September 26, 2020

Bronzed Submarine Voyage Attraction Poster

This Disneyland's Submarine Voyage poster has a very unique look! With its burnished bronzes and olive toned greens, it certainly has the right look for Disneyland's Tomorrowland 1998 or even Disneyland Paris' Discoveryland. Think about the transformation of California's iconic Space Mountain. Gleaming white gave way to Jules Verne-is tones associated with steampunk...then back again. Where can you find this attraction poster? Chances are you have it in your bank of images. Just open it and invert the colors! I stumbled upon it by chance and loved the result!

September 24, 2020

Polynesian Resort Refresh- Will Old School Excellence Win Out?

New concept art! Here's the entrance to Disney's Polynesian Village Resort. Actually, the resort as a whole is getting a refresh of sorts. The monorail station will be housed by a more elegant looking structure, but it is truly what's inside that counts. 

Will Disney Imagineers or marketing win out? Will the only grand lobby return to lush waterfalls and island beauty- or will an infusion of Lilo and Stitch take over, as the company chooses to force more and more examples of Intellectual Property in places it doesn't belong. This Walt Disney World resort has long been my favorite, so I've watched it from one transition to the next. Hopefully, this case of "More Disney" means more charm. I guess we'll find out in the Summer of 2021.

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

September 21, 2020

First Look: Full Ride thru of Tokyo's Beauty and the Beast!

Here it is from Disneyphile. Enjoy this look at the Enchanted Tale of  Beauty and the Beast attraction from Tokyo Disneyland before it disappears!

(Shhh- It has a transformation scene just as spectacular as Jack Sparrow's in Shanghai Disneyland's Pirates of the Caribbean: Battle for the Sunken Treasure.)

The Serious Side of Karen Carpenter

This photograph of Richard and Karen Carpenter seems like one that has been used for their Lovelines disc in 1989. But look again. This one has a shot of Karen without a smile. Although it is a very nice shot, she looks much, much older than 30 or 31 when this photo was taken. By this point in time, anorexia had taken its toll on the much loved woman with the golden voice. There's a wedding ring, but her marriage to Tom Burris was not the great hit he promised it would be.

Photographer Norman Seef captured them at an interesting time in their careers and in their personal life.

As seen at the top of this article, the serious pose seems even more pronounced when viewed in black and white. Karen is looking into our souls even if we appear to be gazing right into hers. Richard is contemplative. It's a stark contrast to their sunny All-American image.

With 1981's lackluster sales and airplay of their comeback album Made in America, the duo was forging ahead. Something would connect for Carpenters. They'd had too many hits and too much of a worldwide fan base for it not to. But time was not on Karen's side...

(Photograph by Norman Seeff.)

September 20, 2020

Sunday Night at Caribbean Plaza

Here's one of the best nighttime shots of Pirates of the Caribbean at Walt Disney World's Magic Kingdom. The fortress entrance is one of the best landmarks to an attraction- definitely as imposing and beckoning as the gothic Haunted Mansion. Especially so in the evening!

The fun loving pirates are not found in New Orleans Square as it is at Disneyland. Here in Florida, it's in a subset of Adventureland, in the charming Caribbean Plaza. Once it was a lively place with splashing fountains and steel drum bands. Now, it's much quieter, but guests by the thousands can't resist the call to sail the seas!

(Photograph copyright The Walt Disney Company.) 

September 19, 2020

Mungkinkah Jakarta Menjadi Lokasi Disneyland Berikutnya?

Mungkinkah Jakarta menjadi lokasi Disneyland berikutnya? Di kota yang indah ini, taman hiburan yang dipenuhi dengan petualangan fantasi dan eksplorasi bisa sangat disambut. Itu mungkin tidak terjadi, tetapi kerajaan akan datang. Raja itu penuh dengan cinta:“Karena Tuhan begitu mencintai dunia, sehingga Dia memberikan Putra satu-satunya, sehingga siapa pun yang percaya kepadanya tidak akan binasa tetapi memiliki hidup yang kekal. Karena Tuhan tidak mengirimkan Putranya ke dunia untuk mengutuk dunia, tetapi agar dunia dapat diselamatkan melalui dia. " 

Alkitab, Yohanes pasal tiga, ayat enam belas dan tujuh belas.

