• Church Calendar,  Faith

    Lenten Fasting

    Do you fast? Give me proof of it by your works. If you see a poor man, take a pity on him. If you see a friend being honored, do not envy him. Do not let only your mouth fast, but also the eye and the ear and the feet and the hands and all the members of our bodies. Let the hands fast, by being free of avarice. Let the feet fast, by ceasing to run after sin. Let the eyes fast, by disciplining them not to glare that which is sinful. Let the ear fast, by not listening to evil talk and gossip. Let the mouth fast from…

  • Annual Top 10,  Books

    My Top 10 Books of 2017

    Of the 50 books I read in 2017, I attempted to narrow my favorites to a list of ten, as has been my practice over the last six years. While I read some incredibly helpful books for my vocation – including an incredible book on managing organizational transitions and the basics of Christian fundraising – I also read some incredibly challenging books on race and learning how to lament the injustices and suffering we face in this world, if we aren’t closing our eyes. So, in no particular order: Kent Anan, Slow Kingdom Coming Having big respect for the author after reading about the journey and posture of his work…

  • Faith,  Guatemala

    (Extra)Ordinary Obedience

      This blog post was originally published on the Lemonade International blog. It is a reflection of my time working with the incredible founder of the ministry, Vidas Plenas, in Guatemala. For the last three years, I have had the incredible privilege of skyping regularly with Tita Evertsz, the founder of our partner organization, Vidas Plenas. While the purpose of our calls is to make sure Lemonade’s fundraising and communication efforts align with the greatest needs of Vidas Plenas and to walk closely together in partnership, prayer, and love, I have personally been impacted by the faith and life of this dear friend. A woman often compared to Mother Teresa,…

  • Annual Top 10,  Books,  Extensions,  Faith

    My Top 10 Books of 2016

    Books and reading continued to be a major priority in the Hoiland casa throughout 2017. Tim and I spent a ridiculous amount of time discussing what we wanted to read, what we were currently reading, what we’d read in the past, what we planned to read on vacation or on a retreat day, what bookstores we’ve visited, what bookstores we hoped to visit, what bookstores we should return to soon, what bookstores are the best… you get the idea. This year, of the 50 books I read, I attempted to narrow my favorites to a list of ten, as has been my practice over the last five years. This year…

  • Church Calendar

    God With Us [Advent, Christmastide, and Epiphany]

    Tim and I have appreciated the deep liturgy of many church traditions for some time. Through many influences and inspirations, we have slowly incorporated as much of the church calendar into our lives as possible. Because as W. David O. Taylor said, “If the church doesn’t tell us what time it is, the surrounding culture surely will, and we usually end up the worse for it.” Since joining the Anglican Communion, we’ve dived even deeper. As I’ve explored many resources to understand the “why” behind each tradition and activity, I’ve compiled many ideas on this Pinterest board, The Liturgical Year. Here is a bit of what we’re attempting to do…

  • Annual Top 10,  Books,  Extensions

    My Top 10 Books of 2015

    Once again, of the 50 books I read this year, it seems I enjoyed memoirs more than ever. I continue to be drawn to real lives and stories I can learn from. I’m also reminded that our favorite books often reflect the context and timing in which they are read. While I was very low on fiction this year, I did stress-pound Jane Austen and Lucy Maud Montgomery to add some simplicity and lightheartedness to a year of wrestling with deep poverty, gang violence, systemic racism, and other forms of human brokenness. We all need our guilty pleasures! What were your favorites of the year and what were your guilty pleasure…

  • Faith,  Justice

    What can heal the deep racial wounds?

    Ours is not a story of bitterness – it is a story of love and the triumphs of the God of love. But it is a story carved out of the realities of violence and poverty, ending not in some sugarcoated sense of brotherly love but the deep conviction that only the power of Christ’s crucifixion on the cross and the glory of His resurrection can heal the deep racial wounds in both black and white people in America. Dr. John M Perkins, Let Justice Roll Down

  • Extensions,  Guatemala

    Spring Forward for La Limonada

    The Lemonade International Spring Forward campaign officially launched last night, and will continue until May 9th. This video says it all – there are real, tangible, and urgent needs every day in the largest urban slum in Central America. After watching the video, I thought about Mark 1:41, where Jesus was moved with compassion after seeing a deep need presented to him in faith. There is a time and place for community development, but there are also times when Jesus is asking us to join him in showing mercy to urgent situations. Simply having a La Limonada address marginalizes the people and causes incredible struggle in every day life. There…

  • Extensions,  Faith,  Guatemala

    Tackling Urgent Needs in La Limonada

    During our visits to the slum community of La Limonada, Tim and I have been warmly invited into seven different homes – homes filled with stories of pain, struggle, survival, and deep faith. Marginalized individuals and families who have worked hard to meet their basic needs, but have come against unexpected difficulties and emergencies. When you are working hard to survive today, how can you plan or prepare for unexpected health emergencies that may arise? If your home is damaged from a fire or by rainy season, how do you repair or rebuild? If your son is diagnosed with Leukemia, how can you pay for medical care when you can’t…