Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

And now the kids are growing up.  And I’m finding that, when I look at the ones who are adults or are near adults, I realize how much I didn’t do.  And this is where I have to ask for forgiveness, and then remember that there is grace and mercy for the children of sinful parents as well.  I hope and pray (and beg the Lord) for the souls of my children to belong to the Lord.  I pray they seek after Christ.  I pray they each first love the Lord and then love others before themselves.  But there are no guarantees.

I cannot guarantee that I have not failed to show them what they needed to know, even though I did try.  I also live and sin too often.  My children see and experience my compromise, my misplaced anger, my pride, the times I put myself first, the times I was not faithful to God, the times I did not teach them, the times I put on a show for people, the times I twisted the truth (or lied), the times I didn’t serve my family well, the times I have been lazy, the times I was not loving.  They are influenced by me and my mistakes.

I know that, by God’s grace, there are things I did do right.  There are prayers that I did pray, responsibilities I did fulfill, moments I served, times I taught and directed, times I obeyed, times I took the children to church, times we learned scripture, times when I was a good example.  Only because of the Lord and his mercy and grace, I have been able to do the right thing at the right time some of the time.  I hope those things did make a lasting impression on my children.  I can only hope.

So, as they begin to launch, those that are older in my home, it’s my prayer that the Lord will do the growing and the leading.  I have planted and tried to water, but I am certainly glad I am not the one who controls what will happen, because I know some of my faults would have hindered the chances.  Now to be the parent of adult children, and to give glory to the Lord through it, I can hope.

I still have several children who are young and impressionable.  May I not grow tired, lazy, and complacent with them.  The fire and short temper I had when my oldest were little has turned much colder and is in much more control.  But at the same time, so has my passion and every day energy become much more subdued.  It’s easy to take a few extra minutes to sleep.  It’s tempting to let the kids wander off and do their own thing rather than stay alert and stay active in what they are doing.  If I don’t stay in there, I’ll miss the blessings and the beauty that each of those children are to me.  I’d miss the gift God gave to me through their little lives.  May I run the race of parenthood the whole way through with stamina and vitality.

I pray all my children get the best of me and my husband.  And I pray they grow to give the best to their God given tasks and families.


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Social media brings people together, and it can also burn bridges.  This weekend I had an opportunity to see women I went to high school with.  Classmates decided to get together for a girls’ night out, and included me in the invite on a social media connection.  Eventually, about 16 of us showed up at a bar and grill.  I knew there would be drinking, but thought that since the establishment’s menu was more about the meals, I also thought the girls would generally behave. I was wrong.

Many were surprised I came, I live about an hour away.  Most did stay sober, ate, and talked as normal people do.  By the time I got there, a few were clearly drunk and planned just become more drunk.  Immediately, I received high praise and shock for being a mother of many children.  One woman was quite obnoxious about it all, repeating over and over with curse words that she could not believe I had so many children.  I won’t even dignify her words with substitutions.  As the night rolled on, women began to talk more and tell their stories.

It has been so many years, and many are becoming grandmothers for the first time.  None have children as young as mine, but do have grandbabies the ages of my youngest few.  These women have had so many experiences.  Some are single moms with teenagers at home, teens they hope will turn out okay.  Some have been called by the police to pick up their drunk child, only to be called back because there was so much alcohol in their systems, they headed to the hospital instead.  Some spoke of husbands who had started into drugs, or had cheated on them.  One spent some time sharing how she had been violently raped, and her family could not understand and could not believe her.  Some were professionals, a few doing very well financially.  Some were still living basically as they had the first summer they left home, in a small apartment.

I could not look at these women without seeing the teenagers they once were.  Some acted just as they would have as a teen, rowdy, vulgar, and immodest.  Some were more reserved, and others were flat out bitter.  I was the odd one in the group.  I had hoped a few specific friends would be there, but plans were changed.

There was much sadness in all the frivolity.  There were so many hurts, and so much distance from God.   Just the fact that so many were completely drunk at our age, and were loud and obnoxious in a business, made me sad.  But to hear of the divorces, the homecoming queen had been torn apart from the homecoming king, not kidding.

