Tuesday, May 30, 2017

See What's In Store For the Roloffs This Season!

Welcome Back  Everyone~

Okay, so it  seems. I am a little late for this post,But the new season of Little People, Big World has already prepared on TLC. It aired on May 2, 2017 and it appears a lot of changes are in store, including the birth of Zach and Tori's new baby and Matt and Amy joining the dating pool shortly after their divorce. There is still time to catch up; I certainly will. The show is at 9 PM on Tuesdays on TLC.

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Sunday, May 28, 2017

My Take on The Shack- The Movie

Dear Readers,

I’m not sure how the topic of this post will be received because of its controversial topic. While the movie “The Shack” is not biblically based, I do see some striking similarities that may leave audiences more open to the idea of a relationship with Jesus-the one true
God. For those that are unfamiliar with the story, “The Shack” tells the story of a father unable to cope with the untimely death of his youngest daughter. I will spare you the gruesome details, but he is left feeling responsible. That is, until he receives an unlikely “invitation” from God himself to come back to where it happened in the hopes of getting him “unstuck.” Thus begins an amazing journey of spiritual transformation of love and forgiveness

Now I know what you are thinking. I wish I could have a conversation with Jesus in the flesh to discuss my spiritual journey and obstacles in my life. But he does send us people in our
lives to advise and guide our steps. In this world of difficulty, it’s just hard to see him in our midst. I think Octavia Spencer says it best when as she portrays "“Papa” (one of the three parts of God) and says, “"Son,when all you see is your pain, you lose sight of me." Although the idea of God in three persons is biblically based, the way it’s portrayed is not exactly
true. Yes, Jesus is God in the flesh. He suffered on our behalf, but it is not exactly clear what God looks like.

In another conversation with Jesus, Mack is still struggling to let go of his guilt over what happened and come to grips with the gift that he’s been given-the opportunity to talk over his grievances and believe again. In this scene, he is in a boat in the middle of the lake and it begins to turn black overtaking the boat and it begins to sink.This kind of reminds me of Matthew 14: 29-32, when Jesus beckons Peter to join him on the water and when he does, he can’t help but look down in doubt. In pretty much the same way during the “Shack” scene, Mack looks down and is overcome with fear , “Jesus” urges them to not look down, saying, "Don't look at it, Mack. Look here.. Don't think about the past, don't think about the pain..Look at me. Everything is going to be okay. Trust me, none of this can hurt
you. Just look at me and breath."

When things finally come down and the  black lake disappears, Jesus urges Mack to continue with them, and walk on the water, but he is still unsure. He replies, “But I can’t. I will sink.” Jesus answers him, saying,  "Not on your own. You can't... You're imagining a future without me and that future doesn't exist. I promised to be with you always right? And I'm right here." 

But then that leaves the inevitable question, “Doesn’t God have the Ultimate Say?” To answer that question, Mack must come face to face with his idea of judgment as a woman  named "wisdom forces  him to reevaluate  how he views  certain people.  His  views are challenged  when he is forced to choose which of his   children  are  to go to Heaven  and which to Hell.  Obviously he can't  make a choice and chooses to  take their place. It is only then,, when there bodies  fade away. "McKenzie, you've judged your children worthy of love- even if it cost you everything. Now you know Papa's heart."  She continues  explaining that while  God  gives  us free will  to be  part  of his family and make our own choices  that leaves  room  for evil  to find its way  in. " He doesn't stop a lot of things that cause him pain. What happened to Missy was the work of evil. And no one in your world is immune to it. You want the promise of a pain free  life. She continues, saying, "... As long as there's will in
this universe- free not to follow God, evil can find a way in."

These are just some of the highlights of my favorite parts  of "The Shack" I would be more than happy to start  an  open discussion on  what you guys thought of the movie.  In some strange  way, I feel closer to God after watching  it. It is my hope  that  this movie  can start an open dialogue  about  faith  to your  friends and family..

