Tag Archives: Family

Top 7 Reasons Why I’d Like to Go Back to Disney World

The following are seven reasons why I’d like to go back to Disney World in Orlando, Florida – tomorrow, if I could. Sure, there are other places I want to visit, but the following reasons are why I would like to go back to Disney, even if I could go other places, too.

This is NOT a commercial. Just random-though blogging.

If you know anyone with connections, give them my number.

7. Bragging Rights

Let’s face it, if you can afford to take your family to Disney World, you either know how to save or have more money than your neighbor. Seriously, have you priced Disney lately? If I went I would take my wife and daughters and stay in the park (which is the ONLY way to go). We’re talking between 4 and 5,000 dollars for a family of four!

6. It’s been too long.

The last time we went was in 2007. We went that year because I won the trip by winning a dance-off at a motivational seminar. Yes, I danced like an idiot in front of 5,000 people and got a standing ovation, destroying my competition. My wife said I’d never pastor a church in Chattanooga after that showing, but we got a trip to Disney and my performance never made it to YouTube – so there.

5. The atmosphere.

If you have never been to Disney, then you have no concept of quality control. If you have ever visited any other theme park or amusement park, once you set foot in Disney World you will immediately notice a difference: I call it “atmosphere control.”

Disney is all about image. Everything is kept in top-notch condition and service is wonderful. There is a purposeful, intentional striving toward maintaining a specific mood throughout the multiple parks. From the smells to the music to the people, everything is meant to illicit happiness and warmth. Is it sorta like brainwashing and mind control? Maybe, but it works – and it takes your mind off of the real, chaotic world.

4. The “rides.”

Anyone, young and old, can have fun at Disney World. There is so much to see and do, especially when it comes to the rides.

Now, when I say “rides,” don’t automatically assume I’m referring to roller coasters and such. The rides at Disney are so much more than that – sooooo much more. For instance, in the Animal Kingdom (one of the massive parks at Disney) one of the rides involves loading up into a real truck and going on a real safari! I’m not talking about some cheesy vehicle attached to a rail transporting you around a zoo. Honestly, the last time we were there, our truck had to slow down, even pause, as a real giraffe decided to take its time walking in our path!

Other rides include Soaring, which will make you swear you are really flying in a hang glider over an orange grove in California; the Hollywood Tower of Terror, which will make you believe you are in the Twilight Zone – for real; and a space ship simulator that comes with real air-sickness bags – because it’s that realistic!

Below is a link I found with the video of what is shown inside the Mission Mars ride. Believe me, it is totally intense. This ride is built on a centrifuge that can go from 0-4 g’s in 2 seconds! THAT’S why it’s so realistic! And all the while you are inside what looks and feels like a real space ship capsule. AWESOME!

3. EPCOT

My favorite place to visit in Disney World is the World Showcase in EPCOT. If you never visited another country, or if you’d like to pretend you’ve visited 10 of them in a day, then the World Showcase is for you. For example, walk into a Mexican pyramid and you will be transported to a star-lit courtyard in a small, Mexican village. There you will find shops, a restaurant, vendors, and street musicians playing songs about cockroaches and big hats. Or, if you would like to visit China, there you would be surrounded by color, flowers, and unbelievable acrobats.

Each “country” in the World Showcase is staffed by people from that country. If you go to Italy and want to eat at the restaurant, then real Italians are going to serve you. The same goes with Morocco, France, Canada, England, Germany, etc. When we ate in England, the Beatles were playing across the street as I tried to understand my waitress – I asked her, “I know you’re English, but can you speak English?”

2. The resorts.

No joke, if you ever get a chance to go to Disney, stay in one of their resorts on-site AND get the “meal plan.”

I am not exaggerating when I say that you could spend your entire trip to Disney just visiting the resorts and hotels on the property. Each one has a different theme, its own attractions, and get this – when you stay in one, you can visit them ALL! Also, unlimited transportation to and from the park, and all the resorts, is INCLUDED!

And when it comes to the food, oh my gosh! You will never regret purchasing a meal plan. Trust me on this one. Without it you’d have to be double rich to purchase separately what is included in the plan. And believe me, you don’t want to miss out on being able to order whatever you want off the menu in places like the Crystal Palace in Magic Kingdom.

1. I need a vacation. Really.

I am tired of hearing about ISIS, Ebola, elections, and healthcare. I need a dose of non-reality. I need an imagination fix. I want to feel like a little kid again, if only for a week.

Anyone else want to go?

