About Michelle Van Loon

News + Your Opportunity To Win A Gift Card

I sent the following newsletter to those on my mailing list last week. At the bottom of the newsletter, you'll find an opportunity to enter a drawing for an Amazon gift card. The deadline for entering is midnight tonight. _________________________________________________Hi friend!Thanks for taking a few moments of your valuable time to catch up with me.Time is the only non-renewable resource in our lives. Yet our over-busy schedules and always-on connection to technology whisper … [Read more...]

Review – Sensible Shoes: A Story About The Spiritual Journey

Women in their 20's and 30's understand the value of a mentor far more than women of my Boomer generation did when we were their age. For some young women, it may be an experienced businessperson who can coach them through the first years of establishing a career. For others, it may be a veteran mother who can help them navigate the bewildering choices faced by new parents. It's been my privilege to serve as a spiritual mentor to several young women along the way who were trying to figure out … [Read more...]

At The Intersection Of Time & Eternity: Ordinary Time

It sounds so basic, doesn't it? After the drama of those mountains and valleys between Advent through Pentecost, "Ordinary Time" sounds like a long, dreary drive across North Dakota. Those of us in congregations not using the church calendar are familiar with the high points of the first half of the Christian year: Christmas and Easter. Ordinary Time? Not so much.The name Ordinary Time does little to commend it to people who hear "boring" in the word "ordinary".  It makes it sound as though t … [Read more...]

The Successor To WWJD

Remember these?      The quintessential 90's Christian accessories, the WWJD bracelet, T-shirt, Bible cover, bumper sticker (and today, an app) were all derived from the 1896 book penned by Charles Sheldon entitled In His Steps: What Would Jesus Do?  The titular question got a lot of people pondering what their choices might look like if they'd act as Jesus would. In some cases, the question brought clarity: Q. Would Jesus steal this … [Read more...]

At The Intersection Of Time & Eternity: Pentecost

He told them to wait.Wait for who?Every time I read the account of the first Pentecost, I'm struck by the fact that Jesus' followers had no clear picture of exactly who or what they were waiting for. But the risen Messiah told them to wait, so that's exactly what they did. On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a … [Read more...]

In Search Of Mercy

 Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men–robbers, evildoers, adulterers–or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’ But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’" (Luke 18:9-14 NIV) Imagine the scene Jesus described in … [Read more...]

Post-church church leaders: Now what?

What do these people have in common?The single woman in her mid-thirties with $40,000 worth of seminary debt now working as an office manager for a software vendor.The former youth pastor now installing replacement windows for a home-improvement company.The veteran minister with 20 years of pastoral experience now an anonymous attender at another congregation after losing his job when a nasty split took place in his old church.Each aimed at vocational ministry, believing … [Read more...]


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