Friday, I ditched work (something that’s a little easier to do when yer da boss!) and headed out to the mountains for a day hike with a friend to check out a hike to three lakes up in the mountains east of Idaho Springs. And it turned out to be a beautiful way to spend the day. Dinner on Friday was the beginning of our church’s “Men’s Advance” (real men don’t ‘retreat’) in Fraser, CO, so I decided to spend the day hiking to get into the right frame of mind to the men’s retreat… ooops, advance.
It was a beautiful day and the aspens were in full yellow changing!
The first lake, Chinns, had an old cabin on it that we had lunch in it. It was pretty awesome wondering the history of this settlement.
The next lake, Sherman, was less exciting, but it did have a cool tree out in it that we posed for some pictures out on.
Another view of Chinns Lake from up above on our way to Slater Lake.
Here is Craig Wilson checking out Slater Lake, and as you can see, there was snow still on the hillside belong the lake… where we would soon be heading…
Can you find Craig up on the hill? (on the snow?)
The view back down to Slater Lake from the top of the snow pack! See all the mountains in the distance? They were as far as the eye could see! (And we never saw another hiker the entire time we were there.)
I “skied” down the snow on my rear end! (and pretty fast too!) Until I hit the rocks! Craig caught a pic when I hit the rocks at the bottom:
O.K., It might not be Sainthood, and I may not be up there with the authors, like Peter, Paul and James… but I did get my name on the back cover of a Bible… and not just any Bible, THE ALMIGHTY BIBLE!
I’ve been a fan of The Almighty Biblesince editions started to appear last year, and I was lucky enough to be sent some early review copies to check out.
The Almighty Bible is a series of graphic novels that illustrate the Bible leaving the biblical text intact at the bottom, edited only slightly for younger readers, instead of bubble captions like a standard comic Bible.
I gave them some feedback and expressed my enthusiasm and a quote has been put on the back cover the newly printed Book of Acts!
“Finally, there is a Bible for kids and preteens that engage their eyes and captures their imaginations without sacrificing the biblical text. The Almighty Bible brings the Bible to life like never before for young readers.” – me
In addition to an ever-growing collection of graphic novels for preteens and older, they have an amazing online interactive club for kids called, The Almighty Bible Club where kids can learn more about the Bible, Church history and even learn to pray for each other using an interactive Prayer Garden that tracks answered prayer requests.
You can also purchase images for use in PowerPoint presentations. The collection of books and images is constantly growing. This is a ministry resource product line you are going to want to keep an eye on! Follow on Twitter at @AlmightyBible
WANT A FREE COPY?
Just tell me in comments what your favorite story is in the Book of Acts, and I will pick one at random in a week and will mail you an signed copy!
This is the perfect give-a-way at church or for graduating kids. Be sure your Church Library is stocking up on these amazing books!
This past Saturday my family went to an airshow in Colorado Springs. I’ll post pics about that later. About halfway through the show I noticed my iPhone was no longer in my belt holster! Of course, my iPhone being practically a part of my body and brain, I panicked. The last time I remembered using it was in the car to call my dad in the other car during a stop for directions when I made a wrong turn. So I had to wonder – was it back in my car, or had I dropped it climbing in and out of the airplanes and military vehicles with my son? Of course, I could not enjoy the rest of the show and day not knowing the fate of my iPhone. It was most likely out in my car, but if it was lost, I needed to know that, so I could check with lost and found, or replace my steps and try to ask around if anyone had found it.
I left the family watching the show, exited the entrance, rode the shuttle back to the parking lot and searched the car.
It was lost.
What was I to do now?
Then I remember… “Find My iPhone” is a feature of Apple iPhones and my iPad was in the car. I fired up my Verizon Broadband card on my belt and turned on my iPad and got online. I went to www.me.com and was informed there was now a “Find My iPhone” iPad App so I downloaded it. (Me.com will no longer allow you to use the website to find your iPhone with an iPad, it forced the App use.)
It took only a minute to download the app and log into the app and within seconds my iPhone was located and YES!, it was on the military base somewhere!
Just like Google Maps, I could zoom in to right where it was:
But… then it happened…
Every time I refreshed, it MOVED!
Someone had my iPhone, and they were on the move!
Was it stolen?
Were they trying to find the owner?
Were they leaving the base?
Was it on someone’s person, or in a car?
I immediately used “Find My iPhone” to lock my phone so they could not access it without a password:
And then, I sent them a message:
So they would have a way to reach me if they looked at the phone. I realized my mistake in not borrowing a phone so that IF they DID call my wife, she would have a way to reach me and tell me! (oops!) So I wouldn’t know until I got back to the family, so now I just needed to give up my search, and head back.
