Whatever Happened to Perseverance?


Vincent Van Gogh took his life at the age of 37, believing a lie–

that he was a failure!

As a young boy, he had a passion for sketching pictures.  Needing to earn money while staying in the family business, he became an art dealer as a teenager.  He shifted careers and tried teaching.  Finally, in December 1879 and at the age of 26, he arrived in Belgium’s Borinage, a coal-mining district near Mons; he would be their minister. Van Gogh preached to the coal miners for 6 months.  Considered fanatically generous by the clergy, he was dismissed from the pulpit; however, he refused to leave the district.  It would be the next 18 months that would shape his life as an artist.

To honor the miners for their sacrificial work, Van Gogh painted the to-be-masterpiece, The Potato Eaters.  Light was the focus in a dark room of illuminated faces; family and friends ridiculed the warm colors. The artist eventually shifted to vibrant, colorful paints, especially yellow.  Vincent Van Gogh considered himself a failure, selling only one painting for a small fee.  He kept many paintings and destroyed others.  He never knew that the world would consider The Potato Eaters to be one of his greatest works.  Sadly, he chose to end his life shortly before his brilliance was discovered.

In this video from Dr. Who, the character, Vincent Van Gogh visits a museum years after his death.  Notice how surprised he is to realize that his life had great value.

If he was alive today, I would encourage him with this verse, “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles.  And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,” –Hebrews 12:1

If only Vincent Van Gogh had finished his race…

Thankfully, you still can–

Imagine!  It is 100 years from today, and your purpose-filled life has been lived.  Pretend that you are able to visit this futuristic day, and your destination is a museum.  It just so happens that there is a traveling exhibit on the second floor.  Your curiosity leads you to join the large groups of visitors who pass between the pictures, artifacts, videos.

You gasp!  Could it really be?

On the left side of the room are videos of your childhood, the puzzle pieces that finally make sense for where you were headed as an adult.  The opposite side displays artifacts of rejections and heartaches, the challenges that you ultimately overcame toward your success.  And then, the section that brings you to tears – Legacy!  This is where you see pictures of the people you influenced and helped:  family, friends, and–who are those nameless faces?  Did you have any idea that your life was making such a difference and still is?

You pause and think of the times you wanted to quit.  It seemed so much harder in your memory than it feels now–strange how that changes over time….

Relieved, you are thankful that you trusted God to the end, that you didn’t give up.

As you leave the exhibit, there is a glass case with a light shining on your tool, the instrument that God equipped you to easily use for His purpose.  Just as Van Gogh worked tirelessly with his paintbrush, your tool was made for you.

What is your tool?  ______________________

Can you look back now and see how God was preparing you to fulfill your calling?  Every part of your life–the good, the sad, and the really hard moments, were used for a greater purpose.  You lived a beautiful life, and the world is still inspired by your contribution.

What is your contribution?  _________________

Friend, you are creating a legacy with your actions, your words.  You may never completely see nor fully understand your legacy, but others will.  Rest assured, every detail of your life makes perfect sense when observed from beginning to end.  Even the unique abilities, your tool, will play a major role in your life’s story.  “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them that are called according to his purpose.”– Romans 8:28

Motivating you to fight the good fight, finish the race, and keep the faith-  Blessings!

MLA Guidelines


  • 1’’ margins
  • Times New Roman size 12 font
  • Double-spaced
  • Your last name followed by the page number in a running head


  • Use active voice.
  • Use present tense when referring to events that happen within the literature
  • Remain consistent with tense (especially important to keep in mind when writing about historic non-fiction)

Title Page

  • A title page is not included when writing in MLA because of the heading on the first page of the document (see p. 117 of the MLA manual)

Main Body

  • Follow standard capitalization rules for titles.
  • Make sure your paper includes a thesis statement, “a single sentence the formulates both your topic and your point of view…your answer to the central question or problem you have raised” (p. 42, 1.8.2).
  • Include parenthetical citations in your paper whenever you use another person’s words or ideas. Usually this will include the author’s last name and a page reference: (Smith 10). See p. 214, 6.1.
  • Only include necessary information in parenthetical citations (p. 216).
    If you have included a signal tag—In his article, Smith stated, “quotation;”—the author should not be restated in the parenthetical citation.
  • When referencing plays and poetry, use the line number (not the page number).
  • Use block quotes sparingly and only when the prose quotation exceeds four lines.

