• Books,  Extensions

    A Sojourner’s Truth

    I first heard Natasha Sistrunk Robinson’s name when she was interviewed on the Truth’s Table podcast (from March 29, 2019). I was so impressed by her and her passion for mentoring, I immediately followed her on Twitter and ordered her book, Mentor For Life. A Sojourner’s Truth is her story of growing up in the South, going on to the United States Naval academy, earning her MA in christian leadership from Gordon-Conwell Seminary, and starting the nonprofit Leadership LINKS Mentoring Program. Natasha felt like a kindred spirit, wise mentor, hospitable guide, and the kind of female leadership I continually long for. She has leaned into her own story, leadership abilities,…

  • Books

    This Too Shall Last

    This Too Shall Last is equal parts memoir, therapy session, and theological treatise. It’s the memoir of a woman who experienced the sudden rug of health and vibrant youth pulled out from underneath her over ten years ago. It’s a therapy session with a licensed professional counselor. And it’s a theological treatise from a seminary graduate on the role of the suffering and weak in the church. At just over 200 pages, it’s a relatively short book and yet packed with engagement on a topic most would rather keep to a cozy paragraph — something neat and easily wrapped up with a tidy bow. Ramsey starts the book with a…

  • Annual Top 10,  Books

    My Top Books of 2019

    I loved so many books this year. Out of the 55 books I logged on Goodreads for 2019, I chose 10 personal favorites as has been my practice for the last eight years. I read so many wonderful memoirs, novels, and spiritually formative books, it was difficult to select favorites. Have you noticed how we go through different seasons in our reading? Times we are devouring theology, basking in the beauty of poetry, finding kindred spirits who have written about the particular season of life in which we find ourselves, diving deep into an obscure topic of interest, or simply getting lost in the simple joy of a well-told story.…

  • Church Calendar,  Faith

    Liturgical Living Playlists

    “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.” W. David O. Taylor :: Songs for Advent :: Songs for Christmastide :: Songs for Epiphany :: Songs for Lent, Holy Week, and Eastertide :: Songs for Pentecost :: Songs for Ordinary Time :: Songs for Feast of St Augustine “In celebrating the traditions of the church year, we annually retell the gospel story.” Snell // Songs for Morning Prayer // Songs for Contemplation // Songs for Lament // Songs of Justice // Surprised by Hope // Clives Staples “O God, whom saints and angels delight…

  • Church Calendar,  Faith

    The Great Three Days

    The Paschal Triduum “The three days from Maundy Thursday through the Great Paschal Vigil of Saturday night is the source of our spirituality. Our spiritual journey throughout the year springs from this week, the great paschal mystery of Christ’s death and resurrection, and it returns to this week to die with Christ and to be born anew in him.” Robert Webber Maundy Thursday “In [washing the disciples’ feet], Jesus reverses every assumption that might have been held about the rights and privileges of power as well as the very nature of love.” “Have we caught the smallest glimpse of what it means for the Christ of creation to wash the…

  • Annual Top 10,  Books

    My Top 10 Books of 2018

    Reading has been a central part of my life since my mom prioritized library outings for us as kids. It’s been part of Tim’s life since he entered his twenties. And it’s been part our relationship since our first conversation. I pretty much fell for Tim after seeing his bookshelf and he pretty much fell for me after seeing the stack of books I was considering taking to Mozambique. Reading intentionally and widely continues to be a priority in the Hoiland casa. Without this shared commitment, we wouldn’t read half as much or enjoy the extensive conversations that ensue. Of the 50 books I read in 2018, I selected ten…

  • 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,…