Thursday, January 31, 2008
Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte I loved it and blogged all about it here.
The Shaping of a Christian Family by Elisabeth Elliot Part biographical, part autobiographical, I was challenged, inspired, and encouraged by reading about Elisabeth Elliot's upbringing, which is quite different from my own. If you adore Elisabeth Elliot, you'd enjoy this book.
Anne of Green Gables by L.M.Montgomery No matter how many times I read this book, I never tire of it. I have more than half of it memorized, and continue to relate to this beloved Anne-girl. My husband watched the movie with me last year, and gained so much insight into who I am. Seriously. He laughed at all the most serious parts because the resemblance was uncany! After 11 years of marriage he knows me well, he just hadn't been introduced to my literary counterpart yet. :) If by some chance you've never read it yourself, you've got to do it!
So what've you been reading? Got any recommendations for me? Which books can you read over and over again? To what literary character do you most relate? Talk to me!
Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
ConservaChick wants to know: What do you do about downtime? You know, that time after the school and "kid" chores are done, and before the afternoon activities start (between 11:30 and 3:30)....what do you do to keep your kids constructively busy. Whether it be during your homeschool day, or the summer months.
Well, we're never done by 11:30am! But that's not what you asked...;)
First of all, I read aloud to them for at least an hour a day. We have history reading, missionary story reading, and fun reading. While I'm reading, they sometimes play with quiet toys (legos), but only if they don't become a distraction. Presently, we're reading The Princess and the Goblin by George MacDonald, George Washington: Man of Prayer and Courage (Sower Series), and we just finished the Lamplighter book Little Sir Galahad. We'll probably start one of the Trailblazer books next. We also have a stack of picture books from the library that I read to my pre-readers. Everyone else has their own books to read, so that's always an option. Read!
Beyond that, they play. They
- play house
- have tea parties (with accents)
- put on shows
- take shoe boxes and design and build massive doll house structures with them,
- dress up and talk to eachother with British accents and scold their children,
- listen to CDs and make up their own dance routines,
- play with dolls, Barbies, horses, doll house, Strawberry Shortcake, My Little Pony, and Only Hearts Club dolls
- build with K'Nex, Lincoln Logs, and legos
- build massive train tracks and play with trains
- rearrange the couch pillows into separate "rooms" and play housekeeper & master (again with the accents)
- carry the kitten around and play with him
- play games
- play the piano
- work on the computer with Mavis Beacon teaches typing
and whenever they can, they go outside and play. They
- ride bikes,
- ride scooters,
- pretend to go camping,
- dress up and play Little House on the Prairie,
- play with dollhouses,
- play tag,
- play soccer,
- give the Barbies baths,
- run around with the puppy,
- jump on the trampoline,
I'm not very creative myself, and I don't initiate any of this. I really don't play with them myself either. The only thing I do is say, "No, you don't need to watch TV or play on the computer. Go play!" They figure it out. They've had years of figuring it out, and they also have inspiration from the books I've read to them, or they've read themselves. If they don't want to play, they can read, or color, or make up their own crafts, or write letters to friends. We also have lots of board games. Lots! But that's another post in and of itself.
We've been completely off any type of a schedule for months, so this play usually happens in the morning, and then we get started with school and work through the afternoon. It's not ideal, but it works out okay in the winter because it's so cold, but we need to get back on track and start lessons earlier because they'll want to be outside more in the afternoons in the spring. They're not too happy about doing Math when the school kids get home from school!