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Until Forever - Teaser Trailer HD

Welcome back Readers ~

This morning I watched Until Forever on Pureflx; this movie was based on the real-life journey of 16-year-old Michael Boyum's journey coping with leukemia. Despite their youth, Michael and Michele were determined to cherish each other and live each day as if it was their last. Michael's faith was quite evident even during the last days. In that he visited other cancer patients sharing his reason for hope with others .

This movie inspired me to do the same-even though at times I feel my words don't have the effect they should.

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Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Born This Way Season Three Premiere

Welcome Back Readers-

I am happy to report that Born This Way is back for its third season on A&E. After two seasons, the series has been begun to change peoples' views on those with disabilities; this is evident by the show receiving a Emmy  for Best Unstructured Reality series, ending the two-year streak of The Deadliest Catch. This season holds changes for the whole gang- including a budding romance for Stephen and Megan, a independent living opportunity for Christina. How will the parents cope? I don't know, but I can tell you from personal experience that learning to let go of your children and see them fly and come into their own can be the most difficult thing.   The series airs on  Tuesdays at 10 PM.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

My Birthday Adventures in Disney World, Part Three

Dear Readers,

Over the past few days, I have reminisced about my experiences at Disney World- both when I was younger and now. When my dad heard about this, he was able to dig out a picture of our first visit in February 1998. What a difference right? Unfortunately, my brother wasn't able to come with us that time.  But my mom says  there's always the possibility of us coming back  and sharing the whole experience with my nieces.. Although they have already  been there once it's always different  together as a family. Even  as I say that, I can't believe we would be  sharing it with  the next generation.  Wow, how time  flies!
Debbie  and  family at Epcot- February 1988

Debbie  and Family- April 2017
Our  last day  at Disney World  was spent at Epcot (obviously); we got a late  start  that day  because it was due  to the hottest day..  The report was spot on! As we began our journey through the different countries,, I was taken back  by  enormous flower gardens and sculptures;  the creativity it took to shape some of those plans into Disney characters (like Elisa from Frozen or  Belle from  Beauty and the Beast) is brilliant. In  all, there are about 100 topiaries  to admire  around Epcot. For  our first ride, we decided  to go to on Spaceship Earth. For  this ride, I  had to transfer out of my wheelchair-  but it was worth it. This ride  takes you  back in time from the Stone Age, showing the evolution of  man.  (I'm using the term   "evolution"to  mean  the growth  in  man's intelligence; I do not believe  in the  theology of  evolution.)  What  I liked  most about the  ride was  the fact that it  was interactive; it allowed  riders in each  seat to "choose" what their  future looked like based  on answering a few questions   posed  to them along the way.The pics captured at the beginning of the right are then placed in a video used to portray the future. This is something that riders can take with them if they supply their email in the database on computers near the ride.Another interesting fact is that  the ride takes  place  "inside" the Epcot ball.

Next,  we attended The  Voyage of the  Little Mermaid  show.  This 15 minute performance includes live puppetry with performances of popular  songs from Sebastian the  crab as well  as Ariel.  During the show,  I felt  like  I was  truly  "under the Sea" because bubbles cascaded from the ceiling at one point.

What's a trip to Disney World without saying Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse? It's not a trip, of course! For the reason, I actually took some time to wait in line and meet the popular characters as well as get my picture taken with them. For those that say I'm too old for that, well, you are only as old as you feel. Here  is two of  my favorites.

After that, we continued  our trek around the  "world"stopping by Germany to look at the intricate Cuckoo clocks and then  went to France to sample  the delicious crepes (thin pancakes)  that reminded  us of   Grandma (mom's mom).  In one building, they  even had a widescreen movie that gave us a tour of the country; we soared about  the vineyards that created wine and went  through famous churches. This gave us a in-depth  view of the country without having to  actually go there. One of the final things we did there was go to see The  America Adventure  at The World Showcase. This 30 minute performance utilizes audio- animatronics and film to go back in time and view the major events that  made America the great country it is today.

