Kidologist.com: Karl Bastian's Personal Site and Blog
Archive for Technology
Today I was guest teaching at a local church – and it happened to be the divisional play off game between the Broncos and the Chargers… which the Bronocos ended up winning later in the afternoon 24-17, though I didn’t know that when I was teaching!
Bronco Gear! (The football is from last AFC Championship, on other side.)
My topic was John’s baptism of Jesus – I explained that sports “fans” originated from religious “fanatics” and I compared how a fanatic, in the words of Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, is “someone can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.” We stick with a team, often even after moving, because we are loyal, and sports fans often “won’t stop talking about them.” What if it were that way with our devotion to Jesus? We were sports gear to show our team spirit, what do we do to show our “Jesus spirit?” Of course, we can wear Christian t-shirts or put bumper stickers on our cars, but God came up with something better. It’s called Baptism.
Below is a video of the lesson, and my lesson plan is linked below. The only thing not in the lesson plan is the magic appearing/disappearing dove and much of my puppet routine, but the basics of the lesson is there.
Here is the lesson summary I go over in the video, as it isn’t easy to make out in the video: (It is explained in the video)
Lesson Points the kids memorized
Enjoy the video. Not only can you enjoy the lesson, but it can be used as a training on teaching techniques and crowd control. It was a fun lesson and I enjoyed tying in the current events of the day into the topic I was asked to teach on.
(I updated the video with one where I integrated the two services, which is why the audience changes!)
Whenever possible, it is always best to take what could be a distraction (everyone wearing orange and being excited about a football game after church) and turn it into part of your lesson in order to engage your audience rather than compete with the distraction.
Here is a download to the lesson plan: The Baptism of Jesus by John and Being a Fan!
More importantly, GO GOD!
As I write in extensive detail about in the Kid’s Church Cookbook, Part 5: Getting Creative, creative teachers are ALWAYS on the look out for unique teaching items. So I thought I’d share one I picked up over Christmas Break: iWipers
When I saw these I cracked up! The potential for this prop is fantastic!
- Teaching on Noah and the flood!
- Teaching on Jesus calming the storm!
- Simply wear on a rainy day at camp or VBS
Do I know when I will use these? No. But they are now in my collection of creative kidmin props! You can’t wait until you need something to find it – you’ll never have a lesson and say, “Boy, sure wish I had some glasses with windshield wipers on them!” But when you own a pair and are preparing a lesson, one day you’ll say, “HEY! This is when I can use those cool windshield wiper glasses!”
And you’ll be so glad you have them.
The point of this post isn’t to go and get yourself a pair of iWipers. (Though some of you might!) The point is, always keep your eye out of unique props as they engage kids, create memories and bring lessons to life!
What is a cool prop YOU have used to teach or picked up recently?
Start your New Year out with some blogging tips!
In just a few months, I will have been blogging with this website for ten years. Kinda crazy! But that isn’t when I started blogging. I was blogging before there were blogs. I used to create webpages from scratch before any of the blogging platforms existed and would email friends a link to my post, like when I went to Alaska or flying with my dad. So when I started blogging, the Internet was a bit of a lonely place for blogs… but now there are well over 100 kidmin blogs worthy of reading! Over the years my blog has gone from in the Top 5 to now down in the mid-thirties on the “Top 100″ list – and I celebrate this decline! It means that there are many people contributing weekly to what has always been my driving passion - to equip and encourage those in children’s ministry. While much of my kidmin writing ends up on Kidology.org instead of my blog, I have enjoyed seeing the amount of help for kids ministers growing steadily every year, even if that means my blogs “ranking” goes down some. It’s a team effort!
But with ten years of blogging, I think I know a thing or two about how to do this. I’ve blogged some advice in the past on how to blog:
But as we head into 2014 and many folks are making New Year’s Resolutions regarding their blogs, I thought I’d share some TOP TIPS on how to make your blog successful and read.
Here are my “Ten Commandments of Blogging.” (Google that for many others out there on the web.)
- Blog often – if you neglect your blog, you will lose readers.
- Blog well – provide something helpful, insightful or enjoyable to read.
- Blog original content – don’t copy from others. If you are inspired by someone else, give credit. No one likes a content thief.
- Blog with a personal touch – share stories, pictures, videos and insights that are yours alone. A blog post that no one else could have written is the best. If it is just generic advice or “10 steps of this or that” the web has enough of that already. Be original!
- Promote your Posts – put a link to your blog posts on Facebook and Twitter, it will gain you readership.
- Blog concisely – if you are too wordy, you’ll lose readers. Keep posts short. If you have a lot to say, do a series of posts.
- Invite interaction and feedback – ask questions, invite comments, and be relational. Respond to comments you get!
- Blog wisely – don’t get obsessed with tracking and SEO, but learn to use it to learn the impact and reach of your blog so you can improve.
- Edit Your Blog! Typos and awkward sentence turn away readers who won’t take you seriously. Ask for help if this is a weak area, often we can not see our own “misteaks.”
- Read Blogs – one of the best ways to improve as a blogger is to be reading others. Don’t be an island on the Internet, interact with others.
I look forward to more blogging in 2014, and if you have a blog, post it below in comments so I can be sure to read yours too!
This may not appeal to many, but one of my many pet peeves with Apple Lion (the beginning of the decline of Apple with the passing of Steve Jobs) is the STUPID “All Files” default view whenever you open a new finder window. One by one I am learning how to undo all the insane “improvements” Apple made to the once inherently and intuitively awesome Mac, but lately they add stupid features you have too Google how to fix. (Like the vanishing scroll bars. Arrrg. Fixed that!)
Why oh Why would you want a window that lists every file on your Mac and that takes an insane amount of time to load? The chances of something you actually need appearing in that window is highly unlikely. So you have to wait until it is done loading to click on a useful folder like Documents, or your home folder to get to what you need.
So, if that has bothered you, I have found the fix!
Simply open a new Finder Winder and go to Preferences, and under “New Finder windows show:” choose what you’d like to see whenever you open a new Finder.
While only a few options are provided, you can choose ‘other’ and as you can see from this screen shot, I choose Dropbox, since I manage all my working files in a Dropbox folder, so that all my files are always backed up and accessible on all my computers (or any computer!) as well as my iPad and iPhone. (or any ipad or iphone) and easily shared. I highly recommend Dropbox. Join using any of the links you see in this paragraph and you’ll give me some bonus space! (Thanks!)
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If you are looking for a simple and kinda cool way to get an overview of your day – and doing some planning for the year, I just stumbled upon a cool new App you might enjoy.
It is called Cue, and it links you calendar, contacts, Facebook, Google, Yahoo, or whatever accounts you might want to link into a single simple view of your appointments and events for the day. It’s a pretty slim and sleek way to see what’s important for the day.
Also discovered, is a free Office App called CloudOn – integrates with DropBox. Looks very powerful and helpful. Worth a look!
If you have found some great new apps for 2013, let me know in comments below!
My favorite GAME is Air Wings! If you are in Game Center, my username is Kidologist, friend me, and I’ll blow you out of the sky!
I look forward to playing you, or hearing what awesome apps you plan to use to help you be more productive or successful in 2013!