Spark Welcome to Weekends

If SPARK and Welcome to Weekends are helping you have great weekends, share your experience on Facebook @spark897hd3 and Instagram @spark897hd3 and use #sparkweekend to show what you have been doing. I hope you keep having wonderful weekends!


  • World Music Festival


Explore the differences and similarities of music from all around the world with the World Music Festival. Located in various spaces throughout the City of Chicago, the World Music Festival allows attendees to experience a music from a multitude of different cultures, such as Classical Indian, Latin, Chinese, and Irish music. The festival starts on Friday September 13thand runs until Sunday September 29th. For a full schedule containing a times, locations, and performances, visit A few performances require a ticket and several are for people 21 years of age or older, so look for both of those notes on the schedule. Parking throughout the city may be difficult, so consider taking public transportation. For assistance mapping your route, go to


  • Watch Scooby-Doo: Where are You?

Jinkies! Has that much time really passed? On Friday September 13 Scooby-Doo: Where are You?turns 50 years old, so celebrate the anniversary of Scooby and the Mystery Gang as they solve every problem that gets thrown at them. Try your hand at some Scooby-Doo trivia- Ruh-Roh Raggy! Do you think that quiz was too hard? I’m sure you could have solved it- if it weren’t for those meddling kids. Whether you completed the trivia or not, it looks like you will have a mystery on hands when you watch Scooby-Doo: Where are You?on Boomerang, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, YouTube, or Amazon Prime.

  • Visit the Adler Planetarium

School permitting, enjoy all the Adler Planetarium has to offer this Friday (September 13) and next Thursday and Friday (September 19-20) for free via the Illinois resident free days. Make sure that you bring your Illinois state ID (or TigerCard) to get in for free. Free admission includes everything included in general admission. Remember to be prepared for pricy parking. To learn about your parking options, check out this page Make sure you fill your car up to help divide the price or consider taking public transportation. The Roosevelt train station is close the Alder. From there you can take a one-mile walk through the city or take the 146 bus to the Museum Campus. To get more detailed travel information, use more information on Adler’s free days, visit To learn more about the Adler’s exhibits, go to


  • Visit the Shedd Aquarium

As long as it doesn’t interfere with classes, enjoy all the Shedd Aquarium has to offer this Monday through Wednesday (September 16-18) for free via the Illinois resident free days. Make sure that you bring your Illinois state ID (or TigerCard) to get in for free. Admission includes everything except for the new VR Experience or the 4D Experience. Make sure you get your free Aquatic Presentation (aka dolphin show) tickets right away since they get reserved quickly. To get those tickets just look for the machines at the bottom of the green stairs. The best three exhibits to visit are Stingray Touch, Underwater beauty, and the Wild Reef. If you have more time, I recommend seeing more, but those exhibits are the highlights. Remember to be prepared for pricy parking. See the information on visiting the Adler Planetarium for specifics since the Adler and Shedd are both on the Museum Campus. For more information on Shedd Free Days, go to To learn more about visiting to the Shedd Aquarium, visit

  • Visit the Field Museum

If you don’t have class, you can visit the Field Museum for free on Wednesday (September 18). Just bring your Illinois state ID (or TigerCard) and enjoy one of the most iconic museums in Chicago for free. For parking and public transportation information see the information on visiting the Adler Planetarium. Learn more about Illinois free days by going to more about the Field by visiting

Spark Top 5 Weekend 5.31.19

By Sarah Breinig

Godzilla: King of Monsters

Do love a good monster movie? Try Godzilla: King of Monsters. This sequel to the 2014 Godzilla film, features not one, but several classic monsters. Check out the trailer:


Gold Coast Art Fair

If you love art, visit the Gold Coast Art Fair this Saturday and Sunday (June 1 & 2). Spend the day at Grant Park while experience extraordinary art and great food. Tickets only cost $10 and can be purchased here. For more information on the artists, directions to get to the Fair, and additional information, go here.

