Monday, November 21, 2011

In the Ministry...

Now when I say "the Ministry" I am not referring the the Ministry of Magic from the world of Harry Potter (excited that the final Harry Potter Movie came out), I am referring to the Ministry of Jesus Christ.  It has been a few weeks now, but on October 29th 2011 I had the opportunity to become an ordained minister into the Christian Church/Church of Christ Non-demoninational sect of Christianity.  That sounds like a lot, but in laymen's terms that means I have become an ordained minister into the Christian faith.  What this means is that I now have the ability to perform wedding ceremonies, funeral ceremonies, and am considered an ordained ministers while applying for jobs.  It is a great benefit, but most of all it is the ushering in of a new member into the ministry of pastors that have been thousands of years in the making.
Official Invitations designed by Turquoise Feathers 

My wonderful fiancé put together a ceremony to commemorate all of my achievements as a student as well as my call to ministry.  The night included words from Joel Craig who has been my mentor in ministry since the beginning of my call in Junior High, my granny Gladys Wheeler, who despite her absence was able to send an audio of touching words of leadership (she has been my motivation to pursue ministry since I was a little boy), and lastly my father Jeff Tod who I was baptized with and have looked up to since I was able to speak my first words.  I was given the opportunity at the end of the night to share a little bit about my vision for ministry as well as my gratitude for those around me.  I was truly honored to have been given this call by to go into ministry and each of the people that spoke had amazing impacts on my life in a vital way.

God has called me into the ministry and this ordination was just one of hundreds of thousands of steps.  After taking this first step, I look forward to continuing on this journey of life with my beautiful fiancé by my side and our call into ministry leading us.  God is going to do amazing things through us and I just hope I am one of his many tools that he uses to spread the gospel to the ends of the Earth.

till another day,


Friday, November 18, 2011


Sitting in staff meeting on Monday at Emmanuel Church of Greenwood, I did not really know what to expect.  It always seems to be something different and exciting every week.  This week we had free Chickfila breakfast and coffee which is always nice, but beyond that there seemed to be a sense of importance to the day.  I did not really know what to think until our senior pastor Danny Anderson came up to the front of the room to give us our Staff Development piece for the day.  On a side note, at most of our staff meetings Danny, or another member of the staff, gets up in the front of the room and gives us a nugget of truth that we like to call Staff Development.  It can be anything from inspiration, to a challenge, but this week was really exciting.  He decided to talk about the subject of taking a Sabbath.

For most the Sabbath is a worn out term that died with those that practiced it in the Old Testament, but Danny challenged us to take it in a much more literal way.  He painted to picture of the Sabbath as a divine law it is to be kept, not only by his pastors and teachers, but by all who call themselves followers of Christ.

The sabbath consisting of three ideas, filling up your emotional, spiritual, and physical tanks.  He described it as such, throughout your week all of these tanks drain out what must be kept in us in order for us to do the work Christ called us too.  Most of us merely hope that we are sustained enough to survive, but we are called to so much more.  We are called at least once a week to take a "Sabbath" consisting of refilling these tanks to the level that is healthy.  This can include, but is not limited to, doing things that truly fill you up which for some could be working out, reading, writing, praying, meditating, working on projects.  But what is most important is that all the things that your do on your Sabbath are centered on glorifying and thanking God for what he has given you.  Truly taking the time to revitalize yourself and your relationship with the Lord, which so often is set aside due to the busy nature of our culture.

Therefore, when Danny challenged us with this idea that we MUST take a Sabbath, I began to think, "am I taking a Sabbath once a week, and if I am what does it look like."  I came to the conclusion that my Sabbath is nonexistent.  Yes, I have my regular spiritual disciplines that include reading, writing, journaling, and prayer, but I am not taking time to truly glorify the Lord on one day.  Am I truly taking a Sabbath?

I am now devoted to finding a time and a place to do just that, take a Sabbath that will refill all of my tanks and glorify Lord in the process.  My Sabbath, whatever day that is, will consist of time studying scripture, blogging, journaling, reading books, sipping on coffee at my favorite coffee shop, watching movies, sleeping in, and a little praise and worship with my fiancé.  All of these things are the things that truly fill me up and bring glory to God in the process.

