Michael Pearl: Then, public reading, speaking and storytelling. What we did, now this would be good for you. What we did when the kids, were young is...we didn't have devotionals. I've never had devotionals for myself. I've memorized a good portion of the Bible. When I'm working, I'm quoting scripture, thinking it, singing and praising, sometimes out loud. We don't have devotionals. I don't have time to sit there that long. God can speak to me. He can do it while I'm working an axe or a sledgehammer or running a chainsaw or throwing knives. I don't have to go off somewhere and sit there and think about myself.
I've never been into that introspective religious stuff. I didn't teach my kids to do it, but we did have Bible studies at home. We had Bible storytelling. I would get all together, and it was fun. They all would sit on the floor with paper and they would draw. They didn't have to sit there like we were having a religious service. They could draw the picture of what I was talking about.
I would tell the stories of the Bible. I told them about Sodom and Gomorrah and the queers and how God burned them all up, because he doesn't like queers. He doesn't like people messing with kids.
I told them that. From the time they were babies they understood that, that when a man starts handling a man like it's his woman that God sees that as sin. Or when two women get together and start kissing on each other or something like that, that God calls that lesbianism, and that's sin and that's sodomy, and God will damn people for that.
I told them about adultery, fornication. We talked about Sampson and his sin, what a sin it was to take a woman who wasn't his wife and all that. We talked about other stories. We didn't skip any Bible stories. We talked about people getting speared through the temple like that when they came into the tent.
We talked about the woman who got cut up into many parts and shipped all over the country because she had been raped and the war that broke out over it. We don't skip any Bible stories. We taught the kids these Bible stories. They developed their understanding of who God is and values based on stories in the Bible.
Then, I had the kids read scripture. Even when they couldn't read, they had to take a turn. Everybody took a turn. They had to go stand up like this behind a little podium in the living room as far away from all of us as they could get.
Then, they'd have to read. Now, the kids who couldn't read, Deb or I would read each word and let them pronounce it. No matter how little they were, they got to do their part. They'd pronounce a little bit. They'd read a verse of scripture.
Then, when they got to where they could read, they would read. We would make them reread it until they pronounced each word correctly, Southern style.
Michael: Got to drag those Rs out and roll it and wave it like this. I'm not tipping off stuff. They would read it. Then, as they advanced and got more capable, I had them stand up straight and look at the audience while they read and read with emphasis, not focus on the text too much. Glance down at it, pick it up, memorize it and read it boldly.
Then, I'd have them start projecting their voice. They're standing up there and saying, little bitty kid, seven years old, [speaks loudly] "In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep."
If they messed up, they had to go back again and get it. This was fun for them. They had lots of fun doing this. It was an entertaining experience. I taught them to speak publicly and to make eye contact and do it boldly. They had a great time doing it.
Today, my kids are just not afraid. They can get up and talk, any one of them, in front of any kind of audience and say anything they got on their heart or mind. If they don't have anything to say, it doesn't bother them a bit. They can still get up there and talk.
Michael: That's good for them.