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Short intro so I can get into the topics. Here we go!

  1. Inauguration takeaway

I had an exterminator come to the house and a doctor’s appointment this morning (both unrelated). Because of the busy morning, I did not see the entirety of the Presidential Inauguration. From what I did get to see, I was rather impressed, and that includes last night’s festivities.

The two things that stood out to me were 1) how much an emphasis was made on God and 2) how much patriotism was demonstrated, especially in the music presented.

Multiple prayers were offered. I don’t believe there’s ever been more communication with God at a previous Inauguration. Three prayers, so I am told, were offered at the beginning, and three were voiced at the end. I did hear the three concluding prayers with one offered by Franklin Graham.

Also, I appreciate President Trump emphasizing in his address that security and protection in our country not only comes from military and law enforcement but “most importantly, we are protected by God.”

I appreciate patriotism displayed. Listening to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing “America the Beautiful” and Jackie Evancho perform the National Anthem were fabulous. Jackie had some shaky parts, but in today’s world of lip syncing, I admire her genuineness all the more.

And Lee Greenwood sang his usual “God Bless the U.S.A.” during the Thursday night event. Though I wish he would thank his Heavenly Father instead of his lucky stars – he’s asking for God’s blessing after all – it’s always heart-stirring to hear this song.

I’m not going to address the protests or the unreasonable critics. I will just leave it to the things that can be admired from this Inauguration – love of God and country.

  1. Trump’s not Hillary’s Presidency

I’ve mentioned in multiple DHDs I did not vote for Donald Trump because I did not believe he clearly represented my views and beliefs, so on Election Day, I left the presidential section of my ballot blank (joining more than 15,000 other Oklahomans).

As Trevin Wax pointed out this week, many were expecting Hillary Clinton to win the election, both supporters and detractors alike. I join these ranks of flawed prognosticators. This does not mean I am majorly fretting nor am I overjoyed.

Wax said Christians, both for and against Trump, were preparing for a Clinton presidency which meant continued threats against religious liberty, more hardened stances supporting abortion and “the possibility of the Sexual Revolution ideology being enshrined into law.”

Prepping for such unbiblical standards, many Christians now believe they can let out a big “WHEW!” and be relieved for dodging a major political bullet.

My friend James Hunt shared with me this morning John Piper’s latest article “How to Live Under an Unqualified President.” I want to believe Piper would have written a similar piece had Hillary been elected, and he does point out she also is morally unfit to lead our country “because she approves of killing unborn children.”

After addressing the moral failures of our newly-elected president, Piper offers a valuable list of considerations, challenging Christians how we should proceed under Trump’s presidency.

“Do not think of the molehill of moral and social disadvantages of a Trump presidency. Think of the Himalayan mountain range of blessings we have in Christ. Let this put fire in our bones for what matters most: the salvation of the world.”

  1. Abortion debate heating up

A lot of talk is stirring up about defunding Planned Parenthood, the world’s largest abortion provider. This Sunday, Jan. 22, many churches will be observing Sanctity of Human Life Day. Many are hopeful (myself included) President Trump will appoint a conservative nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court who will strengthen the stance against Roe v. Wade and support laws that promote a culture of life.

One may think a Pro-Life movement is rising. Maybe it is, but I can assure you there are powerful people who support abortion laws, and their figurative fangs are about to be shown. If you don’t think abortion people aren’t to be feared, find out what happened when the Susan G. Komen Foundation caved after initially deciding to stop funding Planned Parenthood.

Check out Pastor Daryl Cornett’s analysis about the abortion debate heating up. One aspect Cornett addresses that may be in the Pro-Life camp’s favor is how today’s technology helps current legislators and justices have a greater understanding of the life of the unborn.

  1. The Malaise of Manning

President Obama made a lot of noise in his final days of office. One of the most deafening decisions he made was commuting the prison sentence of Chelsea Manning.

Born Bradley Manning from Crescent, Okla., Chelsea Manning is a transgender female who went through hormone replacement therapy while serving a 35-year sentence after being found guilty of espionage when Manning disclosed to Wikileaks classified military documents.

One may think Obama’s intention was to bring further attention to the unpopular issue of Obama’s radical social agenda in the military. The commutation also can cause some confusion with Obama’s vocalizing his disapproval of how Wikileaks apparently played a part in the presidential election.

It can be understood how some can be displeased with the Trump presidency beginning, but how one could also approve with the conclusion of the Obama presidency baffles me.

  1. Bible reading is ‘stable’

I read an interesting piece put out by the Barna research group. They discovered that regular reading of the Bible is fairly stable in American, as 66 percent of those surveyed said their Scripture reading stayed the same, which was the same result of last year’s survey.

“We have consistently seen in our research that, even with skepticism on the rise, Americans still hold the Bible in high regard,” said Roxanne Stone, editor in chief of the Barna Group. “After all, two-thirds of Americans (66%) agree that the Bible contains everything you need to know to live a meaningful life—why wouldn’t you want to read such a book more often?”

  1. Wild week for Westbrook

The Oklahoma City Thunder had an adventurous week on the road, starting with a win at Sacramento, a loss to the L.A. Clippers and another loss at Golden State. Much drama occurred with losing Stephen Adam to concussion protocol after the big man hit his head hard in the game against the Kings.

Russell Westbrook had a lot of media attention picking up two more triple-double performances and increasing his season total to 21, an amazing feat midway through the season.

The week is concluding with the announcement of Westbrook not making the starting lineup for this year’s All-Star Game. I’ll be brief and say it’s disappointing but I like how Westbrook responded.

“It is what it is. It’s the nature of the business, the game,” Westbrook said. “Just play. I don’t play for All-Star nods or All-Star bids. I play to win championships, and every night I compete at a high level, and you know, it’ll work out. Just continue doing what I’m doing, and you know, play the game the right way, and everything else will work out.”

As a Thunder fan, I couldn’t ask for a better response.