83329209Some say mine is the last generation to know what it means to engage in unstructured outdoor play. Though I grew up in the city, I enjoyed plenty of endless summer days on my cousins’ farm in Missouri. My favorite childhood memories include building hay forts in their barn, riding dirt bikes on back roads, and jumping off the dock into the muddy pond. Limited adult supervision and vast woods to be explored assured that the words “I’m bored” never crossed our minds.

Nighttime brought new adventure. We often camped outside with nothing but our sleeping bags and a million stars hanging over us. The darkness of the open Missouri sky may as well have been a whole different world—this Southern California girl had never seen such a spectacular display. I took it all in as my cousins pointed out various constellations and planets, even satellites. (more…)

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My family loves solving jigsaw puzzles. We always start by finding the corner pieces and then the edges. With the frame complete, puzzle-building becomes a practice in patience as everyone takes turns examining pieces, studying the image on the box, and trying out different combinations. Slowly, from the mound of seemingly unrelated pieces emerges a clear picture.

Something similar happens when we integrate creation texts from throughout Scripture. If someone asked us to show them the Bible’s creation story, most of us would point to Genesis. But Genesis isn’t the only piece to understanding God’s creative acts or the natural realm. (more…)

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…)