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Filed under General Observations

A Prayer For My Daughter At College

The Text

Yesterday I got a text from my daughter who attends Bryan College in Dayton, TN. She spoke of how stressed she was, of how little sleep she was getting, and how she misses the simpler life at home.

She sent a picture to me. It was a picture of the back of her left hand. On it was a reminder written with a Sharpie. She said:

Katies HandI’m killing myself trying to remember everything. I went to bed with this on my hand. Then I got it on my blue sheets and my face. But at least I made it to class this week.

Later she wrote:

“My emotions are going haywire…because I am so stressed. Yet, at the same time I don’t feel stresses in some areas…And those are the areas I leave out…”

I responded with:

“I haven’t been praying for you like I should. I’m sorry. But I will.”

The Prayer

Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for the mercies you have shown to my family and me. Thank you for my family, including the opportunities you have given us. In this case, thank you for providing the place and the means for Katie to go to school. Thank you for the opportunity she has at Bryan College.

Now Lord, I have been to school and have gotten my degrees, but I have never walked in my daughter’s shoes (they’d hurt). Her emotions are different. Her dreams are different. Her likes and dislikes are different. But one thing I do know is that she loves you with all her heart and wants to honor you with her success. Please help her to do that.

Lord, I am her earthly father, but you are her “Daddy God,” her “Abba.” You opened the door for her to go to Bryan. You provided the scholarships to pay for the tuition we could not afford. You gave her the gifts to sing and play music. All I did was watch over her and instruct her in Your ways while she was under my roof. Now she is completely in Your hands. Watch over her and grow her into the godly, intelligent woman you want her to be – for Your name’s sake.

Katie is stressed out, but doing her best. She wants to be the model of integrity and honor, but some other students are making it difficult. Give her the strength to stand strong on her principles and counsel her with your Spirit when she’s confused or questioning what to do.

Father, you are the One who gives peace. Your Son is the Prince of Peace. As Katie has willfully taken your yoke upon her, make her burdens light as You pull along side her. Give rest for her soul and mind. Reassure her with the peace that all things work together for the good, to them that love you and are called according to Your purpose.

And dear Lord, help her to keep things straight in her head, or in a datebook, or on her phone, or whatever. Waking up with permanent marker on her face before class can’t be helping with the stress level.

In Jesus’ name I pray, AMEN.

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Filed under Faith, Life Lessons, Parenting, Relationships and Family, Struggles and Trials

6 Ways You May be Raising Your Kids With an Oversimplified Faith (Re-blogged)

Important!

Every once in a while I lay aside my own thoughts and substitute them with the thoughts of those more brillianter than me, such as Natasha Crain at ChristianMomThoughts.com.

This morning I had planned to write about the new atheist churches (Sunday gatherings) popping up around the country. I was going to share some observations meant to encourage you to go to a real church, especially if you are a believer (if atheists believe gathering together in “community” is important to combat the effects of loneliness, why do Christians think they can “forsake the assembling” of themselves?).

But instead of writing a post about what was on my mind, I am going to share a post that  - well, the idea has been on my mind for a while, but this beautifully sums it up. This is a VERY IMPORTANT post!

Please, especially if you are a parent, pastor, or youth leader, READ THIS! (click on the picture)

oversimplifiedfaith

 

Now, after reading what Natasha Crain wrote, what are we going to do about it?

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Filed under Apologetics, blogging, Culture Wars, Faith, Parenting, Relationships and Family, Theology, World View

Still Awake

It’s 1:30 a.m., my wife is out of town, and this is how I feel.

“Still Awake”

The dog is asleep under his blanket

The crickets are playing their third song

The rhythmic ticking from the cheap kitchen clock

Keeps time as I muddle along

With my typing, spacing, deleting

Of words that seem right, then wrong

It’s late, but I’m doing my best to take stock

Of the reasons I’ve been awake so long.

It’s not so hard when I leave her at home

I guess I tend to focus on the task when I’m gone

But when she leaves I feel disconnectedphoto (28)

There are things to do, but I feel misdirected

I need her more than she needs me

I don’t want to go to bed, it’s hard to sleep

The hotel bed is not her spot

The bed at home is where she’s not

I don’t want to roll over and…well… fear

I just like it better when she’s here.

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Filed under General Observations, Relationships and Family

Train’em!

Favorite Photo

Just the other day Andy Britt graciously spent an entire day taking photos of my family. Should you need a good photographer, look him up.

