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

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Awana Remember 2006!

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....




(The full story)




(NFLer Speed Stacking?)

Yes, it was a great year. For your viewing pleasure, below is a link to the 9 minute highlight video that my Mac produced for the opening on the evening....

Click the picture, or right click and save:
Awana2006Finale.mp4 (16MB MP4 file)

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Order of the Ancient NOW ON AMAZON!

Be the FIRST (or 2nd or 3rd or...) to review the Order of the Ancient on Amazon.com!

I'm excited to have my novel on Amazon.com to hopefully increase the sales and expand the market. If you haven't heard of it, or seen the book's website, be sure to see www.orderoftheancient.com! We continue to pray that this novel would have a profound impact on the spiritual development of every kid who reads it - and yet many adults have said it made a huge impact on them too!

Seriously, those of you out there who have read and liked the book, I'd really appreciate some positive reviews on Amazon to help sell the book! THANKS!

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Hangin' with the Prez in DC!

This past weekend, I got an awesome opportunity to travel around our nation's capital as the personal escort and photographer for President George W. Bush. I guess he follows my blog, and when he heard I'd be in the DC area for a Kidology To Go seminar, he asked me if I wouldn't mind coming a day early and walkin' around with him and shootin' some new 'man of the people' promo shots for him. Of course, I was flattered to be invited by THE President of these Great United States of America to be his escort and personal photographer, so I happily agreed. I'm hoping that many of these images will soon be seen in school text books, on the news, and in official promotional materials for George W... if so, you can say you saw them first HERE, on pastorkarl.com!

Welcome to those of you who met me (and George)
in DC and are looking for you picture!

Here is a sampling of the pictures I took of "W" our day around town together: (more in the COMPLETE GEORGE W. BUSH GALLERY)

George with his signature "Thumbs Up" at Lincoln Memorial,
Washington Monument in the background.

We made quite a scene. Every time I was shooting his picture,
lots of other people were snapping pictures too.
(but only mine are official!)

I was very pleased that George often took time away
from our busy photo tour to visit with the children.

George even stopped to thank some DC policemen
for their hard work protecting our Great Nation.

Here is George at the Washington Monument with
Lincoln Memorial now in the background.
(long walk? no, we had special secret service escort,
but I can't reveal his name - on pain of death)

Here George shows his house. We did get approached by a
White House guard - but it was (fortunately) only
because you aren't allowed to put a tripod on the sidewalk.
(but in the street is ok - it is a pedestrian only street)

After awhile we were having trouble with the crowds all
wanting to get close to the man, shake his hand,
pose for a picture with him, etc. so we got this shirt
for him at a sidewalk vendor for only $2!
(gotta love supply and demand alive and well in DC!)

With this shirt on, no one bothered "W" any more!

Here is George in a more relaxed pose at the awesome
(and sobering) World War II Memorial.

I asked the president if he would mind posing for a pic by
the memorial for my home state, Illinois, and he was
more than happy to accomodate me.

Next we met a bunch of Illinois kids who wanted to pose.
George was so friendly to the kids, and told them all
that he was proof that anyone can be president someday.

We wrapped up our tour with a relaxing walk toward the
Jefferson Memorial. Here "W" takes a break to
ponder his legacy, I suppose.

I was excited to snap this candid of today's president
in a reflective mood next to one of our history's greatest thinkers.

We ended our day with a trip to Baja Fresh. I was so
excited to learn the George's favorite restaurant is the
same as mine. (though the one near me in Chicago closed)

I know I should have gotten a picture of
me WITH the president, but I was too
focused on getting good candids of him.

At the end of the day, I was so honored when George
gave me a lift back to meet some friends of mine.

He was even gracous enough to pose for a picture with
Kim Bobb, who was in town as well to co-teach the
Kidology To Go seminar with me and....

with Pastor Todd McKeever, one of our Kidology CP Team
pastors and the host of the event. Then George had to get
back to oficial business, and I got on with the rest of my trip.

But I gotta say, getting to hang with DA MAN for a whole day, was an experience I will never forget! (especially being quickly surrounded and then searched by Federal agents at one point , but you'll have to ask me about that in person - can't put that on the blog! But, they did eventually release me and allow me and George to continue on our way! Whew!!)

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Baby Luke's Historic Moment!

Yes, it is true. Today was truly an amazing "Baby First" - did he speak? walk? go to the bathroom all by himself? No, those come next week, but he DID take his pacifier out of his mouth by himself and HOLD IT rather than just launch it across the room... but can he put it back IN all by himself? Watch the video and find out!

MP4 (7.5 MB MP4 file - already formatted for your video iPod!)
MOV (7.9 MB Mov file)

Luke, I am your father....
JOIN ME... and together we will rule the galaxy!

