This week’s DHD covers a variety to topics. Here we go!

  1. The slap

After a week’s worth of commentary and perspectives of Will Smith slapping Chris Rock during the Oscars ceremony, I’m going to offer the most boring, non-dramatic response.

First, Chris Rock’s joke was bad taste and shouldn’t have been said. Second, Will Smith could have responded better.

Looking back, what I believe would’ve been the best way for Smith to respond is privately confront Rock. “Hey, I didn’t appreciate your joke about my wife” could’ve been an acceptable comment to make sometime after the show, or if opportunity allowed, sometime off-camera during the show.

Soon after the joke was made, he could’ve said to Jada, “I’ll say something to Chris later.”

Here’s my point, and again it’s boring and blah, but it’s best to confront somebody in private. There’s no emotional uproar and, for Smith, no fallout from his reputation being hindered.

A common business practice in dealing with employees is praise publicly and correct privately.

With social media, it’s so easy to start a qualm with people on Facebook or in the variety of chatrooms. With video cameras on cellphones, it’s so easy to film a public altercation, and we live in society that loves a train wreck.

I suggest go against society and keep life private. It’s OK to not air out your grievances to the whole world. If you do have a concern with someone, talk to that person and only them. There probably will be less emotion and possibly a more constructive interaction.

  1. Live quiet lives

With this example, let’s take it further for Christians. Paul wrote to the Thessalonians, “Seek to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you, so that you may behave properly in the presence of outsiders and not be dependent on anyone” (I Thess. 4:11-12).

What does Paul mean by “lead a quiet life”? In my Sunday School lesson this weekend, the teacher’s book offers this commentary about a quiet life:

“This does not mean believers should pull back from society or from telling the Gospel. Instead, Paul encouraged a calm and quiet life while maintaining a ‘loud’ witness for Christ.”

My Life Application Bible offers this commentary on I Thess. 4:11-12, “You can’t be effective in sharing your faith with others if they don’t respect you.”

It is important to speak truth when it is needed to be shared. But, as I am learning in my life, it is also important (maybe more important) for truth to be accepted. Sometimes it matters more with how you say it over what you say.

In other words, speak privately and respectfully with someone about a disagreement instead of shouting at someone over social media or making a public scene. Sharing the Gospel is always more important than winning a debate.

I also remember this saying from years ago: “The person who wins the most arguments has the fewest number of friends.” Make as many friends as possible to win them for Christ!

  1. Young and Waters

There’s not many storylines left this season for Thunder fans. With six games left, the Thunder are trying to get in the best position for the NBA Draft this summer. Tonight’s game against Detroit is really interesting, since the Pistons pulled off a shocking win against Philadelphia last night. OKC has 22 wins; Detroit was 21. The three worst records in the NBA share the same percentage of gaining the first pick of the draft. Houston and Orlando each have 20 wins and hold down the bottom of the standings, so the result of tonight’s Detroit-OKC game will be interesting.

If you don’t like the tanking process, consider a more fun element with the current Thunder roster. Lindy Waters III has been a recent addition to the Thunder, and Waters has a fun Oklahoma story. He grew up in Norman, played high school ball with Tray Young at Norman North, played college ball at Oklahoma State, played semi-pro ball in Enid, then in the G-League with the Oklahoma City Blue and now is living a fun dream playing in the NBA with the OKC Thunder. All of his stops are in Oklahoma, which is quite remarkable.

Plus, Waters has become a fun player to watch. If you like sharp-shooting 3-point shooters, Lindy’s your guy.

Last Wednesday, Young was in town with the Atlanta Hawks and put on quite a show with 41 points against the Thunder. Waters also led the Thunder with 25 points. Two Norman North guys leading their respective NBA teams in scoring during a matchup.

I really like Berry Tramel’s take on the Young-Waters matchup:

How many times in NBA history has there been a game in which high school teammates were each team’s leading scorer? I don’t know. I’m sure it’s happened before.

Too many players from Oak Hill Academy in Mouth of Wilson, Virginia, or DeWitt Clinton High School in the Bronx, or DeMatha Catholic in Hyattsville, Maryland, for it not to have happened.

But it happened Wednesday night at Paycom Center, where the Hawks smashed the Thunder 134-118. Atlanta was led by Trae Young, with 41 points and eight assists. OKC was led by Lindy Waters III, with 25 points on 9-of-15 shooting.

