I’m back to it. Now it’s two weeks in a row, and hopefully I’ll keep finding content every week.
Thanks for reading!
1. Wax on pastors and politics
Favorite blogger Trevin Wax had a good thought-provoking blog this week. He wrote “If There Wasn’t a Sermon About it, Does Your Pastor Even Care?” offering commentary about how pastors may vary in handling political issues of the day.
It has become difficult weaving through all the different issues, and many devoted Christians have taken different paths on responding to these issues. As Wax mentions, some pastors choose to “trumpet from the pulpit certain positions on a regular basis.” There is also pressure to participate in demonstrations in the public square.
Now, add in today’s most popular form of political outcry, which is to post comments on social media, and there can be all kinds of responses—including no response—regarding the hot topics of the day.
“Remember this,” Wax wrote, “Christians may share the same convictions and yet differ on the tactics to best achieve their aims. Pastors may agree with other pastors on any number of political and theological issues and yet decide to engage these topics differently in preaching, teaching and hands-on ministry.”
I agree. Since 2020, I have chosen to limit my political commentary, especially on social media. I will speak up on occasion, but to a lesser degree than in the past. I suppose the recent presidential campaign was a great discouragement to me for all kinds of reasons.
I have also concluded that discussing such topics as politics can be more effective during in-person settings and especially if they are one-on-one conversations with the intention of listening more than talking. That can be difficult for me sometimes, but I found such encounters to have better results.
Think of it this way, if I can talk to someone who supports legalized abortion and allow them to speak the majority of the time, I probably won’t change their view, but I could gain their trust. And if I gain their trust and share the Gospel with them, I have made the greatest accomplishment from an eternal perspective, and if they make a profession of faith in Christ, they may also gain understanding in the value of the Sanctity of Life.
2. Mohler on truckers protesting in Canada
Today’s episode of Albert Mohler’s The Briefing is a good listen/read. He begins with an analogy of the truckers who are protesting in Canada and why this is such a major news item. His historical breakdown of comparing the United States and Canada is excellent.
Mohler had some great podcasts this week. His Wednesday Briefing about the Russia and Ukraine conflict is a masterful breakdown. If you don’t understand what is happening with Russia and its interest at the country’s border of Ukraine, take a listen or read the transcript.
Back to Friday’s edition, Mohler not only gives great insight to the conflict of the Canadian truckers, he also points out the government overreach in the handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting the proposal to “adopt a new strategy, more tolerant of the need to return to life not dominated by pandemic fear and government commands,” which he quotes from the Wall Street Journal.
And I offer a hearty AMEN.
3. MLK & Billy Graham
I love Justin Taylor’s article he wrote last month, “The Time Martin Luther King Prayed at the Billy Graham Crusade.”
You should check it out and notice the comparisons Taylor offers of King and Graham. And then read the prayer King offered at that 1957 crusade in New York City.
4. Thunder Thoughts
If you care about the Oklahoma City Thunder and wonder about their lack of involvement in the recent NBA trade deadline, I have two articles to suggest for your perusing.
First, check out Brandon Rahbar’s “OKC Trade Deadline FAQ: Thunder Journal.” I especially enjoyed reading questions 3, 4 and 6. This was written prior to yesterday’s deadline, so Rahbar is not exactly correct, especially about the Thunder handling its salary cap space, but it is still an enjoyable read.
Second, read Oklahoman Thunder beat writer Joe Mussatto’s article which answers why Sam Presti and the Thunder did not make major waves before the trade deadline. And he reminds Thunder fans about the approach Presti is taking with the Thunder during this season and the upcoming ones.
5. Tramel shares Bill Hancock’s Olympic journals
I thought I would mention my favorite pastime during Olympic games: reading journal posts from Bill Hancock that Oklahoman columnist Berry Tramel shares. You’ll need an electronic subscription with the Oklahoman to read it, but for me, it’s worth the $10 and change a year. You’ll also have to scroll down Tramel’s daily posts because they are always featured under other content that Berry writes.
I’ve mentioned Hancock in the past. He has the best outlook on life, and it’s demonstrated in his daily writings while working with the press corp at the Olympics.
6. Super Bowl prediction
I’ll go ahead and give my prediction for Sunday’s big game. I predict the Los Angeles Rams will win big, especially because they are playing at home, but also because I do think the Cincinnati Bengals overachieved to be in this game. I’m happy for the Bengals and find myself wanting to root for them, but the Rams might be too tough to beat.
Rams 34, Bengals 20