September 18, 2020

Fountain of Nations at Epcot

Classic EPCOT Center. Will it ever return? In the meantime, take a look at this fairly rare piece of concept art. Yes, right behind the Fountain of Nations is the glistening glass of Communicore. Behind the walls were a series of exhibits that invited interaction and learning. In fact, all of Future World and World Showcase were once more than just entertaining. 

Entertainment and lots of liquor are now just the sad reality of Walt Disney World's once forward looking second park. The original Imagineers gave it a sense of elan that the newer ones under Bob Iger and Bob Chapek's management and philosophy just aren't allowed to bring back. 

As theme park enthusiast Kevin Yee (where is he?) once stated, it's a decline by degrees as epic adventures are exchanged for short term thrills and an ongoing character infusion. Without the slightest trace of learning and real culture in sight. In Epcot's case, it's a backslide of many degrees at once. 

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)


September 17, 2020

How Tokyo Disneyland Does Beauty and the Beast

Well, Tokyo Disneyland has released a series of photographs of their stunning new Enchanted Tale of Beauty and the Beast attraction. And it is just as incredible as the Imagineers could make it. Boy, is it depressing that the largest of all Disney resorts just gets a charming meet and greet and a high end restaurant. 

This seems to be just the way it goes. Oriental Land Company demands and pays for the best- and they get it. Every other park gets some version of the beloved Disney animated film, but nothing can compare to this.

These images make me sad and mad. Don't we American Disney park fans deserve better?

Yes, Ratatouille will be a lot of fun, and Epcot's World Showcase needs an attraction that is good and innovative. But don't you now wish the suits would have added this attraction to the France pavilion instead? I sure do!

Wanna see what Disney has done with Beauty and the Beast in their other resorts? Go here.

Should you eat at the very expensive Be Our Guest in Florida? Check out our Ditch or Dine review here?

(These photos are from various sources on the web, but they were found on the always great WDWMagic site.)

September 16, 2020

Captain America Shows His... Stuff

Chris Evans seems like a good guy. A real good guy. He helps a lot of people and is especially caring to children. I mean, who doesn't like Captain America? He was a hero before he was a hero. But it's not like he doesn't make mistakes. Chris mistakenly shared a photo of his penis on social media. My initial thought was "We all make mistakes." Yes, that's true. Then later on it hit me that I had become desensitized to a world where posting sex videos and other inappropriate material was now the norm. Wow. I mean, why would you even photograph your own genitals? It's time for it to stop. And it's time for everyone to think twice. "Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account." (Hebrews 4:13) God sees all and knows all and loves us- calling us to Him. If only we are willing to listen to Him and live in a way that pleases Him, we will never be ashamed. Hang in there, Chris. This too shall pass.

September 15, 2020

Disneyland's Highway in the Sky

Today is the day! Can't wait for this book on the Disneyland monorail! “The Disney Monorail: Imagineering a Highway in the Sky,” by Jeff Kurtti, Vanessa Hunt, and Paul Wolski. 

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

September 13, 2020

Control or Consent (Part Three)

In Part One of "Control or Consent?", we first discussed our desire to control our circumstances and then our image. In Part Two, we contrasted Christianity in the West with what God's view of how our faith in Jesus Christ should impact our lives. We've also looked at what the world says is the right way to live our lives. Now, let's slightly shift gears and look at what the Bible says is to be the view we hold of ourselves and others. Look at the Apostle Paul's letter to the new believers in Rome, starting at verses 3-5:

"3 For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

4 For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, 5 so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another."

It's an uncomfortable truth, but in order think more highly of ourselves, we have to think less of others! Ouch! We can fall into this easily! This view of people is in contrast to God who gives each person different roles and places in life but the same value! I'm not always successful at thinking more highly about others than myself, but I'd rather humble myself and change my attitude and actions than have God humble me.

Here's some good questions to think about:

   -   Can I train myself to give others the same kind of grace I give myself? I fall on my face often and don't want to live under my failures. Can I offer that to someone else?
   - Can I train myself to see people the way God sees them? Worthy of dignity and honor and respect?  
   -   Can I see people who don't know Jesus as God sees them? This can be difficult at times as Christians can be seen as the enemy or we can see them as an enemy. But the truth is no one will listen to a message about God's justice, love, and forgiveness,
 if we don't treat them with honor and respect.

Unfortunately, sometimes those of us in the church have the opposite problem! We think that God has failed us in the way He designed us and that we have no value! We may even think we are broken beyond repair and that He cannot use us His purposes. But that's not true! Why else would a powerful God send His Only Son Jesus to die on our behalf and in our place if we have no value or purpose. Hmmm...

