Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for April, 2005
On our way South on I-5 through Washington, we stopped at the Mount St. Helens Visitor Center and finally got to see this famous mountain.
The famous mountain in the distance.
Granted from a great distance, but I still remember May 18, 1980 very well, I was only 11 years old when it blew. I was mesmerized by the power of the blast and the scope of the disaster. Ash reached my home in Lakewood, California.
Be still and know that I am God.
Not only was it beautiful here where we stopped, but the entire drive through Western Washington was breath-taking. When Rich Stafford and I were friends at Moody he was always bragging about the Great North West, which he always said with emphasis – it took me a while to get here, but I’ll admit it, “Rich, you were right, it is awesome here!” We will definatly be planning a future vacation here some time when we can stay even longer!
Me, at home in the woods.
We are now driving through Portland, Oregon on our way to Henry Zonio’s home. We will be going to his church on Sunday. (Yes, I am online in a moving car on my laptop – btw, Sara is driving, not me)
At one with the trees?
Until next time, please leave a comment. ;)
I have never liked sea food. Well, actually, it would be more accurate to say, I’ve always hated sea food. The very smell… well, ok, I’ll leave it at that.
While I have been known to order a Filet-O-Fish at McDonald’s I’ve been told that doesn’t count. Today we went to downtown Seattle (more pics later) but for now I had to share both some pictures of stuff people actually EAT and my reason for NOT eating it. After all, the Bible says in Deuteronomy 14:9-10
Of all the creatures living in the water, you may eat any that have fins and scales. But anything that does not have fins and scales you may not eat, for you it is unclean.
I don’t see fins and scales on all the images below!! It also says, in 14:21
Do not eat anything you find already dead.
I don’t know about you… but these all look VERY DEAD to me:
Granted, the end of verse 21 does offer some suggestions for what to do with this DEAD stuff, should you come across any:
You may give it to an alien living in any of your towns, and he may eat it, or you may sell it so a foreigner.
I’m not sure how nice it would be to sell this stuff to your friendly neighborhood foreigner, but it is nice to know that if I ever am visited by aliens from another planet, I know how to get them to leave – I’ll just feed them some of this dead stuff, and they will leave and post a sign up there at the Earth Exit, “Skip this planet – the food’s disgusting.”
Seriously, would YOU actually EAT this stuff??
As promised, here is the summary of my visit with Ryan Frank…
Let’s be Frank…
Let me be Frank with you….
Ryan Frank began his ministry at Liberty Baptist Church the same year I came to my present church, 1998. However, for Ryan, it was the church he grew up in. While marrying the pastor’s beautiful daughter may have helped in the job interview, sine then he has shown himself to be both a creative and resourceful children’s pastor. This was not my first time to his church. Ryan has been a long time contributor to Kidology.org and has been a trainer at Kidology events. Though I wasn’t able to visit on a Sunday during this visit, I did get several opportunities to sit down and ‘talk shop’ with Ryan.
I asked him to share some of the lessons he has learned from being faithful to one ministry for seven years. I told him to feel free to be ‘Frank’ with me…
DEVELOP A LEADERSHIP TEAM
Ryan said one of the critical things he has learned is the importance of Team Building. An effective children’s ministry leader has got to surround himself with qualified and dedicated people. He emphasized the need to maintain open lines of communication. When asked how to do this he said the main way was with his regularly scheduled team meetings which happen at least every other month. At these meetings there is reporting, planning of up coming events, (the whole team involved in special events), prayer both for ministry and personal needs. Ryan said that no matter how busy you are, being accessible is important, especially to those on your leadership team.
His team consists of 10 people: Nursery Director, Sunday School Director, Preschool Director, Awana Commander (and Assistant Commander), Kids Church Assistant Directors (2), Bus Ministry Director, plus he and his wife, Beth.
FEATURE THE POSITIVES
Ryan would encourage you to “feature the positives.” Keep the Children’s Ministry in front of the people.” Use as much bulletin space as possible, fill the empty bulletin boards with children’s ministry info, make lots of flyers and signs and put them everywhere.
No one sleepin’ during this sermon! Ryan has a GIANT inflatable dino on the stage of the worship center all month to promote the upcoming Dino Day!
Sign up table in the narthex
Signs around the church. These poster holders are all over the church and available to all ministries, but Ryan tries to us them for children’s ministry as much as possible.
SO WHAT’S NEW?
Ryan has found that that is important to always do something ‘new.’ Granted, even something you haven’t done for a few years will have a ‘new’ feel to it, such as the Dino Days they are doing this year, which they haven’t done for a few years. Always doing something NEW adds an element of excitement to the ministry and demonstrates vision – shows you aren’t in a rut.
Ryan keeps up with the world of kids and often adapts for church.
