Nathan Branson

Part 1: A Method for Developing Internal, Private Gratefulness to God

Does a person intentionally need to learn thankfulness?

"When one is thirsty one quenches one’s thirsty by drinking, not by reading books which treat this condition.” ----Pierre de Caussade

I’ve always thought of thankfulness as a perfunctory virtue for old people and holidays. It was something adult mothers started to develop once they had children. By the time they had . . .

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August 11, 2017

Write on the Whiteboard Every Class: My Advice to Teachers Straight out of Undergrad

An Old School Answer to an Common Problem

If I were speaking to 22-year-old, recently graduated, aspiring teachers I would give them one piece of advice:

Find a way to write on the white board every single class.

This is the one thing I've found that can wake up a sleepy class. I’ve taught freshman composition for 5 years now at the community college level. Like . . .

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July 14, 2017

5 Digital Lectures by Christian Thinkers

Background Noise for the Commute or House-Work

Wrestling with questions in my faith has consistently led to growth. I have lots of questions about Christianity and how it works. Typically these questions float around subconsciously in my mind and I may randomly stumble across an answer in a book, sermon or lecture. Sometimes I write the question down and seek it out intentionally. However . . .

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June 30, 2017

Creativity is Easy, Execution is Hard

On Executing "Big Ideas" and Leadership

When it comes to leadership, I find that execution of a “big idea” is as important as the creation of the idea in the first place.

My senior year of college at UNCW, I came up with an idea, in which my literature professor helped me to turn into an on-campus panel discussion.

One Saturday afternoon in the spring of 2006, I . . .

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June 20, 2017

Five Memoirs that Guys in their Twenties Should Read

Stories That Help Make Sense of the Big Questions

I work on a regular basis with people between the ages of 17 and 25. As a community college English teacher, I am tasked with helping students write the 5-paragraph essay, find credible sources online and write clearly. I walk into work every day hoping to help students enjoy writing rather than viewing it as a soul-sucking chore. However, . . .

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June 04, 2017

Writing Poetry is About Being Aware of When to Write

And Less About Knowing How to Write Something That Rhymes

I started regularly writing poems in 2009 after two friends asked me to help them write song lyrics. My friends Zack, Marcus and I were sitting around a campfire late one night in the mountains. Zach was holding a guitar and Marcus was playing a banjo. Zack said “Nate, you were an English major. Do you think you teach us how to write song . . .

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May 17, 2017

10 Wendell Berry Quotes

Small-town Americans needs to know what Wendell Berry is saying

Anyone who lives in a small town should read at least one Wendell Berry essay. He’s got something to say about the “health” (a word he uses a lot) of small-town and rural existence. What is its future? Will it continue to exist? What is lost when both urban spaces and small towns become suburbs?

However, it seems to me that . . .

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May 14, 2017