By Joel A. Hess - A couple of years ago, Pope Francis announced that it would be easier for people to have their marriages annulled. In 2016, Pope Francis released his Mitis Iudex Dominus Iesus, "The Gentle Judge, our Lord Jesus, the Shepherd of Souls.” In this document, the leader of Rome makes it clearer and … Continue reading Jesus doesn’t give Annulments.
By Joel A. Hess - Lions don’t make good pets. Every year we read a story about some poor fool who wanted to have a wild animal as a pet. A couple of years ago, a woman’s monkey mauled her friend. I remember trying to have a raccoon as a pet. It didn’t work out … Continue reading Lions don’t make good pets
By Joel A. Hess - I often forget a little detail in our Lord’s command to His church in Matthew 28. He says, “Go and make disciples…” Every time I read and reread this almost cliché passage, I am reminded that Jesus tells us He is going to “make” disciples. It will be something done … Continue reading Collecting vs. Making Disciples
By Joel A. Hess - Bath night. I still remember my mom announcing it after dinner. “Before anyone watches Happy Days, you have to get cleaned up.” I was fortunate. If I remember right, I got to take a bath first. Nice clear, warm water was waiting for me. But when I was done, the … Continue reading Bath Night, Baptism, and Happy Days
By Joel A. Hess - January is a dark month. Christmas is over. Family has gone home. Decorations are down. The days are short. The nights are long. And in the northern Midwest it is downright freezing! The Winter blues even has a name: seasonal affective disorder, or winter depression. Apparently the lack of light … Continue reading Seasonal Affective Disorder & Epiphany
By Joel Hess - By now most of you have heard the heartwarming story of the Great War’s spontaneous Christmas Truce in 1914. Apparently on December 24th and 25th thousands of soldiers stopped their fighting and crossed no man’s land to enjoy Christmas carols, presents, and even a little soccer with the enemy. Ahh, the power of … Continue reading Christmas is for Enemies
By Joel A. Hess - Every year, a little bit of my love for Christmas dies. I don’t want it to. I hold on tightly in November. I turn up the tunes and decorate my office right after Thanksgiving. Each year, the tree goes up faster and with less ceremony. Each year, I pause less … Continue reading When Christmas dies, it finally becomes real