We've now seen who we are and how God sees us and others. Let's keep reading in the book of Romans and continue onto verses 6 through 8.

"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness. " 

This is what we are called to! Use the gifts God has given us for the benefit of people we loves. (Also look at 1 Corinthians 12 and Ephesians 4 for additional lists of gifts God gives.) We are ambassadors of Jesus, making His appeal through us that others would be reconciled to Him. We are on a mission- and all of us are missionaries! We're all gifted differently for God's glory and His Holy Spirit gives us the power to use our gifts.

So, how are we to use our gifts? That's next up in verses 9-16. Paul doesn't miss a beat! :

"Let love be genuine. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. 

Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor.

Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. 

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. 

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. 

Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse them. 

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep. 

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be haughty, but associate with the lowly. Never be wise in your own sight."

I really have a problem with people who are phony! Our love for others has to be genuine. God defines what is good and evil. We do not. He is God and can do what He sees is best. Regardless of what we read or see in our world, God's standards are true and are the ones by which we will be judged. 

When we step out and use the gifts God has given us, we'd better be prepared for problems as well as words of thanks. We will go right up against people and ideas that don't appreciate we are bucking the stats quo. This happens inside and outside the church. But if we are doing what God has called us to, He is pleased- and that is the bottom line. Pastor, author, and now missionary Francis Chan once said these words that have stuck with me, "Something is wrong when our lives make sense to unbelievers.”  

The Apostle Paul ends the chapter addressing the opposition we will get as we are faithful. These verses 17-21, speak a truth I don't always want to hear:

"Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. 

If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. 

Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”

 To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” 

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

This may be one of the hardest tests in the "Faith vs. Control" battle. How will we react when opposition comes our way? I bet at one time or another, every one of us has been opposed, slandered, betrayed, overlooked, or treated poorly. I know I have. What will we choose to do? It needs to be forgiveness.

Forgive, move on, and keep doing what God has told you to do!

   -   Will we choose to pray for those who hurt us? Even do well by them?
   -   Will we continue to work through the process of forgiveness? 
(By the way-Forgiveness doesn't always mean restored relationship!)
  -   Will we choose to continue on with what The Lord has called us to?      We must!

Biblical forgiveness is something the world doesn't not understand, but they are intrigued by it. This creates an open door for the Good News. Why? Because true forgiveness reflects the heart of God. 

So, how do we live? How will you live? Will you allow God to hit the reset button in your life? Whose view of our world and the people in it will you hold too be true?   

Maybe you've said "no" to God in the past when He was directing you. Those opportunities are gone, but He has new ones waiting for you. Take the risk!  

Perhaps those natural plans and dreams are just a foreshadowing of what God intends for your life. Offer them up to Him. It means taking a chance and putting your faith in action.


Instead Ask:  

God created  you with a specific design. Wouldn't it make sense that by offering up your plans would bring you the greatest satisfaction and fulfillment and bring Him the most glory?

September 12, 2020

Hong Kong Disneyland Castle Update

Here are the latest images from Hong Kong Disneyland and the update of their castle. In China, size matters. Shanghai Disneyland has the largest (and ugliest) of all royal residences, but it was a requirement by the government. Hong Kong Disneyland, in contrast, had a duplicate of Walt's original in California. The budgeted park was undernourished at opening with little unique or beautiful- aside from the incredible setting!

Come 2020, the construction work looks mostly completed. These gorgeous images (Top from "Mr. B" on face book from Vision Times, and the one directly above from MichaelChase360) were shared by user parkpeeker on the always great WDWMagic boards. What a they is a very unique and slightly odd but stunning new look. Certainly in the color scheme of the tournament tents of Fantasyland and a great contrast to the lush greenery of the surrounding mountains. 

Now, we just need to get a look from the ground level once the park reopens!

September 11, 2020

Superman Salutes the US Flag

Today is the anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks against the United States. It seems like so long ago (19 years), but I can remember the events of the day clearly as I had a friend in New York who was in the area near the Towers. Now, our nation is under siege by a different kind of terrorist- those who are willing to destroy life and property as they protest the unfair systematic racism in our country. Defunding the police is not the answer- reforming the system is part of it- but reforming the heart of men and women is the true answer. Only Jesus can do that! Biden can't and neither can Trump. Politics cannot save us from ourselves. 