Invisible People - NAME THAT MOVIE!

OK, this is just TOO COOL!!


Then, open it, and try to see if how many of the movies you can figure out with the characters faces removed!

For example, here is one that was easy for me:

Um, these two men dressed in black were easy too:

and this guy dressed in yellow:

How many can you get?? It's pretty amazing, if you give an incomplete answer, it will ask for more info, such as this one:
Just type in the movie name in the top cell and hit 'tab' and the next cell will tell you if you are correct or not.

DISCLAIMER: I'm not endorsing any movies that are 'bad' or rated 'R' - I mean, I don't even know what half these movies ARE, but I am curious if anyone can get them all right, or who can get the most correct!

USE COMMENTS TO PUT MOVIE NUMBER AND ANSWER - so don't peek at comments until you GIVE UP!!!

(so far I have 17 correct)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006


OK, I know Easter is over, but I will forget this by next year (if it is still available), but this is a fun Easter Flash presentation that your kids will enjoy.

Happy Belated Easter!

Monday, April 17, 2006

Baby Luke Video Online!

Click on the Image above to watch the
sweetest video you ever saw.

BabyLukeEaster2006.mp4 (25.6 MB MP4 file)
NOW ALSO AVAILALE as an MOV QuickTime file. (16.7MB)

Tech Note: Created simply with iPhoto. Choose your images - hit slide show - choose song - click 'export' as video - share. Done. ENJOY! (Another Beautiful Mac Thing)

Most Useless Household Appliance

Most Useless Household Applicance:

The Alarm Clock!

On April 1st my life radically changed forever. Not only have I never needed an alarm clock since, but I am a Dad now. That's right. I now am up very early every morning to feed, change and love on a little baby boy named Luke Given Bastian.

Didn't know we were pregnant? We weren't! We became parents overnight with no warning or preparation time. I waited to blog it here for two weeks while we worked out the details and made sure it was going to happen. But to make a long story short, we found ourselves on April 1st temporary guardians of a little boy in need of a home. By April 5th we were legal guardians, and on Easter Sunday the mother gave us her final decision to allow us to adopt him.

While the adoption won't be final for some time due to the legal process and some significant challenges there that need prayer, with the birth mother's consent this week we are officially "Mom and Dad" of this precious little boy.

Humor us by enjoying some pictures...

Luke, the day we took him home.

Happy dad with new baby!

Happy Mom with sleeping baby.

A new room all ready to fill with baby stuff!
(Pastor's Karl home office got moved to the basement!)

Hey! Where's my sock?

I love to laugh!

Making sure Pastor Karl doesn't get much sleep!

Karl feeding Sara while she feeds baby Luke!

Aren't I just the cutest thing you ever saw??

...is that food?

Karl makes me laugh A LOT!

For family and friends, or others, who might be interested in more information on Baby Luke and his adoption process, I have set up a special e-mail address lukegiven @ pastorkarl.com that you can write to and request to be on the Baby Luke Updates list. I don't want to bog the blog down with all that info, but we have a growing list of people who want more info and want to be a part of this miracle through praying for us during the complicated and expensive legal process that lies ahead. This is a Faith Adventure and we invite you to join us!! But for now, PRAISE GOD with us for an answer to over ten years of prayer for a child.

What a beautiful gift from God!

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Undercover Sox Fan Survives Mission!

As many of you know (from past bragging), my brother is the MLB.com beat writer for the Toronto Blue Jays. Well, tonight was his first time in Chicago covering an enemy team, and from a different country at that!! (How did Canada even get into the All-American sport of baseball?!) Yes, it was the World Series CHAMPION (blogged here) Chicago White Sox against the Foreigners, aka, the Toronto Blue Jays. I was bummed to miss our Good Friday Service, but I really wanted to support my brother and be there for his first Chicago game as an MLB.com writer... and what better way to support this die hard Chicago fan than to show up dressed to the hilt as a Blue Jays fan?!??! (thanks to someone at church who loaned me the gear)

My sister Melissa tried not to walked tooooo close to me as I entered Sox territory dressed as a Blue Jays fan! I was very curious what the reaction would be from the Sox fans to my shirt, jacket and waving flag!

Here I am in my Blue Jays disguise! I really look the part, huh? I had people singing 'Oh Canada' when I walked by, but mostly just 'looks' - you know, like, 'What are you doing here?'

I had a little trouble getting past security who tried to throw me out. I claimed to be a Sox fan undercover and they asked me to name a Sox player. Which I couldn't, but then, I couldn't name a Blue Jays player either! "Ozzie! Ozzie! I yelled." Finally, two sore shoulder blades later, they finally released me. But it was no better when I got into the stands....

