Romans 12:11 Never be lacking in ZEAL, but keep your SPIRITUAL FERVOR, serving the Lord.
I used the letters of the word Z.E.A.L. to offer four ways to rediscover ZEAL:
Z = Zero in on What Matters Most (get away from the distractions that pull you away from what drew you into ministry in the first place)
E = Encourage Others (get the focus off yourself)
A = Abandon Busyness (get away from ministry periodically)
L = Love Jesus (get back to relationship over service)
As I mentioned on the show…why do I have my son help wash my car? Is it because he is actually helpful? Do I need his help? No. In truth, I can wash the car faster and better without him. He actually hinders the task a bit.
I let him help because he wants to be a part of what his dad is doing. We wash the car together out of a loving relationship, not out of my need for his assistance.
Our service to God is exactly the same.
God doesn’t need our help. In fact, truth be told, our efforts probably hinder and hurt God’s efforts. However, He allows us to work with Him because He loves us and understands that we want to work with our Dad. Get this: We serve God out of a loving relationship, not because of God’s need for our assistance.
It makes you wonder why we work so hard…and often without God. It would be kinda like my son trying to wash the car without me. Pretty pointless, don’t ya think?
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!
My good friend and a very wise and experienced children’s ministry guru, Dick Crider, who has decades of teaching experience both as a professional and as a father and grandfather, provides LIVE online training seminars via DiscipleLand that you can sign up for and attend FREE of charge.
HOWEVER – attendance is LIMITED so it is important to sign up in advance for the online workshops that interest you.
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 #21: My Customers
Back in 1994 when very few people knew what the “Internet” was, I got an idea for a website: The KidologyWeb:
I was already calling myself “The Kidologist” in my workshops as I sought to equip and encourage children’s workers to approach children’s ministry from the perspective of a child:
By 1996 the first “Kidology Handbook” was published:
VERY FEW people remember when Kidology.org (before I had that domain!) looked like this:
OR when you clicked into it and saw crude pages like this:
Only hundreds were lucky enough to BE on the Internet surfin’ kidmin back then! (And only a few bought the “Life Time Memberships” I offered back then when I needed to raise some money to buy some much needed Microsoft FrontPage software, and yes, they are still members!)
More remember the next version of the site: Kidology 2.0 (which I called it long for “2.0″ was hip)
It had the infamous “frames” that if you navigated just right, would give you frames within frames within frames, which could be kinda fun…
If you were a member then, prove it by putting int he comments the “Secret” entrance you clicked on to enter the Member Area before I had usernames and passwords… it was kinda funny!
Then, due to a huge answer to prayer and grant (told about in my Thankful for Steves post) I was able to hire a real web developer, Ken Kinard, who built me my first real website, with a database driven backstage and got use set up with credit card processing and memberships with usernames and passwords.
Kidology.org finally had a webite platform we could really build on. Our rapid growth soon meant transitioning to a more robust platform and even another complete redesign and before we knew it it was time for yet another complete redesign and platform change… as we went from hundreds to thousands of members and became the leading destination for children’s ministry content on the Internet.
We incorporated as a non-profit ministry in 2000 and by 2006 I had gone full time. That paints a much smoother picture in one sentence that the story is – but anyone who has lived life or founded a ministry knows, no road is smooth, but God is faithful when we continually seek him through the ups and downs on the journey.
Our websites have changed… our logos have changed… staff have come and gone…
A Rejected Kidology Logo!
One thing has remained the same… OUR CUSTOMERS! They come by the hundreds, indeed by the thousands, every day… looking for ideas, for resources, for encouragement, for training, for jobs, for connections, for friendship, for a wide variety of things… things that can’t all be found anywhere else all in one place… and even when they can be found somewhere else, they know they can find it there, but starting here! Because like Miracle on 34th Street… we will direct you to where you need to go.
So far this month, as of this blog post, we’ve have 1,157 newFREEBasic Members sign up on Kidology.org, and that’s just THIS MONTH so far… I’m blown away by how many children’s ministry workers come to Kidology.org. I remember when 1,000 members was the entire ministry of Kidology! (And when we thought we’d never hit that number.)