Disneyland has the sheer class to continue the flag retreat ceremony regardless of the situation in our nation. Walt Disney was a man who was rightfully proud of our foundation, even if he was flawed like each of us. God Bless America- but we must fully return to Him humbly if we are to see things change in our country. Put your hope in God and not man. Man will always fail you. 

(Photograph copyright Orange County Register.)

September 10, 2020

What Cinderella Castle Should Look Like

Wouldn't it be nice to say that the new color scheme of Cinderella Castle at the Magic Kingdom was well done? I tried. I really did, but I just can't say it with any integrity. Here's what the castle looked like at night as shown on the 1972 annual report. Not only were the colors stunning, but with huge trees and twinkling lights next to each side, there really was magic in the air. The Imagineers of old knew what they were doing, but the ones in charge of the new 2020 paint scheme have made a big, big, mistake. In fact, it's a 189 foot tall mistake. 

(Photographs copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

September 9, 2020

Could Spain Be Added To Epcot's World Showcase?

Do you think the old Epcot is dead? Yes, I do as well. But oh, what it could have been! Back in the day, there were plans for ten or twenty more countries to be added to World Showcase! This piece of concept art for the addition of Spain is just beautiful! Thanks to Marni1971 over at the WDWMagic Boards, we get this teaser. Once again, we may never see the days of old, but the original Imagineers for this park had grand plans! Russia, Switzerland, Venezuela, Israel, Equitorial Africa...and the list goes on and on.

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

September 8, 2020

The Disappearing Epcot Attraction Poster

Is this new Epcot project disappearing? I think so- the attraction poster has not made itself available for purchase. It's too bad! I actually like the concept and would have loved to visit the upstairs area - even with an uncharge- to get the terrific views of World Showcase at night. The World Celebration bar and restaurant's building style even fits what was once beautiful architecture for the park. Big blue boxes were not part of the plan!

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

First Day of School, Round Two

School starts early in our part of the country but not so much in other places- especially in this brave new world. This adorable guy started much later than his cousins. But he doesn't seem to mind a bit!

When Family Are Friends

What a friend a sister can be! I am blessed to have my one and only sibling not more than a couple hours flight away. It's never often enough that we get to enjoy each other's company and laugh and cry together when we need to. 

September 7, 2020

A Golden Spaceship Earth and It's Striking New Pylons

Just an incredible early evening photograph of the new Epcot pylons gleaming against a golden hued Spaceship Earth! Really lovely. It's exciting to see work continuing on the re-Imagining of Walt Disney World's second- and perhaps greatest- theme park. Thanks to the much appreciated Bioreconstruct for the photo!

September 5, 2020

Saturday Morning at EPCOT Center

Would you like to go to EPCOT Center today? I sure would! The original incarnation of this park proved Walt Disney Imagineering was at the top of their craft. The plans were grand, the execution just incredible, and the guest reaction very strong. 

Don't listen to those who are happy about the Intellectual Property infestation and are satisfied with anything Disney does. In addition to an almost perfect opening day line-up, the park continued with great additions: Horizons, The Living Seas and plans for Equatorial Africa. Both Future World and World Showcase were designed to expand, making the park an easy two-day excursion for those who wished to see it all. Walt Disney World would never be the same. The Magic Kingdom had a sister park worthy of the Disney name!

(Art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)

September 4, 2020

Getting Buzzed at Disney World

You do not have to go to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival to get buzzed at Walt Disney World, and here's the proof! All you've got to do is show up at Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios at just the right time. Mission accomplished!

(Photograph copyright Mark Taft.)

September 2, 2020

Control or Consent? (Part Two)

With an upside down world, a world of COVID-19, rioting, and unleashed rebellion, one where evil is often considered good and visa versa and there are so many voices clamoring for our attention- especially in a presidential election year- the most important question we must answer is “Whose voice will we listen to?”  

The world’s? Our own? Our favorite political party? Perhaps our favorite news outlet? Or that of God? The voice we listen to will tell us how we should live. Will we choose Fear or Faith? Panic or Peace? Helplessness or Hope? Control or Consent? Death or Life?

