Blogging over at A Disney Mom’s Thoughts!

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Today, my friends, I’m joining my good friend Beth over at her site, as we talk about what it’s like to visit and stay at the Grand Floridian Resort & Spa.  I was lucky enough to be able to do so a couple of years ago, and wrote my thoughts down for Beth to share with her readers!  In the post, you’ll see some of the following:

  • Pictures of the room we stayed in.
  • Pictures of the lobby.
  • Pictures of the exterior of the building.
  • Links over to the official Disney page.

To access the post, please click on the image to head over to the post, or on the link below.

Thanks for stopping by, I’ll see you on the flip side over at A Disney Mom’s Thoughts!

Prayers for the Week – A New Year

 

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Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week! Happy New Year, everyone! 2014 is now gone, and 2015 has come on strong. I hope that you have a wonderful year, full of Peace, Love, Happiness, Joy, Success, but most of all, full of the Love that God has for us.

With the turning of the calendar, it is only right, at least in my mind, that we take stock of where we are in our lives.  For me, 2014 was a fairly good year, but there are many things I didn’t finish that I hope to accomplish in 2015.  More importantly, though, the turning of the year gives us a chance to take stock at where we are Spiritually in our walk with God.  Are we on the narrow road or the wide road, are with walking with God, or is God wondering where we are?  All of these questions are ones that we should look at now, and if we are traveling the wrong path, now is a great time to make a change so that we can enjoy a more meaningful, close relationship with our Lord and Savior.  The Bible verse I’ve selected today seems very appropriate for today:

17Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come. ~ 2 Corinthians 5:17 (ESV)

Are you in Christ, as Paul writes?  If you are in Christ, you are a new creation.  If you are in Christ, then your life has changed, your old self is gone, and the new you is totally different from the old you.  This does  not mean that you are now perfect, that you never make mistakes, that you never stray from the path that Jesus walks.  However, what it does mean is that you recognize when you stray, you recognize that you have sinned, and you ask God to forgive you when you do sin.  The longer you have been in Christ, the worse it feels when you do sin, at least for me.  When I sin, immediately I feel an overpowering emotion — guilt.  When I sin, I realize that I have just turned my back on God, that I have decided to walk my own path, that I have made a decision that God’s Sacrifice — His ultimate Sacrifice — just didn’t matter at this time.  When that happens, the guilt of my sin hits me, and I immediately ask God to forgive me.

If you are not sure you are in Christ, or if you know you are not in Christ — that is, if Christ doesn’t live on in your heart in the form of the Holy Spirit — there are things that you can do to change that.  First of all, you need to ask yourself, do I want Christ in my life?  Do I believe in God, and more importantly, do I believe that God sent His Son Jesus to earth, and that His Son died for my sins?  Do I even think that I sin, do I recognize it when I do?

Before I turned to God, I would be hard pressed to admit that I recognized when I did sin.  Sure, I knew that it was wrong to curse, wrong to swear, that sort of thing, but did I think of it as sinning when I did it?  I don’t remember, now, to be honest.  I expect that at some level, deep down, I did know that — because how many of us look around the room before we say a curse word to make sure a young child doesn’t hear it.  Our thought is, that child shouldn’t hear those words — well, my friends, I’ve got news for you — none of us should hear those words…

The Sinner’s Prayer

If you want to be saved, if you know that you have never been saved, there is a prayer that you can pray. It is known as the Sinner’s Prayer, or the Prayer of Salvation. This prayer is not the only prayer that you can pray to be saved, but it is a good one. If you want to pray this prayer, follow along with the words below:

Dear God in heaven, I come to you in the name of Jesus. I acknowledge to You that I am a sinner, and I am sorry for my sins and the life that I have lived; I need your forgiveness.

I believe that your only begotten Son Jesus Christ shed His precious blood on the cross at Calvary and died for my sins, and I am now willing to turn from my sin.

You said in Your Holy Word, Romans 10:9 that if we confess the Lord our God and believe in our hearts that God raised Jesus from the dead, we shall be saved.

Right now I confess Jesus as the Lord of my soul. With my heart, I believe that God raised Jesus from the dead. This very moment I accept Jesus Christ as my own personal Savior and according to His Word, right now I am saved.

Thank you Jesus for your unlimited grace which has saved me from my sins. I thank you Jesus that your grace never leads to license, but rather it always leads to repentance. Therefore Lord Jesus transform my life so that I may bring glory and honor to you alone and not to myself.

Thank you Jesus for dying for me and giving me eternal life.
Amen.

