95 thoughts on “Stop Signs”

  1. Hey, I remember those!

    That’s one of my fonder memories of my IFB church’s children’s church, along with the giant flip chart with hymn lyrics hand written on it.

  2. Cool signs. Nice reminder that not all fundy memories are bad memories.

    Re: nostalgia, I fully expect that one day soon, some hipsters will rediscover flannel-graph, and make it a thing, in some creative artsy way. Ex-fundies everywhere will smile.

    1. Flannelgraph is a huge thing in preschool classrooms. It’s typically called felt board. I was surprised to find it so popular, because it had always come across as a bit lame to me, perhaps because in our Sunday School classrooms 1) they used nothing else and 2) they used it well-past the preschool age.

      1. No way! ❗ πŸ˜€ ❗ I had no idea anyone was still using it. I’ll work with preschoolers now and then, usually just as a sub, but I’ve never seen it, not since I was a kid myself. Normally, I teach elementary age kids, though, which is way past the flannelgraph demographic.

        1. Admittedly, they don’t look like the flannelgraph pieces back in my day. Nowadays you can even get detailed picture printed right on felt which is so much more durable.

          Look up “felt board” on ebay and you’ll get 995 responses!

      2. I first heard the story of Jesus and His disciples via flannelgraph during a CEF meeting at a neighbor’s house when I was eight. Her name was Edith Griffin, and she personally led me to the Lord.

        I’ll never forget the reel to reel tape stories from missionaries and the no-bake cookies (the primary reason I went). You see, I wasn’t raised in a Christian home.

  3. I LOVED our Sunday School songs. When we sang this there was a second verse (and a second flip sign):
    “GO! And tell the story
    Of the Christ of Calvary…”

    I’d love a post devoted to recalling all the old SS songs… the great ones and the crazy ones.

    The Countdown Song… anyone?

      1. Red was the color of the blood that he shed.
        Brown’s for the crown of thorns they laid upon His Head.
        Blue is for royalty which in Him did indwell.
        And yellow is for the Christian who’s afraid to tell.

        I colored and I colored ’til the crayons were all gone,
        And though I’ve grown much older now the memories linger on.

      1. “It only takes a spark to get a fire going…” That was a favorite of mine, and still sort of is, despite everything. Probably because I associate it more with my campfire-building, guitar-playing dad than the crazy fundy church we ended up at when I was a teenager.

    1. Did yours also have a green sign that said “Go” the way the red said “Stop?”
      Ours had a 3rd verse: Watch and be ye ready, for the Lord may come today. (Complete with a sign that was a pocket watch.)

  4. Those signs remind me of the times when our children’s church leader would call on random kids to hold them (for this song and others). Usually this was seen as a privilege, but sometimes they would bring up a new bus kid who was being bad. When the poor kid inevitably failed to do it right, they would call on a good church kid to take their place who could do it right.

    Didn’t happen all the time, but it certainly did on more than one occasion.

  5. My favorite was “Did You Ever Talk to God Above.” I remember it had a boy with a horse and nature scenes as you turned the pages. Haven’t been to church I years, but I still find comfort when that song runs through my head.

    1. I remember that one! And I agree: I don’t go to church anymore either, and there are a lot of bad memories, but those simple, peaceful songs do still have a special place in my heart.

  6. “Somewhere in outer space, God has prepared a place….the countdown’s getting lower every day!”

    Sang them all, and taught them all–and I still remember the good truth taught in the songs.

  7. These signs were the best! You could learn the words of the songs and get thrashed at the same time! Please tell me I’m not the only one that got swatted by one of these in Jr. Church.

  8. If the IFB only knew these simple childrens songs were seeds of the great deciever sown to infiltrate the innocent minds that would one day create the sappy repetitive noise that has replaced our hymns known as ‘praise’ and ‘worship’

  9. Wow, this brings back memories. We had Stop, Go, and Watch. We also had a booklet for 1, 2,3, Jesus Loves Me. Oh and we had a giant book for the Countdown song! It had purplish sky on the front cover. I want to say there was a rocket too but it might have been something different and my young mind just thought it was a rocket.

      1. I was gonna say, I really thought I remembered a rocket being there! I’m in my late 20s and had no idea how old the song was by the time I was in junior church.

    1. I wasn’t in church as a youngster, and wasn’t exposed to a lot of the songs.

      I think I remember the countdown song from when I was a young adult… wasn’t there some kind of rocket blast as part of it? I seem to remember hands together over the head making a rocket point.

      That reminds me; one of my gripes is when a church will sing kiddie songs and expect the adults to do the motions. I may have enjoyed it when I was young, but when I grew up, I put away childish things.

      1. We didn’t do gestures with the rocket song, but we did shout “Blastoff!” at the end of the countdown.

        I too never liked having to do most of the children’s songs as an adult, especially the ones with motions. This happened when our church had teen meetings or something like that. I never participated; it just felt strange.

      1. No, I was completely across the country in CA. There have been many times I’ll read comments from others here and think I’m reading my own story!

