It’s time to bring up the subject of kids

I was watching a video of my kids first couple of christmas’ and in so doing what really jumped out at me was how the whole gift business seemed all about us rather than the kids.

Every time the kid opened a gift they liked and wanted to play with it we were chasing another gift, it was particularly funny when watching my oldest who was fascinated by a pencil, we would keep giving him another gift to open, he would smile, hold it for a while and head back to the pencil. He would have been completely happy playing with said pencil till the next day (even today his spare time when not gaming is spent drawing).

Not only did that pile of gifts become clutter that would make dawife crazy but once a person gets a large number of gifts suddenly the exceptions game changed and not for the better.

If instead of a flock of gifts we purchased one or two each Christmas for the boys and told any relatives who wanted to kick in to buy em savings bonds the house would have been a lot less cluttered, their bank accounts would have done even better than they did and most important of all they would have not only appreciated the stuff they had a lot more but learned that life isn’t about stuff.

And of course I suspect two and a half decades later with bills and loans to pay they would really appreciate the nest egg that twenty years of extra savings would have meant.

The time to avoid spoiling your child is always now, if you already have kids, the time to start is now, if you haven’t yet now’s the time to resist the temptation of watching them open gift after gift. I know there is joy in that but you’ll have more from a well adjusted kid who isn’t obsessed with things and an adult who knows the value of them.

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice. 
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Today: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray
Tip 13: Angry Gifts
Tip 14: Don’t sweat the Small stuff
Tip 15: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years, Today: Carefully Choose the Hills Worth Dying On
Tip 16: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years: Today’s Tip Avoid Temptation and Suspicion
Tip 17: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Have an Argument Escape Plan (and or let your spouse use their’s)

Peter and Val, a bit of advice, when you get into a fight, don’t throw the expensive stuff.

My Pal Roger on our wedding video. April 9th 1988

The last several tips have been about arguments and disagreements and this one is for when you are getting deep into an argument.

There comes a time in an argument when you realize that there is nothing you can say to avoid it, defuse it or to calm down the person you are with. Some times a fight is just that bad.

When you reach that point you have two choices. Stay there and take it or get out of the line of fire.

While there are advantages to staying there and taking it (your spouse gets to vent) very often such a plan has one of two effects, both bad:

1. Your spouse presumes that you have “tuned out” and gets angrier and angrier over it

2. You lose your temper and the the fight escalates

Neither of these choices are condusive to ending a fight. It’s at these moments that your best choice is simply to leave for a time

Maybe there is a local watering hole that you enjoy, or a restaurant for a bite or if you’re a gamer or comic guy there is always the local comic store, I always find a pinball machine a perfect tool for venting out frustrations. if you’re religious there is your local church, if there is a Divine Mercy Chapel with 24 hour adoration that’s an even better choice as you can’t do better than going directly to Christ in times of trouble.

Getting out have many advantages, you get to calm down, without someone to strike back at your spouse eventually begins to lose the edge on their anger and once you are calm you now have the inititive to make a move to diffuse the situation even further. Once you’ve given yourself and your spouse time to regain your composure head on back (this is also a great situation to use the “Angry Gifts” tip) if you really want to be creative, call your spouse and invite them to a restaurant they enjoy or to a movie they want to see, see if they can be ready to be picked up.

Remember it’s all about making sure the fight ends quickly, hopefull that very night. Getting out gives everyone the chance to make that happen.

An important Caveat Do NOT fail to come home, if too long a time passes then the immagination starts to kick in and things can get worse (remember the last tip about not generating suspicion). In the end you are the best judge about how much time is too much and what the right time to talk again is.

Don’t worry about winning a fight, remember when the fight ends everybody wins.

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice. 
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Today: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray
Tip 13: Angry Gifts
Tip 14: Don’t sweat the Small stuff
Tip 15: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years, Today: Carefully Choose the Hills Worth Dying On
Tip 16: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years: Today’s Tip Avoid Temptation and Suspicion

Katherine McLintock: Oh congratulations I don’t want to seem prudish but if you are going to be marrying sheriff Lord you seem to be sitting on the wrong man’s lap.

