Sunday, May 3, 2015

Like a River

This whole Freddie Gray case sickens me. I mean yes the riots, yes the cop hate, yes definitely the potentiality that a guy was killed unjustly by police- but even more the comments in my newsfeed by people I know and even larger the disgusting comments on conservative sites following articles .

I absolutely hate the race card and immediately called bull on the ferguson narrative . This case has messy edges, the scenario isn't easily defined . What I've mostly heard is from the cops own testimony  they had an unlawful pursuit and arrest.

He looked a cop in the eye so he dies? And people are all outraged that others (not the rioters bc their behavior invalidates their opinion) just normal people online, in their communities wherever are alarmed that a young man- whatever his background, his color, his record whatever - a human being - ends up with his spine severed In a police van.

The report put out by the prosecutions office says the police reports say they basically hog tied the guy, put him on his belly on the floor and left him with no means to stop himself bashing into the back of the van as he was unrestrained.

How is that ok? Is it ok bc he's black? Or bc he was a rap sheet? Bc he did drugs? Bc he dealt them?

I'm just curious bc all I see on these sites is that he deserved it- without any evidence . Yet when anyone postulates that maybe JUST MAYBE cops were wrong in this scenario they're pelted with all kinds of abuse.

I'm sorry but I don't live in a reality where every police officer is perfect, out to serve and protect and sacrifice. I think most are. I hope most are. But reality is there are bad people in every group in life. No one gets a pass bc they wear a badge, or priestly vestments or a stethoscope or chalk stained hands.

The truth is the professions we hold in highest regard are going to have bad people in them- bc they're everywhere. We don't blindly disregard horrible behavior or even the thought that certain segments of society are exempt from wrongdoing just bc of the profession they're in.

People will willingly jump to "these cops are blameless" without any back history on them. Just because they're police.

And yet they are hard fast in their belief that Freddie Gray not only was guilty (for what do we know yet? Looking at a cop and then running is all I've heard so far. Neither are crimes) by knowing just as little truth and detail about his life and his circumstances that evening.

Do I think the cops are absolutely guilty- no not all the evidence is in but I will say my stomach turns by this narrative we have so far. I could stomach for sure a shooting easier than I could what went on. Shootings can happen in a split second - and while many of those are still unlawful by cops , I can see mistakes being made  with a gun. This is more sinister and calculated and prolonged. It stinks of intent- to harm. To kill? Probably not but that doesn't excuse their actions, just like if you or I intend to just hurt someone but instead kill them, our actions aren't excused.

Freddie Gray deserved death, say the OVERWHELMING consensus on these sites.
Why? Well they don't say because he's black, but how can someone, even someone like me who strains her eyes eye rolling so hard anytime the race card is played, ignore the fact that assigning guilt onto a person WITH ZERO EVIDENCE THUS FAR sounds a bit fishy.  I'mnot going to say racist because we all know how that works up the self righteousness in people "gasp no not I ! " so fishy. We will go with fishy.

Even people I know to proclaim to be Christians. People who have been forgiven much. With nothing . Free . Totally free grace and forgiveness. They deem him worthy to die without trial and whatever evidence against the cops or whatever evidence against Freddie. He should've died like a dog . Been put down because , you know, he had. A rap sheet.

Oh ok. That's how we do justice now?

I am SO glad that legally that isn't how we arrive on guilt innocence and punishment in society. Or American society, so far.
I am even more glad that this isn't how we are judged by God for our lives . In righteousness terms- we all have rap sheets and we add to them daily. Daily.


I'm so glad the proclaiming Christians who say Freddie should have died , Deserved it definitely ,  That the cops are 100 percent innocent and should've killed him and should get off bc they're scape goats to appease rioters (you know those awful people in projects ugh ...) and killing people is fine if you know they have a past . Or even a dirty present. They deserve to die. No trial needed. It's justified . I'm so glad they aren't judged for their litany of sins, indulgent gluttony, shoddy shady thieving business practices, general mistreatment of people, gossip, slander, lying spirits to the point where it's not just a lie it's their lifestyle and what just emanates from their mouths, for their porn addictions, lust, affairs, anger, hate, malice, envy , division causing, judge mental attitudes , self righteousness, their own drunkeness and addictions- I am sure glad those Christians aren't judged by their rap sheets and past and their continued sinning by the same measure they are saying Freddie gray and ostensibly anyone like him should be judged.

Am I saying the justice system work like Gods grace . No. Obviously. But for those who like to twist or have a hard time connecting coherent points- I am saying those quickest to judge someone is worthy to die in the street are the same ones who claim what they do is all forgiven in the blood. ( which it is ) . How quick to claim we are undeserving of our just deserts in the eternal while determining in the earthly realm that law doesn't need to be followed by police or others if it ends in the demise of someone with a rap sheet.

I'm not even saying Freddie wasn't doing anything- even though thus far that's what police reports tell us. Maybe he was dealing like everyone wants to say. Punishment for that is still not death. Not even if he had made it to trial- that wouldn't have been an option.

Finally, the most sickening (maybe -it's hard to rate the vileness of these attitudes)  it's not fair to deem him a "worthless POS" which is the number one characterization I see.

Everyone has inherent worth. You don't get to determine they don't so I am not even discussing it.

