What do you do when you are out with your convertible, enjoying a beautiful day with the top down, and it starts to rain, and THEN you discover that the the automatic top is broken?
I’ve been on the road (well, technically, in the air!) for weeks – speaking at Camp Hartland and Camp Timber-lee, and all the while my convertible has been in the garage with the top down while I’ve been filming in my car DiscipleTown videos for the next series. (How to Navigate the Old Testament, due out Aug. 20th)
So when I pulled out today, I had no idea the top was broken, its been down for a month! I discovered when I was out on a conference call with DiscipleLand after lunch with the family at the mall. I was then meeting at Speed Stacks HQ getting the low-down on some new products (BTW, I am the VERY FIRST non-employee to get a prototype on something I’ll blog about later!) when it started to rain!
What to do? Go home and cut out of an important meeting? Park under a tree? Then the innovative team at Speed Stacks discovered that the back double doors of their building might provide shelter!
Only problem – the door width was 70 inches and my car only fit halfway in the building, it was 75 inches mirror to mirror!
The view from outside
The view from inside
The car only fit in (with LESS than an inch on each side) up to the mirrors, and then we had to put cardboard over the front seat to keep the rain out! But we saved the rest from the rain.
Sometimes in life, you just have to be creative!
If you are an optimist, the car was halfinside!
If you are a pessimist, the car was half out in the rain!
I only suffered a slight scratch when pulling out, but like I told Bob Fox, great memories in life come with a slight price tag!
For the first time ever, I will finally be going to the 2009 WSSA World Sport Stacking Championships, April 18-19 at the Denver Coliseum!
PLUS, I will be LIVE REPORTING from the event via my blog, twitter, facebook and LIVE broadcasts! So you can experience this ultimate Sport Stacking event from anywhere!
Here is some official info:
You should consider going, teams are forming now! Early registration ends Friday, April 3rd
Don’t miss this opportunity for your students to join more than 1,000 stackers of all ages from around the world in beautiful Denver, Colorado for the world’s premier sport stacking event.
This is the second of a series on our Kid U 2008 Celebration Conference. (previous)
It’s no secret to Kidology users that I’ve been a huge fan of Speed Stacks since, well, before I even discovered Speed Stacks! I got my first set of generic stacking cups as my mother’s final Christmas gift to me the year she died of cancer. Her hand written note said, “I’m sure you’ll find a way to use these to entertain and teach kids.” Soon, I had developed my rules and was using cup stacking racing in my ministry. It wasn’t until a CPC several years later that I stumbled upon the booth for Speed Stacks, the premier manufacturer of cup stacking cups and the primary promoter of the Sport of “Sport Stacking.” I immediately signed up to be a member of the WSSA.
While I have never been able to attend the World Championship Tournament in Denver (which has been covered by ESPN) I hope to make it there someday to see if I can’t go home with a trophy. I have competed against a professional football player and won, as well as world champion and legend Emily Fox, as you can see here:
So when it came time to start planning our 10th anniversary Kidology University I quickly decided having a Stacking Competition would be a fan aspect to the conference, as well as help our attendees discover this fun sport for kids that actually can be a VERY effective outreach tool in the church.
I demonstrated Sport Stacking (the official term for the sport) in the opening session, and then folks were able to try it hands on in the exhibit hall.
We brought some kids to the conference to demonstrate and teach the attendees how to Sport Stack and then gave them the opportunity to qualify for a competition in the closing session on Saturday.
After three days of learning, competing and recording scores, only 8 finalists were called upon to compete in the final BattleStack Competition! What is a BattleStack? Only the newest coolest product from Speed Stacks:
When Saturday final arrived, I called up the 8 attendees who had recorded the fastest scores in the exhibit hall to compete on the BattleStack!
Competition was fierce, but it all came down to two clowns. One professional clown, Debbie George from Merry Heart Clowns (one of our trainers) and Pastor Ken Wheeler from Graceland Baptist Church of New Albany Indiana.
Competing against a clown must have been intimidating to Ken…
In fact, it proved to be too much, as Ken got a whoopin’ from a clown!
Who instantly broke into a victory dance all over the stage! Actually, it may have been ME that was intimidated by the clown, because I had promised to challenge the winner of the competition and I completely forgot to race the winner! So we’ll never know whether I would have won or not!
Many thanks to Speed Stacks for sponsoring Kid U and providing the BattleStack games and awesome prizes to our winners. All eight went home with some cool Sport Stacking equipment!
