According to a 2011 Pew Forum survey, there are twice as many Pentecostal and Charismatic Christians in the world as there are Evangelicals. An earlier Barna survey notes that in the U.S., as many as a quarter of U.S. Christians identify as Pentecostal or Charismatic.

There is a wide range of practice among these brothers and sister. Some attend Assemblies of God congregations or unaffiliated independent Charismatic churches; others belong to Evangelical, mainline Protestant or Catholic churches but keep their Pentecostal fires burning by attending Charismatic conferences or prayer meetings “on the side”.

Though it’s been years since my husband and I were a part of Vineyard and other Third Wave Charismatic congregations, we still have a number of friends who are actively involved in the Charismatic world. They are evenly divided between those who attend Pentecostal or Charismatic churches and those who attend non-denomination or mainline churches and “supplement” their spiritual diets with conferences, seminars, and books with the offerings of ministries like the Mike Bickel-helmed International House of Prayer or Bill Johnson’s Bethel Church.

During and after the recent Presidential election, the polls I read didn’t measure Pentecostals and Charismatic voters as separate groups. They were counted via the banner of the church affiliation (Evangelical, Mainline, Catholic). It’s probably a fair statement to say Charismatic and Pentecostal believers were a sizable number of the 81% of self-identified Evangelicals who voted for Trump.

Early in the election cycle, many of my Charismatic and Pentecostal friends supported conservative Tea Party candidates like Ted Cruz, but it wasn’t long before the support of many teachers and those offering prophetic “Thus saith the Lord” imprimateur. These words from Jeremiah Johnson from July, 2015 capture the flavor of many of the pre-election messages given by those recognized as prophets within this stream of the church: [Read more]

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Nov

10

2016

You’re just in time…

From my most recent newsletter…

I watched this week’s election returns with one eye on the TV, the other on my Twitter feed. By 1:30 a.m., I was seeing both screens via double vision. My brain had eclipsed its saturation point.

Across the political spectrum, every commentator had one sentiment in common: “This is unprecedented! History is being written tonight.”

No matter how we voted, I sense most of us agree we have opened the page to a disorienting – unprecedented! – new chapter in our nation’s story. I pray we can take heart in the reality that each one of us possesses the opportunity to show and tell a better story than any one currently being scribbled in future history texts. St. Theresa of Calcutta, popularly known as Mother Theresa, once said, “I am a little pencil in the hand of a writing God, who is sending a love letter to the world.”

The story of that love letter is the one that will remain long after this president or the next has come and gone. May our lives be used to help tell his story faithfully and courageously.



belen6

We are moving toward Advent, which begins on Sunday, November 27th. Most stores are already decked out for the Christmas marketing season. And did you know this year the Jewish holiday of Chanukah begins the evening of Saturday, December 24th? (Some are dubbing it “Chrismukkah”!)

If you’re looking for a resource that will help you connect with the meaning of this season and dial you in to the eternal story these holy days proclaim, check out my newest book, Moments and Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith.

Moments And Days CoverThe Kesher Forum’s Justin Kron offered this lovely endorsement of Moments and Days: “Many books have been written about how to honor God with our talents and treasures, but very few about how to honor Him with our time. Michelle has provided a much-needed resource for those who want to benefit from engaging in the sacred festivals within the Jewish calendar that were observed by Jesus himself or the Christian ones that were inspired by his life and ministry. This book will teach you how to see time from God’s perspective and how to leverage it for His glory and your delight. Amust-read for anyone who takes the Bible—and their days—seriously.”

If you head to the MomentsAndDays.org website, you’ll find some pretty wonderful recommendations for the book from respected writers and teachers including Leonard Sweet, Scot McKnight, Jen Pollock Michel and Dale Hanson Bourke. You’ll also discover a link to a free downloadable side-by-side 2017 calendar with dates for Jewish and Christian holy days. There’s a link you can use to order the book from NavPress. (You can also order from your favorite online retailer!)



Me headshot 2015Let’s talk! 

It would be my honor to come speak to your church, Bible study, book club, or small group about Moments & Days – or work with you to craft a message or retreat that will minister to the unique needs of your group.

I’m booking winter and spring dates now. Click here to check out my upcoming schedule and some of my speaking topics; click here to contact me for more information or to slate a date.

