July 13, 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.

“Wish Dream” Community

By Chaplain Mike The restoration of the church must surely depend on a new kind of monasticism, which has nothing in common with the old but a life of uncompromising discipleship, following Christ according to the Sermon on the Mount. I believe the time has come to gather people together and do this. – Dietrich […]

iMonk Classic: What Have I Learned from Living in Community?

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer Originally posted March 1, 2009 When you’ve lived in an intentional Christian community for almost 17 years, you’re a pretty sorry excuse for a person if you haven’t thought about how your life has affected that community or how that experience has shaped you as a person. You live […]

The Sad State of Pastoral Thinking

By Chaplain Mike Every time I think I see a ray of hope in the evangelical church, I come across some pablum that reminds me how many asylums across the land have been taken over by the inmates. Take this recent example of pastoral “insight” from Perry Noble, published in the Christian Post. Please. The […]

Extreme Community

By Chaplain Mike “To have all things in common means to love our neighbor, to have with him, to want with him, to suffer with him and to endure the ups and downs with him. “In Heaven (as it should be on earth) there is no ownership and hence there is found contentment, true peace, […]

First Thoughts on “Community”

By Chaplain Mike Today, I heard an interesting interview on the NPR program, Fresh Air with Todd S. Purdum, national editor of Vanity Fair, who has written a piece in the latest edition called, “Washington: We Have a Problem” For this article, Purdum spent a day at the White House with the president and his […]

Opinion: Are We “At Our Courageous Best”?

By Chaplain Mike At their courageous best, clergy lead where people aren’t asking to go, because that’s how the range of issues that concern them expands, and how a holy community gets formed. • G. Jeffrey MacDonald How wonderful to open the New York Times Sunday edition this week and find a thoughtful word of […]

Praising God in “Ordinary Time”

By Chaplain Mike During the part of the Christian Year that some call “Ordinary Time,” we sometimes miss special celebratory aspects of worship that take place during the more festive seasons. For example, the music. One way I have found to fill this gap is to listen year round to J.S. Bach’s cantatas. Bach wrote […]

Sunday’s Gospel: Fear Not, Little Flock

By Chaplain Mike Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost Lectionary Readings • Genesis 15:1-6 • Psalm 33:12-22 (22) • Hebrews 11:1-3, 8-16 • Luke 12:32-40 Today’s Gospel Today’s Gospel message takes the form of a personal testimony and tribute. This weekend, we are visiting the congregation where I had my first pastorate. It’s a little Baptist church […]

iMonk Classic: A Generous Catholicity

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer Originally posted February 8, 2006 We like the creeds….except for the catholic parts. “I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of saints…” -The Apostle’s Creed “And I believe one holy catholic and apostolic Church. I acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;… Amen.” […]

Open Mic: Why Do Women Want Moore?

By Chaplain Mike This week’s Christianity Today magazine has a cover feature on Beth Moore. I have not read all of it yet, but while I am in the process, I thought I would give our Internet Monk community a chance to answer the question the title implies: Why are people (especially women) so attracted […]