December 12, 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.

Franciscan Friday: Franciscan and Lutheran

In my reading about St. Francis and Franciscan spirituality, I was happy to find that there are Lutheran Franciscan orders. The following is from the Common Questions section of The Order of Lutheran Franciscans. In the Lutheran tradition, there are several Franciscan orders:  the Evangelische Franziskaner-Tertiaren was founded in 1927 in Germany, the Franciskus Tredje Orden is part of […]

The glory of God’s people?

You have heard it said…but I have said to you… • Jesus • • • It was one of those small epiphanies that sometimes come in church. It happened to me last Sunday. The congregation was reading Psalm 149 responsively. I love this final group of psalms in the Book of Psalms, sometimes called, “The […]

Not so far

On Sunday our church commemorated All Saints Sunday. For many reasons, but particularly since I have engaged in work as a hospice chaplain, it has become one of my favorite Sundays of the year. It is not an easy Sunday. The day is filled with tears and the ache of separation from loved ones. For […]

Litany and Prayers for All Saints 2019

Litany and Prayers for All Saints 2019 This year, on All Saints Sunday, I will replace my sermon in our Lutheran church with a responsive litany, spoken with the congregation. We will follow with the Apostles’ Creed and then say special prayers for the day. May this be a day of profound and grateful remembrance […]

Wanted: Someone to inflame the romantic imagination of Christianity

Wanted: Someone to inflame the romantic imagination of Christianity From Ron Rolheiser [We] need a new Francis of Assisi: We need someone, man or woman, who can re-inflame the romantic imagination of Christianity. Francis was a saint, but he was more than that. He was also a man of rare imagination. He was someone who, […]

Please, just say it

There is no case that can be made biblically for a woman preacher. Period. Paragraph. End of discussion. • John MacArthur • • • Last week, John MacArthur celebrated 50 years in the pastorate at a conference at his congregation Grace Community Church. During the event, MacArthur accused the Southern Baptist Convention of taking a […]

Reformation Sunday 2019: Can’t Buy Me Love

REFORMATION SUNDAY 2019 Can’t Buy Me Love (Luke 18:9-14) On this day, in our tradition, we commemorate Reformation Sunday. We recall the work of German reformer Martin Luther in the 16th century, who pointed out abuses, faulty teaching, and pastoral neglect in the churches of his day, and who sought to bring renewal and reform […]

Franciscan Friday: Sentimentalizing Francis

Franciscan Friday Sentimentalizing Francis I am reading Adrian House’s biography, Francis of Assisi: A Revolutionary Life, and thought today I would share some words from its introduction, written by Karen Armstrong. Like Jesus himself, Francis is often sentimentalized. We like the image of the poetical saint, preaching to the birds and exulting in the beauties […]

Getting Ready for Reformation Sunday

Getting Ready for Reformation Sunday Note from CM: Sorry for the delay, but I had a very busy day. I just cleaned a lot of spam out of the comment thread. • • • The Gospel reading for this week is Luke 18:9-14, Jesus’ parable about the Pharisee and the tax collector. He also told […]

Another Look: The “Failed” Reformation

Another Look: The “Failed” Reformation Like all of us, Martin Luther didn’t always remember or apply his own theology in the face of life’s realities. The following story by David Lose illustrates this. This past summer I was visiting Wittenberg and heard a story about Martin Luther I hadn’t heard before that seems appropriate for […]