Covering different topics this week. I’m starting off with a happy one – or at least one that makes me happy.
- The Thunder got better
The NBA trade deadline ended yesterday, and once again Oklahoma City Thunder G.M. Sam Presti pulled off an amazing transaction. I almost figured out a way to commit this week’s DHD to just writing about the Thunder, but I then realized not all potential readers are as fascinated with the OKC squad as I am. Plus, there are some other timely topics I should address.
However, it’s a happy day in Loud City! The Thunder picked up Taj Gibson, Doug McDermott and a 2018 second round draft pick from the Chicago Bulls for Cameron Payne, Joffrey Lauvergne and Anthony Morrow. I’m sorry to see those three players go, as they all were contributors and respectable teammates.
Adding Gibson and McDermott is huge. OKC gets a reliable 3-pt shooter in McDermott, which answers the Thunder’s greatest need, but Gibson provides another benefit. He’s an experienced, respected post player, and when you look at the roster overall, the Thunder could use more veteran play, especially from someone who has playoff experience.
How much does this improve the Thunder? It’s hard to say right now. They definitely are not to the level of Golden State or San Antonio, but considering the teams the Thunder are battling for higher seeding in playoff rankings, I definitely see potential to move up from the squad’s current seventh-place position. I would even say fourth place is not out of the realm of possibility, but OKC would need some help from other teams faltering.
Regardless, things are looking up for the Thunder.
- Transgender tension turnaround
This week, the Trump administration overturned President Obama’s executive order, pressuring schools to adhere to transgender allowances, such as bathrooms and locker rooms in schools. The reason this was a good move is, as Russell Moore points out, “Children should not be turned into pawns of culture war experimentation.”
I appreciate other points Moore offers in his column that encourage how Christians should respond and act toward those who are challenged with gender identity disorders. Don’t make fun or demean those who struggle with such issues. Be respectful because they already struggle with feeling alienated.
According to The Weekly, produced by the Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, approximately 700,000 individuals in the U.S. identify as transgender. Studies have found the suicide rate among transgender individuals is 41 percent, which is much higher than the 4.6 percent rate of the overall U.S. population.
Though the White House should be applauded for rescinding the transgender order for schools, be mindful of the ways we should respect and love all our neighbors.
- MacArthur on transgender
Recently a friend on Facebook posted a video of John MacArthur answering a question about how to address transgender individuals. I thought MacArthur gave an excellent response, especially for Christians who may battle with understanding and relating to someone who is transgender. MacArthur will not win over the opposition with his explanation (well, except with the moving of the Holy Spirit), but I believe it is one Christians should hear and consider for a foundational basis. Consider watching this five-minute video:
- An amazing revival happening in Ada
I received reports from different sources about revival meetings happening this week at First Baptist Church in Ada, Okla. A friend shared with me a comment that Ada, First’s Pastor Brad Graves shared on Facebook. Here is an excerpt from Graves’ Facebook comment:
“Revival Report…We have on hand 199 decision cards, almost all are for salvations. 57 of them have been baptized so far, we have baptisms scheduled for the next two weeks. Other churches are scheduling their baptisms and follow up as well. Our combined Wednesday night attendance was not counted but it was somewhere in the 1500-2000 range with nursery and elementary kids included…”
The Baptist Messenger is planning to do a feature story in an upcoming edition on this revival experience in Ada. May it ignite revival throughout our country! Thank you, Lord!
- Wonderful to be a Christian
Check out a blog by Garrett Kell who offers five reasons why “It’s a Wonderful Time to Be a Christian.”
All five are legitimate and should affect each of us, as Christians, and how we approach life and interacting with our culture. The second reason features one of my favorite words – reconciliation.
Please read it. I believe you will find his reasons encouraging.
- The heart of Oklahoma’s state abortion bills
I have mentioned in the past how Oklahoma is considered the most pro-life state in the country. Our state legislature is doing its best to keep the issue of sanctity of life heightened. It’s been brought to my attention that there’s approximately a dozen or so legislative bills that have been proposed dealing with abortion laws.
Personally, I am concerned that there might be too many cooks in the kitchen. I’m sure they all mean well with the intention of supporting life, specifically unborn life, but I am praying that God will allow the right bill or bills to be passed that will encourage bringing about a culture that will not only make abortion unlawful but make such an act unthinkable.
Brian Hobbs wrote in this week’s Baptist Messenger about Senate Bill 710 which is called the Heartbeat Bill and would prevent an abortion from happening if the heartbeat of the fetus was audible.
Hobbs wrote, “…perhaps what is best about the Heartbeat Bill is that it brings up the very conversation we should be having. To have a heartbeat proves beyond any doubt the humanity of unborn boys and girls. A beating heart reminds us that it is from God Himself that we all “’live and move and have our being.’”