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 the Facts & Trends staff would like to regularly 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 your list.
Aaron Earls (@WardrobeDoor), online editor: Like most people, I take a lot of photos on my phone. Whether it’s a shot of my kids to send to family or something funny to share on Instagram or Twitter, pictures quickly fill up my phone’s storage. That’s why I was excited to try out the Google Photos app.
It backs up all the photos on your phone and stores them in a password protected account. Plus, you can connect your Facebook and Google accounts and upload photos from your desktop to have all your photos in one place with a search feature that recognizes and groups pictures with facial recognition.
Other photo apps I’ve used are free initially, but ask you to pay for storage after your reach a certain level. Google Photos is free with an unlimited amount of storage for photos and videos. The only catch is that Google shrinks them down. So there is a small loss in quality, but nothing the average user would ever notice.
If you’re running out of room on your phone and need a place to store photos, try out Google Photos.
Carol Pipes (@CarolPipes), editor: My recommendation this week is a new podcast from Selma Wilson, vice president of Organizational Development at Lifeway Christian Resources.
Wilson’s podcast Selma on Leadership is designed to fill a hole in the podcasting world: speaking to Christian women about leadership and life. She shares wisdom gleaned from 22 years serving in various leadership roles at Lifeway. The podcast is warm, friendly, and full of great advice—just like Wilson.
On the third episode, her guest is her husband Rodney Wilson, marriage pastor at LifePoint Church near Nashville. They talk about what has sustained their marriage for 38 years. The podcast is only on its third episode, so you can get in on the ground floor if you start listening now.
Matt Erickson (@_Matt_Erickson), managing editor: I haven’t listened to much worship music lately, but after reading a glowing review of Hillsong United’s new album “Empires,” I decided to pick it up. They’re probably my favorite worship band and their albums seem to have plenty of highlights with few, if any, weak spots. The new album, released last week, debuted at No. 5 on Billboard’s Top 200 chart.
I listened to some of “Empires” during my run last night and so far, so good. While it’s too early to say what my favorite songs are on the album, I can safely say it’s another outstanding effort from the most popular worship band in the world. (I can also say that adding some worship music to the mix can be good for the soul.)
I’ve been guilty of many of the bad habits mentioned in the book—trying to do too many things at once, neglecting relationships, and tackling everyday tasks instead of priorities just so I can cross them off my “to-do” list.
Yet I see the “one thing” concept woven through the parables of Christ, from the overjoyed merchant who buys one priceless pearl to the determined shepherd who pursues one lost sheep.
Jesus repeatedly told His followers to abandon all else and singlemindedly follow Him. Pursuing that one most important thing has changed more lives than anything the world has ever known.
Ashley Parmer, intern: My favorite this week is the Christian fiction book, A Lineage of Grace, by Francine Rivers. This book is a compilation of five stories about five great women of the Bible: Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Bathsheba, and Mary.
Interestingly enough, they are all a part of the lineage of Christ. In each story, God helps each woman through her situation. And although these women lived in the ancient past, their struggles can still relate to women of today. This book shows that like Hebrews 13:8 explains, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He will always bring you out victoriously.
This book also features a section after each story called “Seek and Find.” This section takes a closer look at the biblical verses and provides questions from the story. A Lineage of Grace will be a great addition to women’s Bible study or a book club.
What has made you smile so far this week? What would be your favorite today?