Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Mickey Mouse, Apologies, and a Recommendation

My sincere apologies for my delayed postings. Work has been very busy lately; I have been blessed with a wonderful, joyful opportunity but it requires a great deal of what little free time exists. Furthermore, I just this week returned after a business trip to Amsterdam, which was followed immediately by an amazingly fun week at Disneyworld.

From this last trip, I have two recommendations.

For those of you with kids (mine are 3 and 5), I cannot recommend Disney enough. I had not been there since I was 6 or 7 years old. And though I knew it would be fun for us and the kids, I was blown away with the whole experience. It is expensive, to be sure; but what an amazing week. We stayed at the Coronado Springs resort, and found the buses to and from the parks very convenient. We used the park hopper passes, so in five days we went to Magic Kingdom twice, Animal Kingdom once, Downtown Disney once, and Hollywood Studios once. We and the kids had a blast. Two recommendations: (1) Animal Kingdom was okay but I would rather than done a third day at Magic Kingdom; and (2) the Disney Dining plan was worth every penny. As a general comment - being a businessman - I have never been anywhere that the customer service was so amazing as Disney. Almost without exception, every employee went 'above and beyond', from the dining reservations phone clerks to the waiters to the staff to the photographers to the managers. Just a truly great experience. And I think my five-year-old made me ride Splash Mountain approximately a million times.

Another recommendation I have also comes from the trip. Some of you may recall that I posted twice recently regarding Anne Rice, and her now-famous decision to leave the Catholic Church and do Christianity sort of outside organized religion. I recommended embracing and supporting her, understanding where she comes from...as opposed to calling her apostate, as most bloggers have done. Well, amazingly to me she somehow came across my humble corner of the blogosphere. So one day Anne Rice herself posts a twitter and Facebook feed referencing my blog. (Still such a surreal thing, that a bestselling author would have read something I clumsily wrote.) Anyway, that made me get around to something I had long thought of doing - reading her Christ the Lord books.

I have not read anything else of Rice's, so I do not have any sense of comparison. But having just completed Christ the Lord: Out of Egypt, I cannot recommend it highly enough. It was beautifully written, thought-provoking, well-researched, and inspiring. For all of the historical reading I have done in the past, few things have put me more "in the shoes" of a first-century Jewish Christian than this book. This book brought a lot of it back to life again. And the relationship between James and Jesus is amazing. For those who do not know, this book is a fictionalized account of Jesus' life as a 7 year old boy, returning to Nazareth from Egypt. It is written in the first person, from His perspective. And it truly is very thought-provoking. I highly recommend it.

At any rate, I have gotten my list of open work projects down to below 50, which is good progress for the first half of the week. Though I make no promises, there is a good chance I might be able to finally finish up the next part of my Romans study, and maybe even start blogging a bit, before the next Monday comes. Here is hoping!

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