As I always say, “Don’t be a Slacker, be a Stacker!”
I know at many churches I’ve seen Speed Stack cups available to kids, but they often don’t know what to do with them if they’ve not been taught. But with the BattleStack any kids can instantly start to play using the BattleStack cards. What a GREAT GAME to make available for the kids that are early or hanging around afterwards waiting for Mom and Dad to get them! (Hint: you need at least two!)
Had some employee kids hangin’ out in the office today. (No, I don’t employ children, I mean children of an employee!) The Kidology Headquarters is filled with a LOT of toys and props, but playing with Speed Stacks is often the favorite pass time of kids doomed to hang out while mom works. Their favorite thing is building giant towers to… uh, knock over, and build again.
But this time I got into it when they couldn’t reach the top of their tower, and I couldn’t stand to have seven extra cups unused, so I made a single tower and placed it on top.
Here are the proud architects of this Tower of Stacks. Unfortunately, for the cups, they didn’t get to stay stacked for long, as you’ll see in this video:
As I write this I am at One Way Street‘s iFest Conference. (International Festival of Puppetry & Ventriloquism) I’m here for just two days of the week long conference to report on this event for Kidology. I will be publishing a full report on Kidology.org soon in the Kidology Reports Zone, but here are a few teaser pictures and an EXCITING VIDEO at the end!
iFest is a great place to meet other people who love puppets!
And BUY cool new puppets!
(I will be posting my favorites!)
And bring your puppet team (these teens are from Texas!)
And eat great food!
(Chicken Sandwhich and fries, TWO pieces of pizza and TWO cups of Dew…. Oh Yeah, I love this conference!)
The highlight of the evening was getting to see the Black Light Competition in the evening. (There will be highlights via video in the Kidology Report on iFest)
But then I got a big surprise! I was invited to compete in the Sport Stacking competition in the dark by Norm Hewitt, and won the first stack meet with four contestants, and then later, there was a second “semi-final” with four more, who all turned out to be kids. The average scores were 20-30 seconds and I average 12 and under, so I was getting nervous. As much as I like to compete with Speed Stacks, and prefer to win (come on, its ok to admit that!) I was not looking forward to beating a little kid in the “Finals” in front of some 600 plus people. I had images of being booed off the stage and having puppets thrown at me if I beat a kid on stage… but letting him win too obviously wouldn’t give him dignity either… so what to do?
This week I got a fun opportunity to visit an elementary school in a nearby town to teach Sport Stacking to a class of fourth graders. A man in our church volunteers every week in this classroom and brought me in as a special guest. (If you are a student from the class reading this: THANKS for being so fun, it was a fun time for me too! Check out www.toyboxtales.com too, the other site I told you about!)
Here are some pictures, and a COOL VIDEO at the end!
Pastor Karl teaching the Way of the Cups…The eager padawan learners…
Practise makes perfect…
Downstack before moving on…. left to right… no fumbles….
Use both hands…. don’t worry about being fast… learn it right, and you will be fast!
Cup Master Karl expounding on the Secrets of the Cups…
Oh, the great feeling of a good smooth up stack!
A few were already for competition! But remember, your greatest opponent is only yourself! You can always go one hundredth of a second faster!
After the instruction, practise and some competing… I got to my message. When I started making a long row of cups along the table, the room fell silent, and then filled with murmors… ‘He’s going to make a GIANT STACK!’
As I build, I ask the kids to tell me what determines how HIGH the stack can go? The usual answer is ‘how many cups I have.’ Which is the wrong answer. Even if I had a thousand cups (which I probably do!) the height of the stack is determined by the width of the bottom row.
Why is that important? Because in life, CHILDHOOD is when you are building the foundation of your life. I tell the kids that every lesson they learn, every positive character trait they build into their life while they are young, will determine how high and strong and great their life can become. It is very hard to add to your foundation later. I help them figure out that adding just ONE cup will add MANY MORE to the tower, in the tower above, one cup added 30 more! A second cup added only on 30 more, but actually 31, because another cup could be added over the two added rows up… so the more they learn and the more good and right habits they form WHILE THEY ARE young will have life-long good consequences!
Pretty cool stack, huh? Then I point to ONE cup in the bottom center, and say it represents that ONE lesson they didn’t want to learn, that ONE time they decide to disobey, that ONE wrong thing they decide to do, whether it is something illegal, or dangerous or wrong – and ask what would happen to this giant tower if I removed only that ONE cup…..
