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: I hate to disappoint people, so telling someone “no” is difficult for me. But this piece from Lore Wilbert is a great reminder that the church should be a place where it’s OK to tell someone you can’t do something.
You and I were not designed to do everything that comes before us. We need wisdom to know the tasks and people in which God has called us to invest. As Christians, we should recognize the limitations of each other. It reminds us of our interdependency within the body of Christ. Our shortcomings — even if they aren’t failures, but simply non-attempts — point us to the One who can “do it all” and has done it all for us.
Carol Pipes (@CarolPipes), editor: As a person who loves lists, I really appreciated this article from Fast Company. Paula Rizzo, author of Listful Thinking: Using Lists to Be More Productive, Highly Successful, and Less Stressed takes list-making to the next level.
She says a daily to-do list should be specific and targeted. “You should only put things on a to-do list that you have the time and resources to achieve,” says Rizzo. “And big goals and projects should be broken down into actionable tasks.” That’s great advice for any task, whether it’s planning an event at your church, tackling a project at work, or cleaning out your garage.
Matt Erickson (@_Matt_Erickson), managing editor: Andrew Peterson introduced his new album at my church last week. I haven’t listened to much live music lately and was reminded of how enjoyable it can be. Like most Friday nights I was pretty tired, so it helped that the concern was in a very relaxed, intimate environment. It felt more like a worship session than a highly-produced show.
The new songs were great—Peterson is a thoughtful songwriter and excellent live performer. For some songs, he was joined on stage by other Nashville-based singers, including Ellie Holcomb, Jill Phillips, and Andy Gullahorn. There’s so much musical talent in this city. It’s nice to see the community that has developed between many of the local artists.
Lisa Green (@lisaccgreen), senior writer: I can’t recall the name of the ballet, but the image will never leave me. The dancer, having eloquently portrayed the entire cycle of life, is carried offstage as if by cortège, showing in every line of face and body her astonishment at life’s end. Her hands press in confusion against invisible, impenetrable walls.
I remembered the dancer this week as I looked at Tom Hussey’s “Reflections,” a series of photos in which older people gaze at reflections of their younger selves. Hussey developed the series after meeting a World War II veteran who couldn’t fathom being 80 years old. Inside, the veteran still felt like a young man.
It’s a universal experience, one that becomes more poignant with age. God has placed eternity in our hearts (Ecclesiastes 3:11). Thankfully, He invites us to join Him there.
Katie Shull (@KShull), graphic designer: Being a creative person, you do tend to open yourself up to criticism. How you take those critiques can greatly effect your day and ministry in general. I stumbled upon a blog by facebook developers that had some good insights this week. It is a good reminder to keep everything in perspective. (As a side note, they also have a page with free downloads of people holding different devices, if you ever need a mobile phone picture.)
What has made you smile so far this week? What would be your favorite today?