Hope is almost lost. I’m beginning to see large black ears everywhere. Goofy is not the friendly character of cartoons, but a sadistic taskmaster who brainwashes children. One child already shows signs of subversion. I believe the others will soon follow. The adults fear for their lives. One more parking pass, they’re sucking us dry.
Okay…so maybe that description is a little over the top, but as the reality TV show that is the Balthrop and William Family Vacation comes to an end I realize we’ve had the kind of trip that would have made Clark W. Griswold proud. Here at Wally World I’ve not yet punched a Plastic Moose or strapped my dog to the bumper of our car, so I guess things are going pretty well! It really has been a blast. I appreciate the church allowing us time away. I appreciate the in-laws and out-laws who help make a trip like this possible. I appreciate your faithfulness to lead in worship and to prepare for this Sunday both in my presence and my absence.
I’ve been to Disney World several times now. It’s one of my favorite places on earth. I love amusement parks. I’ve been a ride junky for some time now. But I also love a good story and Disney does both extremely well. They create a world where you are immersed in the story. You experience some of the action. You enjoy a good tale and in the process you discover more about yourself and the world around you. Every little girl is a princess, every little boy an action hero. Everything about this place excites the imagination. We’ve walked the parks from early till late. We’re all tired, but we keep waking up ready for more.
As I wander through Disney I begin to notice some things. The lengths they go to in order to insure an enjoyable, immersive experience for everyone are unbelievable. Every detail is thoughtfully considered. They spare no expense to capture my attention in order to tell me a good story. Everyone who works here is happy, servant-hearted, and willing to go the extra mile in order to make our experience a dream-come-true. I’ve been curious about the people who work here so I’ve been talking with them a lot. Some are college students on a paid internship. They earn college credit while serving Pizza at Pizza Planet at MGM Studios, they pick up a few college hours while helping people on and off rides. Some are Senior Adults who point the way to bathrooms. Others are upwardly mobile, career minded individuals trying to make their mark in the world of Disney while some are actors, singers, writers and engineers hoping for their big break. Whatever their motivation they are all pleasant, devoted, well trained and focused on their responsibility.
I went to the Disney web site to find out more about the people who work here. They have an entire site devoted to careers at Disney. You might check it out. http://corporate.disney.go.com/careers/culture.html – On this site you’ll discover their core values. You’ll find how to get a job with Disney. You’ll realize that there are literally a thousand things that can be done and you’ll see the heart behind what they do.
Here’s the part I find remarkable. Ultimately Disney’s primary goal is to separate me from my money. This they do very well. It’s not a very altruistic goal, but it is a practical one. They’re in business for business. This fantastic fantasy world, the way they treat my children, exists to make money. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that. People have to make a living. Why not earn a living entertaining people?
Their website talks of 6 Core Values: Innovation, Quality, Community, Storytelling, Optimism, & Decency. I don’t find anything about profit there, but within these core values the company finds great profit. They are very specific about how Disney Cast Members carry themselves. They want these 6 Core Values to permeate every detail of who they are as a company. Yes, practically their success is determined by the bottom line. But that bottom line is dependant on people from all walks of life, from every country on earth, from every system of belief. These people come together around these 6 Core Values in order to create an entertaining experience for my family. And they do it very well. The Disney Careers website is so specific about how these core values are to be expressed that you can find pages about the ‘Disney Look’. Every Cast Member is required to have a certain ‘look’. Hair styles for men and women are clearly defined. Facial hair is acceptable, but only if worn a certain way. If your character requires a look apart from the Disney standard you must get special permission. Details…details…details…all supporting these core values…all for the sake of entertainment. Companies like Disney define our culture today.
As the church we have a story to tell. We have an experience to offer. We have core values to which we cling and our purpose is much more noble than simply business. We genuinely want to affect people’s lives in a way that changes eternity for them forever. So, why is Disney a bigger force for cultural change in our world today than the church?
I’ll not offer an answer here today. But consider these things – how well do you reflect the core values of the church? Do you know our core values? Are you willing to follow those who lead? Will you fulfill the ministry God has enabled you to do whether I’m in town or not, whether I lead you directly or indirectly? Why do you serve? Is it for you or for Him?
I believe when we as individuals get a grip on the Core Values of Scripture that God will get a grip on us. I believe when God gets a grip on us the church will define the culture rather than culture defining us.
I love and miss you all. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend. This Sunday we’ll sing ‘For Every Mountain’ – it’s a tough one, but you play and sing it well! I’ll see you then!
Love y’all, God Bless,
Notes to Notice
Wednesday, May 30th will be our annual AWANA Recognition service in the Worship Center from 6:30 – 8:00pm. I would like to invite everyone involved in our regular rehearsals to attend. With inflatables, games and food as well as a special service this will be a great time for families. It’s also a great opportunity for us to reach out to parents who may not really attend church anywhere.
Because of this service we won’t have our regular Wednesday rehearsals. We will have Praise Band and Praise Team rehearsal from 8:15 – 9:30 in the Worship Center.
Tonight Choir Rehearsal will be led by JIM BROWN! Instrumental Ensemble will be lead by RONNIE WILSON!
Praise Team and Praise Band – We will not rehearse this evening. We will get together at 7:45am on Sunday to prepare for Sunday!
ARE YOU IN?
A fully devoted follower is easy to identify. They make healthy choices. They have a healthy appetite for spiritual things – that’s prayer and Bible Study. And they participate in healthy activity – that’s church involvement. Are you involved in Small Group Bible Study? Do you participate in our Worship Services beyond the moments you’re on the platform or serving in the service? If you’re not, you’re missing out. To find out how you can be involved contact me, firstname.lastname@example.org!
YOU MAKE THE CALL
They’re out there, waiting to be asked. People who sing, play instruments, have a little technical knowledge and who are great people to be with. Who could you invite from your Sunday School class this week to be involved in CAM?
RESCUE – the Prayers We Pray
We didn’t take requests last week. These requests are from the week before. Updates, please…
Dolly Mowery – She’s had an ongoing struggle with cancer. Currently she is fighting and infection. The doctors are attempting to get the right combination of medications.
Janet Greene’s Brother, Quentin – surgery in Shawnee
Chad Barnard – Jennifer had a bone scan with negative results
Kathleen Colburn – her mother has had two small strokes and is having health issues
Melissa Tyndall – ongoing health concerns
Pray for each name on the list like this, “Father, you are able to heal. You’ve given us doctors and medicine. You’ve surrounded each of these people with people who love and care for them. Let each person on the list be confident in Your grace. Heal them and let them tell the story of your salvation – not just spiritual, but physical – to those around them.
Lori Thrun’s daughter – salvation
Pray like this, “Dear Jesus, soften her heart. Draw her to Yourself. Let her ask the right questions. Let Lori and Wally give the right answers. Help her understand and believe.”
Steve K. – Thanks to Carolyn Burd for the food she prepares for us every Sunday AM.
Praise like this, “Heavenly Father, thank you for Carolyn Burd. Bless her and her family. Give me opportunity this week to express my appreciation to her personally. Thank you, God, for the many ways you provide for our needs and for the people through whom you do it. I pray that I will always be grateful for the things you give and that I too would be generous and always ready to serve someone else.”
All these things we pray in Jesus name.
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