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

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

My Stupid Coke Reward

I usually consider myself immune from the power of advertising - enjoy the ad - but don't buy because of an ad. However, I have found the My Coke Rewards commercials fun and entertaining, so when I found a coke cap on the kitchen counter (most likely from Sara or a guest since I'm a Dew Man), I thought I'd give it a shot and see if that cap could indeed bring me a vacation or car or some fancy technological gadget I don't already have...

So I went to the website MyCokeRewards.com and set up an account. I even made a bogus alias email so I can prevent spam and delete if they abuse the email address. (most likely!) I sign up, and guess what - it says I won the SOUNDTRACK TO PIRATES: AT WORLD'S END! I'm thinking WOW, I won with my first soda cap - maybe I will actually buy a Coke sometime. (not sure I ever have, other than at McD's where you have no choice, I even tend to not eat where Coke is the only choice, I know, hard to do!)

On my way to World's End

Now, if you read my review of Pirates on Kidology.org then you know I was not happy with the film and wish they had just quit with one movie, or made the second one have a point - but I DO like the Pirates soundtrack almost more than Star Wars - (I know, amazing!), and probably do listen to it the most of all my playlists on my iPod.

Up is Down, Right is Left, Whatever!

All that to say - I like the Pirates music alot and was happy to be a first time winner of a Coke Reward. So I opted to turn in my lousy three points for the Soundtrack to Pirates, At World's End.

(isn't that how blogs were born? a place to complain?)

1) It was NOT the soundtrack to Pirates that I won, it was a "medley" of music from the movie.
2) The site says it only works with IE which it doesn't tell you until after you arrive at the page to use your "one time use" code.
3) Fortunately, the code still worked and I downloaded the tiny file, but then it says, not compatible on Mac or iPod. That is, AFTER, I chose to give up all my points for the soundtrack to a movie and after I download it, only then does it tell me the file is useless to me and I'll never get to hear it anyway.

So basically, they tell you that you are getting the soundtrack to a movie, you agree to spend all your points on it, and then they tell you, oh, its only a medley and you have to be on a PC to listen to it.

So I have my prize (oooooooooh!) but it is useless to me. So here it is to download for all my Coke Drinking, PC Usin' friends out there.

(since I can't) 3.5mb

UPDATE! Someone, who wishes to remain simply anonymous,
ripped the file and converted to an MP3 to share. I don't mind
sharing it because Coke LIED about what I was getting.
I'll take it off my site when they stop lying on their site about
what they are giving you as your "PRIZE." :-)
Here is the MP3 to Enjoy!

Enjoy, and post a comment and tell me if it worked and how you liked my prize. And you didn't even have to drink a dark syrupy tasteless drink to win!

Pirate Dad and Luke! Arrrrrrrrrg!

Shiver Me Diapers, Ahoy!

UPDATE! Someone, who wishes to remain simply anonymous,
ripped the file and converted to an MP3 to share. I don't mind
sharing it because Coke LIED about what I was getting.
I'll take it off my site when they stop lying on their site about
what they are giving you as your "PRIZE." :-)
Here is the MP3 to Enjoy!

Water Proof Phone?!

TIP: Never tell your brother your phone is water proof!

Because when I was out to lunch with my sisters this week, that's exactly what my older sister did... so of course I answered, "Really? Can I see it?" And dropped it into my water at Red Robin.

Here is my sister's phone half submerged!

Now completely submerged!

View from the top!

Comes out dripping, but working!

Even works open and with an incoming call!

A toast to a water-proof phone!

OK, for those of you who have to know more, check it out:

GzOne Phone

and, no, I am not buying one. The next phone I buy will be an iPhone!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Time Flies When You Are Serving God

Saturday, May 12th, was one of those days that makes you feel old... but so happy too. It was a day of seeing another of my K.C. Krew kids getting married!

The last time you'll see "Cheek" after Krista's name!

Krista and Karl Today....

Karl and Krista in 1998!

Cool Krista!
(wearing a costume for Kids Church)

Krista getting married, and that's Sara's dad doing the ceremony!

This was a very encouraging day for me. You minister and invest in so many kids in your life, and you don't always get to see what God does with their lives. Some you never even get to say good bye to, let alone, get to see them again years later. It was so nice to get caught up on what they are doing and how much they have grown up!

Krista's little sister Erin, Gwen, (me), Laura and Amy Joy.

And YES, I have old pictures of all of them: (hope they still love me after this!)

Erin back then!

