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

Friday, August 26, 2005

Gas Prices Killin' Ya?

Gas prices are nuts! I'm thinking of starting a new ministry: Gasaholics Annonymous. (GA for short)

"Hi, my name is Karl Bastian, and I am addicted to gasoline."

Which is why, over a year ago, after seeing the prices, at that time, nearing $2.00, I sold my gas-eating trailblazer and got the PK Cruiser. I REALLY liked my TrailBlazer (especially the On Star On Board) but every time I gas up I am so glad I jumped the tank.



Another gas-related story... while on sabbatical, we drove thousands of miles, so were often in the hunt for good gas prices... then one day, we saw a sign off the side of the road:

GAS 4 LESS?!?!?!
We did a U-TURN and headed back!

WOW! These were SUPER PRICES!!!
I sped into the station only to see:

I guess there prices were just to good to be true.... it was an old out-dated sign.

Well, if you are depressed over gas prices - COMMENT BELOW and give us your city/state and what the price is there. We aren't to $3.00 yet, but it is getting close. I got $2.77 yesterday and felt pretty lucky!

It may just give you an idea on how you can save money on gas!

GAS VIDEO (1.4MB Windows Media Player)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

What a Week!

I'm always saying to my wife, Sara, 'As soon as life returns to normal....,' to which she replies, 'this is normal.' Whew! What a week! Busy! But lots of fun. Crazy, insane, but exciting at the same time. The thing I like best about this blog is that it helps ME to keep perspective on all the great things God is doing - so that in the midst of all the deadlines, e-mails, paperwork, and chaos I don't overlook all the good things that have happened. I often look at this blog and marvel at the fun things here, and know it looks like all I ever do is play - the hours at the computer, late nights at the office, nearly missed deadines, and overall scatter-brained activity isn't blogged. People often ask me, "How do you find time for all the fun stuff when you have two very full time ministries to lead." My answer is always, "I don't find the time, I make the time." If you don't schedule fun, time with people, recreation, and travel - you'll never do it. The important things in life never 'pop up' - you must make them happen in the midst of the madness - or they never will. That's my two cents for the day, before blogging all that happened this week!


Sara's brother and his wife and two kids came to Chicago for a visit, and it was so awesome to see them - it's been several years since we saw them. The kids are twins - and a smart pair they are! After lunch we all went mini-golfing!

Sara lining up her shot... she's actually a pretty good mini-golfer... when we go alone, its some fun competition, and I've even been known to let her win!

The fastest mini-golfer you ever saw on the course. Most quoteable at the end of the 18th hole on this 90+ degree day: "I think at the end, there should be a pool you get to dive into." We filled out a comment card for the owner.

Future PGA Tour? He's got the stance down, that's for sure!


Great American Pastor!

On Tuesday, our senior pastor treated the whole staff, spouses, and kids to a lunch cruise on Lake Geneva, a historic Wisconsin town known for its beautiful lake (home to many Wrigley Family Mansions).
We sailed on the Yacht Polaris, which was built in 1898 for Otto Young, one of the original millionaires on Geneva Lake. The boat floor was the original mahogany and had brass railing and trimmings. The weather was beautiful and the breeze made it an ideal day.

At the end of the tour, I asked everyone to pose for a group picture - perhaps the most complete staff photo we've had in awhile... but the funniest thing happened...The last thing I had done with the camera on the boat was take a video of a sea plane taking off, so I balanced the camera precariously on a stack of chairs - posed everyone - set the timer for ten seconds, and ran to join the group.... only to discover that it was taking a video (!) not a picture. The video is actually kinda funny, you can view it here: Karls VCB Group OOOPS! (1.8MB QuickTime, 10 seconds long)


Wednesday I was up and on the road before the sun was shining to head to Philly, well actually Valley Forge Christian College, where I have just been added to the faculty as part of the teaching teach for the NEW Children's Ministries University Online.
( www.cmuniversity.org , or www.cmuo.com )

Here I am with: Dr. Philip McLeod (Vice President of Academic Affairs), Jason Rhode (Founder/Creator of CMUO along with Dick Gruber), Me, and Dr. Don Meyer, (President Of Valley Forge Christian College).

I was there for faculty training on Blackboard, the online training software I will use to teach children's ministry courses online as a part of CMUO. The first course I will be teaching is "Pastoring Children" (Begins Oct. 1st) and the first course I will be writing/developing is "Children in Ministry" for the Spring semester. I'll write more about this later (mostly on Kidology.org) but in short, Kidology is partnering with CMUO to provide accredited online training to any childen's ministry worker/leader ANYWHERE that wants to be trained in childen's ministry. The potential is so exciting, I can hardly sleep at night. This is the realization of a dream since 1994 when I started Kidology.

Just a cool picture I took while there, download the wallpaper!

Here is the moon over downtown Chicago, taken from the air. Well, OK, so I moved my camera around a bit too much while the shutter was open... but I thought it looked cool. The red at the top is the light on the wing of the plane. I may be the only person, but I think this picture looks cool, though I doubt I'll win any awards for it!

