Potter's Ranch

The lovely Robin and I had a lovely time last night with a lovely group of people.

The leaders of The Ridge church in Brookville, Ohio, gathered at Potter's Ranch in Kentucky for a leadership retreat, and it was my blessing to deliver a keynote for their weekend in the opening session.

Most stayed awake the whole time, as I spoke on "4 Questions for Leaders" from 1 Kings 19! And we had such a wonderful time of communion and fellowship afterward.

It was refreshing and restorative for us. It might even have been a help to them!

The Mill, Marion, Indiana

I ventured out this evening into Marion, just a few miles west of my hotel in Gas City, and stopped for dinner at The Mill, on the eastern banks of the Mississinewa River.

Nearly the first sight to greet me as I climbed the stairs to the spacious second-floor loft of a restaurant was a "Miami of Ohio" banner. I asked my server about it, and she later (after inquiring) told me that the boss is an alumnus!

The Mill is, not oddly at all, an old mill, now operating as a deli on the first floor and restaurant/bar on the second floor. The fare, however, was nothing like bar food.

The crab cakes were quite good, if a tad too long in the deep fryer. The salad was also fresh and well presented.

For the main course, I had steak oskar and shrimp with vegetables and baked potato. These were all cooked just about perfectly.

I also tried one of the house's "dollar desserts," a creme brulee that, despite the foil wrapper, was a credible effort.

The server was attentive but not overly so. The soundtrack was seventies rock. And the scenery--even at night--of the river rushing past was very nice. A fulfilling (and filling) experience.

The Mill is located at 1001 N. Washington Ave. in Marion (765-664-4637).

More Taylor University

I'm having a fine time this week at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.

Taylor is an interdenominational Christian school founded in 1846. More than two thousand students attend classes on campus, and another 500+ study online.

Not far from my classroom is the distinctive Rice Bell Tower, just outside the beautiful Zondervan Library. The tower reaches more than 71 feet in height; its twin spires symbolize the integration of faith and learning.

Most impressive to me, however, more so than the spacious and growing campus (a new $41 million science building is under construction), are the students. They're tremendously bright, hardworking, and enjoyable. At least that's my story until their faculty evaluations are turned in.

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Location:W Reade Ave,Upland,United States


Ivanhoe's is a venerated local eatery in Upland, Indiana, best known (famous, they say) for their ice cream, sundaes, and shakes.

I stopped in earlier tonight for dinner: a Texan Burger and fries.

Unfortunately, I didn't sample the ice cream concoctions, but might have another chance, later this week or next. It's food...it's not like I'm gonna make myself a stranger.- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Depot Park, Upland, Indiana

On my way through downtown (or uptown?) Upland, Indiana, these past couple days I've noticed a nice train station and surrounding area that is now the Depot Park and museum. The depot was actually relocated here from Muncie in 1993 through the combined efforts of the town and Taylor University.

It is one of three parks in Upland (which claims a population of 3,700). The park includes a caboose behind the depot.

The Depot Town Clock (below) was donated by the chamber of commerce in 1994.

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I had a delightful and unique dining experience tonight.

I stopped in for dinner at Payne's, right next door to my hotel.

It's a quaint and quirky place with seating for maybe 50 (the sign over the door once adorned a Pizza King but now announces the location of Payne's).

The menu says the restaurant was established in 2005. They roast all their own coffee, serve old-fashioned frozen custard, and use organic and local food and produce as much as possible.

The potato and onion soup I had was very tasty. I loved it.

The apple, walnut, and Brie panini was unique and enjoyable. Good chips, too.

Top it all off with peach cobbler a la mode and a decaf caramel macchiato, and it all adds up to QUITE a meal. Everything was beautifully served and thoroughly appreciated. If you're ever in the Gas City, Indiana, area (and who isn't, from time to time?), make sure to eat at the sign that says "EAT." You'll be very glad you did.- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Location:Kay-bee Dr,Gas City,United States

Taylor University, Upland, Indiana

I'll be blogging more on this over the next few days, but for now I'll just mention that I am a guest professor this week and next at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana.It's a beautiful, sprawling--and growing--campus, and this is my first time here. I'm excited to learn more as my stay progresses, and then get outta town before they realize how little I know.- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Cincinnati Museum Center

It was my joy and blessing to spend most of today enjoying the CIncinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal with two of my grandchildren, Miles and Mia. Originally built in 1933 as a train station, Union Terminal is a National Historic Landmark and local treasure. The building became the Cincinnati Museum Center (home to the Natural History Museum, Children's Museum, Historical Society Museum, Omnimax Theater, and more) in 1990. Its art deco beauty makes it one of the country’s most popular buildings, according to the American Institute of Architects.

We started with the Natural History Museum, which to Miles was "where they keep the bones." But he and his sister soon discovered it's a lot more than a bunch of old bones (unlike their Crappaw).

We had a BLAST exploring the multiple levels of "The Cave," walking and crawling through one space after another.

Miles especially loved the Flying Bats program, where a museum naturalist took out nine brown bats in a netted area and let them fly around for the assembled crowd. Miles said this was his favorite part of the day.

We managed to pause long enough to gulp down a quick lunch under the building's gorgeous half-dome, surrounded by the historic mosaics and sparkling decor.

Then we headed for the Children's Museum, or as Miles and Mia might be tempted to think of it, "Heaven." A large room of soft balls afforded endless delights. Mia climbed up and might have spent the whole day feeding balls into a pneumatic tube if I hadn't promised her there were OTHER fun things to do.

She soon found the infant and toddler area, where she played happily with a doll, wandered around, and spent quite a bit of time playing in a sandbox as if she'd never seen one before.

Though it took him a while to succumb to the attraction, Miles eventually became inseparable from the "WaterWorks" section of the museum, which he may never have left were it not for the promise of ice cream in the vintage ice cream shop he saw on our way out of the Natural History Museum.

Before leaving the Children's Museum, however, he and Mia HAD to collapse into a giant spider web, of course. Happily, the spider was nowhere to be found (but we did see some ginormous Hissing Cockroaches from Madagascar on our way out!).

All that fun, and there was still so much more we could have done. We didn't even SET FOOT in the gift shop, God be praised!

Montgomery Inn, Cincinnati, OH

The lovely Robin and I enjoyed a whirlwind visit from her sister Mariruth and husband Ron this past weekend. Despite the shortness of our time together, they got to see not only our newest grandchild, Ryder, but ALL our kids and grandkids, at one point or another.

While we didn't get to do everything we would have liked while they were here, we did manage to introduce them to one of Cincinnati's finest eateries, and one of our favoritest, Montgomery Inn, in Montgomery (try saying THAT five times fast). As Dora's backpack would say, "Yum yum yum yum, delicioso!"