This is a video I shot as the year changed from 2010 to 2011… in answer to the question, “What Matters Most?” for an online video conference I was participating in that year. I thought I’d post it again this year, since the answer hasn’t changed…
Make sure you prioritize the relationships in your life in 2013.
Luke’s day now consists mostly of watching these men work, and then going and mimicking their work in his own giant sandbox.
At lunch today be informed us, “It’s O.K. To go to lunch, my workers are at lunch right now too. I have ten workers, you know.” He’s the foreman of his backyard construction site and gives us daily reports at dinner of his workers progress each day, in creative detail.
You can only imagine his sheer excitement when a huge truck arrived today and dropped off two massive piles of rocks next to our house!
He loves imagining the house that will be built upon this foundation.
“The house will be up here, Dad!”
As I watch this boy of mine, I too wonder… What will HE hold up one day? What will be built upon his life? Some of his accomplishments and how God uses him, I will get to see, much may be after I’m gone. Such is parenting some times. My mom left to meet Jesus about the time Kidology started, but it was built upon the foundation she built into me. Kidology is as much her accomplishment as it will be mine – for I am the result of her tireless teaching and training (and patience!) as a young boy who showed giftedness and passion (mixed with hyper activity!) for kids ministry. As did my dad, who is still an active encourager and adviser.
As much as my boy loves watching this house going up and building imaginary houses in his sandbox, I love the job of building a boy. It is hard, and it is fun. It takes intentionality and spontaneity. It takes love and creativity. My legacy will not be a website or a church or a book or a curriculum – it will be this boy, so I am devoted to building him, daily.
This is part of a series called 24 Days of Thankfulness. These posts are in RANDOM order, NOT priority order. Each is something I am thankful for leading up to Thanksgiving.
DAY #18: My Dad
While there may be some sons out there who have had the honor of having their dad appear on the cover of TIME magazine or some other newspaper or periodical, I must say that I can say, as the son of a preacher man, I was the proudest (in the most Godly way, of course) when MY dad made the cover of a magazine that I think says it all. You can have your TIME magazine “Man of Year” or People Magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” titles. In 1996 MY DAD made the COVER of a magazine whose bi-line is:
“A Wise Person Displays Understanding By His Godly Life as Gentle Servant.”
There is probably no better description of my dad, so posting the cover of the magazine cover my dad was on was the best way I could think to “toot his horn” today, though it will embarrass him. Such is his character, for he made the cover of SERVANT magazine:
Humble Servant, Doug Bastian
That’s my dad. (Click to enlarge the cover in a new window)
I’m thankful to him for so many reasons, I should probably write a book about it someday, all the wisdom he has given me. As I’ve often said, he is a great dad not for being perfect, but for being real. There are no perfect dads. The best dads are not the perfect dads, but the ones who don’t pretend to me. Kids figure out early on that dads aren’t perfect, and think they have something on dad when they figure that out! But when dad blows their own cover by admitting their own humanness, and admitting they are on a journey in life, and inviting their children to walk with them on the journey of parenting and walking with Christ… the impact is trans-formative. Not only in parenting, but in the life of the child.
Mac and PC
I posted A Tribute to My Dad in the past, with lots of fun pictures of us from a long time ago, so I won’t post those pictures again or get too wordy again. This time, I justed to say THANKS to my dad for not telling me what it meant to be a servant in the home and in my ministry, but showing me. In fact, I don’t think he ever did actually tell me. He just lived it, and it just rubs off. And when I heard it preached later I thought, “Oh, that’s my dad.”
I’ve said it a thousand times,
“Discipling your kids isn’t something you ought to do… it is something you are doing.”
Your kids become you! My dad often quoted to me I Cor. 11:1, where Paul said to Timothy, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.” In other words, where I saw my dad being like Christ, he wanted me to be like him, and when I saw him not being like Christ, he hoped I would have the objectivity to not imitate him in those times. I hope the same for my son. But for better or for worse, more and more, I am becoming my dad. It’s a scary thought some times (!), but over all, it’s a good thing. And that’s why I’m thankful for his example.
This is part of a series called 24 Days of Thankfulness. These posts are in RANDOM order, NOT priority order. Each is something I am thankful for leading up to Thanksgiving.
DAY #12: Luke
Yes, it’s been said in my house, many, many times…
But all kidding aside, I love telling the story of April Fool’s Day, 2006 when my life suddenly changed forever by a phone call from my sister asking me to help with a situation with a baby in need… later that day, I would be driving home with a baby that would become my son.
