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Disturbing Things My 17-Year-Old Daughter Shared About Her Own Experiences in Children’s Church and Youth Groups…

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My 17 year old daughter (who recently turned 18) made some comments to me, a couple of months before my most recent spinal surgery (which happened on September 2, 2014), about what she learned, and experienced, in her own lifetime of attending Children’s Churches and Youth Groups in the Word-of-Faith, Non-denominational, and other Seeker-Friendly “churches” we attended over the years (we no longer even darken the doorway of those types of places). What she said was STUNNING, to me!

Before I tell you what she actually said (she did give me permission to share her thoughts on my blog), I have to say that this REALLY hit me HARD, as a parent, and starkly pointed out MY OWN SHORTCOMINGS and SINFULNESS of not teaching my children about WHAT I believed, and WHY I believed what I believed (which, really, could be a blessing, as it would have just probably confused them)!  It also made me realize my own lack of ever being properly discipled, or catechized (which has only happened much more recently), in the infancy of my own faith in Christ .

How could I have even taught them, that which I could not explain, myself?!  I really did not know WHY I believed any of what I believed over the years…!  I really was living on the “blind faith” that what I was taught must be true, because the people I was trusting, made it seem like it was right, and they called themselves Christians and Pastors (which, by the way,  is NOT the Faith spoken of, in God’s Word).

First, my daughter told me that, up until a couple of years ago, the only things she could remember, that she knew came from the Bible was, “a story about some lady, who put a red ‘something’ on one of her doors, or a window, or something, for some reason” (this would most likely be a reference to Rahab, the prostitute, who was part of the lineage that pointed to Jesus). She also said she remembered “a story about some guy, at some time, that tricked his dad into thinking that he was his brother, by putting fur on his arm. The end.”  Wow, that was really something helpful to know…

Also, up until about 3 years ago, she did not even know that there was more than one book in the Bible (she just thought it was all one big, confusing book, that others could understand, but she could not)!

Next, she told me that pretty much everything else she remembered was playing games, making crafts, watching various videos, singing fun feel-good songs (and plugging her ears because it was always too loud), temporarily learning some Bible verses – with no context or reason for why she was learning them, of course (none of which she even knows what they were), having snacks, and being picked on, teased, or just plain ignored (because yes, she is a bit “different”, and it does show, especially in larger group settings that have way too much sensory stimulation).

That’s it!  That is all she got out of being in Children’s Church, and Youth Groups, all these years!  What a waste of precious time, and energy (it is NOT easy getting 3 kiddos, that have special needs, out the door to get to church on time)!!!  Not to mention all of the MONEY wasted and volunteer time wasted, at these churches!  And we wonder WHY we are LOSING our children to the secular world and/or false teachers (whether these teachers call themselves Christians, or not)?!

These are the “impressions” that these “seeker-sensitive” models, of the visible “church” are giving so many children.  NOT anything that the Holy Spirit can even work through, because they are not even hearing actual Bible passages that are related to each other (and their significance to Christ explained), or being called to repentance of their sin (by hearing God’s Law), and then comforted by the Gospel!  My kiddos, AND myself and husband, should have probably just stayed at home, slept in, and enjoyed some family time together…!  We would have ALL received more from that, than we did in ANY of these churches.  Sad, but oh so very true.

Just in case you are wondering, this is no longer the case with her, OR any of the rest of us in the family!  We are now in a SOLID church.  The Pastors have actually spent one-on-one time with us at the church, at hospitals, and even in our own home (all within the last year, and we have only been members since March of this year)!  Also, we learn a LOT in the Sunday Bible Class (in which the two teens attend the Adult Bible Class, with us), after the Divine Service (which is filled with people in ALL the various stages of life, from infancy to old age, and is also filled with Bible teaching and receiving God’s gifts to us every week).

Our Pastors have helped us to read the Bible for what it actually plainly says, in its own context.  If the Bible is silent on something, they are silent on it also.  No more “dancing around” our questions, or ripping verses out of context to just “paste them all together” to make them say what is wanted (and not what is actually needed), or just plain ignoring or avoiding our questions altogether (which has happened at pretty much all of the other churches we had attended over the previous 19 years).

