Daryl Grunau

Daryl Grunau | Life | Design | Coffee | God |



Taking Steps

Well life has begun to change. God has been answering prayers and guiding in those next steps. I went through a waiting period that wasn’t as simple or as easy as I thought. Oh I had plans, and I tried to make them happen on my own time, but to make a long story shorter, it never works out like that. Go figure.

I was applying at a huge amount of jobs, submitting resumes, all while trying to build a small client base for freelance graphic and web design; which I thought might actually be where God was leading me. While I’ve thought about being a business owner before, the actual “business side” of it, has always scared me away. But I thought if God was leading me that way, that I would have to obey. So I started getting some clients, and jobs, which was a nice change and the added income was beginning to become more of a necessity from my lack of work. Then to make things even more fun, I was able to get a coffee roaster. I’ve always wanted to learn more about coffee roasting, and from a purely economical standpoint, I thought it would save me money (green beans are cheaper), and give me a chance to learn more about coffee. What came was the chance to design a logo for my coffee and begin selling it to friends and family. Win-Win. The third win is enjoying amazingly fresh coffee. Sidenote: stay tuned for Vector Coffee Company’s website to show off my offerings. But that’s not all…

Out of the blue I saw another job opening that I hadn’t seen yet and submitted a resume electronically. Now up to this point I hadn’t got a single reply from a electronically submitted resume and I thought I would need to go down to the company and apply in person. But God had something else in mind for me. The owner contacted me via social media, then a phone call, then an interview, another phone call, and finally I was offer a job!!!! So I am now a barista at City Perks in Saskatoon. I’m so excited about starting my career path in the cafe/coffee/barista business. And excited for future possibilities at this cafe. They are undertaking a large renovations over the holidays and early January and then a more intensive training will begin. While I’ve only had a few shifts, I’m loving it! The customers and staff I work with are all great. It’s a very tight community in the City Park area of Saskatoon which makes this a unique place to work. I look forward to where God will take me in this new line of work, and how he will use this for His Glory.

So I apologize in advance, if you had gotten sick of me talking about coffee, that’s not going anywhere. But I will promise one thing, you can expect a better cup of coffee after each visit. So when I’m not on shift at City Perks, I’m always willing to brew up a sweet cup right at my home. Feel free to stop in sometime.

Until next time.
A motto I’ve adopted from a great coffee shop in Edmonton, “Drink Less, More Often”


Gift Guide for Coffee Lover

Was putting together a Christmas list and noticed alot of things were all coffee related. So why not post a gift guide as I know other Coffee Lovers out there that could benefit. Noted coffee aficionados may complain I’ve left out something, however, this list is not meant to be exhaustive, plus I probably left it off because I already own it.


1. Aeropress Coffee Maker – $36 + shipping from Eight Ounce Coffee

A coffee maker known for making such great coffee, that it now has a “World Championships” of who makes the best coffee using it as the brew method. Not only does it make great coffee, but it’s one of the cheapest coffee makers you’ll ever buy. It’s a great travel item for your coffee loving friend as well.


2. Porlex Mini Hand Grinder – $68 + shipping from Eight Ounce Coffee 

A portable hand grinder with burr blades that will have you grinding coffee as well as an expensive commercial grinder, albeit slower, but still an amazing feat. If you don’t have the money for an expensive Bartza but are looking to take your home brewing to the next level, then this grinder is perfect. Grinds great for Turkish to Pour Over. And since it’s so small it would be a great travel item and would pair great with the Aeropress.


3. Bonavita Variable Temperature Electric Gooseneck Kettle – $90 from Transcend Coffee

This is an affordable variable temperature kettle that works great for pour over brewing methods like Chemex, Hario, Aeropress and other cone drippers. The gooseneck provides a slower and allows a much more precise pour than most other kettles, which is a key for successful pour-over brewing. This kettle boils fast – in only four minutes and has a 1 litre capacity which is enough for even large Chemex pour over brewers. With an LED display that is accurate to +/- 2F. If the price tag seems to large, get the standard non-variable version for $50


4. Espro Toroid Frothing Pitcher, 355ml – $34 from Green Beanery

This pitcher features a revolutionary patent pending Toroid flow system for steaming milk. Special features built in to the wall and base of the pitcher ensure complete control over the quality of milk microfoam.  Comes with an ergonomic handle for enhanced balance and control. Celebrated for its ability to produce exceptional latte art with ease.