I still remember the moment (and the spot) on the I-294 when this baby was looking at me with wonder in his eyes, and I was trying to guard my heart against getting my hopes up, (the birth mom had offered him to me) and I heard God say, “Hold Nothing Back.” It was only three words, but I knew what it meant. It meant to open my heart to him, regardless of the consequences. Even if I did lose him. It wasn’t a promise that I’d get to adopt him. It was only a command to open my heart 100% regardless of what the future held. I turned to him and said, “Luke, I will love you, no matter what happens.” He closed his eyes and fell asleep. I began to cry. I believe in that moment, I became his father.
Elements of the story has been shared elsewhere on this blog, and more details I tell in person, not online – but every adoption story is unique and wonderful, but the sum of it all, is that God gave me and my wife a son.
This morning he made me breakfast:
He is the most loving and kind boy I have ever known. He fills our days with happiness and craziness even when we wears us out and tires us out. I was hurting from fifteen years of being childless while my life revolved around children and helping others love and minister to children. I honestly don’t know how I’d be doing today without the Gift of this boy, Luke Given Bastian.
I am so thankful for him, I could burst. There is no achievement or earthly success I have gained that matters to me any more, other than to see him look up at me and be happy. That’s why I stop working when he enters the room. He is my #1 job now, my ministry is important, yes, and satisfiying, yes, but my joy and happiness and deep fulfillment comes from pouring into this little guy.
Being the “Kidologist” is fun – I get to equip and encourage folks and follow God’s Calling on my life to serve others and reach many kids with the Good News of God’s Love and train others who minister to kids – but first and foremost, I’m just another Dad. And I’m loving every day of it.
It’s really just something I need to DO MYSELF – but I thought maybe others might want to join me, and I’d enjoy reading/seeing what others are thankful for. So you are welcome to use the Word doc, or just post in the forum what YOU are thankful for! So let me begin today, with my first post. These are NOT going to be in priority order, otherwise I’d have to go God, Family, etc. and then later on, people might judge me for putting one thing “above” or “before” another – so right out of the gate let me say, these posts will be in RANDOM ORDER of things I am THANKFUL FOR!
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!
Saturday the family headed to the Pikes Peak Radio Control Club’s “Warbird’s Over Pike’s Peak’s Air Show”, and it was incredible! (Don’t miss HIGHLIGHT VIDEO at end of this post!)
NOTE:Click on any image to see larger in a new window.
For Luke, it was a real treat! He brought a box of toy airplanes and enjoying playing with his planes while watching grown men play with their toys. As the saying goes…
The difference between the men and the boys, is just the price of their toys!
It was hard to believe these things were not real! Especially when the jets went straight up into the air spinning until they were a speck in the sky!
They even SOUNDED like real jets… well, actually, there WERE real jets… just smaller and without a real person inside!
They literally flew up to the clouds! I had to use a telephoto lens to keep up with them!
Luke enjoyed chillin’ out on Daddy’s hammock, which I got for Father’s Day way back when he was just a baby… (remember?)
Everyone had their cameras out trying to capture these birds in the coolest pics possible – the pics in this post and in the video below, are from all three of us, me, my dad and his wife Patty.
The planes took turns putting on a show for everyone, and the stunts they did was just like being at a real airshow with real planes!
And getting to walk around and look at them and talk to the pilots was fun too. (That’s my dad and his wife.)
The variety was amazing. They even let us vote on our favorite and there were awards for the pilots in different categories. I felt good when the one I picked won for best design!
One of my favorite features, was the “little pilots” that a lot of controllers put into their planes:
Pretty amazing detail, isn’t it?
It was an incredible day for a young boy. I love taking him to things that show him you never need to grow up. You can pick a hobby and enjoy it into adulthood, whether or not airplanes is what he chooses, you can have fun at any age!
Days like Saturday are days well invested in your kids.
Even if it does make him think his toys are too small!
We can’t wait to get home and fly dad’s little remote control helicopter!
It may not be as cool as these eight to ten foot remote control airplanes that can soar through the air… but it shows my son that growing up is optional, and that is worth a day is the scorching heat.
That’ll teach him, that HE can soar in life, if he is willing to never grow up!
ENJOY THIS HIGHLIGHT VIDEO: *Recommended full screen!
