Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for May, 2005
Well, this is it. The eve before my sabbatical is over. Tomorrow morning I head back to work, that is, if I can remember where I work. (hahaha) Wow, what an awesome trip this was! We got to travel to Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, (through a bunch of states on the train), Washington, Oregon, California and of course, Illinois. Got to go back to Yosemite (my favorite place on earth) plus Cedar Point (second favorite, funnest place on earth) plus along the way visited over ten churches meeting with the children’s pastor from most of them. (not to mention the Star Wars Convention, that was pretty cool too)
I was back in church on Sunday, but didn’t have to do anything, just enjoyed being there. It was great to see all the kids again, and nice to be fought over again. :) After church it was back to Culver’s, the unofficial after church hang out. These pictures from Sunday lunch say better than words why I am so glad to be back, and why I love my job so much…..
Still some more Sabbatical Posts coming – but thanks for following us along the way. POST A COMMENT and tell me what you enjoyed the most, or what you’d like to see more of on my blog now that the sabbatical is officially over. (Especially if you’ve been reading and never posted!)
Well, yesterday was a pretty special day. My little brother Jordan got married to a beautiful and sweet girl who became the second Kelly Bastian in the family. Me and the PK Cruiser got to play Chauffeur for the day!
PK and the PK Cruiser, now for hire for Weddings.
Last bachelor pic of Jordan before the Wedding.
Pastor/Uncle Greg praying for their new life together.
Off to the reception, Big Bro at the wheel.
Proud Big Brother with best rear view ever.
Nothing makes a bride like a cool car in the background.
The question is, will the storm trooper make the wedding album?
Oh, how lovely. Is that dress getting dirty??
That’s my bro! (and the newest Mrs. Bastian)
I also had the honor of producing a wedding video (on my Mac!) for the wedding reception dinner. If you would like to see it, you can either send $49.95 plus shipping and handling* for a DVD or you can just download it here:
QuickTime Small (15MB)
QuickTIme Medium (48MB)
* that was a joke. Any family can request a DVD.
Disappointed you didn’t get to go to Cedar Point? Well, now you can experience what it was like to sit in the FRONT ROW of several roller coasters!
The Dragster: Dragster Front Row Video (QuickTime 5.3 MB) This coaster reaches over 120MPH in under 4 seconds and takes you over 420 feet into the air and then straight back down in a twisting vertical plummet. AWESOME! In under 18 seconds you will have traveled over 2800 feet!
Magnum XL200: Magnum XL200 Front Row Video (QuickTime 21.2 MB) This historical coaster roars at 72mph with a first drop of 195 feet and the second 157 feet and travels for over 5000 feet!
The Mean Streak: Mean Streak Front Row Video (QuickTime 32.7 MB) Watch Pastor Karl and Pastor Jeff race in different cars AND GIVE A CONTACT “HIGH FIVE” WHILE RIDING this historic coaster made from over 1.7 million feet of wood! This coaster can accommodate 1600 passengers per hour! (correction, this was Gemini, Mean Streak below, will rename file later.)
The Raptor: Raptor Front Row Video (QuickTime 24.4MB) This lean mean keen green coaster leaves your feet dangling as you twist and turn through over 3700 feet and a 100 foot loop and drop 119 feet! Not for the faint of heart!
The Mantis: Mantis Front Row Video (QuickTime 20.7 MB) They really did a stand-up job designing this one! You’ll give this coaster a standing ovation! (whether you like it or not!) This WAY COOL coaster has you on your feet the whole time – literally!
I’m planning on making a Coaster Video eventually usuing these and the others I took, but hopefully these will give you a fun taste of Cedar Point! ENJOY and please post a comment if you watch them!
At Pastor Jeff’s Request, here are some more, including his favorite, Millenium Streak:
Millenium Streak Front Row Video (QuickTime 22MB)
Corkscrew Front Row Video (QuickTime 12MB)
Meant Streak Part 1 (QuickTime 17.5MB)
Mean Streak Part 2 (QuickTime 14MB)
If Yosemite is God’s best…. then Cedar Point is man’s best display of how we have harnessed God’s natural laws and the creativity he gave us and made: Roller Coasters. Yes, Roller Coasters are man’s cheif creation. Since the Tower of Babel man has always desired to go higher and faster… and nothing demonstrates man push for speed than the roller coaster. Sure, race cars and airplanes (and rockets) are faster, but they also have practical purposes: transportation and shipping. Only the roller coaster was built (at the cost of millions of dollars) simply for the pleasure of pushing the common man’s human limits. When we strap ourselves into these wood or metal machines we are saying we want to experience what we were not created to experience in our day to day life – height and speed are were not given to us – but the creativity to think of what does not yet exist and the intellectual ability to make it exist is one of the greatest gifts God gave us when He made us in His image. Forgive me for getting too philosophical about Roller Coasters – but they are one of my favorite things – and I always get philosophical about my favorite things, in an effort to understand WHY I like them so much. (Just be glad I’ve sparred my blog any Star Wars philosophy so far!)