I know several former "worthless POS" drug users and drug dealers . A couple of them found Jesus in jail . One woke up passed out in snow and realized she probably should've died and went to church and found Jesus. They're all pastors now working in churches - and not the comfy kind of Christianity - but the gritty get out there like Jesus and actually DO something style of Christianity . The real kind. And I know many many other former drug users. And they're all some of the very best people I have had the pleasure to meet.

And yet. According to a disgustingly and alarmingly large segment of our population (a population that overwhelmingly identifies as Christian) they should've been put down in the street. Long before they cleaned up. Before they had a chance to straighten up their lives . Before their chance to do all the good they currently are working hard to do.

Before the chance of redemption.

None of us have a right to deny someone their chance of redemption.

"Let justice roll on like a river, righteousness like a never-failing stream" - God 


Whether Christian or not, we don't have that right. Whether a spiritual redemption or a just in this worldly sense of changing their ways and not breaking the law, of getting clean. It doesn't matter. We don't get to determine that someone should be dead just because he was on the street and may or may not have done something. In this country people get trials to allot punishment. In the spiritual realm we just have to accept grace.
Everyone has the right to experience both those things.

Whether Freddie Gray dealt drugs in his past or whether he was dealing that minute . Unless (and there is zero to say he was ) he was endangering someone at that second - he did not deserve to be killed or put in danger.

Nor did you or I in all the things we have done.


(And disclaimer for the simple minded who will want to say this means I support the riots or the killing of cops. Obviously not. I'm sorry you have no way of wading through slightly complex issues that have more than one facet to weigh) 

But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. And so we've come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice. We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of now. This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. Now is the time to make real the promises of democracy. Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice. Now is the time to lift our nation from the quicksands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood. Now is the time to make justice a reality for all of God's children.

- Martin Luther King Jr. "I Have A Dream Speech"




Sunday, April 19, 2015

Disney Day


After the obligatory photo pass shot on main street with the glorious castle background :
we came upon the  Move It, Shake It, Celebrate It parade
.
Ella was thrilled shouting out character names. Laci had an air about her I just couldn’t figure out. I feared the worst- she was too old for magic.  She didn’t get excited except maybe when she saw Jessie from Toy Story. I was already getting upset.  I was not ready yet for a trip with a kid who didn’t buy into the magic. I held out hope she was just worried about tarnishing some kind of image. You know she just turned 8 and all, she can’t seem like a little kid at that ripe old age…
So I focused on Ella who was bopping about to the lively music and dancing along with dancers waving at all the characters she could.  Since we happened along the parade already in progress, Tony and I got seperated in order for all kids to have prime curb side viewing. He had Layla and was not far away, still in view. I could see her in her stroller bouncing, clapping and screaming enjoying the spectacle as much as a 369 day old little person could.
Several parade performers wished Laci a Happy Birthday and one in particular came up shook her hand and wished her Happy Birthday by name. She didn’t crack a smile acted awkward and above it all. I was trying not to be upset. I hoped it was just her feeling out of place and shy and not that she was going to act non plussed the whole trip.
After the parade passed by we moved quickly towards the castle. We were amazed that cast members were already out in force with these super long grabby claw things removing streamers that were shot during the parade from the trees.
Disney means business when it comes to park cleanliness. Another reason to love the place.
Our first ride, in hopes to loosening Laci up and by virture of going around the castle instead of through it landing us in Liberty Square, was Haunted Mansion. 
Laci fell in love with this ride on our first trip. I fully expected her to be scared out of her wits. I rode it with her her very first time which was mine as well, and to be honest- I was scared myself and admitted so to her to help her feel better about her own emotions.  She did well on it though I didn’t expect her to love it like she did. We rode it so many times that first trip and Ella threw three bright green pacifiers outside her doom buggy.
Haunted Mansion went through a major rehab last year, including a new queue area full of new scenery and interactive features. Die hard fans aren’t happy with the change, as they typically hate any change but it was pretty neat. 
The drawback for us was that we were trying to convince a child who has horrible nightmares already and is scared of her own shadow that it was a bit spooky but ultimately a fun happy ride. 
The new giant mausoleums and above ground interactive tombs did not help our case in the least.
Ella was already terrified and velcroed to my leg.
Haunted Mansion is a Disney classic and an amazing exeperience.
 We wanted Ella to try it just once to not let her fear keep her from having fun, which is why we talked her into it. Some parents may disagree but knowing what lies ahead in it we felt she would be fine so we encouraged her to go on.
 Besides, who wants to split up the family on your first ride on your first Disney Day?
The cast members did not help our case. They are paid to look quite morose and unwelcoming to convey and eerie ambience. They do their job well and Ella was throughly freaking out as we were ushered into the Stretching Rooms and told to drag ourselves to the “dead center of the room” .
Welcome , Foolish Mortals , to the Haunted Mansion! I am your host. your ghost host…
As the door shut with a disturbing creak I felt at  this point the need to pre narrate the experience seconds before it happened. Having the actual narration memorized from our many rides last visit helped.
 “Look at the pretty girl on the tight rope in the painting Ella. She’s holding an umbrella to keep balance”
“yeah shes nice mama”
Stretttch
“Ok in a second youre going to see an alligator under her”
“whaaaat?!”
“ and don’t look at the other pictures. “
Is this haunted room really stretching or is it just your imagination….
“Ok Ella, the lights are about to go out don’t scream”
“what mama why?”
…and consider this dismaying observation: this chamber has no windows and no doors, which offers you THIS chilling challenge… TO FIND A WAY OUT….
“Ella don’t look up , and its about to fake thunder and lightning”
“I hate that “
Of course, there’s always my way muahahha.
After the corpse lights up ( which I never saw on all of our first trip rides!) the door opens and Ella thinks the ride is over. Having a brief moment of relief myself thinking if she made it through the stretching room she could make it through the rest, I realized this was a major set back.
As we are herded into the line to board a doom buggy she starts freaking out and I’m looking for a creepy maid or butler to usher us to the chicken door.  By the time we get close to a doom buggy I’ve managed to be able to distract her with the doom buggies themselves.
“Look, a round car. I wonder where it goes…”
We board and she is fine til our ghost host says he will lower the bar for us. I try to make it seem cool and wondrous -she remains completely freaked out that he did it.
Clinging as tightly as she can to my arm after finding out the ghost host lowered the bar too low for her to climb in my lap, she nuzzles into my arm pit and digs her fingers into my flesh.
The beginning is quite unnerving especially when you don’t know what to expect. Or when youre four and its all real to you.
She enjoyed the ride from the ballroom scene on until our buggy stopped momentarily and that dumb skeleton head in the graveyard popped up right by us in the graveyard. Of course! 
I sang along to Grim Grinning Ghosts but she couldn’t be soothed.  I couldn’t convince her that they were happy haunts despite their cheery tune. This was going to be a challenge!
As Little Leota beckons us back as we exit Ella declares that was the worst thing shes expereienced and will never go on it again.
I felt bad that was her first impression of Disney World rides! Worrying about keeping Laci happy I didn’t think about Ella and that she was even younger than Layla on her last trip so this would be her first real ride. We needed to remedy this situation and quick!
Sadly, Peter Pan as usual was a 45 minute wait. We were not at all willing to do that at this point. Instead we grabbedour first fast passes of the trip for Peter and qued  up for Snow White’s Scary Ride.
Now I am no dummy.
 I realize that the word scary is in the title of this ride but a 4 year old sees a princess ride and you tell me how to dissuade her ! 
Rejecting Pooh and Dumbo we were forced to ride it.
Although nowhere near the creep factor of HM it prominently features the witch. I love Walt Disney and I know he was a genius, but I still have never figured out why this ride which would obviously be a kiddie hit was designed to be scary. I can only surmise it is because the princess culture Disney has marketed in the last decade and a half had not yet begun and both adults and children alike were fans of the movie, but little girls were not so enmeshed in the fantasy world that perhaps having a Princess as the subject didn’t mean a must ride for kids.
After many appearances of the Snow Queen as the Witch (old hag is the official name), Ella declares she hates rides.
 I feel awful and defeated and am wondering how a week long vacation at a theme park  is going to pan out with a child who is terrified to ride!

