Hall of Presidents

The Hall of Presidents

Hall of Presidents

On this 8th day of November, 2016, the United States stands poised to select the next president of this country.  We stand at a crossroads, one between selecting a person that many believe to be a criminal, or selecting a person that many believe is a racist, sexist individual that will lead this country into greater despair.

My friends, I do not know which person will be the better president, and at this point I can only guess at who will win the election.  However, I started thinking about that incredible attraction in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, the Hall of Presidents, and that gave me pause.  Ponder with me for a few moments on three key things that I’ve realized about this great country of ours.

  1. This is not the first time our country has faced fear and uncertainty.
  2. Believe it or not, but our country has been more divided before — the Civil War is proof of that division.
  3. The president that adheres to these words from the Hall of Presidents production will be a great leader:
    • “Our hopes should be their hopes, our fears should be their fears.”

In this time of fear, uncertainty, and the unknown, take a moment, my friends, and watch the YouTube video of the Hall of Presidents.  Watch it, remember it, and relish in the simple truths that this show teaches us — that together, we are Americans, and we can tackle any challenge as long as we do it together.

My God you my friends, and may God Bless the USA.

Museum Park

On the Road at the NC Museum of Art

NC Museum of Art

The West Building of the North Carolina Museum of Art. Image Credit: On the Road with Mickey.

On the Road at the NC Museum of Art

By Mike Ellis.

Yesterday we talked about the Museum Park that exists on the grounds of the North Carolina Museum of Art; today, we continue our look at this museum by exploring the museum itself, and tomorrow, to wrap up our look at this great museum, we are going to talk about the special exhibit that is wrapping up soon, featuring works of M. C. Escher and Leonardo Da Vinci.

The NC Museum of Art features two buildings; the West Building and the East Building.  East Building is where the special exhibits are featured, and where the Escher and Da Vinci exhibits are housed.  Today, Cindy and I explored the West Building, which is home to the permanent collection.  I don’t know exactly how big it is in terms of square footage, but it houses a large collection of paintings, sculptures, and more, including the tranquil Rodin Garden.  At just two miles from my house, the Museum of Art is conveniently located to be able to get over for a visit almost any time.

Background History

In 1947 the state legislature appropriated $1 million to purchase a collection of art for the people of North Carolina. The appropriation, which was unheard of at the time and drew national attention, was in response to a then-anonymous challenge grant from noted philanthropist Samuel H. Kress of New York through the persuasive efforts of Robert Lee Humber. Humber was an international lawyer and native of Greenville, N.C.

Humber worked tirelessly with the legislature to ensure the bill’s passage. An amended bill was finally passed in the waning hours of the last day of the legislative session. Rep. John Kerr of Warren County, in support of the bill, famously said, “Mr. Speaker, I know I am facing a hostile audience, but man cannot live by bread alone.”

The initial $1 million legislative appropriation was used to purchase 139 European and American paintings and sculptures.

The Kress Foundation matched the $1 million appropriation with a gift of 70 works of art, primarily Italian Renaissance, adding the Museum to its program of endowing regional museums throughout the United States with works from the Kress Collection. The Kress gift to the Museum became the largest and most important of any except that given to the National Gallery of Art. The Museum’s original collection, along with the Kress gift, established the North Carolina Museum of Art as one of the premier art museums. (NCMA)

Until today, I had no idea that North Carolina’s art heritage went back that far, or that the State had such an early attention towards the arts.  That in and of itself is pretty cool to me.  What follows is some of the pieces that I enjoyed the most, I hope you like them, and that it is a driving force towards getting you over to the Museum on a visit of your own one day!

NC Museum of Art

Lines that Link Humanity, El Anatsui, 2008

 

NC Museum of Art

Indian Fantasy, Marsden Hartley, 1914

 

A201 Ribat, Jackie Ferrara, 1979.

A201 Ribat, Jackie Ferrara, 1979.

 

Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian, Michael Richards, 1999.

Tar Baby vs. St. Sebastian, Michael Richards, 1999.

 

Untitled, Kay Hassan, 2013

Untitled, Kay Hassan, 2013

 

Egungun Costume, Artist Unknown, 20th Century.

Egungun Costume, Artist Unknown, 20th Century.

 

NC Museum of Art

Coffin of Amunred, Egyptian, Possibly from Heracleopolis, Third Intermediate – Late Period Dynasty 25-26, circa 715-525 B.C.E.

 

Inner Coffin of Djedmut, Egyptian, possibly from Thebes, Third Intermediate - Late Period Dynasty 25-26, circa 715-525 B.C.E.

Inner Coffin of Djedmut, Egyptian, possibly from Thebes, Third Intermediate – Late Period Dynasty 25-26, circa 715-525 B.C.E.

 

NC Museum of Art

Sawfish Headdress, Artist Unknown, 20th Century

NC Museum of Art

 

NC Museum of Art

The Kiss, Auguste Rodin, Modeled circa 1881-1882, cast later.

