August 22, 2014

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.

IM Book Review: Home

By Chaplain Mike And now here he is, Glory thought, haggard and probationary, with little of his youth left to him except the wry elusiveness, secretiveness, that he did in fact seem to wear on his skin. He stood propped against the counter with his arms folded and watched his father while his father pondered […]

family. unique characteristics of each.

By Chaplain Mike In our consideration of God’s common grace gift of family this week, I keep coming back to this sentence: “Bottom line, life is about how we deal with the family stuff, what we do with it, where we run from it, how we get reconciled to it.” Today, we break down “the […]

Another Look: The Family (a trilogy)

By Chaplain Mike Originally posted in April, 2010 • • • THE FAMILY (A Trilogy) I. The Younger Here I am, father, at the eleventh hour once more, Reaper’s scythe poised to harvest fruit of seeds I’ve sown. Shamefaced, knowing full well the paucity of yield, I slump low with downcast eyes, near resigned to […]

A Family Story from The Book of God

Today, a story about the family, by Walter Wangerin. • • • Soon after the destruction of Sodom, Abraham struck camp and traveled south into the Negev. Near Gerar he found new pasture for his flocks, so he stayed a while. In the fall he and his men sheared the sheep, causing a daylong bawling […]

A Wise Word about Spiritual Formation

By Chaplain Mike I have not been able to get this sentence out of my mind since reading it in the foreword to Carlson and Lueken’s book, Renovation of the Church, discussed here last week. It speaks to the salutary effects that seasons of disorientation can have on our spiritual formation. Can it really be […]

It Always Comes Back to Family

By Chaplain Mike Last year I took a bunch of folders and manila envelopes filled with papers from my father’s efforts to do some genealogical work on our family. I’ve been wanting to pick up on it, especially with the resources available now on the internet, but I have not gotten to it yet. There […]

Come, People of the Risen King

By Chaplain Mike A song calling the church to come as one to praise Christ, by one of our best contemporary hymn-writers, Stuart Townend, and performed in concert by Keith and Kristyn Getty.

A Hymn for Ordinary Time (8): A Prayer for the Church

By Chaplain Mike Timothy Dudley-Smith, whose biography of the late John Stott will most certainly be read by many this year in the light of Stott’s passing, is one of the truly fine British hymn writers of the past century. He has penned over 300 texts, and his hymns have been published in over 250 […]

Another Look: A Suggested Program for the Church

By Chaplain Mike Note from CM: One of the questions I received for the “Ask Chaplain Mike” series was this: “If you were in the process of becoming a new pastor in an established church, what would your first priority be? How would you arrive at it?” The answer to that question is bigger than […]

Two Churches that Closed Down the “Show”

By Chaplain Mike This week, as we’ve been discussing the church, I have read two intriguing stories of megachurches that began and grew explosively using an attractional, seeker-oriented philosophy of ministry, but then decided that approach was contrary to Jesus’ call to discipleship. So they closed down the “show,” re-ordered their priorities, revamped their programs, […]