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: Thanks to the wonders of scheduling blog posts in advance, as you read this my wife and I should be in the hospital welcoming our fourth child into the world.
If I’m honest, every time I wonder if I can love this new child like I love her siblings, I doubt I’m ready. I struggle with being responsible for another human being. But every time I hold one of my children for the first time, I can’t stop staring at them and smiling. Somehow each new child makes our family even more complete.
I’m thankful for all of our friends and family who have helped us during my wife’s pregnancy. I’m privileged to work at a place where my co-workers have opened meetings by praying for my wife and daughter. I’m excited to see our new baby’s face for the first time.
Today, my favorite is my newborn daughter.
Carol Pipes (@CarolPipes), editor: A few weeks ago a friend sent me Len Sweet’s From Tablet to Table: Where Community is Found and Identity is Formed. At only about 160 pages, it’s a quick but savory read. Maybe it’s because I love food, but this book definitely hit home with me. Sweet not only reminds readers about the table’s importance in theology, but he also encourages Christians to bring back table time to the home, the church, and the community. For it is around the table where are lives are shaped, relationships are strengthened, and communities are brought together. Sweet reminds us that God wants to commune with us and He wants us to commune with one another. What better place is there to build relationships and share our stories and His Story than around a table with good food and great conversation? I think Sweet may be on to something when he writes bringing back the table “would “dramatically change the world we live in and help return us to our rootedness in Christ.”
Matt Erickson (@_Matt_Erickson), managing editor: I’ve started reading The Original Jesus: Trading the Myths We Create for the Savior Who Is by my friend Dan Darling. In the tradition of J.B. Phillips little classic, Your God Is Too Small, Dan seeks to demolish false notions of who Jesus is while setting forth the true, biblical representation. He believes many of us have created unbiblical versions of Jesus that bear a striking resemblance to ourselves and our own pet theologies and idolatries.
If you’ve been in the church for any length of time, you’ll quickly recognize many of the false portrayals of Jesus Dan evaluates and finds wanting. Chapter titles include: “Guru Jesus,” “Braveheart Jesus,” “American Jesus,” “Dr. Phil Jesus,” “Prosperity Jesus,” and more. Dan shows how each one of these portrayals of Jesus, while perhaps containing some elements of truth, ultimately present an unbiblical Jesus who is unworthy of our worship.
I think it’s a helpful book because all of us are prone to embrace false notions about Jesus, and these false notions are far from harmless. I’ve also enjoyed Dan’s conversational writing style and sense of humor.
Lisa Green (@lisaccgreen), senior writer: I’d been home from work only a half hour when the lights went out with a bang, probably because a squirrel fried itself on the transformer outside the house. And there went my plans for the evening. No cooking dinner in an all-electric kitchen. No washing laundry, checking email, or running the dishwasher.
Instead, my husband and I lingered over dinner and conversation at a local restaurant. Back at our darkened home, we decided to read—a paperback illuminated by flashlight, an e-book on the remaining battery life of an iPad. It had been a long time since I slowed down enough to enjoy a novel on a weeknight. Close to midnight, as the utility truck’s yellow warning lights flashed through our windows, power was restored.
I’m thankful for the crews who worked overnight so I could power my curling iron in the morning and keep the food in the freezer from going bad. I’m glad to be back to normal. Yet I’m also thankful for the brief pause in a self-imposed hectic schedule. The dishes aren’t washed and the laundry isn’t done … but I am refreshed.
Katie Shull (@KShull), graphic designer: Being the mom of two girls, I have a lot of drama in my house. I’m always looking for tips on things to say or what to do when they have conflicts with their friends or each other. I came across this article the other day “Save the Drama: Raising Girls Who Speak the Truth” from Christianity Today.
The author, Jen Wilkin, reminds us, “Daughters who own their own underlying fears and treat the fears of others with empathy and kindness are trading a pattern of drama for a pattern of discipline befitting a follower of Christ.”
What has made you smile so far this week? What would be your favorite today?