It’s a hot afternoon, which makes it perfect to be inside and write my weekly thoughts on six timely topics, known as Doyle’s Half Dozen. Here we go!
- Thunder thoughts
The Oklahoma City Thunder are right in the middle of the NBA offseason free agency/trade moves. Paul George made it known last weekend that he’s locked in with the Thunder for at least three more seasons. This is a great sign. It means the Thunder have set a foundation involving Russell Westbrook, Paul George and Steven Adams for the next three years, maybe more.
Other moves involved re-signing Jerami Grant and Raymond Felton who were significant contributors last season. And the Thunder also got a backup center with Nerlens Noel.
I’m okay with how the depth-chart appears to be shaping up:
PG: Westbrook, Felton
SG: Andre Roberson, Alex Abrines
SF: George, Terrance Ferguson
PF: Grant or Patrick Patterson
C: Adams, Noel
The key word is “continuity.” That is something the Thunder are focusing on for the upcoming season. For the last three seasons, the Thunder have had major change-ups whether it involved a coaching change, a major contributor leaving or a serious overhaul in the starting lineup. With a majority of the roster featuring returning players and in place well before the preseason, this is a good sign.
- Melo drama
Apparently this is breaking news, but as I was starting my DHD, my phone was beeping about the Thunder planning to move on without Carmelo Anthony. I thought that news broke soon after the both Anthony and Thunder GM Sam Presti had their exit interviews with the media back in May.
I was skeptical from the beginning when Melo came to the Thunder before last season. I guess it was worth a try, and if nothing else, Presti proved to both Westbrook and George the Thunder is willing to do what it takes to win now. It was an expensive demonstration, but if you think about it, it was about $9 or 10 million more than if they still had Enes Kanter, who was involved in the Melo trade and faced a similar decision. But hey, that’s for the owners to handle, not us fans.
I think the Thunder and Melo part ways on good terms. It just didn’t work. I will be curious to see where Melo lands. Right now, reports claims the Rockets, Lakers and Heat are interested in the 34-year-old All-Star. I find it interesting that Houston is interested, yet the Rockets still haven’t re-signed their starting center Clint Capela and let Trevor Ariza, who I think was a major contributor to the Rockets, sign with the Suns.
I have no idea what LeBron and the Lakers are doing with the other players L.A. has signed, and the Heat doesn’t have any salary cap space. And beside all this, I’m curious to see how Carmelo’s game fits with any of these teams.
- Chronicling on the Creek
Summer camp at Falls Creek in on the downswing as Week 5 is coming to a close. My friend Rusty McMullen was the speaker this week, and I’m so excited about the reports I have heard this week.
On Tuesday night, there were 91 professions of faith in Christ reported. On Wednesday, Falls Creek reported 81 professions of faith and 73 campers responding to the call to ministry. Overall, there were 221 spiritual decisions made Wednesday night.
Brian Baldwin, student evangelism specialist for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma, emailed this about Thursday night’s responses: “Another great night at Falls Creek! Rusty McMullen has been pouring his heart out all week. Praising the Lord for those added to His Kingdom and called into His service.”
Of the 186 Thursday night reported decisions, 56 students made professions of faith, and 66 committed to serve in ministry. God is working through Rusty, as Brian reported, and at a place where countless others have come to Christ and surrendered to serve Him.
- Carpooling with McCartney
I thought about blogging about this last week, but I didn’t know exactly how. Like others, I was impressed with The Late, Late Show’s James Corden and his recent edition of Carpool Karaoke with Paul McCartney. I’ve seen other segments like these, but this one is like a documentary.
I was impressed seeing the house where The Beatles lead singer grew up, as well as the room where McCartney and John Lennon wrote legendary songs. It’s about 23 minutes long which I believe surpasses the length of any other Karaoke bit Corden has done, but this one is award-winning.
I could go on and on, but the reason I bring it up is Brett McCracken found a spiritual application from watching Corden and McCartney drive around and sing, as well as a challenge for the church:
“…Christians should take note of why something like this—joyfully longing, lovingly rendered, silly and serious and well done and melodic—resonates so widely.
“In our worship practices and art making, we should be mindful of how hungry people are for experiences beyond the trifles of fleeting pleasures and digital distractions. They want to be entertained, yes—but they want something more. Something true. Something, or Some One, ultimate. And when art confronts us with those “something more” longings, it often feels like joy.”
- The Washington florist speaks
It’s almost a month since SCOTUS ruled in favor of the Colorado baker, Jack Phillips, in the case involving religious rights. Another popular case involves Barronelle Stutzman, a florist in the state of Washington who is facing a similar trial which involves the controversy over not wanting to be involved in a wedding of a same-sex couple because of religious beliefs.
The Gospel Coalition featured Stutzman’s response this week, stating she has “renewed hope.” I appreciate how she worded her commentary, how she is “serving not celebrating,” and she is very gracious to everyone involved, even the one who is opposing her in this legal action.
She wrote, “The government shouldn’t tell us that we must hide, ignore or violate our beliefs in order to participate in public life.”
- Next week’s Messenger
The week of July 4 is one of the only two weeks of the year we don’t print the Baptist Messenger. Christmas week is the other.
However, next week’s Messenger is loaded with many stories sharing the Gospel. The cover story shares about the summer staff members at Falls Creek and how they have been intentional about sharing the Gospel with campers each week. And there are others that are a great read, even the ones I didn’t write!