There’s Work… and Then There’s Life

For most of today, I’ll be at my kids’ school. It’s Civil War Day for the 5th graders, a tradition that’s the highlight of their school year and concludes their study of the War Between the States. On this day, all the kids are dressed in 1860’s garb, either as southern belles or soldiers (half Confederate, half Union). They’ll dance the Virginia Reel, play 19th century kids’ games, handle real weaponry and other artifacts, have a “battle” out on the field (complete with cannon) and even eat a soldier’s typical meal of hardtack and dried meat (yum).

Planning the event is all up to the parents, and this year I volunteered to be the Civil War Day Director. So I’ve been a tad bit busy lately. It’s been a lot of work, but I’m happy I did it. I’ll never regret the time spent doing things with and for my kids.

So tell me… what have you done lately that you’re extra proud of?


Here are some photos from Civil War Day two years ago when my older daughter was in 5th grade.

Dancing the Virgina Reel:

Rachelle Gardner

Literary agent at Gardner Literary. Coffee & wine enthusiast (not at the same time) and dark chocolate connoisseur. I've worked in publishing since 1995 and I love talking about books!


  1. Tami Boesiger on May 17, 2010 at 10:24 AM

    >So how did it go? I assume everyone made it out alive. How did YOU fare?

  2. Elizabeth Lynd on May 16, 2010 at 7:22 PM

    >Ooh, now I want to move to Colorado! Civil War Day, how fun. I mean, how often does one chow down on hardtack?

    In third grade, we have The Hall of Presidents at Open House. It turned out to be easy for me this year; the rocking costume I put together for my son two years ago got a redux when my daughter also drew George Washington's name! Still, I count it as going the extra mile at school. I did buy hair paint, after all, and also rounded up a Harry Truman hat for a friend's kid.

    Next week I'm making tea–fresh scones, clotted cream, jam, plus probably some banana bread and fruit salad–for the faculty meeting. I always give gift cards and thank you notes to my kids' classroom and specials teachers, who really, really deserve that and more, but since we've had or will by next year pretty much the entire faculty do stuff for my kids, so I decided to thank them all with a little afternoon treat. (My scones are terrific, by the way. I'm very vain about them, but at least it's better than bragging about my writing.)

  3. Mr Lonely on May 16, 2010 at 6:13 PM

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  4. CMOM Productions on May 16, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    >How precious! I recently organized an event for my son's school. It feels great to help out and make a difference.

  5. John Overman on May 16, 2010 at 2:41 PM

    >Great post and photos! As a hopeful novelist, I'm particularly proud of remaining committed to my family. My wife and sons are still my #1, so I'm especially glad that my writing is "in addition to" my family life.

  6. ~Brenda on May 15, 2010 at 8:40 PM

    >I finally started writing the book I've been talking about writing since I was 25. Twelve years of procrastinating isn't bad. Right?


  7. Kristi Holl on May 15, 2010 at 8:38 PM

    >Fantastic photos! When my girls were young, we did Civil War re-enacting as a family. Dancing the Virginia reels were a highlight! What a fantastic way for kids to learn history.

  8. Talei on May 15, 2010 at 7:21 PM

    >I agree, spending time with your kids is priceless. I always try to remember that with my little one when he gets a little antsy. 😉 This week I'm proud of the 5587 words I wrote last Sunday night, I'm still wearing a great big smile even now. Of course some of the words may end up in the edit pile but thats okay, I'll have the memories of writing like a demon for a night. 😉

  9. Terri Tiffany on May 15, 2010 at 6:25 PM

    >Some sweet memories for sure:) Thanks for sharing that part of your life.
    What have I done recently that I'm proud of? Flew across the country alone and met up with some blogger friends at a conference. Even drove a strange car in a strange town. LOL sounds easy but for me who loves to be at home, it was tough:)

  10. Rachelle on May 15, 2010 at 1:05 PM

    >In answer to some of your questions:

    Those of you who MADE Civil War costumes for your kids or even suggested it: Kudos to you, but there's no way I could do that! (I do have a full time job, I'm sure you've noticed.)

    There is a company here that comes out to our school the day before the event and rents costumes to all the kids for about $20 each. Some parents opt to make their own so they don't have to rent.