McKlintok! 1963

I’m Married not Dead

My dad, on many occasions

When Mike Pence was first mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate he was teased an awful lot for having a rule that he would not go to dinner or be alone with another woman behind a closed-door.

In the #metoo era this sound an awful lot like sage advice but in reality it is applying a basic truth about men and women. Men are biologically programs to notice and pursue women and that biological urgency doesn’t magically disappear with a wedding vow. This not only explains the temptations of a man but the suspicions a man might have because he KNOWS that vow is not likely to dissuade all men from perusing his woman.

Furthermore the same biological programing that causes men to pursue causes women to both make an effort to be attractive to men AND to one a mate is chosen to be suspicious of other women with him.

While there are of course in a population of billions exceptions these are the biological facts and the ability of people to resist the prompting of evolutionary biology vary from person to person.

However there is one very simple way to avoid this problem, and that’s avoiding the situation and occasions where temptation is present.

Did a member of the opposite sex from work invite you to dinner or lunch alone, decline politely or ask if a friend cam come. Going to an event without daspouse where pickups might be expected. Bring a wingman or woman who will keep you honest (as opposed to one who will make excuses) or bring the kids if possible. Do you know your spouse is the jealous type, dodge situations that would trigger said jealously.

Use these three general rules:

If a situation is one that YOU would be jealous or suspicious of if your spouse was doing it, odds are you should give it a miss.

If you know that you are weak or attracted to a particular person who is getting too close either avoid said person or bring up your spouse whenever possible in conversation. That is a very strong signal that you are not on the market.

If you are going supposed to be at an event without your spouse which mixes the opposite sex with booze or legal (or illegal) drugs just say no to it.

Bottom line Temptation is a lot easier to deal with if you just dodge it and suspicion is a lot less likely to take place if your spouse sees you avoiding these situation.

Mike Pence has been married a long time, follow this tips and you’re more likely to be as well.

Previously in 30 tips to Stay Married 30 Years

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice.
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Today: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray
Tip 13: Angry Gifts
Tip 14: Don’t sweat the Small stuff
Tip 15: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years, Today: Carefully Choose the Hills Worth Dying On

By John Ruberry

“When I came into office I took an oath, alright,” the mayor of Portland (Kyle MacLachlan) proclaims in Portlandia. “The oath was to keep Portland weird.”

And so he did.

The final episode of Portlandia, a sketch comedy series focusing on the hipsters who have taken over Portland, Oregon, aired on Thursday. The IFC show stars Saturday Night Live alumnus Fred Armisen and former Sleater-Kinney singer and guitarist Carrie Brownstein.

Over the last couple of decades Portland has become one of America’s most liberal cities. Do you remember the left-wing talk radio network from the 2000s, Air America? Its strongest market was Portland.

Most of the skits center on Armisen and Brownstein, including their Fred and Carrie characters, easily the least quirky of their Portlandia personas, who are also the best friends–“my favorite Portlanders”–of MacLachlan’s “Mr. Mayor.” Nina and Lance (He plays her she plays him), struggle in their relationship because they have almost nothing in common. Chin-bearded Spyke (more on him later) and Iris look to me to be the archetypal Portland couple. The Weirdos, Vince and Jacqueline, a goth couple, a kind of a Portland version of Fred and Lily Munster, face their own conflict. How do they get noticed in an increasingly freaky Portland? They choose a trip to the beach as their solution to this problem, which is delayed after their hearse breaks down. In another episode, they are falsely accused of a torching a taxidermy store. Their lawyer is another weirdo, Paul Reubens, better known of course as Pee Wee Herman.

But my favorite characters, and the most developed, are the owners of the Women & Women First book store–Toni and Candace, with Armisen playing the latter. The couple seems to have reached “lesbian bed death” years ago. It’s difficult to see what the well-adjusted Toni sees in the caustic Candace, who at a diary reading at the store barks at a late comer, “We’ve already done our journals–hers was abysmal, she refuses to contribute anything, and of ours, of course I think we won.”

Can a conservative enjoy Portlandia? Well, this one did.

Three years ago I briefly visited Portland where I discovered on my own that yes, it is weird, and it is filled with passive-aggressive people, just like these two Subaru drivers in the below clip. That make of car is enormously popular in Portland, by the way. They are afraid to offend but they do just that when they can’t decide who should proceed first at a four-way stop. “You, go,” one says, “No, you go.”

