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: This Washington Post story about a white couple adopting five kids not of the same ethnicity as themselves, including African-American triplets adopted as embryos, touched a nerve with many readers.
Commentors were baffled as to why the Halberts would do such a thing. Many ascribed dishonest and selfish motives to them. It seemed foolish or reckless to live as a multiethnic family. But that’s only because they have not experienced and could not grasp the unity that exists within the Church. Across all ethnic and national lines, followers of Jesus exist as a united family.
Here’s how Aaron Halbert explained the reality they now find themselves in:
This is not the way we planned it 12 years ago when we were dating and talking about adoption, but oh, how thankful we are for God blessing us with these sweet little ones He has placed in our care. I can remember a friend going through the adoption process telling me he had always wanted his family to look like a little United Nations. As I look at my growing family, I prefer to take it a step further, daring to hope that our family picture is a little hint of Heaven.
Carol Pipes (@CarolPipes), editor: If you haven’t yet discovered the Babylon Bee, it’s certainly worth checking out. The fake news site pokes fun at some of the quirky behaviors and attitudes of church folk.
Our own Bob Smietana interviewed the site’s creator Adam Ford for a story about the Babylon Bee at the WashingtonPost.com. The site has become a pretty big hit, with 1 million hits in the first three weeks.
It has certainly given our staff a few chuckles, especially the story “Report: Average Christian Spends 37% of Prayer Time Saying Word ‘Just’,” which cited a fake study by Lifeway Research and quoted Lifeway’s own Scott McConnell.
Sometimes it’s good to laugh at ourselves.
Lisa Green (@lisaccgreen), managing editor: Vacationing out west, my husband and I visited Death Valley National Park in eastern California. We stood in awe at Badwater Basin, the lowest point in North America, with sweeping salt flats lying 282 feet below sea level. We marveled at the nearby Devil’s Golf Course, an expanse of salt crystals so rough that it’s said only the devil could play golf there.
The most striking view, however, came at our last stop—Dante’s View, a mountain peak more than a mile above the low-lying spots we’d just seen. The Devil’s Golf Course, which had seemed such a vast expanse when we stood amid the salt crystals, was only a speck when viewed from above. The salt flats, on the other hand, stretched far beyond what we could see from the surface. It was astonishing to see how much a different perspective changed our perception of the natural wonders we had just seen.
I had a similar feeling this week when I came across a video online that zooms from our everyday human perspective to one that encompasses galaxies. The same video then zooms in the opposite direction, delving into the complexities of cells and atoms. The changes in perspective are astounding. I am reminded of Psalm 8: “When I observe Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You set in place, what is man that You remember him, the son of man that You look after him?”
Katie Shull (@KShull), graphic designer: My favorite is related to design, it’s the redesign of our nation’s currency. The list of honorees includes Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Martin Luther King, Jr., and others who were motivated to change the world because of their faith.
Sometimes change can be good. In the words of Ben Franklin, who is on the $100 bill (ironically not changing), “When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”
What has made you smile so far this week? What would be your favorite today?