Michael VanHook
Michael VanHook


About me

I'm Mike. Any morning is better when I can slowly sip a creamy cup of cappuccino. Over the course of my life, I've worn many hats—husband, father, friend, teacher, leader, traveler, pastor, etc. After 8 years of living in Brazil, my loving wife Luciana and I made our home in Northern Kentucky. Our wedding was one of the happiest days of my life.


My life doesn’t fit into nice, neat boxes. But I try to live it with integrity and passion. My burning passion is to make significant and enduring difference in the lives of others as a servant-teacher-leader, while trying to sort out my own stuff.

About this site


I could never be a talk show host. I’m not an expert with a bottomless sack of strongly formed opinions on an infinite number of subjects. That’s not to say that I don’t have some strongly formed beliefs. In fact, I have several convictions and principles that comprise my core values and who I am as a person. I hold them dear to my heart and will fight for them. But on many issues and topics, I’m learning. I have loads of unanswered questions and partially formulated opinions. I believe there’s tremendous value in admitting you don’t know it all, asking the right questions, and listening to multiple voices.


My father taught me to respect and to carefully listen to leaders whose influence emerged from a place of depth. Their words had power because they were born from a place of silent contemplation. The times they spoke were selective, but when they did, everyone listened. Their words were measured and used for the greatest good and impact. Commenting on his leadership qualities, Nelson Mandela said that he learned them by observing his father, a tribal leader. His father was always the last to speak at the council meetings.


The word “ponder” literally means “to weigh.” It comes from the 14th century Old French, meaning to appraise the worth of something. We use this term when we consider something deeply and thoroughly.


I created this website to provide a place for “pondered thoughts." It's a place to let ideas breathe. I’m seeking a constructive community of “ponderers.” This is a place to dwell and contemplate some essential ideas and truths for living a life with purpose. I’ve established some categories for these pondered thoughts to breathe.


I’m inviting you to connect your journey with mine. Do you have something that you’d like to add to the discussion? Feel free to blog and share your ideas. If we haven't had the opportunity to meet, please write in my guestbook and add a personal note introducing yourself. You’re welcome here.

Patagonia, Argentina

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© Michael VanHook