  11. Lyndieb on May 15, 2010 at 10:01 AM

    >Today I was able to present my Bible study leader a gift that I pulled together that brought her 65 leaders together in a special way that honored the most scared place in her heart. This was one of those once in a life time opportunities that God presented us and what a bounty he supplied. I know she treasured the moment we gave it to her today, but we will be touched every time she uses it this year. Hopefully it will reconfirm her call in dark moments. It was 3 weeks of work pulling it together and reminded me that God still has requirements of some of my skills that I'd hoped were behind me. Now that it is over, I am filled with anxiety…

  12. Anonymous on May 15, 2010 at 8:53 AM

    >I just had to say WOW I think we are living parallel lives. When my daughter was in 5th grade I was in charge of her Civil War Day — including the ball. I personally made costumes for the entire class (thank God it was small)and that became nearly my full-time job for 6 weeks. Was it worth it? You bet. I still treasure the pictures and I donated the costumes to the school so I know they live on.

  13. Penelope C Jordan on May 15, 2010 at 4:08 AM

    >Lovely to hear you are having a great time with your kids Rachelle. 🙂

    I'm really proud that I have been able to give my boyfriend support as he has just started a new business venture and is also juggling exams on the side. I am proud to be his greatest cheerleader…coz I know he can do it 🙂

    Also I wrote a short story in the first person as a male protagonist, something I've never done before. Usually my main characters have always been women in past stories, because being a woman I find it easier to write about women. The nice thing was that people who read the story enjoyed it. The icing on the cake was that all the men who read the story said they could relate and I wrote the character well…which made me mighty pleased.

  14. Jil on May 14, 2010 at 11:22 PM

    >I teach English as a Second language and I am happy when students I had when they were kids invite me to their graduations from college, or phone to tell me about getting a good job. This week a young Taiwanese man wanted to discuss his future career with me as his parents don't live in this country. I am so proud of them all and grateful that I can help them.

  15. Roxane B. Salonen on May 14, 2010 at 10:41 PM

    >(I just deleted the above post because I noticed too many typos…so that's something I'm not proud of. Let's try it again:)

    Rachelle, since late last year I've been a volunteer radio host for our local Catholic radio station. I'm proud of the interviewers I've had on the show, and the discussions that have taken place. I've been complimented on my interviewing abilities and process. I love being able to give back in this way. Having benefited from being a listener, it feels awesome to offer up my meager talents to be a light to others, with the only expectation really being that I can help draw others to Christ. It's a wonderful thing.

  16. Anna L. Walls on May 14, 2010 at 10:04 PM

    >That's so sweet. I'm wondering if the school has the costumes or if you need to rent them. I loved the pictures too.

  17. Rick Barry on May 14, 2010 at 9:57 PM

    >Proud of? Well, probably not the right choice of words, but I was blessed with an opportunity to travel to Ukraine a couple weeks ago and to participate hands-on in a church-building project. Then I traveled to the country of Georgia to investigate more sites for planting churches.

  18. Terra on May 14, 2010 at 9:42 PM

    >Something I am proud of. Strength. Though life is kicking my rump I am digging deep and keeping on. I am proud of that.

  19. Stacy Overman Morrison on May 14, 2010 at 9:37 PM

    >Today I was caught in a flash flood in West Texas. The water rose into my floorboards while i reverted to the mantras I heard my mother chant even though i no longer profess Chrisitanity: "Jesus, God, help me. God, Jesus, help me."
    It was not at all in vain.
    I was ten feet from an even deeper intersection when I realized I had a choice. I could plow blindly into certain engine death, or I could take up space in a stranger's yard. I parked my car in the middle of a yet to be met friend's yard.
    I am proud of that decision. I am giddy that I realized I would literally be over my head and choose to reach out to help instead of thinking I could do it on my own. Yes, my floorboards are still wet. My car will probably stink like mildew for years, but I chose my path. And I met a really cool new friend in the process.

  20. Beth K. Vogt on May 14, 2010 at 9:34 PM

    >Today was the third grade "Wax Museum" at my daughter's school. The kids portrayed different historical figures that they've been learning about. There weren't enough females to go around (go figure), so some of the girls had to be famous men. My daughter was Louis Braille. Each child memorized information and had to dress up. When parents arrived, the kids … I mean statues … were standing around the gymnasium. We walked up to each statue, pressed a start "button" and the statue talked.
    So, I've spent the past week or so making sure my daughter had an outfit & was ready with her presentation. The most important part was being there!!

