I'm Pigging Out Tomorrow! Mood:
incredulous Topic: The Kids
Yes, I've slopped to new low levels and written a teaser for tomorrow's post. Now don't go hog wild on me! There is some truth to this. My kids have been a bit piggy lately! In fact, the reason I've not written this post is because I wanted to get a picture of them acting like little boars. I just haven't been able to pen them in to take one. Well, tune in tomorrow to find out what all of this porker talk is all about. Until then, don't ham it up too much!
It's Time for "I" at Destination Disney Mood:
happy Topic: Blog Carnivals!
I really need to look up some of my old pictures of Disney World and scan them in to my laptop. I know I have some pictures of my favorite "I" things at Disney. But, for right now, internet pictures and one YouTube video will have to suffice.
I decided to pick one "I" thing from each of the Disney World parks with one "cheat" which I will reveal when I get to it. Here goes:
The Magic Kingdom - It would have to be It's a Small World. By now, you know that many of my memories of Disney come from the trips and adventures we had there with my family when i was young. It's a Small World was one of my parents favorites and it is one of mine as well. I can't wait to introduce it to my kids when we go this spring. I found this YouTube video of this classic ride. It doesn't really do it justice...no video could...but I think you will see why it's one of my favorites.
Epcot - It would have to be the Italy Pavilion in World Showcase. I think I reminisced in a previous post that I worked at Disney when I was in college (and before and after). I became friends with many of the foreign students that attended and would often take a group in during an afternoon or a whole day just to visit one of the parks. One of our favorite stops was World Showcase and eating at one of the really authentic restaurants. Italy was one of the number one choices. Great food and great memories.
Disney's Hollywood Studios - It is hands down Indiana Jone's Stuntman Spectacular. At least that's what they used to call it. I'm not sure if it's even there anymore. That has always been one of the favorites of Sarah and mine. Awesome recollections of date days at the studio and watching this great show. I found out years later that one of my former student's from the private school that I taught at played Indiana Jones in the show for a little while. He was a great gymnast, so I don't doubt it at all!
Animal Kingdom - Okay, here's my cheat! I really couldn't think of anything from this park so I picked something that, at least I think, can be found at all of the parks. Here it is:
Yep! It's a Mickey Mouse Ice Cream Bar. They are delicious and a must have for any trip to Disney World.
Well, there you have my favorite "I" things from WDW. Don't forget to check out the other Destination Disney contributors for this week by clicking on the banner at the top. See you next week for my "J" favorites. Could "Jungle Cruise" be one of them?!? You'll have to wait and see.
Do You Have a Heart for Your Kids? Mood:
a-ok Topic: Book Reviews
I have a secret to tell you. I'm still reading this book. Don't get me wrong, I basically know what's in it or I wouldn't be writing this review. The thing is, this isn't a book to just peruse or read quickly. This is a book to devour. It's one of those books that you need to read a little, then take some time to think about.
I've been reading and thinking and then evaluating my own life and then usually praying and asking for forgiveness. Then I pray some more and map out a strategy for improving my weaknesses. Now, don't worry, How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids isn't one of those heavy theological books that weigh you down. The author, Rachel Carmen, doesn't write like that. In fact, her writing style is very entertaining and easy to read.
The problem, or really maybe I should say blessing, is that what she says is very thought provoking. It makes you not only think about your relationship with your children, but also about your relationship with your spouse, and, most importantly, your relationship with God.
Another blessing is that this book is very convicting. Through this book, God is constantly but kindly showing me where I've gone wrong. He's brought me to place of prayer for forgiveness.
Never fear, however, because this book is also encouraging. God, through the author, is telling me "It's OK to make mistakes. Let's just reevaluate and go from here. We'll do it together."
Rachael Carmen has divided this book into five parts. Each corresponding with a letter of the word HEART.
H - Have a heart for the things of God.
E - Enrich your marriage.
A - Accept your kids.
R - Release them to God.
T - Teach them the truth.
Each chapter of How to Have a H.E.A.R.T. For Your Kids is filled with Biblical truths and examples, good and bad, from the author's life. This book isn't preachy, but it is convicting. Please, though, don't let this scare you away from this book. If there is anything that I have learned from these chapters it is that each child is different - a gift from God. I also know that all of you are different and unique. God will not give you the same convictions that He has given me. He may not give you any convictions at all. He may even encourage you through this book. All I know is that this is a book that should be on every parent's book shelf. There is something for every parent within its pages.
