Continuing our ABC’s of Kidology, and taking up a Kidmin Key Word with each podcast, I’m on the letter “E” – and this week I had not one, but TWO “E” Kidmin words to Talk Kidmin about!
Todd McKeever, Karl Bastian and Barney Kinard
PART ONE of the podcast is already live discussing EQUIPPING, and PART TWO will go live next week when we switched gears to the second “E” of Kidology’s Mission: ENCOURAGEMENT!
Be sure to listen each week to Kidmin Talk, join the weekly discussion, and help shape the show with your questions, comments and suggestions – as I am responding to YOUR input in determining the direction the show takes!
It’s not every day you can DOUBLE YOUR MONEY investing in reaching kids! READ ON! That’s why Kidology gave to this and why I am urging you to help as well!
We’ve been friends for several years now, but I must say God is doing amazing things through Gordon and Becki West and KidZ At Heart International. I’m not trying to make a shameless plug here, though you should know what they’re doing… around the world.
KidZ At Heart exists to equip people to reach and teach kids for Christ within their own culture. They train children’s leaders here in North America to then go and train others cross-culturally using the principles from 2 Timothy 2:2.
Each short-term trip provides practical and culturally-relevant children’s ministry training, and KidZ At Heart is committed to at least three consecutive years of training in the same community.
But then, what’s the next step after several consecutive years of training?
How can we better train and equip local leaders to then in turn train others in the community year round?
KidZ At Heart feels led to launch KidZ At Heart Leadership Academies (aka KAHLA) in India and Uganda. KAHLA will provide in-depth training for key church and kidmin leaders in Uganda and India. KAHL certification programs will advance the standing of significant leaders, allowing them greater impact in their churches and communities.
You can help reach the 2.2 billion children in our world. KidZ At Heart is currently developing KAHLA to be launched in 2012. Be part of something big to help reach the 2.2 billion children in our world.
Since the announcement that KidZ At Heart is launching Leadership Academies in South Africa, Uganda, and India in 2012, they have already received requests from key leaders in Jordan, Egypt, Eastern Europe and Latin America to establish similar programs in these regions! EXCITING, HUH?!?!
Just like these leaders, Xolani Mthanyelwa of South Africa, shared his experience with KidZ At Heart training:
“I know what God wants me to do – to better my ministry for His glory.”
I’m helping launch KAHLA, and so can you!
Gordon West told me about KidZ At Heart Leadership Academies (KAHLA), and I loved the approach! It’s genuinely following 2 Timothy 2:2… multiplying the training. I quickly responded with a pledge.
Will you pledge just $22 a month? OR just give whatever you can give! Right now they have a matching grant, so your gift will be doubled for a limited time.
BUT TIME IS LIMITED, the matching grant ends 10-31-2011, so please make your pledge ASAP, to secure the funds!
Kidz at Heart is raising $60,000 to launch this program, and has Kidmin Peeps LIKE YOU AND ME have already pledge $47,000 – help them get across the finish line by saying “YES! I’LL SIGN UP!”
Get your kids involved with Kids Church Offerings!
This is a unique opportunity to be a part of something that is going to impact kids all over the world by equipping and encouraging those who will reach and teach them!
Kidology’s Mission is to Equip and Encourage Those Who Minister to Children – that is why we gave and why as a board member of Ministry Resources International, that foundation matched Kidology’s gift as well! We saw this as an opportunity that we simply HAD to be a part of.
I hope you will see the same way.
No gift is too small. And of course, no gift is too big! Every gift will make a difference in reaching their goal of this limited time matching grant.
Thanks to winning a boxed set of the Charlie Brown Holiday specials from Steve Tanner at a past Kidology Christmas Party White Elephant gift – Luke is now hooked on “The Great Pumpkin,” and watching it over and over!
He loves the opening scene when Lucy “kills” the pumpkin, so when we stopped on our Daddy/Son day to pick out a “Great Pumpkin” he said, “we must get a big one to kill.”
Here he is ready to begin the slaughter of our very own Great Pumpkin!
The fatal stab is struck and alas, the Gret Pumpkin is dead.
