1. Is is possible to be “thankful” apart from God? What are you thankful for? Your family? Your Wife? Your life? Your house? Your job? Being able to pay your bills and provide for your family? Who gave you all those things? Where did they come from? If not from the God of creation then where? Our very lives are a gift of God as is every good thing we have (James 1:17). I am thankful to Almighty God who has shown grace to me in Christ! I am thankful that the Lord would draw someone to Himself like me who did not seek Him, worship Him, or love Him. I am thankful for the gospel!
2. Black Friday is nuts! Apparently a man in New York was more or less trampled to death by a mob of shoppers who broke windows and took doors off their hinges in order to rush the store and secure the deals they were looking for. The man apparently died of a heart attack after being stomped on by several shoppers. The police who were trying to administer CPR even got stepped on. How little we understand the meaning of Christmas! My wife and I found some great deals at Staples at 5:00 A.M., we went for the cultural experience and to get some gifts, but we had no intentions of camping out or fighting other shoppers for gifts, we simply went at 5:00 when Staples opened and got the gifts that had not sold out yet–the things that were sold out we were content to miss out on.
3. I started reading William P. Young’s best-selling book, The Shack. Here are my initial thoughts. The first three chapters were very good–they made me cry. But what Young does is a little underhanded. He takes a very tragic story and then lets the story be the background for his ruminations on God–and that is what the majority of the book seems to be–ruminations or speculations on what God is like. Its not defended Biblically and in fact God seems like a jolly good fellow in the book. I have only read half of the book, but so far what concerns me most is that God’s holiness seems to be strangely missing from the Shack. So far God is struggling to defend himself to Mac (the main character) and I am still waiting for God to call Mac out for his pride and his selfishness. Interestingly enough when God shows up in the Bible, he never seeks to defend his actions or his character–but rather people hid their faces and say things like “woe is me, I am ruined, for I am a man of unclean lips” (Isaiah 6:5).
4. Watching College Football provided the opportunity for me to practice turning my eyes away from iniquity. It seems that sex is paraded in front of us at every turn. I watched much of the Iron Bowl and much of the OU/Oklahoma State game and they showed this ridiculous commercial with Beyonce singing about upgrading your phone in which she was wearing practically nothing. Each time the commercial came up, I either let my wife cover my eyes or I left the room. Jennifer and I currently don’t have cable (not that we are trying to be pious, we just don’t want to pay for it!) but if we do get it, I am getting a DVR. When we watch games at one of the families of my church’s house, the Dad of the family, pauses the DVR every time a bad or potentially bad commercial comes up–he is protecting his eyes and the eyes of his sons from iniquity and the temptation to lust. I thank the Lord for men like this. Men, make sure you are doing everything in your power to protect yourself and your sons from sexual immorality this holiday season–there are going to be a ton of great bowl games, but with them will surely come a ton of inappropriate commercials. Make a covenant with your eyes (Job 31:1) this holiday season and protect your family!
5. The Big 12 South is a mess, but the right team is playing for the Conference championship. Ivan Maisel, a typically even-handed sports writer is completely wrong on who should be playing in the Big 12 Championship game.
Does anyone know the definition of a 3-way tie? That means head-to-head is irrelevant PERIOD! Yes Texas beat OU but they lost to Tech who was dominated on both sides of the ball by OU. So head-to-head goes out the window period. The SEC would throw out which ever team was not within 5 places of the other two in the BCS standings (i.e. Tech would be thrown out). To take the two highest rated BCS teams and go back to head-to-head is unfair to Tech who beat Texas. In such a senario, the BCS is still indirectly determining the results of who plays in the title game, because they are throwing out an equally valid piece of the puzzle. Such a system would punish Oklahoma for winning big against Texas Tech. Let me explain. What if Texas Tech had played Oklahoma down to the wire and OU won by a slim margin (10 points or less). Then Texas Tech would have only dropped a couple places in the BCS standings and there would be a 3 way tie in which the SEC system would not work–the teams would still be equally tied having all beat one of the others and lost to one of the others. Thus in such a system you would be punishing a team for winning big against a highly ranked opponent–in what world is that logical? It seems many College sports fans have thrown logic completely out of the window!
Almost every other sport has a simple tie breaker in a three-way tie that has nothing to do with Polls or BCS computer standings–its called point-spread. In the first round of the World Cup (which has been around much longer than the BCS), if there are three teams locked in a three way tie to see which team goes on to the next round–then head-to-head is obviously thrown out the window and the tie breaker is then goal-differential and no one cries because Brazil runs up the score on Serbia-Montenegro! The same is true in every basketball tournament that I have ever been to–if there is a three way tie, you cannot look at head-to-head, so you look at goal differential. People outside the Big 12 should have no influence on who plays in the Big 12 Title game. Polls and BCS, standings should have nothing to do with breaking a three way tie. If you use the SEC tie-breaker system then the BCS polls are still indirectly determining who goes because in that case you would be throwing out one-chain of the three way tie (Texas Tech) based solely on BCS standings and that team won head-to-head against Texas!
No standings, polls, or computers should have anything to do with who goes–it should be point differential against the three teams in the tie or point differential against common opponents. In both instances that team would be Oklahoma. So even though the system is flawed and not based on simple logic–the right team is going to represent the South in the Big 12 Championship game.