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, February 25, 2007

Making Missions Minded Friends

I've had a heart for missons since I was a young boy and my mom told our children's church the story of Amy Carmichael. Since then I've been to Honduras, Mexico, the Philippians, Hungry, Austria, Germany, France, England, Whales, Spain, and elsewhere doing some kind of mission work, usually children's ministry related, and I am the son of a former Missions Pastor at Moody Church who is now a director of something or other (I can't keep track of his titles) at OCI in Colorado Springs... BUT even with all these rubs with missionary work, I have to admit my ignorance that there has been a Children's Missions Movement steadily advancing the cause of encouraging and supporting the effort to introduce children to missions and help churches with missions education for the past twenty years. This losely structured group of missions minded people have met periodically over the years with a fluid collection of individuals coming together to evaluate where we are in introducing missions to kids and educating churches in how to promote world missions within the local church, as well as to evaluate what resources are available, and what is still needed. I will be writing a Kidology Report in time about all that I have learned that has taken place from new resources and conferece events that have taken place.

I was honored to be invited to this latest gathering to take a look at where we are at in this Great Commission effort to equip children to impact their world for Christ. And I have a bunch of new friends who are passionate about kids and about missions. I learned that the Children's Missions Movement has a unique two-sided challege. One on side we deal with those who are passionate about kids, but are missing the need to reach the worlds kids, and that our children can (and should!) be a part of that effort. On the other side, there are those who are passionate about missions, but overlook the need and effectiveness of including children in that effort despite the fact that the vast majority of missionaries received their call to world missions AS A CHILD, before they had the attachments of adults that make a missionary life-style so hard to embrace.

We broke into small groups to look at the different aspect of children's missions, and evaluated and did some God empowered praying and planning for what God might be doing next, and I must hint now that some pretty incredible plans were birthed at this gathering, that if truly of God, and not just our collective creativity, will rock the Kingdom for kids and missions!

God is doing amazing things around the world in the area of kids and missions and it was so encouraging to discover all the resources that are available. We will be working hard to compile lists of these resources to make available and to network those who are passionately engaged in this effort. If you are passionate about kids or missions (or better yet, BOTH!) keep your eye on the horizon for some great things as we seek to better coordinate all that we are doing, with God's help, and to launch in time an awareness and action campaign to champion the cause of helping kids to impact the globe through missions!

If you would like to be a part of this effort, I have placed this post on Kidology as well, and you can reply there and share what you or your ministry or church is doing with kids and missions, or any resources you have available. Help us gather information on what God is already doing in this all important effort!

Go here: The Children's Missions Movement

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Super Bowl Cake is a Winner, Even if the Bears Aren't!

I know that all of ChicagoLand is depressed and that Jeff Bradley is going to give me a hard since my Bears let me down after all of our instant messaging "trash talk"... I don't think I dare turn on iChat for a few days... we were really going at it the last few days, and now he gets to gloat and say "I told you so" instead of me.

But if the Bears didn't shine, my wife did! So rather than try to give any football commentary (and make a fool of myself) instead this blog's purpose is simply to show off the AWESOME and AMAZING SUPER BOWL CAKE that my wife made for our Bears Party. And please, do leave her some comments... I know she'll be checking!

But is this an awesome cake or what?!?!?!? It should have been illegal to cut into it!

Feast your eyes on this: (since only we got to actually feast on IT)

PS: My sister will also instant message me a complaint if I don't mention that SHE made the gummy team logos in the end zones. Pretty cool, eh?

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Slow Down. There is beauty that is often missed.

I was in Orlando last week for the Children's Pastor's Conference and will be posting more about that on Kidology.org, but I wanted to post some pictures from the Coranado Springs Resort where I stayed. But I have to tell you something about myself... I don't take the usual pictures! I like to see what others walk right past. All of the pictures below (and it was hard to narrow down the ones I wanted to post) were taken right off the path at the resort. Behind a bush, down by the water, over a bridge, beside a building, etc. At my new slower pace of life I am taking more time to slow down and open my eyes to the beauty around me, and it was actually fun to be stopping and taking close up pictures of nature in a very 'man-made' place with people scurring past me in a hurry to get to the amusement park or other activities. Several times people stopped and asked, "What are you taking a pictures of?" surprised to see me kneeling or hunched over where there didn't really appear to be anything worth the effort... but I think these pictures prove that if we slow down and take the time to look a little closer, we will see beauty that we would have missed if we were too much in a hurry to "get somewhere", literally or figuratively.

ENJOY! (each is larger if clicked on) and forgive me for finding spiritual commentary in every view of nature I see...

These are not flowers, they are tiny petals on a large flower!
See the tiny bug in the lower left hand corner?
He was unseen until later on the computer when I zoomed
into a picture that included over one hundred of these petals.
If we allow God to zoom into us and look closely,
He will slow us the tiny preditors of our hearts so we can remove them!

Why is water so refreshing?
Just being in the presence of water is relaxing.
Maybe that's why Jesus called Himself "Living Water?"

Beaty and Life, springing forth
even in the midst of a flood of water.

If they weren't so tiny, you could take these for popcicles!
Reaching out in all directions bringing color to a dark
and otherwise drab plant. We have the same opportunity,
in a drab world, to spread color and life in every direction!

The shadow of this flower upon itself was beautiful.
Only the SON can bring our beauty out.
Without His Light, we are pretty drab and ordinary.

This gorgeous flower lay hidden out of sight... missed by most.
I had to brush aside lots of common leaves to discover it.
Who is near you, reflecting God's amazing gifts,
but you miss because you only see the leaves?

Amazing detail up close of an otherwise ugly looking plant.
(maybe if we looked closer at people we'd see they aren't so bad?)

I love the contrasts of nature.
A hard rock that endures the ages, unchanged, and
the flower, fleeting beauty that must be enjoyed now.

Fruit that is hard to get at past the prickly protection.
Some people are the same, their defenses can keep you
from getting to know them, unless you are willing to
get pricked a little to get closer. It's worth it.

The worship leader at CPC this year was Micheal Neale, one of the worship pastors at a Florida church with some 18,000 members and something like 15 weekend servies. (Can't remember the exact figures, just remember having a hard time picturing it!) He was awesome. It had to be the best CPC worship in the 20+ CPCs I've been too. (Though Scott Wesley Brown was my favorite up until now) There just was no 'performance' in him at all, he just humbly and naturally led us into God's presence. As my roomate said it, "He was a spiritual usher... just welcoming and guiding us into God's presence."

Here is a Mac-made video of more pictures and one of the songs that hit me to hardest (in a good way) during this God-encountering week at CPC: (Michael Neale singing)

Praising God in the Beauty of His Creation
(60.8mb QuickTime)