Magic Kingdom Embraced...

By Chris Baxter

There are two kinds of people when it comes to analyzing Disney World: those who embrace it wholeheartedly (playful people), and those who reject it emphatically (purposeful people). I belong to the latter group. Reading a book from cover to cover is about as fun as I get. Let’s face it, purposeful people need playful people.

Needless to say, when my 17 year old daughter Emmy and I were invited to Disney World by my 18 year old niece Tyler, and my sister-in-lawTonya to celebrate Tyler’s high school graduation, I was a bit taken aback. But then, of course, love took over, and I was committed (sorta).

Tonya organized the trip with a 4-day park hopper, which included colorful magic wristbands to keep things moving, along with a dreamy hotel. We even rode the Magical Express from the Orlando airport. While on the bus going to the hotel, I prayed, please Lord help me embrace this adventure. Make me a playful person.

Chris, Tyler, Emmy, Tonya

Well the Lord heard, and He answered. The four of us conquered Disney with happy ferver. With  my Cinderella crown adorning my head, I rode just about every ride–fast, slow, high, low, and everything in between. I had one near-panic-attack after another. We screamed, we laughed. Well, maybe I screamed, they laughed, but it was awesome– face painting, funnel cakes, fast passes, and fireworks. We ended the trip with nighttime dancing in downtown Disney. Togetherness, with the purpose of being playful, it’s good for the soul.

Wow, this could turn into an advertisement for Disney if I’m not careful! From rejector to embracer. Hooray for Magic Kingdom!

But more than a shout out for Disney, I want to make two quick purposeful observations:

1. There is another Kingdom that exists.  Believe it or not, it’s even greater than Walt Disney’s! This Kingdom begins now by faith, but also speaks of a future where there will be no pain and no tears, there will be fullness joy and abundant peace, and it will be both radiant and spectacular. When Jesus came from heaven to earth, He said, The kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news! (Mark 1:15). Interestingly, there will be two kinds of people when it comes to this Kingdom as well: those who embrace and those who reject. Tell me, why can we, the world, so quickly embrace an animated mouse named Mickey and all he offers, but then turn riduculing away from a King that promises us the real truth: that all those who believe in Him will live happily ever after? Read all about it in His Word! It’s more than magical; it’s majestic.

playful Emmy, thrilled with her peacock face

2. I’ll end this post where I started. Purposeful people need playful people. So all you who consider reading a book as a thrilling experience, put your book down and go find a zippity-do-da friend. Step into their world, let your hair down, be free. Maybe even book a trip to Disney…

purposeful Chris, terrified by a “living” dinosaur

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How should I shine?

No one after lighting a lamp covers it with a jar or puts it under a bed, but puts it on a stand, so that those who enter may see the light.  Luke 8:16

Dear Lord,

You gave us your eternal light for a purpose. Help us to remove the covering of fear or doubt or passivity that hinders your truth from shining out of us. Instead fill us with strong courage and active faith. May your light within us shine out on whomever we encounter today.  Amen.