I'm alive because the God who made the universe thought me up and breathed life into me. After several decades of pondering this truth, I'm yet bewildered in my struggle to understand it's full application to my identity, purpose and life trajectory. I've been slow to learn that true contentment happens NOT by seeking and finding the most preferable set of circumstances in life, but through making much of the One who started life in motion, in every circumstance. While I fight through these inner mysteries, the following are some of the ways I cherish, examine, capture, document and respond to the beautiful, painful, joyful, complicated, fun and challenging journey I've been given to walk.
Dijitol Kitchin was a random phrase/ rhyme line in a spoof rap song written for a wedding gift. It ended up being the name I gave the electronica music I spent several years composing!
My video camera is never far. I like documenting the joys the beauty and the mysteries of life! My iPod Nano helped me do that for many years, and now my GoPro Hero2 and Final Cut Pro helps me do the job!
I create, paint, design, combine, juxtapose, form, print and develop art of many media. Here is my archive
I create. I design. I compose, capture and combine. In college I used brushes and paper, pencils paints and handheld tools. Today, most of my composition happens on a 13.5 inch Macbook Pro via Adobe Photoshop and Final Cut Pro!
A glimpse into the wonderings, speculations, analyzations and critical ponderances that regularly overflow from the relentless, never-ending circus of mental stirrings on tap in my mind at any given moment.
Dear friends and family, I’m stoked to announce my plans for an upcoming trip to Central America! On January 28, 2014 I will be traveling with a missions team from Ephrata Community Church to Managua, Nicaragua. While in Nicaragua, we will be working with Verbo International. Verbo is a Christian network of ministries located in Central and South America. We will be working at a Verbo base in Managua, building, renovating and serving several different parts of the ministry with whom Frank Ferrari (fearless team leader) has worked many times before. Along with 4 construction projects, we will be helping to launch a new church with those currently living and working with the ministry. I will be helping with this bi-lingual church launching service by leading and coordinating a time of worship for all who come. Check out this info video about some of the projects in Nicaragua, featuring the honorable Ken Lehman (friend, trip co-leader)
Following my time with the ECC team, I will be taking a bus down to neighboring Costa Rica for several more weeks. As many of you know, i’ve previously worked quite a bit with Palmas De Mamre, a Christian mission base along the Sarapiqui River near the border between Costa Rica and Nicaragua, a very rural area (some might even refer to it as jungle) most easily reached by a 2 hour river boat ride from the nearest Costa Rican town of Puerto Viejo.
Palmas de Mamre is first of all a Christian Missions base to those who live along the rural Sarapiqui river banks. It is also well known in the area as a place where medical help can be found for anything from machete injuries to malaria, to tumor removals.
The director/founder, Ana Moshenek, entrepreneur/business administrator/evangelist/teacher/self-taught doctor from Virginia, has worked hard to build and develop Palmas De Mamre for over 20 years. She runs an annual missionary training school (she calls it a boot camp), leads a nearby church plant, and does as much mobile teaching and training up and down the river as she can.
Palmas de Mamre is also a cutting edge self-sustaining farm, producing various crops, including organic grass fed chickens, milk, and cheese. In recent years the farm has become known nationally in Costa Rica and Nicaragua as a model for other rural communities looking to develop innovative farming methods with minimum resources.
As many of you know, I’ve been developing my video production skills over the past few years. My primary purpose in reuniting with Ana and Palmas De Mamre this February is to produce a short documentary about the work Ana has been doing and her vision for the future of the farm and mission of Palmas de Mamre. She has been working tirelessly with Palmas De Mamre for many years, and will soon be in the process of passing the baton onto other directors and leaders. I will be volunteering my time and skills because I want to see God’s work through Palmas de Mamre documented, preserved and promoted even if Ana Moshenek steps down and hands it over to other leadership.
Please partner with me in prayer for me as I go to Central America this winter. Specifically, please pray for protection and health (there are many crazy bugs that like spreading sickness in these locations) and for God’s guidance and provision. This trip will cost me about $2000. If you would like to partner with me financially you can use the donate button below. Every little bit helps! Or, if you would prefer sending a check, you can send your tax-deductible donation to Ephrata Community Church with a note designating your funds to Rod Groff/Nicaragua Missions. The mailing address is: Ephrata Community Church is 70 Clay School Road, Ephrata PA, 17522
Thanks for your prayers and support!
