The following is a guest post from my friend, Randy Crane. I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did. I also highly recommend you take the time to read all about him on the links provided below in this post and also get his new book, “Faith And The Magic Kingdom”. YOU WILL BE BLESSED!
Blessings – Keith
Like a lot of people, I grew up with Disney movies, especially the animated features, and I lived just a few miles from Disneyland. (In fact, for most of my childhood, I could see the Disneyland fireworks each night.) But there was more to it than that.
Various members of my family were ill when I was growing up. My Grandma lived with us for the last several years of her life, and I helped my parents take care of her. My Mom was sick several times, as well, and I helped take care of her, too. I even quit my first job to be home so she could have major surgery without worrying about who was going to take care of Grandma (her mother). I was always a “little adult,” and had to grow up very fast and mature a lot faster than one would typically expect of a child. A lot was expected of me. “With great power comes great responsibility.” I had the responsibility part, anyway.
At the same time, when I was in the third grade, my parents were told to be very careful and watch me closely because I was gifted (in the G.A.T.E. program) and highly emotionally-sensitive. If they weren’t careful, my G.A.TE. teacher told them, I was at risk for serious emotional and maybe even psychological issues. So I learned, subconsciously for the most part, to be careful about that part of my emotional nature.
Because I was capable of so much—which I’m grateful was nurtured and encouraged by my family—and had the responsibility I did, I was a perfectionist. I expected a lot of myself, never wanted to let anyone down, and knew that in some parts of my life (especially the health of my family) there was no room for error. So my standard became 100% all the time. That’s a very exhausting way to grow up.
As a young adult, Disneyland became the place where I could “recapture my childhood,” reconnect with the emotional side of myself I’d buried, and escape in healthy ways. It was also the place I could consistently spend time with my best friend, Andy, and so weekly trips became the norm for me. And the more I went, the more I loved it! It, and it’s creator, Walt Disney, has become an integral part of me, and I use it still as an escape, but also as a teaching tool and a writing inspiration, and a resource (in multiple ways). My new book, “Faith and the Magic Kingdom” is a direct result of that.
It started with a single sermon. I figured I’d just write it out, cut as much as I needed to in order to preach it, and that would probably be that. Instead, I cut 75% of what I’d written and it was still a 50-minute sermon. I realized there was much more to this than I’d thought, and in July of 2010, I began blogging it at FaithandtheMagicKingdom.net .
The Christian faith is not something we compartmentalize. If our faith can relate to Disneyland, it can relate anywhere, right? I hope this book will make that truth real, and act as a springboard for conversations with friends and family––such that the next time you go to Disneyland, or just drive by, or even see something about it, the experience might trigger a reminder of what you’ve read. That reminder can perhaps be used to start a nonthreatening conversation with a non-believing friend or be a word of encouragement or challenge to a Christian friend—or to yourself. The realities of grace, God’s love, our identity in Christ, the dangers of sin, the importance of relationships, and more are found throughout the park, and in seeing them there, my prayer is that they become more integrated in our lives. Even if you don’t know anything about Disneyland, that’s OK. If you’ve ever been to either Disneyland or Walt Disney World, you know enough to get value from “Faith and the Magic Kingdom.” If you haven’t, I go into enough detail that you’d still get value from it. You may even learn something new and/or want to visit!
As one of my early reviewers put it, the book “uses a place that is known and loved for its escapism to teach and explain Christian doctrine, turning the Happiest Place on Earth into the ultimate picture illustration of Bible truths.” I truly believe these lessons and reminders can revolutionize a reader’s life in Christ while giving him a greater and deeper appreciation for “The Happiest Place on Earth.”
There are two ways to get a copy of “Faith and the Magic Kingdom.” When it comes out, November 15, you’ll be able to go tohttp://www.faithandthemagickingdombook.com , which will have links to Amazon, Audible, and other platforms as it’s released. But there’s a better way to get a copy sooner and be a part of making it a reality.
I’ve launched an Indiegogo campaign/project to fund the publishing and preparation. (Publishing a book like this, even self-publishing, and having it high quality is not cheap.) It’s at http://igg.me/at/faithmk2 . I’ve got a lot of rewards at different levels, starting as low as $1 (At $5 you get your name in the book!). Also, whether you back it financially or not, please tell your friends and family about it and invite them to back it. We only have until October 6 to raise the full amount needed and the only way this works is if lots of people hear about it and back it.