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by Bil Aulenbach

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I’m Falling in Love—with John

I have been terrified of John for some fifty-five years. He’s complicated, threatening, outrageous at times, secretive, and almost unintelligible. I wanted to have nothing to do with him. He was poison.

Then a strange thing happened. My wife and I had been working with inmates at the local jail on Tuesday afternoons, but the jail changed leadership and didn’t need our services anymore.… Read the rest

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 the rest

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 the rest

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 the rest