During that Portland sojourn I encountered some goofs, who were probably stoned, reclining inside a van at a gas station–I had to return my rental car with a full tank of gasoline before I dropped it off at the airport and I was in a hurry. They were blocking both sides of a lane of gas pumps. After I asked politely for them to move a couple of times, unlike the characters in the above clip, I quickly threatened to bash them if they didn’t immediately make room for me. They did indeed go.

Portlandia offers viewers a dazzlingly eclectic roster of top tier guest stars and cameos, including some who appear more than once, including Ed Begley Jr., Jeff Goldblum, Steve Buscemi, and Kumail Nanjian.

Others who show up once or twice include Aimee Mann (as herself trying to make ends meet as a housecleaner because of the difficulty of earning money as a musician in the era of streaming music), Matt Groening (a Portland native), Michael Nesmsith, Penny Marshall, the B-52s, Tim Robbins, Heather Graham, Martina Navratilova, k.d. Lang, Jason Sudekis, Paul Simon, Brigitte Nielsen, Greg Louganis, Henry Rollins, Jeff Tweedy, Louis C.K. (eww!), Andy Richter, George Wendt, the Flaming Lips, Andy Samberg, Eddie Vedder, Seth Meyers, Sarah MacLachlan, and Laurie Metcalf.

Special mention needs to be given to Roseanne Barr, who stars in two episodes as Portland’s interim mayor–she is hired from a temp agency. Yes, Barr is an actress, duh, who takes on roles, but Barr’s turn to the right may have been foreshadowed in Portlandia because she attempts to govern Portland pragmatically, in contrast to the loopiness of Mr. Mayor. After all, I believe it was radio talker Dennis Prager who said, “Common sense is conservatism.”  As mayor, Barr suggests having fewer bike lanes, coffee outlets that sell only coffee, movie theaters with more than one screen, not as many stores for dogs, but more big box outlets. In short, she wants Portland to be a practical city.

“I’ve been to a lot of places, but nothing’s like this,” she complains. “Everybody’s just lost in a dream world.”

And finally, I’d like to acknowledge the regular but all but anonymous supporting performers on the program who live in the Portland area, IFC calls them the Citizens of Portlandia. They are the show’s answer to the John Ford Stock Company. These actors, who arrive like old friends, include Henry Cottrell, Kristine Levine, Angel Bouchet, Jedediah Aaker, and Sam Adams, who plays Mr. Mayor’s assistant. He was the real mayor of Portland from 2009-2012.

Season 8 was the only batch of episodes filmed during the Donald Trump presidency and I expected Portlandia to skewer what liberals, and yes, conservatives, see as low-hanging fruit ripe for the plucking. Amazingly, the Portlandia universe remains a Trump-free zone. Although Spyke–remember him?–reforms his old punk band, Riot Spray, fronted by the aforementioned Rollins with Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic playing bass, as a protest gesture against unspecified corruption in government. But he does so after first threatening to Iris to move to Canada.

In a jab at those dozens of celebrities who vowed to move north of the border if Trump won the presidency, Iris replies, “Spyke, no one moves to Canada.”

Seasons 1-7 of Portlandia are available on Netlfix, all of the episodes can be found on Comcast’s On Demand. This program is not for the little ones as there is some brief nudity here and there and some foul language.

John Ruberry, who has never had a chin beard, regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.

this is the companion of Don’t sweat the small stuff. Carefully Choose the Hills Worth Dying On.

While questions like

Do you want a blue bedspread vs a yellow one?
What type of flowers do we plant in the front
Do you buy Tide or Gain to do the laundry?

aren’t worth a dispute things like…

Can we afford this House?
How Big a Car Loan can we take.
Do we move across the country
Do we pay for Private School for the kids?

…are things that are important because they will affect financial and social future of you, your spouse and your kids.  A bad decision here can make for a rough life so such questions have to be worked soberly and carefully, even if it leads to a fight.

Furthermore there may be times when one’s self respect is at stake. While such times are rare and with wisdom may not come up at all, at such times it may be necessary to take a stand that has to provoke a crisis.