Works Cited Examples

  • NOTE: The second line and all subsequent lines of each item on the reference list should be indented. Please see the MLA Sample Paper for an example of a properly formatted reference page.
  • The reference list should be double spaced.
  • Book
    Last name, First name. Title of Book. City of Publication: Publisher, Year of Publication. Medium of Publication.
  • Article in a scholarly journal
    Author(s). “Title of Article.” Title of Journal Volume.Issue (Year): pages. Medium of publication.
  • Web site
    (Remember to use n.p. if no publisher name is available and n.d. if no publishing date is given.)
    Editor, author, or compiler name (if available). Name of Site. Version number. Name of institution/organization affiliated with the site (sponsor or publisher), date of resource creation (if available). Medium of publication. Date of access.

***Provided by Liberty University

What is a Riveter?

Image result for yes we can lady          1.  Who is this?

    Real picture during World War II

   2.  Norman Rockwell recreated the picture here.

Who was Norman Rockwell?

  Real picture during World War I


Assignment:  What decade was the first picture created?  20’s?  30’s?  40’s?  ………

Who is this lady in the 1 picture?

What is the purpose for picture 1?

Was the purpose accomplished through the picture?

What does the picture symbolize in America…..?

Which character in The Great Gatsby most represents this lady in picture 1?  (working class)

*****submit for grading, please 🙂


What is the American Dream?

Assignment:  Create a collage for 1920’s American Dreams, 1950’s American Dreams, 1980’s American Dreams, 2016 American Dreams – (20 pictures minimum, 5 pictures per decade)

?What factors (historical reasons…wars, advertising… etc.) affect the differences in the American Dreams from different time periods?  RESEARCH these factors, please, for accuracy!! 🙂

Note:  Research factors for the 4 different time periods

(Provide at least 2 factors per time period, = 8 total factors)

***Submit for grading

Comma Rules

Commas and periods are the most frequently used punctuation marks. Commas customarily indicate a brief pause; they’re not as final as periods.

Rule 1. Use commas to separate words and word groups in a simple series of three or more items.

Example: My estate goes to my husband, son, daughter-in-law, and nephew.

Note: When the last comma in a series comes before and or or (after daughter-in-law in the above example), it is known as the Oxford comma. Most newspapers and magazines drop the Oxford comma in a simple series, apparently feeling it’s unnecessary. However, omission of the Oxford comma can sometimes lead to misunderstandings.

Example: We had coffee, cheese and crackers and grapes.

Adding a comma after crackers makes it clear that cheese and crackers represents one dish. In cases like this, clarity demands the Oxford comma.

We had coffee, cheese and crackers, and grapes.

Fiction and nonfiction books generally prefer the Oxford comma. Writers must decide Oxford or no Oxford and not switch back and forth, except when omitting the Oxford comma could cause confusion as in the cheese and crackers example.

Rule 2. Use a comma to separate two adjectives when the order of the adjectives is interchangeable.

Example: He is a strong, healthy man.
We could also say healthy, strong man.

Example: We stayed at an expensive summer resort.
We would not say summer expensive resort, so no comma.

Another way to determine if a comma is needed is to mentally put and between the two adjectives. If the result still makes sense, add the comma. In the examples above, a strong and healthy man makes sense, but an expensive and summer resort does not.

Rule 3a. Many inexperienced writers run two independent clauses together by using a comma instead of a period. This results in the dreaded run-on sentence or, more technically, a comma splice.

Incorrect: He walked all the way home, he shut the door.

