“Walt, The Man Behind the Myth”

Family Vacation to Walt Disney’s “EPCOT.”

Trips camping down at Fort Wilderness in Disney World was the stuff of dreams for our kids growing up, so it was with great pleasure that Alan, Joel, and I were able to spend a week down there this spring with our son Jon’s young family, who’d never been there before.

Jon and Linda have three little girls, and everything was new, fun, and fascinating!

Jon is one of the most innovative people I know, and The Magic Kingdom has always been a source of inspiration to him because there’s such strong encouragement for people to pursue those sparks of imagination that come to each of us—if we’ll only stop to pay attention!

Epcot Center: Spring Garden Colors

Every park is creative, clean, and colorful.

Watching “Movies Under the Stars” at Fort Wilderness Campground

No matter where you look, there’s likely to be something delightful—and often surprising—right beside you!

Great White Heron perched on top of a table umbrella

If you’ve been to “the happiest place on earth,” you’ll know what I’m talking about.

Disney: The Man Behind the Myth

Although Jon is a theologian with a heart for spiritual life more than “fun,” there’s a lot to be learned from the life of Walt Disney.

He was without a doubt one of the world’s most influential innovators of the twentieth century.

If you’re ever looking for some insight into this legendary man, his daughter told Walt’s story in a warm and honoring biographical documentary back in 2001 (although we just watched it recently!).

Walt, the Man Behind the Myth is G-rated, family friendly, and well worth watching!

One of the most helpful things I’ve learned from Disney comes from his
“Five Lessons on staying motivated and bouncing back from failure:”


*Follow your heart
*Be grateful for failure and move forward
*Go all in
*Invest in knowledge
*Embrace self-delusion (because) delusion and extraordinary success go together

As a Christian, I might modify these a little, to say such things as “Follow the Holy Spirit’s leading” and “Embrace your calling,” but the ideas can all find roots in the Bible:

*Psalm 37:4, “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.” You have to know what’s in your heart, so don’t ignore it!

*Psalms 32, 51, and 138 (for instance), David praise God for his help to move forward in times of failure and need.

*Colossians 3:23, “And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men.” If that isn’t going “all in” I don’t know what is!

*Proverbs 18:15, “The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge.” Proverbs 1:7, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

*Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

Are you inspired? I am! 🙂

A Great Course from The Great Courses: Fundamentals of Photography


Cherry Blossom Time at Meijer GardenAfter 40 years of point-and-shoot photography while herding butterflies (my kids) or chasing Alan (my husband), as his frame slowly disappeared over the horizon of the photo I was trying to frame, I’ve finally reached the stage of life where I can start to think about what it is I’m trying to accomplish beyond capturing precious memories and creating chronicles of beauty. Well, that’s probably all I’ll ever try to do, but I finally have some time for study and practice. However, have you noticed how taking classes is generally the privilege of the young or else the socially unencumbered? Being neither, it seemed impossible to find a class where I wouldn’t miss at least every other session…until. Joe Sartore's Fundamentals of PhotographyUntil I discovered Great Courses through a friend who lent us a bunch of classes he’d absorbed while commuting as an E.R. doctor. Long story short, I’m now happily immersed in a video course by Joel Sartore, who’s an award-winning photographer and National Geographic fellow. His Fundamentals in Photography through “The Great Courses” is a perfect fit for me, because I can watch the half-hour sessions while working out on my elliptical, and I can read the short texts either before or after (or both, in my case, now that my memory isn’t so sharp).  If you’re not interested in photography but have wished for expertise in some other field, you might consider looking online to see what’s available. One of The Great Courses only costs a fraction of a college class, and they’re flexible enough to fit even the oddest schedules! No matter what, continuing to learn is good for the mind and soul, and I hope we’re all lifelong learners.  🙂
Lessons on the Fundamentals of Photography by Joe SartoreFor any fellow photographers, here are a few of my favorite quotes from Joe Sartore’s book:

  • “Sometimes, you’ve just got to pet the whale.” (Don’t be so intent on your photography that you miss out on life’s great experiences and don’t feel their emotional impact.)
  • “What makes a photo iconic is that it surpasses the original situation in which it was taken.”
  • “Train the eyes and the brain to look for three elements: great light, good composition, and an interesting subject.”
  • “Quite literally, light makes a photograph.”
  • “The ultimate use of photography is to tell a great story—one that moves people, perhaps simply to smile or to do something significant, such as save the planet.”

Tips on Photography from Joe Sartore's Fundamentals of Photography. The Great CoursesThere’s more, lots more! Sartore’s illustrations are all top quality, G-rated, and family friendly. I sit smiling through each session! Happy learning, ya’ll!

“The heart of the prudent getteth knowledge; and the ear of the wise seeketh knowledge” Proverbs 18:15.

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding” Proverbs 4:7.

“But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ” 2 Peter 3:18.The Great Courses. Fundamentals of Photography