  21. kanishk on May 14, 2010 at 9:10 PM

    >How fun! Great photos of the kids in their costumes
    post free classified ads

  22. patriciazell on May 14, 2010 at 6:43 PM

    >By the first week of June, I will have edited research papers for my 90+ students this year and edited career passports for 48 of those same students. My kids are not college bound, but they did big research projects for me. My seniors did a paper, powerpoint, and presentation while my juniors did a paper and a career passport project. I am proud of them and of me in that I kept on them to get their work done.

  23. Teri Dawn Smith on May 14, 2010 at 5:14 PM

    >This kids will remember this far more than if they'd crammed for a test!

  24. Kelly Combs on May 14, 2010 at 4:05 PM

    >As a Virginia resident, we are immersed in Civil War history, Southern heritage and the like. Good times. Enjoy your day.

    Proud moment? I spoke at a women's retreat of 200 women in April, gave my testimony at church to nearly 900 people on Mother's Day, and am speaking at another event in June. My writing has stalled for the moment, as my speaking takes off. Not a bad thing. Just different. I love both, so it is all good.

  25. Theresa Haskins on May 14, 2010 at 3:50 PM

    >I grew up in Yorktown, Virginia and we use to celebrate Yorktown Day! I have the most non-flattering photo of me with DEEP red lipstick on my face (and my colonial-looking dress). You are right, it was HUGE in our school too! I'm much older than I'd like to admit, but still remember!

  26. lauradroege on May 14, 2010 at 3:48 PM

    >What have I done recently to be proud of?
    1) My hubby and I celebrated 10 years of marriage yesterday. (Does this count? I'm proud we've made it this far! 🙂

    2) Getting out of bed and going to the gym and then sitting down to write, even though I . . .
    a) woke up with a splitting headache,
    b) have a 2 year old who WON'T take a nap,
    c) am discouraged by how my writing is going, and
    d) A&B&C have happened every single day this week.

    I guess I'm just happy I have discipline to keep going.

  27. T. Anne on May 14, 2010 at 3:39 PM

    >The pictures are a lot of fun,but watching them dance the Virginia Reel shows how truly gorgeous those dresses are. I'm curious how many were homemade. It looks like it would be quite the mother-daughter project.

    Years ago our home schooling academy took the kids down to an apple farm. They had a lot of old time activities, and my kids have never forgotten the fun they had.

    I hope you had a blast today. Love those special times!

  28. Carrie Turansky on May 14, 2010 at 3:18 PM

    >That looks like so much fun! Wow, being the director sounds like a big job. But you are making great memories with your kids! Way to go, Mom. : )

  29. Krista on May 14, 2010 at 12:46 PM

    >How fun! Great photos of the kids in their costumes. They made me grin. 🙂 I'm proud of myself for facing my fears of not being good enough this week, and just trying things! Some flopped, some flourished, but I'm delighted regardless, because I was brave. 🙂

  30. Lynnda - Passionate for the Glory of God on May 14, 2010 at 11:39 AM

    >Rachelle, what a great memory for your daughters.

    I am extra proud of the Mother's Day tribute that I wrote and read at our church's celebration of mothers. After I described how her faith carried her through all the trials of 90 years of life, the congregation of 700 gave Mother a standing ovation.

    After the service, she was the center of attention as friends and strangers surrounded her,expressing their appreciation of her story.

    As one of my best friends said, "It's great that you were able to give the tribute while she is living and not at her funeral."

    I could only say, "Amen!"

  31. Tyrean Martinson on May 14, 2010 at 11:33 AM

    >Something I'm proud of . . . writing each day, walking each day, loving on my family each day.

    Something I'm glad I did this last week . . . taking a day from our home school work and going to the Oregon Zoo, and Powell's City of Books. I guess there is a moment of pride in that last part too. Hearing my youngest daughter, age eight, say "The biggest bookstore in the world! We have to go there first, before the zoo!" filled me with a sense of accomplishment. I home school my two daughters and I love it when they show a love of learning or reading.

  32. Keli Gwyn on May 14, 2010 at 11:19 AM

    >This looks like such a great event. I'm sure your hard work will result in lots of fun for students, staff, and parent volunteers.

