Welcome to Kidologist.com (formerly PastorKarl.com), where Karl Bastian, nicknamed the "Kidologist" by his family for being a 'big kid' and founder of Kidology.org, posts his thoughts and adventures. GET POSTS BY E-MAIL: Subscribe To Kidologist.com

Monday, May 30, 2005

Back to um, what's it called? oh, yeah, work!

Well, this is it. The eve before my sabbatical is over. Tomorrow morning I head back to work, that is, if I can remember where I work. (hahaha) Wow, what an awesome trip this was! We got to travel to Indiana, Ohio, Michigan, (through a bunch of states on the train), Washington, Oregon, California and of course, Illinois. Got to go back to Yosemite (my favorite place on earth) plus Cedar Point (second favorite, funnest place on earth) plus along the way visited over ten churches meeting with the children's pastor from most of them. (not to mention the Star Wars Convention, that was pretty cool too)

I was back in church on Sunday, but didn't have to do anything, just enjoyed being there. It was great to see all the kids again, and nice to be fought over again. :) After church it was back to Culver's, the unofficial after church hang out. These pictures from Sunday lunch say better than words why I am so glad to be back, and why I love my job so much.....

Still some more Sabbatical Posts coming - but thanks for following us along the way. POST A COMMENT and tell me what you enjoyed the most, or what you'd like to see more of on my blog now that the sabbatical is officially over. (Especially if you've been reading and never posted!)

Saturday, May 28, 2005

Big Brother Chauffeurs Little Brother...

Well, yesterday was a pretty special day. My little brother Jordan got married to a beautiful and sweet girl who became the second Kelly Bastian in the family. Me and the PK Cruiser got to play Chauffeur for the day!

PK and the PK Cruiser, now for hire for Weddings.

Last bachelor pic of Jordan before the Wedding.

Pastor/Uncle Greg praying for their new life together.

Off to the reception, Big Bro at the wheel.

Proud Big Brother with best rear view ever.

Nothing makes a bride like a cool car in the background.

The question is, will the storm trooper make the wedding album?

Oh, how lovely. Is that dress getting dirty??

That's my bro! (and the newest Mrs. Bastian)

I also had the honor of producing a wedding video (on my Mac!) for the wedding reception dinner. If you would like to see it, you can either send $49.95 plus shipping and handling* for a DVD or you can just download it here:

QuickTime Small (15MB)
QuickTIme Medium (48MB)
* that was a joke. Any family can request a DVD.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Front Row Seat!

Disappointed you didn't get to go to Cedar Point? Well, now you can experience what it was like to sit in the FRONT ROW of several roller coasters!

The Dragster: Dragster Front Row Video (QuickTime 5.3 MB) This coaster reaches over 120MPH in under 4 seconds and takes you over 420 feet into the air and then straight back down in a twisting vertical plummet. AWESOME! In under 18 seconds you will have traveled over 2800 feet!

Magnum XL200: Magnum XL200 Front Row Video (QuickTime 21.2 MB) This historical coaster roars at 72mph with a first drop of 195 feet and the second 157 feet and travels for over 5000 feet!

The Mean Streak: Mean Streak Front Row Video (QuickTime 32.7 MB) Watch Pastor Karl and Pastor Jeff race in different cars AND GIVE A CONTACT "HIGH FIVE" WHILE RIDING this historic coaster made from over 1.7 million feet of wood! This coaster can accommodate 1600 passengers per hour! (correction, this was Gemini, Mean Streak below, will rename file later.)

The Raptor: Raptor Front Row Video (QuickTime 24.4MB) This lean mean keen green coaster leaves your feet dangling as you twist and turn through over 3700 feet and a 100 foot loop and drop 119 feet! Not for the faint of heart!

The Mantis: Mantis Front Row Video (QuickTime 20.7 MB) They really did a stand-up job designing this one! You'll give this coaster a standing ovation! (whether you like it or not!) This WAY COOL coaster has you on your feet the whole time - literally!

I'm planning on making a Coaster Video eventually usuing these and the others I took, but hopefully these will give you a fun taste of Cedar Point! ENJOY and please post a comment if you watch them!

At Pastor Jeff's Request, here are some more, including his favorite, Millenium Streak:
Millenium Streak Front Row Video (QuickTime 22MB)
Corkscrew Front Row Video (QuickTime 12MB)
Meant Streak Part 1 (QuickTime 17.5MB)
Mean Streak Part 2 (QuickTime 14MB)

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

If Yosemite is God's best, Cedar Point is Man's

If Yosemite is God's best.... then Cedar Point is man's best display of how we have harnessed God's natural laws and the creativity he gave us and made: Roller Coasters. Yes, Roller Coasters are man's cheif creation. Since the Tower of Babel man has always desired to go higher and faster... and nothing demonstrates man push for speed than the roller coaster. Sure, race cars and airplanes (and rockets) are faster, but they also have practical purposes: transportation and shipping. Only the roller coaster was built (at the cost of millions of dollars) simply for the pleasure of pushing the common man's human limits. When we strap ourselves into these wood or metal machines we are saying we want to experience what we were not created to experience in our day to day life - height and speed are were not given to us - but the creativity to think of what does not yet exist and the intellectual ability to make it exist is one of the greatest gifts God gave us when He made us in His image. Forgive me for getting too philosophical about Roller Coasters - but they are one of my favorite things - and I always get philosophical about my favorite things, in an effort to understand WHY I like them so much. (Just be glad I've sparred my blog any Star Wars philosophy so far!)

Strong in the Coaster Force are these Dudes.

I am in the car on the way home from two days at Cedar Point. It will be difficult to go back to Great America in Chicagoland now that I know Cedar Point is there. The drive in the night before that circled the park to the Hotel Breakers Resort had me gasping and giggling with delight - it was roller coaster after roller coaster!! They just don't end. Unlike most parks which have a few roller coasters as 'anchor' rides, this park has tons of coasters - it took two days to ride them all, and that was with practically NO LINES due to overcast conditions and threat of rain (and kids still in school). I rode 17 coasters on the first day and this morning in just three hours with Sara we rode 1o more rides before hittin' the road home. It is a six hour drive from Chicago but is WELL WORTH IT - it would be worth flying to Cedar Point if you live next to Disney World - this is way better!! While there is still a TON of stuff for kids (like THREE of those car driving courses most parks have one of) it is like THE adult amusement park. I am planning to make this pre-Memorial Day trip an annual event. Anyone want to join me there next year??

How Children's Pastors ride roller coasters at Cedar Point.

