December 4, 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.

Advent Pic and Cantata of the Week II

ADVENT II Bach Cantata 70, “Watch! Pray!” BWV 70 is an expansion of a cantata Bach wrote seven years earlier in Weimar. The music for this earlier work has been almost entirely lost. It was one of a group of three cantatas (BWV 70a.186a,147a) that Bach produced in December 1716 based on texts by the Weimar court poet Salomo Franck. […]

Saturday Ramblings: December 3, 2016

RAMBLER OF THE WEEK As far as we know, there is only one person left in this world who was born in the 19th century. On Tuesday, Emma Morano celebrated her 117th birthday. I think that’s worthy of our Rambler of the Week honor, don’t you? Ms. Morano, the oldest of eight siblings, was born on […]

Another Look: Go forth to meet him

Tomorrow is the beginning of December. We are a few brief weeks away from welcoming the Christ-child at his birth. As we face this season and event, here are some words from Brother Thomas Merton that make me think. For Christmas will come this year, just as it did long ago in Bethlehem. And, as on […]

“Mindfulness” and other contemporary legalisms

Life in contemporary America is full of “should.” And how can it not be? We are forever “shoulding” all over each other. Modern American life is, at times, almost suffocating in self-righteousness and legalism. We may be the most judgmental people in history. And I’m not just talking about church folks, though I think this is […]

Sermon: Advent I — The Days Before

Sermon: Advent I The Days Before You thought God was an architect, now you know He’s something like a pipe bomb ready to blow And everything you built that’s all for show goes up in flames In twenty-four frames • Jason Isbell “But about that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, […]

Advent Pic and Cantata of the Week

ADVENT I Bach Cantata BWV 36, “Soar in your joy” ♕ Auch mit gedämpften, schwachen Stimmen Wird Gottes Majestät verehrt. Denn schallet nur der Geist darbei, So ist ihm solches ein Geschrei, Das er im Himmel selber hört. Even with subdued, weak voices Gods majesty is honoured. for if only the spirit resounds, there is such […]

Saturday Ramblings: November 26, 2016

RAMBLER OF THE WEEK Tomorrow marks the first Sunday in Advent, the beginning of a new liturgical year for Christians. During this year, we here at Internet Monk will be exploring many of Bach’s cantatas on Sundays. I thought it fitting, therefore, that we honor Johann Sebastian Bach as our Rambler of the Week today […]

IM Gift Guide 2016 — Part One: Books

IM Gift Guide 2016 — Part One: Books If you haven’t made up your Christmas wish list yet, here are a few items we recommend for gift-receiving and giving this year. The links in today’s post and in most posts throughout the year will take you to Amazon, where Internet Monk is an Associate. That means if you […]

Thanksgiving Prayer 2016

A Prayer of Thanks Thank you, Lord, In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit… For life itself, the gift I take most for granted. For my baptism and introduction to the Gospel when, as an infant, all I could do was trust. For my family and my ancestors. For the blessing of […]

Ron Rolheiser on Gratitude

Gratitude the Basic Virtue (an excerpt) by Ron Rolheiser There’s a Jewish folk-tale which runs something like this: There once was a young man who aspired to great holiness. After some time at working to achieve it, he went to see his Rabbi. “Rabbi,” he announced, “I think I have achieved sanctity.” ”Why do you […]