And the spiritual condition of these women!!!  I could only pray on the way home, and think about what they all had gone through.  So now, we are in touch, and I am going to try very carefully, yet boldly, to share my faith over time with these women.  But not as a target, just posting online, and being willing to listen.  I pray something good can come from this, but I do not worry that it won’t.  It’s up to God, and I just have to be there if needed.

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A Warning About A Creep

One blogger and online friend I follow has been warning about Philip Stallings for a long time.  The following post she had created with evidence of his dangerous interactions with her and others has been since removed by google from her personal blog.  I copied and pasted her post from the archive of her blog post.  None of the content below is from my own footwork or searches, she credits others herself.  Some of the individuals who once had posts about this man have taken them down since one of his facebook accounts was closed.  He’s still out there, lurking and causing problems.

In Case Anyone thinks Philip Stephen Stallings “Mr Paradox” of NC is Actually in Seminary… (ADDED EVIDENCE PHOTOS 4-6 and 4-7-2014) (UPDATE new profile for Stallings)

[original publication date 10-8-2013 3:34pm central time.  I made quite a few revisions and updates so this may as well be considered a whole new post. I tried to keep the added material in brackets.  I ALSO want to say that I and quite a few others are very grateful for the evidence that people have provided.  These are some of the incidents *that we know of*][4-6-2014 — There are quite a few people warning about him on Facebook these days.  And whether or not you for now think us all gossips, at least we know that now you KNOW the truth.  Now when you do see and understand it for yourself, you can remember that we who are concerned loved you enough, even though we don’t know who you are, to warn you.  And we love Philip enough to call him to repent of his sin, so that he might be saved.  Allowing him to continue the coverup is not love, toward him or his targets, no matter what you think it is.]


There is also another UPDATED post calling for his repentance at
Design of Providence: A Warning and a Call for Repentance: Philip Stallings  UPDATED as of May 28-2014]

Design Of Providence took his post down because Tim Brown (site admin from www.freedomoutpost.com) told him Stallings was off Facebook and is seeking help.  However, that was before the third profile showed up.  Here is a pdf copy of Design of Providence’s post which is the second on the page.

Design Of Providence PDF copy

ALSO, he has a third new profile:

Stallings blocked me from that third profile preemptively before I even knew about it. Sounds repentant doesn’t it?

(end 6-13-2014 addition)

UPDATE May 21, 2014
Stallings has changed his profile after Francis Turretin issued a
warning to all his Facebook friends and Stallings’ Facebook friends.  TurretinFan has removed the post since, after Stallings deactivated his account.  I am not sure why.  In any case, it *was* there.

Stallings’ new profile is now here:
https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000675274712 – note – when I clicked on the link with my phone it takes me to my own profile and I’ve had others say it takes them to theirs, too. But on my computer it works.  I’m not sure why.

Here’s a pdf copy as of right now. As you can see, Tim Brown, (site admin at www.freedomoutpost.com,) Stallings’ staunch pro 2nd amendment defender, who my husband and I and a husband of one of Phillip’s targets spent far too much time arguing with in gmail, is his only friend as of the creation of the pdf.  He has since added a few others, and then hidden his friends list.)

main body of post:

…Or, “How Perverts and Sex Abusers Attempt to Gain Credibility and Rise to Positions of Power in the Visible Church.” [Keep in mind many are more suave and less obvious than this guy.]


If you thought he was a seminary student as he claims, well…Nope. And still his twitter page claims so as of today.   Well, MAYBE he just forgot to remove that… yeah, sure, THAT must be it.


As of his latest tweet March 26, and I just took this screenshot today April 6, 2014


And I have no idea what he [might be] claiming about himself on Facebook anymore but he keeps making the rounds, adding Christians to his friend list, grooming Christian women and teen girls, saying suggestive things and trying to ask for inappropriate photos.  Heaven forbid anyone ever let this guy be in contact with women or children in church, but since he was in a seminary, one has to wonder if that was exactly his aim.  We have plenty of perverts in evangelicalism molesting their fellow church members, thank you very much.