Another Disney Day - Disaster Edition aka The Rule of 3 OR How Suits ruined my fun

Disney and disaster shouldn't go together in my world.

But I fear they do.

The disaster I'm referencing is the highly advertised My Magic + and Fast Pass +.

If you've missed the massive marketing campaign Fast pass+ is the next generation of Fast Pass.

If you've missed Disney for twenty years Fast pass is a system in which a guest would put in their park ticket at a ride they didn't want to wait in line for. In return they would receive a paper ticket with the ride name and a return time to come back and bypass the line.

There was a one hour time frame on that ticket but up until 2 years ago when they began preparing for the new system it wasn't enforced.

You could only get one ticket per 2 hours or if your fast pass return time was sooner than 2 hours you could grab another. Also if you were really in the know there were a few rides that weren't connected to the system and you could grab those in addition to the others.

And since return time was never enforced if you did a tiny bit of research before your trip you knew you could grab fast passes with abandon and ride whenever you darn pleased by passing stand by lines altogether.

Ah, but all good things must come to an end.

Enter Disney executives who think they know what the guests want.

This system is working perfectly well, they said, let us tinker.









Only Tinker fairies should be allowed to tinker.










Some execs realized that not all guests realized that fast pass was included and wanted a system that included all. It was seen as an unfair advantage that those of us who did some research not only knew about the fast pass system *which was talked about frequently at disney parks it was no secret* but also knew how to work it to get many fast passes. Totally within the accepted framework and rules mind you.

So they spent billions. Yes billions and we got Fast Pass +


Now we have a system that looks shiny and new and exciting on the outside but is broken on the inside. 

There are points that I love.

Wristbands 
aka Magic bands.
 Because Disney.

I lose things so its nice to have my room key/park ticket/credit card fastened to my wrist and linked to my very own fingerprint.
Score one Disney suits.

Plus you can pick the names that are engraved on them. I wanted to change  mine to Lady and Tony's to Tramp but they processed faster than Pooh eats a pot of honey. 

Plus you can  play super hereoes.

In theory magic bands are fabtastic.

We were there during testing and the blasted things didn't work. We had all kinds of issues - with Tony's anyway.

When they worked. Amaze.

When they didn't - I wanted to be very undisneylike.

They caused lots of stress the first two days and I even had my crew up for park opening for the first time EVA and we missed it because I was at the front desk 5 times after Tony had already been there once. Cast members kept daggone chasing me and forcing me back to the hotel lobby. I am not lying.

It sucked.

A bus stop worker boy took pity and gave me a super secret fastpass because I just looked like I was going to cry. He was all on the down low about because our stop had a bunch of Grumpy dwarves and he didn't want to be bum rushed.

They tell me the bugs that kept knocking us out of the system causing our bands to cause angry sad frustrated feelings are mostly worked out. So you're welcome.

On one call with a particularly unhelpful hotel worker as i waited in line for a late Sofia the first  on Layla's birthday as tony was stuck at the restaurant because it wouldn't scan our dining plan I told them I was done helping them test. The park workers were brilliant. They knew how to fix things with pixie dust. The hotel workers were so over the system they didn't even try to figure things out and so I decided to stop playing too. We used our bands in park and didn't use them at the hotel anymore. Because they didn't work there.

So. not so magical these bands.

They're also a bit sweaty but I am weird about wearing accessories. I like to rip them off as soon as I'm home. I'm  not a big fan of the feel of accessories so it may be me.

Also you have to line up mickey heads which is harder than it sounds apparently because it causes lines like this :



I don't buy that people are having THIS much trouble lining up Mickey heads but Fast Pass Plus fans are claiming these super long lines are due to just that and that when you get past the first Mickey head match point theres no line. Still. There used to be NO line for Fast pass you just walked on after flashing passes real quick at a person.

Back to the good:

You can switch around your fast passes using the My Magic + app.

Bad news the blasted app crashes all the times and is all kinds of buggy.

Disney is awesome at just about everything - but their sites are always clunky and buggy as are the apps.

However, when it works its so awesome to be able to use your smart phone to grab a fast pass or change it.

While we were there we were able to jump on rides we had fast passes scheduled for because the standby wait was low. Now mind you, we were in a very small group of people using the system so we were able to get what we wanted. Now that everyone is using it don't expect to be able to switch your ride reservations so easily.

So if you book Splash Mt. at 1 and get there and standby is 15 minutes which is basically walk on and you think hey lets change this fast pass to something else- you may not be able to .

So the positive of not running around grabbing paper fast passes becomes a negative because there don't seem to be enough to go around now.

Add to that:

WHO THE HECK WANTS TO SCHEDULE RIDES?!

Its bad enough I have to know what I want to eat 180 days out which then dictates what park I am in- now i have to not only schedule my dumb rides but also schedule them around my dining reservations.

Spreadsheets are not magical Disney.

How are you supposed to know what ride is going to need a fast pass at three thirty 10 saturdays from now.

You cant.

And that is what I found out in testing.

I changed almost ALL my fast passes in Magic Kingdom everyday.

I had to change many in Hollywood Studios because of a rain storm that last for hours.

Yes now your fast passes can be rained out because you picked your ride time weeks in advance.

I hate this.

Another thing touched on above - it seems like to park goers that way more people are using fast pass which is making fast  pass lines look like stand by lines very often.

So the massive marketing campaign is working and more people are aware of the fast pass system.

The bad news- its making fast pass much less fasty passy.

One more plus- they made everything or darn near everything fast pass able. So its nice that rides that used to be stand by only can  be fast passed but typically those rides only had a couple busy times a day  you could always catch them later and do you really want to use a fast pass on a lesser ride when: wait for it...

You only get 3 THREE 3 FAST PASSES. THREEE.

I can't even type my sadness, frustration and disgust at that number.

And can you believe they have the nerve to send you a survey that asks if three is enough.

No Disney no its not. Of course its not. What the heck.

Of course if you're Joe Schmoe who previously bumbled about Disney World thinking you couldn't use fast pass and glared at all of us smarty pants who listened to the girl at check in and the girl on the disney inoformation channel that comes on everytime you turn your tv on (hey stacey) or the people at the turnstiles or wording on the ticket, or wording on the signs by the big metal machines labelled fast pass...

then yes I guess you would be darn tootin thrilled about 3 whole rides fast passed.

Joe Schmoe- go to six flags.

But for the rest of us who knew how to use fast pass *read above* we are now having to rethink our whole Disney vacation just to ride a fraction of what we used to.

Now if you made it this far, I'm going to give you some tips.

First.
Go follow Kenny the Pirate on facebook.

He's had a blog for a long time on Disney world and recently moved to Orlando (lucky pirate) and goes often and is writing out strategies for Disney world in general and fast pass so you can tour like a boss.

A boss with giant circular black ears.

Next.

If you can't get all of your people a ride reservation at the same time try
 booking one or two at a time at a staggered rate.
 (via Kenny the Pirate)

The fast pass has a window of return of an hour so

If Mickey gets a Splash return time of
1pm
Minnie and Pluto get one at 1:10
Goofy gets one at 1:20
and Daisy and Donald get one at 1:25

The entire group can still ride together.

Their window to ride together however is 1:25 (the latest starting time) and 2 Pm (the earliest ending time which was mickeys)
pluto fell out

A bit of organizing (spreadsheets aren't magical Disney suits) and much less window of opportunity

But look they're happy

and dry. They mustve worn ponchos on Splash.

So that is a big tip right there because it can be hard to find times for popular rides for your whole fam. That one will be a life saver.

