Prayers for the Week – Remembering Dustin

Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with the Pickel and Doda families.

Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with the Pickel and Doda families.

Hello my friends, and thank you for joining us in our prayers for the week post.  Today we are remembering a young man, not quite four years old, who was lost to a severe form of childhood cancer this week.  His name is Dustin, and we rejoice in knowing that he is no longer in pain, no longer suffers, and as his mom, Kelly, wrote, is now CANCER FREE!  However, his passing has left a great big gaping whole in the hearts of his parents, his brothers, his aunt and uncle and cousins and every other family member.  We have been praying for our buddy Dustin and his family for 20 months now, and at this stage, our prayers now shift to just his family, for God’s Peace, Comfort, and Strength to descend upon this family in their severe time of need.  God’s hand has been on this family all this time, I believe, and it is obvious to me because of how many people have rallied behind Dustin and prayed for him.  God has spread His Word through Dustin, and that young man — well, that young man has a beautiful crown on his head this very day.

My friends, this has been a hard week for so many, so please remember Dustin, remember his family, and please, read the rest of these prayer requests and praises, and remember them as well in your prayers.  If you have any prayer requests that you would like for us to pray for you, please leave them in the comments, or on Facebook, or email them to me, something, somehow, someway — leave them so that we can pray for you.  Thank you everyone.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • Our first prayer request is for my friend Joyce, who has had a horrifying experience happen to her family.  Here is what she wrote on Facebook:

    my beautiful great Aunt Ruby was murdered last night. someone broke into her home and shot her. our family needs prayers and love at this time

    Please pray for their Peace, Strength, and that whomever did this to her Aunt would be found and brought to justice. We live in such a fallen world — this is just one more example of that. Thank you for your prayers.

    • Yesterday was the funeral for her Aunt Ruby. Please lift them all up in prayer for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and understanding to descend upon them in this time of sorrow and tragedy.
  • Yesterday was the Celebration of Life for Dustin.  At that time, I wrote this request.  Please pray for the family of my dear friend Beth, for her brother Jeff and his wife Kelly, and for all of their families as they Celebrate the Life of Dustin today. I know that he is in a better place, but the tears — well, the tears of that family and of all of us are real and it hurts. May Jeff and Kelly know God’s Peace and realize in time how blessed they are to have a child that touched the lives of so many people that they have never even met.
    • In addition to our prayer requests here, I’m adding in some of the comments to a special Magical Blogorail post we wrote in honor of Dustin.  Here is what one of my friends wrote:  With a very heavy heart I lift up the wonderful life of Dustin.  To my friend Beth and her family, know I”m praying and praying hard for each of you.  May God be with you in the coming days, weeks, months and years.  Love to you all.
    • My friend Donna wrote: So teriibly sad to lose this beautiful light.  Beth, your Magical Blogorail family holds you tight.
    • My sister Robin also commented — here is what she wrote: There are no words… praying God’s comfort for all of you.
    • Another friend Donna wrote also: Beth, my heart is broken for Jeff and Kelly, as well as your entire family.  Please know we are all here for you if you need anything at all.  {hugs} Thanks for putting this into words for all of us Mike.  Beautifully written. 
    • Magical Blogorail reader Alison wrote her thoughts also: So sorry for you loss.  Thinking of you and yours here in Georgia.  
    • Lastly, I put into words as best I could what I was thinking: It was my honor to be able to put my thoughts into word for this post.  Having a 12 year old daughter, and seeing the struggles that she went through at birth was hard — but I can’t imagine what our life would be like without Sophie in it.  Cindy and I and all of our family grieve with the Pickel and Doda families today, and send our love across the miles to them.
  • In addition to Dustin and Ruby, we also have a lot of prayers to lift up for the people that were on the plane that crashed in Asia.  I confess that I don’t know all that much about it, but there were a lot of lives lost, and today I’m praying for the families left behind, for the salvation of those that were on the plane, and for God’s Peace, Comfort, and Strength to descend upon all of the families and friends.  It is a devastating thing to lose a loved one so quickly and unexpectedly, and I can’t imagine the grief that is going through those families.
  • My friend Stephanie wrote about her husband’s grandfather on our Facebook page last week — we had included him in our prayer request post last week.  Here is what she wrote:  Hi Mike! I just wanted to let you know that my husband’s grandfather passed away this morning. Although we mourn his passing, we find comfort in knowing that he is with the Lord and happy to be reunited with the love of his life. Thank you for your prayers!  Please be with Stephanie and all her family as they mourn her husband’s grandfather’s passing.  They are taking comfort in knowing he is with our Lord, but it still hurts them, so lift them up this week please.
  • We do have a praise today!  It’s not all tears and broken hearts.  Yesterday we went to my wife’s niece’s wedding!  It was a lovely ceremony on the shores of the Bay River, and it was a glorious day after all the winter weather earlier in the week, and we all had a great time.  Congratulations to Sarah and Michael, and may they have many years of love, happiness, and wedded bliss!
  • Also, last week Sophie came down with the flu, and was down and out for much of the week.  However, her fever broke on Wednesday night, and on Thursday it was gone also, so she was able to go back to school on Friday!  Thank you for those that prayed for her, they helped a great deal.
  • Lastly, I ask that you pray for all the unknown prayer requests — for those requests that we don’t know about.  We know, though, that God knows them all, so we pray for them so that He would hear our prayers.