Que Dios Les Bendiga MUCHO!
May God bless you much!
In recent years, it seems my search for life’s answers has been the motivation for many introspective digs through the crumbled pieces of my life’s broken foundations. Strangely, as I dig, what I often find to be the villain, the cause, the culprit, the primary reason for my struggles with maintaining forward focused movement, is not an overwhelming outside offense from any great opposing enemy, or an oppressive sinister evil plot sent from the depths of hell to thwart any possibility of success. Instead, what I find is an overused, seemingly thoughtful, yet subtly destructive 5 letter word: “Maybe”
No other word has hindered and restricted the potential for forward progress in my life more than this word. Maybe is the dam which holds back every river. It is the traffic jam which keeps the journey from advancing. It is the rotten chunk of cabbage clogging the kitchen drain. It is fear, not courage. It is worry not trust. It is not black or white, its not even grey, it is nothing. It is the essence of passivity and it creates procrastination… Maybe loves opening doors but hesitates walking through them. It becomes addicted to the collection of considerable options. It is the lack of decisive conclusion. It acts like an intellectually cautious virtue but under its complex, critically thoughtful mask there is nothing but a cowardly fearful vice. It applies the brakes to life’s advancement, and as long as maybe is the response, life cannot move forward. Life still moves, but mostly in repetitive aimless circles. Life still happens but not with purpose.
Decisions are the building blocks of our life’s journey. Nothing stops life’s journey or destroys the joy of life’s adventures more than the fear and failure to respond to life’s questions with yes or no. Without confident clear answers to the basic deciding questions of my life’s path, my existence becomes a floating survival of reactions. Instead of proactively walking forward and intentionally choosing the trajectory of my life, maybe chooses to hold off on the decision. Maybe forfeits my freedom to choose. It says, “i don’t trust the choice I would’ve made, so i won’t make any, and instead of deciding what to do with my few moments of life on this earth, instead of using them to walk through one of these doors and pursue greatness, i’m going to sit back and see what other doors open, that way i’ll avoid a risky commitment to yes or no… if i wait long enough someone or something will force me through one of the doors and I will react accordingly.. thats easier than walking through by my own will… the easier path is allowing those around me to decide what happens to me, because then I’m not guilty of the error if one is made….”
Maybe has stolen much from me… I definitely need to stop thinking and saying it.
In 1st Corinthians, Paul calls the collective, corporate global group of people who believe in and follow Jesus, the “Body of Christ”. He talks about how necessary each part of the body is to each other part. Its a great illustration of how we, as Jesus followers, each bring to the table a unique part of the ministry of re-presenting Christ to the world. But, it seems we, as humans doing our best to interpret the Holy scriptures, often have different ideas about how the body of Christ should move and act in the world. Instead of working together as a connected body, all the parts, trying to do the Christian life, unite under different categories and camps, with different coaches leading their unique style of Christian methods. Each camp clings confidently to their claims of having the correct plan for re-presenting Christ to the world.
Over the past several decades I’ve wandered, most searchingly, up and down the vast spectrum of Christian “playing fields”, trying out many different denominations and flavors of the “game”, and I’ve grown more and more frustrated at the opposition I see between the teams. Continue reading
The human race overestimates and underestimates the power of words. We are painfully aware of the destructive nature of carelessly spoken words. When we allow our emotions access to our tongues, we must have a tight grip on the reins. We also, at times withhold words we know should be spoken. We zip our lips shut like a stoic British gate guards, and we underestimate the power of a word withheld to hurt another person. Words purposefully withheld, or flying off our tongues quickly and hastily in the heat of emotion can do much damage. For this reason we need constant reminders of Biblical truths like Proverbs 18:21, “There is life and death in the power of the tongue”.