Their message would look like this: (recreated later, as was the message above)
I road the shuttle back to the show entrance, expecting to wait for “the call.” I kept refreshing the map and noticed that my iPhone was moving in a pattern. That was when it hit me… perhaps it wasn’t a person who had my phone, but a vehicle… AH HA! A shuttle! Maybe I had dropped it on the shuttle on my way in while carrying chairs and all our stuff and managing a five year old!
I stopped a soldier and asked him to help me interpret the map, since I didn’t know the names to the roads and I showed him the different places the iPhone had been. (He was very impressed with my GPS technology and tracking my phone!) We switched to Satellite View and Hybrid View and he helped me figure out where the shuttle stop was. I enjoyed him pointing out all the buildings around the base! Then, I simply kept refreshing “Find My iPhone” watching my iPhone go around the circuit one more time and then stop at the point where it was dropping off people for the show. When I went in to search the shuttle – I asked the driver, (ironically the same shuttle I had just ridden back on!) if anyone had found an iPhone, and she picks it up off the dashboard and says, “I hoped someone would come back for it.” I had been that close but hadn’t yet figured out that the moving iPhone meant it was on a shuttle joyride.
While it wasn’t very fun losing my phone and walking around the parking lot and missing almost an hour of the show, it was kinda cool tracking my moving iPhone on my iPad via GPS with my broadband card and solving the mystery with modern technology.
I’d like to thank both Steve Jobs andSergeant Nelson for their help in assisting me recover my iPhone on Saturday. I was able to get back to my family and enjoy the rest of the day without the stress of having lost a valuable tool that I use in many aspects of life and work and ministry.
In these challenging economic times, children’s ministry budgets often get cut… sometimes eliminated. I read often online, even in the Kidology.org forums about ideas for fund raising and saving money.
I’d like to take a different approach on this topic – while I AM sympathetic to leaders facing budget cuts and the challenges of ministering with less money, I’d like to pose a sincere question you are welcome to answer in the comments below - my question is simply,
“What do you need money FOR?”
I think this is an important question. Because I’ve been in a children’s ministry where I had a $30,000 annual budget, a $6000 annual budget and a ZERO annual budget and honestly, my ministry was equally effective in ALL THREE. Honestly. No different.
The more money I had to spend never increased the number of kids I could reach!
My fear, is that in challenging times, leaders will devote more time to fund raising and get distracted from ministry.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m on all for money and creatively investing in ministry! It angers me too when pastors and churches slash kidmin budgets first in tough times. It is WRONG in when they cut the kids first, however – God works through these hard times to refine us and teach us things. And there are thriving ministries on the mission field around the world that have NO money, and they do fine. And the Church existed for years before all the goodies that we enjoy now. I think sometimes that we’ve gotten to a point that we now think we “need” more than we truly do.
I believe much of what we think we need – are not truly “needs” but blessings. IF we can get them, they are GREAT and we SHOULD use them – I’m not against most anything that can be used to reach kids. But there is little that I think we truly need, other than strategic curriculum. (And there are good ones available for free.)
If there is anything on Kidology.org that I’ve written/created that someone needs and truly can’t afford (especially downloadable) I’ll give it for free, just contact me. I never let lack of resources keep my resources away from anyone.
So I honestly ask, what do you need? If you have a need – and there ARE REAL NEEDS – post those needs here in comments, or at your church, and people will meet them. I’ve seen it.
But money is almost never a real need.
I am not speaking out of judgement, but out of experience from running a children’s ministry in the inner city when no one knew who “Karl Bastian” was and I had no website – I just had a children’s ministry to run and I had no budget.
It can be done. It just takes identifying real needs and then making them known and being creative. You must choose to focus on the basics of reaching and teaching kids instead of focusing on the money you lost.
If you list your real basic needs, I think you will find that you don’t need as much money as you think. And what you do actually need is much more attainable than you think.
So…. what did I do for my 42nd birthday? I blew off work and took my family and went and did my favorite thing… I went hiking!
I recently got a great new hiking book called Colorado Lake Hikes that I highly recommend. This was the first hike I’ve done in the book. We decided to visit St. Mary’s Lake and “Glacier.”
On the way, we spotted this beautiful water fall on the side of the road. That’s one of the things I love about living in Colorado – there are gorgeous spots like this all over the place. We can just pull over and Luke can get to play in Creation just off the side of the road. It was simply beautiful!
Soon we were on our way up the mountain. This was Luke’s second “real” hike. I haven’t had a chance to blog yet about our family vacation in Yosemite yet, where he hiked up to the top of Sentinel Dome! He is very proud of that feat!
He is proving to fit into nature just, well, naturally. I wonder where he gets his love of the outdoors from?
Luke wants to climb on top of every rock we pass… which adds quite of bit of time to the “hiking time estimate” that was in the hiking book!
