Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for April, 2012
What Makes Kidology.org Different?
No doubt, there are a LOT of places to interact and get help today on the Internet. Forums and Facebook groups and other places to ask for help and ideas and get resources abound. Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Four Square, Path, and so many other “places” allow us to ‘social network’ and get instant help, ideas and keep in touch.
So why contribute and discuss on Kidology.org?
In a world of “I need it now” – Kidology.org takes a long term approach to helping Equip and Encourage children’s workers. We know that the same questions are being asked over and over again. What you are struggling with is not new. Others have struggled before you, and others will after you. In fact, the help you recieve, on whatever website you use, you will soon be able to pass on to others.
This is what makes Kidology.org different. The help given and shared and submitted to Kidology.org has a longer life-span than anywhere else. A question asked and answered on a Facebook wall gives immediate help, but quickly passes down the ‘river’ of the wall, and is gone forever. That wisdom is washed away by time. The investment of time and expertise and sometimes links and uploads are washed away never to be seen again. The same help, asked and answered on Kidology.org becomes part of a massive database of help that will help others again and again.
That is why when people ask me a kidmin question via Facebook I say, “Ask me in the Kidology.org forum, and I’ll answer you there.” It isn’t to push my website – it is because I want to invest my time and energy in a way that will help more than just that one person. I know that when I answer on Kidology.org, that post will have a life that will extend after that one day, it will continue to be read by others, and continue to help others for years to come.
People are constantly thanking me for help I gave them in posts and articles that I wrote on the site – many written years ago. If I had posted that info solely in a Tweet or a Facebook wall or on a site where it disappears after a short time, think of the many who would never have benefited.
And this is not only true of the things I write. This is true for you too. Your questions and answers are equally valuable! My words are now only a fraction of Kidology.org as the site has grown since 1994. And I know that after the Lord calls me home someday, it will live on to continue to fulfill it’s Mission of Equipping and Encouraging Those Who Minister to Children.
So let me invite you. Be active all over the web – as I am – it’s important. But be sure you are taking time to invest in the growing content of Kidology.org, for you will be helping others in a multiplying fashion, perhaps even long after you are even in ministry, or walking this earth! As long as the Lord Jesus shall tarry.
I’ve always called it giving a tithe of your ministry time to share what you are doing. Whether you are asking the questions, or giving some answers, content, ideas, or curriculum – everything helps us continue to build the Internet’s largerest source of Kid’s Ministry help on Kidology.org
Want to help keep it growing?
My son and I have a favorite game that I have owned for years. It’s simply called Chairs. The goal of the game is to to take turns stacking some colorful plastic chairs in fun, random arrangements until the tower finally collapses under the weight of the unbalanced collection of chairs. Of course, part of the strategy is to place your chair in a way that makes it more difficult for the other player(s) to place theirs!
We laugh and laugh as the tower crashes down. At the same time, we want to see how many chairs we can add, hoping we can make it even higher than the previous game. Oh, how nervous we are as we try to add chair after chair to our wobbly tower, wondering if we can somehow defy gravity and fate – always having more chairs than the laws of physics will allow us to stack. We have never been able to stack all the chairs that came with the game. Either we aren’t very good stackers, or the game creators were generous (or cruel) in the amount of chairs they provided with the game. We keep on trying to build a tower with all of them, but it always crashes down before we can make them all somehow fit.
It kind of reminds of of life and ministry.
I am the chair at the bottom, and my life and ministry tell me there is a whole box of things that I can add on top of myself. I keep on trying to stack them – oh so many things – but the reality is, I simply can’t ever get it all done. I’m a failure every single week. The chairs come crashing down, and I hope that maybe next week I’ll do a better job at stacking the chairs of life. Can you relate?
Sooner or later, we have to accept that life came with more chairs than can be stacked! Perhaps it was a cruel joke; more likely, God was being generous with all the opportunities we have each day. Perhaps it’s just that we are attempting too much. Remember, Jesus said HIS yoke is easy, and HIS burden is light (Matthew 11:30). So when it doesn’t seem easy or light, we’re probably attempting more than He is asking.
It might be time to let some chairs fall where they may, sit in the Lazy Boy, and open the Word.
Try it, He’ll like it!
Whenever there is a cultural phenomenon like Hunger Games, what is seldom asked is why so many people are drawn to the movie.
There has been a great deal of discussion over whether the movie is a good or evil and what the deeper messages of the books and film are, but when James Cameron’s Titanic broke all previous records, the block buster sales taught us a lot more about a woman’s desire to find a man willing to die for her, than it did about a famous ship’s collision with an ice berg. What does 450 million dollars in three weeks tell us about our culture? Money spent to see a young girl defy a culture devoid of morals and that devalues human life? Especially when the young people flocking to see the film live in a culture nearly devoid of morals and that ever increasingly devalues human life? It’s a bit ironic!
Perhaps the young people we are wringing our hands over (who are a product of today’s adults, by the way) are not as ignorant and naive as we think. Perhaps they see what is happening in the world around them and they are hungry for a savior? Have we gotten so out of touch with our culture today that they can’t see the Church and Christ as the Answer? Have we become so like the world that they see no difference? (Statistics would suggest so.)