Strong in the Coaster Force are these Dudes.
I am in the car on the way home from two days at Cedar Point. It will be difficult to go back to Great America in Chicagoland now that I know Cedar Point is there. The drive in the night before that circled the park to the Hotel Breakers Resort had me gasping and giggling with delight – it was roller coaster after roller coaster!! They just don’t end. Unlike most parks which have a few roller coasters as ‘anchor’ rides, this park has tons of coasters – it took two days to ride them all, and that was with practically NO LINES due to overcast conditions and threat of rain (and kids still in school). I rode 17 coasters on the first day and this morning in just three hours with Sara we rode 1o more rides before hittin’ the road home. It is a six hour drive from Chicago but is WELL WORTH IT – it would be worth flying to Cedar Point if you live next to Disney World – this is way better!! While there is still a TON of stuff for kids (like THREE of those car driving courses most parks have one of) it is like THE adult amusement park. I am planning to make this pre-Memorial Day trip an annual event. Anyone want to join me there next year??
How Children’s Pastors ride roller coasters at Cedar Point.
I took FRONT SEAT VIDEO on all the major coasters, and once I have high speed Interent will be posting them here on my blog – so check back!!
Well, we hit the road for our last church visit of the sabbatical – in Michigan. Nice to be in the PK Cruiser again. We left Chicago enjoying sunny skies. However, being home for a few days reminded us of lots of stuff we need to DO, so hitting the road one last time was nice. We will be soaking in this final trip up! (hopefully not a pun with rain in the forecast!) We were delighted to discover one of Anakin’s hang outs along the way….
Strong in the Force is this place!
Soon we got to our destination – guesses? Well, here is a hint:
It’s the JIFFY CAPITAL of the WORLD!
That’s right! Look on your Jiffy Mix box – that’s where we went! To visit Pastor Jeff Bradley a long time friend I met through Kidology. Jeff won our first conference contest on Kidology and got to go to the Bahamas with Sara and I (and his wife Carol) for the Children’s Ministry Conference Cruise.
Me and Jeff in the Bahamas in 2002.
After we got to our destination (have you looked at the jiffy box yet?) we were bummed to have rain in light of our plans for Monday!
Rain’s not stopping us from putting the top down!
I will be posting on Pastor Jeff’s church later (posting this quickly while driving.) We are now on our way to Cedar Point, but we did manage to stop for a fun visit to “Cabela’s” a huge outdoor sports store, and battled some bears!
Can you spot all four ferocious bears?
We are now enroute and Sara is driving. Pray for NO RAIN at Cedar Point tomorrow!
To all my organic food friends… this you will love. And even if you hate organic food, you’ll enjoy this… and may find yourself turning to the healthy side of the Farm. (the Field which gives life to all growing things) Meet Cuke Skywalker, Obi-Conoli, Ham and Chew-Broccoli, and of course, Darth Tater.
STORE WARS - The Official Site
Scenes from the Epic Food Fight
You can download a 8MB QuickTime here: Store Wars
Get the MOVIE POSTER as well. (very cool)
UP-DATE: I just had to add The Meatrix link.
No greater love has a friend, than he (or she) will dress up and go to a movie with you…
You will never see a more wretched hive of scum and villiny.
For this third viewing of Star Wars Episode III I went with my K.C. Krew (and some adult staff/friends) and several dressed up. We had 30 people at our last count, give or take a kid. Here are a few of the pictures we took. (Not Pictured: The ones not in the pictures)
Even the Evil Emperor showed up!
And battled his own daughter!
I got caught between two dueling wanna-be Jedis!
Gotta love these princesses
It was great to get to see my Krew before hittin’ the road again in the morning! Off to Michigan for our last church visit and then Cedar Point Roller Coasters!
I’m really “Stuck” on this family. :)
I’d love to clone this guy… but he already is a clone.
