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Nilwona: A True Story

I am in a season of transition, and it has resulted in quite a bit of personal reflection and inventory. At various times in the past few months, I have been given opportunities to share bits and pieces of my story with others. It never fails, people are amazed at the things I share. There are many pieces of my life that I have been quite transparent in communicating. However, there are other parts that I’ve shared in a more opaque way. (Thanks, Rev. Carey, for that nugget of wisdom!) Over the past couple of weeks (and more specifically, the Read More

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Meet Spark Ventures

I didn’t get my first passport until I was 31. A few years later, I’ve collected a small handful of stamps; this is partly due to Spark Ventures. I learned about Spark during the application process for a short term missions trip to Zambia. Since then, I’ve served on two of Spark’s Transformation Trips (in conjunction with North Park University’s Global Partnerships Program). While I’m in the States, I continue to support the work of Spark and Hope Ministries by volunteering my time, talents and money. I made a special $50 “Lent” donation to Spark (read why here) that will Read More

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Blogging for the greater good (or What I’m Doing For Lent)

This year, I wanted to do something different for Lent, something more impactful and meaningful. I decided to put my money where my mouth is…literally. There are seven weeks in the Lenten season (including the week of Ash Wednesday), this equals a total of 46 days. I decided to pick a different charity for each week and donate $50 (46 rounded up). Every Friday, I will post information about the organization for the week, including an interview with a representative (founder, CEO, staff member, etc.). Though $50 is not much, I’m hoping to do two things: 1.) lead by example and Read More

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It’s a shame…

Today was election day in Chicago. According to the Chicago Tribune’s latest report, voter turnout was about 40-45%. This, the article states, is not quite the 50% we were aiming for, but is better than the usual 33% (for municipal elections). It’s a sad day when people are excited about the possibility of a 50% voter turnout. I know that voting for aldermen and water reclamation people may not be as glamorous as the President of the United States or even Governor or Congressman…but really? Having grown up in Chicago and witnessed the machine politics of the 80s, I can Read More

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You got to know…

…when to fold ’em. The ol’ Gambler strikes again. I have had quite a heavy load on my plate these past few weeks, and some days it’s a struggle to get in a blog post. It’s already past my bedtime, yet I was trying to think of something meaningful to post. Then the lyrics from “The Gambler” popped into my head. When Wisdom knocks, I have to answer. And tonight, Wisdom said, “Time to fold ’em and call it a night.” So my word for the day is “self-care.” Try it, you won’t regret it!

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Twelve stones

Years ago, a coworker borrowed a nickel from me for the vending machine. He returned the nickel a few days later, making a joke about God giving back to us when we give. Though he was only joking, it was a powerful message that I needed at the time. So I taped that nickel to my wall as a reminder. The plastic ID holder in my wallet finally gave up the ghost this evening. Going through the contents was like a brief journey to my past. During that journey, I came across a card I’d put in a specific spot Read More

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Battle of the sexes

I had a few ideas for thought-provoking posts, but a story on Fox Chicago News presented a question that was too good to not explore: Should high school wrestling allow boys and girls to wrestle each other? Why or why not? I say no – not because “men are stronger than women,” but because  – well, have you seen some of those wrestling moves? So, what do you say?

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My guilty pleasure

I have enough homework to keep me busy for weeks. Yet, I’m watching “Touched by an Angel” on the Hallmark Channel and thinking – once again – that I should look into if it’s available for purchase in some kind of box set. What’s really exciting is that I seem to have caught the very first episodes of the very first season. The fact that this excites me should make me ashamed of myself, but it doesn’t. I keep trying to figure out what it is about the show that appeals to me so much. Sometimes I think that it’s Read More

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What have you learned today?

We’ve all heard the phrase “you learn something new every day,” but do we all believe it? Sometimes, we “relearn” some things…meaning, there are facts that you pick up over time that get pushed to the back of your mind. Then, one day, you come across something and think, “Wow! I didn’t know that…or maybe I did…” That’s how I felt as I read an article about Black History Month. While I know most of the origin of how the month came to be, I read something in the article that seemed new to me. It explained that Carter G. Read More

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Show your love!

I’ve seen a couple of articles over the past week that suggest including charities as recipients of the excessive amount of money that will be spent in celebration of Valentine’s Day. You’ll never hear me arguing efforts to raise money for charitable organizations, so… Should you find yourself in the giving mood, here are a few organizations to consider showing your love to: Organizations that serve children/families: Spark Ventures, One Heartland, Caroline Wambui Mungai Foundation Arts Organizations: Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, Chicago Music Association