Peace Love Joy Hope

by Bil Aulenbach

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Easter Presence

My favorite holy day in the church year is Easter, which forms the heart of my faith.

I don’t believe in a literal, physical resurrection of a man who died by crucifixion. That is impossible—dead is dead. A body starts decomposing four minutes after death, and the process cannot be reversed.… Read more >

A Nonparade Parade

On Palm Sunday, Christians reenact the story of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey while crowds cheer him as a king.

I don’t think such an event ever happened, but I do think great truths are hidden in that story.

I can’t imagine the Romans ever allowing Jesus’s Followers to have a parade with thousands of angry (occupied) Jews gathered in confined spaces.… Read more >

Skiing in Heaven

I do not believe in heaven and hell as places but as states of being.

Monday mornings are my idea of hell—too many challenges. I go to my spin class reluctantly, but by the time it ends, I’m in heaven—positive, upbeat, and raring to go.

Skiing is even better. My wife, Annie, and I (at eighty-two and eighty-eight, respectively) think fair-weather skiing is heaven.… Read more >

A Simple Act of Kindness

These days, I am hard pressed to find one positive story in the newspapers. They all seem to focus on negative issues like COVID-19, the neverending elections, Washington’s problems, wars all over the world, and the travesty on our southern border.

One recent story in the Los Angeles Times featured an Orange County sheriff’s deputy who was just promoted to sergeant—a few months after he was caught mishandling evidence.… Read more >

And the Oscar Winner Is—Violence

When Annie and I go to Lake Tahoe, we ski during the week, but on the weekends, we avoid the crowded slopes and either go to a movie or hang around the art galleries. One of our favorite galleries is owned by a Korean couple, both of whom are artists.

On our most recent trip, only the wife was at the gallery.… Read more >

Paul the Apostate

I think apostate is a more appropriate title for Paul than apostle. Paul appointing himself an apostle has always irritated me, as has Paul as a person.

Let me start with some definitions:

  • Apostate: “A person who forsakes his religion, cause, party, etc.” Paul abandoned mainstream Judaism when he proclaimed Jesus to be the Messiah.
Read more >

Watch Me

My wife, Annie, and I recently drove to Lake Tahoe, California, for our annual ski vacation. During a stopover in Sacramento, we went to breakfast in our hotel’s lobby. As we entered, I noticed a man sitting by himself and wearing a T-shirt that said Watch Me.

I thought that was a strange message and wondered whether I should watch him all the time, some of the time, or just occasionally.… Read more >

Why 153 Fish?

Whenever I read the story of Jesus and the miraculous catch of fish in John 21:1–14, I wondered why John specified that 153 fish were caught. Why not 150? Or 111? Or 666?

The story began with Jesus’s third postcrucifixion appearance to his disciples at the Sea of Galilee (which is really a lake).… Read more >

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