July 9, 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.

Not as bad as 1968…yet

Not as bad as 1968…yet In the past days, 1968 has emerged as a meme, a way to understand what we’re living through right now. • Zachary Karabell [In 1968] the report of the Kerner Commission, appointed by President Lyndon B. Johnson to examine the causes of race riots in American cities in previous years, […]

“How can I know the presence of God in my final season of life?” (or at any time?)

“How can I know the presence of God in my final season of life?” (or at any time?) An excerpt from Walking Home Together: Spiritual Guidance and Practical Advice For The End Of Life When people ask about knowing the presence of God in the midst of their terminal illness or death, I sometimes think […]

Wednesday with Michael Spencer: “The exhausting effort to be a good Christian denies Christ.”

Wednesday with Michael Spencer Excerpt from Mere Churchianity: Finding Your Way Back to Jesus-Shaped Spirituality I discovered, while listening to a lecture on Luther’s breakthrough discovery of grace, that the victorious Christian life is a lie. It is a completely un-Jesus-shaped imposter. The Christian life isn’t a denial of the prodigal son parable, with the […]

Being Merciful to Yourself (especially for caregivers)

Being Merciful to Yourself An excerpt from Guide Them Safely Home, Lord: A Caregiver’s Companion Mercy triumphs over judgment. – James 2:13 * * * I recently read an article by Marian Friedrichs in which she shared the following experience: One Saturday, when I confessed yet again to judging other people harshly, the priest told […]

Riffing on Richard Beck and Why God Matters

Riffing on Richard Beck and Why God Matters In a recent post at the always excellent Experimental Theology blog, Richard Beck opines that the most important question facing Christians and churches today in this pandemic is why God matters to us. He gives two examples of Christian reactions to the Covid-19 crisis that he has […]

Bonhoeffer: Who Am I?

This poem is from one of Bonhoeffer’s final prison letters, shortly before his execution. Though most of us are not facing certain death as he was, nevertheless I find the expressions in this poem relevant to what we may be experiencing and feeling in these uncertain days of pandemic and lockdowns. • • • Who […]

The Liturgy of Creation (Introduction)

The Liturgy of Creation (Introduction) As I said the other day, I am working through Michael Lefebvre’s revelatory book, The Liturgy of Creation: Understanding Calendars in Old Testament Context. RJS has also been blogging on this at Musings on Science and Theology. Michael Lefebvre is the teaching elder/pastor at Christ Church Reformed Presbyterian in Brownsburg, […]

Another Look: God’s Good Creation (and a preview of things to come)

Note from CM: I am reading a wonderful book about the Genesis 1 creation account by Michael Lefebvre, a local minister here in Indiana, called The Liturgy of Creation: Understanding Calendars in Old Testament Context. I hope to share more about it next week. His study yields remarkable insights about how the first creation story […]

Henri Nouwen: “You must keep looking for a new order”

“You must keep looking for a new order” By Henri Nouwen And yet you are Christian only so long as you look forward to a new world, only so long as you constantly pose critical questions to the society in which you live, and only so long as you emphasize the need for conversion both […]

Brueggemann: Virus as a Summons to Faith (2)

Walter Brueggemann has published a book during this Covid-19 pandemic to encourage and challenge believers. In the second chapter, “Pestilence…Mercy? Who Knew?” he considers the strange story about David in 2 Samuel 24:1-14. Again the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he incited David against them, saying, ‘Go, count the people of […]