5. Cupping Sets – starting at $22 from Eight Ounce Coffee

For those that are as into coffee as others, this may not make sense. But to a coffee aficionado these are basic tools for tasting, evaluating, and judging coffee. Simple tools at a great price that could help take you from coffee lover, to the next level. Also would be a great gift if your coffee lover has taken the step into home roasting.


6. 33 Cups of Coffee Journal – $4 ea or 3 for $10 from 33coffees.com

33 Coffees is a coffee journal that provides an easy way to quickly record coffee tasting notes in a small, convenient notebook format. It’s perfect for coffee novices and pros alike. Pairs great with a cupping set and would make a great stocking stuffer!


7. Professional Barista’s Handbook – $45 direct from author

Whether you are a cafe owner, a competitive barista, or an amateur enthusiast, The Professional Barista’s Handbook is the most important resource you can have to improve your coffee-making skills. The book explains the science behind espresso and drip coffee brewing, how to pour latte art, how to evaluate equipment, and every other important aspect of making great espresso, drip coffee, and tea. Also great is his book, Everything but Espresso, available from his site as well.


8. Colouring Book: R is for Rosetta – $12 direct from Blue Bottle Coffee

This one speaks for itself. I’m old and I think I’d enjoy colouring this still. :)


9. ACF Espresso and Cappuccino Cups – prices vary from BeCoffee.ca – note: it’s in Canada, but in Quebec so the site is in French

Nothing is worse than brewing a great cup of coffee, or pulling the perfect shot of espresso, only to put it in a terrible looking cup, or even worse, a cup that doesn’t retain the needed heat. Fix that problem by buying the best. These cups are manufactured in Italy and will keep that shot of espresso or that perfect latte at the perfect temp. Various colours, and sizes available.


10. Keep Cup – various colours and sizes starting from $12 from Eight Ounce Coffee

KeepCup is the world’s first barista standard reusable cup. These maybe the hottest gift item with near limitless customizations and colour combinations. Great environmentally friendly gift. Available in four sizes – XS 4oz, Small 8oz, Medium 12oz and Large 16oz. All but the largest size fit under the group heads of most espresso machines.


Client: Vanessa Day Photography

I recently got the privilege to work with the talented photographer Vanessa Day. She was looking for a space that would showcase her growing work, and her unique documentary style. She also was in need of a new logo to go with this new space. High on her list was a clean design that would allow her work to be what stood out and not the design.

I was particularly excited as I got to be involved in the whole process of creating the new identity and space. We went through quite a few different logos before sculpting a mark from her very own signature, which I believe aids in the clean, classic aesthetic she was after.

Final Design:

Vanessa Day Photography Logo



Vanessa Day Photography Website


Taking it’s toll

Life is taking it’s toll.

I didn’t want to admit it. But being unemployed, moving from full time ministry to nothing, watching my wife take on a leadership role (which is awesome BTW), winter arriving, all seems to be affecting me a lot more than I want to admit. Change is not easy. Role reversal is not easy.

I know I have been getting anxious about my future, and I’ve been trying to call out to God, to seek Him, to read the Word. But I’m a guy, and I like action, I need to physically do something. So sometimes it’s hard, and sometimes it’s easy. It was easier a day ago, when I got an unexpected email from someone I deeply respect. I had been praying alot that day for direction, job, future, maybe more than previous, and I feel God used him to tell me to keep waiting, keep trusting, because God. is. in. control. AMEN.

Strangely, I’ve found mundane tasks have a relaxing effect. Dishes, laundry, preparing for quests, and yes, making coffees, all seem to be something that helps. Relaxes, takes my mind off things. Maybe that gift of hospitality, and service is higher than I thought, but I guess that’s another post for another day.

I also must admit that lately I’ve felt alone. I don’t know why I needed to say that. But I do. Oh my wife and kids are awesome and I love them so much. I’ve got to hear my daughter pray for daddy’s job which has been great, and my wife has been supportive throughout this whole journey I’m on. I dunno, maybe it’s just the fact that I’m not in an office working with adults, or maybe I need to be more open and transparent with others. I mean, 3 nights a week I’m serving or in community with some amazing brothers and sisters in Christ, why on earth should I feel alone, right? Anyone else understand? I know that in my life I’ve always struggled with this, being closed off and not open with others quickly. Heck, it’s probably one reason I worked with the same person for so long, I didn’t want to leave that comfort. Hmm, I guess God wanted to break that trend and force me.

