Dear Family,

I’m on Isaac’s snazzy computer for the first time. There is a little dog in the corner who asked me if I wanted him to help me write a letter. I told him no and now he is laughing at me.

Faye is downstairs in the family room in front of a pretty fire having a half-day of prayer. I am very glad that she can. It is a battle, given all the things tugging at her! I hope that her time with God is very sweet.

Gollum is sitting in front of me on a rock holding a fish in his hand. I should say Smeagol. This particular fellow comes with two heads. A smiling Smeagol head and a nasty Gollum head. He also talks and sings his “fish smacking song.”

The other day Isaac, Luke, Liesl and Kevin were all in this room together talking. I think they could even see you, Kevin! That was so awesome. Very nice! Last Saturday night Isaac and Kevin had a four-hour Java session! Also amazing. Thank you, Kevin!

I just saved my work and the dog showed me a floppy and then stuck it somewhere inside his body.

Last night was Becky’s first night (eleven to seven!) at Blue Ridge Nursing Care. I took her and picked her up because it was awful weather out. The place is only about eight minutes away, which is a great blessing! She was in a unit with about fifteen Alzheimer patients and one other lady. She said the lady was nice. I hope the patients were mostly asleep! She hasn’t been able to sleep much today. Pray for her!

Yesterday Katie and Joel took Isaac, Luke, Liesl, and Becky to see “The Return of the King” again. It was nice, because that meant that Faye and I had a long, quiet time in our own home. Rarely happens! Usually we have to “go somewhere.” It was very nice, and just what I wanted for my birthday.

Ginny and Rachel came yesterday. It was very nice to see them. Today they are all over at the Howards.

Sorry, Bump, I just hit “print” by mistake!

Isaac, Luke, Liesl are doing “Peter Delivered From Prison and Rhoda Leaving Him Knocking at the Door” as a puppet show for growth group tonight. I can hear them practicing in the next room.

Isaac had a big birthday bash this past Wednesday. It was fun.

I’m pretty happy with my first week of classes and how the five courses I am teaching got off the ground. I’ve got three sections of Western Lit I, one of Non-fiction Writing, and one of Literary Theory and Criticism. The last is probably the newest and toughest, also the largest. Pray for all, but especially for that one. The kids are mostly Juniors.

Friday night for Isaac’s family night we played a Lord of the Rings version of “Risk.” When I was setting up my orcs and cave trolls in large numbers right in front of Luke’s elves and eagles I could tell he was a little bit nervous. As it turned out, however, he clobbered them all.  !!!

Monday night Faye and I went to Penny’s and got a bunch of nice clothes for me to teach in. Clearance sale of all the winter stuff. Great deals. Faye weeded through my clothes and tossed and “demoted” a bunch of things, so my “respectability” took a quantum leap forward. I hardly recognize myself.

What follows is a (more serious) description of an “ideal education.”

Looking forward to fire pot this coming Saturday!!! Wish you could be here, Kev! I’m afraid we can’t put Chinese food into even the sharpest computer screen image, or send it along even the widest bandwidth!  !!!

God’s richest blessings! He is good!

Aerobics, endurance over time, should characterize all aspects of an ideal education: spiritual, intellectual, and emotional/relational, as well as physical. Steeping ourselves in the classics of theology and devotion, Bible reading, Bible study, Bible memorization in the context of meditation-unto-obedience ought to give us spiritual maturity and endurance. A thoughtful reading of the classics of the past, the best that is being written today, along with a study of logic and the principles of creative and constructive thinking, ought to give us intellectual resilience, the ability to speak and write persuasively and winsomely. A willingness to plunge into lives of humility and service will give us plenty of opportunities to learn to bear with our brothers and sisters—emotional stability. This is pictured and completed by an exercise program that gives us strength, flexibility and cardio-vascular health. In this school of discipleship, this spiritual boot camp, we learn to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind.

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