That’s all there is to it.  If you prayed that prayer, and you believe it in your heart, and you prayed it with all of you heart and soul, then you are saved.  If you did this today for the very first time, please let us know.  Nothing gives a Christian more joy than knowing that a new Brother and Sister in Christ has joined our ranks, so let us know in the comments if you are.  Now, please read our prayer requests, and pray for those that need our prayers.

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friend Chelsea had a prayer request for her husband’s Grandpa.  Here is what she wrote:Thank you all for your prayers for Wyatt’s Grandpa the surgery went well!
  • My friend Carrie had a prayer request and a praise.  Here is what she wrote on Facebook:We made it home! Now pray for Kev as he drives to Plainview for the night shift! It is endless!
    His Dad made a turn-around, he is a living miracle! Thank you so much for the prayers.
  • Lastly, please pray with us as we lift up the families of those that were involved in the wreck of Air Asia.  Please pray for their Peace, their Strength, and their Love as they strive to deal with all of the grief and turmoil in their lives.  Please pray that God would be with them all in their time of need.

Now, please pray one last prayer — the prayer that Jesus taught His Disciples 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.

2014

2014 In Pictures!

2014

Happy New Year, everyone!  On this, the last day of 2014, I am taking a moment to share with you some of my favorite memories from the year — in picture format!  If you like looking at Disney photos like I do, this post is absolutely for you!  Have a peek, and thanks!  As always, a big thank you goes out to all of you for stopping by, for reading, for sharing, for commenting, and for choosing My Dreams of Disney as one of your places to go for your Disney fix.  Now, here is our Year In Review.  I hope you enjoy!  All of the images you see below are configured so that if you click on the picture, it will open the post that the picture is from.

Anna

January saw us looking fondly at loved ones that we had recently lost — in our case, Cindy’s Uncle Bob. Suddenly, the question “Do you want to build a snowman?” took on more meaning…


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In February, we had a post about our favorite Disney memories. In this case, we were looking at our favorite Disney memories from 2011!


In March, we started our 100 Days til Disney countdown – our look at 100 things we wanted to explore on our upcoming trip.


In April, I wrote one of my favorite Magical Blogorail posts — a comparison between New Orleans Square and Liberty Square, and which one I like best.


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In May, one of the things we counted down on was ways that we can celebrate Disney Magic.


Festival of the Lion King

In June, Sophie wrote a post about a special Circle of Life video that her band class did near the end of school. Have a look, and enjoy!


Disney Music Monday

In July, we started a short lived series called #DisneyMusicMonday, with a look at the incredible Julie Andrews and the music of Mary Poppins.


Robin Williams

In August, we, along with the rest of the world, mourned the loss of Robin Williams, who was the Genie in Aladdin.


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In September, we wrote about the ways that Disney can help us deal with grief for the Magical Blogorail.


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In October, we hit a bit of a blogging rut — the words just wouldn’t come out of the keyboard! Despite that, we wrote about education at Liberty Square for the Magical Blogorail.


Happy Birthday Mickey

In November, we celebrated the birthday of our favorite Mouse couple — Mickey & Minnie!


Walt-Disney

We started off December by remembering Walt Disney, who was born on December 5th, 1901.

Pirates

We continued the month by writing about 5 facts about the Pirates of the Caribbean that will impress your friends!

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Lastly, we wrote about how Pixar short films (and Disney ones, too) are the best thing since sliced bread!


I hope that our year in Pictures has brought enjoyment to you, and a good reflection on some of the things that we have done this year.  It has been a full year, full of joy, fun, laughter, exciting Disney memories, and wonder, but there has also been sadness.  My prayer for each and every one of you is that this year is better now than it was when the year started, and that your 2015 is full of happiness, joy, Peace, wonder, prosperity, and love.  Please be safe if you are traveling, and remember, if you enjoy some adult beverages, please do not drink and drive.

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving – Where does Your Heart Reside?

Thanksgiving

My heart lies with Cindy and Sophie this Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!  I hope that you all have a wonderful day — for those of you that have to work, my thoughts go out to you specifically, and hope that you have time to celebrate being with your family before your shift starts.

Thanksgiving is, after all, about family, at least it is in my mind.  It’s about remembering what you are thankful for, and for remembering those memories you have from days gone by and creating new memories as well.  That’s why I posed the title of my post the way I did — where does your heart reside on this Thanksgiving day?

Does it reside with your loved ones, thinking about those that you are with, and those that you aren’t, irregardless of whether you are seeing them or not?  Or is your heart all “pitter-patter” over the thought of getting out on Thanksgiving day and shopping?