However, recently I’ve noticed we also OVERestimate the power of our words. We do this when we think that we can use cheap, easy phrases to take the place of real sacrificial action. God knew this well, He was often saddened or upset with wordy religious intellectuals who honored Him “with their lips but were far from Him in their hearts and lives” (Isaiah 29:13, Matthew 15:8, Mark 7:6). We do this with each other. We say “I love you” with our mouths and convince ourselves that we have “loved” the person by breathing out the easily spoken greeting. But, is love a word or is it an action? Is following Jesus a list of sayings we repeat or is it a lifetime of obedient action? Words cannot take the place of action. Actions simply speak louder. Continue reading
What does it mean to be “annoyed”? Is it simply me having a critical spirit? If I get annoyed with someone/something, does it automatically mean i’m too easily offended or irritated, or angered, and not walking in the fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, forgiveness, grace, mercy, patience etc…)? Is it a sin to be annoyed? Is it simply selfish entitlement? When I’m annoyed, is it simply the result of me feeling entitled to a preferred set of circumstances which another person or event is preventing me from experiencing? What should my response to this feeling be? Is it ever right for me to use an annoyance or irritation as a teaching moment to help the annoyer change their behavior(s)? Is it ever right or fruitful for me to confront the person who is creating the annoyance in my life? Or is the appropriate response always personal repentance of my selfish sinful expectation for others to behave in ways that please me? Did Jesus ever get annoyed? Or did He simply keep Himself in a servant-of-all, surrendered state 100% percent of the time? Continue reading
Circuit Riders recently tsunamied its fiery passionate pursuit of Jesus revival culture through Lancaster, PA! So much was torn down, built up, moved aside, lit up, shouted out, triumphed over, and filled to the brim with the transformational love and truth of Jesus! mmmm good! Here’s the video!
I have not been a good marketing campaign for the name or gospel of Jesus. I have not been super radical about diligently applying my so-called belief system to EVERY part of my daily life. Some moments I think God thoughts, I try to answer the question: how can I feed my spiritual inner life and faith with God? How can I worship, adore, serve, please, and be a living sacrifice for King Jesus, the Lamb who was slain for the sins of the world and the One who is redeeming, and healing, and making all things new? These moments, my best moments, are spent focused on and submitted to the Eternal King who is coming back soon, like a bolt of lightning across the sky, with a sword in His mouth and fire in His eyes. Other moments I think Rod thoughts, I answer the question: how can I preserve, please, secure, promote, better, feed ME more? How can I focus on and listen to my flesh?
In terms of the “passion” in my heart for giving my all and being a living “sacrifice” for the purposes and glory of God, well, i’m about half on and half off the “altar”. Continue reading
This hour long teaching by Todd White really rocked my world, and showed me my lack of true passion for living my “Christian Life” the way it was meant to be lived. Todd delivered a much needed Holy Spirit slap to my unloving, apathetic face. Todd’s story, and the message of his life is a wake up call to those (like myself) who find themselves discontent and uninspired by the empty, powerless, compassionless, fearful, doctrine based religion they cling to as their “faith”. It has opened my eyes to my jaded thoughts about my identity in Christ and my purpose as His ambassador, His representative, and His beloved son, in this world.
If you want to be challenged to truly examine how closely your daily life resembles the life Jesus made possible for you to live, listen to this audio. Or go to the YouTube video page and watch Todd bring the truth.
This recording came out a while ago, but, i’ve only come across it today. It is disturbing, it is revealing, it is convicting with Holy Spirit breathed, scripture based truth. I’ve lived so many days, weeks and years with my life’s focus on the temporal, with little to no concern for the eternal. I am so deeply convicted at my apathy and lack of love/care for those who are perishing and going to hell.
Jesus, in all my pursuit to “know” you, i’ve become selfish. What the heck am I doing? Change me. Make me to see and live the rest of this life with Your perspective, and your compassion for others who may not know You.
A few months back, my good friend Ashley Messersmith crafted a precious song to express and capture through words, the beautiful works of God taking place at her place of work, House of His Creation. I threw some guitar chords under the words, and voila, we had ourselves a tune to sing for the annual HOHC fundraising banquet! Since then her ever-gifted brother, Matt, recorded us, and I added in some extra Garage Band tracks for the final mix. Here’s the final edit. Enjoy!