On June 1, my family and I stayed in Cincinnati, Ohio for a week. It was very relaxing and more enjoyable than we anticipated. While we were there, we explored the city, the outskirts, and nearby Kentucky. Cincinnati is a very beautiful city with a lot of history and rich culture. Here are some pictures we took of the places we visited. Hope you enjoy them!
A large display of Renaissance art depicting different scenes from the Bible.
In the same room, there is this column structure to divide the room and provide light. Its Greek style definitely gives credence to the Renaissance period. It also serves as a beautiful piece of art itself.
Took a trip with just my wife this time. We enjoyed some Thai and Vietnamese food.
Spring and summer travel montage, Part 3
Traveling a lot means that you will be in a car or in a plane often. During my traveling this spring and summer, I found some really cool stuff in the airports. Here are some pictures of beautiful art I found.
Column covered with colorful flowers in St. Louis, MO.
A very interesting art display in Philadelphia, PA. There is a tiny pin ball machine, a tiny ping-pong table, even a tiny walkman.
A panel of eagles at the St. Louis Lambert International Airport in St. Louis, MO. This airport features a variety of art that shows St. Louis's culture.
"Vivere est volare" means, "To live is to fly."
Another display of art with birds in Philadelphia, PA.
Beautiful picture of a simple moving walkway in St. Louis, MO. Architecture can be art and engineers can be artists just as much as the Mona Lisa and its artist Leonardo da Vinci.
Piece of art at the airport in Philadelphia, PA.
View from a plane on the way towards Philadelphia, PA from St. Louis, MO. The rise of clouds in the distance is the edge of a storm.
We can make really beautiful art. Whether it be visual art, architecture, music, or literature, art can express the deepest emotions that we all experience. God is an artist too, and these views from over the clouds are a testimony to His creativity.
Spring and summer travel montage, Part 2
Gifford Pinchot State Park - York county, PA
I went for a hike with my family at Pinchot State Park in York county, PA. We enjoyed getting out in nature. this park is characterized by its large dam and various hiking trails. Our favorite part of the park is walking up the broad, rocky river bed. Here are some cool sights we saw.
Monster faced rock.
The side of the same rock looks like a lion.
An old, mysterious, stone structure by the water.
We lined up some rocks on an old log.
It's common to find these stone structures in the creek bed area. We made this one.
Pretty view of the creek.
Columbia River Park - Columbia, PA
Another day, my kids and I traveled to the Columbia River Park in Columbia, PA. It was a smaller park, but it was fun to walk under the bridge and up to the river.
The Veterans Memorial bridge.
Bridge stretching over the water.
A large grasshopper statue made of metal.
Chickies Rock County Park - Lancaster county, PA
Here are some more nice pictures. My children and I visited this park after we visited the Columbia River Park. This park, Chickies Rock County Park, is a small spot of land with hiking trails that overlook the river. It is a very pretty place.
Overlooking the river.
View of the park.
Want to visit these places?
If you want to visit these places that we did, or simply learn more about them, check out their websites.
*I accidentally deleted the original pictures from my trip. The following images are from other sources. Credit is given to the owners of the images below each picture.
A stop in Zanesville, Ohio*
I stopped in Zanesville, Ohio on my way from Pennsylvania to St. Louis on June 5th, 2020. I needed a rest on my journey and this town was a nice place to stop. My legs were almost numb from sitting the car for 350 miles, so I checked into the hotel and began to explore the town. I was quite impressed by the courthouse, many of the churches, and the buildings in Zanesville. I trust that you will enjoy the images below and the links provided that will give you more information on the buildings. I will post some more pictures of other travel sites soon. I have some awesome lake, river, mountain, and bridge pictures to post. Keep coming back to see the rest of the summer pictures! Get out and enjoy the road, be safe, but enjoy.
Muskingum County Courthouse
This may be the most beautiful courthouse that I have ever seen. You can find out more about this beautiful building by going to this site.
By Nyttend - Own work, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8497794
So there you have it. Zanesville, Ohio. If you are ever in the area, you love old buildings, and want to walk around, check it out.
