January 22, 2018

iMonk Classic: The Playwright’s Son

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer From November, 2005 Once upon a time there was a playwright. While this playwright was the best who ever lived, his passion was not for his plays, but for his son, the greatest actor of his time. The son loved to act, and to bring joy, truth and meaning […]

Show Me the Way to Go Home

By Chaplain Mike Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own […]

iMonk Classic: Lessons from a Lousy Referee

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer From Sept 13, 2008 Note from CM: Since this is our national sports “holy week,” I thought I’d re-post one of Michael’s rare excursions into the use of sports to illustrate a spiritual point. I’m not usually the guy with sports illustrations, but this one couldn’t be passed up. […]

You Are What You Wear

By Chaplain Mike An illustration from my pastor’s sermon Sunday: Not too many years ago, my wife and I were on a rare date downtown Indianapolis. It was in the heat of August, so we were at an outside table on the sidewalk on Washington Street. There we were, enjoying the moment of closeness, when […]

iMonk Classic: Does the Story Matter?

Classic iMonk Post by Michael Spencer From Dec 22, 2004 The other day, we were talking about Jesus’ command to “judge not,” and I said this in a post about how I have learned to think about judging others. Connected to this is the humility that needs to accompany all claims of knowledge of other […]


By Chaplain Mike We haven’t had a good day of rain where I live for over two months. Our lawns are past turning brown. Now they are brittle, straw-like. Weeds provide the only green at ground level. They proliferate. Hardy, demonically so, they thrive where all that is desirable dies from thirst. Farmers are cleaning […]

Salvation Stories

What is salvation like? Not, What is salvation?  What is it like? Comparisons, though incomplete, are good.  They enable us to comprehend things we’ve never seen or experienced; they enable us to generalize and categorize.  They underlie almost all human understanding of God, whom we can’t experience in the same way we do created things.  […]

A Long Pause from Impermanence

By Chaplain Mike I hope no reader will suppose that “mere” Christianity is here put forward as an alternative to the creeds of the existing communions—as if a man could adopt it in preference to Congregationalism or Greek Orthodoxy or anything else. It is more like a hall out of which doors open into several […]

Raspberry Wars, Part Two: Kindness

“I love mankind; it’s people I can’t stand.” – Charles Schultz I stood at the gate of my raspberry garden admiring the beauty of the place. I’d been working diligently there for months and it showed. The plants were green and well watered, the ground uncluttered, the perimeters trim and the berries a deep magenta. […]

I Am a Pastor

By Chaplain Mike I wrote this many years ago, while on a mission trip in India. I used it to teach children about what a pastor is and does. Over the years, I’ve come back to it many times. Its simple words reminded me of God’s calling. Perhaps, on this Monday morning, it can be […]