FUN FRIDAY: “Goliath” Debuts At Six Flags Great America

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Confession:  I am a HUGE roller coaster fan!  If I hear of a death-defying roller coaster within driving distance, I am usually there pretty soon.  Well, I just caught wind of this one!  It’s in Chicago, so……maybe someday!

It’s called “GOLIATH!”  It’s the fastest, tallest, and steepest wooden roller coaster in the world!  If you dare, expect to plunge down 180 feet while rocketing through twists and turns at 72 miles per hour at a near vertical 85 degree angle.

Check out this front seat POV video:  

Definitely going to have to check this one out!  By the way, if you love roller coasters you ought to check out the Kids Curriculum series I did last year called “Roller Coaster Life.”  I rode six different coasters as the kids learned about the “ups and downs” of the life of Elijah!  It was a blast!  You can pick one up here and check out a sample video below:

What about you?  What’s your favorite roller coaster you’ve ever ridden?  Comment and post links if you can!  Let’s share the adrenaline rush!!!

Kindred Creative: It’s Like Having A Full-Time Graphic Artist For Your Ministry

graphic-artist

If you are like me, you are ALWAYS in need of great artwork and graphics!  Many kids are visual learners and need to be immersed in their environment to really experience the truth we are presenting.  Well, as Kids Ministry Leaders, you know how hard it can be to have a professional brand and online presence in ministry.  It’s expensive, resources are difficult to find, and frankly, its confusing!

Well, not anymore!  Enter “Kindred Creative” – owned by a good friend of mine, Kate!  Kate and her husband are full-time ministers (church planters, even) who had these same frustrations 8 years ago.  That’s when they decided to become their own solution and now have decided to share!  Kindred has blossomed into a full blown design firm that works hand in hand with churches and ministries all over the country.  In fact, I (High Voltage Kids Ministry Resources) am a client.  I have used Kate for the last 6 months and have been SUPER satisfied with her work.  She’s fast, efficient, courteous, and GOOD!!!!

Kindred is an effort to resource pastors, churches, and ministries of all sizes.  They aim to provide you and your ministry with a high quality, professional brand that clearly communicates your vision.  Something that clearly communicates your message before you even open your mouth. We strive to offer media solutions that answer ministry specific needs such as sermon series design, social media layout, and web presence that is affordable and easy to manage.

If you’ve found yourself struggling in ministry to keep up with the media game, give them a shout today, and let them come alongside you and make it easy!

CHECK OUT Kindred’s WEBSITE: http://www.kindredcanvas.com/

(THIS IS NOT A PAID ADVERTISEMENT!  I am posting this because I believe in Kindred Creative and am a majorly satisfied client!)

Kate (of Kindred Creative) and her family

 

Fun Friday: “Mr. T – Treat Your Mother Right”

I ran across this video the other day because my friend, Jeremy Lee (of ParentMinistry.net) uses a portion of this song in his Parent Ministry Podcast which I was blessed to be the guest on this week.  It is hilarious!  Although I am a child of the 80s and a HUGE fan, it emcompasses everything that was WRONG with the 80s.  Bad choreography, hilarious fashion, cheesy concepts, and bad acting.  But, it is so EPIC!!!

Since Mother’s Day is coming up, I thought I would share it with you!

There’s A Keystone Cop At Jesus’ Tomb

It was perhaps one of the most embarrassing moments of my life:  Easter, 2003.

That year, I was chosen to be the narrator in our church’s Easter production. To prepare for the event, I had grown a full beard and dressed in full Biblical costume.

In the middle of the final production, when Jesus was arrested, tried, and crucified, I left the stage for about 15 minutes because I didn’t have any lines.  During this interval, I wanted to go to our Media Production Room to watch the production on the television monitors.  On my way there, I passed by our prop room and noticed a Keystone Cop hat we had used in one of our productions that year.  I thought it would be funny to put that hat on and walk into the Media Room where several of our other staff were gathered.

I was right. When I walked into the Media Room with the tall, pointed hat on my head, I got big laughs. I left it on while I watched the Easter play on the monitor.  Suddenly I realized they were saying the line that was my cue to walk onstage.  I rushed out of the Media Room and sprinted to the stage to deliver my lines.  It was a pivotal point of the production: Joseph of Arimethea and Nicodemus were carrying the body of Jesus to the tomb.

