Cultural Glimpse

Enjoying diversity

Tag: Freedom Christian

Food, Prayer, Marriage

Wedding rings

Ever since snow arrived, my children wanted to build a snowman. So Sunday we gave them a substitute snow activity – sledding. Needless to say they had a great time. Myself, who as a young girl rode roller coasters at Cedar Point, simply videotaped their adventure. Yes, I was too scared to slide down the hill that my three-year-old and six-year-old thought nothing of.

Yesterday was so packed with activities there was no way I could write a new post at night. We bought the children snow gear, took them sledding with their cousins, I discovered black tomatoes at the produce market and we attended a small 500 guest Chaldean American wedding (usually they’re 700 plus). And most importantly, church!

“The Life of Abraham” lecture series started at Freedom Christian. As the pastor spoke of Prophet Abraham, I thought of my ancestors’ land, Ur of the Chaldees in Iraq, where Abraham originated. This city, which is mentioned several times in the Bible was one of the great urban centers of the Sumerian civilization of southern Iraq and remained an important city until its conquest by Alexander the Great a few centuries before Christ. Ur was eventually incorporated into Babylonia. The Ziggurat of Ur, believed to be 4,000 years old and originally a temple to the moon god, has become a symbol of honor for Iraqi ingenuity and culture, as well as being the birth place of the prophet Abraham.

During the lecture, the pastor said something very important about marriage.

“Your marriage is not your true identity. It is not the job or your wife or your husband to make you happy, not that they should attempt to do otherwise. Your hope of who you are should be based on your relationship with God.”

I agree. Many marriages fail today because a lot of pressure is placed on what spouses should do and not do for each other. In the movie Eat, Pray, Love, Julia Roberts plays a married woman who is not happy in her marriage. She wants a divorce to go out and find herself but her husband desperately does not want the divorce. He asks her, “Why can’t you find yourself inside our marriage?”

She could have.

“Enjoy your vacations,” said the pastor. “Enjoy your relationships, enjoy your work, but don’t make them the source of our joy or your status. God is the source.”

Freedom Christian

Church

Christmas vacation is officially over. Schools were back in session today and I had a hard time putting my mind back into place, having lost it – in a good way – for the last few weeks. With no schedules intact, my children and I did pretty much what we wanted when we wanted, most of the time doing nothing but lounge around. I skipped church, the gym, the coffee shop.

Today I prepared to get back into our usual routine. Wednesday evenings is Bible study at Freedom Christian, a nondenominational church, which I started attending shortly after Halloween 2012. My sister-in-law first learned of this church some six years ago, after she got a tip that every Halloween they put up a huge tent and provide free donuts, coffee, popcorn, caramel apples, and candy for the kids. They also have free kids’ games, recently even a petting farm. Every year, we would take the kids trick or treating in the neighborhood and then meet up at the church. In the beginning, rarely any Chaldeans (Christian Iraqis) came to this tent. Then their numbers increased, to the point where it seemed they were the majority of attendees. I had a good vibe about the church and often wondered what it was like inside. Last Halloween, members of the church were passing flyers about a kids’ program and daycare center they had for all ages. I thought, “I’m in.” I had wanted to find a church where my children felt happy and welcome and hoped this would be it. It was.

I pulled to the back of the building and saw the parking lot empty. The church was closed. On the way home, I stopped at McDonald’s to pick up hot chocolate for the kids, as promised. At home, I parked the car, looked behind me and saw two children completely knocked out. I thought, how heavenly! They napped for two hours and I got to work on the book I’m currently writing.

Thanks, Freedom Christian.