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: There is a reason I wrote 11 Things You Think Are in the Bible, But Really Aren’t and 11 Common Phrases You Didn’t Know Were From the Bible; many people—Christians included—have no idea what the Bible actually says.
So every effort to help Christians (and others) better understand the Bible is needed. Too often, however, those attempts lack a winsome nature and practical application.
Thankfully, David Croteau’s Urban Legends of the New Testament: 40 Common Misconceptions sets the record straight, but does so in a way that illuminates the reader and provides the reasons why the truth is better than the culturally accepted misunderstanding.
Readers may not always agree with Croteau’s conclusions, but you will come away with a deeper understanding of the Bible and biblical interpretation. That’s always a good thing.
Carol Pipes (@CarolPipes), editor: I recently came across an article about a 94-year-old woman who is a volunteer English teacher at the Baptist Student Center in Bangkok, Thailand. Yep, that’s right, she’s 94 and still doing volunteer missions. You really should read her story!
Lorena Mayhugh moved to Thailand in her 80s and has spent 10 years investing in the lives of students, developing relationships, and sharing the gospel. She uses Bible stories to help her mostly non-Christian students learn conversational English.
This article reminded me there is no age limit to living on mission. Mayhugh hasn’t let a hip replacement or cataract surgery slow her down. I hope when I’m in my 80s or 90s and God calls me to serve, I’ll be as quick as Mayhugh to go.
Matt Erickson (@_Matt_Erickson), managing editor: College football (literally) kicks off this weekend. My beloved Michigan State Spartans open the season ranked #5 in the country after finishing the last two seasons in the top five. In other words, it’s a good time to be a Spartan football fan. (And considering last year’s Final Four run, it’s not a bad time to be a Spartan basketball fan either.)
Our first game—yes, I’m deliberately using the first person pronoun—is actually Friday night on the road against a pretty good Western Michigan team that people around the country won’t realize is pretty good. Still, I think our guys will be ready to play and will ultimately emerge victorious. It’s hard to believe I’m saying, but I also think the Spartans have a legitimate chance at winning the national championship this season.
Spartans aside, the start of college football season also means the start of ESPN’s “College GameDay” program—an annual rite of fall, and as comforting to me as a pumpkin spice latte is to others. (Incidentally, the two can be successfully combined.) So, if we must say goodbye to summer, at least there’s college football to help ease the transition to shorter days and colder temps.
Lisa Green (@lisaccgreen), senior writer: This week I discovered Periscope, a live streaming video app for my phone. I’m coming late to the party, because I see so many others already there for me to follow—friends and relatives, inspirational speakers, news stations, co-workers, local weather alerts, the pastor of my church.
When any of them begins streaming a live video, I get an alert. I can either watch on the spot or get back to it within 24 hours. I love the immediacy! Next step: Figuring out whether to try broadcasting something myself.
Katie Shull (@KShull), graphic designer: I do a lot of infographics at work, so I’m always looking for some inspiration. A site I like is Cool Infographics. It highlights good graphics from around the web and critiques their effectiveness.
One I like this week is the Psychology of Color. People are always asking me how I decide on what colors to use. There actually is a lot behind color choice, but most of it is subconscious and cultural. One person might respond to one color differently, but collectively most of these rules hold true.
What has made you smile so far this week? What would be your favorite today?