About to open up the pumpkin and see the inside of the head and the “brains!”
Luke thinks the “brains” of the Great Pumpkin are pretty gross! Especially, when I tell him we need to reach in and pull them all out!
But, he does like the smell! LOL
The “brains!” Looking tasty!
Carving “The Great Pumpkin!” Daddy did most of this part, (of course!), but Luke drew what he wanted on the pumpkin with pencil and daddy followed it on the pumpkin pretty closely.
The Great Pumpkin and the Great Kid!
Putting a light inside the Great Pumpkin!
Now it’s time to bake the seeds!
The day ended when Mommy called to say good night and Lukey was able to tell her about our day and introduce her to The Great Pumpkin out on the front porch!
Mommy is off on a women’s retreat, so daddy and boy can either stay home and watch TV and eat whatever food we can find, or…. head out on an ADVENTURE.
We chose the latter, and headed out to Castlewood Canyon State Park!
We had a great time, and without mommy, of course, we were free to roam “off the trail” a little more than usual. (hehe)
And boy oh boy does this boy love to climb! Of course, I have a knack for taking pictures that look a lot higher than they really are!
Both of these above, Luke is about five feet off the ground. (LOL)
I would never let Luke climb up anywhere high!
I get such a kick out of him stopping every now, turning around and saying, “Take my picture daddy!” I can’t imagine where he got that!
At one point, Luke decided to show me how strong he was! I was pretty impressed! He was going to roll it all the way the down the hill, but I made him put the rock back where he found it.
But what is a hike without bringing some cars to play with? Hiking with Luke is unique, it involves stopping every so often to play with cars, especially if a great spot is discovered…
For example, this was a cool “car cave” we found!
This was my favorite picture of the day – if you click it to enlarge it, you’ll see he is splashing water. (It’s my Macbook Air wallpaper now!) We found this mini pool on the top of a ridge overlooking a beautiful vista and spend quite a while there just hanging out, playing cars and relaxing.
Since we didn’t have mommy, we missed out on her usual great picture taking, so there are no pics of daddy, so I had to get creative – and settle for one of my shadow pictures!
It was a great day! Next was ice cream and then off to pick out a pumpkin and carve it, but that’s tomorrow’s blog post!
I’ve long said, there are three types of people in the world:
Those who make things happen
Those who watch things happen
Those who say, “What just happened?”
Steve Jobs was one of those who MADE things happen, and equipped others to make things happen too – which was why he was my hero. He enabled me to create. A lot of people spend their time talking about what others are doing, I prefer to DO. A lot of people spend their time talking about what others are writing, I prefer to WRITE. A lot of people spend their time talking about where others are going, I prefer to GO. A lot of people spend their time talking about what other people are creating, I prefer to CREATE.
Steve Jobs was the man who taught me this. When IBM said “Think” – he said “Think Different.” He didn’t listen to conventional wisdom, he listened to his inner voice and went against the grain and did what his instincts told him. Often it led to mistakes. But he never let his mistakes stop him from pushing forward toward his dreams. He had a vision of what people needed and he was relentless in giving people what he knew they needed. (and wanted, whether they realized it yet or not!)
That is why I created Kidology.org in 1994 – I had a vision of what children’s workers needed long before most were even using the Internet. I hope that someday when I am gone, I too can be remembered like Steve Jobs, as someone who never gave up, pressed on after mistakes, and pushed against the grain to give my customers what they need to succeed in their ministries.
While I have nowhere near his genius, I hope I have his tenacity to keep at it to the end.
I’m not exactly sure where this came from, but every time we go out to eat, my five year old son now wants to see the bathroom and check whether it is a “fancy bathroom.” Much to my embarrassment, he will be in the stall saying, “Daddy, this isn’t a fancy bathroom, is it?” to the chuckles of others in the room.