RELATIONSHIPS ARE KEY
Ryan, striking close to the heartbeat of Kidology, mentioned the key is to build relationships with kids. He strives to maintain a relational ministry. “Its about relationships,” Ryan says, and seeks to make it a reality by not only sending kids birthday cards, but calling them on their birthday. His secretary emails him a list of who to call each day; it is part of her job description. Sure, he will miss a few and have to call the next day, but it means a lot to the kids. A new thing they’ve been doing is an informal “show ‘n tell” during Kid’s Church where kids are encouraged to bring special things or new toys to church to ‘show and tell,’ and of course any children’s pastor can create an object lesson on the spot occasionally even getting it to fit the day’s lesson! This really shows the kids your interest in their world and what is important to them. Every Sunday is ‘show n tell’ of what we, the teachers, are interested in, why not let them also ‘show n tell’ what they like.
Since 1998 every year Ryan frames the faces of his kids!
Another creative thing Ryan does is that he provides a “question of the week” online on the kids ministry website. Kids are encouraged to go online, print and bring with the answer for a prize. (For kids without Internet, or not allowed, they simply can ask for a paper version after church, but still have to remember to bring it back the following week answered to get the prize.)
I asked Ryan how about how he partners with parents in the spiritual formation of children. For starters, the topic of Kids Church is in the bulletin each week for parents with discussion questions so that over lunch the parents are equipped to interact with their children on what they learned that day. In addition to special family events such father/son/daughters or mother/daughter/son events, their Sunday evening service is designed for the whole family to provide a balance to the Sunday morning “everyone go to your own age class and service.” Sunday mornings can be focused age appropriate teaching, and Sunday nights have more of a feel of community and family interaction through worship and learning.
One awesome ministry of Liberty Baptist is that, they provide 100% free counseling for the community in a home adjacent to the church. The center is run by volunteer counselors and the church provides the facilities. Many families who are now a part of the church were first ministered to through the counseling center over family, marriage, or other personal struggles. It occurred to me that this was much like the model of Jesus, first heal their physical and immediate needs, and then they will be more open to the message of the Gospel.
BACK TO THE BASICS
At the end of our time together I asked Ryan a final question, “Of everything you actually do each week, what would you say is the most important?” (I included ‘actually do’ because I’ve heard many times of lots of things we ‘ought’ to do, but in the end, it is what we actually do that matters.) His answer was so simple it surprised me, and yet he was right on target.
“Actually do? I guess I’d have to say creatively and faithfully teaching God’s Word.”
I’m not sure what answer I was hoping for – maybe some secret tidbit of ministry strategy, some covert task that would slowly and steadily transform my ministry – and yet, isn’t it true that in the end, our job as children’s pastors / teachers – is to simply teach the Word. There are a lot of other good and noble things we can engage in, and there is always another program or ministry ‘focus’ we can add, but at the core of our ministry we must never forget, what will matter most in the long run, in the lives and hearts of our kids, is how well we taught them the Word. So before the week is over, spend a little extra time on that lesson for Sunday!
And I thought gas was expensive in Chicago!
(and this was the lowest we could find!!)
We have arrived in Everett (20 miles North of Seattle) Washington. Decided to get in the mood for our miles and miles of driving…
Where is the red convertible when you need it?
We’ve arrived at Kim’s house… a childhood friend of Sara’s from the Philippines who was her Maid of Honor when we got married. More pics to come!
Another buddy named Nathan!
UP-DATE: A.R.M. 4000 XL Video below…
Finally time for an update on our adventures!
Bloggin’ on the train…
The Amtrak ride was fun. There will be some more pictures and video later, but overall it was a good trip. It was relaxing, and fun to watch the scenery. The bumpiness was ok, though walking was sometimes rough, it was fine while sitting/sleeping. The bed was NOT very nice, planning a chiropractic visit upon my return! :) But, on the bright side, I found my retirement home…
This is where I will retire…. if there is Internet, of course.
37 hours later, we arrived in Spokane. Contrary to online reviews, we arrived right on time… exept that ‘on time’ was 2:40am (4:40am Chicago time) so that added to an already rough night.
We were greeted by Darth Vader, and Daniel Bigler.
Our illuminated transport.
The picture is blurry to capture the lights underneath that were also under the seats inside, the children’s pastor’s ministry vehicle. (see I’m not the only CP with a cool car to interest kids!) Non-blurry pictures coming in photo gallery.
WOWIE! Fancy Schmancy!
They surprised us by putting us up in the fanciest downtown hotel called The Davenport.
Ah, yes, bring me my car please…
Truly ‘early church’ hospitality, Pastor Rick loaned us his car right after meeting us. As we took the keys and marveled that he would loan it to a stranger he said, ‘we’re all family and part of the same team, aren’t we?’ That’s one of the neat things about the body of Christ. (not the car, the spirt of sharing!)