Just like any kids, my kids can get sucked into the TV very easily, so we don't turn it on. If we do, they whine and complain when I turn it off, but if I don't, they might ask to watch something, but rarely pitch a fit when I say, no. There was a span of time when I was pregnant/nursing, and they were younger, that I depended on the tv as a babysitter. We watched a lot of TV for a few years: Playhouse Disney, Dora, Blues' Clues, Veggie Tales. No longer! Now, they might watch it once a week, usually on weekends or during our home fellowship group. I've even recorded great shows like Drive Through History, on the DVR, and we haven't watched them, because we rarely turn the television on during the day anymore. There are plenty of other things to do. Also, we don't have Nintendo, or Playstation, or anything. We have friends who have it ALL, and when we're at their house, my son (and sometimes my husband) like to play. I'm content with that! :)
As a result, my kids are creative and rarely get bored. I'm sure if they did, I'd find something to do with them (like wipe down all the kitchen cabinets, or clean the baseboards). :)
Monday, January 28, 2008
We had a full weekend and it pretty well wiped me out! We started out Saturday morning with the Pinewood Derby. My son is finishing up his Webelos requirements so that he can cross-over to Boy Scouts at the end of February, so this may be his last Pinewood Derby. It's funny to me how intense the boys (and more notably their dads) get about their cars. Pinewood Derby cars now, Indy Race cars later. With the top eight cars finishing within a tenth of a second from eachother, my son was a respectable 6th. I have to share our first pinewood derby racing experience. Our son was five or six years old, and in AWANA at the time, which hosted an annual Pine Wood Derby. The kids were required to turn their race cars in early for inspection. We were under the impression that the race would take place at the normal AWANA time, so I was surprised by a phone call from another homeschool mom the afternoon of the race, asking where we were, and informing me that we were missing the derby and that our son's car had won the whole thing without him. My husband and son raced to the church where they were gracious enough to allow ds to race his car once, and then give him his award. Oops!
Sunday was an even busier day. After getting a phone call about 7pm Saturday night from our worship leader asking us to fill in for him because he was sick, we pulled together the best service that we could and led worship Sunday morning. God blessed our efforts. It's always cool when He does.
Then after church, we went snow tubing with a bunch of youth group kids and some other families. It was my brother's birthday, and we invited him to join us. It was only my second time tubing, and the kids had never been before. We had a lot of fun, and got back way too late, and headed straight to my sister's house to meet her and her husband and my parents for a party for my brother. I lost count of the number of times dh said, "We're crazy!" as we drove to my sister's house with tired, cranky, kids, and a hyper puppy, all the while completely exhausted ourselves.
dh and my little brother (he's ten years younger than I, the only boy after 4 girls)
This time I could not be accused of being grumpy, but my littlest one could! She had the biggest smiles coming down the hill, and then this face the rest of the time. She was so tired!
3dd6 had a great time being pulled around on her tube.
2dd8 had a great time palling around with this cutie from church!
and her beautiful little sister. They belong to these friends of ours.
A rare smile from 4dd5
Friday, January 25, 2008
I don't consider myself to be very frugal; I'm definitely a work in progress, but being the oldest of 5 children myself, there were things that my mom did or taught me that were quite frugal and I continue to do them myself.
Growing up, we couldn't afford to eat fish a lot. Everyone knows how good it is for you, but it's also very expensive. Many people are familiar with the many uses of canned tuna, but not as many eat canned salmon. One of our favorite dinners was Salmon Loaf & Brocolli with cheese sauce. If I hadn't grown up eating it, I might be afraid to try it, but it's truly delicious and has become one of my husband's and kids' favorite meals as well. My mom never served a starch (potatoes, rice, or noodles) with it because she said there was enough starch in the cheese sauce. You can buy a can of salmon for $1.69 or so, making this a very frugal meal!
2 cans Salmon
6-8 (or more) crushed Saltine crackers
ketchup (1/4 c. maybe)
dill weed (to taste)
sautéed onions (optional)
I just mix these together until the consistency is that of meat loaf, adding more ketchup if it's too dry and more crackers if it's too wet. Bake in a loaf pan at 350 F for about 30-45 minutes. Sorry it's not more exact. I don't actually use/have a recipe, nor have I ever measured. Here is another recipe you can compare mine to, but we've never used milk! This recipe feeds 6 with small portions for seconds and leftovers. Using 1 can feeds six, but leaves everyone wanting more! :) Serve with steamed brocolli and cheese sauce (basic white sauce plus Velveeta or shredded cheese). We pour the cheese sauce over the brocolli and the Salmon loaf....yummy!
Another frugal practice is to find something to make from what you have on hand even if it means pancakes for dinner. This saves a tremendous amount of money on eating out, ordering in, or impulse buying which often occurs at more frequent trips to the grocery store. Last week, I had to get clever with the one can of salmon and the few ingredients in my cabinet, so I created a dinner of salmon croquettes, cornbread, and snow peas(frozen). I didn't calculate the price, but the entire meal was certainly less than $5 to make and served 6 people with leftover cornbread. Again, the problem is that I didn't use a recipe, nor did I measure, so this is my best attempt at providing one. Click here for an actual recipe if you'd like to compare. (Mine were kinda crumbly, but they tasted really good!)
