Saturday, July 29, 2006


Today was a very good day. I got to spend quality time with my wife and mother-in-law, picked up a new suit, a couple of new ties, and some new shirts. Plus, we had Red Robin for dinner (mmmm ... Red Robin's onion rings are sooooo good).

Tomorrow holds promise. Our church is having their annual outdoor service at the Park. That, in and of itself would be exciting. But there's more to it than that. Rachel and I have our dramatical debut at the church tomorrow during the service. We're doing a liturgical drama (with Andrea) to the song "Voice of Truth" by Casting Crowns. I think it can be real powerful. Then, afterwards ... POT LUCK! And we all know if Methodists are good for one thing, it's Pot Lucks!

Prayers would be appreciated for the service to go well. It's not only good outreach, but good inreach for a church that needs connection and healing.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006


I love weddings.

And for a variety of reasons. I love to watch two people commit to a life of commitment to each other. I love to sit next to my wife and be reminded of the vows we took almost two years ago. I love to see old friends, and hear catch-up stories from people I haven't seen in months or years. I love being able to impart some of my new-found advice and "wisdom" and I absolutely love dancing with my wife.

We attended a wedding this past Saturday. I believe this was the first wedding we attended within driving distance of our actual home since we got married! Normally, we end up driving back to Columbus to stay with my mother-in-law for the night (she's a nice half-way stop between Pittsburgh and Findlay!), or we just stay with her for the entire weekend, since a couple of weddings are in Columbus. I mention this only because it gave Rachel and I a chance to reflect on weddings and have a good, serious discussion. And I think we came to the conclusion that we love weddings not because of the event itself, but because of the future it holds. We've seen first-hand the empowering nature of being with your spouse, and how it can improve your life spiritually, physically, emotionally, and so on. And not just your life, but the lives of those around you. Without my wife enabling me, I wouldn't be able to serve Sigma Theta Epsilon as a National Officer, and without my enabling of her, she wouldn't be able to serve on the board of our local Chrysalis. Neither of us, let alone both of us, would be involved with the planning of the new emergent worship service at our church, and, more likely, neither of us would probably even be involved at St. Marks!

As a result, we've started a prayer calendar. We've got five categories in some kind of progressive list, and each day we pray specifically for the designated entry in each category. The categories are STE (Chapters and Officers), Married Friends, Family, St. Marks (our church), and our Activities. I believe this will be a powerful tool to see God moving in each of these areas, and strengthening those around us, and those whom we love.

Yes, I love weddings. But I love the power of prayer more.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


Because of the sacrifice of the Messiah, his blood poured out on the altar of the Cross, we're a free people—free of penalties and punishments chalked up by all our misdeeds. And not just barely free, either. Abundantly free! He thought of everything, provided for everything we could possibly need, letting us in on the plans he took such delight in making. He set it all out before us in Christ, a long-range plan in which everything would be brought together and summed up in him, everything in deepest heaven, everything on planet earth.

It's in Christ that you, once you heard the truth and believed it (this Message of your salvation), found yourselves home free—signed, sealed, and delivered by the Holy Spirit. This signet from God is the first installment on what's coming, a reminder that we'll get everything God has planned for us, a praising and glorious life.

From the first chapter of the book of Ephesians, in the Message translation.

Words I've needed recently, to remind me of the victory and freedom I have in Christ, my Savior.

I'm glad I have the close Christian fellowship to keep me on the right page, and to point me towards the passages I need to read.

Friday, July 21, 2006

A Boy and His Beard

Yes, yes, the rumors are true. My beard is no more. Let us walk down memory lane ... together

The last long stretch of time I went without my beard was the first summer I worked at
Camp Echoing Hills. They had a "no beard policy", and I stuck to it. This was, of course, the Summer of 2002.

After Camp, the beard and I were on-again, off-again, notibly off at the Kappa Phi Fall Formal of 2002, I was beardless, and my date was Rachel (although I still thought she hated me at that point in time).

The beard was there to stay starting around Thanksgiving 2002 (spent at the Kettelsens'). From that point forward, though it had differing sizes, the beard never left my side. Here is a highlight list of the things I did while having my beard

While in the passenger seat of a car, had the car I was in take out a mailbox.
Started dating Rachel
Became President of the Epsilon Chapter of Sigma Theta Epsilon.
Met Dave Burden.
Attended my first Conclave (Conclave 2003 in St. Louis)
Was the best man at a wedding (Davebob!)
Worked another summer at Camp (so much for that no beard policy, eh?)
Lavaliered Rachel.
Helped my mother move to West Virginia.
Got engaged to Rachel.
Received the worst phone call of my life.
Watched my grandfather pass away from Cancer.
Got accepted into graduate school at BGSU.
Attended my Second Conclave (2004 in St. Louis).
Got elected National Secretary of Sigma Theta Epsilon.
Graduated from ONU.
Married Rachel.
Started graduate classes at BGSU.
Buried my grandmother (last remaining grandparent).
Got a teaching assistantship at BGSU.
Took my first plane trip (Conclave 2005 in Memphis)
Took summer courses for the first time.
Took my honeymoon in Denver.
Got a single-digit score on an exam for the first time. (yes, out of 100)
Attended Conclave 2006 (Indy, got reelected as Secretary).
Took a leave-of-absence from BGSU.

And that's just a chronological bullet-point of many highlights. Not even all of them. It was a crazy, fun couple of years with my beard. I have so many friends seeing me for the first time without a beard, and it's a very wierd experience. Even my wife's grandmother (with whom I am very close) didn't recognize me at first without my beard.

And now, I move forward ... sans beard ... the end of an era.

Tyler's Beard: Thanksgiving 2002 - Father's Day 2006.