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Are you enjoying the cooler weather? Enjoy it while you can. My wife told me we could face 90-degree temperatures next week.

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

  1. Happy Birthday Hope!

Be on the lookout for the Oct. 20 Baptist Messenger. The cover story is about Hope Pregnancy Centers celebrating 30 years of operation. I’m a big fan of HPC, as I was a volunteer at the Hope Pregnancy Center North in Oklahoma City for 10 years. One of my favorite stories I have written in the past year was on Carolyn Anson being named the director of HPC North.

Hope has made a major impact in Oklahoma on the issue of the Sanctity of Life. They have ministered to more than 130,000 clients, with a large majority choosing life over abortion. Hope also has a great ministry to post-abortive women and providing parenting classes for those expecting.

And Hope has expanded to five clinics in the state, with two in Oklahoma City and three others in Tulsa, Ardmore and the recent addition in Edmond.

Congratulations to Hope Pregnancy Centers for encouraging and caring for numerous clients and supporting the cause of valuing life at all stages.

  1. Oklahoma Baptists and Racial Reconciliation

About a month ago, I offered positive examples of overcoming racial tension in the Sept. 23 DHD.

This week I heard about another great act toward racial reconciliation among Oklahoma Baptists. Pastor Walter Mullican of Portland Avenue Baptist Church in Oklahoma City led a dialogue at his church, Oct. 9, with Clarence Hill, founder of StrongerTogetherOKC. Mullican said the discussion was a productive time, and the evening ended with a challenge to courage and a call to be involved in an ongoing way by participating in “Solution Sundays,” by inviting people of different ethnicity into homes for a meal.

I think this is a sign of progress, and I admire Mullican and other leaders taking on the observance, which was suggested by Oklahoma U.S. Senator James Lankford, to having meals with those of other races. It will take these actions of personal involvement that will make the most effective change.

  1. What’s happening at Northwest Classen?

Northwest Classen High School in Oklahoma City is one of the oldest and largest high schools in the metro area. Many of its students are facing many struggles and are growing up in broken homes.

But Northwest Classen is starting to see a large community coming together to provide support and make an impact on these students, especially the athletes. Many Oklahoma City churches including Trinity Baptist, Northwest Baptist and Portland Avenue are involved in “adopting” different teams at Northwest Classen and have developed strong connections.

Last Thursday, Oct. 7, the school hosted a tailgate party that experienced approximately 500 people coming out before a football game. The response was amazing, as many who attended the tailgate were alumni and haven’t been to a Northwest Classen game in decades.

To find out more of this positive impact at Northwest Classen, check out this article by the Oklahoman on Keith Sinor, district athletic director for Oklahoma City Public Schools.

  1. Great movie thoughts from Phil Boatwright

Phil Boatwright is a movie critic for Baptist Press. I enjoy his take on films because we have similar intentions of trying to find those spiritual takeaways in movies.

In his article “Greatest moments ever,” Boatwright offers a different twist when considering historical movies.

In the category of “Greatest movie opening,” he chooses Wall-E. That’s a good choice. I liked Wall-E, especially how the film informed the audience of what was happening without any dialogue.

Personally, I would have chosen Saving Private Ryan. Once they open that door to the landing craft, holding all those army soldiers, the most realistic battle scene in movie history begins.

I like Boatwright’s answers to “Greatest Film Ending” being Places in the Heart and “Greatest Screen Performance” being On the Waterfront. A movie I would suggest for both categories is Cast Away.

What Tom Hanks went through to portray a guy stranded on an island for many years, whose only scene partner was a volleyball, and then end the film in the middle of a dirt road intersection with Hanks figuring out his next move – I know it’s debatable, but there’s some great movie work in Hank’s most underrated performance.

I can’t argue with Boatwright’s choice for “Greatest Example of God’s Love,” being Passion of the Christ. For “Greatest Portrayal of a Minister,” he selected Stars in My Crown, which I haven’t seen. The movie minister that came to my mind was Karl Malden in Pollyanna.

What are your answers to these categories?

  1. Congrats Jennifer Rash!

I found out this week that Jennifer Rash was named editor-elect at The Alabama Baptist. I met Jennifer about three years ago, but I have read her column and blog “Rashional Thoughts” even longer. I’m a big fan of catchy titles, and “Rashional Thoughts” drew me in.

Jennifer will be replacing Bob Terry who is legendary in Baptist Communication circles, having worked in Christian journalism for 50 years.

I’m excited for Jennifer, and I know her vibrant spirit and friendly demeanor will benefit her as she takes on this new role.

  1. Small town football

I’m looking forward to tonight (Friday). This afternoon I will be heading to Grandfield and attending a Class C football game this evening. I’m interviewing Grandfield’s coach for an upcoming story. Before I got this story lead, I never even heard of Grandfield. It’s near the Texas border, about a half hour southwest of Lawton with a population of about 1,000 people.

I can’t remember the last time I went to a small town football game, but I know it’s a perfect time of year, with the weather a little cooler and being surrounded by “salt-of-the-earth” people who close down the town for eight-man football. Grandfield is having a good year and face rival Tipton tonight.

Hope your weekend will be as entertaining as mine!