Tag Archives: Disney

Our Magic Moment came at a price

It was our last day at Disney World. We had gotten to the Magic Kingdom at 10:00 am and it was 10:25 pm. We were spent… but wanted to squeeze in one more ride.

When we got to the ride the sign said there was a 40 minute wait. The park was only open for another 35 minutes so we couldn’t use a Fast Pass.

As we stood there talking about what to do an older gentleman who works at Disney came out to chat with us. Learning of our dilemma he told us we only needed to know two words – Magic Moment.

After a bit more chit-chat he took us to the Fast Pass line and sent us through with instructions to tell the ride attendant those two special words.

As we stood there waiting to board the ride Eli said, “You just had your Magic Moment.” He explained that those who work in the parks try to give out special treats like that to help add an extra spark to your visit.

It was a great way to end our fun-filled day at the Magic Kingdom. But I couldn’t help thinking about all those people who had been waiting in line before we got there. They were still waiting when we got on the ride.

Our Magic Moment came at a price.

Those of us who belong to the kingdom of God have freedom from sin and death. We have a new identity and a new lease on life. We have a restored relationship with God and the promise of an eternity with Him forever.

We did nothing to earn it.

We did nothing to deserve it.

It comes to us free, but it came at a price.

It cost Jesus His life.

What will we do with God’s gift today?
***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Christianity, Eternity, Forgiveness, Freedom, God, Grace, Heaven, Jesus, Kingdom of God, Love of God, Relationship with God, Sacrifice, Sin, Stewardship, Thankfulness

It’s sharing the journey that makes it worthwhile!

The last time Eli, our oldest, was with us on a family vacation it was the summer of 2008 – just prior to his senior year of high school. Since then his college and summer work schedule has made it impossible for him to join us. So being with him a couple of weeks ago at Disney World was extra special.

Eli and Goofy

He’s always been a good kid but the changes that happen between 17 and 21 years-of-age are significant. He is a sharp young man and yes I’m biased but I could provide you a long list of others who would agree.

Since he’s lived down there for several months now, working at Disney, it was like we were visiting his home turf and he loves being there. Eli wasn’t just with us he was delighting in showing us around and acted as our personal tour guide.

He wanted to make sure everyone was having a great time and he routinely asked everyone what their favorite part was so far. After some of the bigger events he would turn to me with eyes twinkling like a kid in a candy store and ask, “What’d you think, Dad?”

It was so fun watching him interact with his younger siblings and listening to what they most enjoyed. He even coaxed Brynden into riding Mount Everest – a backwards roller coaster, mostly in the dark – with the promise of a special Disney souvenir.

I didn’t have any one favorite activity, though the late evening “Wishes” event at the Magic Kingdom was breath-taking. For me, the best part was taking it all in with my family. None of it would have been as special without them and even small things were special because of them.

Whatever it is that’s happening, where ever it is you’re headed, it’s the people sharing the journey that make it special. Take time today to stop and appreciate them. Let them know how much they mean to you.

And thank you for sharing the journey of this blog! I appreciate it more than you know!

***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Children, Family, Fellowship, Friendship, Life in General, Parenting

Are we being real?

Look at the blue building in the picture below. Notice anything different about it? For starters, it’s not real. Disney is busy reconstructing the location so they put an elaborate canvas over the area so that it doesn’t stick out like a sore thumb.

I can appreciate that. Disney is working hard to create a whole different environment for you to experience and they don’t want this construction zone to distract from the atmosphere of the Magic Kingdom they are working hard to provide.

At Disney World, this is awesome!

At church, this is lethal!

Each of us is an unfinished work of art being reshaped and recrafted by our Maker until the day we go to be with Him. But doing life as a community of believers is part of the process.

When we cover it all up we are protecting ourselves from being judged or ridiculed; which unfortunately sometimes happens. But we also make it impossible for God to use other believers as part of the process of reshaping our lives to reflect the life of Jesus.

I’m not suggesting that we come to church tossing all our dirty laundry around. No one likes to be covered in someone else’s smelly stuff. But I am suggesting that we drop our mask of pretending that everything is OK and just fine.

