Blog

Neighboring during COVID-19

Neighboring during COVID-19

As COVID-19 causes churches to cancel services, effective congregations in these weeks will be measured less by how many people we can gather, and more by how deeply we can send our people into our communities to (wisely, cautiously, hopefully) serve and bear the...
Holiness and the coronavirus virus

Holiness and the coronavirus virus

The COVID-19, or coronavirus, has now been labeled a pandemic by the World Health Organization as countries struggle to contain the spread of the virus. Bottom line, the coronavirus is now considered a global threat. I cannot remember a time when a pandemic has...
Lent abandonment

Lent abandonment

Christians around the world associate the Lenten season as a time of sacrifice. A high school friend always gave up chocolate for Lent. Another friend decided his household would give up television viewing during Lent. That is, until she realized she would miss...
Mighty Haviland fought for freedom

Mighty Haviland fought for freedom

Little February, the smallest of months, boasts loudly of its holidays — Valentine’s Day and Presidents’ Day. It is also African American History Month. The Wesleyan Church was formed in 1968 with the merger of two historic denominations. One of them — the Wesleyan...
Earthquakes: breaking down strongholds in the New Year

Earthquakes: breaking down strongholds in the New Year

Our missionary team had been praying for God to break down century-old spiritual strongholds in the country of Albania when a month before Christmas, for roughly 50 seconds, a 6.4 magnitude quake shook our home, our neighborhood, our city and region.  While other...
To tell the truth

To tell the truth

You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor. (Ex. 20:16) “Each of us fibs at least 50 times a day,” claimed Jerald Jellison in USA Today. He suggested people lie about their age, their income and their accomplishments. They may fib to escape embarrassment...
A banana bread-loving evangelist

A banana bread-loving evangelist

Do you have something that you’re really passionate about? Usually it is something that you talk about often — and without much (if any) prompting. It just tends to bleed from you. These passions are usually brought up with some kind of assumption that others are...
The incarnation

The incarnation

Bruce Thielemann told about a European monarch who, a couple of times a year, would take off his royal robes, dress as a peasant and go out among his people. His courtiers worried about this; they didn’t like the king putting himself in danger. But the king said, “I...
Learning about God’s love

Learning about God’s love

How did you learn that God loves you? Most of us could answer this on two different levels. There was the day we learned about God’s love, and then there was the day where it made sense, where we intuitively began to understand that God loved us and we started to live...
Life after falling

Life after falling

On May 26, 2018, I had an accident that would forever change my life. I attempted to ski from the summit of Mt. Hood (in Oregon) and ended up falling about 450 feet to what should have been my imminent death. A 10-hour rescue, involving about thirty individuals from...
Personal decisions have communal impact

Personal decisions have communal impact

We love personal pronouns. We iMessage people on our iPhones while setting up profiles to personalize our experience on Netflix, Amazon, Instagram and even the grocery store. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The language we use reveals what we value. And...
Are you listening?

Are you listening?

“Mom, are you listening to me?” My three kids were very good at parroting back to me my questions to them. I often would say loudly to them when they were toddlers, tweens or teens, “Hey, are you listening to me?” But sometimes they would ask it back. “Mom, are you...
How Scripture, stories and languages intersect

How Scripture, stories and languages intersect

“Hi, I’m trying to master your language, and one of the ways I’m learning is by telling stories. Could I tell you a two-minute story that I learned recently, and maybe you can suggest how I could tell it better?” My family lives in a country where the population is...
Holding everything together

Holding everything together

My grandparents grew up during the Great Depression. My dad would remind me of this when, as a kid, my grandmother instructed my brother and me to wash and hang-dry the used tin foil in her kitchen when we were on clean up duty following a family dinner. Similarly, my...
New Coffee with the Pastor Series

New Coffee with the Pastor Series

Mike Hilson has always loved writing. As his church, New Life Church in La Plata, Maryland, continued to grow, his desire to connect people with Scripture on a personal level collided with his love to write. By writing the Coffee with the Pastor series (books focusing...
You are new

You are new

Ceramic floor tile is very unforgiving. Trying to find something in our pantry the other day, my wife nudged the spaghetti sauce just a little too far, and off the shelf it tumbled. The glass jar hit the tile and burst open, sending glass shards and bright red sauce...
The most beautiful snow cone maker

The most beautiful snow cone maker

Growing up in the 1950s was a unique experience in itself. Add to that growing up in a large, rambunctious pastor’s family, in a three-story bright yellow home on Main Street, smack in the middle of a small town in Washington State, and you’ve got memories. Those days...
Children of light

Children of light

 Learn more About Voices Blogs  Let me begin by saying I’m grossly unqualified to start this discussion, but it’s still my responsibility. I sat with fellow church staff questioning how seven teens from the same school could attempt suicide, one of them succeeding. We...
Greatly forgiven

Greatly forgiven

Lately, I’ve been really moved by the story of the woman who washes Jesus’ feet in Luke 7. Every time I read it, I feel a deeper sense of awe and grace about what is going on in this story. To recap, Jesus is invited over for dinner by a Pharisee named...
The missing space

The missing space

People relate to one another differently in different spaces. Gather 30 people together in a large worship center and the experience will feel disconnected and distant. Gather the same 30 people in a living room and the energy and connection will increase...
Why community is important

Why community is important

I received bad news that day. The minute I got it, my thoughts started swirling. Everything seemed like it was in question: my future, my identity, my security. I knew I needed to talk to someone, so I made a phone call, sent a couple of texts, met up with those...