Monday, December 12, 2011

Keepin' it Local...

Over the past three years, due to a newly found love for vintage, coffee, and the local establishment, I have found myself frequenting local coffee shops.  I do so mainly to take in my surroundings, sample a great cup of joe, and work on whatever i find myself doing (reading, journaling, homework, sermons).  These trips and conversations with my local baristas have allowed me to compile a list of my favorite places in the respective cities I have lived.

Beginning with Bloomington-Normal, IL I find myself at Coffee Hound in Bloomington.  This being my home town I did not find this place until the summer after my senior of high school.  The beautiful architecture of the apartments around and the small street it has placed it's self on brings me to fall in love with sitting outside on one of their many patio chairs and reading.  My drink of choice here is a 16 oz Vanilla Latte in an in-house mug.  Their latte art is out of this world and the slight vanilla taste that they add to their latte is what puts it over the top.

Coffee Hound - Bloomington, IL
Moving further east at my current home we find two great coffee shops.  First is Mo Joe's Coffeehouse in Downtown Indianapolis.  This great independently owned coffeehouse offers anything from sandwiches, to bottomless coffee, to local beer.  The thing that continues to draw me back to this place is the location.  Found directly off of Michigan Avenue, it is in the heart of a thriving Downtown Indianapolis and peering over the skyline while drinking some great coffee is something that is truly magical.  My drink of choice would have to be their bottomless coffee.  At $3 a cup it is the perfect choice when you are looking to spend a long day working on anything.

Mo'Joe's CoffeeHouse - Dwtn Indy
Just slightly south in my beautiful fiancĂ©'s hometown of Greenwood, IN we find Strange Brew Coffee.  Living just down the road from this shop in Bradford Place, I have found myself frequenting this place after working for most of the day at Emmanuel Church of Greenwood.  The awesome music and cozy seating is what makes this probably my favorite coffee stop in Indiana, not to mention the wonderful Barista's, Joel of Mustard Room Design.  My drink of choice a medium drip coffee at $1.75 w/ .50 cent refills.  I either fill up my vintage mug with either their Holiday Grogg or Arabian Roast, both never need cream or sugar because they are that good.  All in all, if you are looking for a cozy place with great people and not mention great coffee this is your joint.

Strange Brew Coffee - Greenwood, IN

Lastly, furthest east to Jennifer and I's newest home, Cincinnati, OH you will find Corner Bloc Coffee.  This shop located in the heart of West Price Hill is owned and operated by Bloc Ministries which is a non-profit after school program for intercity kids in the Greater Cincinnati area.  The profits from this wonderful shop go to furthering the ministry of this after school program.  While in school, I had the privilege of working with this program for 2 years, when Corner Bloc opened, naturally, I fell in love with the coffee shop.  This stop offers a variety of homemade goodies, not to mention all organic, but my favorite is either Mama's Chocolate Chip pie, or Andy's Homemade Granola and Yogurt.  On the coffee side of things, my drink of choice would have to the Haria coffee that is hand brewed by my favorite Barista and good friend Danny Kester.  With jazz nights once a week this place is always an exciting and friendly place to call home.  
Corner Bloc CoffeeShop - West Price Hill, OH

This ends our tour of normallyINDIE's favorite coffee destinations, but with Jennifer and I's most recent move back to Cincinnati, coming January 1st 2012, I am sure we will continue to find small, quiet places we love.  

till another day,


Thursday, December 8, 2011

Here We Go...

Today marks the last day of my internship at Emmanuel Church of Greenwood, Movement Student Ministries and the last day of my college career at Cincinnati Christian University.  Upon the completion of my internship this friday I will officially be graduating from college with a Bachelor of Science in Biblical Studies and Youth Ministry.  It has been an exciting 3.5 years of college, but that is not what I am here to write about.  It is an end of an era with Greenwood, IN.  I have spent the last nine months of my life working at my beautiful fiancĂ©'s home church working with the Student Ministries team. I had the honor and privilege of working with a youth pastor named Shane Combs who has taught me how to be a man of God that truly cares for every person he sees including strangers, his family, and especially his wife.  He has been a perfect example for me as a man and I am so excited to be partnering in ministry with him in the future.

