Monday, July 20, 2009

Tell us all about yourself?

Here are some thoughts going through my head this morning as I read a comment that I have not yet posted. (I might not) Anyone who reads my blog knows a great deal about me. They know I am a Presbyterian Elder. If they read carefully they know what my degrees are in and that I am a writer who writes about many subjects. They know I am a mother, grandmother and great grandmother. They know that I am married to a piano tuner and live in an aging hundred year old house. They know I write poetry and like gardens. They know that as a Christian I am orthodox, (with a small o), evangelical and Reformed.
Picture by Viola Larson

Some people who write comments on my blog, both those who disagree with me and those who agree, I know a great deal about. Most of that is because they also have blogs and I read their blogs. Some I have even met and we are brothers and sisters in Christ as well as friends.

But some people, a few, are always in disagreement with me on several subjects and eventually they become insulting when writing. All of this is made worse by the fact that although they give their names and cities/states I really do not know anything about them. They are not blogging themselves and even when they are listed with a blog name they have no profile.

So--here is your chance-- you know about me, now tell us all about yourself, it will help me to feel better about posting your comments--and besides I would really like to get to know you.


Sam said...

I know what you're talking about. I'm one of those "in disagreement with you on several subjects" people. Of course, I have a blog and you can find out who I am (except my real name, but you can have that too if you want). Once I have gotten to know (whatever that means in the blogosphere) someone, it's much easier to be respectful when disagreeing.

I actually wouldn't mind meeting some of those whom I enjoy disagreeing with. Next time I'm through Sacramento, how 'bout a cup of coffee?

Viola Larson said...

Sam, that sounds great to me. My e-mail is
Just let me know.

Kevin said...


Kevin Carroll, husband of Tammy (for 22 years), father of Matthew (16), Joseph (14), Nathan (12), and Benjamin (10).

I hold a BA in Biblical Languages from Calvary Bible College (KC, MO) and an MDiv from Reformed Theological Seminary (Jackson, MS).

I was raised a Baptist but "saw the light" about 15 years ago. I am currently the minister of Macon Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Macon, MS and have pastored a total of 18 years.

I'm fiercly conservative, totally reformed (I actually wear that moniker proudly), but pride myself on being to have cordial debate. Most of the time.

Oh, and my blood type is A+. :)

Macon, MS

Viola Larson said...

Thanks Kevin,

That’s what I wanted-well maybe not the blood type:)

I'm still wishing some of the people who are a bit persistent in their invisibleness and disagreement would be more open. So we could all get to know them in a real way as whole persons.

Pastor Bob said...


I don't think I'm terribly invisible but here goes.

I'm married and have two adult children. I got a BA in Religion from Ohio Wesleyan University and then an MDiv from Fuller Theological Seminary in 1979. This October will be the 30th anniversary of my ordination in what was then the UPUSA and is now the PCUSA. I recently got my DMin from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

I use the word Evangelical to describe myself. That doesn't mean that I use the Old Princeton Scholastic way of interpreting the Bible. I does mean that I believe faith in Jesus Christ is the only was to salvation. I also describe myself as Reformed. That means, among other things, that I think faith is a gift from God.

Outside of that I'm a member of Philadelphia Presbytery and an infrequent blogger although I often write on your blog.

I think I've signed my name enough so that you know where I live. And my blood type is also A+ :)

Bob Campbell

Viola Larson said...

Thanks Bob,

So two A+ guys. I like your definition of Evangelical.

Andrea said...

Can I jump on this bandwagon? I like to comment on these discussions from time to time, so I might as well.

I am Viola's youngest daughter. I am wife of David and mother of Anastasia, Alexandria, David, & Adora. I am also master to Sawyer, a very cute and disobedient Beagle.

I am a Southern Baptist who doesn't really understand why Christianity is divided into so many different sects. (I like the way my pastor puts it, "We all like ice cream--just some of us like different flavors than others.")

I do not hold a degree--but I'm working towards having one soon.

I do blog; however, I've been hardpressed to find the time lately between family, work, and school.

My blood type is O- (I am a universal donor).

Andrea Hightower
Sacramento, CA

Mrs. Reverend Doctor said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Viola Larson said...

I recieved this e-mail from Kattie,


I suggest posting my last response, then take a look at my blog page.
I believe there should be sufficient information there in comparrison
to what Kevin and Bob gave to earn your A+ rating.



Kattie's blog can be seen by going to my blog posting and clicking on The reason I left Dr. Mikhael's workshop on's because of the Jewish people and then clicking on her name in the comments. There is nothing there except that she has high degrees and a lot of those silly test she has taken.

And she did not read enough comments here to understand that I was talking about blood types not how great information is.

I will not post your comment on my last posting because you started it by insulting someone.

I was having a lot of fun here but you have upset my enjoyment.
I will get back to it. If you want to send me your response without the insult I will post it.

Andrea said...

"I was having a lot of fun here but you have upset my enjoyment."

I know you grew up on a farm, so don't forget the best advice you learned there:

Throw out the bad apples so they don't spoil the bunch.