Being the Dad Today is something I am passionate about! I am all to aware that these days are precious and fleeting and I want to make the most of them.
There is an old saying that you can tell what’s important to someone by looking at their date book and their checkbook. Well, I think that saying needs to be updated to the modern world to be, “You can tell what’s important to someone by looking at their iPhone camera roll.”
Just glancing through mine and you can see what I’ve been up to.
We went to the local carnival this week, just Daddy and Boy and had a blast. (Well, my wallet didn’t but that’s a separate issue!)
We also enrolled in Swim Class. I’m not very impressed with the place – I was hoping they were going to push him a little further than Dad has, so far – blowing bubbles in the water is about all they have done… Dad is working on patience as he watches through the glass as they do stuff I’ve done with him for years… hopefully in the next week they’ll teach him something new and I’ll get my money’s worth, BUT at least he is having some fun.
We love to go for walks around the neighborhood. We have gotten to explore a few houses being built – and recently one that is ALL DONE was left unlocked for contractors doing final touches, so we were able to take off our shoes and walk through one we had seen when it was just framed. It was very cool to see it all done when we had seen it in several stages. I just hope we don’t meet the owners and Luke doesn’t say, “We have been in your house a bunch of times!”
We are learning the bike right now, and if we miss a day of evening bike rides (with Dad actually walking along side) Luke is disappointed. I have plans for a whole article comparing learning a bike to launching a new children’s ministry as I have thought of many parallels during this process. But it has been a very neat process to watch him overcome his fear from an early negative experience that had put off the bike to his growing skill and confidence. He is now eager for the time when the training wheels will come off.
And meals out with Dad are always a treat. Watching cars, airplanes and people are fun. He is so observant. And I marvel at his tender spirit, curious mind, and polite nature.
This week, I’ll be my sons coach and the Bible Story teacher for our sports camp at church – looking forward to that a lot.
But the best is always bedtime… the stories… the cuddling… the hiding from mom to delay the inevitable… the serious talks… the hiding in the closet and coming out with a new ‘monster’ costume on… last night I came out dressed as Mega Man! And then, of course, he had to try it on:
My work keeps my pretty busy – but never too busy for my boy. I’ll always have my work – but I won’t always have a little boy.
In Dad School, I’m in a process of teaching my son both how to read and to understand how we got the Bible. One recent trip I purchased Dr. Seuss’ “The BIG Green Book of Beginner Books” and my five year old is loving the funny stories it contains that originally were published books in their own right, but now, are compiled in this single thick green book. Since we are currently practicing pointing out the letters of words and sounding them out, I decided the title of the book would be our goal last night since it provided a review of “BIG” (he just learned that a few days ago in Go, Dog Go!”) and a review of plural with the occurrence of “Book” and “Books” both being in the title. Then it struck me! Here I was helping him sound out a “Book of Books” which is exactly what the Bible is! The cover even shows little pictures of the “books within this book!” My heart skipped a beat! I had to force myself to hold off on the spiritual application and stick to the reading lesson first. But once he had mastered the title, I first explained with this “Big Green Book of Books” how it was a collection of books that once were separate and why the publisher has compiled them and we talked about why that was helpful – for carrying around for example. We talked about how they chose which books to put together: they were all “Beginner” books, books to help young kids learn to read, and (he noted) they were all funny stories!
Then I got a Bible out and said, “Did you know the BIble is a ‘Book of Books’?” We talked about how the Big Green Book of Books had six books in it, and had him guess how many were in the Bible. He guessed 100! He was close. 66 is the answer. We talked a little about how they were chosen. They also have the same author, God. And the same purpose, to help people know how to live life. And while they might not be funny, they are helpful and are our guide for life. The word Bible actually means “Books” because it isn’t one book, but many book put together, just like this Big Green Book we are reading.
I think for the first time he understands the basic structure of the Bible, thanks to Dr. Seuss’ “Book of Books.”
It might be worth picking up the Big Green Book of Beginner Books as an object lesson. It is a great book on its on merit besides the object lesson it provides.
This was the first Memorial Day I got to hang the American Flag with my son’s help and explain to him the meaning of “Memory Day.” He asked very thoughtful questions like, “Why do we celebrate when none of our family has died?” and “Why would people die for us when they don’t even know us?”