It is humbling and amazing and such a blessing that this is my employment now. That I have the privilege to get up each day and serve you.
I am thankful for getting to work at home near my family, to get to travel to minister to children, and to get to meet some of my customers when I am out and about serving.
MY LIFE MISSION hasn’t changed since I was nineteen when God gave it to me: To reach and teach as many children as possible with the Good News of God’s Love, and in the process to Enlist, Equip and Encourage others to do the same.
THANK YOU for allowing me to use my God-given talents to bless you and serve you. I stink at a lot of things, but that I get to do what I love, is because of my customers.
There is a saying:
LOVE WHAT YOU DO WHAT YOU LOVE.
My customers make that possible. I am thankful for them today.
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 #5: Pandora!
I was going to say “Music” but wanted to be more modern, and Pandora is the #1 way I listen to music now, whether it is at the computer, on my iPhone, driving or in the morning getting ready for my day. If you don’t know what Pandora is – you are truly missing out!
Whether you use the iPhone/iPad app or the website, Pandora allows you to create your own custom “radio stations” based on the music you like and the mood you are in. You can enter any song, artist or genre of music and it will create a “station” or channel of music based on that entry and play music you will like that is “like” that original entry.
We believe that each individual has a unique relationship with music – no one else has tastes exactly like yours… the Music… spans everything from this past Tuesday’s new releases all the way back to the Renaissance and Classical music… Each song… is analyzed using up to 400 distinct musical characteristics… [and] …is updated on a continual basis with the latest releases, emerging artists, and an ever-deepening collection of catalogue titles.
By utilizing the wealth of musicological information stored… Pandora recognizes and responds to each individual’s tastes. The result is a much more personalized radio experience – stations that play music you’ll love – and nothing else. (abrrevieated)
This is by far my most used iPhone and iPad app, besides my communication apps, like Mail, Twitter and Facebook.
My favorite channels that I have created:
(I won’t tell you all of them, too embarrassing!)
Alison Krauss & Union Station
(see comments below)
Star Wars (Film Score) (MY FAVORITE, not because it plays Star Wars,
but because it plays movie soundtracks.)
The Stars and Stripes
(Great during fireworks shows!)
Walt Disney (Children’s)
TELL ME YOUR PANDORA CHANNELS in comments, please!
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!
I am SO excited to have the GO FISH VBS KITS on Kidology.org that I’m gonna give a 100% REFUND to one of the first ten orders of EACH of their VBS Kits! Not only do I LOVE their music, but I love the strong emphasis their VBS materials place on Scripture!
You already SAVE $25 just by being a Kidology Member, and now you might just get it free!
Whether you go with their first unit Backstage with the Bible or the brand new release, Kickin’ it Old School – or just order both – I’m gonna give a refund to one of the first ten orders of each! After we sell ten of either VBS, we will randomly select from the first ten orders and do a 100% refund and let the winner know who won via e-mail! So order right away!
WHAT IF YOU’VE ALREADY ORDERED YOUR VBS? Some of you have already picked and are half-way done planning your VBS programs! (You super admins, you!) Well, then, use these for an Awesome Kids Church unit instead!
Today it was pretty cold… and snowy, and when it came time for Dad School, I could tell my son would rather be outside playing in the snow than working on his alphabet.
So what’s a Dad to do?
Combine School and Snow together, of course!
I had to shovel the driveway eventually today anyway – might as well use it as an educational opportunity, and as I like to say, “Kill two stones with one bird!”
We bundled up and headed outside and worked on our letters, in the snow. Granted, we wouldn’t last long in the cold – but we had a great time. (My back might argue that last statement!)
(Contest is over, but it was FUN!) Can you name the letters we worked on today? See how many of the letters you can name in COMMENTS. First person to name ALL FOUR correctly, WINS!
The Letter "d"
The Letter "f"
The Letter "g"
The Letter "T"
NAME ALL FOUR LETTERS in Comments…
you just might get a PRIZE!
This was a blast! (and quite crazy!) I had no idea I would get such a response, and it was very confusing to go between the blog comments and facebook comments – but the results are in!