I took FRONT SEAT VIDEO on all the major coasters, and once I have high speed Interent will be posting them here on my blog - so check back!!

Sunday, May 22, 2005

In a Jiffy...

Well, we hit the road for our last church visit of the sabbatical - in Michigan. Nice to be in the PK Cruiser again. We left Chicago enjoying sunny skies. However, being home for a few days reminded us of lots of stuff we need to DO, so hitting the road one last time was nice. We will be soaking in this final trip up! (hopefully not a pun with rain in the forecast!) We were delighted to discover one of Anakin's hang outs along the way....

Strong in the Force is this place!

Soon we got to our destination - guesses? Well, here is a hint:

It's the JIFFY CAPITAL of the WORLD!

That's right! Look on your Jiffy Mix box - that's where we went! To visit Pastor Jeff Bradley a long time friend I met through Kidology. Jeff won our first conference contest on Kidology and got to go to the Bahamas with Sara and I (and his wife Carol) for the Children's Ministry Conference Cruise.

Me and Jeff in the Bahamas in 2002.

After we got to our destination (have you looked at the jiffy box yet?) we were bummed to have rain in light of our plans for Monday!

Rain's not stopping us from putting the top down!

I will be posting on Pastor Jeff's church later (posting this quickly while driving.) We are now on our way to Cedar Point, but we did manage to stop for a fun visit to "Cabela's" a huge outdoor sports store, and battled some bears!

Can you spot all four ferocious bears?

We are now enroute and Sara is driving. Pray for NO RAIN at Cedar Point tomorrow!

Saturday, May 21, 2005

STORE Wars...

To all my organic food friends... this you will love. And even if you hate organic food, you'll enjoy this... and may find yourself turning to the healthy side of the Farm. (the Field which gives life to all growing things) Meet Cuke Skywalker, Obi-Conoli, Ham and Chew-Broccoli, and of course, Darth Tater.

STORE WARS - The Official Site

Scenes from the Epic Food Fight

You can download a 8MB QuickTime here: Store Wars
Get the MOVIE POSTER as well. (very cool)

UP-DATE: I just had to add The Meatrix link.

It's great to have friends...

No greater love has a friend, than he (or she) will dress up and go to a movie with you...

You will never see a more wretched hive of scum and villiny.

For this third viewing of Star Wars Episode III I went with my K.C. Krew (and some adult staff/friends) and several dressed up. We had 30 people at our last count, give or take a kid. Here are a few of the pictures we took. (Not Pictured: The ones not in the pictures)

Even the Evil Emperor showed up!

And battled his own daughter!

I got caught between two dueling wanna-be Jedis!

Gotta love these princesses

It was great to get to see my Krew before hittin' the road again in the morning! Off to Michigan for our last church visit and then Cedar Point Roller Coasters!

I'm really "Stuck" on this family. :)

I'd love to clone this guy... but he already is a clone.

Friday, May 20, 2005

You were like a brother to me!!!!

I, Kar-Dewbenobi, went to see Episode III again on opening night with about a dozen friends. Again, my brother Qui-Jar-Jordan went with me. However, we were glad to be first in line this time so that we would have first choice at our seats. It was several hours before the movie, I knew this would be a good trial for my young padawan brother. Test his patience it would.

Failed to notice, did I, my brother brought some dark side with him!

As I suspected, the trial proved to be too much. I could sense impatience growing within him. At some point, he said he wanted to be first in line, and I said no. I could see him getting angry. But I wanted to teach my younger brother patience. (and I wanted to be first) When he asked why, and Yoda's "Ask not why" line failed to have the same effect on Qui-Jar-Jordan as it had on Luke, I explained that I bought the tickets, I drove, and I was the older more experienced Jedi. That seemed to set him off, without warning he pulled out some dark Sith lightening.

Turned to the Dark Side my brother has!

I'll admit, I was caught off guard at first. This is after all, my little brother. Changed his diapers I have... but I was quick to gather what was left of the Force around us and defended myself. You should have seen the other people around us watching the fierce battle, at one point the power in the Century Theater went out!! (that is no joke!)

Powerful he has become... but no match for Kar-Dewbenobi!

I knew that this battle was pointless and would drag on for hours - strong he has become - so I force grabbed my trusty light saber to end this once and for all, of course crying out, "You were like a brother to me!" To which he responded, "No, I AM YOUR BROTHER!"

Who first in line will be? Always in motion the future is!

I used my saber to start to return his own dark powered lightening back at him. Having seen at the last showing what happens to someone who is getting their own force lightening pushed back at them, and considering he has a honeymoon to leave on next Friday, he reluctantly gave in, accepting his place as second in line.

Other than that little incident, we all had a great time.

As requested in comments, here is Sara and my sister Melissa in their Star Wars costumes:

Can you tell who is who??

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Sitting in Episode III

12:01 a.m. showing and in the first ten in line!

Well, this is it! I am now sitting in the theater awaiting the beginning of the movie that will conclude a story I've followed since I was eight years old. I got to the theater at 7pm, but there were only 2 people in line, so I watched the politically correct (meaning the Christians were the blood thirsty idiots who got what they derserved) "Kingdom of Heaven" - but enough about that. After that, there were only 5 more people in line for SW, so I set up my Celebration III

chair and watched as the line steadily grew by the hundreds! My brother, Jordan, soon joined me along with Kidology board member Steve Clindaniel and his son Jonathan.

Of couse, a review will come soon, but no spoilers, I promise.

Well, between typing and visiting 30 minutes has passed and soon it will be dark.... in more ways than one. (if you sense my drift)

Hard to believe I am about to see it, I started counting the days at over 400!

Signing off now.... Meditate I must, prepare myself I must. Episode III about to see I am, talk like Yoda I must.

May the Force be with you.

UPDATE: Discussion of the movie (with possible spoilers) and my thoughts and others on whether this movie is for kids or not is available now at kidology. CLICK HERE

Tuesday, May 17, 2005

A Jedi with a Shepherds Heart...

The hills as you drive to beautiful Corvalis, Oregon are filled with sheep lazily grazing on wide open green pastures. Counting the sheep would have been a pointless effort, as there were too many and constantly moving. Just a few hours from the coast of Oregon, it is a beautiful place to live and minister, and the sight of sheep on the way in was fitting, as we were on our way to meet a young father and pastor with a true shepherd's heart.

Strong in the Force this Children's Pastor is...

Henry and his Padawan Learner...

After church at Kings Circle (See Kings Circle Gallery) we headed out to lunch at my favorite restaurant that is now sadly missing in Chicago...

