September 21, 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.

“Your relationship with God grows uniquely in the soil that is your journey through life”

My friend Dory recently wrote: This year has been transitional for me, and I hope I’m not nearly done yet. I have deliberately stepped back from everything I thought I knew about traditional Christianity, racial divide, politics, racial bias, the meaning of freedom, and the response of the church to government oppression. I have asked […]

Racism: One Tragic Outcome of Misunderstanding Grace

• Traditional Western Christian theology has not always served us or our world well. As a particular example of this, I would refer to our accepted understandings of “grace” and its implications. The debates between medieval Roman Catholics and the Protestant reformers focused on the nature of grace as it applied to individuals and their […]

John Fea on U.S. evangelicals and a sorry history on race relations

Today, I would like to direct your attention to John Fea’s overview of American white evangelicalism’s history of entanglement with racism. Fea is Professor of American History at Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, where he has taught since 2002. His current book is Believe Me: The Evangelical Road to Donald Trump (Eerdmans, June 2018). READ: How […]

Buechner: “My own heart let me more have pity on.”

“My own heart let me more have pity on.” By Frederick Buechner I certainly am always at war one way or another with myself, and some of them are wars I must fight to try to slay the demons, to kill the dragon, to lay the ghost to rest. But there are other wars you […]

Of uncles and the tapestry of life

We buried my last uncle yesterday. I am now bereft of uncles and aunts; our small family tree has been trimmed back to an even tinier size. My uncle was a Marine, a decorated Korean War veteran, Purple Heart and Bronze Star. When he returned home, he devoted himself to studying and became a Doctor […]

Frederick Buechner: Pay Attention

Frederick Buechner Pay Attention The biblical faith says creation is of enormous importance because God created it. He made it, he sustains it, he speaks in it, he moves in it. He sent the Christ into it, who walked on it, who got sick from it, who ate on it, who wanted a job on […]

Days of Planting

Some of what I’ve encountered in recent days, personally, and as a hospice chaplain… I found out that two friends, husband and wife, the man a former pastor with whom I shared a ministry, were diagnosed with Covid-19. At last report, they are not doing well, and may soon be admitted to the ER. They […]

Privilege, silence, shalom, and a generational moment

Our Declaration of Independence declares that all people are created equal. It proceeds to clarify what “equality” means: we are all endowed with certain natural rights by our Creator. But, though we may all have those rights, not all people start life or live it on an equal footing with others. And thus we speak […]

Excerpt from “The Sins of a Nation” (Fr. Stephen Freeman)

An excerpt from “The Sins of a Nation” By Father Stephen Freeman, Glory to God for All Things Nations (and individuals) who ignore their wounds and griefs do not leave them behind – they bring them forward and repeat their battles endlessly. Subsequent generations who never knew the first cause, become the unwitting bearers of […]

Another Look: Our Relational God

Another Look: Our Relational God This Sunday upcoming is Trinity Sunday, the day that bridges the two main divisions of the Church Year. We have been walking through the life of Jesus from Advent to Pentecost since last November. Now, we begin the days of “Ordinary Time,” when we live out the faith daily as […]