Also, I got a really good rate at the Baymont Inn and Suites. The owner, a man from India, Sonny, would love to see you. It is close to some restaurants and easily accessible to downtown if you are one to walk and explore. Tell Sonny hello for me!
The man on the front porch.
From East to West
I met the man on the front porch tonight on my evening walk, on a no-named street in Zanesville, OH. I stopped here for the night on my way from the east to the west. I said hello to him, we did not exchange names. You know, just courtesy, especially from a southern boy like me. But he replied, and we kept on talking.
The old fella had just recovered from some hospital stays for things he wasn't even certain about. "Not sure what it was" he said, "maybe a heart attack, I just woke up in the hospital." He mentioned he was lonely, sitting there on the porch. We small talked about the news, he told me he used to drive trucks for a living "52 years" he was quick to insert. "Second chance" he added. That's what he was given. A second chance, his words, not mine. I mentioned Jesus must not be through with him yet. He smiled and said, "I guess not."
Ordinary Houses for Ordinary People
Who was the lonely old man, I didn't even catch his name, nor did he mine. I walked the street, and there were more people. Two ladies smoking, laughing. Two older men just coming back from a fishing trip, "they aren't biting too good right now" they told me as I asked walking by. Houses, just ordinary houses for ordinary people. They all need to know what the old fella said, that they are given second chances. Jesus loves them all. The lonely lost people of Zanesville and your town. They need to know that Jesus gives second chances, and more chances than that. "For the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10 NASB)."
I am a pastor and an author of children’s books. This blog comes out of a sermon that I preached in May of 2020.
Man, who wants to listen to a liar after all! No one likes to be lied to but in ways great and small, we all do it. You know, you don’t tell your boss that you were 5 minutes late. Or you didn’t declare all of your income sources on your income tax filing. It isn’t right and we all suffer from the lies we dish out along with the ones served to us. In 1 Timothy 4:1-5 (found in the bible) the Apostle Paul instructs the young minister Timothy that he will encounter lies and liars in his ministry. As a young minister he is to understand the difference and teach truth. Lets take a moment and look at some of the verses to see what the Elder Apostle had to say to the younger minister about lies in each of these five verses.
The Lies of Later days
“But the Spirit explicitly, says that, in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons (1 Timothy 4:1 NASB).”
Not everyone that comes to your church is truly interested in the bible, Jesus, or the Gospel. That’s not something that should alarm you. People often visit churches to search out their own faith or religion. Sometimes they come at the invitation of a friend or family member. But there are some people that come to church pretending to be a true follower of Jesus. They might go through all of the proper rituals and activities, but they do not truly believe what they pretend to believe. They are neither searchers nor visitors, they are in fact, liars. Paul told Timothy that in later times some of these people would “fall away from the faith.” These people will fall away simply because they were never truly believers at all. Its true! Some people are pretenders and at some point, will drift away from the church. John also talked about this in 1 John 2:19 where he stated that “They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us. But they went out, that it might become plain that they all are not of us (I John 2:19).” What would draw these pretenders away from the church? The answer to that question is quite disturbing. Paul states that these people fall away because they are “paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons.” Wow! Following the teaching of demons, that sounds crazy. But, it’s true. We know that Satan and demonic forces are working against people, trying to deceive them and lead them astray (see also 2 Corinthians 4:4, Ephesians 6:12-13). Don’t be deceived by demon chasing people that want to pull you away from God, Jesus, the bible, and the church!
The Hypocrisy of Liars.
“by means of the hypocrisy of liars seared in their own conscience as with a branding iron (I Timothy 4:2 NASB).”
You hypocrite! No one ever likes to be called a hypocrite. But someone who tells someone else what not to do and then does it themselves is just that, a hypocrite. Paul tells Timothy that the pretenders in I Timothy 4:1 are not only being pulled from the faith by doctrines of demons, but also by hypocrites whose own conscience has been seared as with a branding iron. Ouch! Paul seems to be stating that these demon influenced leaders are not even following their own lies. The very mechanism of their inner being that should warn them against lying (their conscience) is seared. Consider the imagery, a branding iron, burning someone, cauterizing the nerves so that there remains no more feeling. Pain! No more feeling and no way for the damage to be easily repaired. That’s what those demon influenced people are, hypocritical liars with damaged consciences, leading people astray. Hypocrites! Quit leading other people into the lies that you don’t even believe yourself.
