The Answer is Jesus

“If God is the question, Jesus is the answer.”

That’s why I love Michael Spencer.  I still read Christian blogs, including Internet Monk.  I author a Christian blog, but haven’t found anything that gets my gears turning the way Spencer did.  Read this classic iMonk post to see what I’m talking about.

Michael Spencer was blogging before I knew what a blog was. He started internetmonk.com 12 years ago, really getting in on the ground floor of the Christian blogosphere. Chaplain Mike and others keep the dream alive at iMonk after Michael passed away in April of 2010.  I was a disciple of  Michael in real life for seven years, and he had a profound impact on the way I think about ministry.  The post linked above cuts right to the heart Christianity.

Memorial Service for Michael Spencer

UPDATE:  Check out internetmonk.com for transcript/ audio of the memorial service.

Services were held this afternoon for the Internet Monk Michael Spencer.  The Internet has abounded this week with articles of tribute and expressions of sympathy for the family.  David Head and Bill Haynes both did excellent jobs.  David has a remarkable understanding of how Spencer’s ministry reaches a worldwide audience through his blog, and Bill did exactly what Michael asked him to; he preached the Gospel. Continue reading

Bittersweet

My dad often says that his crayon box has only 8 colors.  He was once told the color sample he was holding was pumpkin, not orange.  (He came home from work and asked me what color pumpkins were, just to make his point.)  Children do flavors one at a time.  It starts with baby food – peas, carrots, apple sauce – then extends into not letting their foods touch each other on the plate.  Children also have simple emotions; they like to feel one thing at a time and be able to identify it.  At some point during adolescence, we become aware of mixed emotions.  Sometimes things to be celebrated also make us sad.  We cry at weddings, the birth of a child, and graduation.  We also grieve after the death of a loved one, yet rejoice at the same time during the passing of a Christian. Continue reading

There is Much to Pray For

I noted at church this morning there seems to be more things to pray about than usual.  We’re in one of those seasons that “casting our cares upon him” takes a little more time and effort, but seasons change and this too shall pass.

Pray for the people of Hatti, as well as those who will go there bringing relief and doing what they can to help.  I know a group of church pastors personally who make regular trips to Hatti, and even now are gathering donations and preparing to go.  Let’s ignore the Pat Robertsons of the world who claim this is God’s judgment, and mobilize to give aid and live out the Gospel.  I don’t think Jesus would sit around saying “I told you so.”  He touched the sick, ate with sinners, washed the disciples feet, and told us to do the same.  We have blessed with much so that we can bless others. Continue reading

Pray for InternetMonk

Please continue to pray for Michael Spencer.

To be honest, I don’t know who I’m writing this to.  IMonk has a much larger audience than my own, and anyone reading my blog probably already reads him.  Nevertheless, he really is sick and asking others to pray makes me feel better and hopefully he appreciates it as well.

In his latest podcast, he says that during times of illness, he tends to be more humble.  Those of us that work with him in ministry got a Facebook update to the effect of “you guys carry on.”  This is the least “control freak” I’ve ever seen him.  If you listen to the podcast, he sounds a little off, and doesn’t know when he will broadcast another one.  He has not been preaching or teaching for the past week, and will not be for a while.

Remember him in prayer, that’s all I’m saying.  And maybe send a Joel Osteen e-greeting reminding him to keep thinking positive thoughts – that ought’a do the trick.

The Jesus Disconnect

jesusThis blog has two stated purposes, clearly displayed in the headline banner: to be God honoring and Christ centered.  Those words are written there to both advertise what this blog is about, but also to remind the author what this blog is supposed to be about.  We must keep our eyes on the prize; so said the Apostle Paul, in a manner of speaking.  For the Christian – take note of the first five letters of that word – Christ must be the central theme running through everything we do, from studying the Bible to blogging on the internet. 

I’ve written on this several times before (read the About page) and have to fight the temptation to repeat everything.  InternetMonk has posted on nothing but the Jesus Disconnect  for the past couple of days.  He notes that many professing Christians show interest in the death and resurrection of Jesus, but are less focused on his actual ministry.  Some do not see his ministry as having any relevance to “our ministry” at all.  Continue reading

Jesus Shaped Spirituality

jesus-shapedWhat is Jesus Shaped Spirituality?  That is precisely the question that the InternetMonk tried to answer earlier this week.  In short, it is about making sure that our Christianity is modeled after the teachings and examples given to us by the Jesus of the Bible. 

If you’re a regular at this site, you know that I have written several posts on the examples given by Jesus.  Click “Jesus’ Examples” in the Categories list at right for a complete listing.  Each post is a specific lesson (or lessons) that we are to learn from something Jesus did himself, and in many cases encouraged his followers to go on doing.  Jesus didn’t lecture on how to be a Christian; he went around ministering to people’s needs and told his followers to keep doing the same things they had witnessed him doing. 

iMonk explains what a Jesus Shaped Spirituality looks like when we read the Scriptures and are challenged to conform to the image of Christ.  It’s not about denomination, emerging or church tradition.  It’s about each of us taking up our cross and following Jesus Christ.  Check it out. 

The Abbreviated Jesus

bargainjesusWhen I started this blog, one of the secret little promises I made myself was that it wouldn’t be an Internet Monk fan site.  Listening to his podcast is one of the reasons I started blogging myself.  If you read this blog, you know that from time to time I link other blogs with posts of interest.  Michael Spencer wrote a piece on the “abbreviated Jesus” this week, here’s a snippet that made me laugh out loud:

“The abbreviated Jesus can convincingly seem like the real Jesus, until you look and listen closely. Then it appears that he’s lost his laptop, his luggage and his cell phone. So for right now, he’s reading it all off the teleprompter.”

Read Do You Trust the Abbreviated Jesus?  at internetmonk for the full story.

The Great Pumpkin Proposes a Toast

As hard as it may be to believe, there was a time when the InternetMonk was not the stuffy old grouch he is today.  Prove it to yourself by reading this post, entitled The Great Pumpkin Proposes a Toast, hidden away deep in the IM archives.  I do the dirty work so you don’t have to.  Happy Halloween.

A Look Back: Read my blog – or not

I first began blogging in February of this year.  Let’s be honest; I didn’t know what the heck I was doing.  A lot of those first few posts were bad, but not all of them.  It was okay, because there wasn’t really anyone reading my blog either.  I’ve been going through the archives, and found a couple of gems.  In response to another blog I read, I drew an analogy between blogging and gardening, and described how they’re both types of therapy for me.  Unless you’re one of about 4 people, this isn’t a repost for you; enjoy it for the first time.

I just read a post on Internetmonk entitled “10 Reasons I Don’t Read Your Blog.”  I just couldn’t say everthing I wanted to in the comment box.  Then I remembered: I have blog.  Perfect. Continue reading