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: We can never actually walk a mile in someone else’s shoes. It’s impossible to experience the life of another. But reading memoirs and autobiographies gives us a glimpse into someone else’s tragedies and triumphs, hopefully giving us a better perspective on their life and our own.
Reading Lecrae’s autobiography Unashamed, I couldn’t help but think how my background and childhood had such a different impact on my life than his. It made me even more grateful for having a godly father and mother and has given me a better understanding of growing up without a father in a chaotic environment.
Those who open the pages of Unashamed will be confronted with the grim realities of many in America, but they will also recognize the hope in the gospel. Both of those truths could challenge different readers.
For those like me who grew up in relative stability, it serves as a challenge to be involved in the lives of those who are not so blessed. For others who had a story similar to Lecrae’s, it is a promise that Christ can redeem and restore our brokenness.
Pre-order Unashamed now (and get a free gift). You will not want to miss Lecrae’s transformational story.
Carol Pipes (@CarolPipes), editor: I’m often wowed by the glory of God displayed in nature. Again this week I was reminded of God’s creativity when I came across these before and after photos of caterpillars transformed into butterflies.
Each one is distinct. The caterpillars are as intricately designed as the beautiful creatures that emerge from the cocoon. We can learn much about the attributes of God from nature—His love of diversity, His attention to detail and organization, His power, beauty, and creativity. And from the metamorphosis of caterpillar into butterfly, we are reminded God makes all things new.
For His invisible attributes, that is, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen since the creation of the world, being understood through what He has made. As a result, people are without excuse (Romans 1:20).
Lisa Green (@lisaccgreen), managing editor: I wouldn’t call myself a country music fan, but like thousands of others I have been touched by the story of Joey Feek, half of the Grammy-nominated duo Joey + Rory, as she battles terminal cancer. Her husband, songwriter Rory Feek, has chronicled their journey on his blog, ThisLifeILive.com.
This week Rory reported that Joey is in hospice care with likely only a few days left to live. Many tears have fallen as she contemplated leaving behind her 2-year-old daughter, Indiana. Yet both husband and wife have viewed the future with the confidence of those who know the One they have believed.
Their new Hymns album is doing well in stores, Rory told Joey. “We talked about what a blessing it was, and then she looked at me very seriously and said, ‘I need you to do something for me.’ I told her I would be glad to. Then with all the sincerity in the world, she said, ‘I need you to be generous.… God has blessed us so much. We need to bless others.'”
The morning after the Grammy awards, Rory wrote, “Joey looked into my eyes and said, ‘I’m sorry we didn’t win us a Grammy.’ I smiled and said, ‘That’s okay.’ Then jokingly, I added, ‘There’s always next year.’ She smiled back at me and said, ‘Yes, next year.’ … Then her smile widened and she winked and said, ‘And guess what… I’ll know the winner before you do.'”
After saying final farewells to her family, Joey has been sleeping for days, Rory wrote. Her body is rapidly shutting down.
“Though our hearts are heavy, we all need to do our best to remember that this is not the end. It’s only the beginning,” Rory wrote. “When Joey takes her last breath here … she will take her first breath there. In heaven.”
Katie Shull (@KShull), graphic designer: Politics have been at the forefront of most people’s minds these days, including mine. My former co-worker and friend, Amy Whitfield wrote a great article on how to discuss politics with your kids. She has some good advice for finding “teachable moments,” and also reminds us, “No matter what happens on November 8, God’s mercies will be new on November 9.”
What has made you smile so far this week? What would be your favorite today?