My husband and I love watching Iron Chef America, the Food Network show where top-notch chefs go toe-to-toe in an hour-long culinary battle. It’s particularly fascinating to watch the competitors deal with a “secret ingredient” that forces them to think outside the box of their expertise. A French-trained chef might play with Asian flavors or an Italian-trained chef might find inspiration in the foods of the American Southwest. The results are intriguing cross-cultural cuisine fusions. (more…)

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Say you receive an invitation in the mail for a party on October 31. This party will include candy, costumes, and “illusion” (insert picture of a top hat, wand, and sparkly star). Would you assume you were just invited to a Hallelujah party? Probably not.

Yet, depending on where you live, you might see church banners with a similar invitation. Don’t get me wrong. It’s wonderful that churches are serving their communities by hosting these kinds of events. But the peculiar words on church signs this time of year might cause passersby to raise a curious brow—it does for this editorial eye, at least. (more…)

Vibrant foliage colors, exciting festivities, and Starbucks’ pumpkin spice lattes all help make fall my favorite time of year. Although people often say Southern California doesn’t experience “real” seasons, the signs of change are here. Our founder, Hugh Ross, aptly describes autumn in SoCal in an upcoming ministry letter:

While the seasons here in Southern California are subtle, to those of us who live and work here the signs are very familiar. (more…)

The weekend following Thanksgiving, my husband and I decked the halls of our apartment with wreaths, garland, and a Nativity scene. And next week, we’ll drag home a heavenly scented Douglas fir to decorate with lights and sparkling ornaments. Christmas is my favorite time of the year, as it is for many people. I love the food, songs, decorations—everything! The festive spirit of the season buoys my own spirit.

For some Christians, both individuals and whole denominations, Christmas can be a source of controversy. (more…)