    I have fond memories of my daughter's Living History event when I got to run the general store. I had a fun shopping all year long to find period appropriate wares. My daughter is in college now. The years fly by, so savoring time with our children and making memories when they're young is important.

  33. Beth on May 14, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    >Nice to see you in Mom Mode! 🙂

  34. Beth on May 14, 2010 at 11:06 AM

    >Very cool–bringing history to life! If my school had done this back in the 70's, I would have actually ENJOYED history.

    I have fond memories of my mother making a velvet dress for my Barbie, which I sadly no longer have, and of Mom making my dress when I was up for homecoming queen. Also, she helped me with an art project in elementary school, whereby we made a Christmas tree out of upside down egg cartons, spray painted it gold, covered in green garland with mini red and green ornaments punched in the middle of each holder. I've kept it all these decades and have shown it to my grown daughter.

    You're making great memories, Rachelle.

  35. Loree H on May 14, 2010 at 11:04 AM


    This is so awesome that you took the time to do this. That part of our American history is so interesting and so important for our kids to learn about. My husband and I are Civil War Re-enactors (Union) with 2 groups in Indiana. One of our groups does a 3 day living history for the 5th graders for 5 local schools, planned by the school. They get their first real taste of the Civil War in 5th grade U. S. History.

    We all (the re-enactors) take vacation time from work to participate in this important event.

    In the morning, the women of the group do demonstrations about the civilians, nurses (such as Dorthea Dicks and Clara Barton), clothing, and dancing during this time period. The men talk about the uniforms, weapons, and camp life of the Civil War soldier. And yes, we make hardtack.

    In the afternoon, the kids all get their muskets (yardsticks) and learn how the soldiers had to drill for battle. The kids love this part and we get some real good actors during the battle scenario. We ladies wave our hankies and weep for our boys going off to battle.

    The teachers and parents come out to watch, and everyone has a great time.

    I love teaching at living histories and re-enactments. I am proud of it. We re-enactors range from every walk of life such as, lawyers, appraisers, doctors, pharmacy techs < me, teachers, nurses, and the like. We believe everyone should learn about this very important rebirth of our nation.

    The experience of it also helps with my writing of that time period.

  36. Arabella on May 14, 2010 at 11:01 AM

    >I got up this morning to face another day homeschooling. To me, that's a big achievement–especially after little sleep. And I've finally fallen into the magic of writing the next novel of my heart. I don't think that's an achievement, though. It's the fantasy land where my brain resides, so I have to talk about it.

  37. Anonymous on May 14, 2010 at 10:26 AM

    >Curious how the school handles the issue for children who are black. I don't mean this is a mean, snarky way, I'm honestly interested.

  38. Heather on May 14, 2010 at 10:23 AM

    >How fun! I remember doing fun things like that with homeschool groups. My sister would love something like that–she's really into all things Southern Belle. Teacups, fans, gloves and hats–she even wants to learn to sew in order to make a hoop-skirted dress she designed!
    I've always wanted to learn old timey dances like reels. My husband's brothers and sisters often go to barn dances, and he's promised that if there's a dance the next time we visit, he'll take me. Yay!
    I'm proud of myself or being super close to finishing my third novel! I'm also proud that almost every day, my husband comes home from work with stories of how much his coworkers think he's a lucky guy because of the meals and desserts I send with him to work. And that even though I used to hate cooking!! :0)

  39. Jessica Miller Kelley on May 14, 2010 at 10:14 AM

    >I would have died and gone to heaven if we had had that in my elementary school! I was a huge Gone With the Wind fan and loved all things antebellum. My friend and I were very into Barbies–but not the hot pink Corvette kind. Ours wore Southern belle dresses and wrote melodramatic letters to one another about how another child had died of typhus. Those were the days.

  40. Laura Marcella on May 14, 2010 at 10:11 AM

    >What a fun day! The kids are so cute dancing the Virginia Reel. I wish we still danced those kinds of dances today!

  41. Care on May 14, 2010 at 9:29 AM

    >Love your pictures…

    for the past 15 years, each week or so, I have mailed my grandmother a letter.

  42. Tea With Tiffany on May 14, 2010 at 9:07 AM

    >You will never regret this time with your kids. Thankful you will be enjoying this day with 5th graders. 🙂

  43. Ronnica on May 14, 2010 at 8:52 AM

    >Pretty dresses!

