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by Bil Aulenbach

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Advent: “Coming” to What?

Advent, according to Dictionary.com, is a word of Latin origin with several similar meanings:

  1. A coming into place, view, or being; arrival.
  2. The coming of Christ into the world.
  3. The period beginning four Sundays before Christmas, observed in commemoration of the coming of Christ into the world.
  4. Second Coming.

I like the first definition.… Read more >

The Holocaust in Israel

I suspect almost everyone on earth has heard the word holocaust. The immediate association is what the German Nazis did to the Jews, gays, Gypsies, and disabled during World War II. I recently witnessed what I would call a holocaust in Israel and the Palestinian territories, of all places.

Two of the definitions for holocaust on Dictionary.com are “a great or complete devastation or destruction, especially by fire,” and “any mass slaughter or reckless destruction of life.” Both of these definitions work for me and this blog.… Read more >

What’s a Soul?

One day in a class at church, someone brought up the idea of the soul, starting a conversation about souls and what they do after we die. I listened for a while and then asked, “What is a soul?” For the next half hour, we discussed souls.

Allow me to share some of the ideas I heard and, in parentheses, I’ll share what my mind was saying to me.… Read more >

This Guy Scares Me!

I don’t scare easily and am generally very accepting of people. However, I want to introduce you to someone who scares me and see if he scares you also.

  • He talks with God. (Which one?)
  • He states that the US Constitution was founded on God. (History would contradict that.)
  • He rejects the theory of evolution.
Read more >

Scammed—Almost

My wife and I travel a great deal, and before we go, we always read up on the latest scams. However, my most recent scam happened last week near my home. I was going to our post-office box, and as I was about to make a left into the store, a man in a truck started yelling and pointing to the front of my car.… Read more >

Bible Study in a Bar

Every Tuesday at 4:00 p.m., fifteen to twenty-plus people meet at our church for Bible study. The Reverend Ken Wyant, a fun and funny teacher with a great understanding of the Bible, leads the class. Almost all of us are members of Irvine United Congregational Church, but the group is open to all.… Read more >

Nos Encanta La Fiesta

Almost every year, we attend a party in Baja California about an hour south of the border. It’s held at a ranch and about 150 people attend. Ten percent of the attendees are gringos and the rest are Mexicans, most of whom try to survive in abject poverty. They live in shacks without running water, sewage, or electricity except what they “pirate” from utility poles.… Read more >

Da Story Bout Da Lost Boy: Part Two

In honor of my recent trip to Hawaiʻi, I am including the rest of the prodigal son parable, told in Hawaiian Pidgin.

Last week I shared the first part of the story, where the father unconditionally accepts, forgives, and cares for his errant son. This is a story about agape love, which is what followers of Jesus are expected to practice on a daily basis with our fellow human beings.… Read more >

Da Story Bout Da Lost Boy: Part One

My wife and I lived in Hawaiʻi for twenty years. Below, I’ve included the parable of the prodigal son written in Hawaiian Pidgin, a local lingo spoken by those who were born and raised in Hawaiʻi. It’s spoken quickly and is difficult to understand unless you’re a kamaaina (local). I’ll share the part about the other brother next time—that story is not so nice!… Read more >