February 24, 2017

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.

Just a “Shell”?

I heard it again today, while attending the death of an elderly woman. “This is not her. What we see here is just the shell. The real her is now in heaven with Jesus and with grandpa.” And again a little later. “It’s amazing to me how little seeing her shell bothers me. That’s not […]

Another Look: Why Even I Am Welcome at My Church

An imagined , but entirely possible, conversation: Concerned Christian: Chaplain Mike, if you were a pastor, would you allow gays to attend your church? CM: Sure. If they wanted to come to church, why shouldn’t I? Concerned Christian: Well, doesn’t the Bible forbid homosexuality? CM: Let’s say it does. Wouldn’t church be a good place […]

Sermon: Epiphany VII — How Enemies Become Friends

SERMON: How Enemies Become Friends (Epiphany VII) You have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you […]

Pic & Cantata of the Week (Sexagesima)

(Click on picture to see larger image) • • • EPIPHANY VII (Sexagesima Sunday) Bach Cantata BWV 18, “For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven” Sexagesima Sunday) is the name for the second Sunday before Ash Wednesday in the Gregorian Rite liturgical calendar of the Roman Catholic Church, and also in that of some Protestant […]

The Myth of the Decline Narrative

Sometimes I wonder what people are seeing. I also wonder why they are so ignorant of history. Various groups rely upon a tried-and-true method to make their case and gain adherents and power. It’s called playing the “decline narrative” card. The decline narrative follows a simple formula: First, things used to be so much better. […]

For Valentine’s Day: The Coffee Cups

The night was long, his sleep restless. Two or three times he reached across the bed to feel her warmth. He reached and reached. Once, her absence bothered him so much he got up, put on his robe and walked downstairs. He sat in his chair and listened to himself breathe. An occasional car drove […]

Pic & Cantata of the Week: Epiphany VI (Septuagesima)

(Click on picture to see larger image) • • • EPIPHANY VI (Septuagesima Sunday) Bach Cantata BWV 84, “I am content with my fortune” Septuagesima Sunday is an observance that was dropped from the calendar which was revised following Vatican II, but the name is still in use in the traditional calendars. Septuagesima is the name given to the […]

Another Look: Always the Road

⌖ Always the Road All my life I’ve thought one day this wandering will be past. One eureka moment! and I will be at home. A sweet oasis — fruitful, verdant, restful land — And I will smile, survey the scene, and settle down. There we will laugh and feast and play ’til dark Then lie within each other’s arms […]

Why We Had Merton Week (with more such “weeks” to come)

Why We Had Merton Week (with more such “weeks” to come) A couple of weeks ago I hit the wall. I’ll spare you the gory details, but let’s just say I exhausted my capacity to concentrate and to speak without setting on fire the room around me. I remember when this happened back in 2011. […]

Sermon: Epiphany V – Be Who You Are

Note from CM: There are no extant Bach cantatas for Epiphany V or VI, so this Sunday we will post only our Sunday sermon. • • • SERMON: Be Who You Are You are the salt of the earth; but if salt has lost its taste, how can its saltiness be restored? It is no longer […]