Taking the Path Less Traveled

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You’d miss it completely if you weren’t looking for it. Most walked right past it. But we enjoyed a rare treat because we were looking for the path less traveled. I kicked off 2017 with a week of hiking in Yosemite National Park with a good friend. I lead the Yosemite Summit retreat for pastors every May, but we were eager to see this incredible place in winter. God blessed us with both fresh snow and temperatures that made hiking surprisingly easy as we stuffed hats, gloves and jackets into our backpacks… not needed! Ahead of time we did some research on the best spots to see in winter. We discovered a secret spot off the Upper Yosemite Falls trail that afforded an amazing view of the middle falls that otherwise are impossible to see from any other location. It was amazing! We marveled that the slight detour leading to this spot was missed by most, but at the same time enjoyed that the secret was ours alone as other hikers walked on by, just a few feet away and missed it completely. I won’t even name it here, its worthy of secrecy – but if you ask me in …

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Should We Promote Diversity in Kidmin?

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I hope that this blog post will generate some honest, polite and important dialogue. I am not trying to stir anything up – but sincerely want to get your feedback on a question I got. Several months ago, I received the following question from a listener to my podcast: Good morning Karl, I am… (name and church removed)   I listened to your podcast, and absolutely loved it! Great job, keep up the great work that you’re doing for all of the professionals in the kids ministry world.   I did have a question, however, that I would love to see you address. The question is, “How do you encourage and promote diversity in your kids ministry?”   We are living in a day and age, that unfortunately, kids and families are exposed to the rise of division because of race and ethnic background.   How do you promote unity and diversity in the mist of these unfortunate events? This is a fantastic question – but I must admit, I had to really wrestle with it because the premise of the question bothers me, that we live in a day and age when, yes, there are a lot of events …

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Dad, I Need to Talk

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For my birthday I got this cool home marquee sign so I can put light up signs in my office. I had a message that said, “WELCOME TO THE KIDOLOGY HQ.” My son came down yesterday while I was busy working and asked if I minded if he played with it and changed the message. I said, “Go for it!” and showed him where all the letters were. A few minutes later he says it is ready for viewing. This is what I saw: Wow! Kids have a way of getting our attention. So I sat down, put my arm around him and asked, “Well, what do you want to talk about?” (Wondering if it was serious or something had happened at school.) He answered, “I need to tell you in a note. I’ll be right back!” and he ran upstairs. I thought perhaps he didn’t want to say what was on his mind with house guests around. He soon returned back downstairs with the following note. I was relieved it was nothing serious. (I can post-pone “the Talk” another day!) You are going to have to come with me out frint there is something I want to do with …

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A Father’s Forgiveness

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My son is nine. He has always amazed us with his incredible memory. He will randomly bring us experiences and family events that happened long ago that we didn’t think he was old enough to remember. Often, we had forgotten, but his memory brings back ours. I marvel at the things that stick in his little head and it reminds me to be intentional about how I conduct myself as a Christian, a husband, and a dad in his presence. But there is one type of question he brings up every now and then that bugs me as a dad. Luke is a pretty good kid, and rarely does anything intentionally wrong – usually when he is in trouble, it’s something he’s learning about life rather than outright willful misbehavior. His heart is usually in the right place and when emotions get him carried away, he is quick to apologize when he calms down. As a result, we have rarely needed to discipline him other than verbal correction or mild things like a “time out” or missing out on something or going to bed early. However, the few times we needed something more compelling – he remembers those, and often …

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3 Quick Tips When You Are Stressed Out

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OK, you don’t have a lot of time for this post – because you have a zillion other things you really should be doing, need to do, should have done, and ought to do. So I’ll get to the point – ready? 1) Don’t make any Big Decisions while you are stressed out. Stay the course, time for reflection and evaluation and possible changes will come. Put off reactionary changes/decisions until you can calmly and objectively think clearly. As my dad used to say, “Bad decisions can always be put off to make later. Good decisions take time.” 2) Walk away for a few minutes. Pray. Breath. Ask what can go? What can be left undone? Usually something can. If you’re not sure, ask your spouse. Then, stick it out and do whatever you got yourself into (that can’t be dropped) but remember how you feel now. You’ll need that for evaluating later. 3) Look at your calendar and look ahead. Find a breather spot. Plan something refreshing and enjoyable NOW. Even if it is weeks away, you’ll have something to look forward to. Give yourself a light at the end of the tunnel. A date? A day off? A …

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