God's Acre

Prayers for the Week – God’s Acre

God's Acre

1In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. 2The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. 4And God saw that the light was good. And God separated the light from the darkness. 5God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. 6And God said, “Let there be an expanse in the midst of the waters, and let it separate the waters from the waters.” 7And God made the expanse and separated the waters that were under the expanse from the waters that were above the expanse. And it was so. 8And God called the expanse Heaven. And there was evening and there was morning, the second day. 9And God said, “Let the waters under the heavens be gathered together into one place, and let the dry land appear.” And it was so. 10God called the dry land Earth, and the waters that were gathered together he called Seas. And God saw that it was good. 11And God said, “Let the earth sprout vegetation, plants yielding seed, and fruit trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind, on the earth.” And it was so. 12The earth brought forth vegetation, plants yielding seed according to their own kinds, and trees bearing fruit in which is their seed, each according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 13And there was evening and there was morning, the third day. 14And God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the day from the night. And let them be for signs and for seasons, and for days and years, 15and let them be lights in the expanse of the heavens to give light upon the earth.” And it was so. 16And God made the two great lights—the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night—and the stars. 17And God set them in the expanse of the heavens to give light on the earth, 18to rule over the day and over the night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good. 19And there was evening and there was morning, the fourth day. 20And God said, “Let the waters swarm with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the heavens.” 21So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 22And God blessed them, saying, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the waters in the seas, and let birds multiply on the earth.” 23And there was evening and there was morning, the fifth day. 24And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures according to their kinds—livestock and creeping things and beasts of the earth according to their kinds.” And it was so. 25And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. 26Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28And God blessed them. And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” 29And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food. 30And to every beast of the earth and to every bird of the heavens and to everything that creeps on the earth, everything that has the breath of life, I have given every green plant for food.” And it was so. 31And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. And there was evening and there was morning, the sixth day. ~ Genesis 1 (ESV)

Brothers and Sisters, welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  Yesterday, my wife Cindy and I spent the day in Old Salem, which is a historic Moravian village located in Winston-Salem, NC.  If you are ever in the area, I highly recommend that you spend some time there.  Yesterday was an absolutely incredible day to visit.  Hardly a cloud in the sky, low humidity, low crowds, and light, gentle breezes.  Yesterday was definitely the day the Lord had made, and Cindy and I rejoiced in it.

As we approached the cemetery known as God’s Acre, and wandered through it’s picturesque views of row upon row of tombstones, it kind of dawned on me once again that if you sit down and think about it, all of the world — all of God’s Creation is truly God’s Acre.  That is why I felt led to remind us all of the opening words to our Bible as found in Genesis chapter 1.

There are those in our world that do not believe that God exists, and will argue that point until they are blue in the face.  To them I say, how can God not exist with such beauty in His Creation?  Others claim that God has forsaken us, that He has turned His back on us.  What I say to you is that I do not believe that God turns His back to us — He is waiting for us to turn to Him once again.

Fortunately, from where I stand, it seems like more Americans are turning to God these days.  It used to be you only heard about the negative things — and that is certainly still true.  But now we are also hearing more about Christians being persecuted, and it seems like more people are willing to share their faith than before.  What do you think?  Is this the case?  Please let me know in the comments below, but please also continue reading and praying for our prayer requests and praises.

Prayer Requests & Praises

  • Linda starts us off with her prayer request: On Tuesday, my extremely healthy (never sick a day in her life) younger sister was admitted to the CCU with a racing heart, dizziness, and really high blood pressure. (Her pressure has always been almost abnormally LOW).
    They’ve done all sorts of tests, cardiac caths, MRI, etc. and can’t find a cause. She’s still having episodes, although not as bad as when she was originally admitted. Because they needed the room, they moved her last night from CCU to a telemetry bed where at least she is still being monitored.
    Prayers would be so appreciated that the doctors might be able to find a cause they can either treat … or that whatever is going on might pass.
    My mother, who is still dealing with the death of my father, has been so worried as well. So if you could also pray for peace and comfort for her, that too would be appreciated.
    Thank you.
  • My cousin Deb has a prayer request: Please pray for the chaos in our family to stop or for God’s grace to cover us and allow our test to be a testimony.
  • My cousin Barb (Deb’s sister) also has a prayer request: Please say a prayer for my husband, we get the results from his latest CT tomorrow to see if the chemo is still doing its job.
    • Please keep praying for Barb’s husband, the chemo is not working anymore and they are looking at other options now.
  • Leslie has a prayer request: Please pray for a friend of mine. Her husband is goimg through a rough patch dealing with his PTSD.
  • Lastly, huge praise for my cousin Beth on the birth of her baby!  Congratulations Beth!

