What are you enjoying right now?
Sometimes, we need to step back and ask a question like that.
Philippians 4:8 challenges believers to think and dwell on “whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable.” So each week the Facts & Trends staff would like to share our “Favorites” at the moment.
It might be a new book or podcast we’re enjoying or something going on in our lives we want to share. Hopefully, you’ll think about things that are your favorites right now and maybe find something else to add to that list.
Aaron Earls (@WardrobeDoor), online editor: One of my favorite apps has become Timehop, which shows you social media updates from several years ago, as well as a random fact about the day in history.
It is always interesting to see exactly what was going on in my life on this day last year, two years ago, and more. I can see some fun moments I may have forgotten, a cute photo of my kids, or how I was expressing myself about a difficult season of my life.
Timehop often provides a needed reminder of God’s goodness and His graciousness, as I see how He has blessed me in the past and how He has brought me through things that seemed overwhelming at the time.
Carol Pipes (@CarolPipes), editor: With Thanksgiving only two weeks away, my favorite this week is the Thanksgiving playlist on Spotify put together by my friends and co-workers Lydia McMillan and Elizabeth Hyndman.
This Thanksgiving soundtrack, featuring classical, Christian, and Pop music, will definitely get you in the mood for the holiday. You can bet this will be playing in my kitchen while I prepare the turkey and all the trimmings come November 27.
Matt Erickson (@_Matt_Erickson), managing editor: I’ve been enjoying listening to the 44 Scotland Street series by Alexander McCall Smith, author of the popular The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency series. On a whim, we picked up the first volume from the library before a road trip to Florida for Labor Day weekend, and I’ve been listening during my commute ever since.
Smith describes the series as follows: “Scotland Street occupies a busy, Bohemian corner of Edinburgh’s New Town, where the old haute bourgeoisie finds itself having to rub shoulders with students, poets, and portraitists. And number 44 has more than its fair share of the street’s eccentrics and failures.”
To me, it’s kind of like a Scottish Seinfeld—interesting characters and random events mixed in with some great dialogue and insights into life. And, like Seinfeld, it’s often very funny. Last but not least, Smith is an excellent wordsmith, and the rhythm of his writing is made all the more enjoyable by the outstanding narration done by Robert Ian Mackenzie. (Great accent!)
Bob Smietana (@BobSmietana), senior writer: I enjoy my Audible subscription and two books have stood out recently.
Laura Hillendrand’s Unbroken is a remarkable retelling of the life of the late Louis Zamperina, a time Olympian who survived torture for years in World War II prison camps. Hillenbrand, who also wrote “Seabiscuit,” might be the best nonfiction writer in America. And Zamperini’s tale is one for the ages—filled with pain, courage, and a surprising abundance of grace.
And then, if you’re a Tolkien fan, try the edition of The Hobbit narrated by Rob Inglis. He is a master narrator, who captures the joy and adventure of the tale of Biblo Baggins and his adventures with a band of dwarfs, a wizard, a mighty dragon, and a magic ring. It’s a welcome relief after the overblown movie versions of this well-loved tale.
Katie Shull (@KShull), graphic designer: A friend at church recommended 66 Love Letters: A Conversation with God That Invites You into His Story by Dr. Larry Crabb as a good way to read through the Bible, so I picked it up for my daily devotion time.
It’s really a unique approach. Basically, it gives you an overview of each book as if you were having a conversation with God and asking Him questions. I think it especially helps when you’ve read the Bible passages already, but want to go over them again for more insight.
What has made you smile so far this week? What would be your favorite today?