There are several simple remedies:

Correct: He walked all the way home. He shut the door.
Correct: After he walked all the way home, he shut the door.
Correct: He walked all the way home, and he shut the door.

Rule 3b. In sentences where two independent clauses are joined by connectors such as and, or, but, etc., put a comma at the end of the first clause.

Incorrect: He walked all the way home and he shut the door.
Correct: He walked all the way home, and he shut the door.

Some writers omit the comma if the clauses are both quite short:

Example: I paint and he writes.

Rule 3c. If the subject does not appear in front of the second verb, a comma is generally unnecessary.

Example: He thought quickly but still did not answer correctly.

But sometimes a comma in this situation is necessary to avoid confusion.

Confusing: I saw that she was busy and prepared to leave.
Clearer with comma: I saw that she was busy, and prepared to leave.

Without a comma, the reader is liable to think that “she” was the one who was prepared to leave.

Rule 4. When starting a sentence with a dependent clause, use a comma after it.

Example: If you are not sure about this, let me know now.

But often a comma is unnecessary when the sentence starts with an independent clause followed by a dependent clause.

Example: Let me know now if you are not sure about this.

Rule 5. Use commas to set off nonessential words, clauses, and phrases (see Who, That, Which, Rule 2b).

Incorrect: Jill who is my sister shut the door.
Correct: Jill, who is my sister, shut the door.

Incorrect: The man knowing it was late hurried home.
Correct: The man, knowing it was late, hurried home.

In the preceding examples, note the comma after sister and late. Nonessential words, clauses, and phrases that occur midsentence must be enclosed by commas. The closing comma is called an appositive comma. Many writers forget to add this important comma. Following are two instances of the need for an appositive comma with one or more nouns.

Incorrect: My best friend, Joe arrived.
Correct: My best friend, Joe, arrived.

Incorrect: The three items, a book, a pen, and paper were on the table.
Correct: The three items, a book, a pen, and paper, were on the table.

Rule 6. If something or someone is sufficiently identified, the description that follows is considered nonessential and should be surrounded by commas.

Freddy, who has a limp, was in an auto accident.
If we already know which Freddy is meant, the description is not essential.

The boy who has a limp was in an auto accident.
We do not know which boy is meant without further description; therefore, no commas are used.

This leads to a persistent problem. Look at the following sentence:

Example: My brother Bill is here.

Now, see how adding two commas changes that sentence’s meaning:

Example: My brother, Bill, is here.

Careful writers and readers understand that the first sentence means I have more than one brother. The commas in the second sentence mean that Bill is my only brother.

Why? In the first sentence, Bill is essential information: it identifies which of my two (or more) brothers I’m speaking of. This is why no commas enclose Bill.

In the second sentence, Bill is nonessential information—whom else but Bill could I mean?—hence the commas.

Comma misuse is nothing to take lightly. It can lead to a train wreck like this:

Example: Mark Twain’s book, Tom Sawyer, is a delight.

Because of the commas, that sentence states that Twain wrote only one book. In fact, he wrote more than two dozen of them.

Rule 7a. Use a comma after certain words that introduce a sentence, such as well, yes, why, hello, hey, etc.

Why, I can’t believe this!
No, you can’t have a dollar.

Rule 7b. Use commas to set off expressions that interrupt the sentence flow (nevertheless, after all, by the way, on the other hand, however, etc.).

Example: I am, by the way, very nervous about this.

Rule 8. Use commas to set off the name, nickname, term of endearment, or title of a person directly addressed.

Will you, Aisha, do that assignment for me?
Yes, old friend, I will.
Good day, Captain.

Rule 9. Use a comma to separate the day of the month from the year, and—what most people forget!—always put one after the year, also.

Example: It was in the Sun’s June 5, 2003, edition.

No comma is necessary for just the month and year.

Example: It was in a June 2003 article.

Rule 10. Use a comma to separate a city from its state, and remember to put one after the state, also.

Example: I’m from the Akron, Ohio, area.

