September 20, 2018

What Have I Learned From Living In Community? (Part 1)

When you’ve lived in an intentional Christian community for almost 17 years, you’re a pretty sorry excuse for a person if you haven’t thought about how your life has affected that community or how that experience has shaped you as a person. You live together on the same campus, eat together for most meals, live […]

“I Forgive Myself:” The Hardest Word?

One of the things I really don’t like about run-of-the-mill evangelical spirituality is the assumption that we’re all basically clones of each other. Cheerful clones. Mentally healthy clones. Good family clones. Conservative political clones. Happy at church clones. Like the same music clones. Clones who cope well. Clones who think alike. Clones who can take […]

Holes in the Soul

Back in the day, I got a psych major in my undergrad work. That’s pretty ironic, believe me, in more ways than you can imagine. I can’t say I learned a great deal, but I did begin a lifelong journey of making observations and drawing tentative conclusions about myself. If I would have paid attention […]

Some Mistakes to Avoid With Young Adult Children

1. Assuming they don’t want to hear that they are loved. (Dads….are you listening?) No one is as mature and “beyond” the need for affection as they appear to be. There are some hard cases, but most of us are never too old to treasure those people who tell us they love us. 2. Assuming […]

A Time To Run Away and Look Back: Frank Schaeffer’s Calvin Becker Trilogy Considered

UPDATE: Here’s my review of Crazy For God. I’ve been reading quite a few novels and autobiographies. Some of you need to shut off the theology and read something else. Maybe read Calvin’s Institutes for a year or something. That was joke. Anyway… I just finished Frank Schaeffer’s Calvin Becker Trilogy. (I talked about them […]

Good-bye to 2008

Well 2008, here we are. The dance is almost over and it’s very nearly time for you to go. We’ve been together for 12 months now, and there’s something I want to say before we go our separate ways. Something special, just for you. 2008…..I know you’re just a way of marking time, and I […]

The Spencer Family Christmas Newsletter

For those of you who take an interest in our lives and pray for us, and for those of you who really, really don’t have much of a life, I’m posting the Spencer Family Christmas Newsletter. If you read this site, you won’t learn much you don’t know, but maybe someone out there who has […]

Seven Observations For Parents (And the Best of IM’s Parenting Posts)

In the eight years (this month!) that I’ve been writing here at Internet, I’ve said a lot less about parenting than I should be saying. Recently, a reader wrote me to say that he valued my view on many issues of life and family because I was older (52) and I’ve been through many […]

A Short List of Troublingly Common Sins

Paul made a lot of sin lists. You know, lists of sins. If you’re a preacher or teacher, you’ve probably used Paul’s sin lists a few times as the raw material for a talk or sermon. You’ve walked through the list, one sin at a time and said a little something about each one. It […]


Some Christians love to talk about the sins of Obama or gays or the mainstream media, but get really animated when I suggest we need to talk about our own, even if they are listed in the Bible dozens of times. If the Gospel isn’t grabbing you by the real sins in your real life, […]