The best former Chicago restaurant in Chicago.

Allow me to rant: The busiest restaurant at our local mall in Chicago went 'out of business' due only to upper management mistakes. Soon all the other Baja Fresh's in Chicagoland started to disappear, and rumor is that they are pulling out of the MidWest. Dumb. Why would a popular busy highly profitable restaurant close? I'd like to say to Baja Fresh's Leadership: "I find your lack of vision disturbing."

A truly blessed boy to have Baja Fresh nearby, but I digress....

Anyway (thanks for letting me vent there, I feel much better now), after our delicious lunch at the wonderful Baja Fresh (which did I mention left Chicago and was my favorite place to eat? I did? Did I mention I had a VIP card and got my soda FREE whenever I ate there? No? Did I mention that they served Mountain Dew?!?!?!?)

Contemplating the Mysteries of Children's Ministry

We then went to a beautiful park along a river and while the kids and wives went off to walk and play, Henry and I settled ourselves into a picnic table to discuss the mysteries of children's ministry. I could visit with Henry for hours, I'm bummed he is not closer to Chicago.

Henry is in his 5th year at Kings Circle, though his experience in children’s ministry goes back even further having been a volunteer for many years. (His wife, Erin, has been a paid children’s director herself, though being a mom of three and partner to Henry is her joy now) The first thing he noticed was the difference between paid leadership vs. volunteer leadership. While he appreciated that a higher value was now placed on his position, as could be expected, the expectations were suddenly higher as well. Henry learned that building relationships is key to success. He formed a leadership team right away and tries to find out personally how his team members are doing. They meet once a month, playing a game and visiting before they get down to business. At least once a year he plans an outing such as going bowling together.

When asked what was one of the hardest lessons he has learned, Henry shared a lesson that is common to those of us in ministry, and something I’m not sure we ever master: the constant challenge to not be starting too many things. Henry, like many of us got over his head in ministry quickly due to his high passion and energy for ministry. Through the challenging of Godly leaders, he was encouraged to only do what he can do well. He said we need to remember that often we get trapped into attempting too much. We need to remember that we were hired to be a children's pastor first, everything else is second. He recommended a book called, The Tale of Three Kings by Gene Edwards. (Google it for more info) We need to choose between good things vs. what God is calling you to do. His advice: Don't neglect your primary call - to your kids and your church.

My favorite topic of conversation with Henry had to do with what we see as the future of children’s ministry. Henry has been observing children’s ministries for over thirteen years from volunteering in both a mega church and a small church to now serving full time in a mid-sized church. He sees what he described as two paths that churches seem to be heading down.

The first he finds disconcerting. Due to the recent notoriety of children’s ministry, (due to CPC and conference growth, Barna’s book, etc.) many churches are putting LOTS of money into environments - but Henry’s not sure that is the best strategy, not if it means child-friendly facilities over building relationships with kids and ministering to them on an individual basis. He commented that at many church-hosted conferences all people seem to talk about is how they wish they had this-and-that equipment or facilities and he doesn’t hear as much discussion of ministry strategy and philosophy as though an awesome learning environment equals a great ministry. He was careful to assure that a fun, kid-friendly environment is ok, even preferred, but it shouldn’t be the ultimate goal of a children’s ministry. In the end, it isn’t needed, relationships are. Look what Jesus accomplished with NO equipment or facilities!

The other trend Henry sees is to make children’s ministry like it used to be before there even was children's ministry: more parents are wanting more time with their kids, wanting to learn with their kids. Many parents today were latch-key kids and they don't want that for their own children. They want to be there for their kids. They want the ‘good old days’ but redesigned within today’s context. Henry is concerned that with all the new high-tech strategies in children’s ministry, there is no sense of liturgy or the sacred - kids are creating their own culture, isolated from the larger group of the church.

Some of the practical things Henry does to partner with parents is to do a family service about once a month - more than kids attending, but being involved and participating. He also tries to share worship songs with worship pastor, so they know some of the songs the adults sing, and visa versa. He also has pastor/parent meetings. Instead of asking the parents to help him with his ministry, he asks how he can help them in their efforts to parent. He’d like to be one of the first people parents think of when they need help.

One of the many things we agreed on is that there is a danger side to the new ‘popularity’ of children’s ministry: where CM becomes just yet another church growth strategy. Children’s Ministry is not important because it draws parents and families - it is important because KIDS need Christ. When children’s ministry is presented as being important because a quality children’s ministry draws families, ironically it devalues children by reducing them to mere bait used to catch the ‘real value’ - the adults they bring with them. Does a quality children’s ministry draw parents/adults? Yes! And praise God. But that is not the purpose or the greatest value of a quality children’s ministry. Be leery of promotions for children’s ministry that ultimately are just using kids as bait. Ministering to kids is not the latest hip church growth strategy - it is essential because KIDS need Christ, and are the ripest field with longest and strongest results.

Henry's passion for kids, and faithfulness to loving and leading them as individuals is evident in the feedback from the youth pastor who is impressed with the spiritual depth of the kids who learned under Henry, the spirit of their worship that I observed, and the countenance and attitudes of the kids I met and especially Henry and Erin's own children. As Yoda said, "Church size matters not." One of my favorite quotes from Henry (that is featured in the quote box on Kidology.org) is "You don't have to be at a mega-church to be a mega children's pastor."

So to all you MEGA CHILDREN'S PASTORS out there: Keep on keeping on!

The Zonios: They may be listed in the Z's, but they are on my A-list of CPs!!

Splashin' in San Fran...

I love the outdoors, but I love the Big City too (Chicago being the best by far in the world), but I really love when the two are combined. San Fransisco surprised me by having a lot of nature preserved around this beautiful city...

Splashin' around across the harbor...

We spent most of the day packing and relaxin' but the afternoon/evening was spent exploring with dinner on the Cliff along the shore with another of Sara's childhood friends and a friend of hers. Too tired for any more pics than these teasers....

Splashin' near the Golden Gate

In order to complete the "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" theme, tomorrow we leave early via airplane to a TOP SECRET undisclosed location to hide out until the Revenge of the Sith.... but stay tuned, there is still lots of photos and reports to blog.

(Oh, if you get my blog posts via e-mail updates, don't hit 'reply to all' like Lisa did, or your note to me will go to everyone on the list and millions will get to read your personal note to me.) :)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Railtown 1897...