Rule 11. Traditionally, if a person’s name is followed by Sr. or Jr., a comma follows the last name: Martin Luther King, Jr. This comma is no longer considered mandatory. However, if a comma does precede Sr. or Jr., another comma must follow the entire name when it appears midsentence.

Correct: Al Mooney Sr. is here.
Correct: Al Mooney, Sr., is here.
Incorrect: Al Mooney, Sr. is here.

Rule 12. Similarly, use commas to enclose degrees or titles used with names.

Example: Al Mooney, M.D., is here.

Rule 13a. Use commas to introduce or interrupt direct quotations.

He said, “I don’t care.”
“Why,” I asked, “don’t you care?”

This rule is optional with one-word quotations.

Example: He said “Stop.”

Rule 13b. If the quotation comes before he said, she wrote, they reported, Dana insisted, or a similar attribution, end the quoted material with a comma, even if it is only one word.

“I don’t care,” he said.
“Stop,” he said.

Rule 13c. If a quotation functions as a subject or object in a sentence, it might not need a comma.

Is “I don’t care” all you can say to me?
Saying “Stop the car” was a mistake.

Rule 14. Use a comma to separate a statement from a question.

Example: I can go, can’t I?

Rule 15. Use a comma to separate contrasting parts of a sentence.

Example: That is my money, not yours.

Rule 16a. Use a comma before and after certain introductory words or terms, such as namely, that is, i.e., e.g., and for instance, when they are followed by a series of items.

Example: You may be required to bring many items, e.g., sleeping bags, pans, and warm clothing.

Rule 16b. A comma should precede the term etc. Many authorities also recommend a comma after etc. when it is placed midsentence.

Example: Sleeping bags, pans, warm clothing, etc., are in the tent.


The abbreviation i.e. means “that is”; e.g. means “for example.”

Source:  The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation, Jane Straus

Color-Coded Essay Format


Image result for kid friendly bones






Thesis.   Why 1.  Why 2.  Why 3.  Transition to why 1. = Paragraph 1     (Head)


Nice umbrella sentence for why 1.  Why 1 details.  Why 1 details.  Why 1 details.

Transition to why 2. = Paragraph 2  (Body – Neck)


Nice umbrella sentence for why 2.  Why 2 details.  Why 2 details.  Why 2 details.

Transition to why 3. = Paragraph 3  (Body – Stomach)


Nice umbrella sentence for why 3.  Why 3 details.  Why 3 details.  Why 3 details.

Transition to Thesis. = Paragraph 4  (Body – Arms)


Nice umbrella semicolon sentence for why 1, 2, 3.  Why 1 sentence.  Why 2 sentence.  Why 3 sentence.  Thesis restated.  (Body – Legs)


****Words = bones

Unless you build a body, you will only have many, beautiful bones piled together.

What is the Purpose of the 10 Commandments?

The reason God gave us the Ten Commandments is to help us think, feel and act in the same way the Author of those commandments thinks, feels and acts. This is part of having the mind of Christ (Philippians 2:5). After bringing the Israelites out of the land of Egypt, God tells them that He gave them the Ten Commandments because He loves them & (us). The Lord’s desire is to protect, help, prosper, and lead us toward a life of real success and happiness:

“From heaven he made you hear his voice to discipline you. On earth he showed you his great fire, and you heard his words from out of the fire. Because he loved your  forefathers and chose their descendants after them, he brought you out of Egypt by his Presence and his great strength, to drive out before you nations greater and stronger than you and to bring you into their land to give it to you for your inheritance, as it is today. Acknowledge and take to heart this day that the Lord is God in heaven above and on the earth below. There  is no other” (Deut.4:36-39 NIV).

God created the law for our benefit. It was designed to bring us happiness, joy, and prosperity during our lifetime. The Israelites were not willing to accept these laws as  an expression of His love; instead, they rebelled in their hearts:

“Oh, that their hearts would be inclined to fear me and keep all my commands always, so that it might go well with them and their children forever! (Deut.5:29 NIV).