Again, I praise God for calling us OUT of these places, and keeping us THROUGH the fires of testing!

~Annette

Are Our Children Ready for Rejection and Persecution?

“Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28  NASB)

The title question is just as much for myself, as it is for my readers!  Are we, as ADULTS, really even ready for what may be coming down the pike?  Keep also in mind that Jesus said, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:25-26 NASB)

We live (especially here in the USA) in such a pampered, spoiled, feel-good, “best-life-now” society!  Most people here think we have religious freedom, and that persecution could never really happen here…  I can tell you, undoubtedly, that mild-to-moderate persecution is already here, and we had better brace ourselves for the possibility of much worse, to follow.  As the old saying goes, “prepare for the worst, and hope for the best”!

The Holy Bible teaches that persecution, for being a Christian, is to be expected.  One such passage (and this is only one), taught by Jesus Himself, is as follows (with my own emphasis):

If the world hates you, you know that it has hated Me before it hated you.  If you were of the world, the world would love its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, because of this the world hates you. Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A slave is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you; if they kept My word, they will keep yours also. But all these things they will do to you for My name’s sake, because they do not know the One who sent Me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin, but now they have no excuse for their sin. He who hates Me hates My Father also.”  (John 15:18-23  NASB)

As I look around and see how things are changing in this country (and yes, even worldwide), I believe that it is quickly coming to the point that we each had better know where stand, in Christ Jesus, and prepare ourselves now.  We also have the responsibility to prepare our own children for rejection and/or persecution, for simply being an uncompromising Christian. They need to be prepared for these times, just as much as we do!  Things of this manner will come as a real shock to MOST of our sheltered society’s children… leaving them VERY vulnerable to crumbling, under even the slightest pressure!

I do not know about you, but I do NOT want to be held responsible, in front of the Almighty God, for not taking the time and energy in preparing myself, and my children!  Plus, I cannot bear the thought of Jesus denying them, because they denied Him (Matthew 10:33 and 2 Timothy 2:12), from my own lack of preparing them for the days to come! As Jesus said, “For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Matthew 16:25-26 NASB)

Okay, now I know what you are probably thinking…  “How in the WORLD am I going to be able to do this without scaring them to death?!”  I have some good news! I have found some tools, that others have put together, that should be able to assist you in this most worthy endeavor! I would suggest that you go ahead and print these out, so that you have them on hand, just in case the internet were to ever be shut down on us (and yes, that IS a strong possibility)…

This first link is to stories for children, about other children, who took a stand for Jesus.  They all have three sections as follows:  The story, scriptures relating to the story, and ideas for discussion. Some also have new word definitions.  As a homeschool mom, I really like the setup of these!  http://www.crossroad.to/Persecution/stories/contents.html 

This second link is for you.  You need to prepare yourself. http://www.crossroad.to/Persecution/persecute.html  Dig around on here.  There are scriptures, stories, and situations to think through.

The final link I am leaving you with is very heavy, but rich in preparation!  It is titled “Preparing for the Underground Church“.  If we are able to mentally prepare now, I believe, this will help us to be able to let The Lord’s Grace take over, when, or if, the time comes. http://members.cox.net/wurmbrand/prepare.html

My prayer for you is that these resources, that some godly people took the time to put together, will provide you with the time and ability (during your busy daily life) to prepare yourself and your family.  I do pray that we will never have to face most of this, but if we do, I know that I will always try to keep the following passage in mind:

But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATION, AND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. (1 Peter 3:14-17 NASB)

May God Bless you and Keep you.  ~Annette

How we got here – Part 1 :-)

While watching my kiddos interacting with each other earlier today, I thought I should share where we started out with our special needs, before I can really share our celebrations of where Jesus Christ has brought us, up to this point!

For brevity, I will be using the following abbreviations in my posts: DD14 (Dear Daughter age 14), DS12 (Dear Son age 12), DS9 (Dear Son age 9) and DH (Dear Husband).