Picture 1 is obvious a LITTLE “d” – capital D would not do. Sorry.
Picture 2 is is a LITTLE “f” – some guessed F, but missed the curve at the top.
Picture 3 is a LITTLE “g” – most got this, but a few capitalized again. (oops)
Picture 4 admittedly, was the killer. I had Luke lay in it and form the letter as the hint. It was the Letter “T” – capital. The only capital. Granted, he kept moving and doing a snow angel, so his form is a little off, but since it wasn’t the only letter people missed, I think it’s fair.
My Aunt Linda, for most attempts, was the closest at first with “D F g T” she only had the case off, and being a teacher, I thought she knew better! (LOL) I hinted on her wall but she only went downhill from there with “d E g Y” then “d E g T” then “P E g T” then “d E g L” then “d E g I”!
Krista Mobley is the Facebook winner! Though it took her several attempts and a few tips from me to get it right in the whee hours last night. But she finally pulled it off. But, I’m a little biased toward her. But I didn’t help her any more than I did anyone else!
Doug Olson is my Blog Winner! Technically, I could disqualify the Facebook commenters since the rules said to use blog comments! Anyway, Doug’s a good friend and a great encourager, so I was glad to wake up this morning and see he nailed it.
BONUS WINNER: (I’m just such a nice guy!) As I was updating this page another winner squeaked in! Dawna Lunde posted the correct answer via Facebook!
WHAT DO THEY WIN?
All these smart and lucky winners need to do is contact me via facebook and they will get a free download of one of Luke’s favorite albums.
It’s called Craig’s Kids and not only does Luke love it, but I really enjoy it too!
You can hear a sampler of it on the product page on Kidology. I think every Christian Kid in America should be listening to this CD! This is one of those CDs that is just jam-packed with great music and even better lyrics that kids need to be packing into their hearts and minds. I just can’t recommend it enough. My favorites are “I Wonder Why” and for fun “Rolley Polley” but every single song is just excellent.
If you weren’t a winner, I’ll make you a winner: Just enter code SNOW and get 10% off any Craig’s Kids product on Kidology! (Expires one year from today!)
Got lots of snow and ice? I know JUST what you need! Spikes!
Last year I tweeted that I was heading to Yosemite for a solo snowshoeing trip and @32NorthSTABIL tweeted me and recommended that I get a pair of their STABLicersfor my trip. Well, I replied that I’d take a free pair and try ‘em out!
Next thing I knew, these arrived in the mail:
My Gift From 32 North!
So I took them to Yosemite in the middle of winter:
It was a great trip! In fact, I snow shoed and hiked around quite bit taking all these amazing pictures:
But whenever I didn’t have my snowshoes on – I had to walk on ice and slippery roads, and MAN did I like having THESE one:
They gave me a firm grip even if they did make me sound like a rusty tap dancer everywhere I went! I highly recommend them to anyone who plans to be walkin’ around on ice or snow! They go on quickly and pack small, so I was able to keep them in my pocket and have them handy. It’s dangerous to be walking around on ice – one fall can pretty much ruin your trip!
I keep them in my car now and have them ready for whenever I find myself out and needing to walk around ice or yucky ground, which in Colorado, is OFTEN!
THANKSHeather for the STABLicers and sorry my review took so long! It’s just that now it’s so easy to be out in the snow having FUN with no fear of falling!
At CPC last week, I got to teach a workshop with Michael Chanley on technology – and it was a lot of fun! We bantered back and forth, live webcasted and confused half the room with everything we covered, but it was a blast!
I demonstrated remote accessing my Macs back home as well as all my backup drives from my iPhone and iPad among other cloud perks and tried to answer questions on a wide variety of technology issues. I went over why Cloud Technology is so important – why it enables you to have access to all your data from anywhere from any device and never lose your data again, as well as the difference between POP and IMAP e-mail so your e-mail is all synced across all your devices. Plus we did webcasting with live chatting right from my iPhone – and showed how to do that for free and embed it on your website with live chat, also for free. (See it on my blog and Kidologytogo.org as well.)
I’ve had a ton of requests for the workshop, so here’s what I’m gonna do.
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