All Posts By

Debra Rienstra

Essay

Blizzard, Looking Out

Morning, west window The sky feels oddly bright, considering the snow thickly falling in clustered flakes. The wind gusts, whirling flakes into powder, snowglobing my backyard vista. For a moment, a cloud of white obscures the trees, the neighbors’ backyards,…
Calvin University
Essay

On Shaving and Shaming

Earlier this week, Gillette dropped a new advertisement called “We Believe: The Best Men Can Be.” Well, you would think they had dropped a match in a puddle of gasoline. Using all the slick production values a $17 billion corporation…
Calvin University
Essay

Legacy Sorting the KonMari Way

I couldn’t even watch one whole episode. The first season of the new Marie Kondo television series, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, dropped on Netflix this week. Obviously, Netflix timed this premier to capitalize on our New Year’s ambitions before…
Calvin University
Essay

Advent in the Twilight

Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. -- Gen. 1:2 I’ve been enjoying darkness this year. Not minding the winter darkness is a…
Calvin University
Essay

Working Up a Sweat, Reformed Style

I took up “running” after age 50, mostly because I don’t like exercising. I wanted a way to work up a health-enhancing sweat in as little time as possible. Get it over with quickly, was the idea. I call it…
Calvin University
Essay

Tragic Virtue Ecologies

Stir up, we beseech thee, O Lord, the wills of thy faithful people, that they plenteously bringing forth the fruit of good works, may of thee be plenteously rewarded, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  --- Book of Common Prayer, 1559,…
Calvin University
Essay

How To Achieve Syllabus Efficiency

Higher education is all about “efficiencies” these days in budgets, class sizes, faculty-student ratio, etc. So I’ve been thinking about how I could be more efficient in my work. On a typical day, I prepare to teach three different texts…
Calvin University
Essay

Dwelling: A Scriptural Survey

“Why don’t they just move?” After the second hurricane in a few weeks, it’s hard not to ask this question about people who live in the swampy, vulnerable lowlands of America’s Southeast, especially Florida. It’s a callous question, as an…
Calvin University
Essay

The Weight of This Sad Time

Thankfully, I did not have to fly to London to see Ian McKellen play the role of King Lear. I only had to drive to Lansing, an hour away, and join about twenty other souls in a mostly empty movie…
Calvin University