Location, Location and Location

As a fan of social media in general, I’ve also talked about how there is a problem with the way we often present idealized personas of ourselves, carefully avoiding the messy bits of our lives and making our lives look much more seamless and together than they really are. So I was struck the other […]

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Faith with Open Eyes

Recently, I was getting breakfast at a diner, and was sitting next to a table where a woman was flipping through the giant diner menu, ignoring suggestions from her daughter and granddaughter who were sitting with her. When the waitress swooped in to take her order, the woman looked up and said: “Okay, this is […]

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When Religion Doesn’t Hold Water

“Do you think you know your destiny?” Those are the kind of questions you get when you hang around Buddhist monks on the top of a 1000 year-old temple that is part of the Angkor Wat temple complex, a sort of “lost city” in the middle of the Cambodian jungle. It was just before sunset, […]

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Will This Be On the Test?

When I was in college, I had the fortune to study with Dr. Stirling, a living legend in the English Department. He was the kind of teacher who drew you in so completely that you were shocked when the class was over because it felt like you’d only started a moment earlier. I remember one […]

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By Rev. J.C. Austin – June 23, 2019 When we began telling people that my wife Tammy was pregnant with our son Liam, people began asking all kinds of questions, from close friends to total strangers. Some were polite and kind, while some felt a bit intrusive. But my favorite arose from time to time, […]

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Those Little Stories

The summer after my freshman year in college, I had the summer job that all my friends coveted – I was a lifeguard at our town pool. The Riverside Swim Club was a very safe environment with two lifeguards on duty at all times in the big pool, and children were not even allowed into […]

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