Clean out the Cupboard Salmon Croquettes
1 can Salmon
1/4 - 1/3 cup bread crumbs
sautéed onions &/or peppers (I didn't add these, but you could)
sliced cheese (optional)
Mix together. Form into 6 patties. Fry in oil until browned on each side. Top with a slice of cheese (I only had 4 slices of American cheese, so I topped each with 2/3 of a slice.)
Serve with cornbread (that's my favorite recipe, but I didn't have buttermilk, so I added milk to 1 TBsp of vinegar to make 1 cup) and green beans (or another green veggie).
Clear as mud, right? Now you know why I don't share recipes more often. For more recipes, and to participate yourself go here.
Thursday, January 24, 2008
Today's meme from Heart of the Matter is to share your thoughts on this quote by William Butler Yeats, "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
I'm not sure I've always agreed with this quote. I was one who advocated higher standards for education and cultural literacy. What Your Kindergartener Needs to Know was one of my earliest homeschool purchases, and was followed by the 1st, 2nd, and 3rd grade editions. But somewhere along the line between the pages of Charlotte Mason and Ruth Beechick and Sally Clarkson, I discovered this quote, and the more relaxed (and the less classical) I became in homeschooling my children, the more I embraced the sentiment that is expressed within.
Life is about learning. There is so much to learn that it is absolutely impossible to learn everything in 12, 16, or even 20 years of education. Just because someone has earned a doctorate does not mean that they know everything there is to know--even in one subject. This being the case, it seems that the best approach to education should not be one of cramming as much information down a child's throat as possible until they groan at the thought of school and despise education, but of inspiring children to desire to learn, and equipping them with the necessary tools so that they can continue learning throughout the rest of their lives.
I have learned through my own children (one in particular who shall remain nameless) that the quickest way to put out the fire and the passion for learning is to douse it with water through the seemingly necessary filling of the pail. Fill her mind with wonderful stories, and she'll delight in writing some herself. Insist that she write a story on a particular subject by a certain time with the proper spelling, grammar, and punctuation, and she may quickly decide that she hates writing and balk at doing it (no matter how gifted she is in storytelling). Sit a boy down with a list of dates and important events and instruct him to memorize them for the test tomorrow, and you'll create a boy who thinks history is boring (and who learns to cram for a test only to forget everything he studied once the test is over). Put an historical adventure in his hands, and he'll be spouting the information with excitement; and will have made memories and gained knowledge that will remain with him for a lifetime.
Through reading, research, and experience, my philosophy of education has evolved, and I appreciate more and more the joy that comes in lighting a fire in the hearts and minds of my children. I still think that children ought to master their times tables, and certainly know how to read, and write. And I believe that they need to know God's Word, and have a basic understanding of American History. But the volumes of "what your child should know when" sit on the shelf gathering dust. I'd rather not be bound to some well-intentioned "expert's" ideas of what's best for my children. I'd rather they enjoy reading, and writing, and great literature. That they have fun playing math games, and cooking. That they learn how to find things out for themselves. That they learn how to exercise wisdom and discernment. That they grow in godly character; in wisdom, in stature, and in favor with man and with God. There is so much to learn. Oh, that they would have a passion to learn it! The irony is that the more I learn to let go of the notion that I must fill the bucket, the more the bucket fills. All the while, the spark grows. It's a beautiful thing!
"Isn't it splendid to think of all the things there are to find out about? It just makes me feel glad to be alive---it's such an interesting world. It wouldn't be half so interesting if we knew all about everything, would it? There'd be no scope for the imagination then, would there?"
For more thoughts on this quote, click here.
Grace and Peace,
Click here to welcome EEEEDaddy (hey, how come you didn't call yourself that?) to the blogosphere. Really he's JustAnotherBlogger who Can't Afford a Blog. (Or so he thinks!)
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Happy 5th Birthday! Five isn't much of a baby, and I have a hard time understanding how you managed to grow up into a "big girl" so quickly. You are such a delight to me, and I love you more than chocolate, but you knew that already! :) I wanted to share with the world (or at least this little part of the blogosphere) why I love you so much, I know you pretend to be shy, but I don't think you'll really mind!