Cutting Edge Technology (100 years ago)

Sticking to our theme of "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles" we went on a historic rail ride yesterday that wasn't even a part of our plans. On our drive from Yosemite to Lodi, we drove through the Gold Rush area of California, and stopped in Jamestown for some ice creme and shopping, and then noticed a Historic Railtown sign pointing up a hill that said '2 blocks' so we turned - what a treat! We stumbled on Railtown 1897, one of the oldest steam trains in the USA still running, and turns out they only give rides on the weekends, so for $6 each we were on our way!

Life Lingers Along the Tracks

As well as being one of the oldest, this station and its #28 train is the longest running steam train in the country - after it stopped running for mining, it became a movie train, and has been in over 200 movies and hundreds of commercials and TV shows, such as Back to the Future III, Little House on the Praire, Unforgiven, among others.

Engine pulling around to take us back to station.

My favorite: a one-man hand-powered train! What fun!

For those of you who enjoy trains (or were alive back when these were modern) you might enjoy the 60 picture Railtown 1897 Gallery of the trains and roundhouse that I took during the ride and tour of the buildings.

Roses were in full bloom all over town.

Seems they still do some things the old fashioned way...

It is now Sunday evening. Just finished a day with another CP Team member, and will be about Temple Baptist Church next. Tomorrow we enjoy San Francisco.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Final Day in Yosemite...

I was kinda sad leaving, and yet grateful for four days of perfect gorgeous weather, lots of fun animal sightings, and plenty of awesome opportunities for photography. Probably my favorite part about being here is trying to capture in new or unique ways images that have been seen through millions of cameras for over a hundred years. Rather than just 'Ooo, that's pretty!' point and shoot, I try to find a different way to capture it. Anyway, I try. :)

The Tunnel is Calling...

My first adventure of the day was something that I am sure few people do. In the middle of the long drive in there is a tunnel through a mountain that is extreeeeemely long. The first day through, about in the middle, I looked off the side facing the valley wondering if I would see what I hoped would be there - YES! Toward the middle there is a tunnel, a man-made cave that leads straight out to the side of the mountain. (Often built for air, and for an emergency exit if the ends of the tunnel were to collapse) I declared that first day that I must climb through that dark cave and see that view of the valley! I finally did it yesterday... I counted my paces into the tunnel, and 350 paces in, (over 750 feet) I was to the inner secret tunnel....

A tunnel hidden within a tunnel... beckoning still...

It was actually quite scary at first, because the first 40-50 paces are in PITCH BLACK - and I wondered if a wild animal might live in here!! The floor was rocky and uneven, as were the walls. A little over 75 paces in I got to the lit opening...

A caged end to the cave - no escape now

The view was spectacular - and nice to know that probably few people have taken the time to see this even if they did notice the cave in the tunnel.

Look for Yosemite Falls in the distance...

The other side of the cage was a few feet, and then sheer drop.

To jump or not to jump..... not to jump.

We spent one last leisurely day in Yosemite Valley - lunch along the river, and mild hiking. It was a beautiful day, I could just stay here forever and stop working. But, I think I would get hungry since the paycheck would probably stop too.

God's Way of Saying, "I love you."

Some really tall grass...

The final highlight of the day, was spotting some climbers on El Capitan - one of the most famous climbs in America...

See the climbers?

You had to strain your eyes, and look for dots that moved. Amazing to imagine their view from up there!

Look very lower left corner...

Two climbers in this picture.

Zoomed and Enhanced - see the climber now? I see Nike shoes!

Our final stop was Cascade Falls which is on the way out (and in, but we were on the way out) - most people take pictures from the bridge (as I did on the way in the first day), but today I climbed down under the bridge. Cascade Falls is TWO waterfalls falling separately above, in fact, there are two bridges next to each other, but once under the bridge, you can walk a short distance to where the two rivers meet to become one right before dropping over a cliff. I took a lot of DV video for my upcoming Worship DVD that I plan to make with all my pictures, but here is one:

Too bad photos can't capture the noise!

As we were driving to our B&B for last night, I spotted a horse reflection off the side of the road... yes, I couldn't see the horse, but I saw it's reflection... so I asked Sara, who was driving, to stop and back up, and then I hopped out. Took a bunch of cool pictures of my own secret Mirror Lake, er, Pond....

A horse, of course, no four!

Friday, May 13, 2005

Yosemite Sam, er, Karl!!

It was our third day in Yosemite - and I hit the trails so much I am sore this morning! But I have discovered that you haven't experienced Yosemite until you get out of the car, off the main roads, and up into the hills, it gets even better!

I have pictures at home of me on this sign as a kid!

Met some monks from Burma along the way.

My first destination was, of course, Inspiration Point. Sara trusted me to climb up into the rocky cliffs in search of inspiration. (There was enough inspiration for her just overlooking the Tunnel View, the #1 photographed spot in the park - it is breathtaking enough!)

Not sure if I got to the Inspiration Point, but I did get to the point where I was inspired. The trail was hard to follow, and I think I finally lost it... (or it went off a cliff and was a mean trick!) So after that, I had to forge my own trail, going where no hiker has ever gone before. (I hope!)

Me right before the log fell thousands of feet to the valley below!

Back in the valley, we enjoyed walking around. I found this cool log. We took a bunch of fun pictures from inside and out of this log...

Never stop while you are a head.

Peeking Sara!

My next hike was to Vernal Falls. It looks pretty short on the map, and is only supposed to be a few miles, but the map doesn't show the stairs that rival those in the Lord of the Rings / Return of the King that Frodo and Sam climb! I was supposed to be back to meet Sara at 4pm, I didn't get to the top of the falls until 4pm! I was worried that she was worried, but it turned out that she was just worried that I'd be worried that she was worried. And I hadn't even worried about that!

An hour in and still thousands of stairs left to go!

The hikers on the way down looked wet, exhausted, but happy, and each claimed it was worth the hard hike still ahead... so I pushed on.

Just a few of the thousands of stone stairs...

The rainbow at the base was gorgeous.

It was worth it at the top. Photos will be in the gallery later. The trip down was a lot faster, if not easier! But I did the way down in 45 minutes, compared to over two hours to get up there. (Granted, I wasn't stopping to take pictures or pet bears on the way down.)

The third hike was with Sara to Mirror Lake. What a beautiful place. Very peaceful and relaxing. We just sat there for awhile and enjoyed being so close to some of God's greatest creations. I'll spare you the profound thoughts - but I had lots of them. :)

The reflection is almost clearer than the real thing!