How to Have a H.E.A.R.T For Your Kids is published by Apologia, the same company that publishes those great science textbooks. The cost is only $13 and you can find it and all of the other great Apologia books by clicking on any of the hi-lighted links above. As usual, many others from the TOS homeschool crew reviewed this book and you can find what they had to say by clicking here - http://homeschoolcrew.com/784031/ . Happy reading!
As a member of the TOS Homeschool Crew I was sent a free copy of How to Have H.E.A.R.T. for Your Kids in order to use and give an honest review on my blog.
Game Time: Tackling the Past Mood:
chillin' Topic: Family
Does your family have problems or hidden secrets that are like "dirty laundry"? The whole family knows that they are there, but no one talks about them. They especially don't talk about them outside of the family. My family's like that, and I'll bet yours is as well.
How should we deal with it? What should we do? It's not healthy to keep all of our problems inside, but how do we let it all out?
Well, this is a serious subject, but I have a good way to begin a family discussion into not holding things inside and forgiving one another. The other day I had the great privilege to pre-screen a special movie that is going to be shown this Saturday, September 3 on NBC at 8pm ET/7pm CT. Game Time: Tackling the Past is part of Wal-Mart and P&G's Family Movie Night series. And, it's fantastic! It deals with all of the above problems in a fun and entertaining way.
Jake Walker is a professional football player who, because of a family emergency, is called back to his small, North Carolina, hometown. A hometown and a family that he rarely visits anymore because of secrets from the past that are never talked about. You know...the family's dirty laundry. But, an injury of his own, along with the family crisis, forces Jake and his family to confront the hurtful past and present.
I know that this is cliché, but Game Time:Tackling the Past really does have something for everyone. There is football for the guys (and some gals), a little romance and drama for the gals (and some guys), and some comedy for everyone. But, most of all it's a really good family movie that you won't be afraid to sit down and watch with your kids. Like I said before, it's also a great discussion starter to talk about communication and how important it is to talk through your problems, hurts, and disagreements.
But, that's not the only reason I'm excited about this film. While pre-screening this film, a group of us had the great pleasure of being able to chat with one the stars, Catherine Hicks. You probably remember her from the long running family TV series, Seventh Heaven. Didn't she seem real on Seventh Heaven? Well, she's just as down to earth in real life. We chatted about the great cast of the film, where it was filmed (in North Carolina of course ), and how important family is to her. You can find out more about Catherine Hicks, the rest of the cast and the film itself by checking out the Family Movie Night website by clicking here - http://bit.ly/nCZtG8. Before you do, though, take some time to watch the movie trailer below.
Don't forget! The premiere of Game Time: Tackling the Past is on Saturday, September 3 on NBC at 8pm ET/7pm CT. Have a great time watching, and let me know what you think after the movie's over.
“I wrote this review while participating in a campaign by Dad Central Consulting - www.dadcentralconsulting.com - on behalf of P&G and received a promotional item to thank me for taking the time to participate.”
Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know - A First Wild Card Blog Tour Book Mood:
chillin' Topic: Book Reviews
I love verse reference books. You know, the kind of books that list topics and then tell you what verses from the Bible go with that topic. I love being able to just grab it and quickly look for a verse if I'm going through a difficult time, or if I'm counseling someone. I love to memorize verses that go along with a particular theme or topic.
Life-Changing Bible Verses You Should Know is different, but I like it just as much. It's more than a reference book. Although it can be used as one. It is a devotional that explains why these verses are life-changing. The authors, Erwin and Rebecca Lutzer, give illustrations of why these verses are important and give examples of folks who have used these verses during rough periods of their lives. I really like this book and know that it will be used for years to come.
Read on for more information and for the the first chapter.
It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!
You never know when I might play a wild card on you!
***Special thanks to Karri | Marketing Assistant | Harvest House Publishers for sending me a review copy.***
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Erwin W. Lutzer, Senior Pastor of The Moody Church since 1980, is an award-winning author of more than 20 books including Walking with God. He’s a celebrated international conference speaker and the featured speaker on three radio programs that are heard around the world. Rebecca Lutzer has used her gifts of hospitality, mercy, and teaching to minister to many women. She is an RN and enjoyed working as a surgical nurse for several years. They coauthored a book on the women in the life of Jesus and how He changed their worlds titled Jesus, Lover of a Woman’s Soul. They have been married for 35 years, live in the Chicago area, and are the parents of three married children.
SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:
Erwin Lutzer, senior pastor of the Moody Church, and his wife, Rebecca, encourage readers to reap the blessings of memorizing Scripture in this gathering of relevant verses, 35 topics, insightful explanations, and engaging questions. This foundation of wisdom inspires readers to experience God’s Word in powerful ways.
List Price: $12.99 Paperback: 208 pages Publisher: Harvest House Publishers (August 1, 2011) Language: English ISBN-10: 0736939520 ISBN-13: 978-0736939522
AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:
Psalm 46:1—God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.
1 Peter 1:6-7—In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
When we think back to the devastating earthquake in Haiti that killed nearly 200,000 people, many images come to mind, but one image that stands out well above the others is that of a young mother being interviewed on television as she held a baby in her arms.
“I lost my son…he died in the rubble.”
“Did you get to bury him?”
“No, no chance; his body was crushed in the rubble; I just had to throw him away.”
Just then the camera zeroed in on her backpack as she prepared to board a bus. Stuffed in a side pocket was a Bible. As she boarded the bus she could be heard, speaking to no one in particular, saying, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble…” Her voice trailed off as she disappeared from view.
When the report was over we just kept staring at the television for a while, pushing back tears and letting what we’d just seen sink into our souls. A dead child with no chance to plan a funeral and pay respects to her precious little one, a baby in her arms, and she was boarding a bus that was going she knew not where. Yet she still expressed belief; she still trusted that God is her refuge and strength.
Faith in adversity!
This mother—God bless her—began quoting Psalm 46, which was written as a praise song after God spared the city of Jerusalem from an invasion by Assyrians who were threatening to annihilate the inhabitants. In the midst of a harrowing escape, the Israelites found God to be an unshakable pillar.
God is our refuge. A refuge is a safe place you can run to for shelter when life’s storms are swirling around you. No wonder this dear mother found solace in this psalm, which continues, “Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging” (verses 2-3).
Yes, the mountains did give way and fall into the heart of the sea, but God is unaffected by the fluctuation on events of earth; He is always there, solid, unmoved. When the mountains are shaking and the ground beneath you is quaking, run to God, and He will meet you. Yes, even when our world falls apart in the aftermath of a horrendous natural disaster, God is unchanging and remains with us.
In the midst of the devastation, God is our source of supply. The psalm continues, “There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells” (verse 4). Most likely that refers to a tunnel that had been built some time earlier to bring water into the city in case it was ever besieged. The people of Jerusalem saw this provision as God giving them specific help at their time of their need.
Then the psalm gives us a command: “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (verse 10). Let us cease striving and let God be God. Even in adversity He is there; or perhaps we should say especially in adversity He is there!
Adversity should not drive us away from God; rather, it should drive us into His arms. He is there for the grieving mother, and for the family that has experienced indescribable loss. The psalm ends, “The Lord Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress” (verse 11).
God wants to be believed. And our faith is more precious to Him than gold, which perishes. When we continue to trust Him even when there appears to be no reason to do so—and we go on believing God’s bare Word, our faith will “result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed” (1 Peter 1:7).
Reverend Henry F. Lyte was a pastor in Scotland who battled tuberculosis most of his life. On his final Sunday, September 4, 1847, amid many tears the congregation sang a song he himself had composed, “Abide with Me.” It spoke of the unchanging God in an ever-changing world:
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide; The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide. When other helpers fail and comforts flee, Help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day; Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away; Change and decay in all around I see; O Thou who changest not, abide with me.
Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes; Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies. Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee; In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
The young mother in Haiti—who was clutching an undernourished baby in her arms and had no time to mourn the tragic death of her son—found solace in the God who was still beside her when the earth gave way. “God is our refuge and strength,” she said amid her grief and uncertainty of the future.
In times of adversity, our faith can hold fast. And God is both honored and pleased.
Taking God’s Word to Heart
Reflect on the account of the Haitian mother who tragically lost her son. How has Psalm 46 been a source of strength for you during adversity? What other Scripture passages do you turn to for help in difficult times? What does it mean to you that God is your refuge? In life’s journey, why is God’s unchangeable nature a source of strength for us? Recall an instance when God provided timely help for a specific need. What did that experience teach or confirm for you about God’s character? What are some ways God has used adversity to shape your life? Why is God honored and pleased when we exercise faith in times of adversity?