I began to deliver my lines: “Joseph of Arimethea and Nicodemus took the body of Jesus and placed it in Joseph’s own tomb…”  At that moment, I noticed that Michael Winslow, the drummer in the orchestra, was looking at me with a strange expression.  The orchestra pit was directly in front of the stage where I was standing, so I couldn’t help but notice his stare.  I don’t read minds very well, so I had no idea what he was thinking.  I could tell something wasn’t right, but I kept speaking my lines.

I looked down.  Michael was still staring at me, but now his mouth was open and his eyebrows were furrowed in disgust.  I was a little irritated with him.  I was certain I was saying my lines perfectly.  After all, this was our fourth performance, and I had them down pat.

About a minute into my lines, it hit me.  I thought, Oh, no!  I looked up out of the corner of my eye at the video screen on the wall.  It revealed exactly what Michael—and everyone else in the congregation—was seeing.  I was still wearing the Keystone Cop hat!  I was mortified, but I kept right on delivering my lines.  I thought about taking it off, but that would call even more attention to it.  I thought about running off stage, but I had to finish.  I couldn’t just quit.

For your viewing pleasure, here is actual VIDEO from this disastrous moment in my life.  Watch carefully as you see the moment I look to the screen and realize what had happened!!

I would like to say, “Thank you!” to my Senior Pastor, Rod Loy.  He was VERY gracious and forgiving.  It took a while, but we were eventually able to laugh at this moment.  I learned a HUGE lesson!  To check out the MAJOR lesson that I learned, read this post.  You can also read about MORE blunders in my book, “I Blew It!”

Blog Contest Winner Announced – And How YOU Can Help!

Thanks to all of you who have subscribed to the blog in the last week!  It’s such a crazy thought to me that over 8,000 people are following this blog!  I am so appreciative of your support in this endeavor to provide information, inspiration, and motivation to all of my friends in the Kidmin Community.

I am pleased to announce the WINNER of our contest!  Out of ALL of the subscribers, the winner of the $100 Shopping Spree on High Voltage Kids Ministry Resources is Andrea Blanton!  She should really enjoy that shopping spree this week in our EASTER ZONE!  We have lots of downloadable lessons, videos, and more to help make Easter at your church a memorable and impacting experience.  Check it out!

A few things you can ALWAYS do to help build this community:

1)  SHARE the posts! – Sharing the information you read on this blog is easy!  Just click on the share buttons at the top of each post!  There is one for each Social Media outlet you might use.  Choose the one you prefer, and get the word out.  The more people are blessed by the information, the bigger the community gets.  That allows for great interaction and resource for each of you!

2)  COMMENT on the posts! – I welcome questions, thoughts, disagreement, whatever!  I just want us to engage in conversation so that we all learn together!  I know many people who say they have been just as blessed by the comments as they have from the posts themselves!  Keep it up!

3)  PRAY! – I want to be led by the Holy Spirit in the areas I write about.  Pray that I will be sensitive to Him and respond in a way that is obedient and pleasing to Him.  Thanks so much for your prayer support!

 

Win $100 Shopping Spree From High Voltage Kids Ministry

High Voltage Kids Ministry is a ministry I founded over ten years ago! I want to give you a $100 shopping spree to High Voltage Kids Ministry just for becoming an email subscriber to this blog. Many of you visit the blog via Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets. Well, how would you like to AUTOMATICALLY receive these posts directly in your inbox within moments of them being posted?

All you have to do is enter your email address in the space provided in the RIGHT HAND COLUMN of this blog where it says “SUBSCRIBE To Brian’s Blog Via Email.” Not only will you be entered in the contest, but you will also automatically receive all of Brian’s Blog posts via email right when they are posted. Know someone who could use some extra spending money for their Kids Ministry? Know someone who could use some practical information to help them become a better Kids Ministry Leader? Well, have them subscribe THIS WEEK! This contest will only run until the end of the week! We will announce the winner next Monday!

Help us get the word out! Post the following and we will give you a BONUS entry into the contest:

Twitter:  Hey #kidmin leaders! @briandollar1 is giving away $100 shopping spree just for subscribing to his blog! http://briandollar.com

Facebook:  Hey Kids Ministry Leaders! Brian Dollar is giving away $100 Shopping Spree to HIgh Voltage Kids Ministry Resources just for subscribing to his blog http://briandollar.com – Contest ends this week! Don’t miss out!