Church should be the one place where we can experience a lavish abundance of God’s grace so that He can do whatever reshaping needs to be done.

As you gather this weekend, pray for your church family. Then leave your mask at home and go wearing the grace of God that you want others to share in. Lets…

Be the church and be real!

***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Authenticity, Brokenness, Church, God, Grace, involvement with the church, Morphing, Spiritual formation, Spiritual growth

It was worth the wait!

There we were, having stood in line for 25 minutes already, and it was our turn to go next… then they left. We were the next in line to meet Winnie-the-Pooh and Eeyore, but it was their time for a break. Arg!

(Warning: Spoiler – In reality, its only a 4-5 minute break because it’s a different team coming out to the meet and greet. Sorry if that spoiled any of the magic for you!)

So we kept our place in line and waited. But then we heard rumors that Tigger might be coming out too!

Now, just to be clear; Tigger is one of my all-time favorite characters and when people tease me about having  all manner of Tigger memorabilia blanketing my office I simply remind them that everyone needs a hero. I even had a dog named Tigger when I was growing up.

I don’t know if its his bounce, his laugh or his optimism; but Tigger has been a favorite for as long as I can remember. I have various sizes of stuffed Tiggers. One bounces. One sings. And one does both!

Other than a couple new ones which my family bought me, the rest are garage sale specials or second-hand stores deals.

So we waited, and he came! Tigger was in the house!

It was worth the wait!

God’s timing tends to work that way too. God seems to be on a different schedule or rhythm than me. I’m guessing you can relate.

I’ve seen the plaques and posters declaring that if we’re waiting on God it’s because He has something even better for us. But I’m not sure. I think it depends on how we define better.

If better means something I’ll enjoy even more, then no, that’s not always the case. But if better means a more complete fulfilling of God’s kingdom plans, then yes, I would agree.

Waiting, on this side of the grave, sometimes leads to something more enjoyable here and right now; but not always. Sometimes waiting is followed by heartache and tragedy.

  • Waiting for a medical test that comes back as bad news.
  • Waiting for that special someone to call or come back and make things right, but they don’t.
  • Waiting for that promotion or pay raise that will help make ends meet, but it doesn’t come.

Yet even when waiting doesn’t turn into something better here and now, God’s bigger kingdom purposes continue to unfold. That’s when we can wait with hope because of the glory that will be ours with Jesus in eternity beyond this life.

No matter what it is you’re waiting on God for, and no matter how it turns out…

It will be worth the wait!

***
© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Eternity, Glory of God, God, Hope, Kingdom of God, Patience

There is more going on!

In case you missed my blog from yesterday I mentioned sharing a series of posts based on our visit to Disney World last week. On our first day we visited Hollywood Studios – it’s all about the movies.

Movies in general are a great adventure into worlds unknown and full of wonder. From animated Disney favorites to screen classics of bygone eras.

One of the fascinating aspects of the different attractions is getting an inside peek at how they pull off spectacular stunts. You know… the hidden stuff that makes what we see on the big screen so amazing.

In the Extreme Stunt Show you witness breathtaking manuevers involving cars, motorcycles and falls from tall buildings. And there’s a visit from a real, live Lightening McQueen.

At one point in the show they pick a boy about 11 or 12-years-old to come out of the crowd and help by driving a stunt car using a remote control.

Can you imagine the excitement of that boy?!

After moving the car forward and backward a few times they have him spin it in a 360 degree circle. That’s when you notice a driver on the backside of the car. The boy wasn’t really in control.

That reality, that something more is going on than what we can see, is no where more true than with God.

When the prophet Elisha and his servant were surrounded by a hostile enemy Elisha prayed…

“’Open his eyes, Lord, so that he may see.’ Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.” ~ 2 Kings 6:17

What appeared to be a dead-end situation really wasn’t because God was active behind the scenes.

No matter what we are experiencing…

No matter what we encounter today…

No matter what we think we see…

…there is more going on!

The question is…

In the midst of our uncertainty and inability to see behind the scenes, will we trust God?
***

© Richard Alvey and iLife Journey, 2012. All rights reserved.

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Filed under Faith, God, Trusting God