Author: Stina Kielsmeier Cook

#celebratefamily and Lowered Refugee Admissions | What to Celebrate and Lament This Week

Celebrate: Family   Imagine adopting a child from Uganda and later learning the same child had been stolen from her birth mother. That’s what happened to an Ohio couple who welcomed a young girl named Namata into their home, only…

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Genius and Sexual Assault: What to Celebrate and Lament This Week

Celebrate: Genius On Wednesday, the MacArthur Foundation announced its selection of the 2017 “genius” grant recipients — a group of 24 extraordinary individuals who use their creativity to benefit society. As I scrolled through the list of awardees, who range…

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October and Las Vegas: What to Celebrate and Lament This Week

Celebrate: October Anne Shirley, heroine from Anne of Green Gables, famously said: “I’m so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers. It would be terrible if we just skipped from September to November, wouldn’t it? Look at…

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Colds and Lead: What to Celebrate and Lament This Week

It seems counterintuitive to celebrate illness, but let me explain.   A few weeks into the start of the school year and it finally hit: our first family cold. My son is coughing and complaining of a sore ear, my…

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Libraries & Parks, Hurricanes & Earthquakes: What to Celebrate and Lament This Week

Celebration: Libraries & Parks   Someone posted online recently about how, if the idea of public libraries and public parks were first introduced today, people would laugh at the ridiculous left-wing nuttiness of it all. (That bill would surely not…

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Adoption and Redlining: What to Celebrate and Lament This Week

Celebration: Adoption   This week, I am celebrating writing that challenges me to see the Gospel in new, fresh ways. A few days ago I finished reading Adopted: A Sacrament of Belonging in a Fractured World by Kelley Nikondeha. I…

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Milestones and Dreamers: What to Celebrate and Lament This Week

Celebration and lament are two spiritual disciplines needed at all times, but mostly, the North American church misunderstands these practices. We are afraid that shouting off the rooftops about good things may be seen as self-congratulatory; we fear that decrying…

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Examen: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Spiritual Practices

When I was growing up, my family took a summer road trip out west. My parents, who were former experiential educators, always made good use of each “teachable moment.” We stopped at historical markers where Conestoga wagons left ruts in…

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Prayer: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Spiritual Practices

Last week I started watching Netflix’s new adaptation of Anne of Green Gables. I was skeptical. Having been raised on the 1980s version starring Megan Follows, I couldn’t fathom another actress embodying the iconic role of Anne Shirley in quite…

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Lament: A Skeptic’s Guide to the Spiritual Practices

In middle school I went on a summer wilderness trip at Bible camp. At the end of the two weeks of canoeing and backpacking through the buggy Wisconsin woods, I spent twenty-four hours on a “solo”—a time of prayer, fasting,…

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