The lies they tell
“men who forbid marriage and advocate abstaining from foods which God has created to be gratefully shared in by those who believe and know the truth (I Timothy 4:3 NASB).”
In the words of Saw Gerrara from Rogue One: A Star Wars Story stated, “everyday, more lies.” Just as there is an endless search for truth, there seems to be an endless supply of lies. What is required of a lie to be true? Only that it is believed. The Apostle tells Timothy that the demon influenced, conscience seared liars, have some specific lies that they like to peddle in the marketplace of truth. Two of the lies that they were teaching related to food and marriage. We all know that there are various dietary laws found in many different religions. Paul having a Jewish heritage, certainly knew this very well. But as a convert to Christianity, he no longer practiced those dietary laws and did not want others to be influenced by those restrictions either. In his letter to Timothy, he addressed the apparent deceptions of people trying to force dietary rules on the people of Ephesus.
God made food for man and beast. In Genesis 1:27-31, Moses records that God gave us plants, fruit, and vegetables to eat. Later in the book of Genesis, Moses records that God gave us permission to eat meat (Genesis 9:3). After that teaching on eating meat, there was a long period of time where the Israelite's were forbidden from eating certain types of food under the law (see the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy). But, those restrictions were eventually lifted and God told the Apostles that they could eat whatever meat they wanted (see Acts 10:15-16). This was great news for us all! Catfish, bacon, even deep fried Aardvark (if you like that) are all fair game to eat as far as God is concerned.
The other lie that Paul addressed to Timothy was that people were forbidden to get married. Why would someone forbid someone else to be married? God designed family and marriage in Genesis 2:18-25. This biblical design doesn’t imply that you must be married, only that it is good and honorable before God if you are married. There you have it, you can be married in accordance with God’s design and even eat bacon at your wedding celebration!
The Truth about those food lies
“For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer (I Timothy 4:4-5 NASB).”
What kind of creature makes a good meal? That is sort of a morbid question. But think about, people eat ants and anteaters, bears and bunnies, cows and catfish, deer and dogs….yuck! Personally, I have many preferences on what type of meat I will eat. But if you search the world over, you will find that people eat all creatures from “A to Z.” Taste is subjective and usually comes from what you ate in your home as a child. Is it wrong to eat these creatures? Well, no it is not wrong. Perhaps it is not always healthy to eat anything that you want, but it isn’t sinful according to the bible.
Paul continued to address the lies in verse 3 about forbidden food with clear instruction, “For everything created by God is good.” Yes, even those weird creatures that some people find tasty, like tarantulas in Thailand, double yuck! In fact, to the person that is hungry, or in need, those things can be received with thanksgiving as a meal from God. Strange I know! Paul further stated that if we are concerned about food being forbidden, we can know for certain that it is “sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer.”
There you have it. The liars and deceivers would have you believe that you can’t eat certain foods. Oh not because of health reasons, but because “god forbids it.” No he doesn’t! Eat your bacon and avocado chicken sandwich with a cricket lollipop for dessert if you so desire! You can pray to God and offer thanksgiving for your tasty meal. I will stick with a good old hot dog which is made from…well, thank you God for the mystery meat!
Imagination may be the most important ability that humans possess. It serves us well, both as children and as adults. Our imagination provides the greatest of ideas and the most energetic spark of motivation to inspire us to embark on new adventures.
Imagination is important, even if we cannot quantify or measure it. It is so important that Albert Einstein said that it was more important than knowledge. His thoughts about the power of imagination are captured in this quote: "Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand (1)."
In that quotation, we see that the man who lay the foundation of modern science revealed that there was something even more powerful than the atom. That power is human imagination. The amazing power of imagination is that its boundaries extend far beyond our tangible world. The human mind can imagine far off places, people that are not real, and inventions that cannot yet exist. This great ability is easily accessible by some people, while others struggle to use it. Regardless of how easy or difficult one’s imagination is to access, it seems that every human uses it to some extent.