- I love the way that you act shy when you're truly gregarious!
- I love how you have all the grown-ups at church, and many of the teenagers, wrapped around your little finger, and how there's always a line of people wanting to give you a hug and greet you!
- I love the way you say, "Oh, bugs!" when something frustrates you.
- I love the way you say, "phewF!"
- I love the way you roll your eyes (remind me of this when you're about 16!), it makes me laugh.
- I love that you're so impressed when you notice that you have a pattern of crying, then laughing, and crying, and then laughing; although I'd prefer that now that you're 5 you'll do a lot more laughing than crying.
- I love the way you say, "But I'll be so lOnely!" when I ask you to go upstairs or downstairs by yourself. (Honestly, it can be quite infuriating, but you're so cute!)
- I love the way you say to me, "Mommy, you're being kind of me!" in such a surprised tone, as if it's such a rare occurance.
- I love how you grab my face by the cheeks and give me eskimo kisses when I'm trying to focus on something else.
- I love how you always want to be the center of attention, and yet when you are the center of attention you get all shy, but then you milk it for all its worth.
- I love how you play so independently.
- I love how you talk with a British accent when you play with dolls.
- I love how you have to report everything so matter of factly, with one hand on your hip and the other emphasizing your point; like how Lainey was going upstairs and you had to tell her, "No, Lainey!"
- I love all the different faces you make.
- I love that you're silly.
- I love that you always say, "That's crazy!" You're crazy!!!
- I love how you say, "You're funny!" when really, you're the funny one. No! You're funny!
- I love how you carry the kitten around all over the house.
- I love how you still climb into my bed to snuggle with me. (Except not so much at 4am, 'kay?)
- I love how you bring joy into my life, and make me laugh, and make me stop whatever it is I am trying to do, and love you!
I love you, darling! Happy birthday, baby! (Please, forgive, me, "big girl," you're not a baby anymore!)
P.S. You are my sunshine...
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
How has this atrocity continued for 35 years? How is it that despite the strides in technology that provide a clear, 3-dimensional, window into the womb, that people continue to reject the life that resides within it, and insist upon the right to terminate it. "Terminate," it sounds so technical, as if I'm closing a window on my computer screen, "Do you wish to terminate this program?" Murder is much more accurate. Offensive even. Suitable because abortion IS offensive. It is, in fact, the most aggregious of offenses because it is an offense against one who is utterly defenseless. Who will be their defender? Who will voice their silent screams? Who is willing to listen?
In debate about abortion, much is said about rights. N.O.W. and N.A.R.A.L. charge that a woman has a right to choose what to do with her own body. Pro-life advocates respond that the unborn have a right to life. Who is right? Does the government have a right to force the woman to bear a child that she does not want? This country was founded on the principle of ordered liberty. The most famous example of such is, "My right to hit you in the face ends where your nose begins." It is this very principle which necessitates that the woman's right to choose to kill her unborn baby ENDS where the unborn baby begins: in the womb, at conception. When we talk of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, LIFE is supreme. It is our ultimate God-given right, from the time of conception. The baby's right to life is of greater value than the woman's right to choose to kill it. Ordered liberty.
Unfortunately, the Supreme Court of this land foolishly neglected to abide by this fundamental principle in its 1973 decision when it refused to acknowledge the human life in the womb. It is time for this unjust decision to be overturned! It is time for the people of this country to raise their voices in defense of those whose right to life is violated every single day. Creating a culture of life begins in the hearts and minds of the citizens. The preservation of our basic rights is contingent upon an informed citizenry who understands them, is willing to defend them, and to take action to preserve them. Are you informed? Are you willing? Will you take action?
I am challenged and inspired as I read this article. US News and World Report recently reported on New Abortion Wars. I encourage you to read it and consider how you can participate. Do you reside in one of these states? I have been inactive and silent for too many years. It's time to dust off the gloves and get back in the ring. I'm praying about how I can do so. Are you willing to join me?
Grace and Peace,
Monday, January 21, 2008
Grace and Peace,
On this day in which our country observes the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr., I find it fitting to recommend the movie Amazing Grace. My husband and I watched it for the first time Saturday night, and thoroughly enjoyed it! It is such an inspiring movie about a man who persisited in fighting for what was right at great sacrifice, and those who inspired him to press on when the sacrifice seemed too great.