Can you find mommy and Luke in this picture? By the way, every picture in this post can be clicked on to view larger in a new window!
We often call Luke “our little poser.” He climbs up on stuff and says, “Take my picture here, Daddy!” Hope he doesn’t outgrow that too quickly!
Spotted something beautiful through the trees!
It was an all uphill hike, but Luke held up pretty well for the most part…
Spotting WILD LIFE is always a highlight. We thought we heard a bear, but Luke claimed that was just Dad making toots! We’ll never know for sure.
But we did see lots of Chipmunks!
Finally, we reached the lake and glacier… which technically isn’t a glacier, but a “permanent snow pack.” There were a lot of “cool dudes” with snow boards hiking up there to surf down it! Crazy, we thought!
Just beyond those rocks, was the lake! And it was BEAUTIFUL!
But Luke wasn’t impressed. He was more interested in throwing rocks in the water:
and seeing how BIG of a splash he could make:
But at least the backdrop was nice:
467 splashes later I was able to get him to walk along the shore to where we settled down for some Birthday Cheesecake to celebrate 42 years of life!
THEN IT HAPPENED! A huge gust of wind came along and BLEW our stuff! My hands were full and I couldn’t stop the plastic container and yelled to Sara and Luke to grab the cheesecake dish but it was too late!
It blew “out to sea” as Luke said, and was gone!
It wasn’t just the potential $500 fine I was worried about, I love my state and the outdoors, I didn’t like the idea of leaving with this huge plastic “boat” (as Luke called it) floating out to the middle of the lake!
We kept an eye on it, and about a half hour later, the wind changed and it actually drifted back about 500 feet away and I was able to retrieve it! Luke thought it was the funniest part of the day and keeps telling people all about it!
Here we are! Luke didn’t want to leave his splash making for a picture, so we got creative with this picture… turned out even better we think!
I love the outdoors. It refreshes me. It refills me. It rejuvenates me. It recreates me. It refocuses me. It renews me.
People ask me why I moved to Colorado. I want to show them pictures like the one above and just say, “This is why.” Why would you want to live anywhere else, if you have a choice. I know I am blessed to have a choice. For now, God allows me to be here. So I am breathing deeply and filling my lungs with Colorado Air.
Next, we headed into Idaho Springs, and went BeauJo’s Pizza – a famous mountain town pizzaria joint here in Colorado, where I order Beaughetti! Spaghetti in a garlic bread pizza crust! Yum! Yum!
How could my dad give MAGNIFIERS to my sisters?!?!
(Close to what my gift looked like)
It is one thing to talk about something in the abstract. Kids need real stories from real people they know. Have you ever had a bad attitude that cost you something? Too often we give the impression that we have always done everything right and it is only the children we teach who make mistakes. Telling our students real stories of times we have blown it can help encourage them in profound ways.
I remember a time when my dad came home with a gift for all three of his children. To each of my sisters he gave a gift of a different type of magnifying lens. I was in shock! Didn’t my dad know, it was I who collected magnifying glasses?!?!
My older sister got a magnifying sheet the size of a full page of paper! Then my younger sister was given a magnifying ruler. You could place it over what you were reading and as you moved it down the page the words would magically grow as it passed over them.
I was so jealous! How could my father DO this to me? Again, didn’t he understand that it was ME who collected magnifying lens, not my sisters?! They were girls, after all. They needed dolls or something of the sort. I was so caught up in my anger and jealousy and wanting what they had been given that when he handed me an old two inch long cylinder object that I didn’t recognize instead of asking what it was, I just threw it on the ground, breaking it, and yelling, “I don’t want this dumb thing, I want a magnifier!”
My dad simply left the room obviously disappointed in me. Later, after I calmed down enough to ask about the object I had cracked, he explained that what I had thrown down and broken in my anger was actually a very valuable and high powered magnifier he had found at an antique store. In his desire to bring a little treat for my sisters as well, he had stopped at the five and dime store bought them cheap magnifiers so he could have a gift for each of his children.
My impatience and disrespect cost me that precious treasure.
I have kept that broken lens to this day as a reminder that my Father knows me best and delights in giving me what my heart desires if I will just be patience and wait to hear His explanation.
This is from the Connect with Your Kids component of the next DiscipleTown unit I am current writing, How to Show Respect, due out October 20th. I always include a section helping teachers connect their real lives to the lessons they teach, which I believe is critical to being an effective teacher. I enjoyed writing this, and thought you might enjoy this story too.
I am personally convinced that one person can be a change catalyst, a “transformer” in any situation, any organization. Such an individual is yeast that can leaven an entire loaf. It requires vision, initiative, patience, respect, persistence, courage, and faith to be a transforming leader.
~ Stephen R. Covey