Speaking of the future, last weekend I had received some amazing news.  As many of you know it has been a long journey of applying for jobs, searching interviewing, and praying.  In October I had the opportunity to interview with Benji Sayre of Groesbeck United Methodist Church in Cincinnati, OH.  This job I found on the work database of CCU's website under the title of Community Youth Coordinator.  Benji explained this job as a split between a co-youth pastor and a director of their after school program called CHAOS which caters to intercity high school and jr. high students in the Colerain area.  After working with Bloc Ministries in the West Price Hill area for the past two years, this job really enticed me.  At the end of the interview they gave me an opportunity to interview for a second time with the church search team.  Although this interview was a little later than I would have liked it to be, it took place December 3rd at 10am.  I was interviewed in three separate rooms by three separates groups of people.  Although I was not used to this format, I felt that I thrived in it.  Jenny and I then took some time to head to our favorite coffee shop in Cincinnati (Corner Bloc Coffee Shop).  This is when I got the call I had been waiting for for the past six months.  Benji gave me a call and let me know they are offering me the position as the Community Youth Coordinator for Groesbeck United Methodist Church Student Ministries.  This was the answer to our prayers and Jennifer and I had been waiting for months for this to happen.  It became official on Tuesday morning when I accepted the offer to work with the church.

It is a new beginning that will lead my future wife Jennifer and I to a new home in Cincinnati and on January 2nd I begin the journey of ministry that I have been praying for since my call to ministry when I was sixteen years old. We could not be more excited for the fact that God is leading us and we are merely following.  It if were me I would have loved to have gotten the first job that I applied for in June, but little did I know since the opportunity I had a Bloc in 2009, God had been grooming me for this type of ministry.

But with new beginnings comes goodbyes.  I would love to take this time to mention those people that truly ministered to me in the past eight months.  I have spent countless hours talking with Shane Combs and Jason Beck, two men that I would trust my life with, Thank You.  I have spent hours drinking coffee with Adam Ferrel, a high school student I am truly excited to see God minister through him.  He motivates me every day to become more and more like Christ, Thank You.  Eating lunches with Dallas Havens, talking about college and working through issues that completely can cripple us, Thank You.  Every Tuesday morning at 6am, spending an hour studying scripture with my McTuesday boys.  Working with my student small group leaders Makenzie Essig and Miranda Gladish, Thank You.  Lastly, flying planes, working through family issues, and praying together with Jennifer & I's small group leaders, Ralph and Lucy Hill, Thank You.  All of these people have had such an amazing influence on my life and I am so ready to continue in ministry with them over the next couple of years.  But it truly saddens me to leave this family here in Greenwood and move to our new home.

But what I do understand is that God is going to provide people for this new season of life that will teach us and provide us with the opportunity for growth.  This season of life here in Greenwood, IN God has been preparing us the next opportunity.  This next opportunity is leading Jennifer and I to Groesbeck United Methodist Church in Cincinnati, OH and we could not be more honored to partner with God in this.  We are praising God and saying thank you everyday and cannot wait for what is to come.  Here we Go...

till another Day,


Tuesday, December 6, 2011

That Time of Year...

If you know me at all you would know that I am not a Christmas music guy.  The fact that they start playing Christmas music on Thanksgiving and that they play 24 hours of Classic Christmas songs on Christmas day drives me crazy.  But for some reason, this year I decided to try something a little different.

Last Christmas I spent the holidays listening to Seabird's Over the Hills and Everywhere - Christmas EP and this take on the classic Christmas songs was refreshing.  Therefore I was optimistic when it came to listening to some Christmas music this year.  I went ahead and downloaded the She & Him - A Very She & Him Christmas CD and if I could say I am impressed.  These slow melodies and wonderful harmonies between Zooey Deschanel and whoever the "him" are soothing.  I first heard She & Him sing on the Elf movie (Zooey sang with Will Ferrell in the Bathroom, Baby its' cold outside).  They also had a major role in (500) Days of Summer's soundtrack, which if my readers don't know that is the hipster anthem.  This duo soon became one of my favorite bands.  Therefore, when I found out they would be putting together a Christmas CD, I was ecstatic.

This CD has inspired me to get back into the Christmas music by dusting off those old tracks in my iTunes library, subscribing to Bing Crosby and She & Him Holiday Radio on Pandora, with the hopes of falling in love with the soothing sounds of the Holidays once again.

Although I am not a regular old who from who-ville, I am getting there.  My skin is turning from its' Grinchy green back to normal and the love for Christmas is beginning to creep back into my heart.

Happy Christmas

till another Day,