Although I am not totally sure how to implement this into my weekly life just yet, I am dedicated to making this a part of my routine and especially a part of my marriage.  I have also challenged Jenny with this idea and given her the opportunity to think about what her Sabbath would look like.  It being drastically different than mine, she will find a way to fill her tanks once a week and truly glorify the Lord in the process.

I truly thank Danny Anderson for challenging us with this idea and thank the Lord for setting it on his heart to share.  I look forward to spending my Sabbath with the Lord and seeing the true life change that comes as a result.  I would challenge you to think of this idea yourself and truly begin to examine what your "Sabbath" may look like as your go about your daily life.

till another Day,



It will be 4 short weeks and I, Alec Myles Tod, will be graduating from Cincinnati Christian University with a Bachelor of Sciences in Biblical Studies and Youth Ministry.  It was 3 years in the making, but I am finally at the point when I can begin to call myself a college grad.  It is one thing to be a college student and have that satisfaction under my belt of learning, but it is yet another to say that I am the first of the immediate Tod family to graduate from college.  My mother and father both did not graduate from college for different reasons, therefore growing up and graduating from the school of handwork and discipline.  They have worked very hard to get to the position they are in now, specifically my dad, and this is just the next step for me in that hard working journey.

But with this upcoming deadline comes a disease that is contagious and is known as "Senioritis".  Yes, I was treated for this disease in the fall of 2007 when I became a High School senior.  Throughout High school I was given amazing opportunities to excel and senior year was no exception.  But it seemed that I was so concerned about what was going to happen in college the next fall, that I forgot what was right in front of me.  Because of my impatience and anticipation, I lost opportunity to speak with people about Jesus Christ.  I was so ready to continue on this journey that God calls life, that I did not realize the rest area would be humanity.  These lost opportunities have motivated me to become the person I am today, a fully dedicated life to the service of students.

In the same situation, it is only 4 shorts week away and I too will be feeling the true affects of senioritis.  I am battling these feelings as week speak with some going for me outside of work at Emmanuel Church of Greenwood.  Graduating Dec. 2011, Start a new job Jan. 1 2012, Getting Married (March 10, 2012), walking at commencement May 12, 2012.  As these major events have me looking at least 8 months in advance.

But what I have come to realize is that we have been placed in every situation we see ourselves in for a reason.  That the most important thing to realize is to passionately spread the gospel of Jesus Christ to the ends of the earth.  For me, in this very moment, I have been placed at both Emmanuel Church of Greenwood and One Mission Society for a specific reason.  Although that passion may fizzle, I have begun to realize that worshipping God through the obedience and trusting your life with Christ is what must happen.

As a senior I look forward to every day that I am given and especially the opportunities that are placed before me, whether it be marriage, a job, or merely speaking the truth of the gospel to a person that I meet.  I am truly honored to be a small part in the redemption of this earth.

Till another day,


Sunday, November 6, 2011

6 Weeks and Counting...

Those of you who know me well, would know that I have been working alongside Shane Combs and the rest of the MovementSM staff for the past 7 months.  It has been a journey all the way from my first nerve racking days in May of this year, wondering what the summer would, all the way to this moment when I am staring at the calendar and it reads November.  Many would believe that at this moment I will begin to be sad and nostalgic, but I am not I just want to express to those that are listening the impact that the Movement Student Ministries as had on my life.

As I said before I came into this ministry without knowing anyone (besides Shane briefly) in May of this year.  I jumped right in working on Summer programming, trips, WOODLANDS, with Amber and that time Mitch.  It was a great summer of trial and error and getting to know one another, especially getting to know Shane, not only as a boss, but as a true friend.  Shane had the opportunity to speak at a conference in Dallas in early August and because of his fear of flying Mitch and I had the chance to drive and tag along.  This may have been one of the best bro trips I have taken in a long time.  Although, their were ups and downs there were conversations to be had and memories to be made.

We then moved into the heart of the Student Ministries calendar, the fall.  This year was especially exciting because there was a vibe of anticipation and excitement.  We began Cell Groups and leadership that went off great with over 200 students in the Cell Group ministry.  More students every week were coming and hearing about the gospel of Christ, many of them accepting Jesus into their heart for the very first time.  There is nothing better than the feeling of when a student truly "gets it".