Now, please pray with us the prayer that Jesus taught us 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 that trespass against us.

Lead us not into temptation
But deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the Kingdom, and Power, and Glory
Forever and ever. Amen.

Do you have a prayer request?  Leave it in our Facebook comment system below, or join our Facebook Group and leave it there.

Mother's Day

Magic Kingdom Mother’s Day Weekend Getaway

Welcome to this month’s Blogorail Peach Loop. Today we are sharing ideas for Mother’s Day Weekend Getaways.


Mother's Day

Welcome to this month’s Magical Blogorail Peach loop.  Today we are taking a look at Mother’s Day Weekend Getaways, and I’m focusing my attention on the Magic Kingdom!  Come join us and imagine a time when you can take your mother (or you can help your child take their mother) to the Magic Kingdom to celebrate their special day!

Mother’s Day is a special time, a time when all children should remember their mothers and celebrate all that they do for us. What better way to celebrate that than a special Mother’s Day Weekend Getaway to the Magic Kingdom!

In full disclosure, I have never been able to take my mother — and Sophie has never taken her mother — to the Magic Kingdom on Mother’s Day.  School schedule just never seem to cooperate with us in this regard, especially since we live in North Carolina.  However, our mothers do a lot for their children, day in and day out, and it seems good to me that we should celebrate our mothers each and every day.  If the day should come that we were to move to Florida, I think then we would make a special arrangement to visit the Magic Kingdom on Mother’s Day, but until then, we’ll spend our time remembering special trips Sophie and I have made with our mothers.

Taking Mom to the Magic Kingdom, August 2006

In 2006 when we were visiting my grandparents in Florida, Cindy and I decided we would take Sophie and my Mom Ellen to the Magic Kingdom for the day.  It was a fun trip, and was the first time that Mom had been there since my very first trip way back in the summer of 1979, twenty-seven years before.  It was a great day to be there, in essence, it was me taking my favorite 3 girls to the one place I like to visit more than any other place.

Mother's Day

In this photo, you see Sophie and Cindy enjoying a fun ride on the Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups.  I love this picture for the pure joy you see on their faces.  Although now, if Sophie rides it, she rides in a different one than Cindy and I do because we don’t like to spin really fast anymore and Sophie is all about that!

Mother's Day

In this photo, Sophie and my Mom Ellen are relaxing for a picture on Minnie’s couch back in the old Mickey’s Toontown Fair.  That land is sadly no more, but treasures like this one remind us of when we were there, and the land lives on in us through these photos.  I don’t know what ever became of Mickey’s and Minnie’s country homes or their furniture — I’d love to see them put back on display somewhere, wouldn’t you?

Mother's Day

Lastly, in this photo we see a picture of Mom, Sophie, and Cindy riding The Magic Carpets of Aladdin over in Adventureland.  I sat out this attraction and took my pictures from ground level.  Just three girls out enjoying a relaxing ride!

I guess the point I’m trying to make in this post is to remind each and every one of us — starting with myself — that life is precious, and we should celebrate our Mom each and every day.  Whether you celebrate her in your day to day excursions, or you celebrate her at special places like the Magic Kingdom, the point is to celebrate her, and surround her with the love that she deserves, day in and day out.

Have you ever taken your Mom to the Magic Kingdom for Mother’s Day? What did you enjoy most about that?  Let us know in the comments, please, and thanks for stopping by today!

For more Mother’s Day getaway ideas,
check out the other great posts from the Blogorail!


Here is the map of our Blogorail Peach | Mother’s Day Weekend Getaway’s

Six Years of My Dreams of Disney

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Today, my friends, marks the 6th anniversary of the date I started My Dreams of Disney.  Throughout the past six years, the site has seen some changes, and of late, posting has been less frequent than it was in the past.  However, devoting six years to any blog is, in my eyes, a big deal, and today, I want to spend the anniversary taking some time out to thank those that have been along for the ride and helped me along the way.