    1. There are probably dozens of variations on the theme, but it’s usually a sort of vacation Bible school(VBS) held either at a park or maybe at the church. Songs, Bible story, maybe a craft, cookies and Kool-Aid

  10. Let’s all sing together!

    Somewhere in outer space
    God has prepared a place
    For those who trust Him and obey
    Jesus will come again
    And though we don’t know when
    The countdown’s getting lower every day.

    CHORUS:
    10 and 9, 8 and 7, 6 and 5 and 4,
    Call upon the Savior while you may,
    3 and 2, coming through the clouds in bright array
    The countdown’s getting lower every day.

    10
    9
    8
    7
    6
    5
    4
    3
    2
    1
    BLAST OFF!

    Jesus was crucified, suffered and bled he died,
    But on the cross He did not stay
    He made this promise true, I will come back for you,
    The countdown’s getting lower every day.

    CHORUS

    Soon will the trumpet sound, and we’ll rise off the ground
    With Christ forever will we be
    Children where will you be, throughout eternity?
    The countdown’s getting lower everyday!

    1. The last line I could put to music so I checked it out on YouTube. Yep, I remember that song. I just don’t remember if it was at the Baptist church or my own church.

    1. We have the pre-printed ones in the basement of our present church. I also used to sing this song as a child in the 70s. I loved being picked to come up and hold the sign. It was fun because you got to flip it around. We hated when a new kid was chosen to flip the song because they never knew when to turn it! We always wanted the teacher to pick those kids to hold the signs that DIDN’T need to be turned and to choose kids with experience to handle the Stop, Go, and Watch signs.

  11. Reading through these song lyrics reminded me of the summer of 1979 when I was a traveling “evangelist” for Neighborhood Bible Time. I looked NBT up on line and saw that Rev. Charles Homsher passed away last September. I can’t help but wonder: How many (if any) of our SFL community worked with NBT?

    I know, it’s the nostalgia thing.

    1. I used to visit “Boss” at his home in Boulder when I worked there with the Boulder ________ ________when his wife was ill. He considered me one of his “boys” even though I never traveled with any of the teams. I don’t have any of the baggage, and merely enjoyed my visits with him. It was shortly after that period of time that NBT moved to Chicago and I left Boulder.

      Going back a number of years, I recall vividly his bear hugs at BJ when he would visit and embarass BJ Jr. when he would have all the “preacher boys” stand and sing “It’s Bible Time. Apparently, it wasn’t dignified enough for the man.

      B.R.O.

      1. B.R.O.,
        What a great story. Chas Homsher was a nice, if demanding, man. I remember that wherever he was, he was in charge. Love the story about him embarrassing BJ Jr. Apparently you’re of a similar vintage at BJ to me. BJ Jr was still large and in charge, BJIII was surging in power. My name on this site is due, not to my lack of hair, but to the fact that my buddies and I called the university “Bald Jones University” due to Jr’s follicular challenge. (I have plenty of hair, white mostly.) πŸ™‚ As I’ve said before, I taught the sacred offspring in Sunday School when he was in 4th grade. Dang I’m old.
        BJg

        1. BJg,

          I do remember hearing “Bald Jones University,” though the more commn term of endearment was the infamous, “BoJo five-0” among other terms.

          I believe Jr. and the third just stopped wearing their toupes at about the time I started there, which would have been some years after you left. I didn’t start there until I left the service.

          Anyway, I’ve also hear of Jr’s sense of humor outside the hearing of the general student population. Every once and a while a glimmer would publicly show. I think he enjoyed the shocked looks throughtout the sea of faces.

      2. B.R.O., you mentioned that singing “It’s Bible Time” may not have been dignified enough for BJ Jr. Please remember, he was a “renowned Shakespearean interpreter.”

        I have some funny stories about Junior, though, as my older brother was good friends with BJ Jr. One of them I won’t post on this site, because it was a joke Jr. told my brother while standing at a urinal. Most folks don’t know that BJ Jr was a hilarious man who could go way off color in his humor.

    2. @Bald Jones grad: I kind of freaked out when I read your post; it was the summer of 1979 and, I think, 1980 when our very small, rural church did Neighborhood Bible Time. There was a BJU student for one of these — it would be so weird if it were you.

  12. BJg,

    The last church of which I was a member has hosted NBT. I possibly heard Charles Homsher preach on one occasion. I also heard BJ2 preach on another occasion (different church).

    By the way, are you familiar with the “crayon box song,” and were the correct words, “placed upon His head?”

    1. I don’t remember the ‘Crayon Box Song’ but it was 1979. I remember going to training in Boulder, Colorado and staying at Charles Homsher’s house with the other ‘evangelists.’ Back then, we did the Bible Time ‘patter’ for the kids to get them in the spirit of things. I traveled to California (the most coveted assignment); to Traverse City, Michigan, to Idaho, and I’m trying to remember where all. It was quite the summer, but there was a lot of Kool Aide to drink. Back then Chas Homsher recruited at Bob Jones, Maranatha, and other fundy schools. My partner was from Maranatha Bible College and I eventually was best man in his wedding. Lost touch with him since, sadly.