(today 4-6-2014)

There are a whole lot of women now who can testify to his perverse angry behavior in private messages after being told no you won’t carry on a cyber-sex relationship with him or even give him your cell number.  It’s a crying shame that no one seems to be able to reach this man’s heart with truth, enough for him to repent.  If your wife or daughter has him as a friend, please be extremely careful.  Don’t harass the man.  Just protect your family from him.

[4-6-2014 at least two women I know of have this warning on their Facebook profiles:

As mentioned above in the graphic, he has a criminal rap sheet a mile long. This is public information, and he claimed to have repented in order to get into that seminary the first time, but he keeps trying to seduce women anyway.

I started to become suspicious of him just about 2.5 almost 3 years ago.  As of Fall 2013 he is 34 years old. [was almost 35, turned 35 Dec 2013] But his rap sheet goes back to the year he turned 18.  It includes assault, false imprisonment and credit card fraud/theft and drunk driving.  Lovely.

The North American Reformed Seminary has added a disclaimer to it site because of him:

ATTENTION :  Those interested in confirming the degrees of person claiming a TNARS degree or the status of someone claiming to be a student with TNARS should contact us at info@tnars.net

So if you are wondering about him, please do contact TNARS. They will tell you Philip was expelled for ethical violations. The ethical violations include things that are (cyber) sexual in nature, whether or not they will tell you the details; he was expelled after several of us brought specific evidence of his sexually, abusive, vulgar and predatory womanizing behavior to the attention of the seminary.  One of us was told that was why, specifically, after being thanked by Larry for providing (without any request from Larry) more evidence to back up the claims of others who had already spoken up. I still don’t know who those people were or what they said.

Stallings responded in great venom toward those of us who dared to speak up, even reportedly threatening one person over the phone.  We spoke up not to make his life miserable but, on the contrary, that he might repent and also to protect others from his sin.  We spoke out of concern for those who might end up under his authority in a churchif we did not speak up.

This expulsion happened in Fall 2012 but I first became aware of the weirdness in January 2011.  I didn’t say anything to anyone until I started being asked whether I’d ever seen anything weird, suggestive, or seductive from him. I hadn’t, myself, but I had seen a case, as I said, in January 2011. The girl was 17, he was 32,  [4-6-2014 — I also mistakenly told some folks that when he tried to seduce the 17 yr old he was 34, but he wasn’t.  He is 35 now.  He was approximately 32 when he tried to seduce her in Oct-January 2011.  He was born end of Dec 1978 according to his public offender information.]

She blocked him immediately before it proceeded into more blatant territory, while I just kept my mouth shut and ears open for another year and a half to see if the suspicions had been correct.  And boy, were they!  I did not even see the rap sheet myself until a year and a half after that first incident when a young man asked me if they’d seen any strange behavior from him.  Shortly after that I either found the rap sheet or was linked to it by someone else.

So please be careful.  I am saying nothing more in all of this than do not trust this man.  He needs to be treated with great caution.  This man should never be in a position of leadership or responsibility over, or have access to, girls or women.  Especially not in a church.

Not all claiming Christ actually belong to Christ. Philip Stephen Stallings clearly does not, but I pray some day he will be delivered from his sin.

[added 4-6-2014 -In response to so many skeptics, here are some samples of the things he has sent to women. I refrained from posting the full bare torso selfies  pictures he sent (which included his face) and the picture of his hand holding his privates, which obviously also didn’t include his face.  He has claimed he’s not the one in the pictures that don’t include his face, but when you’re sending suggestive and sexual images from your account while verbally sexually harassing someone, does it really matter any more?

Keep in mind that not all women saved their evidence and it is hard to find those who are not afraid of speaking out.  Anyone who has been abused understands what that is like.  They’re usually so freaked out they don’t know what to do, and hit delete and block, and the evidence is usually lost unless they want to unblock him.  This is someone who seeks influence in Christian groups, where unfortunately predators are all too easily trusted if they say most of the right words; if this was just some nobody who wasn’t seeking influence in a Christian church, I wouldn’t be posting this.

I removed images and names of irrelevant people that appear in the pictures and did include names of people who were willing to allow them to be shown.