  44. irishoma on May 14, 2010 at 8:36 AM

    >What a wonderful way to share your talents. You should be proud!

    I'm kind of proud of volunteering to help in a small way with a special exhibit at the Missouri History Museum in St. Louis. Yesterday was my orientation; I will be one of many volunteers serving as a gallery attendant from May through September for the Vatican Splendors exhibition.

  45. Rachel on May 14, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    >I meant to say, "I'm proud of homeschooling them," not "I don't regret…" You know. To make it fit with the question.

  46. Rachel on May 14, 2010 at 8:21 AM

    >What an awesome way to make the Civil War come alive for those kids! Super fun. I don't regret staying home with my kids and homeschooling them.

  47. MJR on May 14, 2010 at 8:18 AM

    >We just visited Gettysburg. If you get East, you should visit–it was so fascinating–for both North and South….it turned me into a Civil War buff.

    anyway, I guess I'm proud that I didn't freak out when my full-time job was made part-time a week or so ago. Of course, I had ambitious plans to write on my first day off. But I went to see HOW I TRAINED MY DRAGON (not sure that's the title) in the middle of the day with my college and post-college age boys . We loved it and had a wonderful day.

  48. Cheryl Barker on May 14, 2010 at 7:51 AM

    >You're so right — you'll never regret the things you've done with and for your kids. Take it from me, they grow up all too fast. My baby is getting married this summer!

    In fact, helping her plan her wedding is the thing I'm proud of doing right now. It's required a lot of time, but it will be so worth it. I know this because we've been through it once before with our older daughter.

    One of the great joys of being a parent of daughters is giving them a wonderful wedding celebration that they will remember and cherish for the rest of their lives. And you've got it all in front of you, Rachelle! Enjoy each stage with your girls!

  49. Jason on May 14, 2010 at 7:33 AM

    >Love the pics…that's really cool! I wonder if I could sell our homeschool group on a Civil War reenactment. 🙂

    Anyway, in the past year, I've taught my 6 year old a little bit of HTML 4 and how to ride her bike. I'm pretty proud of those things…except that I didn't have a helmet for her at first (for the bike, in case you're wondering)…that was pretty much a major parenting fail.

  50. Caroline Starr Rose on May 14, 2010 at 7:18 AM

    >What a great classroom experience! This makes my teacher-heart sing.

  51. Amy K. Sorrells on May 14, 2010 at 7:15 AM

    >Awesome! We're going to a Civil War days here in Indy this weekend, too! I'm most recently proud of re-doing my laundry room, finishing a few necklaces I've been meaning to finish, and that everything in my garden came back this spring. 🙂 Also that I bought 10 books (including CODE BLUE!) with an amazon gift card I won at a little online writing contest. Good stuff. Happy Civil War Days!

  52. Suze on May 14, 2010 at 7:02 AM

    >That looks lovely and I do enjoy seeing kids learn about history. On a tangent – I too learned the Virginia Reel… in suburban Surrey (UK) in the 70s. Weird 🙂 I wonder who brought it back to good old England?

  53. Kelly Freestone on May 14, 2010 at 6:55 AM

    >I'm proud that we moved into a bigger house, and now we get to entertain as we'd wanted to!
    I'm hosting my FIRST Ladie's Prayer Group meeting tomorrow! I said the first thing I'm going to do when we get a bigger house is have my girls over!
    And I AM! Praise the LORD!

    Great job, Rachelle! It looks like you guys are going to have a blast today!

    And writer Jim, I'm proud of you too!

  54. Author Sandra D. Bricker on May 14, 2010 at 6:50 AM

    >I don't have kids, but I like to live vicariously through my friends' children. One of them in particular. so every now and then, when I've had a particularly rough day, I'll call Nico's mom and say, "I need a baby fix." And she lets me come over and coo and laugh and play peek-a-boo. And if there's some laundry to fold or something to be put away, I'll do that too. I love those afternoons when there are no Corporate America conference calls or publisher deadlines. Just me and Nico and a giant pillow that looks like a turtle.

  55. Wendy Paine Miller on May 14, 2010 at 6:39 AM

    >That is so sweet. I remember being so nervous to dance with a boy.

    Not long ago I refurbished two stools and painted them a light yellow. I created a mock breakfast nook in our kitchen. Sometimes I walk in our side door and still smile at how it all turned out.

