Leave the Shoes Behind

As I was sweeping up the empty Kidology HQ I noticed a favorite (and heavy!) puppet prop that I almost left behind! I had stashed it under the sink in the utility area so we missed it while packing. It is a pair of Gus, my puppet’s, shoes stuck in concrete! I’m sure the next tenants would have thought the previous occupants of the building were mafia that used to shake young children down for money judging by the size of the shoes! Actually, it is from a construction theme in Kids Church when Gus ignored some warning signs and stepped into wet concrete and got stuck! It took several men to carry him out and pry him loose to free him! Every time I see this prop it brings a chuckle as I remember his painful ordeal! And yet, at the same time, as I reflect on this funny prop and my silly puppet, I can’t help thinking that I too have my own reminders of times that I ignored warning signs and got stuck in my own messy situations. I too needed godly friends to pry me loose. If you ever find yourself in a situation where you …

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Teach Kids “How to Use My Bible”

I travel to many churches as a guest speaker or trainer and am very often stunned by how little need there is for Bibles in most children’s ministries. I consider teaching with and out of a Bible to be the fundamental basis of my instruction to kids. While I use puppets, object lessons, media clips, illusions, and more to creatively teach and engage children, these are never a substitute for teaching with and out of a Bible. Only the Bible has God’s promise of effectiveness. And yet, the Bible is a rare object in perhaps most children’s ministries today. This is a tragedy! Kids learn by what they see – they need to see you teaching with and from an actual Bible. And the learn by what they do – reading in and from an actual Bible. This is main reason I wrote the “How to Use My Bible“, the second installment in the DiscipleTown Kid’s Church curriculum that we’re producing in conjunction with DiscipleLand. For children, the Bible can be a very intimidating book simply due to its size. This 4-5 week unit will help erase kids’ impressions of the Bible as a giant, overwhelming volume that will take …

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Broken Trucks and Our Heavenly Father

On our two day drive from Chicagoland to Colorado, I anticipated at some point our three year old would have a melt down from being strapped in a car seat for hours on end! And while frequent Rest Stops helped pace the trip, I knew sooner or later, the tears would come. So like any wise parent, I was prepared! I had purchased a huge semi-truck toy and stashed in in the back of the mini-van so when the revolt came, I could reward him for being so good and give him a toy to enjoy for the last leg of the trip. Well, it finally happened. At our last lunch stop, we were looking at toy trucks at a truck stop and when we said it was time to get back in the car the melt down  started, but I was able to kneel down, hug my son, and say, “Luke, you’ve been so good. Please don’t cry. I’m so proud of you and how you’ve done these past two days on our trip. Guess what? I have a surprise for you in the car – a truck! If you can stop crying and make it for one more …

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Rest Stops on the Highway of Life

As we are driving across the country on our move from Chicago to Colorado we stop at almost every Rest Stop. Not only for the obvious reasons, but also to give our three year old a break from the car seat to run around a bit and play. We run, laugh and play. And while there is a part of me (that logical, practical, productive part I struggle to turn off) that can feel like we are wasting time and losing progress on our journey and delaying our ‘goal’ – the part of me I’m learning to listen to realizes that “getting there” is not always the goal. The quality of the journey is equally important, if not MORE so. So the Rest Stops are not delays, they are enhancements – bonuses – perks! They are, in fact, the highlights of an otherwise boring trip. When our son begs to stay at a Rest Stop, that tells you something! We’ve all got goals and objectives in our lives and ministries, but in our eagerness to accomplish them, don’t blow past the Rest Stops. You need them! And not just for the obvious reasons, (prayer and Bible reading), you need regular …

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We’re Moving to Colorado

Yes, we are packing everything up and moving to Colorado this month! In his book Visioneering, Andy Stanley makes the following statement: “Everybody ends up somewhere in life.  A few people end up somewhere on purpose.” I have been in Chicagoland since my parents brought me here in 1985. My wife has been here since she married me! I LOVE the city of Chicago! The architecture, the sports teams, the political corruption, the hustle and bustle, the malls (that’s for Sara) the blizzards (yes, I love to snow blow), and the friends made over the years, will all be things I will miss. It is a world class city. I have traveled throughout the world as well as the United States and there is NO CITY like Chicago – not even close. But in m y heart I’ve always been an outdoors guy. And after hosting two Yosemite Summit retreats, nearly dying in April, and again in May, it was time to stop putting off for “someday” what could be done now. I grew up in Colorado where my dad pastored a country church in Elizabeth, Colorado. We got picked up from school on Friday and drove to the country …

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