But anyway, this picture has to be one of, if not my MOSTEST favorite! It captures the essence of everything I want to be as a parent. If ever my girls happen to glance over my shoulder to see what I’m reading, I hope they find me in God’s Word.

teaching the truth

By the way, the Bible in the photograph is mine. My finger is placed on Proverbs 1:7, which reads: “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

Other Verses

Maybe I posted this just to show off my favorite photograph…who can blame me? But on the other hand, can I share with you some other passages of Scripture?

  • Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. – Proverbs 22:6
  • We will not hide them from their children, shewing to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, and his strength, and his wonderful works that he hath done. For he established a testimony in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which he commanded our fathers, that they should make them known to their children: That the generation to come might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children: – Psalms 78:4-6
  • And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. – Ephesians 6:4

Gentlemen, don’t waste an opportunity. Train’em now!

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Filed under Christian Living, Christian Maturity, Homeschool, Life Lessons, Parenting, Relationships and Family

Going Home

A Change of Plans

This morning I had planned on writing about a silly dream analyst I saw on Dr. Oz (totally pathetic). I had even contemplated writing a piece actually defending …da, da, da… Joel Osteen (yes, I know that’s a shocker). But when I sat down at the computer and took a minute to scroll through recent posts on Facebook, I saw a video, and wept.

However, it is the reason for the tears that I wanted to share a video with you. Yes, I cried tears of happiness for all those little children, wives, and moms and dads who were reunited with their brave dads, husbands, and sons. But I also cried for another reason – the anticipated reunion I will have with my own dad.

Funerals

I have preached many funerals. I have seen many loved ones laid to rest in the cold earth. People have looked to me for comforting words as I have stood beside the lifeless body of a recently passed loved one. All I can tell you is this: the only hope I can offer is the hope found in Jesus Christ.

In the 1 Corinthians 15:19, the apostle Paul said, “If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable.” So, to put it another way, if trusting in Jesus is only good for this world, like for making you a better person, then what’s the point? Why follow a dead man to the grave?

Real Hope

But Paul adds in the next verse: “But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept.” In other words, trusting in Jesus means that this life is NOT all that there is…that we will one day be reunited with our loved ones…and Jesus’ resurrection is the PROOF!

It has been over 20 years since I last saw my dad face-to-face. I never had the chance (except in a dream) to say goodbye. So let me assure you, when I set foot on those celestial shores…when I breath that sparkling air…when I finally reach Home…there is going to be a celebration like this world has never seen.

That’s why I cried.

 

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Filed under Christian Living, Faith, Future, salvation, the future

Thursday Thoughts (Cars, Stress, and Dead Actors)

Good Thursday, everyone! I hope that you are looking forward to a wonderful weekend starting with a wonderful Friday. And no matter how many times I say the name of that day, I think of the song by Rebecca Black.

So, before it is too late and this post has to become a “Forgetful Friday” edition, let me leave you with some random Thursday thoughts.

1. I don’t like new cars. New cars and all their technology have progressed beyond my comfort zone. The newest automobile I have ever owned was a 2005 model. Do you realize how much has changed since then? I don’t even know what most of the buttons on a new car do! There’s nowhere to play a cassette tape, either!

Owner’s manuals used to be something only for those who couldn’t change a tire without instructions, but not any more. Now the new owner’s manuals come with a diploma once completed. Do I sound like an old man?

IMG_1537

Checking out a vehicle we didn’t buy. Still looking.

2. Shopping for an automobile is stressful. Honestly, I can think of only a handful of things that can lead a couple any closer to the brink of divorce than shopping for a new car. It is far worse, too, when all we can afford is one vehicle. Can you guess who has to be the happiest with any decision? Can you guess who will not get something that has even one tiny little testosterone hormone stashed under a seat? Pure stress, I tell you! Pure stress!!

As much as a hate the idea of a totalitarian system of government, there is something to be said of a country that allows only one kind of car to be made and sold to its people. But then again, couples would fight over the color, if not the scent of the air freshener.

3. Some old actors died. Did you hear that Russell Johnson (the Professor on “Gilligan’s Island”) died today? He was 89! And did you hear that Dave Madden, the man who played Reuben Kincaid (the manager) on “The Partridge Family” died? He was 82! Isn’t it amazing how reruns on television make us think these guys are still as young as they were back in the 1960′s and ’70′s?

DAVE MADDEN

Dave Madden, 1973

By the way, did you know that Dave Madden was one of the voices on Focus On the Family’s children’s radio program, “Adventures in Odyssey?” He was the voice of Bernard Walton, and he will be missed.

They always say famous people die in “threes.” If that is so, I wonder who will be next? I have my guesses. Do you?

Please pray that we will find a car, SOON!

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Filed under blogging, General Observations