 

NC Museum of Art

Part of the Rodin Garden, a tranquil setting outside the NC Museum of Art.

 

NC Museum of Art

The Eruption of Mt. Vesuvius, Pierre-Jacques Volaire, 1777

 

NC Museum of Art

St. John the Baptist, Jusepe de Ribera, circa 1624.

I hope you have liked exploring the NC Museum of Art with me.  There is a lot to see and do here, and it is well worth your effort to make the trip if you are a local or in the area.  Have you been to the Art Museum? Tell me, what did you think of it?  Let me know in the comments, and thanks for stopping by!

 

Prayers for the Week – Proverbs 27:1-2

Proverbs 27:1-2

{Editor’s Note: Hello my friends, welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post!  Starting today, we are sharing things a little differently.  I’ve created a special site, called Prayers for the Week, and that is where we will write our prayer posts on.  However, each week we’ll write an introduction here, and invite you to link over to that post to read it fully.  Please give this a try, and let me know what you think.  It may be that this is a good idea, but it may be that this isn’t, so give it a shot and let me know what you think.  Thanks!}

1Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring.
2Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
a stranger, and not your own lips. ~ Proverbs 27:1-2 (ESV)

Why do we as a people find it so easy to march to the beat of our own drum?  Why do we insist on telling the world how great we are?  What is it that we absolutely must look after number one?  Why have we forgotten so much about the one who created us?  Over at our Prayers for the Week site, explore with me some of the Biblical reasons for why we are here, and let’s look at how we can change our thinking.  Please click on over and read our post and pray with us!

Prayers for the Week – 2 Years of Praying

prayer_warrior

34“But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. 35For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth. 36But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” ~ Jesus Christ, Luke 21:34-36 (ESV)

Hello my friends, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  Today marks the 2nd anniversary of the start of this weekly prayer post.  Two years of praying for you, of listening, of having your Brothers and Sisters in Christ pray for you.  Two years of crying, of laughing, of giving Praise to God for the Blessings that He has given to us.  We have seen answered prayers, we have seen prayers answered in ways other than we wanted, and we have hopefully been a beacon to you across the evil that is the Internet.

Today, I feel that my mission is the same now that it was two years ago.  I feel led to pray for you, to reach out to you, to offer up my prayers for those things that are troubling you, and to ask my brothers and sisters, those faithful prayer warriors, to pray for you as well.  Doing so has not always been easy — I have had people write me to tell me that I should not be doing this, that this is a Disney site, not a religious site, all of those things.  I have lost followers to the blog and to the Facebook page.  In the end, though, none of that really matters.  What matters is serving my Lord, and this is one way that I am able to do so.

So, today is much like every Sunday for the past two years — it is my day to reach out to you, to remind you that God loves you, that He gave His Son Jesus to us, to die for us, to pay the ultimate penalty for our sins.  If you are troubled, I urge you, don’t be afraid, don’t worry that you will be ridiculed, if you have a concern, share it with us, and we will pray for you.  Now, please read along with our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • First off, I want to thank all of you for praying for my Mom.  She had a very successful surgery, she is back home, recuperating, the breast cancer did not get to her lymph nodes, and the doctors are very confident for her prognosis.  Thank you for praying with us!
  • Update on my friend Shannan’s prayer request. Here is what she wrote:Thanks to all of you that sent messages, texts and prayers over the last couple of hours. My dad was experiencing some tingling and numbness in his face, arm and hand this evening. We went straight to Skyline and he was in CT before we could even sit down. They believe he’s had another possible TIA. They are going to keep him overnight and do an MRI and full stroke work up. Keep the prayers coming and I’ll update when I know more.

    Please keep praying! Thanks.

  • Please pray for Cindy’s cousin Lori.  Lori’s husband passed away unexpectedly.  Please pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon Lori and all of the family in their time of sorrow.
  • Please pray for my friend Kerry.  Here is what she wrote on Facebook:Heaven got a beautiful angel yesterday. I love you Grammy. Xoxo – your granddaughter

    Please pray for her Peace, Comfort, and Strength, and that of her family, during their time of sorrow.

  • Please pray for my friend Melissa and her husband Andy.  They are having a baby!  This is wonderful news, they are such great people, I know they will be great parents!  Please pray for Melissa’s health, comfort, Peace, and Strength during her pregnancy, and also pray for the baby’s health as well!  This is a praise and a prayer!

Thank you for praying with us!  Remember, if you have a prayer request you want to share with us, please leave us a comment, or send us an email to prayer@mydreamsofdisney.com, or leave it on our Facebook page, something, just leave it so we can pray for you.  Now, please pray with us the prayer that Jesus taught his Disciples to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever.

