September 1, 2014

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.

For Labor Day: Gene Veith on Vocation

In the Lord’s Prayer, we ask that God give us our daily bread, which He does. He does so not directly as with the manna to the Israelites, but through the work of farmers, truck drivers, bakers, retailers, and many more. In fact, He gives us our daily bread through the functioning of the whole […]

Spiritual Formation Talk: Sacred Reading

The unfolding of your words gives light; it imparts understanding to the simple. • Psalm 119:130 • • • In our second post on Fr. Charles Cummings’ book, Monastic Practices, we take up the first of the three basic practices of monastic daily life, in order to consider how they might inform the spiritual formation […]

Saturday Ramblings: Labor Day Edition, 2014

Happy Labor Day weekend! In my heart, mind, and body rhythms, this weekend will always be the end of summer. However, here in Indiana, where we have an abomination called a “balanced school schedule,” we are already a month into fall. In fact, on July 31 my grandson announced to me that he was going […]

Love in the Desert (1)

All these problems together convince many modern Christians that they could only become real Christians if it were not for the other people in the world. For them to be Christian means to be a “spiritual” person, full of love and joy to share with all the human race, but they find it very hard […]

Case Study: What’s a Parishioner to Do?

Today, I present a case study for your discussion. Here is the situation: You are a member of a small to medium-sized mainline Protestant church, and have been active and involved, particularly in one certain ministry of the congregation. That ministry and its leader (who has led it for many years as a part-time paid […]

Creation Is a Many-Splendored Thing (1)

Wisdom has built her house; she has hewn her seven pillars. • Proverbs 9:1 Though separated by over two and a half millennia, the authors of ancient Scripture and numerous scientists of today find themselves caught up in a world of abiding astonishment. • Brown, William P., The Seven Pillars of Creation • • • […]

Sunday Formation Talk: Monastic Practices

. . . the following reflections on the basic elements of our daily life spring from a belief that the ordinary things we do every day constitute our normal monastic path to God. • Fr. Charles Cummings For Sundays from now through the fall, we’ll be focusing on the topics of spiritual formation and spiritual […]

Saturday Ramblings: Simpsons Marathon Edition — August 23, 2014

Good morning, iMonks! If you have cable or satellite and have the FXX network, WHAT ARE YOU DOING READING SATURDAY RAMBLINGS? Why aren’t you watching the FXX Simpsons Marathon? For the remainder of the month, basic cable newcomer FXX is celebrating its status as the new, exclusive, syndication home of The Simpsons by airing every […]

IM Book Review: Our Great Big American God

Our Great Big American God: A Short History of Our Ever-Growing Deity By Matthew Paul Turner Jericho Books (August 19, 2014) • • • Matthew Paul Turner sent me a preview copy of his new book last week (it’s now available – click the link above), and it ties right in with our emphasis in […]

When America Believed In the Bible Alone

It was still “the Bible alone,” as proclaimed during the Reformation, that American Protestants trusted. But it was also “the Bible alone” of all historic religious authorities that survived the antitraditional tide and then undergirded the remarkable evangelical expansion of the early nineteenth century . By undercutting trust in other traditional authorities , the power-suspecting […]