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Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for May, 2008
I went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull on opening night with seven other grown men and had a great time chompin’ pop-corn and watchin’ Indy crack his whip and knuckles again after a 19 year break from the silver screen. How was the movie? Fun. Was it spectacular? Nah.
But I’ve actually been getting a kick out of listening to and reading all the negative reviews of the movie. While I agree with most of them as to whether the movie is on par with Raiders or Last Crusade (Temple seems to be nearly universally hated) – I’ve got a different take on it.
Like Star Wars Episode I, which came out 20 years after the last Star Wars film, Indy 4 was doomed to be criticized by those who loved the first three. (or at least two of the first three.) Interestingly, Episode I was met with mostly whining and complaining by all the twenty or thirty-something year old men (like me) who saw their first Star Wars film when they were a boy, but was loved by all the young boys who saw it. Hmmmm. Could it be it wasn’t really made for us grown ups? Yes, I hate Jar-Jar, but is Chewbacca really that much more believable or sophisticated? Would we really have loved Star Wars so much if we’d been our current age, then? My dad doesn’t seem as obsessed with Star Wars as I am, and he saw them all with me. I wonder why. Oh, yeah, he saw them as a grown up.
Which brings me to Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The issue isn’t that Harrison Ford is too old. The issue is that we are. He did a remarkably great job doing an older, worn out Indy who could still crack a joke as well as a whip. In fact, he probably brought the most spark to the film. Indy 4 (a much easier to type title) had a no-win challenge. If it did what could be done 20+ years ago, we’d say it felt dated and didn’t take advantage of modern technology. If it did take advantage of today’s technology, then we’d say it lost the feel of the original films. Either way it can’t live up the expectation of being an Indiana Jones movie of the 70′s or barely 80′s. We want the movie to do to us NOW what the originals did to us then… too bad. We grew up. That’s one of the costs of growing up. We start to criticize and analyze too much. When we were kids, we just went to the movies and got lost in it. Those were good times.
My parents left me in the theater ALL DAY when Raiders came out. We were on vacation – I’d come to the doors at the front of the theater and signal thumbs up or thumbs down if I was going to stay in and watch again, or if I wanted them to pick me up. (In those days, they allowed you to pay once and stay and watch as many times as you wanted.) I stayed all day and watched it as many times as it showed that day.
So, yes. Indy 4 lacked the magic I hoped for – but I don’t blame the movie. I blame my age. But it was a fun film. A little far fetched at times, but, hey! It’s a movie! Ever hear a kid complain that a movie was too far fetched? I thought it was less scary, less gross and had less sexual humor than the earlier ones – and all the adventure and mystery for the most part. Realistic? Not a bit. Just the way a movie is supposed to be.
I’d love to be a kid again, but if I can’t, the next best thing is going to a good adventure movie. Pass the pop corn.
(You can read the official Kidology Review by Pastor Marty Martin on Kidology.org, he covers the Christian concerns angle so I didn’t bother here.)
I’ve got lots of pictures to post and stories to tell about the very first Yosemite Summit, but for those of you who like to read the last chapter of books first – I’ll start by telling you about a very cool thing that happened at the very end of the trip.
I’d been to Yosemite many times as a boy and then not for a long time until my sabbatical in 2005. I’ve gotten pictures of many animals, but other than being “attacked” by a bear at Yosemite as a boy (you’ll have to ask me in person for the story – posting it takes away the fun to telling it!) I’ve not seen a bear at Yosemite. So on our first day in the park on our “solitude hike” among much more spiritual things, I selfishly prayed that God might let me see and photograph a bear on this trip. It was a childish prayer to my Abba Father, one I knew He may not answer, but I’ve learned He loves me enough that I need to at least ask. If my asking is wrong, He’ll show me by not answering.
I kept my eyes alert for a bear the entire trip half-expecting God might answer that prayer request at any moment. Even on our shuttle ride up to Glacier Point for the all day hike down to the valley, I kept my camera pointed out the window, on the rapid fire setting, and finger on the shutter in case I could get glimpse of a bear en route and be able to point to a picture and say, “That brown blur is a bear, really!”
Well, while God answered many prayer requests, and even provided in many ways I neglected to pray about, it seemed my “bear request” was not going to be answered, at least not this year. In fact, on our last time in the valley, we all took a final hour to be alone with God, and as I thanked Him for so many wonderful ways He worked and answered and provided on this trip, I humorously said, “even though you didn’t give me my bear.” I knew it was a silly thing to pray for, but I had really wanted to see a bear. Oh, well.