1) My Family

This blog would not have been possible at all without the support of my family.  You may remember that My Dreams of Disney started as a way for me to document the memories I had of trips to Disney, but when it took a life of it’s own, my wife Cindy and daughter Sophie were there for the ride with me.  In fact, Sophie is even one of the author’s on her spare time, and Cindy, well, Cindy is part-time cheerleader, part-time proofreader, part-time content generator, and full-time love of my life!  Add to that mix Stephanie and Shane and some of the content they have provided, and it becomes obvious that My Dreams of Disney is a family-run site!

2) The Blogorail

Outside of my family, one of the groups that I am most involved with is the Blogorail.  That group of bloggers from around the world is more than just a group I hang out with; they are an extended family.  Friends such as Heidi, Mary, Melissa, Rosanne, Becca, Lee, and countless others help me laugh, comfort me when I’m down, and support me in crazy hair-brained schemes day in and day out.  They are special to me, and if you haven’t seen their sites, go check them out and find out for yourself how special they really are.

3) Pixie Vacations

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In February 2013, Lisa and Steve Griswold, the owners of Pixie Vacations, hired me to be one of their part-time travel agents.  On that day, my love of all things Disney came full circle as I began helping families all around the country plan trips to their favorite place, Walt Disney World, Disneyland, and even the occasional Disney Cruise. Being a travel agent isn’t all roses all the time, but hearing about the memories that my clients have made on trips that I’ve helped them plan has more than made up for it, and I thank all of my Pixie Family, but especially Lisa and Steve, for giving me the opportunity to join their family.

4) Walt Disney

I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again; without the influence that Walt Disney brought to this world, this site — none of the countless Disney fan sites, in fact — would not exist, and as a result, it is to him that each and every one of us owes a debt of gratitude to.  I think perhaps two of my all time favorite posts are the one that finished our series “100 Days to Disneyland”, titled “It’s all about Walt” and my special post that my friend Didi allowed me to contribute for her 60 Days to 60 Years series titled “Happy Birthday Disneyland!” In each of these posts, they express what this site is all about in my eyes, at least — sharing our love of Disney and saying thanks to the man that started it all.  One of Walt Disney’s famous quotes is that it all started with a mouse, but in reality, that’s not true — the reality is that it all started with Walt Disney.

5) Chip and Company

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I would be remiss at this point if I did not take time to thank my friend Chip from Chip and Company for the help that he provided to me early on in my days as a blogger.  He was always a good friend to me, and while we don’t speak as much as we used to, I still consider him a friend, and hope he feels the same.  Life tends to get in the way sometimes, and that is the case here, but at the end of the day, I know that if I have any questions I can call on Chip for assistance, and he can do the same.  So, to Chip and all of the team at Chip and Company, I say thank you for the help over the years.

6) You, Our Friends

Lastly, my friends, but certainly not least by any stretch, I would like to take time to thank you for supporting us throughout the years.  It has been a great ride these six years, and while the blog was started as a way to document our memories of trips to Walt Disney World, it became something more because of the passion and excitement that you all contributed in your many comments, well wishes, questions, and even guest posts, and the blog became as much your site as it is ours.  I always said that My Dreams of Disney existed to help you make My Dreams of Disney into Your Dreams of Disney, and it has done just that!  So, my friends, thank you for joining us these past six years, and here’s to at least six more years of fun covering all things Disney and beyond!

 

 

 

Prayers for the Week – Psalm 139:14

Psalm 139-14

 

Hello everyone, and welcome to this week’s Prayers for the Week post.  For this week, we are focusing on the book of Psalms, specifically Psalm 139, and verse 14.  In this Psalm, which is attributed to King David, he is saying to God “Search Me, O God, and Know My Heart.”

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are Your works; my soul knows it very well.” ~ King David, Psalm 139:14 (ESV)

This past week, two distinct things happened that I want to talk with you about, and in both of them, I think that Psalm 139:14 is the perfect accompanying verse for them.  In the first event, my work saw our HR person retire after over 30 years of service with the State of North Carolina.  She is a wonderful person, full of honesty, but also full of a wonderful sense of what really matters.  My work is going through a huge change this year, and there is certainly a lot of uncertainty over the future of the organization.  Here are some of the words from my friend in her farewell email:

Please: take care of each other. Please: be kind to each other. Please: get each others’ backs. The mission that you share is uniquely special and many times, a difficult one. But, you do it so well. Well done. Well done. There is so much of which to be proud.

