• Uncategorized

    Enough.

    I would love someday to wake up and see a Facebook feed where black lives aren’t devalued. Where black kids, teenagers and adults feel safe doing normal things like going to a pool party, walking home from the store or sitting and talking in a hotel lobby. I recently preached at a predominantly black church here in Cleveland- I was on a panel of people celebrating Youth Sunday.  It included me- a campus minister, a motivational speaker for teens, a police officer and a juvenile corrections facility manager. Though it was supposed to be a brief presentation and Q&A it wasn’t entirely clear how the morning was supposed to go.  There were very…

  • art,  books,  inner world,  Uncategorized,  writing

    I Hit Send

    Two years ago I sat on a grassy hill listening to the roar of jets above me.  Dave and I had taken our boys to the Cleveland air show and along with other frugal Clevelanders, we had parked ourselves on a grassy slope across from there all the other fools were paying admission to listen to the same jets. Oswald would cry when one would suddenly zoom overhead, the noise too much for my baby. Watching Reuben roll down the hill with other kids who were enjoying a day off from school on Labor day, I sat feeling anxious, pent up and like I needed to let go of whatever…

  • friendship,  inner world,  kids,  parenting

    Fatherly Encouragement

    I sent my dad a thank you card recently. My mom is in Liberia for three weeks chaperoning a trip for Calvin College students. My dad is usually the one traveling around the world.  In part because I knew he would be a little lonely, in part because at InterVarsity’s recent national staff conference we were invited to write thank you’d. Thank you’s to people who have helped us to become a world changer. I love and appreciate my dad but I realize how seldom I tell that to him. Somehow texts, emails and even words spoken don’t have the punch of seeing something scrawled in a familiar script on…

  • Uncategorized

    Who is My Neighbor?

    When something horrific happens in your hometown it gives you pause to wonder how safe you really are.  Cleveland made international news last week with the story of the three women who had been abducted and held prisoner for 10 years in the home on the West Side of Cleveland.  Like most people I’ve had the feeling of horror, amazement that the women were found, humor at the candid interview of Charles Ramsey and been left wondering- “how can this happen?”  Most of all I’ve felt like the neighbors to Ariel Castro  grateful that the girls were rescued and horrified that it happened. “Charlie Czorba, a Caribe customer who lives…

  • Uncategorized

    living without

    Slow wireless connections, well water that tastes like eggs, and two weeks of sharing a dining room with 250 rowdy college students are a few ways to describe my last two weeks in the Upper Penninsula of Michigan to teach and train InterVarsity students how to live out and share their faith. Though there is a lot I could write about these two weeks, being in the U.P. sparked my memory of a post I’ve been kicking around in my head for awhile; the positive trade-offs of choosing to go without. Though I spent the first week praying, preparing messages and preaching these messages to students from across the midwest, I…

  • inner world,  spirituality,  Uncategorized

    weekend to remember

    Most of us don’t wait until the transmission of our car blows up before we take it to the shop, so why do so many of us wait until our marriage looks like a rust-bucket spewing smelly gray clouds into the atmosphere as we try just to make it from here to there? While I wouldn’t say my marriage to Dave is lookin’ like a broke-a** hoopde, we certainly aren’t crusing thorugh life in a shiny new rolls either. I don’t think we would have considered going to the Family LIfe Weekend To Remember conference had it not been for some of our kind donors who bought vouchers for each of…

  • Uncategorized

    six months of cleveland

    Dave, Reuben and I have lived in Cleveland Heights, OH for almost 6 months.We routinely get asked by people who learn that we’re new to the area “what do you think of Cleveland?” So here are the top 6 things I’ve liked about living here so far. 1. Friendly, welcoming people. We did have a nice advantage of having some great friends and colleagues in the area who have not only warmly welcomed us into their homes, but also to their communities.  It’s been great to feel included as part of a gang that we’ve only met yet still invite us to parties, BBQ’s and movie nights. I also think…

  • mom blogs,  parenting

    sad mama heart

    Moving is tough- especially when you’re a three year old and don’t understand the concepts of time or distance.  I knew that once fall hit & our hectic travel schedule ceased we’d start to feel that we really have moved.  Well, this week it feels like we have moved. I’ve moved a few times in my life throughout high school, college and adulthood. However, I’ve never moved with a child before.  At the beginning of the summer Reuben was super-excited to be in Cleveland (and who wouldn’t be btw!;) For the last week he’s been asking me every day “can we go over to Ransoms house? Can we go see…

  • work

    cleveland rocks

    This weekend Dave and I visited Cleveland for five days to explore the job/life/housing situation in Cleveland as we pray about our next stage in life with InterVarsity. About two years ago I took a regional job where I work with 50 InterVarsity chapters in a four state region- Cleveland is waaay more central to the work I do than Grand Rapids is. So there are some pragmatic reasons for moving that would make travel more easy, less costly and a better way to serve the students I work with. We’ve been praying about moving to Cleveland for two years, which just seems like forever now that I’m writing it,…