Even when we choose to disobey God, He is faithful in His eternal love for us.  He waits with open arms and a forgiving heart that loves us the same, no matter our sin.  He wants us to live His best life, and He has given us guidelines to follow that will help us to succeed.

God loves you exactly where you are today; nothing can separate you from His love.  “For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:38-39

Chasing the Wind

Yet, when I surveyed all that my hands had done and what I had toiled to achieve, everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind; nothing was gained under the sun.” —Ecclesiastes 2:11

As you read the novel,  look for a character who reaches the mirage of the American dream only to be consumed by it.  Defined through the world’s lens as a success, this person is a miserable shell of a person; happiness is exchanged for the pursuit of idols.

The Bible identifies 5 wind-chasing areas, “idols” that may come between us and God in Ecclesiastes:

  1. Chasing the Wind of Materialism
  2. Chasing the Wind of Selfish Ambition
  3. Chasing the Wind of Beauty
  4. Chasing the Wind of Worldly Wisdom
  5. Chasing the Wind of Pleasure

Assignment:  Describe examples when this character chases the wind of Materialism, Selfish Ambition, Beauty, Worldly Wisdom, and Pleasure.  Give additional examples as you notice other characters “chasing the wind.”

***Submit at the end of Chapter 6

Chapter 1 Content Questions – The Great Gatsby

  1. How do you write The Great Gatsby in MLA format?
  2. Where is Nick from?
  3. Who is the narrator of the story?
  4. What did he learn from his father?
  5. Write the statement of advice Nick was given…
  6. How does Nick describe himself?
  7. What is the season and year when the book starts?
  8. What type of family business was Nick in?
  9. Compare West Egg with East Egg.
  10. Which Egg does Nick live on?
  11. How is Nick different even from those among whom he lives?
  12. Where did Nick go to college?
  13. Why does Nick visit Daisy and Tom? How does he know them?
  14. Who is Daisy with when Nick arrives at Daisy’s home?
  15. Who is Jordan Baker?
  16. Describe the name Jordan and Baker of the 1920s.
  17. Describe Tom.
  18. Who calls Tom? How does Daisy and Nick react?
  19. Why is the dinner “awkward?”
  20. What does Jordan have planned for the following morning?
  21. What does Tom and Daisy suggest to Nick regarding Jordan?
  22. Who does Nick see for the first time once arriving home from the dinner?
  23. Explain this quote: “I hope she’ll be a fool—that’s the best thing a girl can be in this world, a beautiful little fool.”
  24. Who says the above quote and to whom is it said?
  25. Analyze East Egg with West Egg. On a literary level, what technique is being used? Compare the characters who live on East Egg with those who live on West Egg.  What is the “deeper” meaning?




Vocabulary List

Vocabulary #1

  1. The American Dream
  2. The Roaring Twenties
  3. Stock Market Crash
  4. Dow Jones Industrial Average
  5. Wall Street – Bear Market
  6. Wall Street – Bull Market – recognize picture
  7. Louis Armstrong / Jazz Age
  8. Prohibition Act
  9. Bootlegger
  10. Woodrow Wilson / term / contributions/ recognize picture
  11. Warren Harding / term / contributions / recognize picture
  12. Calvin Coolidge / term / contributions / recognize picture
  13. The Scopes Trial – understand well
  14. fundamentalist
  15. morality / absolute truth
  16. vehement
  17. cordial
  18. supercilious
  19. sporadic
  20. suppress
  21. insidious
  22. laudable
  23. perturb
  24. elusive
  25. innuendo
  26. portentous
  27. vicarious
  28. surmise
  29. garrulous
  30. apathetic


(A) Define well, locate pictures when stated.

(B)  Create a story that uses 15 of the vocabulary words.  The words must be correctly used in the sentences as part of the story for credit.  HIGHLIGHT and NUMBER each word in the story.

****Submit for credit