May 27, 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.

Psunday Psalms: Psalms 3-18

Psunday Psalms Devotional Thoughts on the Psalms * * * But You, O Lord, are a shield about me… (Ps. 3:4) For you surely bless the righteous man, O Lord, encompassing him with favor like a shield. (Ps. 5:13) I look to God to shield me… (Ps. 7:11) O Lord, my crag, my fortress, my […]

Lies, Damn Lies, and …

To paraphrase Mark Twain, “There are lies, there are damn lies, and there is the American political process.” Jesus said, “Let your yes mean yes, and your no mean no. Anything more than this comes from the evil one” (Matt. 5:37). How can anyone claiming to follow his teachings possibly support the American political process? […]

The Alpha and Omega Principle

Reading Romans (4) The Alpha and Omega Principle Welcome one another, therefore, as the Messiah has welcomed you, to God’s glory. Let me tell you why: the Messiah became a servant of the circumcised people in order to demonstrate the truthfulness of God — that is, to confirm the promises to the patriarchs, and to […]

Get Lost!

Popular religion focuses so hard on spiritual success that most of us do not know the first thing about the spiritual fruits of failure. When we fall ill, lose our jobs, wreck our marriages, or alienate our children, most of us are left alone to pick up the pieces. Even those of us who are […]

Another Look: George, Mildred, and the Thin Places

Note from CM: I wrote this story and posted it almost a year ago. Yesterday, we buried George next to Mildred. While I was in Chicago over the weekend, he had an accident, went into the hospital, was admitted to hospice, and died. At the grave site today, I listened as his family told stories, […]

Busyness as Moral Laziness

The Desert Fathers (a protest movement in the early church) spoke of busyness as “moral laziness.” Busyness can also be an addictive drug, which is why its victims are increasingly referred to as “workaholics.” Busyness acts to repress our inner fears and perpetual anxieties, as we scramble to achieve an enviable image to display to […]

Come to the Quiet

Yet in our busy, noisy, overstimulating mission field of the world, it is one of the church’s high callings to give the gift of silence, of greater spaciousness to make room for contemplative encounters with the means of grace, so that the Spirit may most freely do the works of salvation to form us in […]

Psunday Psalms: Psalm 2

Psunday Psalms Devotional Thoughts on the Psalms * * * Psalm 2 Why do nations assemble, and people plot vain things, kings of the earth take their stand, and regents intrigue together against the Lord and against his anointed? “Let us break the cords of their yoke, shake off their ropes from us!” He who […]

The Gospel and the God Who Is Righteous

Reading Romans (3) The Gospel & the God Who Is Righteous I’m not ashamed of the good news; it’s God’s power, bringing salvation to everyone who believes — to the Jew first, and also, equally, to the Greek. This is because God’s covenant justice is unveiled in it, from faithfulness to faithfulness. As it says […]

Depression and Delight

The opposite of depression is delight, being spontaneously surprised by the goodness and beauty of living. This is not something we can ever positively crank up and make happen in our lives. It is, as every saint and sage has told us, the by-product of something else. It is something that happens to us and […]