Each week I come to you with the prayer requests that I have heard and been asked to pray for, and each week you do so faithfully.  For that, my brothers and sisters in Christ, I am grateful.  Thank you for keeping this going, for praying for each of these requests, for lifting up these praises, and for turning our cares and worries over to the Lord so that He would do His Will with them.  Thank you, my friends, and thank you, Lord, for hearing our prayers.  We close with the Lord’s Prayer:

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 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. Amen.

Prayers for the Week – Doing our Best

In the end, the things you do are between you and God.

In the end, the things you do are between you and God.

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  Today I wanted to touch a little bit about putting your best effort.  There are so many issues with our country, our world, perhaps even ourselves, that I wanted to try and dive down into what the root of the problem may be…

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Prayers for the Week – Grief



Hello everyone, welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  In what seems to be the norm these days, there is a lot of grief and sorrow in the world today.  So many things that need to be lifted up to God, but before we do that, I want to direct your attention to the scripture found in this week’s image from Psalms 88: 1-2 (NIV):

“Lord, you are the God who saves me; day and night I cry out to you.  May my prayer come before you; turn your ear to my cry.”

If you take the time to read the entire Psalm 88, you will see that it that God has totally forsaken the writer.  This whole Psalm is one of sorrow; so why am I focusing on it?  Because, despite the trials and tribulations that seem to be happening, we know that if we put our Faith and Trust in God, He will deliver us.  There are so many places that He promises us that He will be there for us, but to me, one of my favorite verses of the Bible is to be found in John’s Gospel, chapter 16, verse 33:

“I have told you these things so that you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world!” ~ Jesus, as He said to the Disciples prior to his betrayal.

My friends, there is so much grief and anguish in the world, in many ways, the only thing that I know of to do is turn to God; give Him your all; ask Him what His Will is for you, and follow it.  If you don’t know God, please let me know.  There are people that can help you know Him so that He can know you!

Prayer Requests

  •  Russell left a prayer request for us last Sunday; here is what he wrote:  “Please say a prayer for me. I have Parkinsonism now I was told I have a deep Brain tumor. Tomorrow I will be seeing my Neurogist and a Brain Surgeon.”This was my reply to Russell, please pray along with me:Lord, your servant Russell has health problems, that you know all about. Please Lord, if it is in your Will, please heal Russell of all of his afflictions; also, please guide the hands of his medical team as he deals with all of these conditions. Lord, we also pray for Russell’s family — please help them in their sorrow and worry, keep them close, allow them to help Russell, and grant the whole family Peace, Comfort, and the Strength to deal with this and to help Russell through these ordeals. Lord, while his body may be suffering, please keep his Faith strong, and his Mind sharp, so that the can give as much time as possible to You and Your Word, and use him as a shining example of the Glory of God. It is in the name of your Son Jesus that we pray with Thanksgiving! Amen.”
  • Please pray for the family of my friend Mary; her son was lost last night to Pancreatic Cancer after a 2 year battle. Pray for their family, for his wife, for all of them to have God’s Peace in their time of grief, and pray for their comfort and strength as the pick up the pieces that we call life. Thanks everyone!
  • Please pray for my friend Dave and his family; their dog Annie passed away after 13 years.  Here is what Dave wrote: “Our sweet Annie dog after 13 years with the family went gently to doggy heaven in my lap tonight. She was the best dog ever, brave, loyal, true, sweet, friendly, loving and calm.”
  • Also, my cousin Beth went with one of her friends as she had to lay her dog down; please be with her also.  I don’t know Beth’s friends name, but God does, and He will be with her.
  • Please also pray with me regarding all of the killings that we have been reading about that involve teenagers doing the killing.  In my opinion, this is further evidence that our world is fallen, and even more of a reason to make sure you know Jesus and that He knows you!
  • Lastly, please pray for all of our unknown prayer requests; those requests that we haven’t been told about.  There are millions of them out there, so please pray for them as well!


  • We have now had Regan for one week, and he has really done well in his fur-ever home!  Praises to God for him in our lives, he truly is a Gentle Giant!
  • This prayers for the week post is a small ministry of mine, and I don’t do it for any accolades at all.  However, I would like to give praise to Stephanie, who wrote last week:“I just wanted to let you know how much I enjoy reading your prayers every week. While I read your prayers, I say my own prayers for family, friends, and people in my community. God Bless!!
  • Lastly, a special thanks and praise to all of my family and friends, wherever they are!  I have so many, in that regard I am such a blessed man!