About 16 years ago DH and I were married, after I had recently come out of paganism and witchcraft. I (and he) wanted to do things “right” (since I had already had two failed and abusive marriages…), so we lived separately until the day we were married (which was a new thing, for me). Anyway, within eight months after we were married, I found out that I was pregnant! Eight months after finding that out, we had a wonderful homebirth (with a lay midwife), and a beautiful baby daughter in our arms.

Things seemed perfect, at first. She slept through the night from day one, BUT that meant she did not nap during the day (I was okay with that)! The first thing that really bothered me, was that I could not rock her, AT ALL. As soon as I would start to rock, she would absolutely SCREAM (like I was hurting her)! So, whenever I held her, I had to sit completely still. That was the first image of motherhood shattered…

Then, it was time for me to go back to work… I had made arrangements to only have to work 3 days a week, and found a sitter about 10 minutes away from my job, so that I could nurse her on my lunch, and again, when I went to pick her up in the evening. Pretty soon, her sitter was saying that she was trying to make her take a nap, so that she could get a few things done around the house (looking back, I am sure this meant she was putting her in a playpen, in a room, with the door closed, while she just cried…).

I started to notice some things happening with my baby girl… She began to not want me to be away from her AT ALL, during any time I had with her. Not even in a different room of the house! This became very debilitating to getting ANYTHING done around the house! So, DH and I procured a backpack carrier, from a friend, and I was then at least able to make meals (I just could not make moves that were too sudden, or she would scream like she did when I tried to rock her…)! At about 3 months old, she began to scream in the church nursery, and she would not stop until they called me in to get her. She also said her first words, at this age, which were “dada”, “momma”, and “help”…

At about 6 months old, she said her first phrase of “ey-boy, ut up!” This meant “Hey-Boy, shut up!” You see, Hey-Boy was our dog, and he would bark a LOT whenever he was outside (this was when we realized we needed to be much more careful about the way we talked!). At about this time she also began to wake up screaming from night terrors, between 1 and 6 times a night! Because of this, she ended up staying in our room, in a crib right next to the bed, so that I could just reach over, calm her down, and go right back to sleep…

Although her language skills were very advanced, her physical milestones (like sitting up, crawling (which she never did do), fine-motor skills, and walking) were delayed… These things concerned us, but she did finally catch up a bit after about 18 months of age (she just never did crawl).

At about 16 months, her babysitter moved away, and she began to go to a Montessori day school. They too, insisted that she should take a nap (they would sit and rub her back, until she would fall asleep, and then let her sleep until I arrived there to pick her up!). This would mess up every workday, because then, at bedtime, she could not get to sleep, and would be fussy the next day! Then, I had her for my four days off… Finally, I would get her back to normal, and then the vicious cycle would start all over again on Monday.

After she finally began to walk, at 18-1/2 months old, she would have bouts of getting dizzy, walking like a drunken sailor, and many times vomiting from it. The doc told us to try ginger or Benadryl with her (he thought that she probably had an inner-ear virus). Both of those worked to help her! I was later able to find a ginger syrup (the only way I could get ginger into her…) at the health food store, and that is what we used whenever these bouts would happen again. This is when we began to realize that she had inner-ear (vestibular) issues.

http://vestibular.org/vestibular-disorders/symptoms.php (By the way, she has had almost ALL of these symptoms, and effects that are listed, in her life from this disorder…)

Around the time that she turned 2, I left my job, and pulled her out of the Montessori school. At first, she was nervous that she was going to have to go back to the school, and would fuss about it. Then, she began to settle down, became more trusting of me, more affectionate, and even weaned herself from nursing! I was beginning to get my daughter back!

New Big Sister!  :-)

When she was almost 26 months old, her first brother (who tried to come early…) was born at home too! One night, she went to bed an only child, and the next day, she woke up as a big sister, and loved it! 😉

At that time, she was still having her night terrors, so, now we had two kiddos in our bedroom with us! This new baby slept through the night from day one, would wake up with the sun, and would not nap during the day either…!

…..to be continued…..

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