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 that list.
Aaron Earls (@WardrobeDoor), online editor: As a C.S. Lewis fan, I’m excited about some new books coming out, including one I received yesterday. There have been questions surrounding Lewis and women—both personally and literarily—since his lifetime that have only increased in recent years. The new book Women and C.S. Lewis: What His Life and Literature Reveal for Today’s Culture draws from a host of experts to explore what the Narnia author felt and wrote about women.
The editors, Carolyn Curtis and Mary Pomroy Key, enlisted a wide variety of contributors for this long overdue work. Theologians and authors, pastors and poets, men and women interact with Lewis’ life and writings. They respond to accusations of sexism in Narnia and Lewis’ relationship with the women in his life, including his wife Joy Davidman Gresham.
Grab this book if you are a fan of Lewis or have questions about the way this celebrated Christian author viewed women.
Carol Pipes (@CarolPipes), editor: As we’ve been working on the next issue of Facts & Trends, I’ve been reading a lot of blogs about leadership and leadership development. Two of my favorites have become EricGeiger.com and RonEdmondson.com.
Both of these leaders have some great insight about what good leadership looks like and how to develop good leadership traits in yourself and in others. Two posts that stood out were Geiger’s post on how leadership development is a part of discipleship and Edmondson’s post “5 Secret Traits to Make a Better Leader.”
Be on the look out for the Fall issue of Facts & Trends as we unpack the tools for creating a culture of leadership development in your church or organization. If you don’t already subscribe to the magazine, you can sign up for a free subscription here.
Matt Erickson (@_Matt_Erickson), managing editor: I’ve started reading Douglas Wilson’s new book Writers to Read: Nine Names That Belong on Your Bookshelf. The nine are: G. K. Chesterton, H. L. Mencken, P. G. Wodehouse, T. S. Eliot, J. R. R. Tolkien, C. S. Lewis, R. F. Capon, M. S. Robinson, and even his own son, N. D. Wilson, whose chapter begins with a “Meaningless Disclaimer” followed by a humorous and persuasive justification.
Through brief excerpts and commentary, Wilson shows what makes these nine writers so enjoyable to read. And I do say “enjoyable” because Wilson is not the kind of guy who would only highlight writers considered “important” by cultural luminaries (though many of these writers certainly would be). Wilson appreciates both style and substance. He’s looking for truth told in entertaining ways.
What makes the book so great is Wilson is a skilled writer himself with a wonderful sense of humor. Like Chesterton, he’s a master of the clever turn of phrase. He’s adept at weaving in references to other books (including the Bible), using analogies and metaphors, and making historical, cultural, and theological observations. Basically, he’s brilliant but not boring. And his book is well worth reading.
Lisa Green (@lisaccgreen), senior writer: This week I became intrigued by color blindness after seeing a video clip of a man using special glasses to see colors for the first time. In my quest to learn more about this topic, I discovered:
- My grandmother may have been colorblind. My dad says she had trouble distinguishing red from green.
- My own color vision appears normal in an online test.
- The special glasses that enhance color vision don’t help some colorblind people, who lack red pigment in their eyes.
- And in a remarkable twist, a few women have extra cones in their eyes, allowing them to see colors the rest of us can’t perceive.
Mostly, I enjoyed watching people overwhelmed by emotion as the color-enhancing glasses opened new worlds to them. I thought about all the wonders we can’t experience because we lack the physical senses to perceive them, and I thought about God’s promise of transformation: “For now we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face.” (1 Corinthians 13:12)
I imagined what it will be like to truly see for the first time—like the blind man healed, or the deaf child made to hear. And seeing the awestruck, weeping faces of the colorblind glimpsing the world’s beauty, I pondered the profound joy implicit in Revelation 21:4: “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Katie Shull (@KShull), graphic designer: Our family went camping last weekend at Fall Creek Falls, a Tennessee state park with an abundance of waterfalls. We had a lot of fun hiking and admiring God’s creation.
We met an overly friendly deer that came up to our campsite and ate watermelon out of our hands. The girls named her “Doe-rito” because she tried to steal our Doritos. She was definitely not afraid of people, so hopefully the rangers or hunters don’t find her.
It’s good to just unplug from everything and spend time with your family. In the stillness and beauty of nature, God’s presence and provision is very apparent.
What has made you smile so far this week? What would be your favorite today?