Blog

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...
Two hammers: the problem with comparisons

Two hammers: the problem with comparisons

I have a sledgehammer in my shed, and I also have a small finishing hammer. They are both equally important to me. If I had to choose between the two, I suppose I’d pick the little guy. He’s been a real help to me over the years — but I’d rather not...
¡Santa Matemática!

¡Santa Matemática!

English Matemáticas fue mi materia favorita en la escuela secundaria. Recuerdo lo ansioso que estaba porque llegara la hora de esa clase y correr a la pizarra cada vez que el profesor preguntaba quién sabía la respuesta a una ecuación. No me gustaba mucho historia y...
Death and dying

Death and dying

Death and dying have been my point of contemplation lately, which makes sense since it was this week about 2,000 years ago that Jesus began his journey to the cross. There he would die to provide a way for renewed friendship with God. This was on my mind when my son,...
Co-pastoring: top 5 questions and insights

Co-pastoring: top 5 questions and insights

A couple of months ago, I was in Nashville, Tennessee, learning more about best practices for making disciples. In an off-handed comment, one of the pastors noted, “I wonder if there was something intentional about Jesus sending the disciples out two by two instead of...
An uncommon grace at a common place

An uncommon grace at a common place

Forty-eight hours following Jesus’ death, Luke draws out an incident involving Jesus that the other gospel writers do not mention (Luke 24:13-35). On the afternoon of the day of his resurrection, Jesus surreptitiously joins two people walking back to the Podunk...
Denying self

Denying self

A lot of people give up something during the season of Lent. It is a long-standing tradition within Christianity when Jesus followers sacrifice something tangible in reflection and appreciation for the ultimate sacrifice he made for the sins of the world when he died...
Holy math!

Holy math!

Español Math was my favorite subject in high school. I remember how excited I was to be in class and run to the board every time the teacher asked who knew the answer to an equation. I was terrible at history and geography, but numbers have been a passion since I was...
Remember when?

Remember when?

“Whatever became of …?” Or “remember when …?” These were frequent questions over the course of a recent “mini reunion” of my parents and siblings in Barbados. As we gathered, made final preparations and celebrated our parents’ 50th wedding anniversary, outbursts of...
Grace before grace

Grace before grace

It was an overcast, drizzly day in November when I sat in a local restaurant in Pristina, Kosovo, listening with increasing interest to a new, yet familiar, story. Entering the smoke-filled, pub-like restaurant, mostly made up of men sitting around small round tables,...
Where is God when I’m scared?

Where is God when I’m scared?

As a pastor’s kid who grew up during the 1990s, VeggieTales was a staple in our house and in kids’ church services. I remember one episode in particular. In this episode, Junior, the child asparagus, had watched the veggie equivalent of Frankenstein even though his...
Thoughts about God’s economy  

Thoughts about God’s economy  

Global equity markets have recently experienced volatility. When this happens, people take note. Pondering the economic implications once again, two lessons I have learned, and their correlation with God’s truth, came to mind. Lesson ONE – There is always...