“Yes, And…”

“Yes, and…” Those two words are the summary of the acting method in improvisational theatre. Saying “yes, and…” to someone else’s idea in the scene, no matter what it is, keeps the scene alive and growing. If another actor says, “Watch out, there’s a dragon!” and you say, “no, there isn’t,” you kill the scene. […]

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More Than We Can Imagine

One of my favorite movie lines of the last ten years doesn’t get nearly enough recognition. I think it’s because it doesn’t come at a particularly crucial moment in the film, the way many famous lines do: “Toto, I’ve got a feeling we’re not in Kansas anymore,” or “You’re gonna need a bigger boat,” or […]

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After the End

I have a number of friends who have decided to take on the challenge of running in a marathon as a means of personal growth, self-discipline, and achievement. I’ve watched them training via social media for months ahead of the race, then finally on race day, anxious and excited before it starts, and exhausted and […]

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A Hand-Me-Down Faith

One of the benefits of being an older sibling is that I was always on the giving side of the hand-me-down equation. My brother, who’s about three and a half years younger than I am, was the one who was always on the receiving end. And my mother, being the daughter of a farmer whose […]

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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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That Can’t Be Right!

“Well, that’s not right.” That’s what one of my high school friends used to always say as an understated, deadpan response to anything that was clearly very wrong: a particularly gruesome death in an action movie; finding something in his food that shouldn’t be there; one time after swerving to go around a car that […]

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On Second Thought

One of the things I usually do in premarital counseling for couples is to give each person a personality inventory to complete, that is based on the classic Myers-Briggs system. If you’re not familiar with it, the Myers-Briggs inventory operates on the theory that there are four basic spectrums in everyone’s personality, and it examines […]

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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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Conflict of Interests

As many of you know, I’ve moved around a lot in my life as both a child and an adult: I was born in Knoxville, TN and spent my early years in different places in the South, but I spent all my elementary school years in the Lehigh Valley before moving back South to Atlanta. […]

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