January 22, 2021

A Good Weekend

The Friendly Confines—Wrigley Field

NOTE: Sorry it took me awhile to get to comments and clean out the spammers today. If your response comment got deleted, it’s because the whole thing was just too weird to try and explain. Sigh…

What is your definition of a “good weekend”?

How about this?

  • I traveled to my favorite city in the world—Chicago—to spend the weekend there.
  • I did so with my favorite people in the world—my family.
  • They had given me tickets for the Cubs game, so on Saturday, we all went to Wrigley Field (my favorite ballpark), and spent the afternoon watching baseball.
  • The Cubs won. Yes, you actually read that correctly.
  • The Cubs won in dramatic fashion, tying the game with a homer and then pushing across the winning run in the bottom of the 9th. So, not only did we see a game, and a win, but a win of the most exciting kind.
  • After the game, we ate at Giordanos, my favorite place for Chicago-style stuffed pizza (my favorite kind of pizza).
  • Sunday was Mother’s Day, a bright beautiful spring day, a time to celebrate all the wonderful women in my family—my favorite women in the world.
  • We had breakfast and spent the morning with Mark Galli and his wife. Mark is one of my favorite authors and columnists, and it was stimulating and encouraging to talk about life and writing with him.
  • We attended our first service in an AMiA (Anglican Mission in America) church. A two-hour service! We participated in a liturgical service that combined old and new music, formality and spontaneity, seriousness and joy. It went long because it included two ordinations, which in my view gave a profound education to the congregation of the foundations of pastoral ministry and vocational service in the church and helped them celebrate the calling and enabling of the Holy Spirit.
  • We went to North Park University and heard our son’s Jazz Ensemble concert. They were spectacular, and even better because they had the privilege of playing with professional tenor sax artist Mark Colby.
  • While we were away, we received the good news that our Little League team won our first game (maybe the manager should leave more often, huh?).
  • God granted mercies for our travels, and we made it home safely.

I call that a good weekend. “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.”

My boyhood hero, "Mr. Cub," Ernie Banks



  1. sounds like a wonderful weekend! I now want Giordanos pizza (a good memory after 20 years :)) and would’ve loved to have been a fly on the wall for your conversation w/Galli

  2. Man oh man….you hit my taste buds before bedtime!! How dare you Chaplin Mike 😀 I miss the upper midwest, part of the reason why is because I can’t get a good Chicago style deep dish in the Washington, D.C. area. When I lived in the Dairy State and became brave enough to cross the Wisconsin/Illinois state line I used to always have deep dish in the Chicago area

    I went to Wrigley field a couple of times in my life. I attended with my sister. Memorable times…I miss those days and am grateful for having such days. But one question for you Chaplin Mike…if the Chicago Cubs make the World Series and wins it…what will that mean in Biblical revelation? Does that mean the rapture is around the corner? 😛

    Glad you had an awesome weekend!!!

    • Eagle — we WI folks send the cheese across the border, they do wonderful things with it:).

      Right now I live @ 2 blocks from a pizza place owned by a Chicago transplant. The deep dish is ok, but no Giordano’s. Would I be a heretic if I said my favorite pizza of all time is still from Coop’s in Hayward, WI?

      • If you ever make it Milwaukee the two best pizza places I found were Pizza Shuttle and Pizza Man. They are both on the East Side. Awesome pizza places…Pizza Man does a great deep dish. I took it for granted!!!!

    • I’m a ‘Gino’s East’ guy myself. We have some places that advertise Chicago style pizza in So. Cal., but it’s not even close.

      I have been a Cubs fan since my very 1st Dodger game at Chavez Ravine. My Dad said this guy is good. I yelled “hit one out, Ernie” (with my Dad’s coaching) and sure enough, he did. Cubs and Ernie Banks fan from that moment.

      If the Cubs win the Series, it means the Rapture is already over and the New Kingdom has arrived.

    • Well, the Red Sox won in ’04 so with God all things are possible. That said, I’m from Detroit and am still waiting for the Lions to be the last team in the NFL to make the Super Bowl…

  3. I’m glad you had a good weekend in my city!

    If you should come here again, I hope yu’ll give your Chicago readers a chance to meet, greet, and share some hospitality with you 😀

    • An iMonk event in Chicago sounds like millennial bliss to me, Ninure! We didn’t have a second to spare this past weekend, but maybe in the future we will be able to plan something.

  4. JoanieD says

    Wow, Chaplain Mike, I don’t think it would have been possible to have had a better weekend!

    • So glad you had such a special time to enjoy and refresh heart and soul!

      MY idea of a great weekend would look nothing like yours, except for the “food, family, friends and fun” aspects!

  5. Clay Knick says

    Way, way cool.

    I love Galli’s books and articles with CT.

