Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Down to Single Digits...

If you have been following either or our blogs for the last year and a half you know that Jennifer Schroeder of Turquoise Feathers and Alec Tod of normallyINDIE are tying the knot in just 9 days.  This marks the end of a very long journey that began way back when in October of 2008 when I first laid eyes of my future bride.  It has been a long 3.5 years since that first day we met, but we have made it here and I could not be happier.

Not only is this a journey that is coming to an end, but it is launching a much longer journey that was ordained by God.  It is launching into and eternity of love that we will be spending together.  An eternity of love that will be modeled after the unconditional love that is found in the arms of Jesus Christ.

But that is all good and swell, but it has not been an easy road to get to where we are today.  It has taken growth, a humble spirit, prayer, love, and commitment to get to where we are today.  But most of all it has taken sacrifice.  Not the easy stuff that most people think of like giving up the remote, food choices, money, or radio stations (although all of those do happen), it has taken the denying of myself for the betterment of my bride.  For she is just that, my bride that, like Jesus does for the church, I must sacrifice myself for her betterment.  It takes the sacrifice of dreams, future plans, and job choices for the betterment of her.  But I know what many of you will say, why would anyone get married when you have to give up everything that you hold dear and I would have this to say to the skeptic.  There is nothing like giving up everything for another person, only for them to do the same for you.  Just as I have given up my dreams, future, and jobs for the betterment of Jennifer, Jennifer has denied herself only to support me.  She has sacrificially trusted the Lord with our relationship even to the point of moving from her home for the past 22 years to start a new home with me here in Cincinnati, OH.  She did not do so because there was something in it for her or because she was forced, it did so because she, like me, has chosen everyday to deny herself for me.

That is why people who fall in love, stay with one another for all of eternity.  They have realized that they must wake up everyday and deny themselves for the betterment of the love of their lives.  For there is nothing better than giving your life to someone and them doing the same.

So as I prepare to read my vows of promise to my future bride, today I vow that I will deny myself for Jennifer only to wake up tomorrow and do it all over again.

till another day,


Time for a Change...

The last three months have brought a lot of excitement to Jennifer and I's life.  We have been given the opportunity to live in a great apartment in the heart of Cincinnati, I have started the perfect job for me at Groesbeck United Methodist Church as their Community Youth Pastor, and not to mention we are getting married in just 10 days.  With all of this has come a lot of excitement, sadness, and change, but despite all of this the Lord seems to always speak through those around us to encourage, lift up, and prove to us that he is in control.

This past sunday at Groesbeck we were blessed with the opportunity of hearing our denominational leaders speak to us in regards to what 5 things we do great, what 5 things we do not so great, and what 5 things will change our church for the better.  They called the latter 5 prescriptions to bring this congregation out of a plateau and into a substational incline.  For many people this can seem threatening, a group of outsiders telling us how to run our church, not gonna lie that is how I felt at the beginning.  But I realized that all good businesses and organizations must go through a period of guidance and it is a huge blessing to have talented people help us reach more and more people with the gospel.  I began to realize that my pride was hindering us from truly reaching the 2,200 students that go to Colerain HS for the gospel.  But the Lord has given us a second chance to become a church that is most worried about the thousands of people that have never set foot in our doors, instead of the 300 that call this place home.

These prescriptions are not only a challenge, but they are just that a cure for the decline we have been facing.  Although there could be a thousand reasons for where we are at as a church currently, those no longer matter.  God has given us an amazing chance to take what we have been given, trust in him and run with it wholeheartedly.

For all of those that are reading this from Groesbeck UMC I promise to you all that no matter what happens on March 25th, I have trusted in the Lord with CHAOS//SM and in whatever direction he believes we should take it is the direction that it will be going.  I have began running toward the Lord and I hope to bring as many of you a long as I can and I truly believe that these 5 prescriptions are like getting a brand new pair of running shoes.  The Lord has given us an advantage, a head start, for this race he calls "spreading the gospel" and we need to tie those laces and start running.

till another day,


Book Review - You Lost Me by David Kinnaman...

I had the privilege of meeting Dave Kinnaman (author of unChristian) a few years ago when I was representing Cincinnati Christian University's LEAD Program at their annual Accreditation conference in sunny Orlando, FL.  It was a great weekend of sun and speaking to hundreds of students about the impact Jesus is having on their campuses.  But their was just something about Dave that caught my eye.

Since then I have been following his work with the Barna Group and when he came out with his newest book, You Lost Me I ordered it.  It has finally made it's way to the top of my pile of books to read and I got through it this week.

It was a book dedicated to understanding the current generation of young adults, especially young christians, and why so many of them are choosing to leave the church.  This age rage was specifically ages 18 - 29 in the United States.  It brought to light many issues that are present in our churches today including the differences in generations.  Kinnaman explains that this up and coming generation can be compared to the 60's & 70's a generation of young people who do not take information from anyone, instead they learn themselves.  This is a generation of self-starters, helpers, community builders, and lovers.  It is a generation filled with promise for a better future, only if their voice is heard.  Most of all in the our American churches today their voices are ignored.  For whatever reason these voices are no longer being heard, therefore this generation is going to a place where they will be heard and leaving the church.  This is not only dangerous for the young adults that are leaving their faith aside, but it also destroys the future of the church.  For at some point this current generation of leaders will die and it will the younger generations job to take over.  If they have all left the church because of a lack of a voice, then the church is gone.