As always, this prayer post is for you — if you have any prayer requests, please share them with us so we can pray over you!  Thank you for reading and praying for these prayer requests!

“May God Bless You and keep you.

May the Lord make His face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you.

May the Lord lift up His Countenance upon you, and give you Peace.”

Blogs to Check Out – A Disney Mom’s Thoughts!

As we continue on with our series, I’m bringing to you some blogs that you might want to take a look at. I am both proud and honored to be affiliated with both the great writers of Chip & Company, and the incredible group that is known as the Magical Blogorail, and in this small way, I hope to be able to say thanks to those bloggers that have helped to make me the blogger that I am. Next on our list is my friend Beth’s blog, A Disney Mom’s Thoughts

A Disney Moms Thoughts

{Editor’s Note: This post originally ran September 21, 2011.  This is a special Saturday Flashback!  Enjoy!}

My friend Beth is the creator of “A Disney Mom’s Thoughts”, and a member of the Magical Blogorail Green line, which is quite ironic, given that her last name is Green!  Almost makes me think that it is her line (just kidding!)

Beth’s site is full of energy, starting with her background, and continuing into her writing — she is a Mom, and as such, is full of great ideas on how to go about planning for your Disney trip (and ensuring that your house is safe in the process!)  One of the things that I like about her blog is her spotlight series, “Stars Fell on Alabama”, in which she gives interviews of various Disney people that are located in her home state.  If you want to read more about this series, click on the button below!

A Disney Mom’s Thoughts

Beth’s site is a great Disney site, and if you are interested in reading more, go check it out!  I don’t think you will be disappointed! registered & protected

Welcome Back to My Dreams of Disney!

Welcome to the new and improved My Dreams of Disney site!  With the incredible help of my friend Jeff at Techallogy, the site has been transferred off of the Blogger platform, and onto a self-hosted WordPress site!  Today is the second birthday for My Dreams of Disney, and I would like to send a special thank you to each and every one of you for making our site one that you come to for your classic Disney Fix!  Over the past two years, I’ve had a lot of fun and made some great friends, so I thought I would give them a little blog love today:

  • Chip from Chip & Company — Chip took me on in November of 2010, and has become a great friend both inside and outside of the blogger world.  Chip & I are collaborating on a giveaway starting on Monday, so get ready to enter!
  • Beth from Pursuing the Magic — Beth is one of the best people I know, and is both the creator of Pursuing the Magic and the wildly successful Magical Blogorail!  She started the Magical Blogorail Red line in February, 2011, and I was one of the charter members for that line!  Thanks for including me, Beth, it’s been an incredible run!
  • Deb from Focused on the Magic — When it comes to photography skill, there aren’t many people out there that I think have the skills that Deb does!  Deb hosts the weekly series “Wordless Wednesday” and you have seen my work depicted on there numerous times!  Deb, I’ve got next week’s picture already in mind, even if it doesn’t match the theme!
  • Amanda from Disney’s Cheapskate Princess — Amanda is an incredible friend, and one that I have actually had the pleasure of meeting!  She is a lover of all things Disney, and her new blog, Disney’s Cheapskate Princess, is all about the best ways of saving your money to make it to Disney on a budget!
  • Natalie from Meet the Magic and The Disney Moms — Natalie is the creator of the site Meet the Magic, and used her persuasion skills to create The Disney Moms site, of which I am a member as well.  If you haven’t seen either of these sites, check them out, you won’t be sorry!
  • Jodi from Magical Mouse Schoolhouse — Jodi is an incredible friend, who happens to have a wildly popular site that focuses on activities that you and your homeschooled children can do at Disney to continue the learning outside of the classroom!  As she says on her blog (and in her new book, I might add!) “You can learn while you play when you discover that Disney IS school!”
  • Last, but certainly not least, I need to give a shout out to my incredibly dear friend Brenda from Ideally Disney.  Brenda is a terrific person, a Sister-in-Christ, and one that I love with all my heart.  We had the fortune to meet at Walt Disney World during the 40th Anniversary of Walt Disney World, and it is a meeting that I will never forget!  Brenda is also a Pixie Vacations Travel Agent, so look to her for your travel needs!
  • The list of names could go on for an hour, but I’ve got to go to work, so I’ll stop it here.  Just know that the Disney friends I’ve made are incredible, and ones that I treasure to this very day!

Of course, this site wouldn’t even be possible without the love and support of my wife Cindy and my daughter Sophie — they are Disney Fans just like me, and this morning Sophie asked if we could go on a Disney Cruise next year!  I’m not sure if that is in the works just yet, but it is certainly something to keep in mind!

That’s all I’ve got for now, thank you for hanging with us over the past two years, and for making My Dreams of Disney your Dreams of Disney also!