    ~ Wendy

  56. Heather Sunseri on May 14, 2010 at 6:38 AM

    >What a cool event to organize for those 5th graders. They'll get such a feel for what life might have been like during the civil war. I love it.

  57. Wendy Paine Miller on May 14, 2010 at 6:38 AM

    >That is so sweet. I remember being so nervous to dance with a boy.

    Not long ago I refurbished two stools and painted them a light yellow. I created a mock breakfast nook in our kitchen. Sometimes I walk in our side door and still smile at how it all turned out.

    ~ Wendy

  58. Krista Phillips on May 14, 2010 at 6:38 AM

    >That looks like a ton of fun! Kudos for you for taking the time out to do it!

    Regarding kids school, I volunteer for very little. I work during the days outside of the home, so just going to "muffins for mom" is a stretch for me since it means I have to go in late! *sigh*

    Lately, I feel like just surviving through each day is something to be proud of!

  59. Lisa Jordan on May 14, 2010 at 5:56 AM

    >Awesome, Rachelle. You're creating memories your daughter will always cherish.

    During the day, I teach early childhood education to six children ages 2-5. Recently, one of my two-year-olds has become completely potty-trained. One of my three-year-olds and one of the four-year-olds learned to spell their names and can recognize the letters. To me, those are huge milestones in their lives because it's reinforcing that what I do makes a difference, especially on those cruddy days when nothing seems to go right.

  60. Jessica Nelson on May 14, 2010 at 5:43 AM

    >So cute, and a great idea for them to learn some stuff.
    Glad you had fun!

    Me and my kiddos have gone tubing down the river a few times. 🙂

  61. Sharon A. Lavy on May 14, 2010 at 5:21 AM

    >Thanks for sharing.The pictures are awesome and show the parents/school goes to a lot of work for this event.

  62. Jody Hedlund on May 14, 2010 at 5:13 AM

    >Aw, super cool, Rachelle! You should be very proud of yourself for organizing such a big event! Have a wonderful day! 🙂

  63. Katy McKenna on May 14, 2010 at 5:06 AM

    >I recently planned and pulled off a really fun 80th Birthday party for my mom, who lives in a nursing home. She is wheelchair bound, so instead of the nine of us just wheeling her across the busy road, where guacamole and a Margarita awaited, I decided to make a bona fide parade of it. Got her a tiara, helium birthday balloons, horns, and bubbles. Cars stopped for us, and passengers rolled down their windows to yell Happy Birthday. We whopped and hollered and acted like we didn't have good sense, and Mom enjoyed it a lot. Plus, we captured it all on video.

    Next weekend? A big baby shower for my niece!

  64. Ellen Brickley on May 14, 2010 at 3:27 AM

    >I recently spent a lot of personal time reading and editing a friend's fantasy trilogy.

    I'm loath to say I'm proud of myself for doing it, though, because Like Civil War Day, it was a lot of fun 😀

  65. Lynda Young on May 14, 2010 at 3:16 AM

    >Wow, Civil War Day looks like it was fabulous fun for kids and adults alike.

    What have I done that I'm extra proud of? I faced a fear and forged ahead.

  66. D.M.Cunningham on May 14, 2010 at 2:22 AM

    >I work in the entertainment business and it is a business that can be hard on family life. I have always put my family first (wife and daughter) and I have never regretted it. I'm proud that I have learned to say no to more people and that it has lifted a heavy weight and established boundaries (something, unfortunately, a lot of people don't have in this business).

  67. shawn smucker on May 14, 2010 at 1:29 AM

    >something i'm proud of…not sure if this fits the bill, but it's 2am and i'm up with our youngest of four…my wife's taking a much deserved break, a long weekend at the beach with nine of her friends. so it's just me and them, which is lots of fun and lots of work.

  68. writer jim on May 14, 2010 at 1:27 AM

    >Recently I had another golfing hole-in-one…and seven birdies in one round. Golf is my sport, and I love it!
    But what I'm really proud of is God: He continually causes me to encounter strangers, while I golf, that are presently fervently seeking God to be saved, or have other spiritual needs.
    What I am most sad about is that I have witnessed to numerous strangers who respond, "I'm a preacher!" Yet never one time have any of them ever witnessed to me.