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I start 2019 with a DHD that features a couple of articles that reflect good stories and fascinating people from 2018 and things to anticipate in 2019.

Let’s get to it!

  1. Good stories in 2018

As Joe Carter points out, 2018 did provide a lot of controversies, divisions and tragedies. However, there were a lot of encouraging events that occurred too.

Check out Carter’s list in his article “Ten Good Stories You Might Have Missed in 2018.” I definitely agree with the first story on his list, regarding Andrew Brunson, the American pastor being released from Turkish prison.

It was reported that Brunson will be speaking at the Pastors’ Conference before the Southern Baptist Convention’s Annual Meeting this year. I will be looking forward to that.

  1. 10 Fascinating Southern Baptists in 2018

I knew Jonathan Howe when he was a student worker in the athletics communications office at the University of Southern Mississippi, where I received my master’s degree.

Jonathan co-hosts a podcast with Amy Whitfield titled “SBC This Week.” In a recent recording, they discuss Amy’s blog on her selection of “10 Most Fascinating Southern Baptists in 2018.”

I appreciate Amy’s list, especially that she reflects a couple of lighthearted moments from last year’s SBC Annual Meeting. She listed nine-year-old Zak McCullar who was a messenger representing his church in Alabama and made a motion that the SBC add a children’s ministry Sunday to the official calendar. Amy also featured Marvin Parker who made a motion to turn adjust the thermostat in the Dallas Convention Center.

I also like Amy adding my friend Felix Cabrera and fellow Oklahoman Scott Pruitt to her list. I definitely agree to Jeff Bingham, interim president at Southwestern Seminary, being included, after hearing him speak at last year’s SBC meeting. He has handled a challenging position in a difficult season extremely well.

  1. Hopeful sports projections

The Oklahoman put out a list of 19 things fans of the Thunder, Sooners and Cowboy could look forward to happening in 2019.

I’m skeptical whenever I mention the Thunder in my DHD, but I’ll take this chance because I like what Erik Horne said about the Thunder, especially Russ’ shooting to improve and Andre Roberson returning to the lineup.

  1. Pro-choice myths

The New York Times ran an article on what the paper concluded were threats to abortion rights. National Review’s Alexandra Desanctis does an excellent job dispelling the Times’ piece in her article “Pro-Choice Myths Are Perpetuated in New York Times’ Fetal-Personhood Story.”

The headline is one that my editor would love, but I appreciate Desanctis demonstrating how wrong the Times is with its abortion propaganda.

Something she doesn’t point out that I think needs to be emphasized is the concerns women face with post-abortive issues. Thousands upon thousands of women carry for years the burden of having an abortion. Hope Pregnancy Centers in Oklahoma offer a great Bible study to help women who are afflicted with such grief. The Bible study is titled “Forgiven and Set Free,” and I have heard many women have discovered peace and forgiveness after going through these classes.

If you’d like to know more, visit for information on training facilitators for the “Forgiven and Set Free” classes.

  1. Reich on

I have enjoyed reading articles by Sarah Zylstra. She is very thorough when she writes about people, and her latest piece on Frank Reich is superb. I knew the current Indianapolis Colts coach was a seminary president, but Zylstra goes further in-depth in how Reich went from playing football to attending seminary to becoming a seminary president (even before he graduated) to coaching an NFL team to the playoffs in his first head coaching year.

  1. Remembering Southwest Airlines founder

I was struggling to come up with a sixth topic until my wife suggested I mention Herb Kelleher dying.

I will be honest, before Karen told me about him, I had no idea who he was. Kelleher died Thursday, Jan. 3 at the age of 87. He was the co-founder of Southwest Airlines, and he left quite a legacy, especially among Southwest’s employees and former employees (my wife being one).

Check out USA Today’s article “Southwest’s Herb Kelleher: Five innovations that shaped U.S. aviation” and read how Kelleher impacted the airline industry. The first innovation listed is Kelleher’s priority on treating employees right. Karen raved about how well she was treated when she worked at Southwest Airlines and how Kelleher was very approachable by anybody who worked for him.

I’m not the biggest fan of air travel, mostly because of the annoyance it is today to fly, but I agree with the masses that Southwest is the most accommodating airline for passengers. Obviously Herb Kelleher is to thank for that.