Mirror Lake is at the foot of Half Dome, my favorite mountain in the world. I really enjoyed being there and studying it, and trying to imagine climbing it, tracing possible paths with my eyes. Again, I will spare you all the profound thoughts - but this place forces you to contemplate life and your small fleeting part in the drama of God's Creation.

Contemplating the Eternal Mysteries of the Dome.

The last highlight of the day, was seeing a coyote and some deer, and then the Daddy Deer chasing the coyote away!

Coyote on the prowl, I had to chase him to get this shot.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Yosemite Continued....

Another amazing day at Yosemite...

How anyone who comes here doesn't believe in God is beyond me...

Hint at my plans for tomorrow...

NOW FOR THE HIGHLIGHT OF THE DAY... Was it the mountains? The waterdfalls? The vast vistas or rolling meadows? The gift shop? NO!

I had an adventure with a WILD BEAST!!! To believe it, you have to see it, so I made a video, download here. (7.3 MB, QuickTime) PLEASE COMMENT and let me know what you think of it!


Tuesday, May 10, 2005

The Greatest Place on Earth!

Disneyland may claim to be the 'Happiest Place on Earch' (which is debateable with all the crying kids you see there), but YOSEMITE is definately the Greatest PLACE on Earth, and the happiest for me. I think in my entire childhood, other than the day I went to see the first Star Wars movie, Yosemite had the biggest impact on my life. (And that's not counting be attacked by a bear last time I was here, but that's a post for another day)

One our way into Yosemite Valley

The driving is spectacular (if not frightening). The vistas are breath taking - they make the Oregon Coast look like ant hills and pebbles. It is simply impossible to completely describe or photograph Yosemite. If you have never been here, you must before you die. Make it your goal in life! When you get here, you'll say, "Wow, Karl was right!"

First thing I did in Yosemite? Throw a snowball!

We were very surprised to find snow on the way in, and lots of it in some places. We were only in the park for three hours today, but drove in rain, hail, light snow, and under clear blue skies with white puffy clouds. The constantly changing altatude means constantly changing weather too. I went from t-shirt to sweatshirt to raincoat and back to t-shirt, several times.

The water falls are breathtaking.

Yosemite has many of the tallest waterfalls in the world, one that is 2000 feet and another that is over 2400. I walked up to the bottom of one and got soaked. The path was a river of water and you could hardly see through the mist. It was amazing and fun, but extremely wet. Good thing I bought that rain coat on the Rogue River trip!

We got to Yosemite a day early, so this trek in was only to 'scope out the place', but 185 pictures later, it turned out my camera did a lot of the scoping. (No gallery until Yosemite is all over) But finally, we got to my #1 goal of coming here, to see Half Dome again with my own eyes...

In person, this mountain grabs your eyes and holds them, refusing to let you look away.

We will be here in Yosemite until Saturday! We plan to see as much as possible, and I've got a guided bike ride planned as well. I'm trying to talk Sara into climbing the face of Half Dome with me... I'll keep ya posted.

Sara took this out the car window... pretty cool, eh?

BONUS WALLPAPER FROM KARL'S LAST VISIT ON THE COAST OF CALIFORNIA. Make this your wallpaper, and let it remind you to pray for me!
(It is 548KB)

Monday, May 09, 2005

Redwood National Forest!

See those storm clouds rolling in?

We have seen many examples of God's provision on this trip! Just tonight we stopped to eat at a Marie Calendars and I decided to take my laptop in to look at pictures (via Mac instant slide shows) while we waited for our food and noticed (in honor of Branden) that there was a local unsecured high speed wireless network! (that's a good thing) I was able to check my e-mail at dinner! (maybe not a good thing) Anyway, by the end of dinner it was pouring rain - and we found out our destination was 2.5 hours away, not the one hour we thought, and that there was no lodging in the town where we were planning to stop and look for a place to spend the night... so I followed the wireless connection next door, and here we are at Best Western! It has rained a lot on this trip, but God has been gracious - it must rain (this area is so lush and green) - but rain has not ruined a day, it always seem to rain either when it doesn't matter, or when it actually makes the view better. We were most grateful to God that the day we went on the boat trip, it only rained at the very beginning, and as we were floating back into port!

The smaller sign says "End County Maintained Roads" - My kind of road!

Today we began our California Adventure (no intended reference to the lame amusement park by the same name). We traveled the coast via obscure coastal roads Sara found on the Internet. (I build the web, Sara actually uses it)

Driving was a ton of fun! So was taking pictures at the same time!

We headed into Sherwood Forest, er, Redwood Forest, but again, using less known roads that Sara researched online. We drove for miles and miles through winding back roads and saw almost no other cars. Everything was going great until we came across a massive tree that had blocked the road. In all the excitement, I forgot to take a picture of it in the road, but after I used my light saber to cut it in half, Sara snapped a picture of me using my Jedi powers to summon the Force and push the now-severed halves of the tree off the road...

As Yoda said, "Size matters not."

After the car was through, we examined the tree, turns out the tree was hollow. In the picture above the right side was over 50-70 feet long, and looking down through it you could just make out light at the very bottom down the steep hill. Up through the left side was a much larger hole, so I climbed up and looked down through it...

Now that's a big tree!

It's impossible to capture the size of these trees in one picture, you'd need a fish-eye lense (boy, I wished I had one of those today!) But we tried...

In touch with our inner tree, literally!

The Trees Declare the Glory of God!

In our ever-exciting pursuit of wild animals, today proved to be more exciting - no google images needed! The first creature was a mouse - don't laugh - this was the coolest little mouse. He was FAST and scurried around like he had just drank a Mountain Dew!!! Don't believe me? Check out this 5MB video clip of him running around the road... and when this video ends you'll see he ran into the brush, so I stopped filming, but then he ran right back out and all over the road again, it was the funniest thing. I followed him around the roadway for almost five minutes, it was hysterical. He was so fast all the pictures i took were a blurr! Here's the best one:

This little dude COULD MOVE!

Next we ran into the WEIRDEST LOOKING bird - no, not literally, but if you think you know what this is, post a comment and tell me. (Retta?!?!?) I KNOW what it is, just wondering if any of YOU know what it is!

No relation to Big Bird of Seseme Street!

Then we spotted some Elk - in several different places actually, over 25 total! These things are big, and if you've heard my "Moose Story from Alaska" you'll understand why I stayed in the car to take these pictures...

Just a few of Santa's Elks... or something like that.

If you haven't heard my "Moose Story from Alaska" you can always ask me about it, but let's just say, the Moose in Alaska don't hide behind warning signs like these elk do...

"Danger?!" Oh, I thought it said "Ranger" Oh, well.