I, Kar-Dewbenobi, went to see Episode III again on opening night with about a dozen friends. Again, my brother Qui-Jar-Jordan went with me. However, we were glad to be first in line this time so that we would have first choice at our seats. It was several hours before the movie, I knew this would be a good trial for my young padawan brother. Test his patience it would.
Failed to notice, did I, my brother brought some dark side with him!
As I suspected, the trial proved to be too much. I could sense impatience growing within him. At some point, he said he wanted to be first in line, and I said no. I could see him getting angry. But I wanted to teach my younger brother patience. (and I wanted to be first) When he asked why, and Yoda’s “Ask not why” line failed to have the same effect on Qui-Jar-Jordan as it had on Luke, I explained that I bought the tickets, I drove, and I was the older more experienced Jedi. That seemed to set him off, without warning he pulled out some dark Sith lightening.
Turned to the Dark Side my brother has!
I’ll admit, I was caught off guard at first. This is after all, my little brother. Changed his diapers I have… but I was quick to gather what was left of the Force around us and defended myself. You should have seen the other people around us watching the fierce battle, at one point the power in the Century Theater went out!! (that is no joke!)
Powerful he has become… but no match for Kar-Dewbenobi!
I knew that this battle was pointless and would drag on for hours – strong he has become – so I force grabbed my trusty light saber to end this once and for all, of course crying out, “You were like a brother to me!” To which he responded, “No, I AM YOUR BROTHER!”
Who first in line will be? Always in motion the future is!
I used my saber to start to return his own dark powered lightening back at him. Having seen at the last showing what happens to someone who is getting their own force lightening pushed back at them, and considering he has a honeymoon to leave on next Friday, he reluctantly gave in, accepting his place as second in line.
Other than that little incident, we all had a great time.
As requested in comments, here is Sara and my sister Melissa in their Star Wars costumes:
Can you tell who is who??
12:01 a.m. showing and in the first ten in line!
Well, this is it! I am now sitting in the theater awaiting the beginning of the movie that will conclude a story I’ve followed since I was eight years old. I got to the theater at 7pm, but there were only 2 people in line, so I watched the politically correct (meaning the Christians were the blood thirsty idiots who got what they derserved) “Kingdom of Heaven” – but enough about that. After that, there were only 5 more people in line for SW, so I set up my Celebration III
chair and watched as the line steadily grew by the hundreds! My brother, Jordan, soon joined me along with Kidology board member Steve Clindaniel and his son Jonathan.
Of couse, a review will come soon, but no spoilers, I promise.
Well, between typing and visiting 30 minutes has passed and soon it will be dark…. in more ways than one. (if you sense my drift)
Hard to believe I am about to see it, I started counting the days at over 400!
Signing off now…. Meditate I must, prepare myself I must. Episode III about to see I am, talk like Yoda I must.
May the Force be with you.
UPDATE: Discussion of the movie (with possible spoilers) and my thoughts and others on whether this movie is for kids or not is available now at kidology. CLICK HERE
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The hills as you drive to beautiful Corvalis, Oregon are filled with sheep lazily grazing on wide open green pastures. Counting the sheep would have been a pointless effort, as there were too many and constantly moving. Just a few hours from the coast of Oregon, it is a beautiful place to live and minister, and the sight of sheep on the way in was fitting, as we were on our way to meet a young father and pastor with a true shepherd’s heart.
Strong in the Force this Children’s Pastor is…
Henry and his Padawan Learner…
After church at Kings Circle (See Kings Circle Gallery) we headed out to lunch at my favorite restaurant that is now sadly missing in Chicago…
The best former Chicago restaurant in Chicago.
Allow me to rant: The busiest restaurant at our local mall in Chicago went ‘out of business’ due only to upper management mistakes. Soon all the other Baja Fresh’s in Chicagoland started to disappear, and rumor is that they are pulling out of the MidWest. Dumb. Why would a popular busy highly profitable restaurant close? I’d like to say to Baja Fresh’s Leadership: “I find your lack of vision disturbing.”
A truly blessed boy to have Baja Fresh nearby, but I digress….
Anyway (thanks for letting me vent there, I feel much better now), after our delicious lunch at the wonderful Baja Fresh (which did I mention left Chicago and was my favorite place to eat? I did? Did I mention I had a VIP card and got my soda FREE whenever I ate there? No? Did I mention that they served Mountain Dew?!?!?!?)
Contemplating the Mysteries of Children’s Ministry
We then went to a beautiful park along a river and while the kids and wives went off to walk and play, Henry and I settled ourselves into a picnic table to discuss the mysteries of children’s ministry. I could visit with Henry for hours, I’m bummed he is not closer to Chicago.