I’m not sure whether it was God’s grace, or mercy, or simply His sense of humor – but on the way out of Yosemite we saw some people pointing at something, and one of the guys jokingly said, “It’s a bear!” And it was! Guys started jumping out of the van while it was still moving, but since I was driving, I had to find a place to pull over. When I was parked, I took the risk of changing to my telephoto lens, I just had a feeling God was answering my prayer! Then as I jumped out of the van, I realized I was way behind the crowd running toward the bear with their cameras, and literally sensed God telling me to run in the other direction! I ran deep into the woods and then circled around hoping that the bear might run toward me as it fled the others trying to get his picture. I knew there was a chance that with this strategy I might never even get to SEE the bear, let alone photograph it, but it all happened so fast, I was operating on instinct. (Or God’s leading?) Sure enough, as I hid behind a fallen log with my camera ready, I saw the bear running toward me! As I raised my camera it jumped up in a tree and I got these pictures before he jumped and ran off in the other direction:
Here he is, looking right at me!
Then I zoomed in a bit, as he looked around.
Last shot before he jumped down and ran the other way.
Funny, how just as I had accepted God wouldn’t answer my silly prayer request, He chose to answer it. Oh, me of little faith! My Father had simply waited to give it to me as a final goodbye gift. He knew how hard it was for me to drive out of Yosemite – so he allowed the final pictures I took entire week to be of a bear. How cool is that? I couldn’t help but be reminded of Matthew chapter 7, forgive me for changing just a few words:
Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you, if his son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a bear, will give him a squirrel? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!
Thank you, God, for loving me enough to send me a bear! You are too awesome. Next year I want to photograph a Sasquatch! (Hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask!)
As promised yesterday , below is an exclusive SNEEK PEEK video from the next Kidology Online Training Leadership Lab: Partnering with Parents .
RIGHT NOW THIS IS ONLY HERE ON MY BLOG – as a parting gift before I go completely cold turkey offline for a week, I wanted to give you a little something to hold you over. (Oh how will you survive without my blog? )
This will not be live on Kidology.org until next week some time! So enjoy this Advance Screening via a TOP SECRET YouTube link before it’s official release next week on Kidology!
This is the introductory video that is part of the most JAM-packed Leadership Lab yet! This lab is the culmination of several years of work and includes exclusive content never-before-published that I’ve been being asked to release since 2005, ever since it was hinted at in the Kidology forum. I have finally provided detailed background, description, explanation, samples and more on the VIP Family Ministry philosophy that I pioneered at my previous church. But that’s not all.
CHECK OUT ALL THIS LEADERSHIP LAB WILL INCLUDE:
- 36 Page Leader Lab PDF – This is the core content of the Online Training.
- 52 Slide PowerPoint for Parent Partnering Forum / Training
- 7 Video files!
- Introductory Video “Best Buds Inc.” (seen above)
- 8 minute YouTube version; 450×338; 22mb
- 8 minute YouTube version; 320×240; 16mb
- 12 minute extended version; 640×480; 49mb
- Leadership Lab Training Video (Download of the online training video)
- 19 minute training video; 640×480; 81mb
- 19 minute training video; 450×338; 42mb
- 19 minutes training video; 320×240; 22mb (iPod)
- BONUS: To Be Educated video included (Usually $4 in Kidology Store)
- 3 minute video; 640×480; 8mb (view on my blog )
- Includes text of the video for making your own
- 32 Page Faith-Full Families Sessions (3 separate programs for the entire family!) These interactive sessions for the whole family will help them incorporate their faith into daily life. (Provided in PDF and Word so you can customize)
- Raising Kids to Stand Strong Sermon by Karl Bastian MP3; 40 min.; 46mb
- Raising Kids to Stand Strong Sermon Notes so you can use the message
- 2 Page PDF Sample VIP Family Ministry Brochure
- 2 Page PDF of VIP Family Ministry Christmas Idea
I will be at Yosemite Summit when this goes live on Kidology and, since I won’t be blogging for a week, I am also having my blog software upgraded while I’m away. When the Lab is live and this blog is accessible, my all powerful web director, aka Tannerman, will make the link below to the brand new Lab live. But you can also just check out the home page of Kidology.org or the Kidology Online Training area. [UPDATE: Tannerman has made it live!]
NOW AVAILABLE: Kidology Leadership Lab: Partnering with Parents!
Well, this is it. I’m signing off FOR A WEEK! Be back online when I am home from Yosemite! Hopefully I won’t have tooooo many e-mails stacking up while I’m offline!
Update from Tannerman:
Pssst… you can get the Leadership Lab Download Kit at a special discount. $5 off the regular price… That’s only $34.99 for Kidology members!
