If you are a regular DHD reader, thank you! I’m encouraged knowing such people like you actually exist. Would you believe I’ve been doing DHD blogs from more than seven years?
This week I wanted to share six great things that happened this week. They encouraged me, and I figured they would encourage you as well.
Here we go!
- Falls Creek spiritual decisions
The summer youth weeks are concluding at Falls Creek Baptist Conference Center this week. After not having camp last summer, this is a great achievement.
What makes it even greater is the number of spiritual decisions that campers made through all eight weeks of youth camp. As of Thursday night, July 29, there were 2,592 professions of faith in Christ made at Falls Creek this summer with 5,492 total spiritual decisions, including 513 who surrendered to serve in full-time ministry. With one more night at Falls Creek, all these numbers should increase
This is a wonderful thing! This is what makes Falls Creek such a valuable place to Oklahoma Baptists. It is a place that allows students to encounter God in a significant way with no distractions of “regular life.” And when you consider what students now experience in “regular life,” you should appreciate how God can work in a young person’s life for that one week in the Arbuckle Mountains.
God works elsewhere, too, and I’m thankful that He does. But it should encourage all Christians that God did a powerful work in the lives of many young people who spent time at Falls Creek this summer, just like He did in countless lives over the past 104 years.
The final Falls Creek service can be viewed at live.oklahomabaptists.org.
- Falls Creek sponsor story
This summer I worked on an article for the Baptist Messenger that covered the majority of the Falls Creek camp weeks. The intention of the article is to be a “shout-out” to all adults who served as sponsors for the many church groups that go to Falls Creek every summer.
The first sentence says it all: “They take time off every year to spend a week with teenagers.” Just that fact alone should qualify every sponsor to earn a medal.
I do appreciate the youth pastors who helped me with this article, including Dylan Bone, Logan Easom, Jared Jackson, Cody Pennington, and Sam Simmons. They were responsible for letting me know about the great people who serve as camp sponsors for their respective churches.
The article is titled “Falls Creek Faithful: Stories of camp sponsors who impact many students” and is the cover story of the July 29 Baptist Messenger. It will be featured on baptistmessenger.com on Saturday, July 30, or you can read the digital version at baptistmessenger.com/digital.
- Bill Hancock’s daily Olympic journals
I love sports (big shocker, right Emily Howsden?). I am a fan of competition and enjoy a good matchup whatever it may be, especially on the athletic field, court, etc. This means one of my favorite events is happening now. Every four years (with exception of these Olympic Games) the world comes together to meet in a variety of sports, and I appreciate all of it. I don’t watch all of it, but I do admire all participants.
This also means I get to enjoy reading my favorite Olympic correspondent Bill Hancock offer his daily experiences as he works as a volunteer during the world games. Many know Bill as the spokesperson for the College Football Playoff. He is also known as being an extremely nice guy and a proud Okie from Hobart.
A few years ago, Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman started sharing Bill’s daily journal from the Olympics, and now I look forward to reading them during every Olympiad. I enjoy reading them almost as much as I enjoy reading the Gospels and the Pauline epistles (though I know they don’t provide the spiritual nourishment as the latter readings).
I enjoy reading them so much that I even paid the special $1 subscription for six months with the Oklahoman website in order to read Bill’s blogs. They may be an acquired taste, but I love his whole layout, including what he eats every day (his breakfast tastes are rather peculiar). And one enjoyable quality is how Bill offers a great positive spin to even his difficult encounters.
On his flight to Tokyo, Bill watched The Wolf of Wall Street starring Leonardo DiCaprio, and his description of the film was great. “I had not heard such profanity since sixth-grade 4-H camp at Lake Lugert. I’ll go for ‘Singin’ in the Rain’ on the flight home.” Love this description! And I laughed even harder because I was at Lake Lugert a few weeks prior.
If you’d like to check out Bill’s journal, go to newsok.com/sports and look for Berry Tramel’s “ScissorTales” columns. Berry’s writings are almost enjoyable to read as DHDs!
- Suni Lee’s golden moment
I’m so happy for gymnast Suni Lee winning the gold medal in the individual all-around competition. It was her time. Much could be said about what happened to Simone Biles, but I prefer to shine on Suni.
Her story with her dad making the wooden balance beam in the backyard when she was 10, and then learning about her dad being in a wheelchair after falling while helping a friend, whose daughter was getting married, set up decorations at a wedding—it’s an inspiring story.
These are important moments. Sports allows us to connect with others around the country and around the world. I know aspects happen that can cause debates, but then we miss out on getting to know people whose stories encourage us.
- Jacoby jokes after winning gold medal
Lydia Jacoby is another great story. The 17-year-old Alaskan swimmer pulled off the amazing upset in the 100m breaststroke. That was exciting to watch.
Then the stories come about Jacoby being from the small seaside town of Seward where she trains with whales and sea lions. What apparently is true is there is not one 50-meter pool in the whole state of Alaska. Makes you wonder what is Jacoby’s training regimen that helped her win an Olympic gold medal?
And if you watched Jacoby’s race, you also saw her schoolmates gather in a train station to watch her win. I love all of it! How can you not?
- Doyle at the Olympics
My final fun moment happened today as I was trying to find a sixth item to feature in this DHD.
Having the Olympics on TV, I thought I heard my name announced. Sure enough, Chris Doyle is an NBC commentator during the women’s cycling competition. I know nothing about the sport, but this Chris Doyle knew what he was talking about, as a line of women sprinted through that wild hilly course.
And it’s always nice to see your name featured on national TV: