Saturday, February 18, 2012

Change The World

Some float through life doing things for which they have no passion. They are consumed by their weaknesses. They never discover the benefit they could provide to our society if they would explore, dream, and discover! Over the next few paragraphs, my objective is to provide you with an example of someone who didn’t float through life but went down the roaring rapids of life.

He loved to draw and had an interest in motion pictures. Often, he took his sister to Electric Park which was only a few blocks from their home and one of the world’s first full time amusement parks. It was near Heim Brothers Brewery in Kansas City Missouri.

While in High School, he took night courses at the Chicago Art Institute. He became cartoonist for the school newspaper. He dropped out of school at sixteen to join the army but rejected because he was underage so he decided to join the Red Cross where he was sent to France during World War I. For a year he drove an ambulance.

In 1919, he found work as an artist but was told by the newspaper that he was not creative enough. He started his own animation company making Laugh-O-Grams or what we call cartoons today and secured a deal with a local theater to screen them. The cartoons became popular in the Kansas City area but studio profits were insufficient to cover employee salaries and it went bankrupt.

He moved to Hollywood in 1925 and started a studio with his brother Roy. By now many of you know who I’m writing about. Walt Disney was most valuable to their company when he was using his gift of innovation instead of running the day-to-day operations. Roy was good with running the day to day operations of the business. They had some success with a series put into production through Universal Pictures but Universal cut their fees and stole some of their artist.

But Walt continued to be an Innovator and created some of the world’s most well-known fictional characters including Mickey Mouse in the 1930’s and Donald Duck in the 1940’s. In 1938, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs was the first animated movie in America made in Technicolor. It became the most successful motion picture of 1938. In the late 1940’s, he drew sketches of ideas for an amusement park and Disney Land opened in 1955.

In the 1950’s, his company began expanding into other entertainment operations. Treasure Island became the studio’s first all-live-action feature, soon followed by 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea, Old Yeller, and Swiss Family Robinson. The television show, Mickey Mouse Club debuted in 1955. Walt Disney won twenty two Academy Awards – More than any other individual in History. In May 1965, land owners were happy to get rid of swamp land a few miles southwest of Orlando. Walt Disney world opened in October 1971.

Walt Disney died of lung cancer on December 15, 1966, before his vision was realized but he taught us to be enthusiastic about life. He taught us about having a passion; an absorbing interest in what we do. Things come easier when we do what we like to do. Kids seem to get it a little better than adults. Every day can be a holiday if we look forward to what tomorrow will bring. Each day, we should be like a child going on a vacation.

More pictures are taken at Walt Disney World, the world’s number one tourist attraction, than at any other single location on the planet. Today, Walt Disney’s animation/motion picture studios and theme parks have developed into a multi-billion dollar television, motion picture, vacation destination and media corporation.

What lesson has been learned: Just to have solid dreams and let God take it to a level that you never dreamed of. We serve a supernatural God who is not limited to the laws of nature. He can do what human beings cannot do and make a way in our lives where it looks as if there is no way; therefore we should stop focusing on what we can't do, and start focusing on what God can do. Give it your all. Don't settle for mediocrity but do things with a passion. Imagine approaching each day with enthusiasm because you have the chance to bring order to God’s world. You have a chance to enthusiastically explore, dream, and discover!

Below is a video I made of our vacation to Disney World last summer.

Thanks for reading. I'd like to invite you to take a look at my other blogs at the links below:

This Day with God
Step Ahead

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Lovers’ Leap

If you go to a movie or read a book, romance is depicted in stories of courtships and love affairs or in historical settings of heroic deeds or pageantry. In a colorful and scenic world full of fanciful stories and daydreams. I once heard about a legend similar to Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. An Indian maiden named Wah-Wah-Tee from an enemy tribe of the Apaches and her Apache brave lover knew that their love would be forbidden. They were determined to be together and tried to run off together, only to be intercepted by her angry father and brothers. The tale ends with Wah-Wah-Tee kissing her lover before they both jump off a cliff and plummet to their death. Today, people around Waco Texas call the cliff just north of downtown at the east end of the Bosque River “Lover’s Leap” because of this legend.