My theory is that it began last Easter when we ate at the Red Mountain Grill in Dillon, Colorado because when we visited the rest room there, he was truly impressed! That was indeed a fancy bathroom! And I believe it has been since then, that he has been commenting on the “fanciness” of restrooms. We’ll be in a very nice restaurant, but upon visiting the restroom, if it is lame or boring or dirty or junky, suddenly the restaurant is no longer “fancy” any more. We’ve been to some pretty nice places that Luke was pretty impressed with…. until he got to the restroom, and then he announced, “This restaurant isn’t fancy at all… it’s a fake.” It almost seems like his trip to the bathroom is just to investigate the “fanciness,” as a few times, after going in and checking it out, he’s no longer needed to “go” after commenting on the “fanciness” (or lack there of) of the facilities!
It got me thinking about our ministries. We can put on a pretty good front to impress visitors and try to make things look good and welcoming and “kid friendly” – but how far are we willing to go? How deep are we willing to go? How thorough are we willing to be? Or is it just a facade? Are we fancy or “fake?” If a restroom is gross and unkempt, what does that communicate to a guest? How valued do they feel at that point?
Once there are real “needs” that aren’t met, doesn’t the beautiful front we put on break down and aren’t people disappointed? In your ministry, when they see behind the scenes do they see that there really isn’t much there? Do they see cheap tile and a dirty suspended ceilings with cracks and doors that won’t even latch and towel holders that are empty and sinks that desperately need cleaning? And I’m not talking only literally here. Don’t miss the analogy to other needs.
When it comes to our ministry, it’s not only the fancy kids church room that counts… it may be the bathroom that leaves a lasting impression.
For Luke’s Fall Break, we came up to Breckenridge and on Monday we headed out for what we thought would be a 2-4 hour tour of the area to see the changing leaves… it turned into a twelve hour tour of Colorado! But we had a great time!
It was great having a convertible at a time like this!
We had driven past this scene and a mile past I ended up doing a U-Turn to go back and took about twenty amazing amazing pictures here…
It ended up being one of the most beautiful stops of the entire day…
The horses kept posing for me in different arrangements!
But Luke’s favorite was when we spotted a UFO back in the hills that had just landed! We got a picture and then got out of there before they abducted us!
Here is a close up zoomed in:
That had to be the highlight of Luke’s day! For me, it was just being out with the family, cruzin’ with the top down in the PK Cruiser:
Later, Sara said her favorite stop was by this old tractor and wooden barn, and I must say, I did enjoy photographing my favorite subject here:
And he was a great sport as daddy made him pose this way and that… but then, he was getting to climb all over a tractor, so it was a pretty cool deal for both of us!
Even peeking into a mysterious old shed has it’s appeal! (I found my way in, but didn’t tell him, there were too many ways to get hurt… but it was cool!)
I dread the day the cooperation with the camera will cease… but right now he puts up with it, knowing it is our love that drives the click, click, click. Perhaps there is a little vanity in him that enjoys looking at the pictures later? I’ll take it! I want to remember these days.
The barrel was filled with spools of old string. Letting him keep one was the deal that got him to climb in for a picture, though later I realized he probably would have climbed in anyway… it was kinda fun!
Even Sara agreed to pose for a few pictures for me!
Now there’s a facebook profile pic!
I thought it funny that we both got pictures of ourselves in the car mirrors:
That’s the road up the Continental Divide she is taking… which I took up at the top:
and then from the other side of the Divide as well, looking the other way:
It turned out to be a pretty crazy day, though fun. We chose a route on the Lodge “Activity Guide” and charted it out on the map, thinking it was perhaps a 3-4 hour drive and it turned out to be a nearly TWELVE HOUR drive! We went over the Continental Divide a total of FOUR times by the end of the day. We were laughing that they would give guests a “leaf viewing tour” that was a 400 mile tour of Colorado and not tell them it takes 10-12 hours. We only stopped for one meal and one store and to take pictures a few times, so it wasn’t like we lengthened the trip by much. We were just glad we had left around 10a.m. and not after lunch!
Of course, as the driver, I was getting most of the blame from my weary passengers, but I kept blaming the piece of paper we were following. But in the end, we mostly laughed it off and just enjoyed the day together.
