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It’s cold!

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

  1. Out of prison, into church ministry

I wrote the cover story for this week’s Baptist Messenger about Jason Jones who served 23 years of a life sentence for second-degree murder. Check out “Pardoned to Proclaim.”

I met Jason a couple of weeks ago, after I was briefly told his story and how he was discovered by my friends who work with the Church Planting Group for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. It was suggested I meet him when he was giving his testimony at a church planting conference at Falls Creek.

The reason for giving my backstory is it didn’t fully register with me that I was interviewing a guy who, when he was 15, took the life of a security guard. And if you didn’t know about Jason’s past, you never would believe he was supposed to serve life in prison. Jason comes across as friendly, kind, easy to talk to and not surprising he is in full-time ministry – which means whatever stereotype you may have for a convicted murderer, Jason would be a contradiction.

Jason had a rough life. I cannot imagine everything he experienced. I have a hard enough time believing the ordeals Andy Dufresne suffered before he helped the prison guards get tax breaks in The Shawshank Redemption.

But redemption is what Jason encountered, and praise God, he is sharing his story so others may find God’s redeeming grace too.

  1. Reading about the Reformation

Next Tuesday is the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, and thank goodness, from what I can tell, it seems to be taking precedence over the other holiday that falls on the same date.

There’s a lot of great reads relating to Martin Luther and Reformation renderings. Please check out the articles by David Dockery on the Baptist Messenger website.

Here’s a couple more I enjoyed reading: Joe Carter’s “Five Facts about Reformation Day,” and Jeff Robinson’s “The Luther Family and the Reformation.”

  1. Five leading spiritual influencers

Eric Geiger affirms what not only children but all Christians should be doing in order to experience spiritual vitality. It’s always good to have verification from research.

Check out “Research Reveals 5 Biggest Influencers on Your Child’s Spiritual Health.”

  1. An objective piece on the liberal media

One of the best articles I read this week was by Ken Stern, former CEO of National Public Radio. Check it out here. He shares his experiences of connecting with different conservative groups and has a few revelations.

Stern does give a slap to Jerry Falwell, which disappoints me since he demonstrated objectivity throughout his story. The departed conservative Christian leader continues to be easy prey by critics, but that’s their unfortunate loss.

Regardless, I applaud Stern’s writing and his willingness to be understanding. Don’t overlook his conclusion though.

  1. A bold comparison of the contrasting 

Joe Carter is a great communicator. As you probably can tell, I’m a fan of lists, and he frequently writes in a listing fashion. I’ve shared many of his articles, but I don’t know if I’ve read one that shocked me more than his piece “How LGBT-affirming is like KJV-onlyism.”

This article could be offensive to many, but he offers legitimate points. And his conclusion is hilariously critical yet accurate.

  1. A piece praising progress for print

Finally, I end with some personal encouragement. As one who works in the print publication business, I enjoyed reading “The Persistence of Print” by Mark Bauerlein. He reported from the Wall Street Journal that print revenue is up five percent.

He also stated that “material read in a book tends to stay with you longer than when read in digital formats.”

So now that you have finished reading this edition of DHD, sign off, find yourself a good published piece of literature, curl up in a blanket and enjoy this cooling weather.