The summer vacay season is here, which means a few co-workers of mine had a chance to be gone for the week – a rather bizarre week but not too stressful as far as the workload. Even with the smaller staff the Baptist Messenger went to press Thursday with no hang-ups. I didn’t call the “boss man” once this week. See, I told you it was bizarre!
I start off this week’s DHD with another bizarre occurrence that sent shockwaves across Oklahoma. Here we go!
- Stoops’ sudden superannuating selection surprises Sooner supporters
Bob Stoops has retired. That still surprises me. I thought the OU football coach would be around for much longer (almost typed “forever,” but I know that’s a silly notion).
Stoops went out his own way, and few in his profession experience such a sendoff. He had an amazing career. He made the Sooners relevant in the annual National Championship talks. He has critics, but no successful coach exists without faultfinders. The list is short of coaches who accomplished more.
I remember doing a story on former OU linebacker Smokey Hurst who was with the Sooners when they won the 2000 National Championship. Hurst was known on the team for his Christian faith, which he shared often with his teammates, and he also had an influence on his coaches, including Stoops.
Currently the pastor of First Baptist Church in Sapulpa, Hurst told me it bothered him how the team recited the Lord’s Prayer. He wrote a paper about the importance of the Lord’s Prayer, that Jesus meant for it to be a model for prayer, and he gave his paper to Coach Stoops, asking him to read it.
From then on, whenever the team would gather for prayer, Stoops asked Hurst to voice prayer for the team. The only exception would be on a game day when the Sooners recited Jesus’ prayer model. Hurst also told me the team continued the model of asking someone to pray in the years that followed.
I do believe Stoops is a man of faith, and I know he has demonstrated his faith among different people, making unannounced hospital visits and being involved in other ministry aspects and in charitable giving. I also believe people like Smokey have helped Stoops have an understanding of the Gospel. I hope the Gospel has penetrated his heart.
- Confusing Comey court case
James Comey’s experience in front of a senate hearing ended rather anticlimactically Thursday. All the TV networks were broadcasting it live, and people were gathering in public drinking establishments to watch the former FBI director give his testimony, involving his termination, the Russians and all the juicy dirt that was going to convict President Trump right before viewers’ eyes.
But just like the Super Bowls of the ’80s and ’90s, all the hoopla led to a boring display. There’s a lot of long faces among the Trump bashers. However, the debates will continue with many in the media impersonating Dr. Claw on Inspector Gadget, “We’ll get you next time Trump, next time!”
If you want the most accurate assessment of the Comey hearings, read this.
- Bernie Sanders is against Christianity
I know Senator Bernie Sanders was a popular presidential candidate, but I’m grateful he wasn’t elected. During a recent confirmation hearing, Sanders, as well as Senator Christopher Van Hollen, made discriminating remarks against Russell Vought because of his belief that salvation comes exclusively through Jesus Christ.
Vought, who is nominated for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, is an alum of Wheaton College and wrote an article for The Resurgent defending his alma mater’s statement of faith. Both Sanders and Van Hollen ridiculed Vought for his article and stated he is unfit for his nomination because of his religious views.
Joe Carter explains the concern of this anti-religious test the senators applied.
Basically, if you apply the teachings of Jesus Christ to your life (John 14:6), Sanders does not support you. He is against your views and believes you should not be involved in the U.S. government.
- Phenomenal Falls Creek
Got to experience the first week of youth camp at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Centers this week. This is the 100th summer of the largest youth encampment in the world.
I love going to Falls Creek. In fact, as I am in the middle of writing this DHD, a request was made from the Falls Creek program staff to make a delivery from OKC today. So of course I volunteered, and will be heading back as soon as this blog is published.
One great experience this week is hearing Anthony Jordan, our BGCO leader, preach as Falls Creek’s Week 1 speaker. His messages have been powerful. I heard his Monday message on livestream. If you click on the link, you can also see how many decisions for Christ have been made at Falls Creek this summer. For the first week so far, more than 500 total decisions have been made, including 239 professions of faith. And there’s one more night to go this week! And seven more weeks to follow!
- SBC goes to Phoenix
Next week is the annual meeting for the Southern Baptist Convention, which will be in Phoenix, Ariz. I won’t be going this year, though the Baptist Messenger will be represented by editor Brian Hobbs and staff writer Emily Howsden. I will remain back at the office, receiving reports from Brian and Emily to post in the Messenger.
I’m excited about the SBC. This is a good year, as more emphasis will be made on church planting and mission work all over the world. I know SBC President Steve Gaines will do an exceptional job leading next week’s meeting. Click on this link for more information on the SBC annual meeting.
- Keith Green remembered
I conclude this week’s DHD with a Keith Green video. Green’s widow Melody shared this video on Facebook this week, and it brought back so many memories. Keith died much too young, but he left a powerful legacy. If you are not familiar with his songs, he sang with the power of a preacher. His songs were challenging yet inspiring. This song is one of my favorites.