Note: European date format here (date, month, year):
Please note on this one the URL for the search term.  This feisty lady had immediately posted on her wall (and tagged him) something like “Phillip Stallings why did you send me an email telling me I had beautiful breasts??”  after which he claimed his drunk friend did it and hastily apologized but didn’t admit he did it.  He still treated everyone who questioned him abusively and had the nerve to be indignant that no one believed him after such a ridiculous track record.

This woman asked me to remove her church name so they wouldn’t get hassled.  You may have to click the image to enlarge it enough to read.

[Added 4-7-2014 The following is not sexual in nature, but just an example of how he treated a young lady when she expressed reservations about giving him her cell #.  Keep in mind, this girl had NO idea who she was dealing with, his criminal history, or of the things that he had done to other women online.  Notice the badgering, expressing hate and sarcasm, then trying to flirt and cajole, trying to keep her off balance, with the goal of wearing her down. Basically, behind the lame attempts at flirting, he wants what he wants and your concerns be damned. You should trust him because he says so. (there are 14 screen shots, sorry but it is long. I will keep them small, you will have to click on each to see the enlarged size version):
Now if that kind of wooing is attractive for you, have at it, I guess.  But this kind of mindgame, especially when it’s right off the bat, betrays a very dangerous undertow. [end 4-7-2014 section.]

Remember, this isn’t an example of the worst he has done.  At least once he has sent clear images of erect male genitalia, being fondled by the person’s hand, to a woman he was hassling. I also have a copy-and-paste convo that is very similar in style to this last one, sent to a pastor’s wife who TOLD him in the convo that she was married with three kids.  It did not stop him. He talks with her about giving back massages and whatnot, turning the conversation suggestive repeatedly. At one point she rebukes him for sending the bare chested photo and he tells her “Look. It was just my shirt off. Chill out.”  Ask yourself, husbands, what you would think of a man who sent bare chested selfies to your wife?

Unfortunately that one is only in a word doc form. People don’t always think of the best way to save these things in their context or don’t know how to take and save a screenshot (thank you MacOS for making it so easy). But what I’ve posted should be plenty of evidence for anyone with the most rudimentary understanding of what it means to walk worthy of the calling to which we have been called.  I’ve also just been informed by one lady that he was badgering her for financial help when she’s thousands of miles away and at best just an online acquaintance.  Looking forward to receiving those screenshots hopefully soon.

It’s just fine, if it’s done in the name of Jesus I guess!  Christians are so sadly gullible.

As of an hour or so ago, Philip had posts self righteously whining about ‘gossip’ on his Facebook wall. Yeah.  The card every hypocrite and false teacher plays so freely when people start to catch on.

People ought to wake up to the fact that MUCH of the NT is Paul rebuking and correcting people based on reports sent to him by others.  Just sayin.’  No. I am not condoning gossiping.  I’m condoning telling the truth about sin that needs to be dealt with, which occurs (figuratively) “behind closed doors.”

So yes, I am exasperated and angry because of the sin he repeatedly commits against Christian women, and the women and men who keep blindly and emotionally defending him. If you have a problem with me showing a little bit of anger over such sick and twisted sin, you will have a lot of trouble over much of the Bible.  But, I hope you have a lot more anger over the sin he is committing against your Christian sisters in secret.  Those Christian sisters are part of the body of Christ, those sisters you are supposed to be caring for in Christian love.

The sad irony is, every time he claims he’s being slandered, he is tacitly ADMITTING (at least to himself) that the actual deeds that are being attributed to him are very wrong, and more, he fears they may not be paid for and covered by the blood of Christ.  If he believed these sins were paid for, he would have no trouble admitting to them, because Christ’s perfect love casts out fear.  He would admit to them and actually repent of them instead of pretending to repent, while just moving his sin to a different , still-naïve target.  So, he knows full well he is sinning.  He just keeps lying about it,  attacking those who call him to repentance just like Ergun Caner (but with a different set of pet sins)  — multiplying the sin of bearing false witness on top of the sins of lust, anger, adultery, abuse…refusing to get help, refusing to believe there’s a problem, despite the ever-widening ocean of evidence.

