Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for June, 2012
Many friends and family have been calling, e-mailing, facebooking or texting to ask how the Colorado Fires are affecting my family, or to make sure we are safe. We are fortunate to live an hour North of the Waldo Canyon Fire, but even so, we have seen its smoke on the horizon and breathed it’s wrath even this far away.
We have joined many others in mourning the loss of the Flying W Ranch – a Christian outreach and church, the many who have lost homes, and share the nervousness as the Navigators property is now being touched by the flames and putting the Glen Eyrie Retreat Center at risk as well as Garden of the Gods – both some of the beautiful landscape in Colorado.
Of course, homes and lives are precious too. I will leave the quoting of stats and numbers to the authorities, not only to avoid error, but because they are constantly changing.
I do want to post some pictures. Not to be sensational, but to help you see the seriousness of the fires and urge you to pray.
Pray for rain.
Pray for those fighting the fires bravely.
Pray for those who have lost everything to find peace and hope in Him who can bring a comfort no home or possession can. May the “peace that passes understanding” encompass them as their hearts are broken.
My dad took this from his front yard, that is the back of Glen Eyrie property.
Colorado Springs. (That is the Air Force Academy at the bottom.) (Instagram)
Source unknown, via Twitter #WaldoCanyonFire
Colorado Springs last night. (Source: Unknown)
A deer trying to escape through a fence. Notice the hair flying off his back. (Source)
The Air Force Academy on Tuesday. It has been partially evacuated last I heard. (Via Twitter)
Horses evacuating with people. (Via Twitter)
Waldo Fire from the Air (Source: Instagram)
The mountains aflame. (via Twitter)
The saddest is seeing people’s houses burning. (Source: Twitpic)
What is left behind. (via Twitter)
The devastation left behind after the fire left Flying W Ranch.
Air Force One captured by my dad as Obama flew into Colorado Springs to look at the damage himself and visit with the fire fighters and the families impacted by the fire. (Twitter)
Amazing how two can burn, and so close others are spared. (click to enlarge. Source)
An Ever Growing Collection of Incredible Pictures from The Denver Post
Amazing Pictures here as well
Thank you for your concern for my family. My dad lives in the Springs, just eight miles from the Waldo Canyon Fire and is housing an evacuated family. We all appreciate your prayer and support at this time.
You can see live coverage of the Waldo Canyon Fire here: KKTV.com
Four front page newspapers: The Gazette – The Denver Post – Daily Camera – Pueblo Chieftain
Or follow #WaldoCanyonFire on Twitter
One of my favorite iPad Apps for passing idle time (like on the airplane right now) is CardTower. I get to build a “real” house of cards with playing cards, and it is amazingly realistic for being on an iPad (plus its free!)
I can grab either two cards from the top of the pile to form a triangle or just one to drop a flat one, but the physics are amazing! The best thing is that there are unlimited ‘undos,’ which I really need. I try to be disciplined and only do one redo, but I watch the entire thing collaspe, and then just undo the last card I placed. Or… I go back to a time when it was sturder and build from there. But don’t be fooled, that doesn’t make the game easy. It still took me a while to build this six level tower.
One Hint: See my little stack on the lower right side? If you want to make minor adjustments to slipping cards or even nudge in a flat card in the middle, grab a solo card from the top, use it to make adjustments, like you would with your hand in real life, and then just drop it on the table.
Pretty cool picture huh? The App has a feature that lets you take pictures of your progress and save to your Pictures on the iPad.
Well, I have a little confession to make. That pic was snapped nano-seconds before the whole house came crashing down! No matter how many redos I did, I could not get that final 6th level to stay. While it was fun to watch all the various ways it collapsed, it was a lot of hard work to get to that 6th level. I finally had to accept that my work on the lower levels had made a 6th level impossible. As hard as I worked, I had to accept that I would never get a perfect card castle. I would have to settle for a nice picture to show, and get back to work. My only choice was a ton of undos and reworking. I may never have a solid card castle that stands all on its own, and when (if) I do, it probably won’t be that pretty, like the ideal I have in my head.
No matter how hard I try to build this ‘perfect’ castle, it always ends up crashing down! Undos and start-overs are constant.
It reminded me a lot of Children’s Ministry.
We can print some pretty nice brochures for the Visitor’s Center and put up some great CM websites for prospective families to check out, but the reality is, we are constantly building, experiencing crashes, and redoing. Once in awhile we are able to snap a great picture to show the world. I’m not saying we are dishonest, just that those are the highlights. Those rare moments of feeling like we’ve really acheived something, when the rest of the time we are nudging and adjusting and just trying to keep the whole thing from coming crashing down.
I just want my kidmin friends out there to know, I see your perfect looking pictures and websites and brochures, and I celebrate those moments with you. But I also know that feeling of hoping no breeze will come along that might knock it all down. Breezes like volunteers quitting, pastors adding more levels your foundation can’t support, card (budget) cuts, dropped cards (balls) – and the list goes on and on.