May there be Katniss Everdeens among our young people willing to stand up to the World, who might discover the real Christ and find that they can fight the World, not lose who they are. May they discover that they can be in the World, but not of it, and make a real difference! May what they Hunger for be found in Christ – even if the Church and those who profess Christ have let them down and failed to reflect Him accurately.
Perhaps the popularity of this film reflects not a love of violence but an awareness that not all is well in our culture and what entertains the adults above them. Could it be this film reflects a hunger for someone to stand up against it all and say, “Enough is Enough. No more.”
It ought to be us, but it may need to be a new generation of youth must rise to lead the charge. Hunger Games may just wake some up. Wouldn’t that be a twist?
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
See Also: Hunger Game Titled Wrong?
READ HOW TO WIN A FREE iPAD APP!
This week on my podcast, KidminTalk, I featured two beautiful iPad Apps for kids and I’m giving some away!
I’m delighted to tell you about The Sounds of the Night and The Lonely Stable
Both are stunning story book apps for young children written by Jessica Kirkland from ChristianApps4kids.com
The first app is called The Sounds of the Night and it is a story about a boy going to bed and hearing noises outside that make him a little scared, but learning what they are. Each is explained as a creature God created with touch screen interactive options that are fun to discover as well as pop-out words for early readers.
The story can be read to you, or you can read it to your child. There is even an option for the book to advance by itself if you are just cuddling and want it easy.
And while Christmas may be in December, The Lonely Stable is a story for all year around because it is a story of understanding that we all have a special purpose for why God made us.
It also has fun interactive touch elements, shapes, sounds, words and more for young kids to enjoy and the same reading (or be read to you) options.
As you can see, these books are gorgeously illustrated. But I can’t show you on the blog, the fun interactions, you’ll have to experience that on your iPad!
While I think every reader of mine should support this effort of Jessica’s by buying these for their kids so she can quickly come out with the next book – she gave me some iTunes Store codes to give several away for FREE – just listen to my podcast to find out how you can get one of these two books for free!
“A little bit of hope,” the President says, is what is needed, “but not too much.” Just the right amount, he says, is far better than fear for controlling the masses. This is one of the many messages of the Hunger Games, a movie that blew away Twilight on its opening night, and in its second week, has given a beating at the box office to Mirror Mirror and Wrath of the Titans combined.
What is so powerful about this movie? Young people are flocking to the movie, and others, like myself, are going to see what all the fuss is about. The plot, at its simplest description, is revolting to many – randomly selected kids killing kids in a nationwide politically motivated reality TV show to keep down any future rebellious uprisings. At a deeper level, it is symbolic of the loss of innocence of our generation. While it was difficult to watch, I found it no more violent than the average video game I’ve seen even Christian kids playing. (A statement of fact, not approval.) What makes it especially difficult is that the audience is drawn toward rooting for the main characters, but for these protagonists to “win,” they must kill other children. The fighters, or “tributes,” are given a mentor who is a previous victor of this game. His first bit of advice, given while drunk (since even he seems to understand the grim nature of what is to come and the unlikeliness of their success), is simply, “Embrace the probability of your imminent death; and know deep down in your heart, that there is nothing I can do to save you.”
I’ll leave story summaries and deeper analysis to those who can do it better (See Glen Wood’s Review), but for me, I am glad to have seen it so that I can get a glimpse into where our culture is, and where it is going. I did not find it as shocking as I expected it to be. The plot was not overly original; there have been many films of this nature. Claude Van Damme’s Hard Target used homeless people, for example, and there are many others with a “kill or be killed” plot. What made this different, of course, was the introduction of young kids and the nationwide reality TV show.
I met a family member of the author at my viewing of the show and have extended an invitation to do an interview with Suzanne Collins, who wrote both the books and the film adaptation. While I won’t hold my breath, I would love to know, beyond the basic plot/story, what message she was trying to communicate. What trends does she see in our country and culture that concern her? It is easy to jump all over “kids killing kids” in a movie and get irate, but do we give the same passion to the REAL killing of kids happening around us? Do we get equally upset by the desensitizing of kids to others by the way we idolize those who are attractive, or smart or from certain economic classes or races? (This is addressed in the film by the way those who are free look down on those in the districts from whom the ‘tributes’ come.) Do we get worked up about sex trafficking and child abuse and kids who are home alone so their parents can work more than necessary to acquire the “American Dream” while these kids are essentially abandoned? Do we get worked up over the promiscuity of girls trying to live up to what the world says they need to be in order to be loved or desired? Are we equally concerned about the drug use or crime of boys trying to impress each other and feel powerful and successful because that is what the media and entertainment world say is what it means to be a man? It’s always easy to get worked up over a movie because it’s a stationary target – whereas these other things are more fluid and moving, and (gulp) we are guilty of them as well. We wouldn’t want to shoot ourselves by shooting at them.
Yes, Hunger Games is violent. Our culture is violent.
Yes, Hunger Games has people obsessed with reality TV. So is our culture.
Yes, Hunger Games shows a lack of value for human life. Bingo.
Maybe Hunger Games is should have been titled Mirror Mirror?
Join the Discussion about Hunger Games on Kidology.org