As we left Redwood National Forest I FINALLY DID GET TO SEE A BEAR - FOUR in fact! And this is FOR REAL! No google images - in fact, I set my camera on timer and jumped up on one and road him like a bull! (Sara was hiding safely in the car)

OK, so it was a bridge statue (2 on each end of the bridge)
But it was real, just a Golden Bear.
(Don't tell Moses!)

Eventually, we were back driving alone the coast again. Did I mention it is beautiful? Did I mention that it is breathtakingly spectacular? You have GOT to plan a vacation out here!

I can fly! I can fly! (well, I can flap my arms like a goof ball)

I love birds, tormenting them that is. This is a vacation tradition, me running into the birds waving my arms like a lunatic. Sara even reminded me today, "Karl, aren't you going to run and make all the birds fly?"

By popular demand, RED WOODS PHOTO GALLERY is NOW LIVE! Check it out, and it'll almost be like you were there!

AND IF YOU ARE READING THIS - leave a comment so I know someone is reading these posts. :)

Sunday, May 08, 2005

Not Quite Rogue Squadron...

For our final day in Oregon, we went on an all day trip down the Rogue River in a Jet Boat! (see mailboat.com )

Me in my official Mailboat Jacket.
(since I left my VCBkids one at Henry's)

It was a 104 mile trip that went from 8am to 3pm up the river and back. It was mostly smooth sailing, but there were a few areas with some fun rapids.


We were told there was a very good chance at getting to see some wildlife, so I was very excited when I spotted a wild cat....

Don't worry, I protected Sara from this savage beast!

The views were, again, spectacular.

There were many small waterfalls...

And we ran into many rafters.
(well, not literally!)

The boat was extremely fast, and since it is jet powered (by two powerful chevy auto engines), it can travel extremely fast in only ten inches of water. It did spray up some, but a water ride at an amusement park will still get you wetter. It was the rain that fell a few times that got us more wet than the spray from the boat. The wimps got off at the 64 mile waiting area, and we put on life jackets (not needed for the first half of the ride) and continued up for the 104 mile into the rapids.

Sara, ready to rough the rapids!

One of the zillion birds we saw.

Finally, we got to start seeing some real wild life. LOTS of birds, but I was hoping for something more exciting, and I got it...

Look carefully, see the Otter eating?

While we have lots of deer back home, it was still fun to see them in the wild.

Finally, the highlight of the day!!

Two bears fighing over some fish. Glad they are out in the water!

At the break point, we got to get out and stretch our legs. I decided to take my camera and go exploring in the hills... What a surprise when I rounded a bush and stumbled into this guy, who was NOT too happy that I bumped into him!!! (his fur was very soft!) As I ran away, I fumbled with my camera long enough to capture this, and then RAN back to the group!! Of course, no one believed me!

I almost became a bear snack!

By the way, you if you believed me, then I got you! hahahahahaha. (Bear pictures courtesy of Google Images)

Seriously, the otter was my favorite, so playful and fun to watch (hard to photograph), but the coolest had to be twenty sea lions in the harbor. Especially since we had skipped the Sea Lion Cave due to the horrid smell and fee just to go look at them. These were free, and far enough away not to have to smell them.

Sea Lions in the Harbor!

There is a ROGUE RIVER PHOTO GALLERY available with even more pics.

Go South Young Man (to California)

It took us a while, but we finally got through Oregon, and are now in Northern California. (and have to pay sales tax now... BOO!) We will worship at the Redwoods National Forest on Sunday.

At least we got across Oregon faster than this fellow...

Hope you enjoy the photos! We sure had a lot of fun, and plan to vacation here again when we can move even slower, and stop more often to hike and explore.

If you would like 1280 x 854 highres wallerpapers of these,

Vist: Karl's Oregon Coast Wallpapers
You will see thumbnails and can download the ones you want.

Saturday, May 07, 2005

Karl's Oregon Coast Wallpapers

Yes, we bought matching shirts.

Yesterday we started our journey down the Oregon Coast. In one word?


The Oregon Coast FAR EXCEEDED my expectations, and they were pretty high already. It has proved to be even more spectacular than I had even hoped. Colorado? You may need to step aside - you've got the mountains, but not the rivers, ocean, lakes, and lush greenery. I still claim Colorado as my favorite state, but is more due to my personal roots there... It is getting harder to say it is the most beautiful state in the Union.

The first day we traveled from Portland, North to the Coast, and then started straight down. We ended in Newport for the evening with dinner with our friends, the Helts, who I met through Kidology. Pam Helt has co-authored a few of my Kid's Church units with me. We had lunch this morning at Coca Mocha Joe's before heading on our way again.

We also visited their church, but more info and pics on that later.

I can't get over the amazing displays of God's Creation here! It just never ends, for hours on end. No photos can capture it, but I tried. Below are pictures that I took. Yes, I took these. Unlike the one below (in my test post), these are actually from my camera TODAY.

See how facinating this area is?!?
If you would like 1280 x 854 highres wallerpapers of these,

Vist: Karl's Oregon Coast Wallpapers
You will see thumbnails and can download the ones you want.

Tomorrow we are going on a 100+ mile river speed boat trip. That should be fun (and wet), so no cell phone, laptop, PDA, or Internet! But pictures will come, of course.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Test of Camera Pic Posting...

This is just a test to see if sending an e-mail to my blogger account with a picture attached posts only the text or includes the picture too. Sorry to the millions on my blog e-mail list, this was only a test. I repeat this was only a test of my palm camera posting system.

Until next time, we are GREATLY enjoying the Oregon Coast drive, it is amazing, and rivalling my love of Colorado... Colorado doesn’t have all water, lakes and rivers as well as oceans.

Karl :)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Ennie, Meanie, Minie, Moe, Catch a Lizard by his Toe (or tail, if you have to)

Back to Washington - after we left Spokane, we decided we would get out of the city and then stop for food and gasoline on the outskirts of town. Um, there are no outskirts of town.... there is Spokane, and then there is wilderness... boring... plain... never ending.... for a good two hours, and then all of sudden there is a 'Scenic Overlook' and we are thinking, "overlook of what?!" But needing to stretch our legs anyway we pull off the road and WOW! What a scene awaits us!!

Mere photos can not capture the expanse of this view of the Columbia River.

Of course, I had to go exploring... I love cliffs, every since I read the book "Cliffs" by Elene Over, I've enjoyed them immensely. We could see for miles in every direction.

You gotta love that built in timer!