Daniel is loved by his kids!
Our first stop was to visit Daniel’s preschool center where he works. It is one of the best centers in Spokane and we were impressed with the facility and philosophy of their approach.
Daniel and Pastor Rick. (and the cool car)
Next we were off to Shiloh Hills Fellowship. It is a two year old church that was born with the merger of two smaller struggling ministries – and it has taken off; they had 900 on Easter Sunday. The building has grown as well as the attendance, and the children’s ministry was just ‘given’ the old sanctuary, so they are excited about what they will do with that room. (Pictures and video will be on Kidology where members will get to offer ideas/suggestions!)
Downtown Spokane hosted the 1974 World’s Fair.
We went downtown to enjoy the sights and sounds of Spokane. It is a beautiful downtown area. There is an IMAX theater, carousel, shops, paths, etc. My favorite was the ‘eating goat.’ (shown below) Press a button on the wall, and the goat will eat out of your hand. (powered by a giant vacuum) Kinda strange, but kinda cool too.
Now That’s One Cool Goat.
King of the World! (er, Wagon!)
Spokane boasts of being home of the biggest wagon in the world. (I know, I gasped too!)
She’s not really that short, it’s the tower.
After our tour of town, it was back to church for the point of the visit – their Wednesday evening program called F.L.I.G.H.T. School. (Finding Life In God’s Heavenly Truth – the Bible) It is a FUN program that Pastor Rick created and has done for over 10 years in several ministries. Created as a more flexible alternative to the club program he used to use. It has a focus on Scripture memory, but also on life skills and application. Last night was “Water Night” filled with water games, a dunk tank, but also a lesson on Living Water and baptism. Several kids got saved. I, of course, had to visit Toys R Us on my way so that I could go around squirting kids. I found the BEST water gun ever! The A.R.M. 4000 XL
UP-DATE: Watch the A.R.M. 4000 XL IN ACTION!
QuickTime File 2.4MB
It attaches over your arm and is pumped by simply bending your elbow. I got it on sale for only $9.96 (I see on toysrus.com it is retail $29.99) My only regret is that I didn’t buy TWO, one for each a.r.m.! (Think I’ll have any trouble boarding my plane home wearing this??)
Me and Daniel and some WET kids!
This morning we went out to breakfast with Pastor Rick and visited Moody Northwest, but I’ll be posting more on that later. (Right after I get the interview with Ryan Frank posted!) But, the Liberty Baptist Gallery is now live as well as the Shiloh Hills Photo Gallery.NOTE: I have to post this blog post before I can add the gallery links, so if you are reading this in your e-mail, go online, I will edit this post and add the links and remove this sentence.
Rich Stafford anyone?
We have arrived in Spokane WA after a looooong but fun train ride (pics to come, this is a Palm post).
In addition to our visit at Shiloh Baptist, we are hoping to track down a college friend, Rich Stafford, who went to MBI with me and stood up in my wedding, but I’ve lost his contact info. Anyone know Rich and Donna Stafford? Let me know!!!! More later!
Rich has been found!
Check out his website: www.staffordstudios.com He now lives in Portland, and we are planning to see him NEXT WEEK! THANKS to those of you who helped, and especially to Pastor Rick who tracked his info down.
Or should it be ‘trackin’ with the Bastians?
Well, we are off on the next phase of our sabbatical…
I stopped by the office to grab a few things and was SHOCKED to see a new sign on my office door!
Soon we were at the station…
Sara booked us a huge comfortable room…
With views out BOTH sides of the train!
Soon we were leaving Chicago behind…
We went from tall building to farmland within 40 minutes…
I’m not sure how fast this train is, but it seems FAST – my guess at least 80mph if not overa 100 just trying to imagine a car going this fast… the train looks very old and worn, but is comfortable, and the ride isn’t too bumpy… we’ll see how it goes.
Yes, I am bloggin’ from the train via my trusty cell phone which gets my laptop online. I was curious if I would get this post posted and not lose my connection, so far so good. Keep in touch! Post a comment below and say hi!
Good Bye Chicago, be back in a few weeks!
1000 MILES passed!
Yes, on the road today we passed the ’1000 mile mark’ on this sabbatical. Since there was no out-doing getting to see George Lucas, we decided to hit the road early and get home – much to do to prepare for this next phase of the Sabbatical Adventures – we leave on the train tomorrow. Laundry is going now and we are trying to figure out how to best pack for a 20+ day trip that includes train, plane and automobile!The highlight of the day was finding ourselves in the home stretch just around church-getting-out-time so we decided to drop by Culvers and see if any church folks would be there…
Fun to get to see some of my kids before hitting the road again…
Please pray for us as we travel - for safety, for schedule timing, for times to relax and refresh, to get all the reading done I want to do, and that we will find opportunities to minister to others as we travel. Next stop…. Spokane Washington via Amtrak! (or pray for no brake problems on our Amtrak train!!!)If you haven’t seen the online release of my novel, I’d love to have you read it and comment on it. Your feedback will be both helpful and encouraging.
