life & times of jdh

beginning thoughts:

Hey Friends…welcome to my site. here you’ll find all sorts of things that influence me, challenge me, help me, and sometimes bother me. i share them here openly because they shape who i am and i want to authentically place them out there in hopes that they spark helpful dialogue and growth. that being said, as with all of life, i encourage you to examine the things you find here…weigh them, test them, discuss them, engage with them. feel free to agree or disagree, but my pledge to you and hopefully your practice in return will be civility and an open mind. if you ever have any questions, ask. thanks for being a part of the journey…

workish things:

i am the founder and executive dreamer of tomtod ideas, an entrepreneurial incubator centered on compassion and justice issues that empowers middle school students to launch absurd ideas to rebuild a broken world. we do this through a year-long, experiential mentoring adventure, walking with students from ideation to implementation. i was previously the pastor for flipd, the middle school ministry of First Friends and am also First Friends’ Instigator of Justice (the job title came with a sweet super hero cape, so i had to say yes). i’m also currently part of the leadership team for the 330 Youth Network, a NE Ohio collaborative of youth workers, and love partnering in ministry with the amazing folks that work with youth in the area. i previously spent six years as an Associate Staff member with the CCO and continue to connect with students at Malone University (the college from whence i graduated), trying to help them think about living lives without compartments. i also get the opportunity to travel to various colleges (like Messiah, Kent State, Kenyon, Gannon, etc), leading workshops & retreats. i worked at Camp Gideon for 10 years. i miss the sunsets (among a myriad of other things). i worked at The Chapel for 4 years as their middle school guy & pastor of porn. i miss the students and the one-of-a-kind youth staff team we had. i co-created and gave leadership for 3 years to a small group ministry related to pornography & sexuality known as six19.  the small groups are currently inactive, but i still do presentations occasionally.

playful things:

i’m marrying Joy Moroney and feel ridiculously lucky and blessed. i like to pick and choose when i use capital letters. i grew up in Canton, Ohio and live in a house there where i try to think about what it means to be a good neighbor and live with a sense of belonging. i enjoy discussing the the church in post-christendom, Quaker theology, all things related to social justice issues, and the intersection of culture and Christ followers. i love the outdoors, wood-burning fires, seasons, old-fashioned Christmas trees, chocolate chip cookies (with milk) and reading.  i get a kick out of playing foosball and leading worship.

influenced by:

John Perkins – his three R’s: reconciliation, redistribution, and relocation, have started to redefine how i live, including being a key factor in my move to First Friends & choosing to deliberately locate my life in close geographic proximity.  if you don’t know who he is, you can read a brief bio here.

Rob Bell – a post-modern voice of clarity.  i love his communication style, his passion, his provocative questions, and his innovative approach to ministry and church.

Louie Giglio – on my top 5 list of communicators (along with Rob, above, & Doug, below), Louie is such a clear, passionate, speaker.  as a communicator myself, i’ve learned much from him, both vocationally and spiritually.

Doug Fields – youth guy @ Saddleback.  incredibly humble while being a legend in youth ministry.

Wendell Berry – his book, Jayber Crow, really rocked my understanding of progression in life.  bigger & better, it turns out, is not all it’s cracked up to be.  Wendell reminds me of simplicity.

more to come…

books (in no particular order):

Five Smooth Stones by Ann Fairbairn   .:.   Saint Ben by John Fischer;

Cry the Beloved Country by Alan Paton   .:.   Velvet Elvis by Rob Bell;

Jayber Crow by Wendell Berry   .:.   Hatchet by Gary Paulsen;

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George;

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by  E.L. Konigsburg

movies (in no particular order):

No Country for Old Men .:. Garden State

Millions .:.  Amistad .:.   To End All Wars

LOTR: Return of the King .:.   Finding Neverland

Max Keeble’s Big Move .:.   That Thing You Do

O Brother Where Art Thou .:.   Batman Begins

music (in no particular order):

david crowder band .:.   mewithoutYou .:.   MAE .:.   delirious

anathallo .:.   muse .:.   harry connick jr.

relient k .:.   rich mullins .:.   keith green .:.   snow patrol

matt redman .:.   iron & wine .:.   death cab for cutie

LCD soundsystem .:.   arcade fire .:.   matt kearney .:.   the frames

explosions in the sky .:.   dashboard confessional .:.   derek webb

the format .:.   patty griffin .:.   shane & shane .:.   stars of the lid


6 Responses to life & times of jdh

  1. Derek Myers says:


    i am stoked to see that Wendell is in your list. Check out “The Brothers K” by David James Duncan (unless you already have). Similar writing style, but in my opinion even better than Jayber. Rocked my tube socks right off.


  2. sarah williams says:

    That Thing You Do… such a GREAT movie!

  3. joeldaniel says:

    @sarah – i feel like it’s largely under-appreciated. i love it, though.

  4. cwillz says:

    hey man. good stuff going on here. thanks for contributing got over on Adam’s blog. where are you at in the world?

  5. Laura Lee says:

    Hi Joel,

    I’m trying to find the art that is used on your blog page called “emergent.jpg.” I’m the art director for Horizons magazine and we’d like to use the image. Could you let me know who did the art and how to get in touch with them?


    Laura Lee

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