Monday, May 8, 2017

My Birthday Adventures at Disney World, Part Two

Hello Again Everyone~

I hope you all have enjoyed reading about my adventures in the Magic Kingdom at Disney World. In this post I will share with you what I did during my second day on vacation at Hollywood studios. For this adventure, we had to take a bus; the buses must run back and forth every 15 to 30 minutes because we had to wait 10 minutes for ours. During that time I encountered a disabled intern working there in charge of the bus routes. I later learned that there was a special internship opportunities for college students wanting to work there during the summers..

But I digress...

A bus arrived to take us to a Hollywood Studios; this particular bus had a hydraulic system which lowered it to the ground for easier access. Then, a lift opened up and I got in with no trouble. At that point, they secured my wheelchair down with straps and we were on our way. Shortly  after  arriving my family and got a bite to eat. We then  decided to  attend the Beauty  And the Beast: Live On Stage  show. This 25 minute musical extravaganza highlights popular songs  from the original movie.  What makes this so different than the movie? First,the  host selects  a member  from  each audience  to give  a special rose to- it  symbolizes    the special  bond, a father  has with his daughter.  Second, specific  shows  have real-time  American  Sign Language (provided by translators) for those  that are deaf and hard of hearing.

After that we spent some time walking around the streets, sightseeing (and shopping) before going on The Great Movie Ride. This attraction  is accessible to those in wheelchairs as well as those  able to transfer in and  out by themselves or with the help of  other people. The ride insists of  real-time clips of the  greatest moments in movie history, as well as reenactments that put you right in the middle of the action. From there, we  toured  the Walt Disney: One Man's Dream  "museum". It follows him through the  monumental years  of his career and  gives people a in-depth  glimpse on what it takes to create an animated film.

Another live show that I enjoyed was the  Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular. This exciting show gives viewers a behind the scenes  look  at how stunts are filmed in the movies

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

My Birthday Adventures in Disney World Part 1

Welcome Back Readers~

After 30 years, I can finally say I’ve been to Walt Disney World twice in my lifetime. The first time when I was seven years old or so and my parents wanted to show their children a good time. This time, I am 37 years old and trying to rediscover some of that magic and childlike awe we tend to lose in the process of growing up, I can honestly say I’ve done that. In this post, I will highlight some of my favorite activities to do in the Magic Kingdom that are handicapped accessible for those in wheelchairs.

 My mom made reservations or three days at Disney’s Polynesian Resort, which incidentally was the same hotel we stayed at originally. The resort still had its Hawaiian style decor; however, it has seen its share of technological advances- like electronic bracelets that allow you access to the hotel as well as the theme parks. These bands are only available as part of a theme park package. Employees at the resort always seem to go above and beyond to make your stay extremely pleasant. For instance, once they heard it was my 37th birthday trip they gave me a "happy birthday" button. I wore it for next two days,  getting several well wishes  and even a few extra perks here and there.

After settling in and getting a good night’s rest, we decided to go to the Magic Kingdom first. Since  we  were at the resort, it is much easier to take the monorail or bus  to  all  of the amusement. Getting  on the monorail is simple,  security personnel have little ramps which line up with the  vehicle and allow you  to drive your wheelchair inside. For a bus, the procedure is slightly different because they have lifts and tie-downs  to secure the wheelchair in place. At any rate, we arrived at the Magic Kingdom just in time for us to see the Disney characters dance by the castle. "Inviting" us  to enjoy the rest of our day.After that, my parents and I visited the Swiss  Family Robinson attraction where they reminded me of the first time we had visited when my dad carried  me to the very top of the treehouse. From there, we went  on the  Jungle Cruise ride.

If you are looking for a handicapped accessible boat, you may have to ask for assistance. In which case, they may give you a specific time slot where the boat is available. We had to wait until 1-1:30 PM; the boat had a special ramp that lowered me down and then rotated my wheelchair, so I was looking straight forward and could see either side of the water Along the way, my tour guide pointed out different animals; although these were animated, they gave a realistic portrayal of what people would have encountered in the Amazon. There were also waterfalls that kept people cool during the ride.   At 3 o’clock, we stopped on Main Street and waited for the Festival of Fantasy to begin. This parade highlights all of the characters from Disney movies, including Beauty and the Beast and of course, Mickey and Minnie Mouse
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