Coupon Code: LL4BL
Expires 5/31 at midnight (CDT)
Could it be?!?! The man once nicknamed “Pastor Gadget” going OFF LINE for an ENTIRE WEEK!?! YES! The rumors are true! I’ve got my MacBook Air, iPhone, GPS, digital camera, video camera, and a power strip to charge them all at night… so I think I’m good to go, but once I hit Yosemite the laptop will only be used for downloading pictures at the end of the day. NO E-MAIL, NO INTERNET, NO WORK, NO NOTHING! I soon will be basking in God’s Amazing Creation in one of the most spectacular places on the face of the earth far away from all of my normal responsibilities and duties. Yahoo! (And that isn’t a reference to a website!)
As I write this I am sitting on the floor at O’hare International Airport waiting board a flight to Sacramento, California on my way to join eight other guys on an Adventure known as Yosemite Summit.
What began as a challenge during a sermon in the fall of 2006 and grew into a conviction in the winter of 2007 and then calling by summer 2007 is now coming to a climax here in the spring of 2008!
God has brought together NINE MEN for the purpose to detaching from ministry to reconnect with God. Men, especially those of us in ministry, have a tendency to make ministry the substance of our spiritual walk when it is US God wants, not what we can DO for Him. For these few days we will cease from DOING and seek to simply BE in the presence of God so that He might do a work in us that He often can’t do when we are so busy doing.
For those of you who could not come to Yosemite Summit, let me challenge you to intentionally plan some TIME AWAY to connect with God. I’ve been so encouraged to hear from those who Yosemite Summit has inspired to plan retreats away with friends for the same purpose. Let me applaud those and say to the rest of you – what are you waiting for? Life is too short… and you DO have time for something like this, because you MAKE time for something like this. (You’ll never “have time” for it in the normal sense of the phrase.)
WELL, the flight leaves soon! I’m going a day early for food shopping and prep, so I’ve got 24 more hours of electricity and Internet! Before I go completely offline, I’ll have a very special surprise to post tomorrow and something else that goes lives on Kidology.org while I’m gone… curious? You’ll just have to check back and find out what it is!
Well, I ranted last week on how STUPID MICROSOFT IS and got more comments than usual. So I am turning to my faithful blog readers for HELP!
First, let me get this off my chest: I HATE THE NEW OFFICE!!!
It’s stupidity just keeps showing up. This one, I can not solve. On ALL new documents, it adds space between paragraphs when you hit enter, and I don’t want that. Word never did that before unless you ASKED IT TO. Now, you have no choice. You can manually go in and change it every time you make a new document, but that is stupid. I should be able to make the default the way I want it – back to normal. There MUST be a way, but I can not find it. I can only find how to set default margins.
(Click to see larger image)
If you look at this screen shot you can see where you can go to Format / Paragraph and check “Don’t add space between paragraphs of the same style.” But I have to do this for each and every Word document I ever make for the rest of my life? I make hundreds a month!
PLEASE HELP ME SOMEONE!
How do I say to this lame non-Apple program, “Please don’t ever add space between paragraphs of the same style on this document or any other every again, and why did you ever start suddenly adding space?” Yes, in HTML that is standard, but not in Word documents. Word documents are not web pages. (Don’t even get me going on Word HTML!)
I’ll be so thankful if anyone can help me out. Otherwise, I need to reinstall the old version and throw $149 in the garbage. This has been such a horrible experience all around upgrading Office and reminds me again why I switched to Mac. Gee Whiz. Microsoft just doesn’t think anything through.
UPDATE: Henry is my Hero! (instructions on his site)
Mother’s Day 2008 – Happy Mom with her happy boys!
We spent the day with Sara’s mom and dad cooped up inside due to rain – but had a very nice time anyway. Whenever I spend time with Sara’s mom it reminds me why my wife is so sweet and gracious. They both love recipes, so here is my recipe for a great mom, based on knowing both of these mothers for years:
Recipe for a Great Mother
Start with a bucket of love, stir in lots of patience, and a steady stream of forgiveness. Shake well with a heart for service and then simmer over a gentle and quiet spirit and drop in a scoop of encouragement. Then sprinkle with laughter, flavor with stories of God’s goodness, and a dash of good hugs when needed. A touch of craziness and spontaneity helps get along with husbands and finally cover with kindness and joy. Allow to nurture and you will have a wonderful treat every day, especially if you take time to compliment.
Here’s our little boy in his Mother’s Day outfit hiding behind a bush! He is so full of life and love and laughter… it’s obvious he spends a lot of time with his mother, her sweet disposition is definitely rubbing off on him!
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY SARA and PJ! (See pictures of my mom here)
Just had to take a picture our the family’s three cars yesterday.