Last night I couldn’t sleep. And not just the insomnia-i-can’t-fall-asleep-thing like usual. I mean I was awake. And it was eery in our house. So quiet. And I couldn’t shake it. Showering at 3am seemed to help. I think maybe I’m in the midst of a metamorphosis, like how my child eats tons of food during a growth spurt, so I must need more awake times. And this change is of soul, and of mind. I’m excited and terrified.

Matthew 28:20 …And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.



Doing my best

Well it’s been one whole month since I left my job and joined the unemployed list. It feels like it’s been a roller coaster of a month. For starters, this month also happens to be the busiest month for my wife and her new job as a Pastor. From conferences, meetings, new volunteers, small events, large events, she has been very busy. I’m really hoping November is different. But as a shout out to her, she’s doing an amazing job and it’s been exciting to see her take on this leadership. After seeing her in the behind the scenes role for various jobs, at the church, camp and in any ministry I was apart of, it’s really is great to see her leading.

So with that background info out of the way, life has been living in the unknown. Or at least it feels that way. I set out from the beginning wanted to be in the centre of God’s will for my life. I am grateful for the ways he has blessed myself and our family with ways to serve and impact the lives of others. I won’t go into details, but leaving my “ministry job” I don’t feel I’ve left ministry. Which speaks to the core that discipleship, is NOT a CALLING, it is a COMMAND. If we call ourselves a FOLLOWER of CHRIST, and we aren’t putting our best effort, and asking God to allow us to be used by him to disciple, WE ARE DOING SOMETHING WRONG. And I would add, we have to ask ourselves if we are really followers at all. {stepping off soapbox} With that in mind, this whole job thing puzzles me. I know I can serve God just find without a vocational ministry job, but my question has been this whole month, “What else should I do?” So far, I have been having a hard time answering that question. I love graphic design, web design, coffee, R/C, administration and being a helper, even managing, but I keep feeling a lack of direction. So this month, I’ve thought about so many different areas I could pursue. And you know what? I’m not any closer than I was Oct 1st.

But I figure I need to just do something, right? And it’s at these moments that I feel this sense that I don’t need the money. I watched Francis Chan speak on “Lukewarm and Loving it” this past week and felt like I don’t even want a job. I know that might not make sense, but it’s how I felt after watching it. But then I think about, my kids, van tires, dishwasher repair, unfinished bathroom and the list goes on and on. And I know God will provide, that He will look after us, my kids will be okay, and life will go on. But I still know, that I can’t sit at home all day and do nothing. So I am going to do something. I tweaked my personal website; the resume, portfolio, pricing info one. I’m not going to go into all that detail, you can check it yourself. But my hopes are to actually use some of my skills and abilities to help someone.

Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t the end of the story, I’m not even sure it’s the start. I still have ideas bouncing around in my head about roasting coffee, doing more with my rchelper.ca website, being a real barista*, and even finding a job back in ministry. The weirdest idea is one that would have me roasting coffee while being a virtual assistant, and building websites. I don’t know how that works, but in my head, it does.

Thanks for tagging along.


*real barista is one that uses a manual espresso machine. ie.not starbucks


New venture

While I’m on the countdown, I have had to find something to keep me busy. One of my passions that I received while working for Ranger Lake was a love for Radio Controlled (R/C) trucks. Part of my job involved running and basically being a R/C Director for the summer skill as well as offseason racing program I ran last year. I also got a reputation in camp circles around the country as ‘the RC guy’ and as a result ended up selling and consulting with half a dozen or more camps from Victoria to Quebec in setting up their R/C program at their camps. I particularly loved helping teach, train and facilitate with these camps. So I’ve decided to continue this venture by starting up a website to spill my knowledge and hopefully still find a way to sell some product personally or on behalf of Ranger Lake.

The site is RCHELPER.CA

It’s still a work in progress as I am trying to add as much knowledge and content to the site right now as possible. Next week when I’m officially unemployed I should be able to really begin adding more as I’ll need something to do.

I also like feedback, even if you aren’t looking to get into the hobby.


Countdown to what

Well my last week is here and I’m on countdown. So after tonight, 2 days left of my employment at Ranger Lake. But what continues to elude me is the what next. While I maybe counting down my current employment, I find myself not knowing what I’m counting down to. And I’m okay with it.

Sort of.

But today I was reminded that I’ve been so focused on the “what next”, that I haven’t spent much time processing what I’ve been through these past years, what I’ll be missing, and how I’ve been so blessed to get to the place I’m at. So it’s probably good that I won’t have a job to goto starting Monday. Let the reflection time begin.

But I will say this. Today at the office, in what seemed like any other day we stopped as staff to pray. Some prayer requests regarding some summer staff was brought to our attention, so we took time to pray.