Another tip:

Skip extra magic hour parks.

Boo hiss I love extra magic hour days. But fast pass + is killing them.

How?

Because those parks are naturally busy on those days.

Now that we have 3 THREE 3 measly fast passes to use our best bet is to go to a less crowded park - which will NEVER be the extra magic hour park.

Consolation - they keep cutting the hours back so its not so great now anyway.

Hit rope drop. (disney nerd speak for get up early and get there for park opening)

I always balked at the rope drop crowd.

We are on vacation we want to sleep in after walking miles and magical miles in oppressive heat .

But now....
 I can't do extra magic hour parks to make up for our late start so we have to get up early.

We actually had a lot of breakfasts this year because we had a late start scheduling (by like 2 weeks) and lunch and dinners were all booked up at our favorite spots. This forced us to rise early.

But I have to say, its nice in the morning . Crowds are low. Heat is manageable.

Mornings are nice.

Now you have no choice.

Go in the morning.
                                                They're so happy to see you so early.
                                                    There is a little opening show to 
                                                                   reward your early birdyness.

If your crowd gets sleepy head back for a swim and a rest and come back around 4 or 5. We aren't big break fans - and I do recommend driving the days you plan on taking a break because otherwise so much time is eaten up with the busses -  but it is nice to take a little rest and go back refreshed. Open to close at disney for 8 days isn't possible with little ones. At least not pleasantly possible!

If you got up early and take a short break you'll still get in just as much time as if you'd slept in and stayed til close.

The other option is have a lunch or late lunch at a sit down restaurant. Explore the resort its at ride the monorail, those things will rest and refresh without heading to your hotel. Not as much but a few die hard days won't ruin your vacation.

Don't park hop.

If you aren't an Annual Pass holder, you're paying $70 a day to park hop. You aren't saving much at all you're nearly paying for 2 tickets . Plus you're spending extra time travelling between parks.

Now Disney wants to take all your fast pass rights away at the second and subsequent parks you visit in a day.

That's right currently (may change) you can only use fast pass + at one park per day.

So no you cannot book splash at 10 am and Soarin at 5 pm.

That stinks and really takes the incentive of park hopping away.

Who wants to leave a park, ride a bus and then go stand in stand by lines all evening?

Dumb.

Of course if you use all your fast pass + in the morning and remember you get 3 THREE 3 paltry fp now so its entirely possible you'd blow your whole allotment in the morning then you'd be standing in stand by lines all day anyway no matter what park youre in so go ahead and hop.


Oh and btw, you wouldn't be able to book Splash and Soarin ANYWAY because they now have tiers (didn'twhile I tested).

These tiers mean you not only get only 3THREE3 stingy fast passes they are now going to tell you how to use those fast passes. YES. Disney wants to micro manage your life.

You can get one tier one* read good * ride. Splash, soarin, big thunder, toy store mania...

Any ride you really really like. Pick one thats all.

Then you get a tier 2 ride. Still good rides but meh. I rode it once already on this visit I'm good.

Then you have to pick a tier 3 ride - which is a ride you'd never fast pass before because there were no standby lines to begin with.

EXCEPT NOW THERE IS!

Because Disney is forcing people to pick tier three rides things like The Great Movie Ride, Muppets 3d, and Star tours (all things my kids like to ride) are no longer walk ons.

This is just like Snow White's poison apple. It kills all the magic.
ALL THE MAGIC.

 I hate it.
 boo. hiss.
Never had to boo nor hiss Disney before.
Dark Days folks.


I don't like fast pass as it is.

At all.

It seems they tried to reinvent a perfectly good wheel and made it square instead.

But it is Disney so I hold out hope that what we see now is not the final product. PLEASE.

A solution that would make me happy right off the bat would be more fast passes per guest.

Not sure if the higher load of people using the system allows for this but it would go a long way to soothe my sore feelings over this.

Make the app better.

There's no reason for it not to work.

Disney really had something if they had kept the frame work in place from old fast pass and just made it all digital.

Keep it exactly the same and instead of running around grabbing paper fast passes you just check your app or the kiosk to see whats available and book it. One every two hours.

Awesome.

Happy Disney Veterans and clueless visitors alike.

I'm hoping that once all this testing is done that is the system we will have and this micro managing system with fast passes doled out by Scrooge McDuck will cease.

Dont be a fast pass miser Disney.

And FOR.THE.LOVE. get rid of tiering.

Its not nice.
Certainly not magical.

Check out my blog dedicated solely to Disney travel! Need help planning a getaway? Click my travel agent button on the side bar!

 http://magicaladventuresbymandy.blogspot.com/2015/04/another-disney-day-disaster-edition-aka.html


Something Wicked This Way Comes... or does it...



The role of a pastor is to lead and guide, like a shepherd, the people under their care in the church – their flock . Now more times than not pastors are wise and use discretion- the task of leading people through this journey of life is a heavy mantle to put on.

From the time I was in youth group, I’ve made friends with many pastors. Tony being a pastoral major at Bible College, we made many more pastor friends, Our wedding looked like some Assembly of God convention. and since then I’ve been friends and continue to be friends with pastors and pastor wives in different stages of their ministry.

Something about me screams- confide in me… it happens often, people I haven’t even spoken to in years will message me when they’re going through a rough time, people I’ve just barely met bare innermost secrets, I don’t know why- it just  happens.

