cincinnati · vacation

Come To Cincinnati, You May Be Surprised

When you think of the top 50 places in the world to travel to, Cincinnati probably isn’t the first city to come to mind. But, don’t judge too quickly. While many Americans might consider Cincinnati just another flyover city in the midwest, this growing Ohio city has a lot to offer.

In a recent article from TravelandLeisure.com, Cincinnati was #7 on a list of 50 top places to travel to in 2017. So, what sparked the high ranking? Here’s a bit from the article:

The Queen City’s transformation is most evident in its Over-the-Rhine district, first settled by German immigrants in the 19th century. Once a dodgy neighborhood, it has renovated buildings and warehouses that are now apartments and offices for tech companies. … Filmmakers are also increasingly drawn to Cincinnati, thanks to its Art Deco buildings and its tax incentives. Off-camera, Nicole Kidman, Colin Farrell, and Ellen Page have all been spotted dining in hot spots like Boca and Sotto and checking in to the art-filled 21C Museum Hotel. —Aoife O’Riordain

The author is correct. The city is definitely in the middle of a transformation. More and more people are moving into the downtown and Over-the-Rhine area. The Banks project, which covers the riverfront highlighted by the Bengals and Reds’ stadium has been slow to progress, but is now a beautiful piece of the city’s changing.

The city is luring more and more tech talent and with incubators like The Brandery, an entrepreneurial scene is rising in Cincinnati. When you have low costs of living and a city rising with amenities, you have the makings of growth.

If you come to Cincinnati to travel, you won’t find sandy beaches or vast mountains, what you get instead are top notch museums and art. The Cincinnati Zoo is a world renowned zoo. You can enjoy professional sports with the Cincinnati Reds or Bengals. And the hugely successful launch of FC Cincinnati soccer club may soon give the city one more professional team if the MLS chooses them for expansion – a pretty good bet, given their attendance averages are smashing all kinds of records.

What I also found interesting in the Travel and Leisure space is that filmmakers are starting to come to Cincinnati. Part of that is due to smart politics on the state of Ohio to offer tax incentives and part of that is the rich architecture and diversity of landscapes that the city offers.

Drive Media House - Cincinnati video production skyline shot

Local Cincinnati video production companies have known this for years and have taken full advantage of the beautiful river city.  But now, national filmmakers are starting to take notice. So, couple the business friendly environment coupled with neighborly host residents who will bend over backwards for video production crews and you have a recipe for a growing film industry.

So, if you come to Cincinnati in 2017 – be it for a Reds or Bengals game, Kings Island, our museums, the art scene, the Creation Museum, the Ark Encounter, the growing foodie and craft beer scene, keep an eye out for a few Hollywood celebrities as well. They just might be filming the next big movie.

Cincinnati is not CapeTown South Africa, Bermuda, Belfast or any of the other cities on the Top 50 list, but it is definitely worth exploring and traveling to. Don’t consider the Queen City just another flyover city. Come and enjoy a city that is all about home, heart and hustle.

Church · Religion

How The Church Hurts Us

I just had lunch with a friend, and it was a tough one.

The church is one of the greatest gifts Christ ever gave to his people. We experience love, diversity of gifts, grace, and care for one another. However, because it’s made up of a bunch of broken people, we also experience pain and lots of it.

When Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit in the beginning, everything went wrong. We’re still recovering. And shame is such a devastating force that was unleashed on the earth.

I won’t get into the details, but this father has been hurt. And, he’s hurt others. Apart from strict guidelines and rules (which we tend to run to as humans), it’s easy to have wrong expectations in church life. And, we often cross boundaries or don’t have enough humility to accept people speaking into our lives.

More pain. More hurt.

Jesus, may we be one as you and the father are one. May there be reconciliation, unity and peace in your church.