I was ruthlessly attacked my maniac Sox fans there as well! I pleaded with them to not judge a fan by his clothing... but they said no true Sox fan would allow the enemy's logo to touch them! I barely escaped with my life!

But the real reason for the visit on this historic day was to see my little brother at work. See him there in the Press Box?? Squint and you can see him in his green shirt. (Click on the image for an enlargement)

OK, here is enlarged and enhanced, does that help? Right in the center, second row back, hand on chin, green shirt.

Here is Jordan from the other side, he is actually on the phone with Melissa in this shot. THAT'S MY BABY BROTHER!!

This is a super zoomed in shot... but see him contemplating how he can be writing for a foreign government's baseball team and still call himself an American. :-)

He was able to pull himself away and come down to say hello. This is my dad, Jordan and Blue Jays Me before the game.

Also along tonight was Melissa (my sister) and her husband Keith. Both are Sox fans and have had Sox season tickets in the past, but something is amiss in their parenting since both their kids are Cubs fans.... under the influence of their Uncles, of course!

Tonight was Calendar Night, and I got my brother to sign my calendar! I am thinking of selling it on ebay and seeing what I can get for it! He went off to work, and I went for a walk to explore the park since I've not been to this park in over ten years!

First stop was the men's room. Steve Tanner would enjoy knowing that the hand dryers are not electronic with scrolling advertising screnes, but are just boring manual towel dispensers. Guess I won't be getting any free Sox tickets for blogging the hand dryers at US Cellular Field!

I managed to walk down VERY close to the field for a few pictures and to see how the fans with the best seats responded to seeing me in my Blue Jays stuff down there. Not too bad, Sox fans are good sports. I did, however, find another church leader who was skipping the Good Friday Service! (Who shall remain safely anonymous if my demands are met!) I walked up to him and said, "So, you are skipping the Good Friday Service?" And he seemed a little surprised to have a pastor (at the game) asking him that. But he had a good excuse too. He had bought the tickets at an auction for Katrina relief at our church, but it was still amazing to find someone you knew among 31,000 in attendance!

Next, I went up to see the Stadium Club. (entrance to this exclusive club came with my tickets!) I had missed meal time, but it was cool to see a fancy restaurant layered so that every table had a great view. Best of all, it was air-conditioned.

I even met a Blue Jays fan... but I didn't tell him I was imposter... I let him think he had met another Canadian. Poor guy. He finds one friend, and its actually an undercover Sox fan! I didn't have the heart to tell him. I had two drunk girls come up to me and claim to be from Canada, but I'm not sure they knew where they were from. I passed on taking a picture with them to avoid trouble with the wife. :) One other guy we saw from a distance had an "I love Canada" hat on - but other than that, it was Sox territory. Since the restaurant was closed, I went upstairs to see the bar... bad idea.

I got jumped by a bunch more crazy Sox fans who didn't believe my claims to Sox fandom!! It was then that I realized that during my walk the Sox had lost their 5-2 lead, and were now down by a huge margin!!

11 to 5!? Things were not looking good for the Sox, so fearing I may not get out of the park alive, I slipped into a store and bought myself a Sox jersey, hid my Blue Jays apparel and turned my hat backwards, so only those behind me would see my Blue Jays logos.

I made it out alive having survivied my mission as an undercover Sox fan dressed as a Blue Jays fan. Plus, I embarrassed my family - MISSION ACCOMPLISHED!

Read my brothers report on the game:

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

A Movie on the Ceiling?!?

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.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

Clintons in town? (and a self-made man!)

I have always LOVED downtown Chicago. When I moved here in 1985 (i think) I fell in love with the city. While I liked in the south 'burbs' I longed to live in the city. When I finished my last day of high school the immediate next day I moved on campus at Moody Bible Institute with a grounds crew job to get me downtown. I had a ton of different jobs during my four awesome years in college.
I valet parked for Ed Debevic's among other Lettuce Entertain You restaurants. (Some of the best in Chicago!) Worked as the house magician at several restaurants including the Rock n' Roll McDonald's which was recently rebuilt. (Several of the other restaurants are now out of business, hopefully no the magician's fault! D.B. Kaplin's in Water Tower, Kenny's Ribs on Rush, Boogie's Dinner in the Bloomingdale's Building, to name a few)

Original Rock n' Roll McDonald's where I was the
'house magician' for several years while at MBI.

The new Rock n' Roll McDonald's without a magician but still able to make
your money disappear selling the same McFood for twice the price. :)

Lame pic of my office buidling then,
but only one I could find.

One of my favorite non-ministry jobs was working for Bollinger, Ruberry and Garvey. I started as a delivery boy and worked my way up to copy boy - office supplies ordering boy - office moving whenever someone earned a window or corner office boy - whatever no one else wants to do boy, but I LOVED IT! I even got to go pick up the petty cash at the bank, I don't want to say how much it was to protect the current 'go fetch the money' office boy. It was located in the 500 West Madison Train Station building.