And so,some of  these numerous pastoral friends through the years, too have shared a lot with me. 

Being a pastor is a difficult job yall. And one thing they’ve shared is just how heavy is the burden to lead people. 

They are tasked with a sacred job, and most bear that burden with thoughtfulness and care. They make sure what they’re speaking of to their congregations is rooted in truth as positively as they can. 

They search out the meanings in the original context in the languages the word was written – because in the Bible context is EVERYTHING. 

They don’t posit a theory or teaching without being absolutely sure that what they’re saying is grounded in the truth.


 Because people, God isn’t a tricky little prankster. He doesn’t hide the truth- it’s not hard to understand what he means. He doesn’t make us go on a spiritual scavenger hunt through a briar patch trying to unearth what he “really” meant. It’s plain. It really is.

Its when you seek to twist turn pervert the simple blunt easily discovered truths to FIT into YOUR own context, YOUR own meaning, YOUR own agenda – that’s when it gets tricky.


But a good pastor doesn’t do that because they understand they are held accountable for what they lead their flock into and so it is with that heavy weight on their shoulders they carefully but boldly proclaim the truths of God to those under their care because they want you and I to flourish on this Christian journey. They want to help prevent us from making the same missteps that they may have made or been led into on their journey. 

There literally like a guide for us- "look out there’s a tree root don’t trip"," the hill up here is steep but just push on you’ll make it up". "The path ahead is rocky but just beyond it is a stream if you look really hard you’ll see, we can refresh there." " Its dark but I’ve got this torch I’ll light, stick close we will make it through together."

But then there are times when your guide, gets lost. And it doesn’t mean they’re a bad person. 

They may well have a good heart. Maybe they aren’t cut out for the enormous task of pastor, but forced into by other people, family, or expectations as they grew up.

 Maybe they were but just have become disillusioned and disinterested in truth and interested in all the other things of the world.

Its really tricky for the sheep in this situation. 

But since we aren’t actually brainless sheep, we have some accountability.

 If your shepherd starts veering off the well-worn path into thickets and brambles under deep forest coverage that the deeper you walk the darker it (or they) gets...sometimes you have to make the decision to turn back and find that otherwise guide, who knows the way.

 Especially if, you’ve talked to the pastor. "Um are you sure this is the path?"...." I’m really concerned, maybe you’re just a bit side tracked." ...." I know you’re a great person and you do love God. ....But yeah I don’t recognize this AT ALL"…."do you notice we are all alone here? No one seems to be seeing what you’re seeing and I uh, don’t know that you’re 100 percent here"…"We’ve been through a lot together but this doesn’t feel right"…"I’m just going to go and find someone else to guide me out of here…"

I’ve (mostly) kept my mouth shut but I am really worried about how some pastors take a good bit of liberty with what is biblical and what is fantastical conjecture.

 I’m totally fine with reading into conspiracies and weird strange possibilities for fun .But when you start presenting that stuff as truth from a pulpit to people who hold what you say as one speaking for God, because that’s what congregations do- we trust pastors to be speaking for God to us, because that’s what they do- maybe not in the sense as a prophet but as one interpreting his Word for us to take it from the page and apply to life- then you've crossed a line that shouldnt be crossed, breached a trust, abused power.

Reading apocryphal books and preaching their elements like the Book of Enoch, the Gospel of Judas and all the other ones- not ok! Read on your own time if you want (as long as you’re rooted in truth and won’t be deceived) but if your pastor is preaching from these books please hear me – this isn’t normal, healthy or good for your soul.   

Things like Nephilim which are mentioned in two EXTREMELY vague verses in the bible are being preached as if they’re some kind of certainty. You can’t base theories on two vague verses.

 Of course the book of Enoch sheds a lot more light on them but it isn’t canonical! Its not accepted as truth. Its as legit a source as Harry Potter and The Sorcerer’s Stone (which me just mentioning this means in a witch I am sure by the thoughts of many) 

In fact Harry Potter, has mover value because it actually has valuable lessons and lines up as biblical allegory much more than the Book of Enoch. I’m fine with people reading what they want even discussing for kicks and giggles with people but when one starts preaching from a platform in a church as someone who’s supposedly called by God and delivering a “word” for the people. Its not ok!!! The bible warns against this numerous times. Its called false teaching folks.

“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive” Romans 16:17-18.
We are not to listen to this nonsense. Not indulge it at all. This verse about those who teach these things goes hand in hand with this one that talks about where those teachings come from. And its no secret that people who preach these things claim to have some inside knowledge other churches don't posess. "We are the only ones" or " one of the few preaching the truth" (thats cult speak folks.)


“For a time is coming when people will no longer listen to sound and wholesome teaching. They will follow their OWN DESIRES and will look for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.”2 Timothy 4:3

Look, reading the same things in the bible can get old, aparently. Some people like to spice it up looking for “mysteries” and all the vague things implied like the aforementioned Nephilim.

 Like this verse says those desires can  become greater and overcome some people to the point they just push aside all the sound teaching and allow their minds to be warped by garbage masquerading as biblical truth. 

And to the second half of the verse speaking of looking for teachers who will tell them whatever their itching ears want to hear.

