I’m concluding a busy week, but it was a fun one as well. Much to discuss involving what I’ve experienced and also observed. Let’s get to it.
- Russell’s Regal Reception
Last night, Russell Westbrook was inducted into the Oklahoma Hall of Fame. Some will say it’s a persuasive attempt to encourage Russell to stay even longer with the Thunder. I consider it a demonstration of appreciation the state has for him, for his demonstration of loyalty and passion.
Much talk has been made about Michael Jordan introducing Russell. It’s definitely a cool thing to have the most prolific basketball player in the history of game make an appearance, and after viewing a replay of his speech, Jordan shared kind, respectful words on both Russell and Oklahoma.
If you have a chance, you should either watch Russell’s speech or read a transcript of it. He demonstrated his appreciation of being inducted among state legends. He reiterated his support and loyalty in his speech, just by beginning a sentence with “Our state.”
But there’s more in what he shared. In a respectful manner, he mentioned the divisiveness and the conflicts that exist in our country. Then he said, “I can be better, you can be better, and we can be better together.”
In the same vein as catching more flies with honey than vinegar, how much more effective could Russell’s remarks be on a social conflict than say… oh… protesting a certain anthem.
- BGCO Briefing
The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma had its Annual Meeting this week. Monday and Tuesday were two full days of meeting, greeting, eating and repeating. But it’s a great time to spend time with people across the state who share common interests and desires, especially when it involves furthering the Lord’s Kingdom and doing work that honors Him.
I always enjoy it, even though I usually feel wiped out when it’s all over. But even today, I feel encouraged and inspired from what I experienced this week.
One aspect in particular I enjoyed were the sermons offered. My pastor Hance Dilbeck, who served as BGCO president this year, gave an excellent address. Preaching on Phil. 1:27-30, he made an emphasis on how the use of military terms have diminished in the last 30 or so years. Dilbeck said that it would be important to know that military terms did not originate during wars of recent history; rather they were used often in Scripture. He also said that Christians shouldn’t think soldier references mean war violence; rather, they imply strength and toughness.
Shane Hall, pastor of First Southern in Del City, delivered the Annual Sermon, and it was a powerful word on prayer. Those who may not know Hall, he has been battling cancer for the last two years. He shared his experience when he was preparing to go to M.D. Anderson Hospital in 2014, how many prayed over him, only to find out the cancer had spread throughout his body with the doctors concluding he didn’t have much more time to live.
Hall then told about a conversation he had with his brother-in-law who told him why he believed God did not answer the prayer many offered on Hall’s behalf. His brother-in-law said he thought God would still bring healing to Hall’s body, but only in a way the doctors and medical staff could not take credit. Currently, Hall is in remission.
Both of these sermons soon will be available, and the others during the Annual Meeting, online at www.bgco.org/annualmeeting.
- Conservative Comeback?
People are still buzzing about the result of the presidential election. Multiple conclusions have been offered on why Trump defeated Hillary and defeated her handedly in the Electoral College results. One of the most popular assessments is how the liberal viewers have overlooked, even disregarded, conservative viewers.
Check out two articles that have demonstrated an element of enlightenment among staunch liberals. One involves the academia world, as Harvard begins to acknowledge the need for “ideological diversity” (interpretation: treat conservatives more objectively). The other reveals ESPN’s “mistreatment” of conservatives, which has caused the network’s ratings to drop.
I’ll be shocked to see a full swing toward a conservative ideology in the U.S. However, I do find it fascinating that liberal influencers are beginning to understand their mistreatment of the conservative public has consequences, including losing a major presidential election.
- Birthday Befuddlement
Tomorrow, Nov. 19, is my birthday. I turn 48 this year. Two years ago I blogged about my problem turning 46. The problem is even worse turning 48. You’ll have to read my previous blog to understand.
But instead of coming up with a famous athlete who wore the number 48 (by the way, so far, I’ve only come up with Daryl “Moose” Johnston), let me offer one of the most referenced Bible verses that reflects 4:8.
Phil. 4:8 – “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things.”
- Nov. 19 – National Adoption Day
If you’re like me, you have a curiosity about who shares your birthday. I find it pretty cool that four of my Facebook friends were born on Nov. 19, and I know of at least two more friends share my birthday.
I also remember that among famous people, Jodie Foster and Meg Ryan are two who share my birthday. Plus I remember President James A. Garfield was born on Nov. 19, and Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address on Nov. 19.
But something else I found out this week about Nov. 19 is it’s National Adoption Day, a day to raise awareness of a major dilemma, as more than 140 million children worldwide have lost one or both parents.
My heart goes out to all those who have gone through the rigorous process of adopting children. May God bless those amazing parents who not only have provided a needed home for so many but have also provided an exemplary demonstration of the Gospel.
“For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, ‘Abba! Father!’” (Rom. 8:15).
- Happy Thanksgiving
I may take a break from DHD next week, as it is a time of Thanksgiving. I have been reminded that we as Christians should demonstrate a heart of Thanksgiving every day, but I appreciate the significance of an annual experience to emphasize even more the importance of being thankful.
I realize the majority of our country will not sincerely observe an attitude of thankfulness. More than likely, though, the majority will take the time to be with loved ones, and next week’s activities will involve overeating, watching sports, and/or shopping madness. As you see these typical Thanksgiving functions occurring, remember they also involve people you are thankful to have in your life.
“Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His faithful love endures forever” (Ps. 107:1).