December 31, 2020
December 29, 2020
Karen Carpenter on Elvis Presley
During a 1977 KMPC radio interview to promote their album Passage, Richard and Karen Carpenter are asked about Elvis' influence and impact. While Richard's speaks of the artist's effect on popular music, Karen recounts above seeing him in concert and meeting him afterwards. Whether or not this is the same time as the now infamous meeting with he, Karen, and Petula Clark is unknown. (See here for details.)
December 28, 2020
December 27, 2020
December 25, 2020
Thank you for another year of reading the blog...
December 24, 2020
December 23, 2020
December 22, 2020
Yes, it's a beautiful work! Going back to the original designs for the park is sure to please. Those Imagineers knew what they were doing and created an iconic and visionary theme park. Today's Imagineers working on the current transformation have an assignment to do that fully meets the mandate of more of the things park fans love... in the Magic Kingdom. It's not their fault.
December 21, 2020
December 20, 2020
December 18, 2020
December 16, 2020
People were talking, making the entire matter much harder than it had to be. But you know how people are! They love to gossip and slander and make themselves look better than others. Soon the news was everywhere, and people were looking at her growing belly. Even her relatives felt the need to comment on the situation. One woman even told her she knew this would happen. Can you picture yourself saying that to someone? Wow! What is it with people? God had been so gracious to this older woman in her own shame, taking it away, but she had to open her mouth and say something. The young woman's response to her was very gracious. She believed even unplanned and unexpected events had a purpose. In an odd turn, the younger woman agreed to move in and help the older one who needed some special assistance. For three months, she stayed to help her. Imagine that!
Eventually, the couple both felt compelled to travel to his hometown. She was close to having the baby now. Flying wasn't an option, so they packed up their bags and took to the road. It was a long, hard trip. The countryside was beautiful, but then she went into labor. No one could help. She delivered the baby, and they did the best they could to keep him warm and safe.
There were folks living in the fields nearby who worked in animal sciences. They'd heard about what had happened from someone they didn't expect. Even under the circumstances, the news hit that this was something to be glad about.
"But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in strips of cloth and lying in a manger. Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praying God and saying, "Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests."
(From the accounts in the books of Matthew and Luke. Copyright Mark Taft.)
December 12, 2020
December 11, 2020
December 10, 2020
Don't get me wrong- I like the look. It's charming and so very different than anything else Disney Imagineering has done in the past. But it has a European flavor to it that doesn't capture the essence of California. The current Frank Lloyd Wright flair with its Craftsman focus is on target. Will we ever see another themed resort at Disneyland? My guess is not for many years.
December 9, 2020
December 7, 2020
December 6, 2020
December 1, 2020
Our goal as believers is to bring glory to God in the way we live and to be obedient to Him in all things. Our goal as parents is to train our children in the ways of the Lord and to see them own a very personal, life-changing relationship with God. From this relationship comes a desire to share His goodness and His message with those who don’t know Him. We can also encourage those who do know Him. Our children belong to the Lord. We are only the stewards. We want them well-prepared for wherever their journey may take them! They can trust Him and not be afraid.
Our goal with this devotional is to help your children understand that God Himself wishes to write His Story in their hearts. He wants them to invest their lives in a way that pleases Him and brings His glory to the nations. May they see God actively at work in their lives as they encounter Him, are changed by Him, and are used by Him.
Each Monday, I'll share another portion of the devotional so you can go one week at a time.
Here's some ideas to think through as you begin. Week One follows. May God bless you and your family!
- 1. Take time to read through this devotional before you go through it with your children. This will give you a chance to pray for them in preparation of your time together.
- 2. Make this time doable. Try to commit to a family devotional time, perhaps three times per ten days. Decide on a practical time. Avoid setting yourself up for failure. Adjust it as necessary so they enjoy the time, but also expect some “pushback”. If you miss a time, just pick another! Remember, it’s about the relationship not the accomplishment. Guard against discouragement if it doesn’t go well, and be sure to guard against pride if it does.
- 3. Keep this devotional on the dinner table. Explain to your kids why the book is there. Someone is bound to remember.
- 4. Talk about the ideas shared as your read God’s Word. Check for understanding by asking good questions and by explaining words that can sound confusing. Next, talk about ways to apply what has been read. Knowledge of the Bible is empty and meaningless unless we do what it says (James 1:22-25). Remember, this isn’t school. It’s a chance to grow in your relationship with your kids as you all grow closer to the Lord.
- 5. Model praying for your kids, speaking simply and using words easy for them to understand. It will be easier for them to pray from their heart if they hear you do this.
- 6. Try a family worship time. Child friendly songs don’t need to be childlike, they just need easy to understand lyrics. Train your child to express love to God and not just sing songs about Him. This is part of them growing in a real relationship with Our Creator. After your worship time, explain phrases they may not understand or interpret differently, i.e. what does “God reigns” mean?
- 7. If you have older children, allow them to share the responsibility of reading the verses. Leading them to Him is the goal. Explain any difficult words.
- 8. Before you move to the next section of the devotional, take a bit of time to talk about what you’ve already covered. Check for understanding in a conversational manner.
9. As they grow in understanding and application of God’s Word, expect them to get excited about their relationship with our Living God. This overflow from their heart will lead then to share Him with others.
“Have I not commanded you?
Be strong and courageous.
Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you
wherever you go.”
December 1 – 10 “I am the servant of the Lord”
Time of Praise and Thanksgiving
Read Isaiah 9:1-7 together.
Paraphrase or use only verses 6 and 7 if your children are very young.
Next, read Luke 1:26-38 together. Paraphrase the story or use only verses 26-33 if appropriate.
Points for consideration:
· God wants a personal relationship with His kids!
· He desires to involve us in His plans, and He hears the prayers of his children.
· Obedience to Him in key to pleasing Him. The results of being obedient may surprise us!
Lead the children to praise and thank Him for Who He Is and to thank Him for His Love.
An example of their praise might be, “Father, I praise you for sending Jesus to us!”
or “God, thank you that you will rule forever as King! There is no one else like you!”
Time of Prayer
Reread Luke 1:37-38.
Points for consideration:
· If God tells us He will do something, nothing is impossible for Him!
· God’s plan may not have been her plan, but Mary submitted to His Plan and trusted Him with her life. This brought God glory!
Ask your children how they think God could use them. Encourage them to think creatively. What other people do they know who have lives that look very different from most Americans? What do they notice? Are they willing to live their lives as He leads them? How are their lives bringing Him glory now? Discuss what this means.
Pray together. Encourage them to pray from their hearts rather than what they think might please you.
(Devotional copyright Mark Taft.)
November 27, 2020
November 26, 2020
Henri Nouwen, writer and Catholic priest