Just toss out Kattie's cattiness and enjoy the good apples that are left!

Viola Larson said...

Andrea your dad is o - I didn't know if you knew that.

Kattie W. Coon said...

That’s an interesting response Viola. Rather insulting on multiple levels.

The tests may be silly, but if the information contained in the results didn't bare some essential resemblance to aspects of me, I wouldn't have posted the results.

Of course I read enough, and of course you said the >>guys<< were A+ not their blood type, although I knew >>they<< were clearly talking about blood type. Maybe you don't see that technicality, but I do.

I wonder why you chose to post a private communication from me without doing me the courtesy of contacting me first. I could have posted it here myself, but I chose not to. Did it not occur to you that I might want it to remain private?

You could have (just between us) asked me to remove the first sentence of my prior post (which you found offensive) and then re-post, but you chose (in a very un-Presbyterian way) to do so in a public manner. You made the public (might I say possibly slanderous) accusation that I insulted someone, so now prove it.

Wow! I upset your enjoyment by posting information about myself, on my blog page, and telling you about it privately. What does that say about you?

Huntsville, Al

Viola Larson said...

You are right Kattie about the posting of your private words and I did go against my better judgement. I should have ignored it. But I am not going to start arguing with you via e-mail as well as on my blog.

Pastor Bob said...

Wait a minute Katie. I always thought my blood type guaranteed that I would do well in school! Now you tell me it won't? :) Just kidding of course.

I heard Viola's response as a joke.

Why don't you just tell us all something about yourself, curriculum vitae, family, theological leanings. It would be the polite thing to do and is what Viola asked for.

Bob Campbell
I haven't moved, so . . .

Kattie W. Coon said...


I don't think I've seen from you before this anything quite as personally offensive as your display here beginning with your original post.

It appears to me that the “a lot of fun” you were having with this post was at my expense. This might not have been so obvious to your other readers.

I think you may need to do a personal assessment of your motives here.

I'm not sure why you pointed out that your action was against your better judgment. Is that your way of asking for forgiveness, are you reaching for justification, or are you simply declaring that you are at least as depraved as the rest of us?

As to your “I should have ignored it” comment; has it not occurred to you that I was trying to give you that information I felt was appropriate, within the constraints imposed upon me by others, and didn’t want to make a big public deal about it?

I think it speaks volumes that you chose to ignore my comment concerning possible slander on your part.


It may have been a joke, but, in my experience, rarely is a joke just a joke. Certainly Viola wasn’t so light hearted concerning what I included about myself on my blog page. She spread the ridicule on pretty thick don’t you think? Is it as if she hoped I would provide nothing at all?

I'm guessing you haven't looked at my blog page. No harm done.

I haven't moved either…

Andrea said...

I did not know that Dad was 0-. that must be where I get it from. What is your type?

Viola Larson said...

Its be something, I can't remember right off hand.

Viola Larson said...

That was suppose to be B something.

Kattie W. Coon said...


Just out of curiosity, why are you so bent out of shape over my criticism of Herb Keinon for his reference to Sharansky? Why should you care?


Viola Larson said...

That isn't the subject of this post.

Presbyman said...

Well, Viola, we generally agree about things, but since all kinds of people are participating I would like to contribute as well.

Since blood type keeps coming up, I am A+. To play off Bob Campbell's comment, I sure wish that had been a predictor of academic performance!

I am 41, married to a great lady since 2004, with two small children who keep us quite busy quite aside from ministry to a medium sized church in Erie.

Anyone who knows me knows I am politically and theologically conservative (these do not always line up neatly). If I had to describe myself, it would be as an "Evangelical Anglo-Calvinist," based on my coming to Christ at a Billy Graham Crusade, my Episcopalian upbringing, and my Calvinist theological convictions.

I graduated from Princeton Theological Seminary in 2002, after receiving degrees from Cornell (1990) and the University of Michigan (1994).

For fun I like to chat with Mormons (I love Mormons) and try to remember my German language skills from Junior Year Abroad.

Although I would not call myself a Christian Zionist I am both a Christian and a Zionist.


John Erthein
Erie, PA

Viola Larson said...

Hmmm, John, Now I wonder have we stumbled onto a new thought. Three male Presbyterian Pastors with a blood type of A+: )

Thanks for giving the information. I hope everyone knows I am just kidding.

Adel Thalos said...

Hi Viola,

My blood type is O, but my wife Lynne has A+.

We have 3 wonderful sons, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob...2 in high school and one in middle school. Last year I lamented the passing of the elementary school age. We have one beautiful little Pomeranian girl, who is currently with puppies.

I am of Middle-Eastern descent (an immigrant as a child), but married a woman from South Dakota. I grew up primarily in Denver, attending a very conservative, evangelical PCUSA church. I graduated from Denver Theological Seminary (Denver Conservative Baptist Seminary at the time) and have served in a non-denominational setting (a very small church), a very large PCUSA church, and a medium size Presbyterian church. Currently I am without a call, but filling in at our church in Georgia, while working full time on a PhD in theological education at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School.