Throughout his book he reminds the reader that they must listen to the generation of leaders that is following behind, for they are the future of the church.  The church must be relevant to this generation of believers, not the past.  The church must constantly be moving, growing, and innovating in order to meet the needs of their people.

This book is a strong read for any young minister or a group of ministers who are seeking the guidance of a relevant leader.  It will allow to you dive into the minds of your most important generation and grab ahold of them.

till another day,


Monday, February 13, 2012


On October 16, 2009 I was given the privilege to begin a relationship with the most amazing women in the world.  If any of you truly know me, you know that I am speaking of my unforgettably beautiful fiancĂ© (soon to be wife #31012) Jennifer Schroeder of Turquoise Feathers.  Not only is she the face of this wonderful company, but she is also the brains behind this very blog you are currently reading.  Design being one of the many she is talented at, I have the privilege this year to be spending our 3rd Valentine's Day together (3 of many, many more).

Although we are not spending the actual day together, it still means just as much.  We will be celebrating this wonderful day on February 16th (our 28th month anniversary, yes I still count those) by getting matching tattoos that symbolize our soon to come marriage.

But all of that aside I would like to take some time to celebrate our life together so far by posting a couple pictures of some of my favorite memories with my beautiful Valentine.

Friend's Wedding in 2010, She was so Beautiful

2nd Picture we took together, Irela BOTB 2009

My Favorite Engagement Picture, Christmas 2010

Brother & Sister in Law's Wedding, 6/5/10

Summer Engagement Pictures, 2011

These are just a couple of my favorite moments in the past two and a half years of life that I have been able to share with the most precious human being in the entire world.  It is truly an honor to be associated with her and it will be even more of an honor on 3/10/12 to declare Jennifer Schroeder to be my wife Mrs. Jennifer Tod. 

till another VALENTINE'S day, 


Book Review - Radical by David Platt

I first heard of this book from a friend of mine and pastor at Emmanuel Church of Greenwood named Shane Combs.  Shane introduced me to this book after he spent time reading it during my internship this past year.  Shane assured me that it was a book that would challenge my faith and my way of life as I knew it.  I took his word for it and it was entirely true.  

Among the books I have read over the past year this book is one that is set apart from the rest.  Throughout the book Platt describes different scenarios where he believes the American church has fallen short.  For most people the "American Dream" is something worth striving for and Platt sees this to be true in most churches today.  The "American Church Dream" of starting a church and it exploding to having thousands of members with a great speaker, media, and performance all in all.  But what seems to go by the way side in churches like this is the power of the scriptures and the redeeming power of Jesus' sacrificial love. The megachurch world is so concerned with reaching this point of superiority as a church, but where is our knowledge of the scripture and our true yearning for its' power. 

The book was filled with hundreds of facets of the modern day Christian church that must be changed, but for some reason this seemed to stick out.  I am not sure if it is because I seem to take for granted the book that is the living breath of God.  Because I have spent much of my lifetime with at least one bible available (not to mention four or five dependent on the translation) I have lost the anxious and excited spirit when it comes to reading the holy word of the Lord.  We, as people of God, should be praising constantly that we have the privilege to freely read and preach God's word however and whenever we please.  I am not the most patriotic of Americans, but I am thankful that God has allowed me to live in a country that allows me to freely read and worship the word of the Lord.  But my question is what would we feel like when we read the scriptures if it were not a freedom?  How would we react to the holy word of God if it was not so readily available to us?  

Platt raises these types of questions in a book that must be read by modern day Christians.  It shatters the things that seemed to be so important and brings to light the importance of the scriptures once again.  Read this book for you will be radically changed. 

till another day, 


Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Book Review - Through my Eyes by Tim Tebow

If you have spent any time with me at all, you know how much of a Gator fan I am.  I spend much of the year anticipating Labor Day Weekend for the start of the college football regular season and another Gators run at a National Championship.

From 1997 - 2000 my family and I lived in South Florida.  These were my formative college football years and upon learning of the power of Florida football, I had to choose Miami, FSU, or Florida.  For some odd reason I decided to choose Florida and ever since 1999 I bleed blue and orange.

Naturally over the last 6 years I have grown to love our very own Tim Tebow.  Since his first start as a freshman in 2005 I was a fan.  Part of me wishes I would have watched him in high school, but in junior high I was not as much a gator fanatic as now.  As he brought two national championships, a heisman,and countless other awards, my love for Tim Tebow continued to grow.  I am currently a St. Louis and Indianapolis fan in the NFL therefore I hoped that when draft day came around in 2010 that one of my teams would call Tebow's name.  But sadly that did not happen and I had to become a Broncos fan as well.    This was not hard seeing as both the Colts and Rams are in the midst of rebuilding years.

Upon hearing about Tebow's book Through my Eyes, I realized that if I was a true fan I had to read is book and most of all understand a little more about the character of the person that I call a role model.

The book offers just that.  It offers the reader the opportunity to be involved in the life of Tebow, his struggles and sins, as well as his successes and spiritual triumphs.  The book lets you into the private life of Tim Tebow and most of all his thoughts about not only his time at Florida, but also his time presently at Denver.

The book is an easy read, but I sort of like that for the audience he is trying to reach.  It is not deeply rooting in any literary ideals, but it gets the point across in a powerful way.  It shows Tebow's true passions as a player and a person.   I highly recommend this book for someone who is looking for someone to model after.

As the hoopla of TebowMaina is in full swing, I would suggest you read this book before you decide to jump on the Tebow Train although it is very soon headed for a Super Bowl.

till another day,