December 18, 2018

About Chaplain Mike

Chaplain Mike works with a hospice organization in central Indiana. He has been in pastoral ministry since 1978, serving in churches in Maryland, Vermont, Illinois, and Indiana before moving into chaplaincy work. He is married to a wonderful gifted wife, Gail, and they have four children and three grandchildren. He thinks baseball is the greatest game ever invented, suffers annually as a Chicago Cubs fan, and is looking forward to putting on a cap again this spring to coach his grandson's Little League team. He loves a wide variety of music, spends way too much money on books, is happy to live in a place where there are four seasons, and is a "true believer" in Apple computers, having used them since 1988. Luther is his favorite theologian, Bach his favorite composer, James Taylor his favorite singer-songwriter, Chicago his favorite city, and hiking his favorite form of exercise. He would love to do more with photography and dreams of having a place in the mountains of Arizona some day. His heart has been captured by the grace of God in Jesus Christ and considers himself a post-evangelical disciple seeking a Jesus-shaped life and hoping to help the church do the same. He is forever grateful to his friend, Michael Spencer, for giving him an opportunity to write for Internet Monk.

Another Look: Why Do We Love This Season?

Another Look: Why Do We Love This Season? Why do we love this season? I would suggest that aesthetics have much to do with the answer to that question. The lead-up to Christmas and its celebration is made sensible to us by means of the things we see, hear, smell, taste, and touch at this […]

Monday with Michael Spencer: Letters from Santa

Monday with Michael Spencer Letters from Santa (from 2006) Several years ago, we began another tradition that has proven to be one of the highlights of Christmas for us: the reading of the unedited, uncorrected “Letters to Santa” printed in our local newspaper. The authors are local 2nd graders, and these letters, read dramatically, are […]

Sermon Advent III: Good News?

Sermon Advent III: Good News? (Luke 3:7-18) 7 John said to the crowds that came out to be baptized by him, “You brood of vipers! Who warned you to flee from the wrath to come? 8 Bear fruits worthy of repentance. Do not begin to say to yourselves, ‘We have Abraham as our ancestor’; for […]

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: December 15, 2018 — A nostalgia feast

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: December 15, 2018 It’s a celebration Brunch! It’s a feast of nostalgia! This time of year is always a big one for our family, with birthdays and anniversaries galore, as well as the usual holiday gatherings. But this year is even more special, because it was forty years ago, on […]

A Funeral Homily: The Soup of Life

A Funeral Homily: The Soup of Life It’s very nearly winter, and the days are growing darker and colder. I know you are feeling today like your lives have grown darker and colder as well, because you have lost your loved one. It is right for you to feel this way, because she was a […]

Another Look: Merton – Before We Can Become Gods We Must Be Human

Thomas Merton contended that human beings have lost a great deal in modern, technological society. What we have gained in efficiency and productivity has, in many ways, sucked the humanity and spirituality from our inner beings. In this meditation from Seasons of Celebration, the monk laments that we have separated ourselves from intimacy with the […]

Advent II Sermon: God Visited Us

Sermon for Advent II: Luke 1:68-79 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he has looked favorably on his people and redeemed them. He has raised up a mighty savior for us in the house of his servant David, as he spoke through the mouth of his holy prophets from of old, that we […]

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: December 8, 2018

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: December 8, 2018 Another week of Advent, another week closer to Christmas, and here we are. Welcome to our weekly Brunch, where things are beginning to take a decidedly holiday tone. There’s egg nog on the buffet (Michael Spencer’s favorite), greens, poinsettias, and candles on the tables. Come, sit, and […]

“America’s last, great soldier-statesman”

I choked up, too — for the decent and honorable leadership, now missing, that reflects the true greatness of America. • Dana Milbank • • • Jon Meacham, historian and biographer of George Herbert Walker Bush, spoke at his memorial service on Wednesday and said, “He stood in the breach of the Cold War against […]

“Winter: A Dirge,” by Robert Burns

Winter: A Dirge By Robert Burns The wintry west extends his blast, And hail and rain does blaw; Or, the stormy north sends driving forth The blinding sleet and snaw: While tumbling brown, the burn comes down, And roars frae bank to brae; And bird and beast in covert rest, And pass the heartless day. […]