June 30, 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.

Luther on Holy Days

I am reading lots o’ Luther these days for my seminary class, so I will probably inflict a fair amount of it on you, our dear Internet Monk readers. Today, I am reflecting on one of Luther’s later works, On the Councils and the Church, in which the Reformer writes about the role of church […]

God’s OS and the Church’s GUI

Today I’d like to riff on the primary illustration the pastor used in his sermon at the church I attended yesterday. The NT/Gospel texts for the day were: James 3:13 – 4:3, 7-8a — where James decries the “envy and selfish ambition” leading to conflicts in the church, and commends to them the “wisdom from […]

Psunday Psalms: God, with Whom We Wrestle and Prevail

Psunday Psalms Devotional Thoughts on the Psalms * * * O Lord, do not punish me in anger, do not chastise me in fury. Have mercy on me, O Lord, for I languish; heal me, O Lord, for my bones shake with terror. My whole being is stricken with terror, while you, Lord — O […]

Thom Rainer on Megachurch Trends

The churches in the U.S. that get the most public attention are the megachurches. Dr. Thom Rainer, the president and CEO of LifeWay Christian Resources (SBC), is a leader in a denomination that has always put the spotlight on large and growing congregations. In a recent article, Rainer listed seven trends he sees in megachurches […]

Game of Errors

And yet another story about why I love baseball so much… Jeff Passan and Kevin Kaduk at Yahoo Sports report: Sometime this weekend, an unlucky soul will commit the 500,000th error in baseball history. It has taken the sport 136 years to accumulate enough bobbles, bungles, kicks, trips, flips, flops, flings and altogether awful things to […]

Counting the Commandments

Those of you who have experience in various Christian traditions may have observed that there are different ways of numbering the “Ten Commandments.” This is not a mere academic issue of interpretation. It can be shown that the different schemes can lead to some significant ways of understanding and living out the faith. In my […]

God Hidden in a Wondrous Web

All our work in the field, in the garden, in the city, in the home, in struggle, in government — to what does it all amount before God except child’s play, by means of which God is pleased to give his gifts in the field, at home, and everywhere? These are the masks of our […]

Monday Morning Thoughts

Beloved, let us love. Lord, what is love? Love is that which inspired My life, and led Me to My cross, and held Me on My cross. Love is that which will make it thy joy to lay down thy life for thy brethren. Lord, evermore give me this love. – Amy Carmichael, If * […]

Luther’s Morning and Evening Prayers

In the Small Catechism, Martin Luther wrote Morning and Evening Prayers for families to say each day. I find them attractive in their simplicity and devotion. Perhaps you will find them useful in your own conversational relationship with God and in your family. * * * Morning Prayer In the morning, when you rise, you shall […]

Psunday Psalms: Morning and Evening

Psunday Psalms Devotional Thoughts on the Psalms * * * Each morning you listen     to my prayer, as I bring my requests to you     and wait for your reply. (Psalm 5:3, CEB) I can lie down     and sleep soundly     because you, Lord,     will keep me safe. (Psalm 4:8, CEB) * * * The first pieces in the […]