December 10, 2018

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.

November Visions from the Heartland

Note from CM: Mike Bell has taken a sick day today. Enjoy these visions of fall in the heartland. Click on each picture for a larger image. • • •

For Election Day 2018

Note from CM: It’s election day here in the U.S., as citizens go to the polls to vote in the midterms — the elections between our quadrennial presidential decision. Here is a simple reminder from over a century ago of the humble grandeur of this privilege we participate in as Americans. • • • If […]

Another Look: To Be Well-Spoken

Another Look: To Be Well-Spoken Is not my word like fire, says the Lord, and like a hammer that breaks a rock in pieces? • Jeremiah 23:29, NRSV • • • One of my personal goals in life is to be well-spoken. I am tired of “lingo.” I reject group-imposed boundaries around how to express […]

A Prayer Liturgy for All Saints

A Prayer Liturgy for All Saints This is the prayer liturgy I put together that we will be praying for All Saints in worship today. May grace and peace be yours in fullest measure this Lord’s Day. • • • As those who believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic church, the communion of […]

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: November 3, 2018

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: November 3, 2018 Welcome to our first brunch of November 2018. We’re past Halloween and Reformation Day. Many of us celebrate All Saints this Sunday. The season is getting darker, but we’ll get a bit more light soon on how politics here in the U.S. will trend going forward. We’ll […]

Luther’s Deadly Doctrine

UPDATE: Added a paragraph below, showing how Luther’s hymn “A Mighty Fortress” applies to this subject. • Luther’s Deadly Doctrine I had made up my mind to write no more either about the Jews or against them. But since I learned that those miserable and accursed people do not cease to lure to themselves even […]

Reformation Day Sermon 2018

Reformation Day Sermon 2018 They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout out and say, ‘Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on […]

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: October 27, 2018

The IM Saturday Monks Brunch: October 27, 2018 End of October, beginning of November. Halloween. Reformation Sunday. All Saints. Time to change the clocks. The midterm elections. Let’s get some calories for stamina, eh? Thanks for joining us for Brunch today. Coming in early November… My second book, Show Me the Path: Cultivating a Life […]

Eugene Peterson and Me

The biblical fact is that there are no successful churches. There are, instead, communities of sinners, gathered before God week after week in towns and villages all over the world. The Holy Spirit gathers them and does his work in them. In these communities of sinners, one of the sinners is called pastor and given […]

Reformation Week (2018): Another Look: God’s Righteousness

Note from CM: This coming Sunday our church, along with others around the world, will commemorate Reformation Sunday. I thought it would be fitting to look at some thoughts about this momentous movement in church history for a few days this week in preparation. • • • Another Look: God’s Righteousness I’m not ashamed of […]