June 16, 2019

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.

The Coming Roman Catholic Collapse?

If the structure of clericalism is not dismantled, the Roman Catholic Church will not survive, and will not deserve to. • James Carroll • • • James Carroll, former priest from the Vatican II era, Boston Globe columnist and author, has written a devastating and poignant call for a complete reformation of the Roman Catholic […]

Some questions that came up this week…

Some questions that came up this week… Is it really “the mother of all rebellions” for a woman to preach on Mother’s Day? or Is this sharp objection really all about “protecting systems”? and, while we’re on the subject, Is there really some silly pietist saying that a mom who enjoys being the center of […]

A Confusion of Place and Time

The essential mistake in most Christian eschatology, as it is presented and understood, especially in popular, grassroots Christianity, involves a confusion of place and time. To most Christians, the most vital issue is what happens to us after we die. And the most crucial question about the afterlife is where will we go? Common answers […]

Bits of Wisdom from Jean Vanier

Bits of Wisdom from Jean Vanier The spirituality of L’Arche implies that we act like rabbits and not like giraffes. Giraffes see from afar where they should go. Rabbits sniff their way. We are sniffing our way along, and we will go in the right direction if we keep eating with the poor, living with […]

Monday with Buechner: Where Our Best Dreams Come From

Monday with Frederick Buechner “Where Our Best Dreams Come From” Somebody appears on your front stoop speaking your name, say, and you go down to open the door to see what’s up. Sometimes while it’s still raining, the sun comes out from behind the clouds, and suddenly, arching against the gray sky, there is a […]

Random Thoughts from a Black Pouring

I am a Jackson Pollock painting these days. Life and death have been splashing all over me and the result is an indecipherable hodgepodge of an inner landscape. To be honest, I love Pollock’s work and a lot of other artists who painted in the form of Abstract Expressionism. This art reminds us that the […]

In Memoriam: Jean Vanier

Jean Vanier died this past week. New York Times obituary RNS obituary An appreciation at Crux How Jean Vanier broke my heart and saved my life Many of us came to know of Jean Vanier through the work and writings of Henri Nouwen. Damaris wrote recently that “the simplest, hardest, and most effective means of […]

“Begin with fear of death”

If not with hope of life, Begin with fear of death: Strive the tremendous life-long strife Breath after breath. • Christina Rossetti • • • But…I’m afraid An excerpt from Walking Home Together: Spiritual Guidance and Practical Advice For The End Of Life [As you consider your final walk home,] I’m sure you have some […]

Another Look: Make the Way by Walking

Note from CM: We continue to go through an extraordinary season of loss — I can’t remember one in my personal experience quite like it. Last week we learned that our good friend, my college roommate and best man in my wedding, died suddenly. I did a funeral for a friend’s mom on Saturday and […]

Another Look: God’s Scandalous Patience

God is transforming and reconciling the world. But unlike human revolutionaries who demand instant and total change, God is not impatient. The arc of the universe bends toward the full reconciliation of all creation, but — “Come, Lord Jesus!” — that arc is long. • C. Christopher Smith & John Pattison • • • This […]