I’m praying for you. My house is in constant repair and a little shaky too, as I seek to help build the Kingdom.
But it’s fun at the same time. Keep on keeping on!
Yup! It’s the 19th and we are celebrating 19 years of trying to figure out how to turn two people into one. And we’re doing OK. I told her when we got engaged, “Just remember, everything that is yours will be mine, and everything that is mine will be mine, and we’ll do fine!” She told me, “Just remember – Rule #1: The Wife is Right. Rule #2: If the wife ever isn’t right, refer to Rule #1.”
At our wedding Pastor Erwin Lutzer, of Moody Church in Chicago, told a very touching story. He said, “As Sara was standing at the back of the church before the ceremony and about to enter to the music and was looking down the aisle that would forever change the path of her life, she was reflecting on that aisle. Then, she looked upon the altar where she would make the vows that would bind her for life to the man she had chosen, and so she thought about that altar. And then lastly she looked upon him – the man to whom she would soon be married and spend the rest of her life with, and so in her final moments of singlehood, these were the things she was thinking about…over and over…aisle; altar; him. Aisle; altar; him. Aisle; altar; him. Aisle; alter; him. I’ll alter him. Yeah, I’ll alter him!”
Well, alter me she has. But it’s all been for the good. I’ve become a better person for being married to my sweetheart. Gentler. Kinder. More patient. More sensitive to people. More observant of subtle cues I used to miss. Less dominant in social settings and a better listener. She’s made me a better person. But while Pastor made a funny joke, my wife hasn’t set out to change me (like some wives do), she has allowed me to be myself (flaws and all) and been gracious and forgiving in the worst of times. She has changed me by her example and her quiet and gentle spirit which I admire. (I Peter 3:3-4)
(Read the story of how we met from a previous anniversary blog post.
I am back at Camp Timber-lee! I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve been here since 1998, since I’ve only missed a few years but spoke multiple times other years – it’s like a home away from home for me. And while it was once the camp for the kids at my church, it’s now a camp in Wisconsin I fly back to speak at from Colorado – so I guess they like me! I feel like family here, even though I only get to be a small part of the massive operation here for only one week of the year, but I count it an honor and a privilege every time!
This year the theme is TRANSFORMED and what a great opportunity to challenge kids to allow God to transform them or some area of their life.
I just got all unpacked and moved in after a long day of travel, so I thought – just for fun – I’d post a picture of my closet in my cabin for you to get a glimpse into my style of teaching.
Here it is:
I’m posting this for a few reasons.
First of all – It just looks like fun and I’m excited about the week ahead! Secondly, I can’t believe I fit all this in my luggage! (Though I shipped the robot puppet ahead and bought the hula hoops and super soaker at Wal-Mart after I got here!)
Thirdly, because I want to encourage those of you who teach kids to go the extra mile to engage kids when you teach!
Yes. It is a lot of extra work and takes extra effort to include props and fun games and include interactive elements in your lessons – but the results are always better and higher because the kids are engaged, listening, and you earn the right to be heard. This is explained in greater detail relationally in the Kidology Handbook, and from a teaching perspective in the The Kids Church Cookbook.
Now, don’t get me wrong, it isn’t just about being fun! It is fun with a purpose! Every game is an object lesson and every illusion illustrates a lesson point, and that takes time and prayer and planning. It’s rarely in the curriculum, at least not to the standard I demand, and rarely with much scriptural basis. I had to collect Transformer toys for a year and spend a lot of time working props to fit my lessons.
But in the end – I’ll have lessons that are highly interactive and engaging without using any media. (My personal belief is I use NO media at camp – kids get enough of that at school and church throughout the year, I want everything at camp to be REAL and not ‘on screen’ – only worship words are on screen, something I have no control over.)
Fourthly – I wanted to have some fun with you. Take a close look at the picture. And in comments, how many of the items in my closet can you name? I’m not going to approve any comments until the contest is over! Whoever guesses the most correctly, will win a cool (and valuable) prize when I get home! (If any comments do go live, it may be they are per-approved for being previous commenters – no fair using their comments for hints!?) I put them all live and announce the winner at the end of the week!
I’m curious how many of my teaching props some of you kidmins out there may recognize. If you have questions about my props shown, ask in a separate comment, so I can approve and then answer!
(Click the pic to see it bigger!)
Next entries »
The 2012 Yosemite Summit Report has been posted!
The 2012 Yosemite Summit Gang!
I have posted the 2012 Yosemite Summit Report and Hightlight Video over on YosemiteSummit.org – GO CHECK IT OUT!
I am already looking forward to and praying about who will join me next year! Remember, Yosemite Summit is now open to any men in ministry, not just children’s pastors.