December 3, 2020

From The Desk Of The Publisher

Howdy all. This is your friendly publisher—the abbot of the iMonastery, if you will—paying you a visit to catch you up on a few things here at the Internet Monk. Some of you may be relatively new visitors to our site, while others have been here for many years. All are welcome, especially those who say nice things about us.

This site was begun by Michael Spencer more than eleven years ago. Michael passed away in April of 2010 (you can read his story here). Before his passing, Michael and his wife Denise asked me to take over the site, with Chaplain Mike serving as editorial director and the main contributor. We were very honored and humbled to try to fill Michael’s shoes. And then we quickly realized we couldn’t fill his shoes, so we decided to just wear our own. Since that time, we have added more writers and completed a major redesign of the site. But our focus remains presenting a Jesus-shaped spirituality. We strive to be guides in the post-Evangelical wilderness.

I’d like to answer some questions that you would ask if you had the chance. Being the publisher allows me the opportunity to both ask and answer the questions. So sit back, relax, and let me handle all of the heavy lifting.

What exactly does a publisher of a blog do?

Good question. I wish I knew. I have been in the book publishing world for a long time, so this is rather new territory for me. I want to first of all protect the legacy begun by our founder, while at the same time not staying where he left it. I work with our writers to help them craft their ideas into the best essays possible. I get mad at our hosting service whenever we encounter a problem. I buy meals for Chaplain Mike when I pass through his hometown. I’d like to find a way to make money for Chaplain Mike, Denise and our writers. If you know of any way to make money with one of the most read blogs of any sort on the internet. let me know.

I understand some blogs sell essay space to “guest writers.” Have you considered doing that?

Not for a nanosecond. I know many blogs do this. I get emails on a regular basis from publicity agents wanting their clients to be able to write for us and push a product—and they are willing to pay for this privilege. But as long as I am at the helm, we will never do this. What would you think if your pastor allowed a “guest speaker” in the pulpit this Sunday to speak and to promote his new book or movie or whatever, and you learned he had paid the church for that access? We will not sell essay space. Period. Ever.

How did you find the writers you are now using?

Well, I know this sounds trite, but God brought us together in a variety of ways. Chaplain Mike was already here, as was Mike Bell. Chaplain recommended Damaris Zehner. I met Lisa Dye at a writer’s conference. Joe Spann is a good friend and spiritual mentor of mine from my church. Adam Palmer (who also goes to my church, and is also a very close friend and spiritual guide for me) and I have written a number of books together. And Martha of Ireland came to our attention by her great comments.

Are you looking for more writers?

Well, I am always on the lookout for great writers for a number of opportunities. But I doubt we will add anyone else to the iMonk roster for a while. I really have turned down New York Times bestselling authors who wanted to write for us. It takes a special person to speak to the monks who reside here. I love all of our writers. They are the best group of authors I have ever been privileged to work with.

How do you and Chaplain Mike get along?

About as well as a God-fearing Reds fan and a godless Cubs fan can. Seriously, Chap is one of my best friends. He is kindness and gentleness personified. He is insightful and very gifted in sharing these insights. He writes so well I have never had to suggest an edit. Really, Chaplain Mike is the driving force and direction-setter for Internet Monk. He loves writing, and he truly cares for you.  I only wish I could find a way to pay him more than compliments.

How can we help with your expenses?

Great question. You can donate through PayPal (see the top righthand side of this page). You can advertise your business or ministry with us. And if you see a link to a book we mention and want to buy it, go through that link. We get a small percentage of any product purchased if you use the link provided on our site.

How else can we help?

Pray for us. Pray for each of our writers. Pray for Denise Spencer. Pray. Tell others about iMonk. And continue to comment. We don’t want this to be a one-way discussion.

Can I suggest stories for Saturday Ramblings?

Sure. Send them to me at

Aren’t you afraid of getting a lot of spam by giving out your email like that?

I can’t get any more than I already receive. The good news is I won’t have to worry about it much longer. I have just been contacted by a woman from Ivory Coast who needs to transfer her fortune out of her country, and is willing to give me half. All my problems are over…

I like your book reviews. Will you review the book I’ve written (or published)?

We love to read here at the iMonastery. Our library is overflowing with books sent to be reviewed. And while we are grateful for all of the hard work put in to write and publish these works, we cannot and will not review most that are sent to us. Those we think you, our fellow iMonks, would like to know about we put in our “I hope I can get around to this one soon” pile. I hand them out to the other writers in hopes they will get excited enough to read and write about them. To be honest, the books we tend to review are not going to be the mainstream, “you can find this at your local Christian bookstore on the front table” kind of books. The next one I want to review was written by an agnostic rock and roll drummer. It also happens to be one of the best books I have ever read.

If you have a book you would like us to consider for review, it might be best to email me first. I can then give you the address where you can send it.

I love the way your site looks and works. I need a new site design. Can I talk with your designer?

Absolutely. Joe Stallard is not only brilliant and hard working, he is also a very nice man. You can get to him at his site. Tell him Jeff sent you.

One last question. How are you such a big Cincinnati Reds fan if you live in Tulsa, Oklahoma?

Because I was born in Lebanon and grew up in Centerville, both located in southwest Ohio near Cincinnati. And if you will be near Centerville on the 4th of July, be sure to come to the Americana Festival and Parade. I’ll be the MC of the parade again this year—I think this is my 18th year to do so—and will be right in the middle of town on a stage with a microphone. Come by and say hi. And if it’s hot, bring me some water.

Thank you for stopping by. We love the fact you are here. You are the reason we do what we do.


  1. OU or OSU?

  2. Jeff, who’s playing at the Americana Concert this year?

    • Not sure. They usually have some musical entertainment before the big fireworks show at the football stadium. I used to MC that event as well, but passed that baton when I moved back to Oklahoma. It is the largest festival in all of Ohio, and I’m very humbled to be a part of it still.

  3. Let me put in another plug for Joe Stallard. He designed my website also. I highly recommend him.

    Jeff, after my family immigrated to the USA, we grew up in northern Ohio. Go Cleveland Indians!

  4. I’d like to find a way to make money for Chaplain Mike, Denise and our writers. If you know of any way to make money with one of the most read blogs of any sort on the internet. let me know.

    Hi Jeff,

    OK, this is probably a silly idea, but what if there was a little link right on the bottom of the article where we could give a buck or two for the inspiration we have just received… If we all gave a dollar here and there would that help? Or just be peanuts?
    Of course if I gave a buck every time I was inspired or challenged it could get expensive. LOL.

    • A buck or two is always welcome, Gail. We never want to make anyone feel pressured to give, though. What we do comes from hearts desiring to bring glory to God and encourage others in their walk of faith.

      But even a buck is most welcome!