• church,  grad school,  inner world,  jesus,  spirituality

    the church of my imagination

    Choirs of unicorns singing gospel hymns, humorous sermons by Stephen Colbert and joyful potlucks with BBQ ribs afterwards comprise the church of my imagingation. Well, not actually, but it’s fun to picture right? Unicorns, Colbert, ribs- sounds like a divine trifecta to me. Dave and I have been looking for a church here in Cleveland and I’ve been reflecting on what we value in a church, how we go about evaluating those values, the dissonance that occurs between what I picture as an ideal church and what we experience in reality.  Recently I took a class with Rick Richardson (aka Slick Rick) at Wheaton Graduate School on various models of…

  • church,  friendship

    one is the loneliest number

    When you’ve moved to a new town, what’s the best way you’ve found to connect with people? I’m thankful that there has been a handful of folks that we knew when we moved to Cleveland- it’s been great to be invited over for meals, go out to record shops we would have never known about and have people over for game nights.  It’s made the transition here a lot easier (you know who you are- thank you friends!). I’ve moved a few other times in my life- in high school, to college, to Grand Rapids after college when I still had the crazy idea I’d go to law school and…

  • books,  church,  jesus

    your church is too small: a review

    Last year I enjoyed taking an apologetics class with John Armstrong through the M.A. program I’m in at Wheaton.  Though the content of the class was good it was an unplanned experience that caused me to see John’s commitment to unity and peace.  A classmate was feeling attacked in a discussion we were having. We could all feel the emotional temperature in the room shift and wondered if things were going to move from a simmer to boiling. The discussion got more heated resulting in my classmate yelling at John and storming out of class.  Needless to say this was a shock to all of us and a disturbance to…

  • church,  parenting,  race issues

    “how to raise racist kids”

    I received one of the nicest compliments about being a parent this week. And it had to do with race.  I started thinking about this after I read an article entitled “how to raise racist kids” posted by a friend from Wired magazine. You can check out the article for yourself here. Dave and I go to a multi-ethnic church where we worship Jesus with Koreans, Africans, Latinos, African-Americans, Dutch people and everything in between.  We wanted to go there because we believe that we learn more about who God is and how to love people by being in relationships with people who look different than us. After all, God…

  • church,  food,  justice,  travel,  Uncategorized

    my worst nightmare

    three words: high.school.algebra. For the past year I’ve been tutoring a student named Latisha through our church’s tutoring program. The illiteracy and high school dropout rates in our neighborhood are disheartening to say the least, so rather than shaking my head and thinking about what bummer that is, I decided to tutor a student named Latisha. I was nervous about tutoring but I quickly bonded with Latisha & we had a great time increasing her vocabulary through playing scrabble, doing multiplication drills (with spiderman flash cards! score!).  Tutoring has reminded me that investing in people isn’t always about the results, though helping her succeed in school is a motivation.  The…

  • baking,  church,  food,  friendship,  grad school,  inner world

    sabbatical dreams

    It’s hard to believe that in eight days I’ll begin a year long sabbatical from my regular job with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship! After seven years IVCF grants up to a year for academic sabbaticals, an amazing gift! I’m actually in my ninth year of ministry and during this year, I plan to  finish my M.A. through Wheaton Grad school.  I was talking with my friend Gracee the other day about helpful things to consider before beginning a sabbatical- I’d love some advice from any other people that have done/are doing one! Since my degree is modular and my first class doesn’t start until March, I’ll actually have a decent amount…

  • church,  cooking,  food,  marriage

    how to embarrass your husband

    For anyone who knows my husband Dave, you know that it not easy to embarrass him. Crazy story about Dave? He’ll tell you five more about himself. An embarrassing photo? Well, we have those all categorized in photo albums. An awkward situation? Dave can create those with finesse and style to the mortification of anyone in the room. When I told him what I was writing about tonight, he rolled his eyes and started laughing with embarrassment. So what did I do? I got up in front of 400 people this morning at church and professed my love for him. For the past three weeks, our church has been doing…