump, but even Time, CBS and especially CNBC had the Donald being the victor.

So how did Trump gain such favorable results? First of all, we need to remember these polls admit being unscientific, so there is some tainted aspects to these amateur surveys.

Secondly, and this is my own personal take, observers have come to expect Trump’s brash unorthodox presentation at these debates. We are calloused to his WWE demeanor. However, Hillary’s concluding remarks of insulting Trump personally did not win her a bunch of points and made her appear “unpresidential.” And since Trump did not directly return fire, I now believe that factored favorably for him.

Now the question is how did the debate affect the major polls? A month ago, Real Clear Politics had Clinton favored by 108 electoral votes over Trump. Currently, RCP reports her lead has been trimmed down to 23.

  1. Disney Delivers Faith-based Film

My interest is piqued for the Disney movie The Queen of Katwe. Rated PG, the movie is about a young girl from Uganda who learns how to play chess from a Christian missionary and becomes a national champion. According to Baptist Press, Queen features frequent scenes of prayer, distinct Christian symbols and a scene of a church worship service.

The movie stars critically-acclaimed actors David Oyelowo, who I remember in the movie Jack Reacher, and Lupito Nyongo, who won best supporting actress Oscar for her role in Twelve Years a Slave.

Hopefully, I will be able to see it this weekend, as it debuts in theaters Sept. 30.

  1. National Anthem Proposal

It has died down some, but it is bound to reappear, even this weekend. Athletes are expected to continue protesting the National Anthem during the pregame ceremony of sporting events.

I am convinced now, more than ever, that pregame festivities should be restructured to perform the National Anthem when teams are not on the field. That actually happens frequently in college football, and I suggest the NFL should consider following suit, especially since viewership ratings continue to drop.

To me it’s the best of both worlds. This will accommodate players who are against the National Anthem, allowing them not to have to participate, and it calms the public who find their protests offensive. Some may say this proposal is only a Band-Aid on a battle wound. I would respond with saying protesting the National Anthem pours salt on the same wound.

Find constructive ways to resolve racial disunity. I offered some examples in last week’s DHD.

  1. Surmising Small Churches

I read a great article this week by Karl Vaters titled “Why Don’t Small Churches Grow? (Actually, They Do).” It appealed to me because I am one who believes people in general hold too much stock in church size. Yes, attendance records are important and can be resourceful in gaging the health of a church, but like all man-made methods, they also can be misleading and distracting from how God ultimately desires the body of Christ to function and fulfill His will.

I have written two blogs in the past on church size. One supports large churches. The other defends smaller in attendance churches.

Two takeaways from Vaters’ article that I appreciate are 1) he points out that churches of all sizes are needed and 2) God wants some churches to remain small.

  1. Wax Waxing Eloquence on the Future of Evangelical Landscape

Below is a video of Trevin Wax sharing his thoughts on what Evangelical Christianity may look like in 20 years. What encourages me in Wax’s talk is the emphasis of projected authenticity of Christians in the future. Being religious is becoming less appealing to society. It is no longer a social requirement to be a church member or a regular church attender.

As disappointing as this appears, what happens in return is clarity of people who genuinely understand the Gospel and sincerely desire to live the Christian faith. Wax elaborates in this video:


  1. Thunder report

I had the opportunity to work the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Blue-White scrimmage this week. As most Thunder fans understand, this is a new day in “Loud City.” Expectations are different yet remain exciting to see how this new team will perform this season.

There wasn’t much takeaway from this scrimmage, as the team was only four days in its preseason training. But two players who stood out to me were Domantas Sabonis and Andre Robertson.

Sabonis is the rookie the Thunder picked up through the trade with Orlando for Serge Ibaka. I was very impressed with his performance. He held his own underneath the basket and made some impressive moves. There is still some improvement he will need to make, but it should not take him long. I believe it is possible for Sabonis to be a major contributor this season, even before the All-Star Break.

Robertson looked much more confident in the scrimmage. His outside shooting remains inconsistent, but he had a more commanding presence on the floor. He made power moves to the basket. He led a fast break off a rebound, and he unofficially recorded a game-high six assists.

People recall Roberson made an impression in the recent playoffs. Hopefully it sparked Roberson enough to become a key contributor this season.