I soon headed down the hill promising Sara that I would stay at least two feet from any lose crumbly cliff edges. I soon discovered there was a TON of wild life running around these cliffs!

Can you spot the wildlife here BEFORE scrolling down?
Need a hint: Here is a larger zoomedin.jpg image.

I was DETERMINED to catch one of these critters! So there I am crawling around the cliffside pouncing on these lizards, getting all dirty, and causing landslides and avalanches beneath me. Finally, I set my eyes on one little dude and named him Scurry. I chased him all over the hillside. Once he got into a hole and I had to dig him out, then he got into a tiny little hole in a rock. I was about beat until I could feel the end on his tail sticking my finger up inside the crack... I slowly pulled him out and after he dove out of my hand (leaving his tail behind!) I dove after him - I wasn't going to let this guy get away - not after ruining my pants and risking my life. (Can you see the headlines? Children's Pastor Falls Off Cliff Chasing Lizard) Giving in to my inner-leopard, I pounced....

Finally, Scurry is MINE!

I think he thought he was my dinner. He seemed rather resolved to his fate and gave up fighting, even letting me hold him freely in my hand. I explained to him that I had no desire to eat him, he would probably taste bad anyway, and that I wasn't that hungry. (He looked relieved)

I think he blinked for this one, sorry.

I talked to him about the futility of running, and apologized for the loss of his tail. He forgave me, and once reconciled, we became close friends. Soon we were passing time like old friends talking about life on the hill vs. life in the city. We decided both have their advantages. He gets to enjoy the outdoors, I get high speed Internet. (Can you believe he had never heard of lizardworld.com ?!?!)

He asked me how I like the view of his backyard.

Of course, I thought it was incredible. See that bridge in the background? We would soon be driving over it. This area is so amazing... Scurry agreed.

God's Backyard IS indeed Spectacular.

It was sad, but I knew our time together would have to soon be cut short. (no intended pun reference to his tail!) I did however, take the time to tell him God had a wonderful plan for his life and that he would soon be famous on my blog. He thought I said 'bog' - oh well. No point trying to explain.

My Buddy. My Buddy and Me.

I thought of keeping him. Perhaps he could live in the glove compartment. Though I wouldn't be able to tell Sara. She wouldn't approve. I could keep it a secret, but then I imagined her opening the glove compartment for a map or tissue... that would actually be kinda funny.

Don't worry, I let him go. If I lived there, I'd wanna stay too.

He obviously was sad at my leaving, he sat there looking at me for a long time. I couldn't tell if he was thinking, "Wow, this was a wonderful encounter with a human, I'm sure going to miss him when he leaves." or "Jerk, now I have no tail and I'm 47 rocks away from home."

"I'm a rock. You can't see me, can you?"

If you think you know what he was saying, leave it in a comment below. :)

We got back to our car and discovered that someone in Spokane had put a magnetic "KB" on my drivers door!! Now I don't miss the PK Cruiser so much!

Wednesday, May 04, 2005

Hinson Memorial Baptist Church...

We are currently in Portland, OR. Not only did I get to visit with my long-lost buddy and pal Rich Stafford (as usual, more pics to come!), but we got to visit a dear sweet grandma named Evelyn Monnier. There is no slowing down this 85 year old saint! Just a few years ago, she and a friend (not much youger) drove all the way to Chicago for a visit, on the way to the Cove in North Carolina! This time it was our turn to make the trek. Returement is a time when most people slow down, but not for Evelyn. Since retirement she has served on the mission field and been active in church and was on staff with ISI. (International Students International) It was while she was in the Philippines serving with Sara's parents, that she was adopted as 'Grandma' to a 9 year old Sara.

Evelyn with a picture of herself at age twenty.

Quite a catch, eh?

Rock of Ages. This church supported Sara's folks years ago.

Tonight we went with Evelyn to church - Hinson Memorial Baptist Church - and met the children's ministry director, Judy Busch, who I was surprised to hear was a Kidology.org member and had been to one of my workshops at a CPC. (Children's Pastor's Conference)

No beating around the Busch!

Judy was very nice to give this last minute visitor a tour of the church. I was very impressed with how they have modernized a very old building. (Evelyn raved about the new elevator!)

A mom in the church painted this.

Many of the classrooms had nice murals, and most of the door frames in the classrooms were coordinated bright colors. It was very inviting. They are in the middle of renovating an awesome Resource Center for their volunteers. I made sure NOT to let Sara see it, since she is our Resource Center coordinator, and would never be happy again. :)

Kids must enter this room two by two. (j/k)

It was Awana night, and more specifically, it was GERBER BABY FOOD NIGHT! Meaning that for every verse you said, you got to feed your leader Gerber Baby Food.

I love creative ways to motivate kids!

This guy was seen happily finishing the baby food after the activity was over! :)

The neatest thing about Hinson that I saw, is that on Wednesday evening the whole church eats dinner together. One mom told me that it is the best way to serve the mothers who otherwise would not be able to come, or be less likely to be able/willing to volunteer. They have adult classes as well, so a large variety of people come, and after the meal, all go to serve, learn, teach, or feed people baby food.

Sara enjoyed finding this magnet on Evelyn's refrigerator, something she had made and sent to Evelyn from the Philippines in high school in the late 80's.

Special NEWS Alert!

Earth-shattering news! Have you not heard? Have you not seen? STOP whatever you are doing, and head to Seven-Eleven!

Darth Dew Slurpee is Available Now!

May the Force be with you!

(This post bought to you by Treo600 while driving!)

Monday, May 02, 2005

Children's Pastors "Havefunner"

Who is the Man Behind the Mask?
Allow me to travel back in time, a few blogs anyway, to Portland Oregon where we visited Shiloh Hills Fellowship. (see post and photo gallery) Spokane held a few surprises for us. Besides the amazing hospitality shown to us, I was glad to get to meet a great children’s pastor. Our original purpose in visiting Spokane was to meet Danile Bigler, a gifted young man who has impressed me (and many others) with his contributions to Kidology.org

A Young Man with a Heart for Preschoolers.

Daniel proved to be a fascinating young man with many talents and passions that could lead him in many directions… though I’m encouraging him to be a children’s pastor, one of his many possibilities. But whatever he does, he will have a great impact on the Kingdom, I’m sure. I was very glad, however, to find out that he is working as an intern for a fantastic children’s pastor at Shiloh Hills Fellowship.

Daniel is at home with kids...

Rick "Havefunner"

Pastor Rick Haffner, (often called by his kids Rick "Havefunner") has over thirty years of children’s ministry service, having served both in the church and public school as teacher and principal, and often at the same time. He has a wife named Janet and three kids, two are already in college, and a third about to leave. His BA is in Pastor Care and his Masters is in Education and Administration.

