About Helen Lee

Helen writes, mothers, homeschools, and attempts to stay on top of what is going on in the world, and usually not in that order. She is a longtime Christian journalist, starting with a stint in the mid-90s at Christianity Today, and her work has earned three Higher Goals awards from the Evangelical Press Association in reporting and devotional writing. She lives in the Chicagoland area with her three sons and her husband Brian, a classical pianist and professor at Moody Bible Institute. You can find out more about Helen at her website (www.helenleeauthor.com) and follow her on Twitter @helenleeauthor.

Why I Raised My Voice (and Encouraged Other Asian Americans to Do the Same)

I am not, by nature, a rabble-rouser. I’ve been teased and marginalized by others countless times due to my Asian ethnicity (despite the fact that I am a natural-born American citizen), but no matter how much these incidents stung, I would say nothing and keep the memories deep inside. Whether it was due to my own insecurities, a desire to avoid conflict, an inability to articulate an adequate response, a fatalistic perspective that nothing I could say would change anything, in all those moments … [Read more...]

The Scandal With ‘Scandal’: It Doesn’t Do A Better Job Of Tackling Racial Differences

If you've been following the ABC show Scandal, you know that it’s Grey’s Anatomy/Private Practice creator Shonda Rhimes’ latest hit, a political thriller featuring inside-the-Beltway crisis management whiz Olivia Pope. But the most fascinating aspect of the show is one that is barely mentioned: Pope, the lead character played by Kerry Washington, is black, the “first African-American female lead in a network drama in almost 40 years,” according to The New York Times. And yet in the 29 episodes of … [Read more...]

Walking In The (Lime)Light: An Interview With Candace Cameron Bure

Anyone familiar with sitcoms from the ‘80s and ‘90s will recognize the name "D.J. Tanner," the oldest of three daughters being by a single dad, his guitar-playing brother-in-law, and his comedian friend in the popular sitcom Full House. The role of D.J. was played, from 1987 to 1995, by Candace Cameron, who started when she was 10 years old. Now 37, she is known as Candace Cameron Bure after marrying former professional hockey player Valeri Bure, with whom she has three children. She has cont … [Read more...]

The Church Can Help Welcome Immigrants To Their New Home

When the news first broke about the identities of the Boston Marathon bombing suspects, I heard many news reporters and anchors expressing confusion about how these young men could have allegedly committed such atrocities. Though the Tsarnaev brothers were ethnic Chechens, they had immigrated to the U.S. many years ago, and I repeatedly heard them being described as having been “fully assimilated.”But as more details emerged, it appeared that the “fully assimilated” assumption may have been f … [Read more...]

What If The Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects Weren’t White?

As I write this, the massive hunt to find the remaining suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings, 19-year-old Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, has just ended. When the Tsarnaev brothers’ photos were circulated this past Thursday, catalyzing the extraordinary efforts to capture them, I experienced a number of emotions and thoughts. And among them was a reflexive, admittedly selfish prayer: "Thank you, God, that the suspects are not Asian or Asian-American."I was remembering 2007 when Seung Hui Cho unleashed … [Read more...]

Overcoming Mental Illness’ Stigma in the Church: An Interview with Amy Simpson

The Christian community recently learned of the tragic loss that Rick Warren, pastor of Saddleback Church and author of the bestselling book The Purpose Driven Life, and his family sustained when Warren’s youngest son Matthew took his own life. In a letter to his church staff, Warren shared details that perhaps were unknown to the general public: “At 27 years of age, Matthew was an incredibly kind, gentle and compassionate young man whose sweet spirit was encouragement and comfort to many. Unf … [Read more...]

Yet Another Reason to Love Trader Joe’s

I count it as one of the great blessings in my life that I live right down the street from a Trader Joe’s. I love the quirky store’s combination of healthy and organic foods at reasonable prices, its unique global fare, and the plethora of convenience foods that help with the daily grind of figuring out what to feed my family for dinner. Over the past seven years that I've lived in my neighborhood, I have also become familiar with a good number of the “crewmembers” who work there, and I have neve … [Read more...]

Do Kids Need Their Own Noah’s Ark To Learn About God?

Whether or not you believe in the historicity of the story of Noah’s Ark, it’s likely you have not run into a church that takes the Ark as seriously as San Antonio's Cornerstone Church. Cornerstone is a megachurch that recently welcomed more than 28,000 visitors to its new children’s building, aptly named “The Ark,” which features a two-story ship built inside the church, with life-sized versions of human and animal passengers such as giraffes, elephants, lions, and ostriches, many of them powere … [Read more...]

A Post-Racial World? Not in the Ivory Towers.

Last fall, I received an email from my alma mater Williams College, a liberal arts school of 2,000 students nestled in Massachusetts’ Berkshire Mountains. The message informed alums of a hate incident on campus in which a racial slur and threatening message were scrawled on a dormitory bathroom. Although I was surprised that something like this could happen at a place like Williams, I wish I could say that the incident was an isolated one.Just in the past month alone, there have been racial i … [Read more...]

What’s Wrong With Pursuing Gifted Education for Our Kids?

While having dinner with a family who lives in Manhattan, the parents told me about their daughter’s saga of testing for kindergarten admission into New York’s notoriously selective Hunter Elementary School. The parents are two of the brightest people I know, and their four-year-old daughter is fluent in at least three languages so far (Mandarin, French, and English). Her test results placed her in the impressive 98th percentile. And yet, she hadn’t made it past the first round; only kids who sco … [Read more...]