October 22, 2020

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 […]

Tuesday with Michael Spencer: The God of Job’s Complaints

Tuesday with Michael Spencer The God of Job’s Complaints (2008) Job 10 ‘I loathe my life; I will give free utterance to my complaint; I will speak in the bitterness of my soul. I will say to God, Do not condemn me; let me know why you contend against me. Does it seem good to […]

Another Look: Waiting to Live?

Another Look: Waiting to Live? (2017) Note from CM: I went back and re-read this post from 2017 and found I could relate today. It seems like, in the midst of this pandemic, we are waiting and itching to live again. But life keeps finding a way to break through — my little grandson running […]

View from the (not so) front line

In a recent discussion, there was this nice note from regular commenter and friend Ted. Mike, I’ve been wondering how the crisis has affected you and your work as hospice chaplain. Will there be a blog post about it? A lot of your work must be in hospitals and nursing homes, which are now off-limits […]

Sunday with Michael Spencer: Complex Me

Sunday with Michael Spencer Complex Me (from “Icebergs, Onions and Why You’re Not As Simple As You Think” – 2008) I’m an iceberg, an onion, a mystery. I’m complex and rarely insightful into myself. Thousands of experiences co-exist in me at the same time. I’m a library of presuppositions and passively accepted versions of the […]

My Strategies for Coping with Anxiety

I have been dealing with anxiety for a year now. Looking back, I had been dealing with anxious thinking long before that, but failed to recognize it. It was one of the reasons why I had to leave my previous church. You would think that these times we were in would cause a flare up, […]

Friday with Michael Spencer: Holes in the Soul

Friday with Michael Spencer Holes in the Soul Back in the day, I got a psych major in my undergrad work. That’s pretty ironic, believe me, in more ways than you can imagine. I can’t say I learned a great deal, but I did begin a lifelong journey of making observations and drawing tentative conclusions […]

iMonk Classic Series: Christians and Mental Illness (3)

Is there mental illness in the Bible? This question seeks to move us toward the question of mental illness and the Gospel. Throughout the Bible- Job’s speeches, Jonah’s self pity, the depression of the Psalmist, the cynical death wish of Kohelleth- we see the kinds of emotions that make up much of common mental illnesses. […]

iMonk Classic Series: Christians and Mental Illness (2)

iMonk Classic Series: Christians and Mental Illness (2) The following is excerpted from part 2 of Michael’s original series. Because the Bible is authoritative in Christianity, it is often difficult to come to terms with forms of knowledge that ignore the Bible, and especially difficult to deal with systems of knowledge that threaten to transcend […]

iMonk Classic Series: Christians and Mental Illness (1)

Note from CM: Ten years ago, Michael re-ran a series about Christians and mental illness that he originally wrote in 2005. For the next few days this week, I will re-post edited versions of those pieces. Today, we read Michael’s introduction and some of the questions he will raise. • • • Several times a […]