“March Madness” For The “Final Four” Days In March

I am sure you are all enjoying the incredible NCAA Basketball going on during “March Madness.”  Well, at High Voltage Kids Ministry, we have a little “MARCH MADNESS” of our own going on.  For the “FINAL FOUR” days of March, we are offering 50% OFF several of our most popular Kidmin Curriculum titles:

     

   

No coupon code required!  Just visit our website HERE and you will save 50% OFF these five titles!  Better hurry!  This only lasts until midnight March 31st!

Will The “NOAH” Movie Corrupt Our Children?

By now, you have surely heard that Hollywood is releasing “NOAH” this Friday, March 28th.  The movie stars Russell Crowe, as Noah, as well as several other A-list actors such as Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, and others.  You are probably also keenly aware of the firestorm of criticism this movie has already received from Christian Leaders – some who have seen the movie and some who have not.

There are leaders calling for a boycott of the movie, declaring it heresy.  There are those who have even suggested this movie will corrupt a generation of children from knowing the truth of the biblical account.  Admittedly, it is directed by Darren Aronofsky, who also directed “Black Swan” and does not consider the movie to be a “Christian” film.  From interviews I have read and seen, Aronofsky’s “Noah” takes on quite a bit of creative license and assumption.  While I may not agree with all of the additions and changes that the story has undergone, I do have a bit of sympathy for a Director trying to take a story that the Bible devoted only four chapters to and turn it into a two-hour epic film.

Here are several thoughts I have:

1)  The idea of Christians “boycotting” anything gets me frustrated.  That term in and of itself has such a “we are against you” taste to it – it just bothers me.  It is one thing to decide not to see a movie.  It is also a great idea to choose to speak to others about whether or not they should go see that movie – and give your reasons for wanting to persuade them.  But, boycotting with a loud and obnoxious voice (which, let’s be honest, is the way most “Christian boycotts” come across) is just not helpful to building a bridge to the “world” we are called to reach.

2)  It’s a movie, not a sermon.  Why are we trying to hold Hollywood to a standard of accuracy and “stick to the text” standard as we would someone preaching a sermon from scripture.  This is a SECULAR presentation of a BIBLICAL story.  They are not saying that “Noah” didn’t exist.  They are not disproving God’s reasons for sending the flood (from every account I have read, the reality of sin and its horrific repercussions are very clearly presented – although I hear that the “environmental sins” aspect is trumped up a bit much).  They are not glossing over the fact that God promised mercy for future generations in the form of a rainbow.  They have chosen to add some things that were not in the original story to make the story easier to follow and more dynamic and dramatic.  I don’t have issue with that at all in and of itself.  The truth is, some of the “Biblical” movies we herald as classics such as “The Ten Commandments”, “The Passion Of The Christ”, and even “The Prince of Egypt” have extra-biblical pieces to them (Spoiler alert:  Moses and Ramses never had a chariot race on top of a wall in the book of Exodus).

3)  People WILL see the movie, so we had better be ready to talk about it.  Rather than standing in opposition and loudly proclaiming how “against it” you are, why not go see it so that you know what is or isn’t in the film?  Then, when someone at work or your neighbor asks about “what really happened with Noah,” you can tell them.  While I am NOT suggesting that you take your kids to see it or encourage the children in your church to see it (that is a parental decision only), I do think we should arm our kids with the TRUTH so that they can share what REALLY happened (which is why we, at High Voltage Kids Ministry have put our “Surviving The Storm” series that teaches the story of NOAH on sale this week).

The bottom line can really be best summed up by quoting Phil Cooke, a film director and Christian who I greatly respect.  He said…

Finally – remember that there are hundreds of serious, dedicated Christians working in the entertainment industry every day.  These are professionals who – like Joseph – are working from the inside. When we launch attacks, petition drives, or boycotts, we’re damaging their ability to make change happen. As the Hollywood Prayer Network recommends, instead of making Hollywood the enemy, let’s consider Hollywood a mission field.  Perhaps we need to ask ourselves:  When was the last time we prayed for a Christian professional (a “media missionary”) trying to make difference in Hollywood – the most influential place on earth?  Maybe it’s time to start.

Fun Friday: “New Baby Buggy”

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I am a huge fan of “Wheel Of Fortune.”  I remember watching it every night at 6:30 as a kid while my family ate dinner together.  I still love it.  I am good with words (go figure), so it’s always fun to try to see if I can guess the puzzle before the contestants.  Sometimes I can…this time – NO WAY!  This guy was amazing!  Hardly anything to choose from, then BOOM!  Check it out!