We are happy to introduce to you Pastor Karl Faltin. Pastor Karl will begin working at CLBI mid-August and will serve as the school’s Interim President until the next President is hired. To help you get to know Pastor Karl, we have put together an interview with him.
What is your connection to CLBI?
Back in the seventies, I was a student at CLBI for two years, and then in the nineties I served as board member. Since then, all three of our children have attended CLBI.
What do you love about CLBI’s ministry?
I love the way it helps people grow deeper and stronger in their relationship with Christ, and the way it puts such a good foundation underneath young people as they go forward from CLBI to live their lives as followers of Jesus.
What are you most looking forward to about your new position as CLBI’s interim president?
I am looking forward to being able to share some exciting things I have begun to do with Navigator’s Ministries in the area of discipleship.
What are you passionate about?
I am passionate about helping people experience the abundant life that God wants them to have.
What are your hobbies?
I enjoy golfing, doing crossword puzzles, playing board games and card games, reading (especially science fiction and historical fiction), playing basketball, volleyball and badminton when I have the chance, watching sports (especially football), learning about history (yes – you read that right – I love learning about history – right now I am working my way through the biographies of Roman emperors), and visiting with, laughing with and enjoying our family and friends.
If you were to compare yourself to an animal, what would you be and why?
The one that comes to mind for me is a beaver. I can get so wrapped up in project I am working on that I lose track of everything else going on around me. So, a beaver focused on building his dam and oblivious to whatever is going on around him is a picture I can relate to.
What’s the wildest mission trip experience/story you have?
Back during my days at CLBI, we didn’t have the chance to go on mission trips, and in the years since I haven’t had a chance to do much of that either. But there were a number of years in my 20’s and 30’s where I helped lead backpacking and canoeing trips for teen groups and families. I had some really interesting experiences on some of those trips. One of the weirdest experiences happened during a back packing trip in the Nordegg area, when in the middle of one night I woke up to this weird sound that sort of sounded like a bear snuffling around in the bush near our campsite. By the time I had woken up, a number of the campers were up along with one of the other leaders. I asked him, “Does that sound to you like what I think it sounds like.” He said, “Yeah, I was thinking the same thing.” At that we got our fires up and going really bright, and started making lots of noise, which soon had everybody else up. By this point the sun was starting to rise, and deciding that we didn’t want to spend any more time in the area than we had to, we packed up, skipped breakfast (since we didn’t want any more food smells around than we already had) and spent a very long day hiking out to our vehicles. Once we got there, we decided to put even more distance between us and this possible bear, and drove down the highway to public recreation area where we set up for the night. That night I woke up again to the same sound, and found myself thinking either that was one persistent bear or that was something other than a bear. Since I couldn’t see a bear chasing our vans down the highway, I decided it was something different than a bear, and got up to try and find out what it was. As I went through our campsite which had 35 campers in all, I finally managed to zero in on where the sound was coming from and discovered that what we had thought was a bear snuffling around in the bushes was actually one of our campers snoring. It was the weirdest snore I had ever heard – I had never heard anyone snore like that before and have never heard anyone snore like it since – a snore that sounded like a bear snuffling around in the bushes – a snore that had the power to get 35 campers up at 4:30 am and on the trail in record time for a 14 hour hike without any complaints or whining what-so-ever.
Who has been the biggest Christian influence in your life?
There is a Christian writer by the name of Dallas Willard who taught philosophy at the University of Southern California when he was alive and who wrote a number of books. Those books are probably the things that have had the most profound impact in my life on how I look at the world around me and how I understand what it means to be a disciple of Jesus and a Christian living in our society today.
What was your worst traffic violation or your biggest speeding ticket?
Actually I am a pretty boring driver – in fact when my wife, Kathy, and I are driving somewhere, she usually does the driving because she finds that I drive too slow for her. Anyway, my worst traffic violation was a speeding ticket for doing 50 in a playground zone that I missed seeing the sign for.
Do you have any nicknames the students should know about?
Boy, that takes me back a few years. Back during my days attending Camrose Lutheran College (now Augustana University) I was in the Phys Ed faculty. With an anatomy class under my belt and a seminar I had attended on dealing with simple sport’s injuries and taping ankles, and knees and wrists, etc, I was asked if I would be willing to be the trainer for the college hockey team. Well, that year the college had a trip to Europe planned so I did not have to think very long at all before saying, “Sure I would be glad to do that.” At that point I looked something like “Radar” from the TV series MASH which was very popular at the time, so that, along with the fact I was involved with sort of medical kinds of things, led to the coach calling me MASH, which soon became the name I was tagged with during my years at college.
One other nickname I was stuck with came a few years after that. For a number of summers I served as the program director at Hastings Lake Bible Camp. During one of those summers one of the staff members starting calling me “The Big Cheese”. It wasn’t a name that any campers or parents used, but it was a name that I was called for a number of summers by the staff. And whenever I see that one particular staff member, who now has as much grey hair as I do, he still calls me “The Big Cheese.”
If we asked your kids, what would they say is the most quirky thing about you?
The fact that I didn’t own a cell phone until a couple of months ago, but loved the convenience of being able to send text messages, and so would always be getting my wife to send them text messages for me.
What is the thing that makes you laugh the hardest?
A good comedian who can take some simple quirk of human nature and build and build on it.
What’s the best prank you’ve done to someone? – Or – What’s the best prank that’s been done to you?
The best prank a good friend of mine and I did was back in our CLBI days, when one-40 degree winter day we moved a fellow students whole room out into the back parking lot while she was doing her devotions at a nearby church. I can still remember her walking up the alleyway, pausing, looking, taking a few more steps, pausing, looking again and then when she recognized that this was her whole room sitting in the parking lot, marching up to see who had done this thing to her.
The best prank that has ever been done to me was actually done to my son Matt, when 35 years later this woman’s niece pulled the exact same prank on him, moving his entire room out into the parking lot, only she went one step better and even moved his door out onto the parking lot.