Thursday, November 08, 2012

For my next hobby: travel agent.

I make no secret of the fact that I love Disney. And the older I get, the more mature my love affair gets. Or is that less mature? I don't really know. But it is verifiable that if it has to do with Disney, I will at least try it out.

I connected to a group of people through virtual means a few years ago. We developed a virtual community, even. We live in all parts of the nation. We have visited with some when we have gotten close. And the thing that binds us together is our love of Disney. In particular, we all love Walt Disney World.

Within this group of friends, a business developed: FTM Travel and Fairy TripMothers Customized touring plans. In business for 5 years, they have specialized in helping people discover the joy and magic of Disney trips and cruises.

I love to help people discover that magic also. If you bring up the fact that you are going to Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort, I have a little light that comes on behind my eyes. I love to talk to people about it. And if they aren't excited about it, I want to use my amazing powers of persuasion for good and help them get excited. I even toyed around with the idea of becoming a travel agent to do this officially.

That is where I am today. I was invited to join the FTM Travel agency. I am certified and able to book a trip to any Disney vacation site, a Disney cruise, or one of the really cool looking Adventures By Disney guided experiences.

But why would I want to do this?

First, as I've said, I love Disney and am excited about going to Walt Disney World or Disneyland Resort. Lisa and I are talking about how we can take a Disney cruise now that the Disney Cruise Line sails out of Galveston. And I get excited about talking to other people about their trips. And believe me, there are very few things that get me excited like a Disney trip. I'm passionate about the places, the experiences, the history, the memories. And I want other people to be as excited as I am.

Second, I know the hurdle of planning Disney trips. They are overwhelming at times. You have so many options and opportunities to choose from. Going to Walt Disney World is nothing at all like going to Six Flags or any amusement park in the central part of the country. I have planned 5 Walt Disney World trip and 3 Disneyland trips. I can help people sort through the confusion. And that is something I am also passionate about: helping other understand. That includes helping people find ways of getting the most of their trips and their money.

Last, I now have a  reason to take more trips - "but there is something new that I need to experience to tell others about". It's sad. I know. No I don't need help.

This is not a path out of ministry. This is not preparing for the next phase of my life. This is not a money making venture. This is something I love to do and something I want to do for others.

If you are interested, I will be glad to speak with you about it.  Just call me or send me an email or text. I would love to help you experience the magic.

Wednesday, November 07, 2012

To the victor...???

Now that the 2012 election is over and we are looking forward to 4 more years with President Obama, I feel the need to reflect and project.

I believe that our nation is becoming more divided. At almost every level of our culture we experience divisions. The United Methodist Church is even so divided that we are divided on whether or not we are divided. We live in a nation where looking for common ground is replaced with strategic placement on our ideological battlegrounds. I believe that a revolution is brewing. What shape it will take, I don't know. But in a climate where the sides have no desire to reach out to one another there will only be a climactic conflict of some type.

For those who read this that have an intense hatred for President Obama, I have to ask, "Why?" The President does not control the economy. The President is not responsible for jobs disappearing. If it is his stand on abortion or gay marriage, do you also hate that woman who makes that impossible decision or those persons who do not have the same legal support system as traditional married persons? More importantly, where is the fulfillment of Scripture in your life? The last time I read my Bible, we are responsible and accountable for loving our neighbors, our enemy, the stranger, the least and the lost. We are directed by Jesus, Paul, and Peter to respect the government that is in place. The church should be the LAST place where politics leads our emotional state or our idea of hope.

When did the Constitution become meaningless? We live in a country where the most powerful person in the world cannot do anything by himself. The Constitution established a three branch government. The President does not initiate any change in the way the government works. There are Presidential orders that may be issued, but even those are limited. The President speaks about what the President wants or doesn't want, supports or won't support. But the President does not make a change  in the way our nation operates.

If you have been passionate about this election and its outcome, then get passionate about our government for the next four years. Become educated about every election and go vote. Learn about all of your elected officials and how they operate. Spend a little time in a civics textbook and learn about the balance of powers, the voting process, and the electoral college. You are a part of a complex governmental system. It is not just about electing a President every 4 years. It is not just school board members. And if you don't like how the system works, then step up and act to change it. This is still a government by the people, for the people.