A Tall Drink of Water

Fr. Joel Life on Planet Earth 0 Comments

I still remember the day I quit buying soft drinks. I was standing in the aisle at the grocery store debating between regular, diet, caffeine-free, real sugar, and the latest weird flavor of Mountain Dew. Suddenly it hit me: there are no good choices. Neither the sugar nor the sweet-tasting chemicals are actually good for me. I passed on the …


100,000 Miles and Counting

Fr. Joel Life on Planet Earth

My first year in my three-parish assignment was also one of the snowiest years on record. After the third snowfall of 14+ inches, I decided it was time for a vehicle with all-wheel drive. I took delivery of my new Subaru Forester on the feast of St. Anthony in 2011. It was the year of the tsunami and nuclear reactor meltdown; …

Start a Gratitude Journal

Fr. Joel Life on Planet Earth

I was talking to a priest friend about issues in our parishes. The more we talked about our problems, the more frustrated we both became. Our challenges grew bigger and our abilities shrunk. Then my friend said he’d read an article about a pastor who was incredibly successful. His Masses were well attended and his collections were overflowing. “What was …


Welcome to the Future

Fr. Joel Life on Planet Earth

In a recent episode of the podcast BackStory,  host Ed Ayers presents his co-hosts with a puzzle. He gives them three different visions of the future and asks: What do they all have in common? Two guys, Mike Donovan and Gregory Powell, have been tasked with investigating an abandoned mining operation on Mercury. The conditions are so harsh that the …

God’s Not Dead – Movie Review

Fr. Joel Church meets World, Life on Planet Earth

God’s Not Dead was one of the “Christian” movies this year. It’s about a young man whose atheist professor begins every freshman philosophy class by having the students sign a declaration that God is Dead. Josh (Shane Harper) refuses to sign the paper, and finds himself having to argue before his classmates that God’s not dead. The consequences change his …


How to Bury the Dead

Fr. Joel Church meets World, Life on Planet Earth

—– Part 1 of 3 —– “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” – Benjamin Franklin “They say death and taxes are the only things that are inevitable. The truth is, you can not pay your taxes. I’ve done it, and there’s consequences, but it can be done. Death you’re not going to …