September 28, 2016

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.

Exodus from U.S. Religion

On Saturday we referenced a recent study released by PRRI (Public Religion Research Institute), called “Exodus: Why Americans are Leaving Religion—and Why They’re Unlikely to Come Back.” The study looked at a clear trend that must surely get our attention if we are concerned with the state of the church in the U.S. Let’s talk about it […]

Another Look: Together on a Stretch of Green

Note from CM: In honor of Arnold Palmer, my first golf hero. • • • To begin with, as I say, my introduction to golf came when I started swinging myself out of my shoes with that old cut-down ladies’ club at age three and was taken by my father to the golf course, where […]

Music Monday: Bach and the Church Year

Music Monday: Bach and the Church Year For years now, one of my favorite sites on the internet has been the Bach Cantatas Website. This comprehensive site covers all of J.S. Bach’s cantatas and vocal works, and many of the instrumental works as well. Here you will find: detailed discussions, texts and translations, scores, commentaries, […]

Pic & Poem of the Week: September 25, 2016

(Click picture to see larger image) From A Dog Has Died Ai, I’ll not speak of sadness here on earth, of having lost a companion who was never servile. His friendship for me, like that of a porcupine withholding its authority, was the friendship of a star, aloof, with no more intimacy than was called for, […]

Saturday Ramblings: September 24, 2016 – Grandpa’s Pride Edition

Look what we got this week! A new grandson! Number 5 grandchild. Little JD broke the tie we had — 2 girl grandchildren, 2 boy grandchildren, and now boys have taken the lead, 3-2. But, God willing, there’s plenty more to come. At any rate, we’re rambling up in northern Indiana to see the little bugger this […]

Open Mic: September 2016

Open Mic: September 22, 2016 It has been awhile since we’ve hosted an Open Mic day, but today provides a good opportunity for one. I’ll be playing in the annual Daniel Mercer Foundation charity golf tournament to support youth services here in our area. Daniel was a young man in our community who died ten […]

Wednesdays with James: Lesson Sixteen (final)

Wednesdays with James Lesson Sixteen: The Pastoral Community We have come to our final study in the Epistle of James. Here, once again, is our diagram of the entire letter, and as you see, it closes with a group of closing exhortations. Are any among you suffering? Let them pray. Are any cheerful? Let them sing psalms. Are […]

Wrestling with Scripture

I was reading Walter Brueggemann’s book, An Unsettling God: The Heart of the Hebrew Bible, today, and I came across this quote: ” “I suggest that a Christian reading of the Old Testament requires, in the present time, a recovery of the Jewishness of our ways of reading the text.” He goes on to suggest […]

Music Monday: Rock Music’s Most Formative Year

Note from CM: We are going to move our classic Michael Spencer posts back to Fridays for a while, and renew our “Music Monday” theme to start each week. • • • Fifty years ago. 1966. I was ten years old. An article in The Guardian asks the question, “Was 1966 Pop Music’s Greatest Year?”  I hesitate to say it […]

Pic & Poem of the Week: September 18, 2016

(Click picture to see larger image) From Out of Metropolis We’re headed for empty-headedness, the featureless amnesias of Idaho, Nebraska, Nevada, states rich only in vowel sounds and alliteration. We’re taking the train so we can see into the heart of the heart of America framed in the windows’ cool oblongs of light. We want cottages, […]