Yes! Instead of looking to the solid men and women of God they once sought wisdom and guidance from they look to anyone they can find that espouses their beliefs- namely creepers on the net.

Yes we live in an age where you can not only find but connect with people who will espouse whatever nut bag belief and theory you want to posit.   

And if you’re so desperate for someone to validate your belief you blindly accept them and their dubious credentials. Sorry “credentials” because credentials here means: has a YouTube channel or free internet based radio show…or blog…or read a book that one time.

Yes, you can validate any insane theory you want by a simple google search. BUT just because you found your conspiracy site soul mate it does not mean you are correct. And heck if you want to skip down the bramble path into secret occult symbols, illuminati, aliens and luciferian overlords, by golly grab yourself a picnic basket and skip away.

 But if you are in a church leadership position. YOU DON”T HAVE THAT FREEDOM. You’ve given yourself (supposedly) over to the mantle of pastor of shepherd , of protector. You need to keep your mind on things above that are good and holy (no I’m not typing the reference). 

You aren’t supposed to speculate into dark secrets made up by some 27 year old creeper still living in his mom’s basement and making “videos” for YouTube. 

And you sure has heck don’t get to stand up in front of a congregation at a pulpit and preach it as truth. You shouldn’t even open your congregation up to it as “possibility” because you are leading them astray! Why don’t you just throw some honey on them before you feed them to the wolves…?

This is not Christianity. This is not preaching. THIS IS NOT HEALTHY.

(I’m talking to you, who sit through this non sense and let it to put questions into your brain…)
When youtube starts to be a source for your truth- you’re venturing way off the path and probably already walking off a cliff.  And if you’re a pastor you’re leading lots of several innocent lives off with you.

God does not hide truth. He’s not sadistic. He doesn’t tease you. He wants you to know truth to live in –
TO BE FREED BY IT.
You do NOT have to skulk around the internet to find out what GOD really meant here and there. If it’s important- it’s clear. It really is. There aren’t secret passages telling us aliens are traipsing about and that means it’s the end of the world. There aren’t hidden passages to “luciferian conspiracies”
Stop it! 

 For those of you who didn’t’ get the memo when you turned 18 and should’ve had some sense. YOUTUBE IS UNREGULATED AND NOT A RELIABLE SOURCE OF INFORMATION.

I could (and just may) make youtube posts posturing any idea I want. I could sit and pick a part any song (a favorite past time of these so called Christians who are seeking secret knowledge) and make it have any message I want it to.  

 I can watch any Katy Perry and circle every motion she makes and every prop she uses and attribute it to an illuminati grand conspiracy signaling its time for the aliens to come and colonize the planet or whatever the fresh hell these people claim.

This is not the job of a pastor. And you should not listen to a “pastor” who is leading you into this!You shouldn't listen to anyone leading you into this!

This is where people like Westboro Baptist come from people. One messed up whacka doo gets an agenda in his head, starts twisting scripture to fit his agenda and publishes it and people believe. 
“But he’s a PASTOR WE CAN TRUST HIM”. 
No you can’t.
The title means nothing it’s the spirit behind it.
Test, always test, (or if youre a potter  fan CONSTANT VIGILANCE) what you are being told. 

If it doesn’t line up with scripture, if it requires you to read apocryphal sources, if it says that God hid this truth… it is not truth. That man or woman is not speaking truth to you – no matter what title they hold. We are to flee false teaching!

Flee it! 

It takes root in your brain and wars with truth. 
It puts fear into your mind and we all know fear is not of God. 
NOT OF GOD.

Flee that.
Some people set out to lead people astray.

Some are good hearted people who have themselves been led astray with their obsessions and desires. Some its arrogance thinking they have this secret knowledge that the common less spiritual beneath them just don’t have the intelligence or spirituality to discern.  

Both sets- the intent to harm and the they themselves misguided set – both equally dangerous.

Preaching false doctrines as a pastor is dangerous because some people blindly will follow you off that cliff. The title comes in immediate respect and trust. Its been abused since its inception and still people blindly trust.

Stop blindly trusting, folks, because this isn’t just going on in weird little sects in the world with the next Jim Jones, its happening in my own back yard and your own back yard.

I’ve had to leave such a church myself.  Let me tell you God was pretty clear when things were pointing to weird teachings. We prayed one night please direct us do we need to leave now, or stay awhile and support some friends that are still there, til they leave staying in our positions to help them …the next morning during church all I heard was GO NOW GO NOW.  (tony too) And felt like a curtain had been lifted off my eyes and saw and felt an unsavory sense of dread and "impending doom" seems so dramatic but that was the sense I got and what came to mind to describe it immediately. My skin crawled. Feelings of the sense of darkness and all in a church service.

I’m totally not one of these people to see a devil around every corner and will give a big eye roll and audible sigh to people who are like that- but that is what it felt like. 
Something wicked this way comes…

there was something not at all right, not at all okay and all under the guise of Jesus. (Although his name isn’t mentioned much bc he’s a bout grace not the heavy hand of the law…)
Be wise be alert. Wolves in sheep’s clothing and all that.