  13. Man, these do bring back alot of memories. Most of them belting out a tune as a kid and screaming at the yelling parts…

    But then of course my OCD mind jumps to the times in my fundy HS when we took a “child teaching” course led by the pastor’s wife and had to sing these in class. It wouldn’t have been so bad except each week someone had to lead and I cannot sing well (understatement). Overall though, I’d have to say the good outweighs the bad. πŸ™‚

  14. Man, these do bring back alot of memories. Most of them belting out a tunes as a kid and screaming at the yelling parts…

    But then of course my OCD mind jumps to the times in my fundy HS when we took a “child teaching” course led by the pastor’s wife and had to sing these in class. It wouldn’t have been so bad except each week someone had to lead and I cannot sing well (understatement). Overall though, I’d have to say the good outweighs the bad. πŸ™‚

  15. No you can’t get to heaven (no you can’t get to heaven) in a Kleenex box (in a Kleenex box)’cause the Lord don’t allow (’cause the Lord don’t allow), no little snots (no liitle snots).
    No you can’t get to heaven in a Kleenex box, ’cause the Lord don’t allow no little snots, all my sins are washed away I’ve been redeemed! 😯

      1. The only other one I remember is the limosine (’cause the Lord don’t sell, no gasoline). You will have to refresh me on the rocking chair though. By the way, I could have picked this up at the christian school, I can’t remember.

        1. “Oh, you can’t get to heaven in a rocking chair ’cause the Lord doesn’t allow any lazybones there….”

          Totally anti-grace, by the way! πŸ™‚

        2. Anti grace is no joke. Reminds me of a movie that had a cross eyed governor and a rubber stamp shouting: Work! Work! Work! Work!

      1. Can’t get to heaven in a mini skirt, cuz God don’t like those little flirts..
        And
        Can’t get to heaven in a taco shell, cuz God don’t have no Taco Bell.

        Deep stuff. πŸ˜†

    1. When we sang that song, we had a very different first verse, that I’ve never heard from anybody else:

      Oh, the deacon went down (repeat)
      To the cellar to pray (repeat)
      He fell asleep (repeat)
      And he stayed all day.

      Oh the deacon went down to the cellar to pray,
      He fell asleep and he stayed all day.
      Ain’t gonna grieve my Lord no more.

      We sang the other verses with the ending “Ain’t gonna grieve my Lord no more” instead of “All my sins are washed away,” etc.

  16. Oh to be chosen to hold a song, especially THIS one. Oh, the joy and the police feeling of thrusting your stop sign out with “authority” at just the right time. Yeah, I was a wide-eyed bus kid. It’s rather funny now but it does bring up some warm fuzzies. Ha!

  17. Many of us have good memories of preschool/kindergarten age in fundamentalist churches… it used to be that children this age got a break from the standard fundamentalist judgement and condemnation… now a good fundamentalist parent is expected to break their child’s will at these ages… nobody escapes the condemnation anymore, nobody.

  18. How about this little ditty they used to sing on the bus:

    I’ve… got.. the..
    belief of the Bible
    that baffles the Buddhists
    way down in the depths of my heart!
    Where?
    way down in the depths of my heart!
    Where?
    way down in the depths of my heart!
    I’ve got the
    belief of the Bible
    that baffles the Buddhists
    way down in the depths of my heart!
    Where?
    way down in the depths of my heart to stay!
    and I’m so happy, so very happy,
    I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart,
    down in my heart
    and I’m so happy, so very ha-ap-y
    I’ve got the love of Jesus in my heart!

    1. We didn’t always sing this verse, but when we did it was, “The Baptist beliefs that baffle the Buddhists way down in the depths of my heart … WHERE?!!”

    2. Okay, I’ll confess I always liked that part, mainly because of all the alliteration, buh-buh-buh. Don’t ever recall anything against Hindus, Jews, Catholics, probably just as well. πŸ™„ πŸ˜›

  19. Did anyone sing the Obedience Song?

    Obedience is
    The very best way
    To show that you believe

    Doing exactly what the Lord commands
    Doing it happily
    Action is the key
    Do it immediately
    Joy you will receive
    Obedience is the very best way
    To show that you believe

    O-B-E-D
    I-E-N-C-E

    Obedience is the very best way
    To show that we believe.

    1. We sang this as kids and my last church also sang it sometimes. Catchy tune, wrong theology. “By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one for another.”

  20. I remember singing “I may never March with the infantry” as a kid. πŸ™‚

    I may may never March with the infantry
    Ride with the cavalry, shoot with artillery
    I may never zoom o’er the enemy
    But I’m in the Lord’s Army

    More recently I heard another verse

    I may never fly like Superman,
    Climb like Spider-Man, bend like Bananaman
    Indiana Jones is not the kind of man I am
    But I’m in the Lord’s Army!

    πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

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