Enjoy the article – and mention this blog post and get $50 off a Kidology to Go event booked during January or February in Southern California, Arizona or South New Mexico or Nevada – check out the schedule for more info!
We hope you enjoy Marty’s article – but better yet, we hope you’ll book Marty and his family at YOUR CHURCH!
PLUS, you can now book Rob Biagi for a Friday evening Family Concert the evening before the training event. Contact Marty for complete details!
If you aren’t a subscriber to Children’s Ministry Magazine (in which I have a column, Age Level Insights, ages 6-9) you truly are robbing yourself! In this issue alone my good friends Jamie Doyle and Gordon West contributed!
Finally, we went outside… and there he was… at the nativity, worshiping Jesus.
What did he bring? Was it Frankincense? Myrrh? A toy car?
OK, so the picture was posed, but it has been wonderful to see our son’s understanding of Christmas blossom this year, especially as this was the year he asked Jesus into his heart, and all by himself one evening when he was alone.
“Quizzed” by his parents later, he assured us he knew what he was doing. We’ve seen so much fruit to reflect a change in his heart and vocabulary we are assured that the Christ of Christmas now lives in our little boy. Now he won’t let a day go by without Dad teaching him something new about Jesus!
It’s made this Christmas all the more special to us.
We couldn’t believe our ears! We were at our church’s Family Gingerbread House making event, and there were well over 100 families making yummy houses. When they announced there was a competition and my wife saw my face slightly change she said, “You’re not competing are you?” I answered, “Of course!” (Men, you understand.) But I didn’t seriously think we had a chance, after all, I had a four year old on my team who I was not going to cut out of the process to increase my chances.
We struggled away with our house, since we didn’t cheat and use a kit (!) and even added shingles and a chimney! When we heard the ten minute warning three sides were still blank! I then realized that the chimney look a little like a steeple, so I quickly added a triangle and a cross just as we slapped on frosting and stuck candy all over the sides!
When I got to the tables and saw all the amazing creations I thought we don’t have a chance but as I was setting ours down I overheard the judges say, “Look at that and its not a kit.” Wow, that was encouraging!
When we ultimately won out of so many entries we were laughing all the way home. There were so many incredibly amazing creations there! Lots that, if I had been a judge, I would have chosen over my own. But for some reason, ours was chosen – perhaps for the family effort, the shingles, and the steeple. I mean, it IS a neat Gingerbread Church, I don’t mean to belittle our hard work. But there were some other amazing ones there too. We just DID NOT expect to win! But we’ll take it!
It made me think of Mary and Joseph – the most unlikely couple to be chosen to “win” the choice as the Parents of Son of God. A single teen age girl? A young man with no experience? Poor and unknown! So many others would have been more impressive.
But God chose them. Like us when we heard our name announced, they were probably laughing too that God chose them of all people!
Even when I look at the growth and impact of Kidology – and then consider myself, I have to laugh again. That God would choose me. God truly has a sense of humor as well as grace and delights in choosing those who don’t deserve to be used. I think that’s a big part of the meaning of both Christmas and the Cross.
Once again it is time to post the Bastian Christmas Letter! We hope you are in the midst of enjoying a wonderful Christmas Season! As usual we are getting our letter out the week of Christmas! (Ahhhhhh!) We mail it to family and some friends, but to save on postage I also post it here on my blog so anyone interested can also download the PDF and enjoy it, just click on the image here:
Then, in February, I went on a personal solo sabbatical to experience “Yosemite in Winter” snowshoeing the valley. It was incredible. I didn’t blog about it, as it was a personal time between me and God. But I did make this highlight video:
March saw anotherCPC – I’ve lost track how many I’ve been to, but I’ve been to every single once since 1995, so I’ve been to over 35 of them with all their locations, some years there being three! (See Why You Should Go to CPC)
In April I hiked Devil’s Backbone with some friends as the beginning of Hiking Group I’m trying to start in Colorado.
In May, I went on my third Yosemite Summit. This has become the highpoint of my year, as I unplug (quite literally!) from everything and spend almost a week disconnected from normal life with God and some other children’s ministers.
June was a real treat, as I finally got to go to Toronto to see my brothers town, just before the G4 riots and before he moved to Ohio! I also spoke in at the KidBuilders conference while I was there.
In October, I decided to become a rat, and we lauched our Family Pit Stops, which have become a highlight of our family – and are mentioned in the Christmas Letter. (My dad says that reference in the Christmas Letter needs explanation and sounds like we all head to the restroom together. If so, read this link.)
One thing I do realize, as I reflect on my blog, is how much Facebook and Twitter has trumped my blog. There are so many events that in the past that I would have blogged, but that I didn’t because I was updating Facebook along the way or Tweeting pics and comments. The only problem is – those posts are long gone, and difficult, if not impossible to link to, which is why as much as I surrender to the advent of Facebook, I really don’t like it. I would much prefer that every had a blog and Facebook only aggregated feeds from them. But that’s a post for another day! (on my blog, not Facebook!)
I do plan to do some re-thinking of how to integrate all my online data collection in the New Year… its tricky! But I do know, I much prefer things on my blog, as they are “safer” and better preserved than Facebook, but things are read more on Facebook.