Children are imaginative
Can we prove that everyone can use their imagination? A possible proof can be found in watching children at play. Children have an innate ability to take an object, almost any object, and make a toy out of it. They can invent imaginary friends and assign a personality to them. A child can play with a toy telephone and engage in a dialogue with a person that only exists in their mind. A child can even make an exquisite 5 course meal using nothing more than a plastic kitchen set.
The art of some children is amazing, although abstract. These abilities are one of the things that brings joy to parents and others who watch children at play. We seem drawn to their creative ability, with both respect and nostalgia, because we recognize that we once had it in our younger days.
What happens to our imagination?
As we grow, our brain develops other abilities, such as problem-solving and decision-making abilities. Children go to school to learn new things. Our minds are always learning and adapting. As adults, we go to work and learn as we encounter new situations. We grow, we learn, and we experience. Our brain develop. Our analytical ability grows as we mature. Our minds become a vast storehouse of information as we study language, literature, math, and science. Our imagination is still there, but it becomes one part of a growing mind that has many other capabilities. Is it this growth that stifles the imagination? Or is it that we rely less on our imagination and more on our knowledge, problem-solving, and decision-making abilities to help us in our hurried lives? Do we lean on knowledge, experience, and routine to guide us, rather than looking for novel approaches with our imagination?
Adults can grow in their imaginative ability
In the article What Happens to Creativity as we Age, Gopnik and Griffiths state the following:
Why does creativity generally tend to decline as we age? One reason may be that as we grow older, we know more. That’s mostly an advantage, of course. But it also may lead us to ignore evidence that contradicts what we already think. We become too set in our ways to change (2).
Change can be a challenge for anyone. Why imagine new things, new processes, or new methods to do things when the established ways have worked so well? Why waste time, energy, and money to invent new things when the established things work just fine? Why? Because imagination can be the most powerful tool that we have as we mature. It can help us envision new inventions, set noble goals for enterprises, plan for our future, and create beauty in our lives.
What about you?
Ah, but who has time to imagine when there are bills to pay, job duties to tend to, spreadsheets to manage, and meetings to attend? Can you remember the last time you read an adventure book, painted a picture, or stared at the shapes in the clouds? It is not too late to make a little room for imagination in your life. There is value in this, even if it is only for a short time. Who knows? You might find the inner child when you lose yourself in an art museum, read a good book, or pick up a pencil and a sketch pad. Do you remember, when you once were a child, inventing kingdoms and ruling them magnificently? Take some time to stir up your imagination. Just be sure not to do it while driving or operating industrial equipment!
If you still doubt the value of time invested in fostering your imagination, consider this:
We imagined how to fly long before we knew how.
We imagined what it would be like to walk on the moon long before we knew how to get there.
We imagined our future life before we ever embarked on it.
If you still need some more encouragement, consider Fran Sorin’s seven helpful ways to jump start your imagination. In her article at www.Psychologytoday.com (3), she lists the following:
Change your self-perception
Access childhood memories
Be open to possibility
Spend time in nature
There is value in exercising your imagination. Get back to the creative work of imagination. Listen to an inspiring sermon, tune into an awesome song, read a poem, stare deeply into a work of art, read a story, invent some new thing, carve out time to imagine again.
The Imagination That is Bear Ridge
Getting back in touch with my imagination is why I created the town of Bear Ridge. It is a place of my imagination, for my imagination. A town with homes, characters, and many adventures to come. It all dances through my mind. This town, created from my books, ignites the creative parts of my mind. The creativity provides color to my eyes. It forces me to refine my writing and to challenge myself to think through the interaction of characters. It is my hope that in reading my books that the imagination of my readers will also be kindled.
Clint Plyler was born and raised in South Carolina. He now lives in Pennsylvania with his beautiful wife April and three wonderful children. You will often find him at the nearest coffee shop with his laptop and sketch book, writing or sketching. He is the author of Night Night Hamlet.
Children's literature or juvenile literature includes stories, books, magazines, and poems that are enjoyed by children. Modern children's stories are classified in two different ways: genre or the intended age of the reader. From simple bedtime story books to classic tomes like Alice In Wonderland and the Wizard Of OZ, children love to read or be read to. (more…)