A while back, we talked about human nature and our active desire to fully control our circumstances. And the high price we pay! (See it here.) When that wasn't possible, we move on to desperately trying to control our image. Beginning all the way back in the Garden of Eden and the real First Couple, from their story we learned:

Our enemy Satan is working against us! When we give in to pride and control, we play right into his plans! He loves prideful people. Who will win?
Going our own way reveals our lack of faith and our fear that God has forgotten us! Which route will be choose?

If we call ourselves people that are chasing after God's heart and His ways, pursuing our desire for control takes us places we never want to go. Pressing into this leads to a loss of integrity, a loss of relationship as people become objects to be used,  and this results in a damage to our witness of Jesus Christ and his power to change us from broken sinful people into men and women who are still imperfect but saved and changed by our loving God.

In addition to all this, insisting on and getting our own ways sacrifices the good God intended had we waited on Him patiently. Trusting He knows what is best for us versus rushing ahead without Him. It's a cheap substitution we take in place of what He planned. Most importantly, we fail God by taking His place in our lives. What a high price we pay for this! 

Big egos bring down kings to commoners, presidents to press secretaries and everyone in between. Thankfully, God is merciful to all of us when we return to Him. We don't always get the full consequences of our sin although there are always natural consequences to our actions.

Now that we’ve seen it’s better to trust in the Lord than ourselves-  How will we live our lives? In days like this, where there’s much change and turmoil, Our response as Jesus followers is crucial!

This difficult season in life isn't what causes our tendencies to react poorly. The truth is, this season just reveals what is already inside us- good or bad. It also reveals what foundation we have truly been building our lives on.

The world says “Our hope is in a return to normal!” As Jesus Followers, this is not our foundation.  Our God says, “Our hope is in the faithfulness of Jesus Christ to us and in His Triumphant return” (Titus 2:11-14). This is our foundation- Jesus will be faithful, and He will return in triumph to judge the world.

What does this mean for God's people, His church? Maybe at least in America, where we've had centuries of blessing and freedom, maybe God is hitting the reset button. Is He killing the American Dream of a carefree life where we get to do as we please? Or could He just be making us rethink how we are to live as those who love God and are called according to His purposes?  

In the midst of an ever changing world, how do we live? How do we recapture what God intended? The answer is to be found in the Bible's book of Romans, the letter the great Apostle Paul wrote to the young church there. Specifically, chapter 12.

Here's some background:
Paul wrote this during his third missionary journey in about 57AD- during the time of Nero.
Rome was an influential city of about one million people from all over the world. 
Highly diverse, a center of commerce. Known as a place of worshiping multiple gods.
It was also a place where the church was growing- where God had work for His people!

Now the opening verses, 1-5:

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.   

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.

For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members one of another."  

As you can read, human nature hasn't changed at all! The people of Israel in the Old Testament had this strange cycle in their worship of God. He would bless them. They'd enjoy His blessings and take life easy until they got bored. Then they'd worship other gods. The One True God would then bring punishment and correction, sometimes for generations, until they cried out to Him. Then He would answer their prayer and redeem them from their enemies. And the cycle would start all over again.

We in the West who are Christians seem to be no better.  We feel right into Satan's trap of complacency. We pursued our goals, our dreams, a lifestyle we wanted- all while under the banner of God's name. 

Of course, this is everyone or all churches, and it's a generalization. Yet it does apply for the majority of those who claim to follow Jesus as over time, Christians are looking more and more like the world. Our love of money, our pursuit of a culture of death and rebellion, etc. In all too many ways, we are not too different. The price for living like this is very high!

Our hobbies became extreme but our faith became low risk! Comfort became our primary goal and idol.

We became more desirous of maintaining a Christian culture than we did about personally reaching out to others and sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with them. 

We the church transitioned to a culture of inviting people to church instead of inviting them into our lives so we could tell them what Jesus accomplished through His Death and His Resurrection. 

We allowed those in the world to take lead on responsibilities God entrusted to His people. So, the world seized the opportunity and twisted the original intent.  Where have we fallen short?
   - Stewardship of His beautiful creation.
   - Caring for the unborn- providing care and mercy for those who   are unable to do so for themselves.
   - Social justice and creating a culture of unity and brotherhood between all races.

Isn't the way the church has acted in the 21st century just the opposite of what we read about in the New Testament. Absolutely! Is God pleased? Absolutely not. No only is God not pleased as His children in the West are forgetting so many important pieces- the balance of our words and our actions working together to bring God glory- He understands we are missing so much fulfillment and joy. Just look at the consequences of this "incomplete faith" on the church:

“Ministry” eventually became a job for professionals. Just another career choice.  
Were you more serious about Jesus' words? This meant you had to end up on a church staff
or overseas on an international missions field.