The world does not give a good guide to relationship but we can look to the greatest servant of all, Jesus, for a perfect model to follow. A relationship fueled by "serve-you" love is a lasting love that begins when a couple start viewing their relationship as a chance to meet each other's needs. A couple should admit their needs, ask God for help and serve each other in God's strength. For any leader of a family or group of people, take inspiration from the following video: Lead Me - Sanctus Real .

Pray for God to lead you to make good decisions and for the strength to lead those you love in the right direction. 

John Ed Mathison in his book “Treasures of a Transformed Life” Wrote about a guy in a romantic mood. He said to his wife, “If I had a thousand arms, they’d all be around you. And she said, “Quit complaining about what you don’t have, and use what you do have!” My pastor, Steve Ramsdell pointed out in a sermon one time that God gives us an amazing proposal and invitation to intimacy. From the beginning in Genesis 1:26-28 to the end in Revelation 21:6-7, He understands our needs and wants. The focus is on a relationship and sometimes we need to slow down and smell the roses. Billy Graham was quoted to say the following, “The word romance, according to the dictionary, means, excitement, adventure, and something extremely real. Romance should last a lifetime.

Thanks for reading this blog. I'd like to invite you to take a look at my other blogs at the links below:
This Day with God
Step Ahead

Saturday, February 4, 2012

Turning Problems Into Opportunities

We’ve finally reached the end of the NFL football season with this weekend’s Super Bowl. There will be tons of food eaten and tons of money spent this weekend as people attend Super Bowl watching parties or go to their favorite neighborhood sports bar. Companies will also spend millions on commercials to get their products noticed.  

Today, I’d like to tell a story about a person who invented a new snack product that all of us enjoy. The year was 1853. The location was Saratoga Springs resort in upstate New York; a favorite place of the wealthy. A Native American cook named George Crum at one of the restaurants was working hard but couldn’t please everyone.  A patron ordered a plate of French-fried potatoes but didn’t like how thick and soft they were so he sent them back and ask for George to make them to his liking.

Are you ever thrown into situations like George? Maybe at work, you follow procedure and do everything the way it should be done but there is one person you just can’t please no matter what you do. Maybe at home; you go out of your way to fix a meal just for your kids but one picky eater always finds something to complain about.

What are some ideas on how we should respond? How should we respond to tough days? How should we respond to people that you just can’t please? If you are like me, you get ticked off. Sometimes I wish I could hit Ctrl-Alt-Delete on my day. Customer service gurus will say something like look on the favorable side of happenings or possibilities like to be cheerful and hopeful. Don't worry, be happy and be content with whatever the circumstances. They will say something like think about it: bad days can help you think up new ways to create better days for someone else.  Remain optimistic. If someone is complaining, don’t take it personal. Go ahead and try to meet their demand. 

The customer service gurus have some good ideas but like the cook named George in today’s story, most people are going to be ticked off. On this night in 1853, George Crum sliced a new batch of potatoes. He sliced them as thin as possible, fried them until they were hard and crunchy, and topped them off with a heaping of salt. George was thinking the patron would complain even more and then ask for the fluffy soft fries again but amazingly the patron loved them and a new snack was born.

The industry that George Crum launched in 1853 continues to grow and prosper today. Potato chips have become America’s favorite snack and the U.S. potato chip industry employees over 50,000 people. 

George showed us how a problem can become an opportunity. After launching the potato chips industry, he opened his own restaurant catering to wealthy clients including William Vanderbilt, Cornelius Vanderbilt, Jay Gould, and Henry Hilton.

And now you know today’s lesson. The next time you crunch into a potato chip and enjoy the delicious taste of one of the world’s most famous snacks, remember George Crum and how he handled a difficult customer with a touch of humor and by just trying to please them the best he knew how. 

Thanks for reading this blog. I'd like to invite you to take a look at my other blogs at the links below:

This Day With God
Step Ahead