Got home late, and then O'Hare was INSANE! Took me 50 minutes to drive the 2.4 miles out of the airport! Arrrrrrg. And all the blocked off lanes had NO construction or work being done. Overall, a usually 45-50 minute trip was well over two and half hours! And this is after 11pm!!
I had to drop by the church on the way home, and it was a full moon! I took my anti-dote to prevent turning into a hairy beast, but snapped some post-midnight pics, that I'll share because it's my blog, and I can post if i want to:

I just KNOW you want the wallpaper for this gorgeous shot,
so go ahead, make your day,
and download it!


Is it Friday already? I began today asking my wife, "What day is today?"

Today was catch up day, and my first planning meeting with the adult leaders for my fall Kids Church. We had it at one of the leaders home... and she suggested we swim since it is 90+ degrees here every day lately. Swim when we had important ministry business to discuss?!?!? So what did we do?

Had our meeting in the pool, of course! Complete with laminated agendas!! I hope this starts a new trend in children's ministry. Remember, the WWJD fad is over (tho hopefully not the concept!), instead, when it comes to ministry, I like to also ask, What Would Kids Do? A meeting in a pool? How can it get any better! What started as a joke ended up being one of the best planning meetings we ever had. We splashed some topics around, tried to make sure we were going deep and not just riding the latest wave, and floated different ideas around, all the while tredding carefully into the tough areas so that we could dive right in to what was most important. Overall, the flow of the meeting was great and we decided that we will hold our breath until we can do it again. After all, instead of being a flop, the idea was a stroke of genius. (I know, I'm all wet, time to go to bed!)

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Music of Star Wars...

After living in Chicago since 1985, I finally have been to Ravinia, and boy am I late! I'd heard good things about it, but somehow never went there. I must be the only Moody guy who didn't take a date there (which is part of why I didn't), and it exceeded my expectations.

(the girls all playing a game as we wait for the music to start)

Well, it took the 'Music of Star Wars' - to get me to finally go - with a very large group of friends from church... it was a great group date with no kids. For only $12 you get to sit on the lawn with your blankets, chairs, snacks, etc. and enjoy the music coming from the Pavillion.

If you squink, you can see stormtrooper in the front of the orchestra. (Boba Fett if you have great eyes!) I would have gotten a better picture, but the ushers came over and said I couldn't take any more pictures with zoom.

The actor who played the young Boba Fett narrated the story as the music wove through all six movies in order. His accent was fun - "Queen I'm a Dollar," or "Luke went back to the Falcon where he was comforted by Larry" (Leah) When they played the Imperial March a 'Darth Vader' from the Vader's Fist, 501st marched around waving a red light saber. (It would have looked less dorky if he had just marched with the troopers, and not waved the saber around like a bafoon.)

Since you are supposed to be quiet during the music, I brought a book to read - and what better to read during Star Wars music, than a Star Wars book?! I am enjoying reading 'Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters.'

Curious about the book? Online review: Written by award-winning radio personality Dick Staub, this compelling book is filled with anecdotes from the Star Wars films that serve as a launching pad into rediscovering authentic Christianity. Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters also contains quotes from revered “Jedi Christians” such as Thomas Merton, Teresa of Avila, the Apostle Paul, G. K. Chesterton, and other theologians, mystics, writers, and philosophers. The author sheds new light on the struggles and challenges of living faithfully in postmodern life and offers a reintroduction to what C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien called the “one true myth,” Christianity.

From the Inside Flap
Star Wars, one of the most enduring pop cultural phenomena of our day, is a spiritual mythology built around a universal energy called "the Force" and a Jedi's ability to use it. The overt spiritual themes in the Star Wars films convey remarkable theological truths to a younger generation that is dissatisfied with religion but hungry for a spiritual quest. They want to be "Jedi Christians" and are looking for Yoda! Christian Wisdom of the Jedi Masters opens the door to a fresh exploration of spiritual truth in Christianity by viewing it through the lens of the Jedi Masters.
Here I am practicing what I'm reading....

Hmmm, maybe the book is having a negative effect on me....

Anyway, it was an awesome evening, and I definately want to return to Ravinia again, and maybe without the light sabers next time. :)

Friday, August 12, 2005

Pirate Parker Packs a Bootyfull Pirate Party!

WOW! I have been so insanely busy, I've not been able to do any blog posts and there's been tons to blog about! This post took me over a week to finish and post, uploading about a pic an hour in the midst of the madness, but I wanted to get some pics up of my nephew's pirate party last Friday!

It began with a treasure map at his house, that led through some clues (including a stop at my house down the street) and was to end up on the beach at the 'ship.' Since there was no ship, I went up in the 100 degree attic at church and dragged out the pirate ship from 2002 VBS! And put it on the beach as a surprise complete with treasure!

Kaptain Kid, Pirate Parker, and Long John Sara.

Pirate Parker grows a Piratey Beard!

Me and Zack, the Maniac!

Me holding up Pirate Shane!

In the end, it's all about the cake!