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Everybody Must Get Stoned

In my literature-teaching days, I used to look at the five specific characters that are essential to an opera’s conflict. The first four were easy to identify in any story: the Hero, the Heroine, the Confidante to the Hero, and the Villain. But the character type that most intrigued my students was called Fifth Business. In opera, Fifth Business has no rival and is in fact barely noticeable, but he or she posses...

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personal journey

March Madness

Last month a pastor friend and I were engaged in a passionate conversation not about church, pressing faith or social issues in our community, or even the devastating tragedies taking place around the world. I confess we were talking about college basketball’s NCAA tournament. He said that to him, it’s like Christmas.

It’s called March Madness for good reason. Not only are there tense mom...

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