Note: I live in the Chicago area, but have plans to be in the Greeley, CO area in early December, and tentative plans to be in Nashville in mid-December and central Florida in mid-February. If you’re in the area and would like to have me come speak to your group, let’s talk!



giftLet me help you with your holiday shopping!

If you send me your name and snail mail address by Friday, November 18th at midnight, I’ll enter your name in a drawing. TWO WINNERS will receive TWO SIGNED COPIES of Moments & Days – one to keep and one to gift to a friend or family member! Such a deal!

Click here to enter (U.S. addresses only)



heartMay your moments and days be filled with praise to our eternal God,

Michelle Van Loon

Let’s stay in touch! 

My blog: www.patheos.com/blogs/pilgrimsroadtrip
My website: www.michellevanloon.com
Facebook: michelle.vanloon
Twitter: michellevanloon

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There are a lot of different camps clustered under this big tent known as Evangelical Christianity. The idea of Evangelicalism as a single tent is more a theoretical idea than a practical one, as I suspect there never was a place and time in which we great-great-great grandchildren of the Protestant Reformation in which we were ever truly united. At this point in our history, if there ever was a tent, it has stretch to the point it no longer serves as much of a shelter those of us who still bear the uncomfortable identifier “Evangelical”. (Others of you may be reading these words with gladness from a place situated somewhere outside the tent, and may be tempted to say, “Good riddance to that circus tent”.)

There’s no need to go into great detail here about what has become evident about Evangelicalism: in a sort of reverse birth-pangs to its expansion through the 1960’s through the turn of the millennium, it is now contracting and some of its excesses are withering. The decline has exposed the places where we Evangelicals staked our tent pegs on shifting sand instead of solid rock.

So many of us have lived through church splits, been wounded at the hands of abusive leaders or mean-spirited behavior from those who are supposed to be our brothers and sisters, or been shaped by a subculture of cultural and political pugilism, which is an expression of flabby, unhealthy theology. And now, it seems that we may have hit the collective spiritual wall. [Read more]

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Oct

17

2016

(To try) + (To eat): Sukkot

The Jewish feasts. The Christian calendar. Which one should form our worship?

519RT1msGVL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_The answer isn’t so simple. As I noted in Moments & Days: How Our Holy Celebrations Shape Our Faith, it behooves us all to learn a little something about each calendar – and then begin allow the rhythm of one to shape our discipleship journey, one day at a time.

I’m offering in this space one small, do-able step here in this space you, your family, small group, or church can use to move their learning from the page to life about each holy day, along with one recipe you may wish to try. There are a few recipes in the back ofMoments & Days, but the recipes you’ll find on this blog didn’t make it into the book.

Today, we’ll be looking at Sukkot, also known as the Feast of Tabernacles, or Booths. The eight-day feast begins at sundown, Sunday, October 16th, and concludes the evening of Sunday, October 23rd. For a 5-minute overview of the holy day, click here.

Sukkot, or the Feast of Tabernacles, is the final feast of the yearly festal cycle. It comes just five short days after Yom Kippur, and is marked by the construction of little temporary dwellings, booths – or sukkahs, in which families are supposed to live and eat for 8 days. The holiday is joyous, hopeful and marked by an intense focus on hospitality. Sukkot is also known as the Feast of Ingathering. While the name stirs images of agricultural harvest time, it actually points forward, toward the time when God’s people from every tongue, tribe, and nation will be gathered to him (Revelation 5:9). Sukkot invites us to savor each year the sweet promise of ingathering as our penultimate family reunion. [Read more]

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When I was the communications director for Christ Together/Chicago, the thing I loved most about the job was collecting and sharing information about events (prayer gatherings, conferences, speakers, service opportunities) that people in the area might not otherwise discover. Last week, I passed on information in this space about the Kesher Forum. I realize I have readers all over the US and beyond, so the local focus isn’t necessarily pertinent to all of you. However, even if you live in Boise, you may have a friend living in Chicagoland who’d benefit from one of these events.

Today, I’m pleased to share info about a unique women’s “unconference” happening November 4th and 5th. I’m so looking forward to being a part of this event, and I hope you’ll consider participating, too! It’s called Deeply Rooted: A Gathering (click here to link to the Facebook info page). One of the Deeply Rooted facilitators, Tammy Perlmutter, shared a bit with me about the genesis and vision for this gathering: [Read more]

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