Is your heart turning towards Christmas, and remembering what the season is really, truly, all about, or is your heart yearning for the latest gadget or game, jewel, or something else that is tickling your fancy?

Is your heart longing for times gone by, for people no longer here, for memories that live on in your heart and soul, for tears shed for those gone, or is Thanksgiving just another day on the calendar for you?

Thanksgiving

Sophie reading to her Poppy on Thanksgiving Day, 2008.

Does your heart remember the memories of Thanksgiving Days that are in the rear view mirror?  I was in the grocery store with my wife the other night; we were buying the things we’re going to need for our dinner on Thursday.  This year, it’s only going to be the three of us, Cindy, Sophie and myself.  Cindy has to work on Friday and Saturday, and I have to work on Sunday, so any hope of going anywhere for the weekend is out the window.

So here we are in the grocery story, and all of a sudden, I was struck with remembering the time when my Grandpa was at our house, and on Thanksgiving morning, he and Sophie were reading together.  Mind you, my Grandpa’s eyesight by this time had gotten pretty bad, and he needed a magnifying glass to read the words, so Sophie (she was seven in this picture) was reading the story to him.

Just thinking about it, I was struck by how much I missed my Grandpa and Grandma.  They are both in Heaven now, and have no cares, and for the most part I’m good with the memories.  But that day, in the grocery store, it was all I could do to keep from crying in the Produce Aisle.

I’ve started playing Christmas Carols in the car.  I do this before Thanksgiving not because I’m bypassing Thanksgiving, but rather because the Thanksgiving holiday is the start of the most wonderful time of the year for me — the Advent and Christmas season.  It has been a hard year for many of us, so my thought was that I would start the season early by listening to the music I love to hear during this time of year.

Today’s selection of music was the story “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!”, the wonderful tale by Dr. Seuss about a grinch who thinks that taking all of the things from the Who’s will result in no Christmas.  I’m sure you all know the story, and you know that at the end, despite the fact that all of their possessions have been taken, the Who’s still gather around and sing songs celebrating Christmas.  It was at this moment in the story that the Grinch learned something very important:

Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn’t before. Maybe Christmas, he thought… doesn’t come from a store. Maybe Christmas, perhaps… means a little bit more!

My wish for this Thanksgiving is simple.  My wish is that the Macy’s, the Belk’s, all of the stores that think they need to open on Thanksgiving Day, and deprive so many people of time with their families…my wish is that they would be like the Grinch, who saw his heart grow three sizes that day, and that they would change their minds and not open on Thanksgiving.  I know that this is a pipe dream, that it isn’t going to happen unless we all stay home, and maybe not even then.  But I’m going to wish for it, I’m going to pray for it, and I’m going to hope for it, and if it doesn’t happen this year, than maybe it will in the years to come.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone.  May the day see you celebrate the way that you choose, that you be near those you love, whether they be family or not, that you be able to enjoy the day the way it is meant to be enjoyed — by remembering all that you are thankful for, and being with those you love.  Try to remember that, at the end of the day, all we are left with are those memories, the things that stick with us when others are gone.  Create the memories today that you’ll want to remember tomorrow, and cherish those memories, because they are precious and worth more than any other sale could be.

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…

Disneyland Park - Fantasyland …and all through the house, not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse (we don’t even have mice!) :)

Today is a big day for all of us in our house!  In about 20 minutes my daughter Sophie and I will be heading off to Edenton Street UMC to take part in one of their annual Christmas Eve Family services.  I’ll be ushering the 3PM service, and Sophie will play a roll as well!  She will either be one of the Heavenly Host, or one of the Wise Persons, or maybe even one of the Shepherds, but I don’t know which one yet!

Then, tonight, our family will be heading back to Church for the 11PM Christmas Eve Service!  We have never been to this service before, and not only will we be there, but Sophie is going to be one of the Acolytes for the service, which includes Communion during the service.

All of this is our way of bringing praise and glory to Jesus, the real reason for our season!  So then, why do I have a picture of Sleeping Beauty Castle at the top of the post, you might ask?

Well, I have it on good authority that one of the presents under our tree this year is information about our trip to Disneyland in the summer!  So, while nary a creature may be stirring in the classic tale of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas…” — you can bet your bottom dollar that this writer is extremely excited about tomorrow and Christmas day!

From all of us at My Dreams of Disney, we would like to wish you a very Merry Christmas, and hope that the real reason for the season shines out loud and clear in your house, and around the world!  Merry Christmas!