The evidence is plain to see for anyone who will open their eyes and quit walking by on the other side of the road lest they be stained with any hint of “gossip.”

If he really has faith that his sins are covered in Christ, he won’t have to hide them from everyone else, and he will confess them and get the help he needs instead of fleeing and hiding from elders who tried to bring biblical discipline. I pray some day he will.

Sadly, too many deceived people keep enabling abusers for fear of being labeled a “gossip” in the way that they have freely and ignorantly labeled everyone else. You cannot know if it’s “just gossip” if you do not look into the facts.  You cannot just go by your gut feeling and emotion about a person because he/she showed you his good side. He/she is not perfect, neither are you and your intuition about him, and neither is the accuser.

And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil.  For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed.  But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.” John 3:19-21

Truth has nothing to fear from honest inquiry.  Lovers of truth will seek the truth and not close their eyes to it.

If your friend’s daughter claimed to have been sexually harassed, would you immediately tell her she’s gossiping because you like the guy she claims did it?  Even if she’s mistaken…how would you know unless you listened and examined the evidence?  If several more girls came up with the same kind of story about a man, would you be so quick to label them all gossips?  (Sadly I’m afraid many would.  How many stories do we see of ‘family friends’ who the parents trusted, who was abusing their children when they were not around?  The very suggestion of gossip is apparently more dangerous to the body of Christ than sexual sin and abuse!  We hear sermons about gossip all the time, but never about secret abuse or how to deal with it!  Young people need to know about this subject far more than they need to be threatened about the dangers of gossip!)

There is a verse somewhere about choking on gnats and swallowing camels.  Make at least a small effort to be sure it doesn’t apply to you.

God, please save this man’s soul and open the blind eyes that keep covering for him.]

UPDATE May 21, 2014 Stallings has changed his profile after Francis Turretin issued a
warning to all his Facebook friends and Stallings’ Facebook friends.

Stallings’ new profile is now here:

Here’s a pdf copy as of right now. As you can see, Tim Brown, his staunch pro 2nd amendment defender, who my husband and I and a husband of one of Phillip’s targets spent far too much time arguing with in gmail, is his only friend as of the creation of the pdf.)

UPDATE added 8-11-2014
Latest incident mid June of this year, has him trying to flirt with a young lady, who (I think possibly already knew about his reputation) rebuffed him repeatedly.  After going around and around in circles with her he finally let loose with a couple final insults (profanity ahead, sorry):

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Hebrews 11

Part of our home school curriculum is reading and memorizing scripture.  I really am being blessed by going through Hebrews 11 verse by verse with a different one each week.  We’re on Hebrews 11:3, which shows that even Genesis 1 is in Hebrews.  What was in the Old Testament is consistently taught in the New Testament.  The Bible is internally consistent.

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Just this past Sunday a couple visited our church.  They still go to our former church (spiritual formation/transformation church).  We were once in a small group together, and we really enjoyed time with this couple.  They have two children who are getting old enough to go to the youth group.  I commend these parents, they are involved with their children and followed them to the youth group.  This is where they have discovered enough problems to begin a church search just to see what else is out there.  The complaints I have heard are that the message and all the activities don’t always make any sense.  Things are disjointed, and the gospel is not clearly being taught through the activities and fluff.   There are so many distractions.  Apparently, one Sunday, the youth minister was speaking and there was a video playing in the background.  It was people falling, crashing into things, and getting hurt.  The mother could see no reason for this, and thought it wasn’t funny at all.  The parents have also complained that the youth room is often littered with trash because these teens will not use proper manners and clean up after themselves.  I recall the youth didn’t go to their church time with bibles and the girls often wore inappropriate clothing.  Rarely, were teens ever in “big church” with the adults.  We are so happy we are no longer there, it sounds like it is as bad as I thought.


I am so giddy, and I have high hopes.  I love to see people leave that environment.  I spoke to my pastor when I saw them at church, and let him know our past with this couple.  He knows many people have left that church including our family.  He’s always seeing people visit from my former church.  He commented something like this, “you’d think they’d try to figure out what they are doing is wrong since they are bleeding out.”   Yeah, you’d think.