Star Wars Celebration Photo Gallery
is LIVE with 8 pages!!There are 8 PAGES of pictures (click on thumbnails for larger images). There are a LOT of pictures (over 300) – most have been edited/cropped and the junk ones removed, but just put them all there so you can get a ‘feel’ for the event. A bunch of ‘em have stories behind them… but you’ll just have to guess for now and ask later. There is no ‘order’ but in general they are in the order in which I took them over the whole event. (Though somehow the last picture became the first – go figure – when I did the automatic webpage export.)
Next entries »
Let me look on you, with my own eyes…
These may have been Darth Vader’s dying words, but they also have been the words of millions of fans who have wanted to see George Lucas since his last public appearance in… yes… 1987. Talk about fashionably late!
However, as stated in my blog yesterday, I had no plans (or hope) of seeing ‘The Maker’ as he is often called (see www.thankyougeorge.com) at the convention today. There was WELL over 50,000 people at the convention, and that total is days old! People were in line since the middle of yesterday and ALL NITE in the freezing rain to see him. So we decided to do like yesterday, and wait out the crowds and come late. Well, this may be one of the coolest (if not the most significant) occurances of Proverbs 16:9 in my life: “In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.”
The doors opened at 9am, so we arrived around 10am, parking is a nightmare, but a lady was standing out in the rain with a sign offering $9 parking for the day (our first sign of good luck), it was on the lawn of her business around the corner from the convention center. It was the most miserable 15 minute walk around the building – bitter cold, cutting wind, it forced tears from our eyes which practically froze to our face – we couldn’t believe people sat in this weather all night for a mere sight of George Lucas!!!! We finally got to the door and walked right in. I heard a volunteer saying “If you want to see George…” and he was passing out blue wrist bands, “…put this on and go up the escalator to the second floor.” Many walked right past him, but we took the bands and walked along. We were like sheep before the… well, we were just being ushered along with a bunch of other dazed and confused blue wristband wearing fans wondering where we were going. We were led through a bunch of now empty line dividers. Someone said it was only to see a video of George’s interview this morning, so some left the line. We continued on thinking even a video was better than nothing. Finally we got to the room where George was already speaking and THE DOORS WERE CLOSED RIGHT IN FRONT OF US! So close… but then they said we would be FIRST in line for the next session, and had we gotten in, we would have only seen the last ten minutes of the current session! So we waited 10-15 minutes and then were ushered in (by troopers!) and got to sit right in the front! I was on the first seat next to the center, third row, but it was the best seat! The two rows in front of me had a security person blocking the view, and the center section had heads and monitors in front of them, whereas I had a straight shot view with nothing between! There honestly wasn’t a better seat! (except on the stage, of course.)
So the man isn’t CGI after all!
George Lucas was joined by Rick McCallum, Star Wars director/producer (left), George Lucas (center), and Jay Laga’aia (Captain Panaka in EP1) who hosted and facilitated the interview. There wasn’t much significant or news worthy in the substance of the interview but it was really neat to see him in person, and to be part of a large group of fans expressing our appreciation to him for his creativity and dedication over the years to something that has brought a lot of imaginative fun to millions of people. I don’t get fans of Star Wars who don’t like George Lucas. I’m not sure what they expect – he is just a man, and no one is perfect. Most interesting to me was the one question he was asked: “What is your religion?” His answer was basically, “I am a very spiritual man but not a member of any organized religion.” It’s a bummer – the Kingdom could really use his imagination and creativity.
But enough about that – there was more to the day. And I DID finally dress up today in my Jedi outfit, which led to some interesting events….
Fellow Master Jedi
The Circle is now complete.
It isn’t wise to upset a Wookie!
Dressing up as a Jedi does have its disadvantages.
Today we also got to see the Star Wars Musical, which basically took classic songs from musicals and rewrote them to tell the story of A New Hope – such as the old Obi-Won singing to Luke, how the Force flows like music, “The Music of the Knight.” Sara also got to see the One Man Star Wars (I saw it Thursday, but I’d see it ten times) – if you ever can see this, you must!!
The latest action figure from Hasbro!
It was a great day – meeting George Lucas, seeing some great shows, and after a short stint in the exhibit hall again, we headed back to hotel room. Still not sure whether we are going back for more tomorrow or not. (Complete Celebration III Photo Gallery still to come!)But for now, as Yoda once said, “Tired I am. Need sleep I do.”