September 20, 2017

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.

A spirituality “not pressed through the pores”

❧ A saint is capable of loving created things and enjoying the use of them and dealing with them in a perfectly simple, natural manner, making no formal references to God, drawing no attention to his own piety, and acting without any artificial rigidity at all. His gentleness and his sweetness are not pressed through […]

3 Problems Related to Spiritual Experiences

As I was reflecting on yesterday’s post and some of the comments, I was struck with a few thoughts regarding spiritual discernment and the broader subject of personal spiritual experience. In particular, I was thinking about how the experiential side of faith, expressed in such terms as “hearing God’s voice,” “being led by the Spirit,” […]

Hearing a deeper sound

I am working on a new project about spiritual discernment and one of the books I’m reading is the third book in a trilogy by Henri Nouwen, compiled and edited from original materials found in the Henri J. M. Nouwen Archives at the University of Toronto. I thought this passage from one of the introductory […]

14th Sunday after Trinity: Pic & Cantata of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • What an abundance of goodness You give me! Yet what shall my conscience give You in return? Lord, I know nothing else to bring, except to sing thanks and praise to You. • Tenor Aria from BWV 17 • As we begin today, just a reminder […]

The IM Saturday Brunch: September 16, 2017

THE INTERNET MONK SATURDAY BRUNCH ”It is talk-compelling. It puts you in a good temper, it makes you satisfied with yourself and your fellow beings, it sweeps away the worries and cobwebs of the week.” • • • I SEE A NEW GENRE OF HORROR FLICKS! I can see the marquee now: “Chainsaw Nun!” NPR […]

Ordinary Time Bible Study: Philippians — Friends in the Gospel (13)

Ordinary Time Bible Study Philippians: Friends in the Gospel Study Thirteen: Don’t let anyone steal your joy • • • PHILIPPIANS 3:1-11 (JB Phillips translation) In conclusion, my brothers, delight yourselves in the Lord! It doesn’t bore me to repeat a piece of advice like this, and if you follow it you will find it a […]

The “Automaticities” of Faith

In his book You Are What You Love, James K. A. Smith references the work of Timothy Wilson, a psychologist at the University of Virginia, writing: At one point Wilson wagers that only about 5 percent of what we do in a given day is the outcome of conscious, deliberate choices we make, processed by that […]

Another Look: Luther on Good Works

Note from CM: I was going to save this post for October, when we will focus almost exclusively on the Reformation, this being its 500th anniversary. But right now, as I posted last week, I am reading Inhabiting the Cruciform God, by Michael J. Gorman, a book that reorients the whole idea of justification around […]

Against Sermonic, Neo-Puritan Prayers

As usual, John Piper’s theological and (I assume) pastoral instincts have led him to speak publicly about the hurricanes that have brought such chaos and damage upon our part of the world recently. Piper’s pronouncements have not turned out well in the past, from my perspective. At least this time, he gave us a prayer […]

13th Sunday after Trinity: Pic & Cantata of the Week

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • Today we hear from Bach’s cantata Du sollst Gott, deinen Herren, lieben (Thou shalt love God, thy Lord) , which Simon Crouch calls “a most beautiful and profound and yet, at the same time, intimate work” about loving God and one’s neighbor. Using chorales from Martin Luther, […]