Sunday service became the day when professionals put oil a performance for those who attended.
Our lives became safe as they became under our control. We no longer needed God's empowering to do the work He called us to. We could rely on our own strength and wisdom as we managed our safe, secure, and ultimately empty lives.  

After years and years of living this way, our faith became boring as we ripped out its original, passionate, God-focused intent! So we moved onto other things that interest but ultimately leave us empty and unsatisfied in the deepest places.

I've fallen into this trap at times! Have you?

How do we recapture the life God intended? It begins by how we look at our lives. Here's the beginning of that chapter:

"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. "  (verse 1)

We belong to Him if we claim to be His! 
The system of Old Testament sacrifices – offering up dead animals on the altar- were completed in Jesus at the cross. Once and for all! (See Hebrews 7:27)
Believers there in Rome understood the sacrificial system- but they needed to know how to live in a brand new way!
Offering the way we live as our sacrifice means we are following Jesus' example! He gave all for God's glory and His purposes. Our call is no different.

In the letter to the Galatian church, Paul says- 
“ I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”” (2:20)


Worship is more than avoiding sin! It's more than a pursuit of holiness! It's a life focused on God's plans, with God's heart, for God's purposes. The truth is when we are focused on these things and doing the work of God's Kingdom, sin avoidance and the pursuit of holiness in the way we live is far easier. God desires we live for Him and not just be willing to die for Him.

People that think as the world does view life very differently. 
"Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect."  (verse 2)

Not thinking like the world must be an important truth as Paul had to warn the believers in Colossians of the exact same things (in Chapter 2 of that book) and the same warning went out to the church in Ephesus in Chapter 4 of that letter.  What is the world's view? "Live for today and satisfy every desire for whatever you want! Your body is yours to do with as you please with whoever you wish." But God says the wisdom of the world is foolishness (I Corinthians 1:25).

How are we to be transformed? Renew your mind with God's truth. Read the Bible for yourself and not just someone's interpretation of it. Pray and ask God to do His work in you. It's a prayer He wants to answer! Wait for Him to speak top you and show you what He wants from you. Get with a small group of believers on a regular basis for a time of Bible study, prayer, and personal encouragement. Christianity has never been a solo sport. It's always been a team competition although each of us are judged and rewarded individually. 

One of the hardest things to figure out is God's will. The foundation is the Bible, but other parts also come into play. the Bible is God's revealed will for all believers. You can read it for yourself. Love the LORD God with everything in you and Love others as yourself. Straightforward beginnings. 

The personal will of God for your life has to be sought out. And it takes time. 

   -   Reading the Bible 
   -   Hearing His Voice through your private prayer 
   -   Wise counsel of others
   -   Sometimes dreams and visions  
   -   Lastly, circumstances

None of these will ever conflict with the Word- but His answer may conflict with our own thoughts and preferences. When you think God has given you something to do, how do you check it?

The great theologian Dr. Wayne Grudem says there are four dimensions in discovering God's will. He says Consider the action itself. Consider your attitude about it; be honest about your motives, and think about the end result. What will happen and who will get the glory?  

The world might look at earthly success as a mark of an important and accomplished life. God looks for an obedient, humble, heart. 

This is a good place to stop for now. In Part Two, we'll look at how we are to treat others as we go about being involved in God's work. Stay tuned...

September 1, 2020

Disneyland Without Space Mountain?

Disneyland without Space Mountain? Don't be so sure it could not happen. Shanghai Disneyland opened with Tron Lightcycle Run in its place- and not a single person seems to have expressed outrage they did not get to ride one of Imagineering's iconic attractions. But that is exactly what happened in 1967. The plans were clearly in the works to add Space Mountain to the brand New Tomorrowland, and you can see it in this page from the Disneyland Guide book. The concept art is right there front and center. When the revision of the land did open, Adventure Thru Inner Space made its debut and Carousel of Progress opened up on the West Coast after a great response to the show at the World's Fair. The Peoplemover covered the land in style. There was excitement everywhere! Except Space Mountain would not make its debut. That had to come later. Much later. A decade in fact.

Love Space Mountain and want to learn more about its history? Check out this mega-post with all the history and concept art you could want!