William Wilberforce was a member of the English parliament who fought for years to bring an end to the British slave trade. I was surprised, but pleased, that William Wilberforce's faith came through so clearly, and I was challenged by the struggle he faced between serving God and serving man. One of the most powerful lines in the whole movie was spoken by one of the abolitionists who said, "We humbly suggest that you can do both!"
As much as I rejoiced with Wilberforce's eventual victory, I couldn't help but be saddened that our own country was unable to achieve such in a peaceful way. So much bloodshed, and so many lives were required to right what was so wrong in this country for far too long! Unfortunately, the vesitges of slavery remain today, despite the numerous men and women who have dreamed for a colorblind society. As is shown in the movie, it's not enough to have the politcal representatives in place to effect true and lasting change! The hearts and minds of the general populus must be enlightened and turned toward what is right first!
It is impossible for me to write such, and not mention the similarities between the evil that was slavery, and the evil that is abortion. Yet, how many "pr0-life" candidates and presidents have we elected who have failed in producing lasting change. Perhaps it is because we have not yet succeeded in turning the hearts of the common people towards the unborn babies. Perhaps when we do so, we will see a decrease in the number of abortions even without a change in law. Perhaps such a change will result in a cry across this country for the abolition of abortion as well.
Personally, I long for the day when the one and only Savior of mankind will take His rightful place on the throne, and reign victoriously over us. Until Jesus returns, I pray for men like William Wilberforce to lead this nation, and I pray for wisdom in discerning the role that I am to play in this world as well. For I, too, have been saved by God's amazing grace, and as friend of Wilberforce, and eventual prime minister William Pitt said, "Surely the principles as well as the practice of Christianity are simple and lead not to meditation only but to to action."
Grace and Peace,
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Over the past several months, I've noticed more and more gray strands of hair as I gaze into the mirror. I consider myself quite fortunate that I've just begun to notice them. My mom started going gray at age 19 and I was sure I'd follow in her footsteps. Even my younger (by 2 years) sister has numerous gray hairs which have accumulated over the past several years. Now that they've started appearing on my own head, I find myself in a quandry: pluck it? dye it? or embrace it?
I used to dye my hair with regularity. I started dying my hair after my freshman year of high school yearbook picture was taken and my hair was so dark that my skin looked yellow. Various shades of red (auburn, strawberry blonde, maroon) were my preference and I even continued dyeing my own hair when I went off to college. There I met Prince Charming who practically dared me to let my hair grow out, which I did. He prefers it natural, so I have not dyed it since, but I always told him that once I started going gray, I'd begin dyeing it again. After all, that's what my mom has done and she looks years younger than her natural counterparts!
But dyeing your hair is a hassle! It's expensive too! Even if you do it yourself, but especially if you pay someone to do it for you. And it's just another thing to add to the list of things that must be done regularly. Don't I have enough of those already? Plus, I've learned that hair dye is not really safe and can actually be cancer-causing, especially when using darker dyes. Am I willing to risk my health for the sake of vanity?
So should I embrace it? Some people do and even quote Scripture verse about gray hair being a glory. I always prefered the idea that, "if the barn needs painting, paint it!" but maybe there's validity to embracing the natural beauty (?) of gray hair. Honestly, that's a tough pill for me to swallow. My eyes may be tainted by worldliness and vanity, but I don't see the beauty in salt n' pepper hair. Now there was a gorgeous woman at my old church who had stunning silver hair. But still, she was in her 50s or 60s, not her 30s!
But there's one other problem. These gray hairs which are appearing in my head do not behave like the other hairs on my head. No, they're quite rebellious buggers who like to Stick. Straight. UP. They're kinky too! For now, this has left me with only one option: pluck it! All the while, holding my breath, and daring all of the old wives to replace the one rebellious hair with two. Oh and they're not really gray, they are pure WHITE!!! My question and concern is this, will all of my (gasp) white hairs behave in such a rebellious fashion so that someday my entire head is covered with kinky hair sticking straight up?!? I'm afraid that no amount of dye can save me in such an occurance! I'm honestly quite frightened by the prospect.