Prayers for the Week – The Lord Bless You

Numbers6v24_27

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  On Friday, I saw a post about UNC Tar Heel basketball coach Dean Smith.  Normally I don’t get into sports, and I don’t know if you are a UNC fan or not, but I was saddened to read about the severe dementia that Coach Smith suffers under.  If you have a moment, I suggest you click over and read the article.

As I read the article, I started thinking about dementia, and Alzheimers, and all of those debilitating diseases that rob us of our most important thing — our memories.  I tried finding the perfect verse to share with you — something that would give you, if you have a loved one suffering from some form of memory loss, an encouragement, something to give you hope.  In the end, Numbers 6:24-27 was what I came upon:

24The Lord bless you and keep you; 25the Lord make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26the Lord lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.
27 “So shall they put my name upon the people of Israel, and I will bless them.” ~ Numbers 6:24-27 (ESV)

The Lord give you peace.  In reading the article on Coach Smith, that’s the takeaway I was left with — despite the memory loss, despite the fact that Coach Smith is not the same man he was, despite all of that, there are still moments when you look upon him, and he does something like the old Coach Smith would have done — and if you are the recipient of that moment, then you see firsthand the moment of peace that God has granted to you.

If you have a moment, I urge you to read the story.  I think it will really touch you.  Now, please continue reading and pray with me for our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • Rest in Peace, Stuart Scott. He was a sports reporter for ESPN, and died at the age of 49 from cancer. He is survived by children, parents, his girlfriend, his ex-wife, and many others. Please pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, and Strength to descend upon all of them in their time of grief and sorrow.
  • My friend Heather had a prayer request for her son Taylor. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:

    Taylor Love is out of surgery and in recovery. It was his appendix and luckily had not ruptured!! He did great we are waiting for him to wake up more and then he will be moved into a room. He will be here tomorrow and possibly till Tuesday. Thanks so much for the prayers. God is good and He protected His child!!

    Thanks for Praying!

  • My friend Tracey has lost her mother-in-law. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:

    I was blessed to have had Nan as my mother-in-law for almost 28 years. I’ll miss this sweet woman, but will see her again. May she rest in peace.
    ” Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11 28-29

    Please pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, and Strength to descend upon Tracey, her husband, and all of their family, as they mourn the loss of their loved one. Thanks!

  • My friend Emily is in need of prayers and praises. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:

    I need to share two things this morning. The good news first. I am the proud grandmother of Melissa’s little girl–Amapola Nava-born this morning at 3:22 am central and 4:22 eastern time. She has a healthy set of lungs. Marco called 20 minutes after she was born this morning.
    The other is a prayer need. My father, Walter Mohn, went into cardiac arrest yesterday afternoon at Walmart at Brier Creek. He was not breathing and had no pulse for over 20 minutes. The doctors induced a medical coma last night about 7:00 p.m. The will try to bring him out starting at 7:00 p.m. tonight. My father is 86 years old. I need your prayers. He is in critical care at Rex Hospital in Raleigh.

    Please pray for Emily’s Dad — for God’s Healing, Peace, Comfort, and Strength to descend upon him and all of his family. Please also pray for and give praise to God for the blessing of a new Grandbaby, and for Emily’s Dad, one of God’s Children. Thank you all for praying!

  • My friend Maureen has a prayer request. Here is what she wrote:

    Hi Mike:) Thank you for your Sunday posts! I am hoping in this new year that I can develop a deeper relationship with our Lord, learning to be more like him everyday. Can I please send in a couple prayer requests? 1) for my marriage- that the Lord works within it to renew both myself and my husband and bringing us together in him and how he meant for marriage to be. 2) Very close friends (more like family) The husband (Bobby) found out New Year’s Eve that he has pancreatic cancer (stage4). We did get very hopeful news from the Dr. but without Christ there is no hope. Prayers of healing, glory to God, peace amongst family members and any other prayers you can think of :) Thank you again for your work in and through our Lord :) ~Maureen

    Here is my response:
    Maureen, my prayers for you are that you realize that deeper walk with God. Of course we’ll pray for your marriage, and for Bobby and his pancreatic cancer. My Grandfather, who died on his birthday at the age of 98, had stage 4 pancreatic cancer — and survived it and went on to live at least 10 more years after — so as cruel a cancer as pancreatic cancer can be, it can be beat. I’ll pray boldly for Healing, for Peace, for Strength, both for Bobby and for all of you and his family, and for Comfort as he undergoes treatment.

  • Lastly, please pray for Coach Smith and his family, and for all of the other families that suffer from such a debilitating disease.  Please pray for their Peace, that they still see the smile, still experience the man or woman that they knew before, and that they remember that person as they were and not as they now are.

Now, please pray with me the prayer that Jesus taught us to pray:

Our Father, who art in Heaven,
Hallowed by thy name.
Thy Kingdom come, Thy Will be done,
On earth as it is in Heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,
And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us.
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the Kingdom, and the Power, and the Glory forever and ever.