We spent a good deal of time talked about how he trains his volunteers. He has a great orientation he uses called, “L.U.V. P.L.E.A.S.E.” (As I share this here, please do not copy for your ministry without getting permission from Pastor Rick first.)

L - Learning Target: Each lesson should have a target - ONE THING you are trying to teach the students. Some teachers fall into a pattern of just going through a lesson and never really identifying the target, the one thing they are trying hit home.

U - Understanding: What is the one thing they are going to be able to DO as a result of this lesson? You need to link the learning to life - head knowledge is not enough. They don’t truly understand, until it changes their life in some way.

V - Value for Life: Answer the question, “Why teach this?” There are principles running through Scripture that we need to apply to life. What principle is there in this lesson that will apply to TODAY and into the lifestyle of tomorrow?

P - Plan and Preparation: What you will do, when, how long, supplies needed, ect. How will you capture their interest in the lesson.

L - Lesson Time Line / Design: This is where you write it out, and organize the details.

E - Extra Enrichment: What do you have planned for the kids who get things done more quickly, to keep them interested and learning - or for when you finish earlier than you thought (or the adults go over!)

A - Adapt for slower learner: How do you adapt for the other end of the spectrum, kids who aren’t as fast, or can’t do all the activities, how to you make sure they are still able to learn the main point and apply it to their lives.

S - Scripture: Seems obvious, but is often forgotten or neglected. Kids need to be IN the Bible, reading Scripture, and memorizing it. The lesson needs to be seen as coming from God’s Word, not just a lesson book or from the teacher. Rick would encourage you to make sure most (if not all) the posters and signs used to decorate classrooms and hallways have scripture on them. Teach with your notes in your Bible so the students see you looking into the Bible for direction.

E - Encouragement and Evaluation: Evaluate how the lesson went, how well the kids learned. Ask yourself what 'Evidence' is there that the kids really learned.

One great things they do, is that a week after their midweek program ends, all the volunteers come back to the next week, without the kids, to evaluate how the year went over a dinner. Then they make decisions to apply the lessons learned to the next year. Rick gave many examples of changes they have made, even some that were not so new. He said to be willing to let some ministry ideas flip-flop over the years. For example, he said one year they may suggest changing something to improve it, and the next year want to change it back to the way it was the year before. Instead of reminding of all the reasons it was changed, be willing to let it go back and forth, since both ways have their advantages and disadvantages. Not only will people see their ideas being applied, but in the end, either way is ok, and it is better to allow people to see their input used, than to discount their input in the pursuit of a ‘perfect’ solution.

Partnering with Parents

I was most grateful to talk to Pastor Rick about his thoughts and ideas on how the church can better partner with parents. He has done some reading of John Piper, and visited Bethlehem Baptist because of their focus on family ministry, and said that Piper’s contention is that children’s ministry is not effective until it is equipping parents.

At Shiloh Hills Fellowship their efforts include trying to shift the focus from ‘children’s ministry’ to 'family ministry' including training parents, not only in ‘parenting’ but in equipping their kids spiritually. Like many churches, they do parent/child events, but they also do some parent/child bible studies and prayer meetings.

At Shiloh, also, the Kid’s Church lesson is the same topic as the sermon in the adult service. Not only is here is a take home with discussion questions and Internet discussion of the topic, but they actually have a Parent/Child Sunday School Class where the topic is the previous weeks sermon, and discussion of how the families discussed it / lived it, in the past week.

Pastor Rick said that the transition from 'drop off model' to involving parents in the process is not an easy transition. One of the complications is choosing which parents do you partner with - in that there are those who don't want any involvement at church, and on the other end of the spectrum, those who ultra control and get upset at the slightest variation from what they think you should do. Finding a balance that will include the most parents is a challenge. It is a shame that there are some parents who don’t even see the significance of their role in developing their kids spiritual foundation, and then there are those that are so controlling and sheltering that their kids miss out on many positive influences and opportunities. While you will never get ‘all’ the parents involved, Rick said that most parents desire to be more involved with their kids spiritual development, but just feel ill-equipped or not confident that they know what to do.

Pastor Rick said that he has learned that rather than try to guilt parents into involvement, or mandate their involvement, instead it is better to first identify where did our own passion for reaching and reaching kids come from and then to seek to transplant that passion, with its foundation, to the parents. Then they see the significant and value of intentionally building into the spiritual development of their children, they will want to be more proactive, and as a result we catch the vision that we are a team - parents and church working together. While unfortunately, some parents tend to either dump their kids off on the children’s ministry, or (a smaller percentage) isolate their kids from the children’s ministry, the majority will welcome a partnering relationship once they can see what it looks like in tangible ways.

One tidbit on the trip that was nice, was when I asked a 6th grade girl named Jamie what she liked the most about Shiloh Hills. As we sat off to the side soaked after the Wednesday Night Flight School Water Night, her answer surprised me. I assumed she’d say “Flight School” but instead she said Sunday School. So I asked her what made Sunday School so cool, and her answer was, “My teachers take us on trips.” Once again, the proof is there - it is not programs and draw and keep kids, it is relationships. Interesting that her favorite thing is ‘Sunday School’ put when pressed for details, the details were outside-the-classroom experiences, and yet, Sunday School is the favorite. As I’ve said a thousand times - kids expect adults in the classroom, they DON’T expect connections outside of class, and those who connect with kids outside of class, end up with the most effect classrooms.

The future of Children’s Ministry?

I asked Pastor Rick what he sees as any trends in the future of children’s ministry. Rick is fascinated by the trends in how our world is going global. He sees a potential for mission trips, once reserved for college or high school students, to become an opportunity for children’s ministry on the mission field. I have wondered for a few years if any churches have taken kids on mission trips either cross-culturally in their own community, or overseas. I’d love to hear of any kids on the mission field stories in the Kidology forum. Visit: Kids in Missions?

Another sage I visited with,
but he was unmoving.

Kings Circle Gallery...

Interview summary coming later, but for those itchin' for more church pictures, you might notice that the Kings Circle Gallery is now live. (SEE IT NOW)

Henry and DeeOgee

Henry and I had a GREAT time talkin' ministry, and more will be posted on that later. (I'm still in the middle of my article on Pastor Rick from Shiloh) The good news is, I left my jacket at Henry's, and since we came back North for a few stops, I'll get to see Henry again on the way back South.

Philomath Friends...