That is the first thing I will miss.


Trying to be patient

I really am trying to be patient. I know what you are thinking, “but Daryl you haven’t even finished at Ranger Lake yet you still have time.” But what you don’t realize is that this is the first time in over 10 years where I haven’t had a plan. From high school on I always felt led from one step to the next. Oh it’s not like I wasn’t allowing God to work in my life. Let’s get this out of the way, I do believe that God has led me to where I am today and that each of my past jobs have been exactly where God wanted me at that time. However, throughout the past 10 years I’ve always felt that the direction and future was certain, or at least felt secure in the plans I had, and that they lined up with what God had in store for me.

So this leaves me with thoughts of excitement, freedom, scared, and in a state of total unknown for my future.

I’m trying to be patient…

I know that God is in control and that the decisions that have led to this point are the correct ones.

Really trying…

I’m getting the feeling that having God be completely in control at this moment is much harder than other events in my life. I must remember to trust God with my future, my work, my everything.

So I must wait, I must listen and hope that God reveals his dreams for my life and that decisions and plans I have become his plans and dreams alone.

I’m trying and will continue trying as I journey into this next stage of my life.



As a follower of Christ, we are all on a journey….

This maybe the most difficult letter I have written in a long time.  However just as God was with me when I sent out my first letter almost 9 years ago, He is with me as I write this last one. With much wrestling with God, through prayer and discernment, this will be my last prayer letter as I have resigned my position here at Ranger Lake Bible Camp. God has taken our family on an amazing journey in our 4 years working full-time for the camp and we count each day as a blessing. We saw first hand the amazing work of the Holy Spirit, as He moved through the hearts and minds of hundreds of campers. We saw the tender heart of the Father, as He came alongside many children. And we saw Christ, poured out and proclaimed through the lives of many staff.  We are sad that the Lord has closed this chapter in our lives but as followers of Jesus we are each on a journey the moment we give our life over to Him, and so we are excited to see where God will lead us next.

God has had his hand in our next steps for quite some time, as early this year, long before we felt the call to move on, God saw fit for Dawn to step into full time ministry as well. Starting August 1st of this year she took on the role of Christian Education Pastor at Cornerstone Church in Saskatoon, working with families. She is so excited for this new leadership role and we are both blessed to be involved in a deeper role at our own church as well. As for myself, I am still waiting on God for how He will lead me in the future. But whether I’m called into a new ministry role or not, the first command Christ gives us is, “To go and make disciples” and I intend on doing my best to obey that, whether I’m in vocational ministry or not.

 This summer….

With that news out of the way our summer has been great! Once again God provided at each step, whether it was bringing the right campers here, filling a missing staff position when needed or providing for the financial needs of the camp. It truly has been a great summer and I feel blessed to be ending my time at Ranger on such a positive note. It’s seasons like this that make it so much harder to move on.

Once again, I had a blast teaching some great staff and campers all about Radio Controlled Trucks. It was great to see some kids out to our camp that I had connected with during the winter indoor racing too! And as always, I spent most of the summer behind the camera, making our highlight DVD’s for kids to take home at the end of each week. I felt extremely encouraged by the number of kids and parents who thanked me for making the DVD’s each week. Again, God was surprising me with encouragement as I was seeking to finish my time here strong.

 This will mark my last call for your support….

Over the past 9 years God has given us all we need. Often he has surprised us by the ways in which he has met our needs. In 9 years I can remember not having enough for a full pay check. God is so good. For one final time I am calling on you, my amazing support team, to help me finish strong with the financial needs of myself and the ministry I am leaving.

I raise funds to meet an annual budget and most years, in the fall, I am rather low and this year is no different. In years past God has provided for all of my needs by the end of the budget year, which in turn meets the needs of the camp.  Seeing as I will be finished my time here before the winter, we are asking that you consider making one final donation to get my account out of the $7000 deficit that it is currently in. At the end of September all monthly donors deposits will stop and without your one time gifts the camp will be left trying to raise this money themselves. If you would like to continue your monthly donations or would like to help with this deficit please visit our website’s donation page for more info.

Thank you, thank you, thank you….

As this is my last prayer support letter I must make sure that each of you know how incredibly thankful and blessed we feel by each and everyone of you. Your countless encouragements, tireless prayers and generous giving have encouraged us each step of the way. We know that God has used each of you to further His Kingdom as you’ve been a part of our team. We know that without you the work we’ve been so privileged to be a part of would not have been possible.