And Sara, you have an open invitation to come visit if you are ever in the Atlanta, GA area.

reformedpastor said...

Well, I'm NOT A+, but I'm B+, which is considerably rarer.

I"m an Evangelical Presbyterian Church pastor, planting a new church in Woodbridge, VA. I'm originally from New Jersey, spent 23 years as a pastor in mainline denominations (United Methodist and Moravian) in North Carolina, and have been in Virginia since 2006.

I got my BA in Political Science from Rutgers University, my M.Div from Southeastern Baptist Seminary in NC, and am about 2/3 through a D.Min at Trinity Episcopal School for Ministry near Pittsburgh.

I grew up in a Reformed Jewish household, and became a Christian during my freshman year in college. God used my wife-to-be to challenge me to open up the Scriptures, and in classic Reformed fashion the Holy Spirit used it to transform my life.

I consider myself to be a thorough-going Calvinist, having learned from the master himself when I read the Institutes and everything else of Calvin's I could get my hands on in the mid-90s. At the same time, I've never had any hesitation to learn from a wide variety of sources, and so count Luther, Augustine, Aquinas, Barth, Wesley, Menno Simons, Athanasius, John Chrysostom, Symeon the New Theologian, and Vladimir Lossky among those who have influenced me.

David Fischler
Woodbridge, VA

Pastor Bob said...


I looked at your blog. It didn't tell me your curriculum vitae or anything about your family as I did. OF course if you want to keep that info private that's up to you.

I also haven't heard your blood type yet :) We could use some AB-s.

Your blog did give some of your theological perspectives. Or at least point to them.

I know you and Viola haven't gotten along in the past and don't seem to now either. But I understood Viola' invitation to be a real invitation for those of us who disagree and agree to get to know more about each other.

Try us! At least some of us don't bite. Although since my cardiologist took me off red meat I make no promises about myself. (My LDL has been cut in half and is not in the safe range! HDL is still too low)

Of course I didn't name my wife, my children or give the kids addresses either. Well, my son just moved home, if that is any information. Weird thing, your 28 year old son moving home because he lost his job.

Bob Campbell
still in the same physical location but falling off the edge into utter madness ;)

And no, Kattie, my location is NOT a reference to you!

Viola Larson said...

Wow, all of you have amazed me. I thought I knew a great deal about you. But I didn't-so maybe I should share a little more since I didn't fill out all of my blanks.

For school, when you are married to a man who has a business, (tuning pianos), and six children you don't go far away for school.

So since I started when Andrea, my last child as she said, was three I went to Sacramento City College, and then The California State University Sacramento. I have a BA in Philosophy and one in Religious Studies. From the same place I have an MA in History with a concentration in Humanities a special program at CSUS.

I also have 37 units toward a MA in Theology from Fuller but after that decided I was just getting to old and wanted to choose what subjects to write about.

I have been involved in some kind of cult or new religions ministry for around thirty years, now just writing now and then.

I am Calvinist, evangelical and like liturgical worship but I was also a part of the Jesus Movement and if they are scriptural based like praise music. Being an eclectic sort of person I also like Greek and Russian Orthodox music and yes country music.

I do all things decently and in order so I had three boys and then three girls. I have eighteen grandchildren and my second great grandchild will be born this coming month.

I have really enjoyed reading about all of you. I am glad I asked the question.

Viola Larson said...

And yes Kattie I would really like to know you as a person. Not just Kattie from Alabama but Kattie who likes...? Who has degrees in...? Who ...?

Sam said...

I actually have family in the Sacramento area, but if I get near Atlanta - count on it!

Jodie said...

I wonder...

Am I invited to this party too?

Barb said...

Okay, I've been reading these bios for the past couple days and now have decided to play:
I'm a wife of one (PCUSA pastor) and a mother of 4. Our eldest is off to college (Eastern IL Univ) this year which will create a huge vacuum in our universe. Daughter 1 will be a sophmore (in public school), Son 2 is trapped between 7th and 8th grade (depending upon which subject, he's homeschooled) and son 3 will begin homeschooling kindergarten.
We have lived in southern IL for 7 years, moved from Denver, moved from Vancouver, moved from Denver, moved from Pasadena (near to my hometown of South Pasadena). I am not an academic. It took me 12 years to attain a bachelors at William Carey International University. I grew up roman catholic, "converted" in a congregational church, moved to a covenant church, married in a grace brethren church, started a family in epc church and now reside in a pcusa church. But I am lazily exploring my catholic roots (sorry all you reformed folks).
Beside homeschooling I volunteer at church and the Pregnancy Center in town.
I'm O+.
Barb Moody
Sparta, IL

Viola Larson said...

Only if you truly tell us all about yourself including your real last name.

Viola Larson said...

hi Barb,
I hope you will write some about exploring your Catholic roots on your blog. That sounds very interesting. I do get and read First Things and Touchstone (They are all more than Catholic) but very liturgical.