January 19, 2018

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.

Another Look: The Power of Stories

Stories are better than doctrine, at least in the way we have come to state doctrines. Over the course of my ministry, I have constantly fallen into the trap of thinking that being able to state a doctrine means that one has mastered its meaning. It’s great to be able to rattle off what we […]

Another Look: Moving

Note from CM: As I’ve mentioned, we’ve been in the process of moving. We’re in our new house now, but there’s a lot of work to do before we really get settled. It’s a bit sobering to realize this may be our last move. I will be writing more about this in days to come, […]

Epiphany II: God Revealed to Skeptics

Sermon: Epiphany II: God Revealed to Skeptics • John 1:43-51 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.” Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the […]

iMonk Classic: Thoughts on Merton’s “Walnut Street Epiphany”

iMonk Classic: Thoughts on Merton’s “Walnut Street Epiphany” From a 2005 post by Michael Spencer “Yesterday, in Louisville, at the corner of 4th and Walnut, I was suddenly overwhelmed with the realization that I loved all these people, that they were mine and I theirs, that we could not be alien to one another even […]

Another Look: Weddings and Being Too Easily Pleased

Weddings and Being Too Easily Pleased • John 2:1-11 I used to not like weddings very much. They seemed like a lot of trouble, and people tended to overdo them. When we had children at home and lots of things on our plate, it seems that weddings always interrupted other plans and caused upheaval in […]

Another Look: Living in God’s Story

Note from CM: For many in evangelical traditions, the celebration of a special season around Christmas leads into a long period before the next special season of the church around Holy Week and Easter. There is little appreciation for seasons such as Epiphany. In my opinion, this is a great loss, for it is in […]

Another Look: Epiphany and the Days to Come

No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us. (John 1:18, NLT) • • • Kathrin Burleson’s painting, which accompanies today’s post, portrays three revelatory events traditionally associated with the Feast of Epiphany, which the church marks tomorrow. […]

Some Favorite Photos from 2017

Some Favorite Photos from 2017 Before I introduce this year’s favorite pictures, let me say that I am looking forward to reading a book I received as a gift for Christmas. It’s called Eyes of the Heart: Photography as a Christian Contemplative Practice, by Christine Valters Paintner. Perhaps some of our readers who enjoy photography […]

New Year’s Odds & Ends

Happy New Year! Just a few notes today on this first day of 2018… First of all, a hearty “thank you” to all you who read and comment here at Internet Monk. This remains a vibrant community of conversation. If you read regularly but don’t comment, I’d like to invite you to join in. We […]

Christmas I: Sermon for an Odd Sunday

Sermon Christmas I 2017 Sermon for an Odd Sunday When the time came for their purification according to the law of Moses, they brought him up to Jerusalem to present him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, ‘Every firstborn male shall be designated as holy to the Lord’), […]