This has been long and I’m sure since I’ve said something I’ll be attacked again. Last time I did affiliated people decided to try and put my 11 year old on public blast numerous times posting a photo of her and a Disney character (jack skellington) on fb and calling her evil for the photo. And of course me stupid and lacking of spirituality for allowing to her pose with A MADE UP DISNEY CHARACTER WHO ISNT EVEN A VILLAIN OR EVIL… Also I was called every Christian curse in the book, and told God told them he was coming after me. Apparently he meant coming after me with blessings because Tony got a promotion a couple days later…so…bring it?

Anyway, I don’t even care anymore. 

A lot of people who know these truths keep their mouths shut because either theyre in church leadership elsewhere and well you can’t really say things as bluntly, or they have to deal with these  people involved in other aspects of their life. 

I don’t and I’m worried about all the people being led astray. I’m sorry (not sorry) but if someone is preaching false teachings and I know it and I know I have friends there who are listening to it I feel like I have an obligation to warn them. 

I don’t want that on my hands.

 Even though, if you sit through it and allow yourself to be led astray you will be held accountable for not testing what you heard with (not youtube) the word of God because he wrote it plainly for you to see, but If I can help someone wake up from the spell of delusion they’re under I’m going to. 

I’m just thankful that I’m somewhere now that has untwisted my mind because even though raised in church and as someone who knows the bible, went to Evangel University (bible college) and loves God and his word when you sit under that preaching it warps your mind and what you know. Thank God we are somewhere that just I feel like literally bleach washes my brain from that nonsesne. Every service I come away with more clarity and realization that we serve a God of love who seeks our best not one of punishment hate and fear who wants to taze us every time we miss a service or slip up or just don’t measure up. 

Thank God I’m not hearing that Nephilim are aliens and currently raping women on the earth because it’s the days of Noah again (not that I’d believe that insanity but some are believing that)
Thank God I am in a church where the Book of Enoch is not sourced literature nor is Derek the 28 year old mama basement dweller who has the inside scoop on all the pop stars…or in a church that brings in alien hunters like LA marzulli and Russ Dizdar- a man who in his book about Satanic Ritual Abuse ( you know the big scam of the 80s) that children are used by the devil and the CIA yes that CIA as plants in churches to kill people. YES CHILDREN.

People wake the heck up its not ok.

And just to further drive the point home this song Feel the Light by JLO is not a luciferian conspiracy. The song has 56 words its not that deep. No the fact that stars were projected on her enormous dress does not mean it’s a Luciferian conspiracy. As the end of the performance showed, it was an elaborate ad for her new movie Home. Which gasp has a cartoon alien (Nephilim? Hmmm).  You can make anything into anything withna little imagination and a whole heck of a lot of time on your daggone hands. Just like my husband pointed out this song sung by someone else say Casting Crowns could totally be a Christian song. (Of course we all know the contemporary Christian music industry is illuminati right? Toby Mac I’m looking at you) sigh. 

Btw this JLo nonsesne( i dont' even like JLo) is what prompted this post. I addressed my concerns with the source who deleted the initial Jlo conspiracy  and reposted it then said ya know what if you have issue post it on your own page. Ooookay here is what I am posting, at your direction. My concerns on my page as directed...

Please people use discernment. If a pastor posts a link to some youtube creeper and recommends said youtube creeper as a source of knowledge… and also says they don’t agree with everything they say but is directing his or her flock there ANYWAY. There is something wrong.

 Deeply, troublingly wrong. 

And its ok to care about that person but please do it from a healthy church where you aren’t being led into an obsession of the occult. Because yes someone can be delving into the occult and be "against “the occult. It’s the unhealthy obsession with the belief in the false teachings that is harmful.

If you want to check out the link to the JLo nonsense here it is. And unlike some pastors who claim its full of truths that will enlighten your mind to the grand luciferian conspiracy around you and the big alien plot… I will tell you it drivel, bunk, insanity and poorly done. Just because something remind some youtube person of something doesn’t make it what the song means.But thats the basis of all the "facts" in this video. Just like Katy perry dancing with sharks at the super bowl reminded this or another youtube creeeper of  some alien bible prophecy. 


Put your trust in wise people with discernment seeking truth not chasing after their own desires and
 itching ears...

Addendum:

Above church mentioned - we had lots of misgivings but didnt listen even though we knew things were messed up. Thankfully, (because we realized not only is scripture being twisted but flat out nonsense is being preached and made us realize we need to leave) one day a youtube video called Placebo was shown as the sermon  that says Satan allows you to think you're saved when you ask Jesus in your heart yet you die and hahah jokes on you you were not. INSANE and this video was presented not just as fact but as the most important thing the pastor ever saw and is still shared as that.

If you want a good laugh or shock read the transcript of that youtube . The "preacher" died and shared this vision when he came back  God threw him around the throne room (is it thrown room?) because he wasn't good enough. Wasn't even really saved after decades of ministry. Also, apparently demons look like middle aged men in shabby gray suits (Matlock?!)
Also, the treasures in heaven verse being twisted in the offering the previous week to mean instead of storing our treasures in heaven as in heavenly rewards  investing in eternity making an impact for the kingdom was twisted to mean you tithe because God takes that money and send you treasures from heaven down to you like big cars and houses . for real. disgusting. This and the placebo made us realize we couldnt stomach anymore. Its only gotten worse from what people tell me and what I see distributed by the church itself- proudly.
 Please stop sitting through non sense people. Being so misguided you preach this- means you shouldn't be preaching.