Family Fun Friday – Christmas Edition

Looking for a fun way to get in the Christmas Spirit?

There are plenty of things to do. And there is more than the Circle and the Largest Christmas Tree. And not everything has to be as expensive at Newfields to be spectacular.

So, let me share a few of our go to Family Fun Holiday Day Trips.

1. Carmel Christkindlemarket in Carmel, Indiana

Go for a few hours or an entire day this is a not miss on our holiday adventures. Enjoy the food and drink. Don’t miss learning about the history of some of the many Christmas traditions thanks to the Germans. Do some shopping. Try out ice skating, but book early online. Most of all just take in the Christmas spirit of a European Christmas Market right here in central Indiana. It will put the holly in your jolly. Bonus it is Free admission.

2. Garfield Park Conservatory – Indianapolis, IN

This is an easy afternoon. Admission helps keep this place open and available. Garfield Park Conservatory is over 100 years old and is home to hundreds of different plants from the world’s tropics. The conservatory is 10,000 square feet. Even on the coldest winter days, you can warm up in the conservatory and see what’s blooming!  Filled with holiday cheer all December. This will truly brighten your spirit and warm you up. After a visit to the conservatory for the adults, check out Garfield Brewery around the corner for one of the best kept secrets in Indy!

3. Martinsville Candy Kitchen Martinsville, Indiana

Just a short drive from Indy. Spend a day or and evening. Check the schedule before you go and you can watch them make candy canes. There are plenty of other unique shops on the town square for Christmas Shopping (toys, books, crafts, and local arts and crafts) plus good eating for lunch or dinner. If you are there for lunch, check out on of our favorite fun places to eat the Waffle Whitch. Yum and Fun!

4, Clifton Mill – Clifton, Ohio

Got some extra time. A short two hours from Indy is one of the best light shows in America – they have the prize to prove it. There is an admission price for everyone over the age of seven, but the light show will beat anything you have seen locally. Make a day of it and go early and check out some of the other fun sights in the area like Frankenstein’s Castle or go for a hike in one of the nearby nature preserves. There is even great shopping and food in nearby Yellow Springs or Dayton.

Whatever you do this December …

Make Memories.

Have Fun.

and Try new things.

Here’s to more fun adventures in 2023!

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The Prayer Perfect

James Whitcomb Riley Museum and Visitor Center

Dear Lord! kind Lord!
Gracious Lord! I pray
Thou wilt look on all I love,
Tenderly to-day!
Weed their hearts of weariness;
Scatter every care,
Down a wake of angel wings
Winnowing the air.

Bring unto the sorrowing
All release from pain;
Let the lips of laughter
Overflow again;
And with all the needy
O divide, I pray,
This vast treasure of content
That is mine to-day!

by James Whitcomb Riley

Following Paul is hard

Here in Athens it is clear that following Paul is hard work.

The difficulties faced in travelling by foot (or boat) from Phillipi to Athens is clear, but the work that Paul does/accomplishes is mind boggling.

Following Paul is vastly different from following Jesus.

I have been to Israel on a number of occasions and each time I listen to the stories and I hear Jesus. And each time my faith is renewed and I come away with a new confidence in my reasons for believing.

But this traveling in the footsteps of Paul is way different.

This trip is filled with learning a culture that is different. This trip is filled with learning a history that is new. Why didn’t I pay more attention in World History, I don’t remember learning any of this Greek history. And I am also sure that I don’t know much Roman History either.

Paul is clearly in a foreign land and a foreign culture. So what does he do? You can read about it in Acts 17

16 While Paul was waiting for them in Athens, he was greatly distressed to see that the city was full of idols. 17 So he reasoned in the synagogue with both Jews and God-fearing Greeks, as well as in the marketplace day by day with those who happened to be there. 18 A group of Epicurean and Stoic philosophers began to debate with him. Some of them asked, “What is this babbler trying to say?” Others remarked, “He seems to be advocating foreign gods.” They said this because Paul was preaching the good news about Jesus and the resurrection. 19 Then they took him and brought him to a meeting of the Areopagus, where they said to him, “May we know what this new teaching is that you are presenting? 20 You are bringing some strange ideas to our ears, and we would like to know what they mean.” 21 (All the Athenians and the foreigners who lived there spent their time doing nothing but talking about and listening to the latest ideas.)

22 Paul then stood up in the meeting of the Areopagus and said: “People of Athens! I see that in every way you are very religious. 23 For as I walked around and looked carefully at your objects of worship, I even found an altar with this inscription: to an unknown god. So you are ignorant of the very thing you worship—and this is what I am going to proclaim to you.

We stood today in the same place Paul stood – Mars Hill (see the people on the rock?).

Paul stood amongst people more concerned with status … with education … with accomplishments … people more concerned with stuff … oh wait that sounds like us.

And Paul, who is someone just like us – a follower of Jesus, stood out amongst all the people.

And Paul declared the message of the Gospel. Not with a bullhorn. Not with judgement.

The people came to him and asked … and Paul delivered a message of grace and love.

As we follow Paul, we see how big the world is and we are challenged by all that Paul does to change the world with a simple message and life that has been transformed by following Jesus.  

That’s why following Paul is so hard.

As we follow after Paul … our faith isn’t confirmed … our faith is challenged.

Has your life been transformed in such a way that others notice?

Have you found a Mars Hill where you can share your story?

I told you following Paul would be a challenge …