July 23, 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.

Saturday Ramblings: July 23, 2016

Hey, in case you hadn’t heard, some people rambled over to Cleveland this past week for a little party. And next week, a few more folks will ramble to Philadelphia for a different party. Those who drive to these events probably do so in something not unlike our flag-bedecked ’58 beauty above. It’s just that some […]

“All them 1001 deaths have taught me”

I work with people who are grieving. Grief is our human response to loss. We normally use the word to speak of someone who’s lost a loved one through death, but grief is bigger than that. Much more fundamental to the experience of daily life than that. In fact, we might think of life itself […]

Another Look: Why I now love weddings

Note from CM: I’m officiating a wedding this week, one of several I’ve been asked to conduct this year. Thinking about the privilege of participating in these joyous occasions brought this post to mind. • • • I used to not like weddings very much. They seemed like a lot of trouble, and people tended […]

Wednesdays with James: Lesson Eight

Note from CM: Updated post to use Kingdom NT translation. Thanks, Charles! Wednesdays with James Lesson Eight: Taking Responsibility, Receiving from God Today we will bite off a bit bigger chunk of the Epistle of James, looking at James 1:12-27. 12 God’s blessing on the man who endures testing! When he has passed the test, he […]

The kind of preaching I hope to do

I wrote a post on preaching a couple of years ago. I ended that piece with a list of characteristics of the kind of sermons I hope I will be known for preaching. I’ve edited it a bit, and in the light of yesterday’s post, I thought I would run it again today for further discussion. […]

An imbalanced and woefully incomplete description of pastoral ministry

Sometimes the fruit just hangs so low. The target is so close and easy to hit. And Tim Challies provides such opportunities so regularly. When it comes to pastoral ministry, many of the neo-puritan and neo-reformed types revere John MacArthur. There were periods during my pastoral ministry when I read things he wrote, but even […]

Pic & Poem of the Week: July 17, 2016

(Click on picture for larger image) • • • At the Johnson County Fair The sweet sins of Summer beckon from within the bubbling oil, burnt by grease as young arms are by sun. I am at once a funnel cake, and want one. Neon-painted curious eyes, slit-sized once more by festering scent of cattle […]

Saturday Ramblings: July 16, 2016 – County Fair Edition

Well, it has arrived: it is our annual County Fair season here in Indiana. HERE is a link to our local fair, which is held just up the street from our house. You can go to the link all week long and see pictures from the event. Or, you could visit their Facebook page. Our Rambler pic […]

Robert Jones: An Obituary for White Christian America

An Obituary for White Christian America After a long life spanning nearly two hundred and forty years, White Christian America— a prominent cultural force in the nation’s history— has died. WCA first began to exhibit troubling symptoms in the 1960s when white mainline Protestant denominations began to shrink, but showed signs of rallying with the […]

Randy Thompson: The Spirituality of Taking a Vacation

Note from CM: Randy and Jill Thompson know that people need to take breaks from the pressures of their normal lives, get a change of scenery, and find refreshment from time to time. That’s why they started Forest Haven, a Christian organization whose purpose is to provide a rural, quiet place of healing hospitality and spiritual refreshment for Christian […]