Henry is in his 5th year at Kings Circle, though his experience in children’s ministry goes back even further having been a volunteer for many years. (His wife, Erin, has been a paid children’s director herself, though being a mom of three and partner to Henry is her joy now) The first thing he noticed was the difference between paid leadership vs. volunteer leadership. While he appreciated that a higher value was now placed on his position, as could be expected, the expectations were suddenly higher as well. Henry learned that building relationships is key to success. He formed a leadership team right away and tries to find out personally how his team members are doing. They meet once a month, playing a game and visiting before they get down to business. At least once a year he plans an outing such as going bowling together.
When asked what was one of the hardest lessons he has learned, Henry shared a lesson that is common to those of us in ministry, and something I’m not sure we ever master: the constant challenge to not be starting too many things. Henry, like many of us got over his head in ministry quickly due to his high passion and energy for ministry. Through the challenging of Godly leaders, he was encouraged to only do what he can do well. He said we need to remember that often we get trapped into attempting too much. We need to remember that we were hired to be a children’s pastor first, everything else is second. He recommended a book called, The Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards. (Google it for more info) We need to choose between good things vs. what God is calling you to do. His advice: Don’t neglect your primary call – to your kids and your church.
My favorite topic of conversation with Henry had to do with what we see as the future of children’s ministry. Henry has been observing children’s ministries for over thirteen years from volunteering in both a mega church and a small church to now serving full time in a mid-sized church. He sees what he described as two paths that churches seem to be heading down.
The first he finds disconcerting. Due to the recent notoriety of children’s ministry, (due to CPC and conference growth, Barna’s book, etc.) many churches are putting LOTS of money into environments – but Henry’s not sure that is the best strategy, not if it means child-friendly facilities over building relationships with kids and ministering to them on an individual basis. He commented that at many church-hosted conferences all people seem to talk about is how they wish they had this-and-that equipment or facilities and he doesn’t hear as much discussion of ministry strategy and philosophy as though an awesome learning environment equals a great ministry. He was careful to assure that a fun, kid-friendly environment is ok, even preferred, but it shouldn’t be the ultimate goal of a children’s ministry. In the end, it isn’t needed, relationships are. Look what Jesus accomplished with NO equipment or facilities!
The other trend Henry sees is to make children’s ministry like it used to be before there even was children’s ministry: more parents are wanting more time with their kids, wanting to learn with their kids. Many parents today were latch-key kids and they don’t want that for their own children. They want to be there for their kids. They want the ‘good old days’ but redesigned within today’s context. Henry is concerned that with all the new high-tech strategies in children’s ministry, there is no sense of liturgy or the sacred – kids are creating their own culture, isolated from the larger group of the church.
Some of the practical things Henry does to partner with parents is to do a family service about once a month – more than kids attending, but being involved and participating. He also tries to share worship songs with worship pastor, so they know some of the songs the adults sing, and visa versa. He also has pastor/parent meetings. Instead of asking the parents to help him with his ministry, he asks how he can help them in their efforts to parent. He’d like to be one of the first people parents think of when they need help.
One of the many things we agreed on is that there is a danger side to the new ‘popularity’ of children’s ministry: where CM becomes just yet another church growth strategy. Children’s Ministry is not important because it draws parents and families – it is important because KIDS need Christ. When children’s ministry is presented as being important because a quality children’s ministry draws families, ironically it devalues children by reducing them to mere bait used to catch the ‘real value’ – the adults they bring with them. Does a quality children’s ministry draw parents/adults? Yes! And praise God. But that is not the purpose or the greatest value of a quality children’s ministry. Be leery of promotions for children’s ministry that ultimately are just using kids as bait. Ministering to kids is not the latest hip church growth strategy – it is essential because KIDS need Christ, and are the ripest field with longest and strongest results.
Henry’s passion for kids, and faithfulness to loving and leading them as individuals is evident in the feedback from the youth pastor who is impressed with the spiritual depth of the kids who learned under Henry, the spirit of their worship that I observed, and the countenance and attitudes of the kids I met and especially Henry and Erin’s own children. As Yoda said, “Church size matters not.” One of my favorite quotes from Henry (that is featured in the quote box on Kidology.org) is “You don’t have to be at a mega-church to be a mega children’s pastor.”
So to all you MEGA CHILDREN’S PASTORS out there: Keep on keeping on!
The Zonios: They may be listed in the Z’s, but they are on my A-list of CPs!!