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Our Journey to E91: July 9

Ahhhhhhh…the beach. After three days fighting traffic, enduring long lines for short rides, and walking, walking, walking through three gargantuan theme parks, we're now at Daytona Beach for two days before the North American Christian Convention begins. For those who think heaven is somehow going to be like Disney World, for me heaven is somehow going to be like the beach. I can understand the analogy of heaven being like Disney World--a "magical" kingdom, a place of great beauty, people gathering from every nation, tribe, people and language. But I can better understand the analogy of heaven being like a beach (minus the hurricanes)--a place of peace, rest, beauty, families playing together, etc.

Now, just to provide some balance here, we did have a good time at Mickey's kingdom, and there are a number of things they do well that can help us in the church. For example, hospitality at Disney World is extraordinary. I would expect this from the "welcoming committee" at the main entrance with their big smiles and friendly handshakes. But as we walked through the parks, every employee (or cast member, as they call themselves), and I mean EVERY employee, was friendly. If we looked a little lost or confused, which was most of the time, an employee, sorry, cast member, even if he or she was simply walking around with a broom and dust pan, would stop what they were doing and ask if they could be of service. I don't know what their training program consists of, but, whatever it is, I want it.

Can you imagine what it would be like if every cast member, sorry, church member, saw his or her role as to reach out and serve others? Not just on Sunday mornings, although that's a pretty good time to put this into practice as well. But every day of the week, at work, at home, as a family, what would it be like if you looked around to see if someone looks a little confused or lost, and you say, "How may I be of service?" We don't just need this attitude displayed by our "welcoming committee" on Sundays--a.k.a., "Greeters." All of us can take that Disney spirit, which is actually taught in the Bible, and apply it to our lives. Simply put, the Bible says, "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others" (Phil. 2:4).

So, Disney World may not have a whole lot in common with heaven, one could argue, but it can show us how to be a little more focused on others. Try it sometime this week. If you see someone around you who looks like he or she could use a little encouragement, support, help, etc., just go up to the person and ask, "How can I be of service?" And then be ready to put a little action to your words.

Our Journey to E91: July 5

As I type this on my iPhone, I'm standing in line for "The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh" at Disney World. That's right--Winnie the Pooh. And before you judge me, you should know that I just got out of the "Philharmagic 3D Symphony." Oh, the things we do for our kids (and for ourselves, if we're honest)!

This may sound odd, but one of the hardest things for me to do is relax. I love vacations, but I have to work hard at NOT working! I mean, here I am standing in line for a ride at Disney World and what am I doing? I'm emailing an update for church!

So, I'll make it short, because I need to work harder at not working! Maybe the reason I'm still working is because Disney makes me feel like I'm working. For all of you Disney lovers, don't take offense, but Disney for me is not as much of a magical place as it is a busy place--people everywhere, long lines, and a lot of babies. Why do people bring their babies to Disney World, by the way? But the more I look around, the babies here have got it made. They're doing a lot of sleeping and riding around while their parents push them in shaded strollers.

But in case you think by my musings that I'm not having a good time, let me just make it clear. I could be on vacation anywhere with Laura and the kids, and I'll be having a good time. As long as I turn off my phone and stop working. So enjoy your summer, and I'll look forward to working ... but not right now. My kids are calling, and I think I see Mickey Mouse up ahead!