Finally, if you would like to talk to us more about our future or to just hear some great stories from the summer, you can reach me at our office until Sept 30th (888.406.1733) or contact me via daryl@thegrunaus.com


Why I will not Apologize

You know what?  I get it, I honestly do.  I know that it can be frustrating for you to have to sit around my children during church.  I know that they don’t always remember to whisper, they might sit when we stand or stand when we sit, and they will probably (at some point) be eating during the service.  I promise they will be distracting sometimes and I guarantee they are not going to sit quietly the whole service (although I do promise to take them out when they are melting down… we all have those days don’t we?).  But here’s the thing…. that’s not my biggest concern right now.  My husband and I are not trying to teach our children to sit and be quiet so the adults can worship God through singing, teaching and responding. We’re not trying to make sure that they are “seen but not heard”, frankly their noise level is the least of our concern on a Sunday morning.
So what am I trying to teach my children when I get the opportunity to have them with me during the service?
I want my children to know that Church is FUN!!  When we come to Cornerstone, my youngest, Norah who is now 2 years old, almost always runs to the sanctuary doors and starts dancing and clapping.  Even in her young mind, she knows that in that place we sing with joy, we clap (some of us anyways), and we celebrate!  As she gets older she will come to understand that we are singing songs of joy to our Savior, we are clapping in adoration to our Father, and we are celebrating the works of our God!  Our oldest daughter, Libby, has started to understand that more and more every Sunday we are together.  She knows that we go to Church to learn about God and to remember all of the incredible things God has done for us through Jesus, His Son.
Secondly, I also want my children to know that Church is a place where all people are valued.  I want my girls to know that they are a part of something bigger RIGHT NOW.  They are not a nuisance, the are a part of something bigger than themselves… something God specially designed to carry out His purpose to the world.  They are not a part of the Body to come, but they are a integral part of the Body in the present, the here and now.  Are we perfect? Absolutely not!!  But that’s the beauty of God using His Church to work around us…. He takes us in our weaknesses so that we can see His Spirit working through us.  My children can grow the kingdom of God!  I have seen many children come to our mid-week program through the invitation of our Cornerstone kids and I know many children, Libby included, who are excited to be able to talk about Jesus with their classmates.
Lastly, I want my children to learn what God wants to teach them.  There are so many times that Libby has learnt of the things of God from simply spending time in the service.  She has asked me questions regarding the songs (“What does Hallelujah mean?”), regarding the sermon, which I once assumed she wasn’t listening to (“What does obedience mean?”), and she is learning so much from watching what we ALL do (“Why do we stand?”, “Why do some people put up their hands?”, “What’s the bread for?”, “What’s that picture on the screen mean?”, etc, etc).
So what am I asking of you, the Church?  Please understand that my husband and I aren’t perfect (and I’m sure other parents would agree they aren’t either) and we will get frustrated, but we’re trying to teach our children about something that is bigger than any of us.  It can be exhausting for some of us, to look for teachable moments, or to keep a toddler engaged (hence the snacks!).  But you know what?  A smile from across the room, or a knowing nod can be such an encouragement to a parent’s heart.  Older people, please encourage our young families who are trying teach their children the ways of our God.  Please don’t treat our children like an annoyance, and please don’t judge our parents purely on their children’s behavior.  Kids will be kids and we all have bad days.  If you’re around children at all, you probably know that Sundays have that special way of getting children completely off routine, causing more meltdowns… maybe it’s God’s way of teaching families to rely on Him and His Church… who knows!  I am asking that you extend grace to us, as parents, and come along side us to support and encourage us.  It is hard to raise a family in this age, and families are being attacked at every level, so please pray for us and lift us up to God.
Lastly, if you take nothing else from this article, please hear me when I say the children are watching EVERYTHING that happens on a Sunday.  They are not just looking at the stage, they are looking everywhere.  They are not just watching the leaders, they are watching YOU.  They are not just hearing the words that are being spoken or sung, they are watching your actions and how you are responding to what’s being said.  And they are not only watching you in the pews… they are watching you in the foyer, in the gym, while you drink your coffee and in the parking lot.  And please, I beg of you as a mother who whole heartedly wants my children to fall completely in love with Jesus, show my kids what it’s like to be 100% in love with God.  Please extend the love and grace that God has given to you to my children.  How great it would be that by the time the children in our church can first say “Jesus”, they have already experienced His grace and love through people of the Church thousands of times!  And I’m not talking about in the nurseries, or the CE wing, but in our pews and foyer…. can I hear a “Hallejuah!!”