And Amy Joy too!

I've got special stories with each of these girls, and it was fun to tell them over again at the wedding. Laura, second from the right, graduated from Moody Bible Institute on the same day as the wedding, (along with anothe former K.C. Krew kid, Noah, not at the wedding), and is also very special because she is the first kid I ever baptized. She may not realize it, but she is quoted in an article on Kidology.org, but since it is the membership section, here is the poem she wrote:

Here are some pictures of Laura:

Laura in 5th or 6th Grade

Who is that skinny runt Laura is sitting with?

Sorry these pictures are grainy, but I was pioneering the era of digital photography back then! But lest you think it is only the girls I fondly remember, there were some grown up guys at the wedding too!

Bruce (Krista's "little" brother), me, and Billy.

Also, David, Amy Joy's Big Brother,
now a piano major at DePaul Univeristy!

David and Karl then!
(when he played a keyboard in Kids Church)

And here was the "shocker" for me... you know those cute little pip-squeeks in Kid's Church? They may end up dating some day! Here is Gwen, one of the first kids I met when I was interviewing at the church, and Bruce, who was my official "Taco Bell Buddy."

Awana Clubber Gwen, back then!

But, last, but not least, here is the girl who almost made a grown man cry: My little sweet Beth, who I used to put in my guitar case to try and steal her home! (and btw, whose mom made nearly all of Gus' costumes)

Sweet Little Beth, as I remember her!

Beth and Karl not so long ago!

Beth and Karl today!

Here is Beth of today, sweet as ever, but a bit taller. (And not blond?!) One of the first things she said to me was, "Pastor Karl, I don't think I'll fit in your guitar case any more!"

But what made me happiest was to see my little Beth, who was never old enough to be on K.C. Krew when I was there, proudly wearing a Kid's Krew shirt nearly ten years later.

Emotional Emoting Coming:

No matter what happens in life, the good, the bad, and the ugly, there is only one thing that will remain - the fruit that GOD grows as we serve Him with all our heart. That God would use me in the lives of so many children over the years is truly amazing and humbling to me. Why me? There is no reason other than His amazing grace and mercy... as I often like to say, the biggest miracle God ever does is to use imperfect people to share His perfect love.

Seeing these nearly grown kids and reliving the happy memories of days as their pastor, was a sobering reminder that the most important thing we can invest our lives in is people.

Perhaps you have seen the little plaque that reads, "Only one life, 'twill soon be past, only what's done for Christ will last?" Well, that's not what all that the poet wrote.

The poet wrote this:
"Only one life, 'twill soon be past,
Only what's done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I'll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee."

Life is filled with trials. Some are our own fault, others God sovereignly brings our way as part of His purposes, but either way, they are part of His Refining process. When you get stressed, or depressed, or compressed, or repressed, or deressed, or.... (you get the idea!)... focus on the good, on what God has done in spite of you... and be encouraged. Fruit that is of you, will fade away, but Fruit that is of God will continue to grow with or without you, because it God causing the growing all along.

As AT & T used to sing, "reach out, reach out and touch someone," for that's all that matters and all that lasts. I hope God will allow me to see even more kids in the years ahead who He let me have a little part in leading them to Him and teaching them about Him.

Top Row: David, Krista and Noah
Middle: Krista (different one), Melody, & Laura in the pink
(Beth's mom, Kim, on right)
Front Row: Karl and Sara

And save those pictures, you never know who you might be able to embarrass on your blog someday!

Happy Mother's Day MOMMY!

By popular demand (seriously!), here are some pictures from Mother's Day 2007:

Mother's Day began with a photo-op of Luke outside on the way to church....

Luke with Daddy's Car... too cool. (the boy, not the car!)
Trying to Look BIG and Tough (but too cute to pull it off)

"What's with the flowers, Dad, I'm a BOY!"

Waiting for the women to be ready to leave for church.
(get used to it, boy)

And here is MOM with her happy boy on Mother's Day!

Luke gets his hands on daddy's deck of cards...

A magician in the making!

Luke loves water, so the splinkers was the hightlight of his day!

Luke helps daddy drive.... again.

"Turn this way, daddy, according to the satelites!"

We enjoyed a wonderful Mother's Day relaxing at Sara's parents, not far from the latest Chicago fire. It's amazing how much Luke has grown since last Mother's Day.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Luke's First Light Saber

Luke got to hold his first light saber this week. It wasn't his, it belongs to his kissing friend, but she let him hold it. It was a light up one from a circus...