WATCH THE VIDEO to find out! (QuickTime 9MB) You’ll see the devestating power of one bad decision, or one wrong act, or one important truth of lesson that you ignore or don’t listen to when you are young. Kids need to know they have a choice – no matter what their background or situation – they have a choice on how they want their life to be…. big and strong and impressive like the tower… or… broken and destroyed by one bad mistake.
I end by showing the one cup that brought down the whole tower… and ask them to think about what could be that ‘one cup’ in their life… and encouage them to choose wisely. Listen to their parents, teachers, pastors and others in their life who know and love them!
Last Tuesday evening was our Awana Finale! And what a finale it was! I think it was one of the best we ever did. (and we’ve had some great ones!) But this year we had the clubs enter to some cool music after bursting through a banner with their club name. Sparks ran in to the theme of the Incredibles, Boys Club to the Chicago Bulls anthem, Girls Club to the Summon the Heros Olympic theme, and the JV Krew a funky “Get Ready for This” techno theme. Then we added a bunch of other fun music intros to everything, like theme to Ferris Buler’s Day Off when I came up (Oh Yyyyyeah) and Hail to the Cheif when the Senior Pastor came up to pray. We even had Pirates of the Caribean battle theme when our special speaker came out to give the message after the Pirates Who Don’t Read Anything Toybox tale. (A Pirate known as Long John Underwear, who prefered to go by just Long John!) Anyway, it was a GREAT night!
When I sit back and daydream about the year, here are a few of the memories that drift through my mind’s eye….
Last weekend was our annual Girls Club Overniter. I get to come for the game time, movie and bedtime story before heading home.
Nothing more cute than a bunch of kids running around in their PJ’s.
Speed Stacking in Slippers?
If you know Speed Stacks, we did a fun game I made up to fit the girls. Three tables – one for Queens, one for Princesses, and one for Maidens. (two girls at each) And then a looooong table with Stacks for Peasants who are in line to enter the castle. At each of the royal tables are two Speed Stack timing mats. On “GO” the royal girls compete. The peasants practise. The winner at each table moves up a table in rank, but winning Queen retains her throne, and the losing girl goes down a table. The losing Maiden goes to the end of the Peasant line and the first Peasant comes up to the Maiden table. It was fun as they all tried to become Queen and then defend their throne. One girl won ten rounds as Queen and was a good sport when I picked her up and took her to the end of the Peasant table and said after ten terms the populace threw her out of the castle. She was a good sport as the other girls got a chance at being royalty. In the end, they all got a chance to be at least Maidens and several had good reigns as Queens. It was a lot of fun.
Don’t ask how I got the screen up there!
For movie time I did something I’ve wanted to do since my youth pastor did it in high school – show a movie on the ceiling of the gym so the girls could watch it laying down in their sleeping bags. (Though my youth pastor had a body fall through and dangle by rope around the neck at the climax of his home made scary movie – I left that out for the girls!)
For the techies out there wondering how I projected straight up. Our church youth pastor rigged this for me – a board screwed to a wooden platform and then the projector strapped on.
Can you name the movie from this opening scene?
Once the movie started, I headed off to my office for two hours of work before bedtime story time where I first did a dramatic reading of the book “The Princess and the Kiss” a wonderful book on purity for reading to younger girls.
The Princess and the Kiss, a wonderful book for girls.
Next I did an object lesson story that I wrote years ago that I love to do whenever I have an audience of just girls. Basically, I have a set of twelve boxes that all fit inside each other and the smallest one contains a GIANT diamond that is larger than a fist. (the one I used when I proposed but it hurt my wife’s wrist to wear, so she downsized)
Now, THAT is a ROCK!
Basically, I tell some secrets about boys and how they ‘tick’ and what makes girls so special, and how the combination can lead to broken hearts. I start out with the giant box, representing the Gift of Love that every girl has to give, but then through the story the girl in the story keeps giving her love to different boys who get bored, move away, hurt her, or move on, and with each giving of her love, it comes back empty and her gift still left to give is smaller.
Finally, the last box contains the greatest gift – a diamond, representing giving herself in marriage – but in the story she meets a wonderful man who still has his giant box to give her, and I ask if you were the boy, would you want to trade your big box of love for a little one? I tell them what a beautiful treasure they are and challenge them to guard their hearts (Prov. 4:23) and save all their love for the man who has done the same for her.
