June 18, 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.

Mowing Lawn

Note from CM: I wrote this essay many, many years ago, I think in the late 1990s. Now that we have a new house, with a fine yard that requires a lot of mowing, I thought it might be time to dig this out. One very definite change: at my age, and with a new […]

Buechner: Where Our Best Dreams Come From

Somebody appears on your front stoop speaking your name, say, and you go down to open the door to see what’s up. Sometimes while it’s still raining, the sun comes out from behind the clouds, and suddenly, arching against the gray sky, there is a rainbow, which people stop doing whatever they’re doing to look […]

Freedom from the family for the family

There’s a nice article at Christianity Today challenging the prevalent, ongoing “focus on the family” mentality of the American church. In it, Rebecca McLaughlin gives five reasons “Why I Don’t Sit with My Husband at Church” on Sunday mornings. There’s one big reason: McLaughlin believes that congregations must be more open to showing hospitality to […]

Sundays in Easter: The Very Good Gospel (3)

Sin is not about the personal imperfection of the self. Rather, sin is any act that breaks any of the relationships God declared very good in the beginning. • Lisa Sharon Harper • • • On Sundays in Easter, we are hearing from Lisa Sharon Harper about The Very Good Gospel: How Everything Wrong Can […]

A Question from a Friend: About Purgatory and Being “With the Lord”

Note from CM: I get emails with lots of questions, and I received one from a good friend the other day. Here is the query and how I answered it. How would you have responded? • • • Question: Hi Chaplain Mike, I miss our religion discussions. Do you believe that when a person dies, […]

More of Richard Beck on Tribes: Liberalism is Loneliness

Richard Beck recently posted another in his excellent series of posts on how liberal or progressive types move, by nature, beyond tribal affiliations and thus lose something very important that they long for but cannot find. The heart of the matter, as I wrote about two weeks ago, is how Western liberalism dissolves traditional and […]

Another Look: The Great Divide

To the bath and the table, To the prayers and the word, I call every seeking soul. – Inscribed on a church bell in Wisconsin • • • I did a couple of talks at my church some time ago, discussing my transition from evangelicalism to the Lutheran tradition. As I talked, words from several […]

On Resurrection and Eternal Life (6)

Note from CM: As a hospice chaplain, my work revolves around supporting the dying and their families. I officiate many funerals. I deal with questions about death and what happens after people die. I am asked regularly about mysteries beyond our human experience in this life. After a recent break, we are now getting back […]

Sundays in Easter: The Very Good Gospel (2)

This is the promise of Genesis 1. The darkness is limited by the light. Suffering is not in perpetuity. The light may take generations to come, but it will come. There is always hope. • Lisa Sharon Harper • • • On Sundays in Easter, we are hearing from Lisa Sharon Harper about The Very […]

The Saturday Monks Brunch: April 14, 2018

STILL WAITIN’ FOR REAL SPRING EDITION I hate to talk about the weather all the time, but this has been a doozy of a spring. Yesterday and today, it finally felt like we’d turned a corner here in central Indiana, with temperatures up in the 70s. However, by Monday they’re calling for snow flurries again […]