By Joel A. Hess - Since seminary, I have been told by seasoned pastors and “expert” first timers that pastoring is a tough, thankless job. They encouraged me to set boundaries so I don’t get lost in the work and forget about myself and my family. They scared me stiff, perhaps hoping I would not be … Continue reading Dear Pastors: Stop Whining
By Tim Winterstein - Any piece of art can age in essentially two ways. Whether it's a book or a movie, a sculpture or a painting, its impact on the reader or viewer can be significant or shocking at first, but age blunts the impact. What was important when it was first produced can be … Continue reading All You Need Is Love
By Joel A. Hess - An old man and his granddaughter were marveling at the stained glass windows that decorated their old church a couple of kilometers north of Wissauke. Many of the windows displayed a particular saint like John, Peter, or Paul. Unfortunately, grandpa noticed some cracks in the windows. As he mourned for … Continue reading Cracked Saints Shine Brighter
By Tim Winterstein - Today is a day for the silence of God. Through all the false accusations, the trials, the beating, the mocking, the crucifying: silence and abandonment. Jesus, the Son, cries out, asking why God, His Father, has forsaken Him, and there is no answer. For everyone who has prayed and heard no … Continue reading The Silence of God
By Paul Koch – It was an Easter Day brunch at the church. Everyone was all smiles and dressed up and having a good time. There was ample food, and the kids were excited to do the traditional egg hunt. It was fun. It was a celebration and rightly so. For this is the day … Continue reading Forgiving the Forgivers
By Joel A. Hess - “Why would God allow that?” she mumbled through tears as she sat bent over with her head in her hands. It was too awful for me to offer some shallow divine plan. What answer would really matter? Even if God Himself told her every detail of why her child drowned, … Continue reading Why do good things happen to bad people?
By Cindy Koch - It’s become our ritual every Sunday morning. Twenty little feet scurry into a tiny little classroom and shuffle back and forth between the tiny blue chairs. Twenty little hands fidget and pull at their own buttoned up collars and their sparkly dress skirts. Twenty little eyes bounce around from a colorful … Continue reading Ash-proof Kids