Peace Love Joy Hope

by Bil Aulenbach

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Which Jesus Do You Like?

which-jesus-do-you-likeMost folks don’t realize that there are many different Jesuses. I’m not talking about south of the border where quite a few men are named Jesus. I am also not including the patients in the psychiatric hospital where I interned in the 1950s who believed they were Jesus.

The most popular Jesus is probably the mythical one.… Read more >

Do I Have to Pray for Him?

I lived in Paradise—Hawai’i—for twenty years. There I met my Annie, our three daughters were born, and, for fifteen of those years, I served as an Episcopal priest. I still receive that diocese’s church e-mail postings. A week ago, a member asked the bishop, “Do I have to pray for him, and, if so, do I have to use his name?”

I find this an interesting question for a variety of reasons.… Read more >

Do You Have a List?

do-you-have-a-listIt seems to me that too many Christians have a list of people or groups unworthy of unconditional love. Part of me thinks that being human without having a list is almost impossible. But my guru, Jesus, says to his true Followers: “No lists. Period.” My list used to be fairly long, but I junked it as a Follower.… Read more >

What’s the Difference between History-History and Religious History?

whats-the-difference-between-history-history-and-religious-historyI was a history major in college. I really wanted to be a psychology major, but those students had lab classes in the afternoon, and I played soccer in the fall and lacrosse in the late winter and spring. As a psych major I would have to go to Columbus, Ohio, once a week and work with patients in a state mental hospital.… Read more >

When Is Old, Old?

when-is-old-oldAn elderly man walked (not shuffled) into a restaurant with his friend, immediately pulled out a handkerchief, and started doing coin tricks for the children who were waiting in line. He pulled a quarter out of one little boy’s ear. He had flat balloons in his pocket, blew a few of them up, and started making a balloon dog for a little girl.… Read more >

I Found a Great Word!

i-found-a-great-wordI’ve been loath to use the word “God” since November 1958. It represents so many different meanings, ideas, and concepts, and it carries unbelievable baggage. One of those gods killed my friend Brad. Maybe it was the same one or perhaps a different one who “blessed” our middle daughter so that she is deaf, legally blind, and epileptic; has cerebral palsy; and had nystagmuses in her eyes, for starters.… Read more >

How’d I Get Away with It?

howd-i-get-away-with-itIt was sneaky, not planned. It just happened that way. After that fire engine whapped us and killed my friend Brad in October 1958 and that priest asked me what we had done to deserve this horrendous accident, I wasn’t interested in working for, serving, or even hanging around a god who would punish people this way.… Read more >

My Life Changed in the Blink of an Eye

my-life-changed-in-the-blink-of-an-eyeI’m going to share a story that I don’t remember—I have retrogressive amnesia. I do remember that it was a beautiful October afternoon in 1958. My friend Brad and I were getting on our motorcycles to drive to Tilden Park in Berkeley. The rest is hearsay until I woke up in a hospital, hurting all over and not knowing why.… Read more >

Are You a PC?

pcI call myself a PC, but that does not mean politically correct, which I usually am not. If I was with a group of mainstream Protestant clergy, most of them would know that when I call myself a PC, I mean I am a progressive Christian. I can hear some of you asking, “What or who in the world is that?” Here is what I’d tell you: PCs have a tendency to ask hard questions.… Read more >