About Michelle Van Loon

Kvelling In The Valley Of The Shadow

roller coaster

A couple of years ago, I joined a group of 4-8 women gathered on Monday mornings in an empty conference room in a suburban church to pray for their twenty-something adult children. The first morning we met, we introduced ourselves, briefly shared a bit about what each of our kids was doing post-college, and whether our offspring were still actively following the Jesus we'd each endeavored to share with them during their growing-up years. I jokingly dubbed us Moms In Touch 2.0 after the prayer … [Read more...]

40+ And The Church: ISO Creative Thinking

bones

I've written in this space (here, here and here) about the challenges some over age 40 have when it comes to maintaining meaningful connection with their local churches.  I am always on the lookout for people and congregations doing some creative thinking about how to nurture spiritual maturity for those at midlife and beyond.Dr. Gail Bones has written a very helpful exploration on the subject of transition in Living Cross Wise: Hope and Help For Navigating Transition (Treasure House Publ … [Read more...]

The History We’d Prefer To Forget

The recent round of protests in Colorado over a proposed change to the Advanced Placement American History curriculum has illustrated for me the challenge in our culture about what it means to remember well. The College Board, the organization that administers Advanced Placement tests that allow high school students to earn college credit for their studies, recently recalibrated the framework of the AP American history course. This decisionset off a recent, fiery round of protests in Jefferson … [Read more...]

Practicing Privilege In The Local Church

excluded

My friend B. had been a pastor for years before he stepped into the leadership of a parachurch ministry. During his work week, he worked and prayed with dozens of pastors and church leaders interested in transforming their congregations and communities. But on Sundays, he and his wife were invisible members of their own home church."It's not because I'm burned out from my work," he explained. "If anything, the work has energized me. I've offered to serve the pastoral staff in whatever way … [Read more...]

Instagram Filters and The Eyes Of Faith

original image Balyeat's Coffee Shop, Van Wert, OH

After a lifetime of taking almost uniformly terrible pictures, modern technology in the form of camera on my phone plus the special effects magic of Instagram filters has allowed me to improve my game a bit:   While there is almost nothing a person with a good command of Photoshop can't do to an image to make it better, worse, older, younger, or different, my experiments with Instagram have given me a way at last to show what my heart sees … [Read more...]

Who Is On Team “No Regrets”?

emp

After months of writing and talking about regret, a few people have told me that they've thoughts about it, and they really don't have any regrets.Ninety-nine out of a hundred conversations I've had with others about regret include the other person sharing a few headlines of their own if onlys. I am always ready to reference my own regrets in those discussions as well.The "no regrets" crew has two distinct categories: (1) People who have sought to live wisely, and have made some poor … [Read more...]

Is God A Mafia Boss Or Is God Good? (Part 3)

Finger of God

Dr. Ingrid Faro has sparked some great discussion here at Pilgrim's Road Trip with her recent posts exploring the character of God in light of the evil that seems to be flourishing all around us. I am grateful for her carefully-crafted thoughts on this topic, as well as the great questions asked by many commenters who've weighed in on her previous two posts. (Click here to read Part 1; click here to read Part 2.)These posts are by no means an exhaustive exploration of the subject, but both … [Read more...]


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