Comic Con Revolution

Be the first to attend Comic Con Revolution- a brand new convention for fans of pop culture- going on this weekend at the Donald E Stephens Convention Center. Even if you are not a die-hard fan, Comic Con Revolution can be a lot of fun. With panels that focus on gaming, creating/self-publishing books and comicbooks, and costume making as well as typical comic con panels like the Future of the MCU and Living in the Batcave, anyone can find something for them to enjoy. Weekend tickets start at $40 per person while day passes can be purchased $25. Make sure you use the promo code CHI10 to get a 10% on your purchase. For more information, visit here.

Adler Planetarium

The Adler Planetarium is hosting free days to all Illinois residents June 3-5. Bring a state ID and experience a how “freaking awesome” space truly is at no cost to you (ONU students can bring their TigerCard if they are from out of state). For more information on the Adler, visit here. Parking can be pricy in the city, so fill your car to have fun with friends and split the parking fee. To learn more about parking at the Adler, go here.

Museum of Science and Industry

The Adler is not the only place providing free admission for Illinois residents. The Museum of Science and Industry (also known as MSI) is also hosting their free days June 3-5. To recience free admission, make sure you bring your state ID (or TigerCard). Parking on the street near MSI is limited, so be prepared to park in their lot which costs $22.

Picture of a girl reading

Daily Coffee Break With God #11

(Photo: Priscilla Du Peez)

By Brook Ault

Small Things, Big Trust

We’ve all been told to trust in God when were faced with big decisions. Last month, I was having an extremely hard time figuring out what internship to pursue this summer. I was so worried about making the right decision for my future and expanding my knowledge that I failed to rely on the Lord’s guidance to get me where I needed to be. However, after turning to God for direction, I made the decision to work in Michigan as a Christian camp counselor and the peace I felt was overwhelming. Whether it be deciding what college to attend, determining whether or not I should accept that job offer, or declaring a new major, God has proved to me through my 19 years of life that he is the ultimate provider and will guide me through every tough decision I am faced with.

There’s no doubt that big decisions are hard. However, sometimes I think the things that get me the most down are the small, everyday stressors. When you’re late to class, you had no time to shower, it’s pouring rain outside, you step in a puddle in your brand new white shoes, and forget about that homework assignment in physics that was due two days ago, it’s easy to become discouraged. Many of us know that it is important to trust in God when faced with big decisions, and, many of us do turn to God during these times. However, during this stressful finals week, I’ve found that trusting God through the small things is important to. When I feel like I haven’t slept in three days, I’m stressed about that major assignment due in a week, or I haven’t done laundry and my rooms a mess, I have to constantly remind myself to trust God through these times. Just like God guides me through the huge decisions and obstacles in life, he will guide me through these small, everyday frustrations and give me the energy I need to persevere in the midst of a stressful life.

Philippians 4:12-13 says “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation. I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.” This week, I encourage you to lean into these words of truth. Remember that, while we should trust God with our big life decisions, he is also with us through everything we face in our day to day lives.

Picture of a girl reading

Daily Coffee Break With God #10

(Photo: Priscilla Du Peez)


God’s Kingdom Breaking Through

By Brook Ault

I tend to be the most willing to open up to others when it’s around 1:00 O’clock in the morning and I’m stuffing my face with Mcdonalds french fries. Last night just happened to be one of those nights. I had a much needed conversation with a close friend about doubt in Christ. While pouring our hearts out to each other, crying like babies, and expressing our frustration towards the lord, I revealed that, although I want nothing more than to fully trust in God’s presence, it can often be the hardest thing for me to do. When we look at the hurt, anguish, and injustices in the world, it can be so easy to question how a God so good could allow such terrible things to happen. I want to believe God is the all knowing, all powerful, creator of this earth, and, on most days, I do. But when a loved one is lost, or I hear a story about a mass shooting or world hunger on the news, I can’t help but think, “Where are you Lord?”

