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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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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What Words Define You?

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Facebook asked me yesterday if I’d like to know what words I use the most when I post to my wall. It seemed like a fun activity. After clicking my approval, some software somewhere read my wall, compiled words, and sorted them by frequency. The result was the word cloud you see here. I was happy to see “kids” front and center and my son’s name as well. It was no surprise to see “church” or “Yosemite” – though my wife teased me that my friend Brett bumped her off the list, which does cast a little doubt on the accuracy, but at least Brent affirmed that I made his list too! Of course, Facebook only provides a glimpse into our lives, and the parts of our lives that we choose to share – but it’s worth some reflection to ask ourselves, What am I about? What drives me? What do I talk about? What do I think about? Life is made up of words and words reflect the heart. (Luke 6:45 and Matthew 15:18 discuss this.) Whether or not you allow Facebook to count your words, consider if God counted our words and made a list of what typically …

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What Re-Creates You?

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The 9th annual Summit is now only one month away. It will probably seem like the longest month of the year as I anticipate my annual pilgrimage with God in Yosemite National Park with six other pastors for a time of re-creation, renewal, recharging, refocusing and restarting for the next season of life and ministry. I am often asked, “What’s so special about Yosemite? Why do you go there every year?” While I have answered that countless times and in many ways on the YosemiteSummit.org blog, let me share with you my first entry in the journal I have now taken to Yosemite on every trip. WHY YOSEMITE? This place is beyond description, though of course, I will try. As I often say, it is the closest God ever got to sin… because he sorta showed off His creative abilities! Our language lacks adequate words to do Yosemite justice. Incredible. Amazing. Spectacular. Breath-taking. Beautiful. Magnificent. I suppose the best I can use is awe-inspiring. Awe at the sheer size and height and depth and distance and beauty and splendor that hits your eyes all at once. And no matter how many pictures you take (and I take a lot) you …

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20 Years of Thankfulness!

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As we approach the end of the year, I can’t help thinking how grateful I am for the people that I get serve on Kidology.org, each and everyone of them impacting eternity by ministering to children! Its been wonderful to be able to serve others in this way, now for over 20 years! For those of you who may be new to Kidology, let me share a bit of our history. 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 …

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