Peace Love Joy Hope

by Bil Aulenbach

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The Power of Quietude

In 1922, the grandparents of my wife, Annie, bought a cabin without indoor plumbing, electricity, or refrigeration located above Bass Lake in the Sierra Nevada in California. The cabin has stayed in Annie’s family ever since.

In late September 2019, Annie and I drove more than six hours from Irvine to the cabin to reminisce about all the wonderful summers Annie spent there since 1942.… Read more >

Invented Gods: Mr. Fix-It

This is the third part of a six-part series about the many different invented gods that Christians worship. Personally, I prefer to worship Creation. You can find Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

I suspect you have heard people say “Turn your troubles over to God,” implying he will fix them.” I’ve also heard “God save the King or Queen” or “God bless America” or “God bless you” or “God loves you.”

How about “Jesus died for your sins” or “Jesus saves”?… Read more >

Invented Gods: Big Daddy

This is the second part of a six-part series about the many different invented gods that Christians worship. Personally, I prefer to worship Creation. You can find Part 1 here.

I have a difficult time saying the Lord’s Prayer—for many reasons.

  1. Jesus never said the prayer we use in church, which is in English and has Christian stuff added in.
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Liberty U—a Nasty Misnomer

Liberty University was founded by Jerry Falwell Sr., a fundamentalist preacher who also started Moral Majority, a self-appointed, self-righteous, judgmental hate tank.

Moral Majority was part of the religious right—which is neither. But I do give it credit for keeping homophobia alive and well.

To keep all this judgment and hatred going for generations, Falwell started Liberty University (then Lynchburg Baptist College) in Lynchburg, Virginia.… Read more >

The Pastor of Hate

Franklin Graham is meaner than a junkyard dog!

I knew his father, the legendary Billy Graham, and worked with him on the island of Mau’i in Hawai’i in 1965. Billy was a well-respected leader throughout the world.

We were worlds apart theologically, but this evangelist was truly inspiring. We Episcopalians can be stuffy and aloof.… Read more >

Invented Gods: Man’s Invention

This is the first part of a six-part series about the many different invented gods that Christians worship. Personally, I prefer to worship Creation.

About a year ago, I taught a three-session class at the University of California, Irvine, Division of Continuing Education about the historical Jesus. About seventy people attended.Read more >

A Prayer for More Violence

This is a special prayer I have written for those who believe in a “divine plan”; think that God lives in a mansion above a flat earth; love to say “God bless America” and “We send our thoughts and prayers” after horrendous mass killings; call themselves evangelicals; and love what’s happening under this administration:

O God of Great Violence, we thank you for making us such a violent country.

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Silence Is Not the Answer

My wife and I met George and Vivian Johnson at Irvine United Congregational Church ten years ago. George was a retired progressive Lutheran pastor who had an exciting, challenging ministry but wanted to continue sharing his gifts with our church family.

About four years ago, George began to suffer liver problems, diminished eyesight and hearing, and some memory loss, but he still wanted to share his gifts with the world.… Read more >

What Do I Say?

I was the worship leader at my church recently, which meant I started the service, made announcements, read the scriptures, and sat up front looking saintly. I like doing that, but I am always stymied when introducing and ending the lessons.

I like to start the lessons by giving a little background on the reading because jumping into the middle of a biblical book can be confusing.… Read more >

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