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DJP over at Pyromaniacs reminds us again to start somewhere and read the bible daily.   http://www.teampyro.blogspot.com/2011/12/bible-reading-for-2012-and-why.html


I want to pick a plan that works well for me personally, and then one for me to read to my kids during the week.  I think if I’m homeschooling, there’s no point if there’s not scripture being poured in.

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We’ve joined a lovely new small group at church.  I’ve written some concerns already.   I am now about to burn out.  They decided, since it’s new, to just be light.  One person, sometimes two give their “testimony.”  Then, we might discuss what we learned from the sermon.  Then we have prayer requests and prayer.  There’s food, there’s talk, and that’s fine and dandy.  They’ve been really supportive of us and have helped us already with some problems in our life…stepped up when our prayer requests were tough.  We’ve only been meeting since September, only every other week.   But  now, I’m about to go really crazy.  I do not really enjoy the long personal stories too much.  I mean, I like getting to know the people, but I am afraid we’ll NEVER get to the bible.   This is not what I want in a group.  I am so over becoming family in small group.  I believe if we get together FOR BIBLE STUDY, the fellowship will just happen organically.  I also believe, if we are accountable to a pastor or pastors for what is being taught, that is the BEST model.  I think we need to read the bible and if we discuss, it should not be about what we THINK the text means.  It should be led by someone who knows what they are doing and has some qualification (not a divinity degree…but some understanding of scriptures) to teach.  I came from a fluffy church, and there were some really intelligent people in our groups, but there were also some shallow people.  Some of the leadership involved just simple books with simple answers to the questions.  There were organized agendas (like get people involved in group service).  There were even whole church studies of books (like Purpose Driven Church and such).   I hated the simple stuff, and yearned for study.  We did get some study…and I’m experiencing this now.  I want study.  I don’t want us to change what the bible says or to share too much of our personal experiences.  I want to study the bible and learn about God.  Period.

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My husband asked an assistant pastor how to handle a suggested Nouwen book in our small group meeting.  One of the first questions I heard from him was, “was it an unqualified recommendation?”  In fairness, people do sometimes read and recommend books, but they don’t always agree with everything in the book or everything from that author.  Unfortunately, this was actually qualified in that the book was recommended excitedly and whole heartedly.  The man in our group shared several concepts openly and offered to let two women in the group be the next ones to read it after someone else outside the group finished his copy.  I believe he even suggested that Christians should read it, and I am sure he said it was his favorite book.  We shared some of our thoughts with the pastor, that the man seemed to really like the book and was sharing it. I did mention the comment the man made stating that the book opened an idea he hadn’t thought of, that Jesus himself was a “prodigal of the Father” because he left and came back. The pastor’s eyebrows twitched a little bit, and he shook his head, “no.”  

The pastor’s advice was not to go all out after this man.  He said that we should actually bring this to the attention of the small group leader.  He suggested we share why we see problems with the author and that it’s not someone we’d recommend reading.  He said that many don’t have the same level of discernment, and some don’t subscribe to the strange teachings but also don’t know the problems with an author’s entire body of work.  He said to assume the best about a person at first, and just trust the leadership.  However, he did say to keep paying attention and if this keeps coming up, to bring it back up again to the leader.  It can also be brought up to the pastors in leadership of the church.  He suggested further we truly befriend this man and if the opportunity arises, we can share with him carefully the problems with Nouwen and why we wouldn’t recommend it as a solid book for Christians to read.  

This is a very big difference than what happened at our former church when we brought up books and teachings that were questionable.  The pastor here acknowledged the teaching from Nouwen was bad (if it indeed was what we were saying it is…he’d never read it before).  He mentioned how many people read popular authors, he has been given books from church members of such authors.  He said how he has personally tactfully told people how the author is in error and he’d suggest they never recommend the book without some qualification.  He personally had quoted authors from the pulpit he doesn’t agree with, but he says he intends to always qualify those quotes as true as far as he sees it but the author has other comments or ideas that are not in line with scripture.  And reading works that are questionable can be a learning experience, but it must be qualified as such.  He says he’s sometimes shocked at what members in our church recommend for reading on facebook or in person, saying that he often wants to say, “What?  Haven’t you been hearing sound teaching in our church for years?  Why would you recommend that book?”  