Then we stood and recited the Pledge to the American Flag which he as learned at school. We surprised me by asking me to explain it phrase by phrase – and my tears surprised even me as I explained in language a five year old could understand:
“I pledge Allegiance to the flag of the United States of America…”
“Luke, that means that while we love all nations and God created all nations, I am feel blessed and proud to be an American and live in this country because of how wonderful it is – and this flag is the symbol of this nation. A symbol is something that stands for something – just like you recognize cars by their symbols, people recognize our nation by this flag at world-wide sporting events, on rocket ships, and even by the flag on the moon that shows we were the first to land a space this there and have a man walk there three months after I was born. That’s why we respect this flag. Some say it is only cloth and you can do anything to it – they fail to see that it was only cloth until it was formed into the symbol or our country. Just as two sticks were just two sticks until we form them into a Cross and suddenly they remind us of what Jesus did when He died for us. Of course you can break the sticks and you don’t hurt Jesus, and you can hurt the flag without hurting our country, but we try our best to show respect to the flag to show how thankful we are for our country. Those who are mean to the flag are not reflecting a thankful heart for the blessings of this land.”
“…and to the Republic for which it stands,”
“Luke, a Republic is a land that is ruled by the people instead of the government. We have a government, but unlike most of the world, and unlike most of human history – we the people ARE the government, and we CHOOSE our leaders. You won’t understand who wonderful this is until you are older, but it means every four years we get to choose our President. If we don’t him or her, we can pick a new one. We pick the leader of our city, our state, and even our neighborhood. That is why we love our flag so much, because each of those stars stands for one of those states that all are part of the One Republic for which it stands.”
“…one nation under God,”
“Luke, under God means that our nation, when it was started was planned as a nation that would follow God’s Laws – in a minute we’ll talk about Liberty and Justice – but those needed limits, and they needed to be limited by God’s Laws, otherwise anyone could do anything they wanted and the world would be a crazy place. Someone has to decide what is right and wrong, and there is no better Person to do that than God. So our founders (the men and women who started our nation) said all our laws would be based on God’s Laws so things would never get too crazy. Anything in our culture that is crazy, is usually because our laws are going against God’s Laws – you remember that.”
“Luke, I’m sad to say, our nation tried to split once. It was a long and terrible battle you will learn about in school someday called the Civil War. We weren’t at war with another country, but with ourselves. It was a war between the North of America and the South of America and whether we would divide and become two countries or one, and whether all people would have Freedom and Liberty and Justice for all, but you’ll more about that too when you get older. But we have decided to be One Nation from now on.”
“…with Liberty and Justice for all.”
“Luke, I’ve been to fourteen different countries around the world, and while every country has wonderful and beautiful things and the people are special and love their land and are equally loved by God – every time I came back to America I could tell how blessed and lucky I was to have been born and live here. Liberty is the freedom to live your own life the way you want to without anyone (especially the government) telling you how to live your life. It is something constantly under attack, and something we need to defend always, even here in America. But Liberty is something that is rare around the world. For many people around the world what they will do, how much money they will make, who they will marry or other things are determined the day they are born – but in America we have something we call The American Dream. Some think the American Dream is that if you are an American you should get this or that – nope. The American Dream means if you are willing to work hard, you have the opportunity to have whatever you dream. There is no one telling you “no” except you. Dream it – and work toward it!
Justice means that no matter who you are, the Justice System is available to you. In many places around the world, only the rich or famous or powerful get Justice, the unknown, poor or unconnected can only hope for justice. Here, if you can’t afford a lawyer, one is given to you. You are assumed innocent until proven guilty, not the other way around!”
(I was starting to lose him by now, he is only five, after all! But he was listening intently!)
“But Luke, a nation like America isn’t just something that happens easily – it has to be fought for. There have been evil nations that have sought to destroy us – and while many nations make their young men become soldiers, our soldier are all volunteers! That means they all sign up on their own! They just love America so much, they sign up so go and fight for America. They go to far away places to defend our Liberties, to free people who are in trouble – America is the Super Hero of the world, and our flag is like the S on Superman’s chest – when people in trouble see the USA is coming they know help is on the way. And when we win, we don’t conquer or take over, we help rebuilt and leave!
And Luke, we even help rebuilt our enemies and become their friends. Many of our friends today, Japan, Germany, Russia – were once mortal enemies – but we are a Good Nation, we stand for what is Good, so we win, and then we hold out our hand and help those who were trying to kill us, unlike any nation in World History.
That is why your dad is proud to be an American, and that is why I want to raise you to be a Patriot and why today we Remember those who died so that we might be free.”
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