I did end up deciding there were some lessons from the day, and you can hear all about that in my Kidmin Talk Podcast #3 which I recorded earlier today. There were really quite a few fun applications to the Adventures of the day to ministry, but I won’t go into that here, it’s best told on the podcast already.
But it was a great day with the family! Fall is definitely here – and God did a spectacular job showing off His creative abilities with splendor. He didn’t have to make the changing seasons beautiful you know. He could have just been practical. But He chose to do it with class and color and have a little fun with it, just for our enjoyment. The same opportunity is given to us. Why be practical all the time? When you can, do things with class and splash a little color and fun into life too. Not because you have to, but just because you can. That’s how God operates. And guess what? You were created in His Image! So stop being so practical and waste some time and be creative and unpractical for a change!
Do something beautiful and unnecessary, before you forget how.
That will make God’s day – just like He made mine this week.
As I already blogged, Friday I went on an all day hike with a friend in the mountains near Idaho Springs to see three beautiful lakes in preparation for the Men’s Advance for my church. (Note, “Advance” – real men don’t retreat) That was sorta my “pre-retreat,” er, Advance – for what God had in store for me this past weekend. It was a good time. It was a weekend spent with God.
The aspens were simply amazing and it was like God painted the entire place a masterpiece for us.
Everywhere I went, it was like God was there with me. Last year, when I went, it was wet and raining and depressing and I didn’t know anyone (it was literally my first week at the church) – and no one talked to me hardly, and while I went with a friend (thanks buddy) it just wasn’t the same. This year the weather was beautiful.
I found an empty outdoor auditorium. Pretty symbolic of my life right now. I miss being a pastor. While I know Kidology.org impacts and helps a lot of people, I spend the bulk of my time in front of a computer. Not as fulfilling compared to when I was in front of kids every Sunday. I have this idea of what I’d like to being doing and how I’d like to be serving God, but I have to release that and trust that God has a plan, and right now it is to do what I am doing now, and be where I am now, and simply wait to see what He has in store for me, on His schedule, not mine. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I do and I love serving those I serve, but I miss shepherding a group of children that I know by name every Sunday. And I long for the day when I will have that again. All in His time.
This weekend there were some things I needed to let go of. Plans, ideas, needs, hopes… things I’ve been clinging to… and just trust God’s timing and plans for me. It’s not like I didn’t already know all this – pastor’s know a lot of things in their heads… but it can take the heart awhile to catch up.
I am learning so much about resting and walking and being instead of doing and achieving and producing. God has been completely re-wiring me over the past several years. Moving to Colorado has been a huge part of this process. But I’m a slow learner. Am I alone in this struggle?
I have to constantly remind myself, even as I tell others… to be content. To focus on the blessings, the positive, the good things, the many ways that I am making a difference… even though I am not currently a children’s pastor… that that is not my identity… I know it in my head… but my heart needs reminders sometimes.
So I walked with God and released a lot of things that I have been longing for and wanting and hoping for and wishing for… and He gave me a spirit of contentment that just overwhelmed me.
I gave up trying to figure some things out. And a peace overcame me. It was incredible. I stood on the side of a very high hill that I had climbed without a path to get me there…
And I sang “I surrender all.” (Plus a bunch of my favorite Newsboys songs!) Later that night, after the “hot tub baptism service” was over (which I thought was a little goofy, God bless ‘em anyway) I decided it wasn’t so goofy after all. I changed into my suit and went down to the hot tub and baptized myself, which is even goofier – since there was no one there to witness it! But since I was a pastor, I figured I could do it myself, I know what to say and all. And I just went in by myself, rededicated myself to the Lord, and dunked myself with no witnesses other than God Himself, and then floated for awhile listening to the men singing in chapel nearby. It was pretty powerful actually. Until some teenagers from a separate group came by and thought there was a dead man in the hot tub and freaked out. That brought my spiritual bliss to a pretty humorous ending. God does have a sense of humor! So I got out, went and got dry, and no one knew about my self-baptism until now. Now you know!
May God continue to use this goofy servant of His and I continue to seek his blessing and serve Him with contentment wherever He has me and whatever He has me doing for His glory.
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