Without any instruction or prompting, he knew exactly what to do with it:

Strong in the Force Luke is

Attacking his father!

Good thing it was only a toy!

Being a dad is so much fun!

Uh oh, gotta change a diaper now. Light sabers are fun, but there is the practical side to fathering too... peew, gotta go!

Monday, May 07, 2007

Luke Takes to Water like a Fish

I always heard dads talking about how being a father gave them new insights into being a child of God, and the same is happening to me; a lot. Be glad I don't blog all of them. :) But I'll save my latest lesson as a new dad for the end of this post.

One of Luke's very favorite things has been bathtime - he would sit in a tub and splash until he became a prune if we let him. He never tires of water. So as we headed off to vacation two weeks ago I was sooooo looking forward to the pool in Palm Springs where we would be for the second week of our trip.

Luke's first time in a swimming pool.

As soon as we checked in, we went for an evening swim. I wasn't sure if the vast size of a giant pool would intimidate him, but far from it... he took to it like a fish!

Splash! Splash! Splash!

Well, a fish being held by his father that is. The pool was giant and included a baby section with water only a foot and a half deep and a water slide where you could slide at speeds of up to 80iph. (inches per hour)

This way to the pool, Dad!

Luke was hooked! We went swimming several times a day from before breakfast to just before bedtime. (with breaks for meals and naps, of course) First thing in the morning, Luke would point toward the pool and grunt. I would stop every ten feet on the way and say, "Where do you want to go?" And he would point again, remembering every turn on the way to the pool, and later in the week, even choosing where he would like to swim.

How to get yourself into the family shot while in a pool.

We started out in the kiddie area of the pool, but much to Dad's delight, he actually preferred the deep end, which was nice since it is easier to hold the baby standing in deep water than it is laying in less than two feet!

Luke demonstrating how to splash.

Luke never tired of splashing. I finally learned to wear shades so I wasn't squinting the entire time. Of course, his smiles were delightful, but when he was in "splash mode" he actually got such an intent look on his face; he takes his splashing very seriously.

Dad demonstrates how to make a giant splash!

Luke getting smothered in love.

Our favorite picture of our little splasher.

One exhausted swimmer!

But all good things, it seems, must come to an end, as did our vacation is sunny warm California. Of course, we had one last trip out to the pool before we left for the airport.

Luke gets through airport security,
even filled with fluid and a stink bomb!

This morning, back in Chicago, when I got him up he immediately pointed to the back yard, and when I took him out there and tried to explain that we don't have a pool, he was not happy. :(

So I went to Wal-Mart to try and make up for it:

Not quite the same, but it'll do!

Here is the daddy lesson I learned on this trip, written on the plane ride home:

As I type this I’m on the plane flying home from vacation in Palm Springs where Sara and Luke and I enjoyed a very relaxing week doing, well, basically nothing, unless going to the pool many times a day counts. :) Luke took to the water like a fish! Already a huge fan of bath time we weren’t sure if the vast expanse of a swimming pool would intimidate him. Far from it. It didn’t matter to him whether we were in the foot and a half deep section, or in the deep end where Dad was up to his neck standing… as long as he was in dad’s arms, nothing else mattered. He just splashed away delighted to be in the pool with his dad.

It struck me how much we are like my little Luke-fish. There are deep and shallow areas of life – but as long as we stay close to the Father, He will hold us and we can splash about and enjoy life regardless of how deep the water beneath us may be. And of course, there were times Luke tried to push away from me, and wanted to be alone in the water, but I had to hold on, at times against his will – for his own good. When we get away from God we can find ourselves feeling like King David did in Psalm 69 – up to our neck and sinking – but fortunately, our Father never lets go, and even if we go under or swallow some water, He will always pull us back close and love on us, even as we sputter to recover from the water that at times can be overwhelming. Our Heavenly Father wants to see us splashing and enjoying life. We can’t always avoid the deep end in life, but if we cling to the Father he will hold our head above the water and his strong arms will never let go. So stay close to the Father, and lets see some splashes for Him! Just as we delight to see our children happy, God delights to see our joy in Him.

But don't take your splashing too seriously! Despite all of our serious efforts, to our Heavenly Father, all we are doing is splashing in His pool. He's more interested in just enjoying time with us, not any splash we think we can make. After all, if we really want to see a giant splash, look at Jesus, THAT GUY knows how to make waves! After all, He is the Living Water!

So cling to your Father, and soak in the Son!