There are times to put your foot down in a marriage, if you’re going to do so make sure it’s something more important than pancakes for breakfast or taking the short cut to the party.

If you’re going to fight and die on a hill be damn sure that hill is worth dying on.

Previously in 30 tips to Stay Married 30 Years

Previously in 30 tips to Stay Married 30 Years

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice.
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Today: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray
Tip 13: Angry Gifts
Tip 14: Don’t sweat the Small stuff

…because if he hadn’t practiced it he would be dead instead of the female hostage he traded himself for during an Islamic Terror Attack in France:

Many of the potential hostages managed to escape but Lakdim kept one woman behind. At that point, Lt-COl Arnaud Beltrame offered to exchange himself for the female hostage as negotiations to end the standoff continued. He entered the supermarket unarmed but left his cell phone on nearby, allowing police to hear what was going on inside. When police heard gunshots, the French equivalent of SWAT stormed the supermarket and killed Lakdim. Beltrame, who had been both shot and stabbed, eventually succumbed to his injuries.

Arnaud was honored for his bravery and sacrifice by his own family as well as French President Emmanuel Macron and UK Prime Minister Theresa May. 

Ever notice how the left and media always find Masculinity “toxic” or “bad” until there is a crisis or danger and then when lives are in danger it suddenly is of value?

Bottom line the culture of the media/democrat left is a lie and has been for years from their attack on masculinity to their astroturf protests this weekend, it’s all based on a lie which is why even Cardinal Dolan has finally had enough of the Democrats.

I’m a pastor, not a politician, and I’ve certainly had spats and disappointments with politicians from both of America’s leading parties. But it saddens me, and weakens the democracy millions of Americans cherish, when the party that once embraced Catholics now slams the door on us.

That’s not hyperbole, either. As Dolan notes, DNC chair Tom Perez declared last year that pro-life candidates no longer have a place in the Democratic Party. Their VP nominee in 2016, Tim Kaine, ran as a Catholic who supported his running mate’s determination to get rid of the prohibition on the use of federal funds for abortions. From the HHS contraception mandate to demands to get rid of RFRA laws (the first of which was signed by Bill Clinton), Democrats have been on the march to drive all expressions of religious faith from the public square, mocking it as “bigotry” while demanding silence of Catholics and other people of faith. For the past decade or more, Democrats have tried to redefine freedom of religious expression to “freedom of worship,” confining it to the four walls of the church, chapel, synagogue, and temple.

Cripes Cardinal some of us figured that out decades ago and explained it publicly as far back as 2010


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Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

Deputy: That them shootin’?
Sheriff Langston: No, it’s coming from those rocks.
Deputy: Well, let’s go. He ain’t hittin’ nothin’.
Sheriff Langston: You idiot, he’s hit everything he’s aimed at!
Deputy: Well, they ain’t out of our jurisdiction ’til they reach the flattop.
[Sheriff Langston’s hat is shot off his head]
Sheriff Langston: Today, my jurisdiction ends here.

Silverado 1985

The next few tips are going to be about fights and disagreements

Any time you have two people together you are going to have disagreement and any time a decision has to be made and there isn’t an odd number of people involved there is going to either be a stalemate, a compromise or someone will have to give in.

The reality is most of the disputes you are going to get into are petty ones, where to eat, what brand of Peanut butter to buy, what color should the furniture or the breadspread be?

That’s where this tip comes into play: Don’t sweat the small stuff

I know everybody says this but that’s because it’s true.

None of these things or the other thousand small decisions in a marriage make a difference toward the success of a marriage but fights arising from these small things can escalate out of control really quick and even if they don’t have the potential to sow the weeds that can multiply over the years and choke a marriage to death.

I submit and suggest that if you’re smart most of the time that on disputes like this you give your opinion but don’t press the issue. Go to her restaurant this week and to yours the next, don’t worry about the color of the wall, let these things go.

There are plenty of rocks that can run a marriage aground, don’t get shipwrecked on a pebble.

Previously in 30 tips to Stay Married 30 Years

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice.
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Today: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray
Tip 13: Angry Gifts

Beloved, do not look for revenge but leave room for the wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” Rather, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals upon his head.”

