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.
I discovered Palmas de Mamre in 2004. I was traveling with some surfers from Pasadena, CA for the purpose of surfing and scoping out options and locations in Costa Rica where they could bring a short-term missions team to serve. Our list of missionary contacts in Costa Rica included mostly coastal communities where surfing was a large part of the culture. Palmas de Mamre was the only location on our list far from waves. As I learned during that first visit, and many subsequent visits over the next decade for various different projects and missions, Palmas de Mamre does not fit neatly into any normal category of Christian missions bases. Palmas De Mamre is an experience unlike any other. For those who’ve not had the privilege of spending time with Ana Moshenek on the Sarapiqui River, it is a hard ‘experience’ to grasp. It is for this reason, that I want to attempt to tell the story of Palmas De Mamre, via video, photos and words. It is for this reason that I re-visited the mission several weeks ago (February 2014). In two weeks, I was able to gather 122 gb of photos and video footage with the goal of telling the Palmas de Mamre story. I hope to have a video completed in the next few months, but until then, here is the story in word form. I’ve also uploaded several hundred still images from this most recent time at Palmas De Mamre in this album for anyone who would like to visualize what you are reading. Continue reading
Final two photo albums from our time in Managua, Nicaragua!
I find myself asking God to help me become a better person a lot. I ask Him to make me a better lover of people when I notice my wretched selfishness. I ask Him to help me have more faith. I ask Him to help eliminate my unbelief, my doubt, my fear, my impatience, my worries. I ask Him because I know He’s listening, watching and wanting to help me and I want to agree and align my desires with His desires. My desire, (and I believe, His desire) is to be changed from my selfish, impatient, unloving, half-hearted, broken, weak flesh-powered life into a healthy, whole-hearted, free, loving, ambassador of Christ, with my eyes and hopes set on eternal things, not earthly things.
These are nice things to desire, and they are nice to throw around in nice Christ-centered conversations with nice people who live in nice happy places, and go to nice churches and want nice things for their lives. But, ironically enough, the answers to these pleas for help often come in ways that aren’t so nice. Continue reading
Benjamen Nolot, director of the award winning documentary on human-trafficking, Nefarious, gives a riveting two part message exposing pop-culture’s toxic doctrines about human sexuality as not only a severe human sickness sweeping across the face of the earth, but also the hidden poisonous, satanic root nourishing our world’s horrific and unfathomable epidemic of sex-slavery.
Do you have a pulse? Do you have a sex drive? Do you want to see the sanctity and value of sex restored to its rightful place? Or do you think pop-culture’s Godless ideologies about sex are perfectly fine? If you answered yes to any of these questions, you should take the time to listen to the two part message linked below!
click and listen… its well worth your time!
Faith is only alive if it is being expressed through action. If there is no action, faith is dead. (James 2:14-17) The only action that can be labeled “faith” is that which is done/taken/stepped into when I cannot see or know the outcome. If its possible for me to see the end result or understand the end result before taking the action, it is not an act of faith… but simply an act of self-dependence. Hebrews 11:1 is very clear: “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.” Therefore if I examine my life, and see only careful risk-free pursuits and I see that i’m only able to step into things and have peace and contentment with situations where I can see and know the outcome, then I do not have a living active faith. And the conclusion is that I depend not on an unseen God and His eternal promises, but on a seen Rod and his temporary self-sufficient abilities (ironically, my abilities are given to me by the same God who wants me to choose NOT to trust in them, but instead to trust Him). Continue reading
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.
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 as I travel
• for God’s guidance and provision.
• for none of my camera gear to fall in the Sarapiqui River
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 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