January 28, 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.

Decade’s End: My Favorite Albums — 2010-2019 — PLUS Song of the Year 2019

DECADE’S END My Favorite Albums Each Year from 2010-2019 • 2010: Harlem River Blues, Justin Townes Earle Runner-up: American VI: Ain’t No Grave, Johnny Cash 2011: Barton Hollow, The Civil Wars Runner-up: So Beautiful or So What, Paul Simon 2012: Ashes & Roses, Mary Chapin Carpenter Runner-up: That’s Why God Made the Radio, The Beach Boys 2013: Lines […]

Sermon: The first family Christmas

Note from CM: We are on the road for a few days, so no Sunday sermon for this post. Here is the sermon I preached on Christmas Eve, giving a different perspective on what that first Christmas might have been like. • • • Sermon: Christmas Eve 2019 The first family Christmas The Lord be […]

A Merry Christmas from Internet Monk

Welcome, all wonders in one sight! Eternity shut in a span; Summer in winter; day in night; Heaven in earth, and God in man. Great little one, whose all-embracing birth Lifts earth to heaven, stoops heaven to earth. • From “In the Holy Nativity of Our Lord” Richard Crashaw

“God’s people have begun to know the manger of their Lord.”

The great Raymond E. Brown has often been a guide to me when it comes to the Christmas narratives in the New Testament. Here is an example of his insight — applied to the Christmas Eve Gospel (Luke 2). May God grant us all a blessed Christmas Eve. • What is of importance is the […]

Sermon: Advent IV — How Silently, How Silently

Sermon: Advent 4A
 How Silently, How Silently (Matthew 1:18-25) The Lord be with you. Whereas the Gospel of Luke tells the story of Jesus’ birth from Mary’s perspective, Matthew tells it through the eyes of Joseph. Both of these accounts share common elements in describing what took place. Both testify that Jesus was to be […]

Enjoying Handel’s Sublime Gift

Pastor Dan and his wife graciously treated us by inviting us to join them last night for a performance of Handel’s Messiah at the Center for the Performing Arts here in Indianapolis. It was magnificent. The Palladium is a state of the art concert venue, and the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra and Symphonic Choir, directed by […]

First Snow

• Click on each picture to see a larger image • • First snow, it came early this morning So I’m up and out of bed Visions of a real slow goin’ Start runnin’ through my head First snow, there ain’t nothing like The sudden change that winter brings But it looks so pretty that […]

Advent Music: An Advent Invitation from Peter Mayer

The promise that comes to us in the darkness… Maybe peace hides in a storm Maybe winter’s heart is warm Maybe Light itself is born In the longest night… • Light a candle, sing a song Say that the shadows shall not cross Make an oblation out of all you’ve lost In the longest night […]

Sermon: Advent III — Jesus Commends the Doubter

Sermon: Advent III Jesus Commends the Doubter (Matt 11:2-11) Truly I tell you, among those born of women no one has arisen greater than John the Baptist… • Matthew 11:11 • • • Jesus gives great praise to John the Baptist in today’s Gospel. He commends him as a strong man of truth, a prophet […]

Another Look: My Ambiguous Apologetic

I confess. I have no apologetic. There is no defending God. There is no proving his way is right. To do so would require that I understand God, that I can substantiate the claims of truth my faith calls me to hold. I can explain what I believe well enough. I can demonstrate to a […]