  6. I, a Liverpool fan, had to watch united all but win a record 20th soccer title (overtaking our 19) with thier win over chelsea, so it wasnt the best weekend ever

  7. Denise Spencer says

    Hooray! So glad you guys had such a wonderful time. Sounds about as near perfect as you can get on this side!

  8. cermak_rd says

    I’m glad you have nothing but good memories of your trip into my neighborhood. I moved to Chicagoland 25+ years ago to go to college and have never left it for me than a couple weeks at a time. I’ve lived on the north side, the west side, far flung suburbia (1 year, never again) and now, inner ring suburbia (Berwyn) for the past 14 years. Its people are for the most part wonderful (garage thieves excepted) and its climate livable. Its culture and language are eclectic, borrowing from peoples far and wide across the world.

    And Wrigley Field is an incredible venue to catch a game in. And Mr. Baseball? Let’s Play Two! A wonderful player and even more wonderful person.

    • I was born in Oak Park, have lived in Woodridge and Waukegan during certain seasons of my life, and still consider the city “sweet home Chicago.”

    • My Mom was born on the South side, and she is a White Sox fan. Her Dad used to take her to the ball park when she was a kid in the 1950’s and 1960’s. My family loves Chicago deeply, my Dad met my Mom there. I miss not being able to go there regulalry quite a bit. Whenever I went there I loved driving down Lake Shore Drive and looking at the city skyline. Washington, D.C. doesn’t have much of a skyline…just monuments and the Capital which over shadows the city.

      I’ve proposed to my Mom meeting in Chicago and spending a few days with her there and her showing me around. Where she grew up, school she went to, etc..

      But Chicago is a beautiful and fun city. I miss it… 🙁

  9. Glad you enjoyed the AMiA experience. My family and I have been attending an AMiA church for a little over two years and love it.

  10. I am a health care chaplain in Kentucky, after some 20 years of parish experience in Baptist churches, similar, I believe to your experiences. Now I learn you are a Cub fan, particularly of “Let’s Play Two” Ernie Banks. I grew up in the 50’s and 60″s, northwest of Chicago, listening to Jack Quinlin call Cubs games on WGN and being the biggest Ernie Banks fan in town. I played shortstop on my little league team, wearing #14, of course. Trips into Chicago to Wrigley Field were highlights of my summer. I have learned that being a Cub fan is in one’s blood, you cannot change it. I have lived in Minnesota, Texas, several places in Illinois, and now 20 years in Kentucky and I still cannot shake that feeling of pure joy-whether they win or lose- at seeing the ivy-covered walls and hearing, “Take Me Out To The Ballgame.” The Cubs are a spiritual growth opportunity, teaching one how to love unconditionally, no matter what the final score may be.

  11. What, no Chicago dog? That, my dear friends, is on my bucket list. I kid you not! I shall not even attempt to presume that trying a Chicago dog in Denver comes even close. A Chicago dog in Denver is a denver dog…..

    My dad visited Chicago once a couple of years ago, he was enthralled with the entire city.

    CM, glad about your weekend. Blessings!

  12. Great memories! We lived in the South Suburbs for just a few years in the 80’s, but what an influence on my life! We still try to get back several times a year-shop, eat, walk around. The Lyric Opera’s free summer concert is wonderful and I try to go when I can. I miss the place!

  13. Blessed day. Congrats

  14. cermak_rd says

    One poetic observation deserves another:

    As another bard once mulled
    There will be time, there will be time
    Time to understand the questions that you ponder
    Time to find time for mystery and wonder
    Time for you and time for me
    Time to put names to the avatars you see
    Time to post to entries that you like
    Time for Jeff, Lisa, Damaris, Martha, and Chaplain Mike.

  15. One more blessing this weekend: goodbye, Lakers!

  16. Davon Huss says


    We are doing the same thing on June 1 when the Cubs play the Astros. We are going to Chicago on a train in the morning and going to Wrigley for the afternoon game. After that we are going home on a train that night. Any more suggestions while we are there?

  17. I think it’s pretty neat that you coach Little League. I played 4 years as a kid and have great memories of those days. I’m sure they can pull out a win even AFTER you return!

  18. Interpretation: Elmo used to be a Dodgers fan.
    Out here in LA, we’re learning what it means to “count all things loss” as team and fans are placed into protective custody.

  19. Lived in Chi-town for 4 years and fell in love with the city in a big way. Thanks for taking me back to some of my favourite places–esp. Wrigley and Giordanos! Love, love, love Chicago style pizza. I’ve gone to several pizzerias since then that claim to make “Chicago-style” pizza and they never come close to the slice of heaven on offer in Chicago! Gotta get back someday soon.

  20. I am thinking that there is something to my “the later the post the crazeeee-er”, myself excepted of course! 🙂

  21. One more Mike says

    So there’s no IMonk poetry slam?

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