My view from the convertible leaving for work in the morning. It’s tough to drive away some mornings…
Angel Vega and I go way back. How far, I’m not even sure I remember. But I do know he was at one of the very first Kid U’s, and has been to several over the years and is a looooong time member of Kidology.org. Angel is the Children’s Ministries Director at Armitage Baptist Church in Chicago. But he’s a man of many talents and a man who has worn many hats in ministry who is recently back in children’s ministry, so when we ran into each other at the One Way Street festival and he asked if we could get togethe, I said “Of course” He said he’d drive anywhere to have lunch with me. It was a nice compliment, but I had no idea just how much it actually meant. Angel is a truly Chicago Man. His venture out to my suburban lair made him like a fish out of water. After calling several times for directions he laughed and said to me, “This is what happens when you put a Puerto Rican in the suburbs.” When he finally arrived at the Kidology Headquarters he said this was the farthest he had ever been from Chicago for a meeting. (Other than flying out of state for conferences.) I was truly honored he would make the trek to share a meal and “talk shop” with me. (And yes, I had his permission to tell his story of his getting lost out in this land of grass and trees which he humorously pointed out and asked, “what’s that?”)
Angel and Karl
I figured the best place to take him to lunch was Docks right on the lake in Waconda so he could get a little taste of our community. He came seeking advice about children’s ministry and some specific challenges, but I ended up learning a lot too. Turns out Angel is also a certified financial advisor, and I had some questions of my own in that arena of life. I ended up learning a lot and being challenged by Angel in some areas I had not considered in life planning. (He has his funeral planned down to the program and a burned CD so that should the Lord call him home, all his wife has to do is open a box and everything is ready. He calls it the Love drawer and says it is the best gift you can give your wife if you die. After dealing with people who had lost a loved one and trying to ask them what they wanted when they were grieving he decided he didn’t want his wife to have to go through that. I will probably write more about this in the future.)
But back to children’s ministry! We had a great time swapping CM stories (especially our goof ups!) I even showed him how to visually pass the salt saker straight through the solid table at the restaurant. Angel is a man who LOVES being with kids – can talk to kids – think like kids – creatively teach kids, and yet wants to grow in all the other areas that come with being a director of children’s ministry – volunteer management, team development, visionary leadership. Already he is doing a great job implementing new security measures at his church. Angel came wanting lots of advice, I hope he left encouraged – he is a GREAT children’s director and doing a fantastic job!
Karl and Angel?
He mentioned that he just started using a puppet after reading my article on solo puppeteering and reading that you don’t have to be a vent to be effective, and was nervous, but tried anyway – and the kids loved it. The only problem was, the puppet he found to use at the church was kind of ugly and old. So when we got back to the office, I gave Angel one of mine. I’d rather have my puppets in front of children every week than sitting in totes right now. Guess what he named the puppet? Yup, Karl. (blush) I hope that doesn’t mean I will be balding soon!
It was so great to connect with a Kidology member and someone who it is so obvious has benefited from the website and our conferences and who is implementing so much of what he has learned through Kidology and seeing great results. It is always a blessings as God transforms these people from e-mails, to acquaintances, to friends.
I’m looking forward to seeing Angel again. Next time, I’ll make the drive to his ‘hood!
OK, I usually don’t rant on my blog, and don’t approve of blogs that rant all the time – but in this case, I can’t resist.
Lately, I’ve had people send me Word documents that ended in .docx and have had a LOT of trouble opening them and have had to send them back and forth trying to get them to save in different formats and whatnot so that I could view them thinking they were using some archaic version of Word – harking back to the old days when Mac and PC files were not compatible when today they are perfectly compatible. Well, this week I upgraded to Office for Mac 2008 and discover the problem is STUPID MICROSOFT and these friends of mine were not using some old outdated version but the latest stupidity of the so-called cutting edge computer company. I went to save a document and the default is this lame .docx which means that if I need to send the file to anyone who hasn’t upgraded they won’t be able to open it. HOW DUMB IS THAT? So now every time I save a document I have to manually ask to save it as a .doc so the rest of the world can read the file and not the few who have the latest version of Office or someone will think I’m using some old outdated version of Word when I send them this mysterious .docx file.
Fine, upgrade Office, it was long overdue – but WHY change the file extension? That is just plain stupid if not cruel and unusual punishment. Stupidity like that was why I switched to Mac from the PC world. Too bad when it comes to word processing I still have to live in that backwards thinking universe.
OK, rant is over. Ix willx justx havex tox getx usedx tox havingx anx xx addedx tox thex endx ofx everythingx I guessx.
(I think Microsoft was just jealous of the Mac’s OS “X”)