January 19, 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.

I Am a Pastor

By Chaplain Mike I wrote this many years ago, while on a mission trip in India. I used it to teach children about what a pastor is and does. Over the years, I’ve come back to it many times. Its simple words reminded me of God’s calling. Perhaps, on this Monday morning, it can be […]

Shaped By Jesus II

By Chaplain Mike “Shaped By Jesus” is a series of sign-posts pointing to Jesus’ teaching and acts as the soil from which Christlike discipleship grows. We are shaped by Jesus and we are shaped to be like Jesus in his character and mission. The Spirit enables us to be with Jesus today as we live […]

Sunday’s Gospel: Teaching One Another

By Chaplain Mike On Sundays, we hear the Gospel reading from the Revised Common Lectionary. Sometimes, I share a message based upon this text. On other weeks, I ask you to share your observations so that our readers can be edified. Today, we’ll be teaching one another again. Please remember the one main rule: My […]

iMonk Classic: I Have My Doubts

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer I Have My Doubts: The Many Reasons I Don’t Believe (undated) Immediately the father of the child cried out and said, “I believe; help my unbelief!” (Mark 9:24) Let’s start with bugs. Bugs have always….well…bugged me. They bite me. Wasps hate me. Mosquitoes swarm around me. Gnats head for […]

Truth Is Stranger than Fiction

By Chaplain Mike Just the facts… Conservative talk radio host Rush Limbaugh, age 59, married Kathryn Rogers, 33, on June 5 in Palm Beach, Florida. It is Limbaugh’s fourth marriage, after three divorces. Limbaugh’s friend, Ken Hutcherson, a former NFL player, African-American, and outspoken “pro-family” pastor from Redmond, Washington, officiated. When asked how he could […]

Open Mic: Pastoral Care in Today’s Church

By Chaplain Mike OK, it’s happened again. Over the past few weeks I’ve had at least half a dozen patients tell me that their pastor has not visited them and that the church has dropped the ball when it comes to keeping in touch with them during their illnesses (in these cases, terminal illnesses). What’s […]

IM Book Review: Evolving in Monkey Town

By Chaplain Mike If there is one thing I know for sure, it’s that faith can survive just about anything, so long as it’s able to evolve. Evolving in Monkey Town, p. 17 Rachel Held Evans is from the community of Dayton, Tennessee—”Monkey Town U.S.A.”—so named because it hosted the infamous 1925 Scopes trial, which […]

Shaped By Jesus I

By Chaplain Mike Now that Michael Spencer’s book has been released, and people are reading about “church-shaped” spirituality vs. “Jesus-shaped” spirituality, I’d like to explore more of what it means to be shaped by Jesus. For this series, the Gospels will be our main source material. These will not be in-depth studies but sign-posts pointing […]

Where’s John Piper When You Need Him?

By Chaplain Mike MOD NOTE: I’ve gone back and weeded out some comment threads that got off track. BTW: this post is not about John Piper, egalitarianism, homosexuality, or who goes to heaven and hell. It’s tongue-in-cheek, humor, folks, about a “striking” incident (insert groan here). Oh yeah, and please do buy the book! Last […]

IM Book Review: Mere Churchianity—Time to Get Real

By Chaplain Mike It is here, the day we’ve been waiting for here at Internet Monk. Michael Spencer’s book, Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality has been released! Today, I will give you my initial review and reflections. I can easily summarize its main message: It’s time for Jesus’ followers to GET […]