November 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.

Fullness and a Future

Ordinary Time Bible Study 2011 The Book of Ruth (12, conclusion) All the people who were at the gate and the elders replied, “We are witnesses. May the Lord make the woman who is entering your home like Rachel and Leah, both of whom built up the house of Israel! May you prosper in Ephrathah […]

Looking forward to “Sabbath”

If there is no Sabbath — no regular and commanded not-working, not-talking — we soon become totally absorbed in what we are doing and saying, and God’s work is either forgotten or marginalized. When we work we are most god-like, which means that it is in our work that it is easier to develop god-pretensions. […]

Open Mic: A New “Emerging” Church

CM: I’m sorry I haven’t been able to moderate as closely as I’d hoped today. I’m going to close the comments. I think we’ve covered this enough for now. I’m more convinced than ever that we as Christians are going to have to learn to talk about issues like this in more loving and helpful ways. We’ll […]

The Merton Prayer

One of the books I will be reading and meditating upon during my sabbatical is Thomas Merton’s Thoughts In Solitude. A well-known passage from this book has been called, “The Merton Prayer” (see below). This prayer acknowledges that, despite our human tendency to think we know what life is about and how we can manage […]

Key Themes in Merton

I’ve been reading William H. Shannon’s fine book, Thomas Merton: An Introduction, as a way to begin knowing the famous monk better for myself. Shannon wrote this for folks who have little or no acquaintance with Merton, with the intent to show that his life and writings can still speak powerfully to people today. Along […]

Pope Benedict on Common Ground and Present Challenges

Yesterday, we noted the historic meetings the Pope has been having with his Lutheran brethren in Germany. In his address to representative of the Evangelical Church, Pope Benedict XVI expresses his appreciation for Martin Luther, particularly his focus on the most fundamental questions of God, sin, and how human beings can know the grace of […]

Song for Ordinary Time (14): Order My Life

This is a simple worship chorus I wrote years and years ago, linked with two verses from a favorite hymn. Together, they form a prayer that God will bring order to our inner worlds and cause us to cling to him. The recording is by no means professional, but I hope it will not detract […]

iMonk Classic: The Monk Who Wouldn’t Go Away

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer Undated Note from CM: As I prepare to spend a few days at The Abbey of Our Lady of Gethsemani, I am catching up on my Thomas Merton. Merton, as you will read below, was Michael Spencer’s hero. I am not nearly as acquainted with the monk as Michael […]

Pope Benedict on “The Burning Question of Martin Luther”

On our iMonk Bulletin Board (in the right column) we recently posted news of historic meetings the Pope has been having with his Lutheran brethren in Germany. In an article from the Catholic News Service, Rev. Nikolaus Schneider, head of the Evangelical Church in Germany introduced Pope Benedict XVI and noted his hopes for the […]

Watering the Garden

Teresa of Avila, a sixteenth-century Christian, taught extensively about the inner life of prayer and communion with God. She compared it to watering a garden. Without prayer our capacity to love will wither and die. But not all prayer nourishes our souls the same way, just as not all forms of watering a garden are […]