I don't get downtown much, but I LOVE the feeling of being downtown. The energy and busyness always charged me up. The place makes even a lowly office errand boy feel important, like he is a key part of a huge machine that would break down without him. (even though it didn't when I left for ministry in the burbs)

Our business downtow took us to a building across the street from the State of Illinois Building. One of the first buildings I was fascinated with when my grandmother first took me there back in the 70's on a summer trip from California as a boy.

The State of Illinois Buidling.

The building as a kid I called 'The Inside Out Building" because it looks much bigger on the inside than it does on the outside. If you are ever near it, it is worth a trip inside.

Several movies have been filmed in this buidling with chases and shattering elevators. My favorite TRUE story is the bold burglers who dressed in white overalls with a hand truck and rented van walked off with a cash station while security guards held the door for them. They said they were taking it for 'repairs.' Oh, they repaired it alright - it was never seen again and they got away with it. After that Cash Machines started be installed into walls.

GET THIS: The building is cooled by eight 100,000 pound ice cubes, each 40 feet by 12 feet by 14 feet frozen at night, when electric rates are lowest, to cool water for air conditioning the following day!! Try doing that at your house! Read LOTS OF FACTS about this fascinating building.

Our visit downtown was short and a tease... but I was surprised to see that the Clintons were in town even though I didn't hear that on the news. How did I know???

It was obvious by this truck I saw parked across from the State of Illinois Building and in front of some law offices:


I think the Clinton's had one of these following their motorcade!

The Self Made Man!

Final picture... on the tollway (using my new I-Pass I FINALLY got!) I got a kick out of this sculpture on the back of a truck. It's a man forming himself out of stone. I titled it "The Self Made Man." That's gotta hurt!

ONE OF THESE DAYS I'm gonna do what I used to do even back in high school... go downtown for an entire day and just take pictures of buildings at unusal angles and capture shots most people walk past. Here are a few I took in San Fransico on sabbatical:

Anyway, they look cool to me. Thanks for humoring me. I love working with angles and creating combo shots with non movable objects. (Generally, I can't move buildings)

Until next time, keep on keeping on!

Sunday, April 02, 2006

The Art of Demotivation (It's a gift!)

Every leader needs help demotivating their employees or volunteers. If you are struggling with highly motivated, initiative saturated, creative and energetic employees or volunteers who define responsibility with their dedication and punctuality, have no fear, Despair.com is here to help.

I would highly recommend this website to anyone in leadership. It is time those under you appreciated just how important you are, and just how replaceable they are.

Below are samples of the posters and products available on the Despair.com website, and I ESPECIALLY RECOMMEND you watch their DEMOTIVATOR VIDEOS. (You can even subscribe to their podcast) I have always loved this website, the videos make it all the more richer!


and there are many more where these came from!

Seriously, spend some time clicking around Despair.com, it is hysterical. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll be demotivated. Happy to make your day!

Saturday, April 01, 2006


Just wanted to do a little public service to the thousands on my blog
subscription list and the millions more who read it by RSS feed:

TONIGHT is the night to set your clock BACK one hour.

If you ever get confused, just remember this handy little saying:

When you trip you FALL FORWARD and when you are surprised you SPRING BACK.

That will help you always remember which way to move your clock.

Enjoy that extra hour of sleep tonight!!


This Old Church - Part 4: ICE AGE 2

All done for the week..... and exhausted.

Spring Break is over. Though, I'm not sure there was a whole lot of 'break' in it, but we did take time this evening for a much needed break and went and saw ICE AGE 2!

Kelly, our preschool director at her post!

My sister Melissa came to paint today...

along with Tricia...

and Parker.

had lunch with a movie star! (among others)

and then it was off to see ICE AGE 2. ICE AGE (1) is my favorie animated movie so I have been very much looking forward to ICE AGE 2... I've seen the trailor a zillion times.

While I'm disappointed that there was at least one profanity that I caught and a little bit tacky humor about a donkey's other name... overall it was fun, hysterical even. Of course, my favorite scenes are ANY scenes with Scrat, the prehistoric squirrel with nothing but bad luck in his quest for the elusive acorn. They are so well done and never fail to cause a laugh!

You just love to feel this guy's pain as he keeps tryin' for that acorn! Parents will want to correct a few minor things, but in general this movie is wonderfully entertaining, and the few mild references to evolution are easily corrected. (and less prominent than much of what is taught in school!)

This Old Church takes the weekend off, and resumes next MONDAY!! I'll keep updating with new pics as it progresses! Until then, GO SEE ICE AGE 2!