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I’m excited to share with you my timely topics in this week’s Doyle Half Dozen, especially the first topic that I am reporting.

Thanks for reading!

1. Barry the deacon

A couple of weeks ago, Scott Patton contacted the Baptist Messenger, asking if he could submit a story he wrote about one of his church members. Patton is pastor of Indiahoma, First, located outside Lawton in the southwest part of Oklahoma.

I remembered meeting Patton and his wife Tami more than two years ago, when I did a story about Indiahoma, First offering a one-day program for kids since Indiahoma, at the time, was observing four-day school weeks. The Pattons were overseers of this program that used to meet on Mondays.

Patton is now serving as Indiahoma, First’s pastor, and with the story he gave to the Messenger, his church, and especially a member of the church, is becoming known throughout the country.

Barry Asenap is 51, living with Down syndrome and, according to Patton, is “an absolute mainstay” in the church. Now he is an ordained deacon of Indiahoma, First, after the church unanimously approved his ordination.

The Messenger is overjoyed that Patton allowed us to share his story about Barry. His story was posted on our website on Thursday afternoon, Oct. 31, and within an hour, the national news source Baptist Press picked it up. Also, on the Messenger’s Facebook page, as of the moment I am typing this, the story has been shared 37 times.

Praise God for what He is doing in Barry’s life and the encouragement that is resonating with those who learn about Barry’s role as a deacon.

2. Digital life after death

What happens to social media accounts of people who die? Have you wondered about this? I certainly have, for a few years now, as I have seen friends of mine who have passed away still receive Facebook posts, such as from friends who acknowledge them on their birthdays.

Emily Belz goes even deeper on this issue in her article “Digital life after death.” You should check it out, especially if you have lost a loved one, or if you want to know what to do after a loved one dies.

Belz covers legal aspects, as well as practical steps to follow with Facebook on what to do with a loved one’s account.

She ends her report with how one person is sharing the Gospel through Facebook with non-Christian friends of the deceased loved one.

3. Shawshank at 25

I used to go to the movies a lot when I was in my 20s. And there even were a few flicks I saw multiple times at the theater. Of course, this was when $1 movies were all the rage.

As I recall, The Hunt for Red October and A Few Good Men rank high on my list of theater viewing. I remember going to see Red October at least five times, and Few Good Men is about the same. If you don’t like watching movies with people who quote all the lines, don’t invite me over if you are watching either of these.

Believe it or not, the movie that surpassed all theater stops on my list is The Shawshank Redemption. I think I went to the theater at least 8-10 times to watch Shawshank, and there’s no telling how many times I watched it on video or TV broadcasts.

This week I read Tim Briggs’ article “’Shawshank Still Preaches, 25 Years Later,” which reminded me how old I am and rekindled memories of when I first saw this movie. Without spoiling it, the ending of Shawshank shocked me in my original viewing, but there’s so much to the story that makes it so enjoyable to watch over and over. Shawshank even taught me that the bank will mail packages for you.

Check out Briggs’ analogy of how the story of Shawshank symbolizes the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

4. Piper advises Sunday-working Christians

John Piper does a great job in giving practical advice for living the Christian life. I read through the transcript of his addressing a question from a nurse who regularly has to work Sunday shifts.

Piper is very thorough in his answer, and I especially appreciate his explanation of why Christians today traditionally celebrate “Sabbath” on Sunday instead of Saturday.

The best thing I interpreted from Piper’s guidance is how Christians should want to spend a day to celebrate the Lord with other believers, and he discredited any legalistic application.

5. Kentucky Supreme Court favors Christian print shop owner

I’m happy for Blaine Adamson, owner of Hands On Originals, a screen printing operation in Lexington, Ky. that prints designed t-shirts. Adamson won a legal case in the Kentucky Supreme Court, which ruled in favor of his faith.

Baptist Press (BP) reported Adamson’s victory after he was sued by a group promoting homosexuality. Adamson refused to print shirts with messages that went against his Christian beliefs. As BP reported, Southern Baptist leader Russell Moore said this ruling is “good news for every American.”

“We need to live in the kind of country where we can be free to seek to persuade one another, not bully each other into silence,” said Moore, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission (ERLC), in a news release. “Conservative evangelicals, secular progressives and everyone in between ought to be able to agree on the idea that a state must not act as lord over the conscience.

“My hope is that this decision is a sign that courts around the country will continue to uphold conscience freedom and personal soul liberty.”

I appreciate Moore’s wording of respecting a person’s conscience.

6. Mohler on impeachment process

I got word that Albert Mohler is going to be nominated next year as president of the Southern Baptist Convention. There is nobody among SBC leadership who is more respected and more deserving of the presidential role, and I am hoping he runs unopposed. Wouldn’t that be a great message of unity!

Mohler offered great commentary on many current issues this week on The Briefing podcast. His Friday, Nov. 1 edition gives an excellent analogy of the recently announced impeachment inquiry by the U.S. House of Representatives.