At least he acknowledged us, and was kind.  He did seem to be bothered by this problem and suggested a way to deal with it and not ignore it.  He actually thinks the leader in our group likely hasn’t heard of Nouwen, and may have no clue about it.  I find this to be a very good thing.  It’s much different than the “oh, that author is recommended and used by many pastors…and we might not agree with everything he says but he has good intentions.”  That was our former church, and that was unacceptable squashing.  We weren’t told not to be divisive, but to proceed carefully.  

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We had a child dedication at church.  I think it’s a great idea though don’t believe a church has to do these as an official ceremony.  It’s just nice to say openly, “I dedicate this child to God.”  I am puzzled as to why we’ve been here 2 years and never have had this type of ceremony.  I wonder if the church is doing it for the first time?  We have had all of our children dedicated, and it was one of my favorite services at church. What I do like about this church is how children are taught.  In Sunday school, they learn directly from the bible and from the mouths of teachers.  It’s a low tech church.  The Sunday school teacher studies his/her curriculum, and then presents it to the children.  The rooms are open with full glass windows as well as glass slits in the door, and you see the children sitting down to listen to the teacher.  Often, a bible will be opened or the kids will be doing a craft.  Coming from a church that used a lot of modern music, videos (like Veggie Tales) and switching activities fast, it’s nice to see a low key, slow paced, old fashioned Sunday school.  The kids come home with either a fun craft or a coloring sheet depicting a biblical scene.  You always know what they learned right away from the papers they bring out.  And,  to top it off, my kids can tell me what they learned hours later.  The ones younger than 4th grade are all going through the old testament in the Sunday school hour and during a children’s church class (I think it’s up through 4th) they learn from the New I think (cannot recall the themes).  The “middle” grades (5th and 6th) learn from a teacher that’s been there for years.  He challenges them to study a book of the bible over the time they’re in the class and quizes them.  He also gives them points for taking notes in the church service.  They can actually win real cash, but even without being near winning, I see kids taking notes during service.  I know mine do.  And the older two aren’t even in his class anymore. One problem I do have is the oldest kiddo falls asleep during church.  I need to figure out how to help him stay awake.  We sometimes bring hard candy, which helps.  Especially if it’s hot cinnamon or very strong peppermint.   I have to admit, song time is slow and long and losses him pretty fast.  (not during songs, but it puts him in that mode right away).  He eagerly volunteers if they need someone to work with the kids because it’s torture to be poked every few minutes to wake up.  And if he’s helping in the kids’ classes, he’s hearing the bible anyway, so I don’t mind at all.   Wish we could get the music to be better paced.  Not “modern” just different.  One particular leader loves to play things really slowly and it makes me batty.  I know a lot of old hymns, and he likes to play them twice as slow as they should be…always has too many measures between verses, and cuts out the chorus when it would help break things up.  I do like singing all the verses of a hymn, this can be long, but it’s nice.  If we’re going to do it though, pick up the pace!  We use the overhead for the music (well, computer generated and it keeps the flow going) and I’d rather books because 1.  we’re looking at the music and I miss seeing music on the page and 2.  It breaks up the songs so you aren’t on a monotone ride that lulls you.  I don’t think the long sets intend to put people’s minds into a suggestive state, but I do see a friends’ point (who visited twice I believe) that it can and does do that.  We have one leader that is more like a choir director, and I’ve noted that though he’s not doing modern music, he is better at the pace and break ups of songs.  It makes it so much nicer.  I just think the one leader has stagnated in his ability and we’re all forced to listen to his style.  It’s not that the songs need to change, but the quality of the music and the organization of the set needs to change BIG TIME.  Have to think of HOW to bring this up tactfully.  Don’t need a stage band, but do need some variety and up beat moments to keep people alert.  Slow music is not more worshipful.

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Who is Henri Nouwen






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