Those, my friends, are the words of someone that knows what is really important in this world.

This past Wednesday, I received an email from the Vietri Outlet Store (I’m on their mailing list).  Normally I just glance at those things, and then move on, but the subject of this email stopped me from doing so:

“Celebrate the life of Ray Daye”

In both a stunning loss, and a celebration of who they are as a company and what their employees mean to them, I learned that Mr. Daye was the Outlet Store Manager, and he had suddenly passed away in his sleep at the young age of just 43 years old.  The tragedy of that loss is sufficient enough that you don’t just archive the email, you give it some reflection because someone took the time to send it to all of us.  However, as I kept reading, I learned that the Hillsborough Outlet Store would be closed on Saturday, August 30th, all day, so that they can honor Mr. Daye at his funeral.

My friends, this is not flowers and a card sent on behalf of the company; this is the entire store — and the parent organization, also — acknowledging that there are times when the business just doesn’t matter at that moment, that there is something more worthwhile than dollars and cents.

In both cases, whether it be the retirement of a longtime employee or the decision made by a company, the focus remains the same and should serve to remind us that there are times when the same-old, same-old will not due.  Please remember that, and please pray with us for our prayer requests and praises.  Thanks!

Prayer Requests and Praises…

  • My friend Sylvia needs to prayers, please. Here is what she wrote on Facebook:My daddy was brought home yesterday from the rest home. Hospice and Ruth will be helping us with daddy. Today has been hard.
    So much of what’s going on reminds me of Joe. I just have to shut my eyes and breath to keep from crying. I really miss Joe so much!Please pray for Sylvia and her family, for God’s Peace, Comfort, and Strength to descend upon them. Thank you everyone!

    • Sylvia, her father, and her family are doing well.  He suffers from demensia, but he is home and with those he loves.
  • Big praise for my friend Margaret, who celebrated her retirement this past week!  Here’s a picture of Margaret and myself:

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  • Praise for the life and salvation of Mr. Ray Daye.  In addition, please pray for his wife Michelle, and all of his family and friends that love him and miss him.
  • Please pray for my friend Sheila and her friend Kitty.  Here is what Sheila wrote:
    Went to go see Miss J’s Grandma Kitty at the rehab center and something was not right with her. She was speaking gibirish and just not herself. Thank goodness the doctor agreed & she has been readmitted to hospital. Please pray for her.
  • Lastly, please pray for those requests that we don’t know about; pray for God’s Peace, Comfort, Strength, and Love to descend upon all of them, and pray that they would lift up their requests to God so that He may help them.

Now, please pray 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.

Country Bear Jamboree

85 Days: Country Bear Jamboree

Country Bear Jamboree

The Country Bear Jamboree is our choice for Day 85 in our #DisneyWorldCountdown.

Hello everyone, and welcome to today’s #DisneyWorldCountdown post!  For today, we are sitting at 85 days until our trip, and we are taking a look at the Country Bear Jamboree!  This is a down-home, good ol’ show full of country goodness!  I’ve written about this show before, and to this day, the story of Walt Disney and Marc Davis is both incredibly sad and eery at the same time.  For more details on that story, click on the link.

As for the Country Bear Jamboree, though, this is one of those shows that we don’t need to see every trip we go, but it is definitely one that I enjoy when we do see it.  There’s just something fun about those singing bears and how they keep the audience entertained.  Since this is a Disney World opening day attraction, it has earned my respect for being here for almost 43 years — that kind of staying power for a show performed by bears singing country and western music speaks for itself.  Here are a couple of shots of the bears that I’ve taken over the years — I hope you enjoy them!

Country Bear Jamboree

Big Al serenades us with his out-of-tune guitar.

Country Bear Jamboree

The Country Bear Jamboree bears perform together in their final song.

As I said, this isn’t an attraction that I need to see every trip — but with our friends from California joining us, and our friends from North Carolina joining us also, I think that this is one that we might check out.  Tell me, what do you think about the Country Bear Jamboree?  Love it, can’t stand it, can take it or leave it?  Let me know in the comments, please, and thanks for stopping by!