April 7, 2020

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.

My Pandemic Playlist

My Pandemic Playlist 12 songs for those maintaining social distance, and riding the roller coaster of inner responses that accompany life in the Covid-19 pandemic. A dose of reality, a pinch of despair, perhaps a smile, some perspective, hope, love, and faith mixed together and served to you today. • • • Wild World (Cat […]

What we’re doing in worship today (2)

What we’re doing in worship today (2) It’s Sunday #2 of worship in the days of coronavirus restrictions. This week, our small congregation will not meet together in the sanctuary. However, we have chosen an alternative. It started when one of our members insisted that he would ring the church bell on Sunday morning. We […]

Is God saying something to us?

Seen on Facebook this week: • Hear it again: “God allows trials to come our way to get our relationship back in tune with Him in order to keep us from eternal calamity.” Is that what God is saying to us in these challenging days? Is a text from 2 Chronicles a word from heaven […]

Lent with Mary Chapin Carpenter (4)

Lent with Mary Chapin Carpenter (4) Each year, on Ash Wednesday and during Lent, I focus attention on a singer-songwriter or album from the popular culture of my lifetime in which I find echoes of the Lenten journey. This year, we devote ourselves to listening to Mary Chapin Carpenter’s superb intensely personal album from 2012, […]

Tuesday with Michael Spencer: Looking for an Exit

Tuesday with Michael Spencer Looking for an Exit (2009) At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. We believe, and […]

Greatest Songs of My Lifetime: Ecclesiastes in Song

Greatest Songs of My Lifetime: Ecclesiastes in Song Some of the best songs in my lifetime contain lyrics that seem impossibly wise before their time. I think of Jackson Browne writing “These Days” at age 16. How can such profound thoughts about loss and regret emanate from the pen of a teenager? It was only […]

What we’re doing in worship today (1)

What we did in worship today Our small congregation decided to meet this morning for worship. However, I adjusted the contents of the service to reflect the Covid-19 pandemic. I preached on Martin Luther’s counsel to the Christian leaders and residents of Breslau during the 1527 plague epidemic (an excerpt of which we ran yesterday). […]

Lenten Brunch Lite 3: March 14, 2020 – Special Pandemic Edition

Lenten Brunch Lite 3: March 14, 2020 Special Pandemic Edition During the Lenten season, we will offer a “lite” version of our Saturday Brunch. Each week, I will set forth one question (or set of questions) related to keeping Lent and ask us to focus our discussion on it. Today we hear wise counsel from […]

Lent with Mary Chapin Carpenter (3)

Lent with Mary Chapin Carpenter (3) Each year, on Ash Wednesday and during Lent, I focus attention on a singer-songwriter or album from the popular culture of my lifetime in which I find echoes of the Lenten journey. This year, we devote ourselves to listening to Mary Chapin Carpenter’s superb intensely personal album from 2012, […]

“A bit of goodness tucked out of sight”

One year I watched an orb weaver spider at uncommonly close range. She had set up housekeeping by stringing her web from our basketball backboard to the corner of the house. Just above the eave on that corner is a floodlight that’s triggered by motion. Every night that September I carried my late mother’s lame […]