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: Last week, my grandmother died. While obviously that in and of itself is not a favorite thing of mine, spending time with family and reflecting on the godly legacy she left behind definitely is.
She modeled to me and everyone in her family a love for the Lord, His Word, and His church. She taught a high school Sunday School class for decades and continued investing in the lives of teenagers at her local church up until the time she passed away.
Much of the man I have become is due in large part to her. I sat beside her during nights of her studying the Bible, watching her pour through God’s Word so she could deliver its truth to students. Later, she encouraged me as I began to teach and go to seminary.
Our family grieves greatly at losing her in this life, but rejoice at all she left behind and at our confidence in seeing her again one day.
Carol Pipes (@CarolPipes), editor: In the summer issue of Facts & Trends we look at the Church’s mission to make disciples. We have several great articles for church leaders on how to help their people become disciples who make disciples. One that stood out to me was Michael Kelley’s article on the essential nature of groups in discipleship.
I’ve been fortunate to have been part of several small Bible study groups over the years. And I’m thankful for the way God has used the people in those groups to help me grow in my own faith. It’s a beautiful thing to experience community built on the Word of God.
In his article, Michael writes that a small group remind has the power and ability to remind us of God’s love and presence: “In times when we are prone to forget God loves us, the invisible love of God becomes visible through the way we interact with one another… We have an opportunity in our groups to remind one another of the invisible reality of God.”
Lisa Green (@lisaccgreen), managing editor: For years I’ve heard predictions of an oil shortage. I’ve read about global shortages of water and food. I’m all too familiar with shortages of time and money.
But a shortage of sand?
Indeed, the world is running out of the stuff cities are made of, a column in The New York Times reports this week. Sand is essential in making concrete, and we don’t have an infinite supply.
It’s odd to think the world might run short of a substance so often associated with abundance. “As numerous as sand on the seashore” is a concept used in the Bible to describe vast armies, bountiful supplies of grain, enormous herds of camels, the countless descendants of Abraham, the great wisdom of Solomon, and even the infinite thoughts of God.
Yet the global sprawl of construction is locking up much of the world’s sand in roads and buildings, journalist Vince Beiser writes. “Sand is the essential ingredient that makes modern life possible. And we are starting to run out.”
Some of the development undoubtedly creates much-needed infrastructure in impoverished areas. But some is more akin to the parable of the rich fool in Luke 12, tearing down his barns and building bigger ones. As the world’s population continues to grow, all of us would be wise to remember another biblical mention of sand.
“But everyone who hears these words of Mine and doesn’t act on them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. The rain fell, the rivers rose, the winds blew and pounded that house, and it collapsed. And its collapse was great!” (Matthew 7:26-27)
Katie Shull (@KShull), graphic designer: My family loves watching American Ninja Warrior. After seeing the stories of the contestants, you get emotionally involved in their lives. You cheer with them as they climb the “warped wall” to victory, or ache for them as they crash into the water.
All these athletes inspire me to hit the gym more, but also remind us that even though we may not always complete the course, we should still stay trained and focused on the task at hand. Sometimes just facing your obstacles is the biggest challenge.
What has made you smile so far this week? What would be your favorite today?