The pile of boxes at the end with the giant diamond on top is a powerful visual object lesson at the end of the great potential each girl has for love and to guard it carefully. Then it is ‘girls only time’ and I head home wondering how God might use this talk. I once had a high school girl whisper to me, “Pastor Karl, I still have my giant box.”
That’s why I love being a children’s pastor – not only is it tons of fun, but it is incredibly important too and really makes a difference.
The “PASTOR KARL AWARDS” Continue with with Day #2 and #3….
MOST AWESOME KIDOLOGY MEMBER / FAN:
Shelly, a devoted fan and super encouraging Kidology member, (aka, “The Kidologist Stalker“) brought me a DEW! NO WHERE in all of WDW can you buy anything made by Pepsi!
First she saved half of her last Dew for me, which I was rationing out in table spoons, and then she drove out of WDW to get me a whole six pack! That definately makes Shelly the cooest Kidology Member ever! While she may be one of the craziest and spaztic people I know, she is also an awesome children’s pastor as I discovered when I did a Kidology To Go seminar at her church in October 2005. GO SHELLY! BEST CARTOON VERSION OF ONES SELF:
If you go to Rob Biagi’s booth, this is the banner above his booth. I wanted to see how accurate the cartoon of him is… what do you think??
I can barely tell them apart!
BIGGEST RIP OFF:
A littel game here: This total of $18.72 in the Coranado Spring restaurant was for what:
a) Three Cokes
b) A rip-eye steak and Coke
c) Hamburger, Fries and a Coke
d) Salad, fruit and a Coke.
e) Slice of bread and a Coke.
Answer at end of post.
MOST CREATIVE CLOCKS:
Can you tell what all of these clocks have in common besides just looking the same?
MOST DEVOTED TO TRAINING:
I have run into Barbara almost every year at CPC. (one time literally!) Sometimes on the escalator, another time in the elevator, but it’s nice to see someone committed to coming and being trained year after year. Just goes to show that you’ve never been reaching kids long enough to not need to keeping up with what is new and effective. Thanks, Barbara, for being a great example to us young (and not so young any more) cm punks.
BEST BOOTH GIVE AWAY:
The suction cup to the forehead pen holder given away by Kids Kount Publishing was definately the best booth give away. It was so nice to just have a pen sticking out of your forehead anytime you needed to sign up for something in a booth and sign a credit card slip. Just pull the pen out of the holder, sign, and return to your forehead. I am sure this is going to catch on!
JoAnne Miller and Scott Turansky are the best! We will have them at our church on March 26th of their ‘Parenting is HEART Work’ seminar. They are the authors of the new book by the same name. I have rarely recommended a parenting book before because I have found them often to be focused on changing children’s behavior rather than focusing on the deeper issue of a child’s character development. I see lots of kids being ‘controlled’ but not molded. I had the opportunity to read an advance copy of their book and the following is the endorsement I wrote that is partially quoted in the introduction of the book.
This book could transform your approach to parenting. Many parents are focused on getting their children to behave – but miss the heart. In the end, they often raise kids who know how to ‘act’ but not how to ‘be.’ The book not only offers sound, biblical advice but is seasoned with helpful examples from children’s lives and practical suggestions on how to address specific issues that parents face. It is easy to read and understand and yet offers a profound challenge for parents to consider that their spiritual legacy perpetuates only because of children – and their hearts. Parents ought not underestimate the value of parenting to the heart. There is a lot more at stake in parenting than merely getting kids to behave. This book will equip you to raise kids whose obedience is an overflow of their love for God. –Pastor Karl Bastian, children’s pastor and founder of Kidology.org
FASTEST STACKER AT CPC: (and most other places too)
Nate is the current World Champion Sport Stacker! He won by completeing the cycle in 7.96 seconds! That is pretty amazing! My personal best score (not in tournament) is 10.32. (Nate’s personal best is 7.79) The world record is 7.43 held by Emily Fox, BUT *** was recorded by hand before the current timing mats. So while that record is official, Nate stands a good chance at beating it one day! If you remember, I challenged Emily Fox to a Cup Duel and won! (read the whole story and watch the video) So it was only fitting that I now challenge Nate and add to my collection of videos of me beating world champs at their own game. (see what happened)
Well, that’s it for the PASTOR KARL AWARDS! Heading back home Saturday!
ANSWER TO RIP OFF QUIZ: A! (Granted one was a plastic cup with mickey on it, but that’s still the most I’ve ever paid for three Cokes!)
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