This is has been something that I’ve struggled with throughout my entire faith journey. However, God spoke to me through my dear friend last night, revealing wisdom that I’ll never forget. My friend reminded me that God knows our hurt. He isn’t simply some huge authority looking down on us, watching us struggle, refusing to help even though he has the ability to. God loved us so much, he sent his only son to become us. Jesus stooped to our level. He experienced pain, he experienced betrayal from the disciples. He knows what it’s like to experience the hurt of this world. We have not experienced anything that Christ does not understand. He experienced even more turmoil, simply to give us life.

This is an unimaginable amount of love that my worldly brain cannot even fathom. Sometimes, this world just sucks. People die, people betray other people, people murder, and steal, and put their selfish needs above the needs of others. However, God is still present and his kingdom is breaking through. When a congregation of broken people lift their hands in worship to the lord or a new follower gives their life to Christ, this is bigger than the hurt, than the turmoil happening in our world. When a former atheist gives their heart to the lord or a group of ministers fellowship with children in a third world country who have never heard the name Jesus, these are kingdom moments. God is breaking through. I encourage you, when things around you seem like their crashing down, to look for the little kingdom moments, look for the little times in our life when God breaks through, the God winks. God is the almighty, all powerful, all loving savoir, but he is also an amazing best friend. He won’t leave us, he won’t forsake us, and he understands our pain. I encourage you to really consider this, to really lean on it. Don’t give us on the kingdom of God because of the evil in this world, instead, work to break through it.

Picture of a girl reading

Daily Coffee Break With God #9

(Photo: Priscilla Du Peez)


By Brook Ault

Real Relationships

Due to our excessive exposure to social media and the increased use of it in our everyday lives, we are constantly comparing ourselves to those around us. We compare our appearance, our life styles, our experiences, and, quite often, our relationships. Whether that be relationships with friends or significant others, we convince ourselves that we have to have these relationships in order to feel significant and valued. Many of us throw ourselves into romantic relationships simply because everyone around us are pursuing them.

From personal experience, I understand the hurt and spiritual distant that can sometimes occur when we force ourselves to invest in relationships that God did not intend for us. God has a well thought out, incredible plan for each us of and he puts individuals in our lives for a reason. If we have suffered from a negative relationship in the past, whether that be romantically or with a former best friend, it is important to remember that, although sometimes painful, we can only grow and learn from these relationship. Sometimes, when someone new enters in our lives, it can be difficult to determine if they are someone worth investing time to. Scripture says to forgive our enemies and love our trespassers, however, God also calls us to live a life in service and obedience to. If were engage in unhealthy, manipulative, or unfulfilling relationships, we may struggle to glorify Christ.

Many times in some of past friendships or high school relationships, I often felt pressure to impress or please the other individual. A healthy desire to is please someone you care about is appropriate and necessary however, I learned from years of personal experience, that basing your entire worth around what those people think of you is not and can pull you father away from God than ever. However, the good news is that God will not leave us. He is always just step away, standing with his arms wide open, ready to welcome us back into his presence.

We can’t see God but we sure can see the exceptionally perfect couple photos that Susy and Jim posted on instagram the other day or the best friend post Darla and Amber keep blasting on twitter. This makes it easier to focus our attention on materialistic, worldly relationships. However, we can only find true fulfillment in a strong relationship with Christ. Now, I’m definitely not saying that relationships are bad, and don’t get me wrong, I pray that one day God will bring a compatible husband to my life, but when pursuing relationships it is extremely important to ask the question “Our we only moving closer to each other or Christ as well?”

Making Christ the center of our relationships and ensuring that our romantic interest bring us closer to Christ rather than pulling us away from him or distracting us from our morals and values, is essentially important to our relationships and spiritual development.

This summer, if you meet someone new that has completely different beliefs than you or return home to a former group of unhealthy friends, remember that the people you surround yourself with effect your relationship with Christ. When you are faced with certain decisions such as which relationships to pursue, which to turn down, or what boundaries to set, I encourage you to turn to God in prayer and ask him to give you the guidance and mindset to pursue healthy, christ-like relationships.