So, I turn to you dear internets. What say you? Pluck it, dye it, or embrace it? Do you too have rebellious white hairs invading your head? What, pray tell, is a girl to do?
Grace and Peace,
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Several years ago, I sat in Bible study as a woman shared what had helped her through the sorrow of her miscarriage. So many women had listened and cried with her, but only one had said, "Allow me to pray over you," right in the middle of their phone conversation. That friend had blessed her more than any other! A few months earlier, I had begun to pray over people during phone conversations, or when we were together and they were sharing a burden from their heart, but I wasn't the one to step up at the moment she needed it. I had thought about it, but I didn't, and I missed out on an opportunity to bless her. How I wished that I had been the best friend and truly blessed her! I resolved at that moment to do my best not to miss another such opportunity.
The principle I follow is quite simple, don't just say you'll pray, pray right then. It takes some courage and boldness, and it can be a little bit uncomfortable initially. The more you do it; however, the more natural it will feel. The easiest way to begin is with specific prayer requests. If you're on a prayer chain, or if someone calls you with a prayer request, or if you see someone and they share a request with you, stop at that moment and pray with the person delivering the request. Two purposes are served in doing so. First, you'll actually pray before you get distracted and forget, and second, you'll bless the other person. It's also useful when the prayer request is turning into gossip. (How many prayer meetings have you been to which turned into gossip sessions?) Tactfully, nip it in the bud and pray. God knows all the details, it's not imperative that you do too!
After you've formed the habit of praying aloud in these instances, you'll begin to be prompted to pray at other times when no specific request for prayer is given. On a couple of occassions, I've gotten into conversations with friends who have been sharing the frustrations they're having with their husband. I have found that there is a fine line between being open with your feelings and frustrations, and bashing your husband. When I sense that the line is being crossed, I quietly interrupt with compassionate words and ask if I can pray for their marriage. I cannot express how much more effective this action is than if I allow my friend to ramble on and on, growing more and more frustrated, and pulling me into the frustration as well. It works! And it's what God has called us to do. Galatians talks about bearing one another's burdens. James 5:16 says, "Confess your sins to one another, pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much."
Once you begin praying in conversation like this, you'll become more and more aware of opportunities to do so.
- A friend has to cancel a playdate because her kids have the flu. Take a minute to pray with her for their health, and that she would have strength and a servant's heart of compassion towards them.
- Your neighbor is in a stressful situation at work. Pray for wisdom and discernment, right there in the middle of the cul-de-sac.
- A woman at the park shares that she has just been diagnosed with breast cancer. Don't hesitate; pray with her for peace and healing!
- Your mom shares that one of your cousins is getting into trouble. Don't talk about how your aunt and uncle were too permissive and spoiled him, pray together that God would draw your cousin to Himself, and that the Holy Spirit would bring conviction to his heart.
In this hurting and broken world, the opportunities for prayer are endless. Imagine what could happen if we practice a little more carpe diem in our praying. Less talking, more praying!
Going beyond, "I'll pray for you," and seizing the opportunity to pray works for me!
Grace and Peace,
For more Works for Me Wednesday entries, click here.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
If you happen across this blog for the first time, allow me a brief introduction. I have been married to my college sweetheart for 11 years, and am a homeschooling mother to 4 children whose names all begin with E; hence, the moniker EEEEMommy. You can call me Angel. :) I have one son who is 10 years old and three daughters ages 8, 6 1/2, and 5 (next week). It can be challenging to stay home with them everyday and to keep them home with me, but I really, truly, cherish them and my life as a homeschooling mom!
My blog title For the Sake of the Call comes from an old Steven Curtis Chapman song, and echoes my heart's cry to abandon whatever "it" may be; whether a quiet house, a glamourous career, manicures, sleep, scrapbooking, cool clothes, more stuff, etc. for the sake of the call. The primary call that I have received comes from Jesus Christ Himself. It is the call to surrender my life to Him, daily take up my cross, and follow Him wherever He leads. He has led me at this point in my life to this role as wife, home educating mother, and homemaker (I'd love for someone to take over the latter!). ;) In Ephesians 4:1-3, Paul writes, "Therefore I, the prisoner of the Lord, implore you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling with which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace." While I confess that I fall far short of this standard, it remains a goal worth pursuing. I pray that this attitude will be expressed in this blog and in the comments that I make.