August 10, 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.

What he said to them, and how she answered

By Chaplain Mike As the young couple stood before the minister, dressed in wedding finery, room filled with well-wishers, a life stretched out before them, this is what he said to them. “A reading from 1 Corinthians 13: Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does […]

Tidying up before taking a break

By Chaplain Mike For about a week or so, I will be taking my leave of the iMonastery and venturing out to do a few other important things. The eminently capable, immaculately dressed, and incomparably qualified Very Right Reverend Jeff Dunn, along with the rest of the team, will be leading you into thoughtful contemplation […]

The New Liturgical Gangstas (2)

Today, we present our second installment in our renewal of IM’s popular feature, “The Liturgical Gangstas,” a panel discussion involving representatives from different liturgical traditions who will be answering questions regarding theology and church practice. Lord willing, the Gangstas will appear on the final week of each month to share with our IM audience. Who […]

I have to admit: I don’t get it

By Chaplain Mike This is all kind of off the top of my head, so take it for what it is — an impromptu rant. OK, this may seem like a weird thing to talk about, but I’m going to anyway. I’m sure most people don’t even think about it; the status quo is simply […]

Open Mic: What Are You Hearing about Hell?

By Chaplain Mike Yesterday’s Gospel story of Lazarus and the rich man raised some of the usual questions about the afterlife, the judgment, heaven and hell, and the eternal destinies of humans. Today, over at Jesus Creed Scot McKnight is hosting some discussion the subject and I thought we might do the same. At this […]

Spiritual Formation: The Plain, Hard Truth

By Chaplain Mike And now for the bad news . . . In the final analysis, there is only one thing that enables us to grow in Christ. Few are willing to put it that starkly. In fact, I think there is so much false advertising out there about what actually enables people to change, […]

“Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your heart”

By Chaplain Mike Today’s Gospel— Luke 16:19-31 This story is the climax of a series of pericopes that represent a prominent theme in Luke’s Gospel. Many have called it “The Great Reversal.” This theme is introduced in Mary’s Magnificat (1:46-55) and finds its most succinct expression in Jesus’ Sermon on the Plain (6:20-21, 24-25): Blessed […]

iMonk Classic: Confession

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer Originally posted Oct 13, 2008 MOD Note: One spiritual practice commanded in Scripture and little emphasized today in evangelical practice is the confession of sins. 1John 1, on the other hand, assumes that this is one of the marks of genuine Christian faith: “If we claim we have no […]

You Can’t Shake Jesus

By Chaplain Mike After a busy week of intense posts, here’s a moment of music for your enjoyment and encouragement. This is a live performance of a song from Ricky Skaggs’ new album, Mosaic.

Spiritual Formation: A Bit of Counsel

By Chaplain Mike Come to me, all of you who are weary and over-burdened, and I will give you rest! Put on my yoke and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. • […]