Romans 12:19-20

This is something that was an innovation of my wife’s and it is absolutely brilliant.
There was a day I had really made her angry over something, I don’t remember what, but it must have been something big because the left the house steaming.

She ended up at a store and while there saw something that she knew I would like. On an impulse she purchased it for me and came home and gave it to me as a gift.

If there was one thing I wasn’t prepared for it was that. I was completely and pleasantly surprised, particularly given the state she was in when she left and was loud in my pronouncements of gratitude.

It completely diffused the situation. Neither of us could stay mad at that point and the argument was forgotten.

Some time later we found ourselves in a similar situation and this time I had left the house, and remembering her gift to me, I did the same finding something I knew she would like and coming home with it. Once again there was surprise and reconciliation.

It’s very hard to stay angry at someone you are buying a gift for and it’s even harder to stay angry at someone who has given you a gift.

Now I should point out that this tip should be reserved for a real Donnybrook rather than a small tiff but when used in a critical situation it really pays off

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice.
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries
Tip 11: 30 Tips to Stay Married 30 Years Today: NEVER VENT ON SOCIAL MEDIA!
Tip 12: 30 Tips to stay Married 30 years Today’s Tip: Pray

The Internet is forever

Modern Proverb

This is the only bit of advice that I have given in all caps but it is about as critical as it gets.

In life there are always frustrations and in the days before the internet people vented in a bar, or to a friend or, as I like to do, take my frustrations out on a pinball machine (nothing better when you need to relax). It can be very healthy to vent one’s frustrations.

However it is not healthy to do so on social media.

Social media is good for many things but venting at a moment in anger isn’t one of them. When angry one is liable to say things that we instantly regret, picture saying or writing said thing on a permanent platform where the world can see it and comment on it, and where it never disappears (don’t think for one moment it won’t get screen caped).

We’ve all made the mistake of saying things in anger to a spouse, don’t compound said error by doing it so on facebook, twitter, snapchat or anywhere else where there will it has the potential of doing permanent damage to a relationship.

Incidentally it goes without saying that this advice is worthwhile for things far beyond marriage.

The 30 Tips to Say Married 30 years so far

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice.
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends
Tip 10: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries


If you’d like to continue to support independent journalism, help defray the $140 a month extra I’ll need for my new hosting site) and think my CPAC 2018 reporting is worthwhile please consider hitting DaTipJar here.



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Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.

I was actually planning a different tip to do next but yesterday was DaWife’s birthday so all the plans went out the window, which makes this a perfect time to put up this tip: Remember Birthday’s and Anniversaries.

Granted in these days of smartphones and various planners and Alexa who can remind you of days you’ve forgotten this tip seems almost anachronistic. But remembering a day is more than just knowing what the day is.

It’s actually celebrating said day, showing appreciation for the fact that your spouse is there, even if it just making up a silly song for a birthday (I recommend my “Hooray You’re not Dead!” song) to let said spouse know that you’re glad to share the day with them.

And one should always remember that while stuff is cool it tends to just accumulate, it’s time that is the greatest gift as we all have a limited amount of it (see the song above). Give that time to your spouse on that day and if it means something else goes by the wayside, such as posting is lite, your podcast late or even that the latest tip in the 30 tips to stay married 30 years misses a day, That’s OK too!

Next to your children your spouse and marriage should be of greatest value to you, act accordingly, particularly on the days that celebrate them.

The 30 Tips to Say Married 30 years so far

Tip 1:  Choose Wisely
Tip 2: A long Engagement
Tip 3: Get Married in Church
Tip 4: Don’t write your own vows.
Tip 5: Set limits early
Tip 6: Live Modestly
Tip 7: Embrace Your Mother-In-Law
Tip 8: If possible take advantage of your parent’s advice.
Tip 9: Don’t Diss your spouse to your friends


If you’d like to continue to support independent journalism, help defray the $140 a month extra I’ll need for my new hosting site) and think my CPAC 2018 reporting is worthwhile please consider hitting DaTipJar here.



Consider subscribing. 7 more subscribers at $20 a month will pay the monthly price for the new host/server.


Choose a Subscription level


Finally might I suggest my book Hail Mary the Perfect Protestant (and Catholic) Prayer makes an excellent Gift.