Young and Waters were Norman North teammates in 2013-16. In 2015-16, Waters’ senior season and Young’s junior season, the Timberwolves reached the Class 6A state championship game, before losing to Putnam West.

Our man Joe Mussatto wrote about the Young-Waters reunion. But I had a couple of things to add.

► I realized Wednesday night that Waters has made these last few weeks of Thunder watching bearable. With the all-out tanking, and the Thunder’s best players sitting, there’s little incentive to watch.

Sure, the keen observers will focus on player development with the likes of Theo Maledon and Isaiah Roby and Aaron Wiggins and Aleksej Pokusevski. But truth is, with most of the Thunder projects, we’ve seen enough this season and last.

No offense, but a fan can only take so much Poku.

Now along has come Waters, a local kid, from OSU, with all kinds of great storylines, from his Native heritage to his low-minor league journey as recently as last season.

Waters is the ultimate pull-for-this-guy story, and he’s giving himself a chance to get another chance. He’s averaging 7.4 points a game, shooting 36% from 3-point range and has not been much of a defensive liability.

I don’t know if Waters will be in the NBA next season, but he’s at least got a chance to continue the amazing tale.

► The Young story is well-told, and I don’t have much to add. Except this.

Young hopefully will be an inspiration to young players on at least two fronts. He made decisions as an 18-year-old that went against the grain. 

First, Young chose to remain at Norman North for his senior year, when most established basketball people were urging him to play at one of those basketball boarding schools, such as Oak Hill.

Second, Young picked OU over the likes of Kansas and Kentucky. The blueblood schools more and more collect the top talent. Check out the current Duke roster, for confirmation. But Young chose the hometown Sooners.

Two unconventional choices by Young. And both paid off swimmingly.

Young remained a high school phenom, even at North. Young became a college sensation, leading the NCAA in scoring and assists his lone Sooner season.

Young went fifth in the 2018 NBA Draft, transformed the Hawks, led them to the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals and now is a runaway superstar.

Young showed that the road less traveled can get a great player where he wants to go. Staying at his high school. Picking a university outside the four or five pedigreed programs.

Waters and Young. Two great stories, vastly different but each wildly successful in their own way, and they converged Wednesday in downtown Oklahoma City, for an otherwise meaningless game that gave us plenty to cheer about.

One follow-up to something Tramel wrote, Waters has a two-year contract with the Thunder as a two-way player, which means he should be on the squad next year, at least.

  1. Durant’s jersey retired

Kevin Durant continues to make waves. Can you believe it’s been six years since he left the Thunder for Golden State?

He made news this week saying the Thunder and Golden State should retire his jersey. Yes, he is correct. Of course, he’s still playing, so it seems a little awkward to talk about jersey retirement. But yes, the Thunder should retire his jersey when appropriate.

Can we move on now?

  1. Most popular worship songs and sermon topics

Baptist Press has a fascinating article of the most popular worship songs sung in worship services and most popular sermon topics in 2021.

According to a database called Faithlife, “Build My Life” was the song most sung in church services last year. If you’re not familiar with this song, it starts out with “Worthy of every song we could ever sing…” The title caught be off guard, but I do know the song and love singing it.

You can check out other popular songs in the article.

As far as sermon topics, the top trending Bible passages last year was Eph. 4:14-21, which focuses on the uniqueness of the Body of Christ. I ask my pastor friends if any of you preached on Ephesians 4 last year?

  1. Well done, DR!

Tornado season came early in Oklahoma, as an unexpected funnel cloud did damage in southeastern Oklahoma in the Madill/Kingston area on March 21. Two churches were affected, as well as many homes.

Baptist Messenger posted several updates last week of the work Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief (DR) did in this area. Thankfully, DR served a little more than a week, with its Incident Command Center stationed at Madill, First. Check out the latest report here.

As Don Williams, state DR director, reported, DR team members helped 40 homeowners with property damage, provided more than 500 meals with 200-plus chaplaincy contacts, and those who served in this area represented more than 40 Oklahoma Baptist churches from all over the state.

It’s never fun to experience a tornado, but thankfully, Oklahoma Baptist DR is available to serve when such storms happen and take such opportunities to advance the Gospel.