In the meant time, I began a bible that meets on Tuesday mornings at 6am with 6 promising young minds and a co-leader (Jason Beck) called McTuesdays.  This name given to the program by the students reminds us of the day and the fact that we will be enjoying wonderful McDonald's breakfast as we dive deeply into the word of God.  We went through much of Genesis, stopping every 4th week to have a Question week where the students can ask anything they would like.  This study has not only challenged the students, but it has challenged me to continue to teach at a high level and grow with the students.

My fiancé had the privilege of going on the Cell Group Leadership trip to Gaitlinburg where Jenny fell in love with some amazing young ladies (Mackenzie Essig, Miranda Gladish, and Alex Harrell).  She then became the first two's Cell Group Adult Leader and they have been great friends ever since.

Moving forward things have begun to slow down student ministries wise, but only to amp up last week when we threw Block Party 2.0, a fall themed party for all the students involved in Cell Groups (275+).  It was so exciting to be a part of such a huge success and we are so excited for Block Party on Ice which is coming soon.

With all of these crazy things that have happened in my 23 weeks here at MovementSM and all the other crazy things that are still to come, God has taught me one thing.  He has taught me that despite your attitude or the attitude of those around you, in is your responsibility to glorify him to obedience.  Not the obedience of just following his commandments, but true obedience involving trust, peace of mind, love, dedication, gratitude, giving, and sacrifice.

As I finish out these last couple of weeks at MovementSM, sadly, I am so excited for what is to come and what God has in store for Jenny and I.  Whatever it may be I am merely excited to obey God in that call and continue to worship him through obedience, with a joyfully, humble heart.

till another day,


An Artist at Work...

As many of you know, Jenny, my wonderful fiancé, and I have begun to spend much of our time at the tattoo shop.  We have built a relationship with an amazing tattoo artist named TJ Harmon.  We originally met him at randomly when I wanted to get a tattoo to symbolize my love for my beautiful fiancé.  We were referred to Irish Ink in Greenwood by a couple friends and I ran into TJ, TJ Harmon to be exact.  He did an amazing job with the paint palette tattoo on my right hand and it was a perfect artist-client relationship after that.
Although this isn't the best picture (the Red and the Orange have since then come in much better) it was a perfect tribute to the artist that is my fiancé.  

It then got us thinking, "What other tattoos are next?"  Jenny then had the honor of working with him to create a truly beautiful memorial tattoo in honor of the wonderful Melvin & Doris Schroeder.  

It was truly an honor to be a part of the tattoo process and to make this tattoo a reality.  TJ Harmon at this point moved from Irish Ink to a new tattoo shop, because of a misunderstanding with management, called Main Street Tattoo in Old Town Greenwood.  After this amazing tattoo, my beautiful fiancé gave me a gift for my birthday.  Two Years Early on October 9th, my then girlfriend (Yes, is still Jenny :) ) gave me a tattoo for my birthday.  

This year, October 9th 2011, she decided to continue that tradition by surprising me with a trip to Main Street Tattoo and a meeting with TJ Harmon.  Seven Hours Later and a lot of pain, this was the product on my left upper arm.

This, still an unfinished piece, is by far my most detailed piece with the shading, deep lines, and colors.  I was in awe of how wonderful this work actually turned out and I am so excited to add some color to finish off the shoulder cap and to continue to the elbow.  But this is not all.  Last week TJ had a special of $50 an hour and Jenny had the wonderful idea of getting a random tattoo that is small, but still important to each of us.  so we got each of these tattoos respectively (Jenny on the left, me on the right). 

Jenny, a tattoo based on the DCFC song "I'll Follow You Into the Dark" with the date 10-16-09 which is the day I officially ask her to be my girlfriend.  Mine on the other hand, was the chi-rho symbol which was used by Constantine on his army's shields.  This symbol meaning Christ or power and strength, thus it was placed on my left forearm under the word Power in Greek.  

This brings the total tattoo tally for me up to 6 and Jenny up to 7 with many more ideas to come.  This long relationship with TJ does not seem to be stopping soon and we are so excited to begin to spend time with him.  For all of this would not be possible without the talent and drive to TJ Harmon to do tattoos.  

He is truly a master artist and a great friend of ours.  If you ever need anything as far as tattoos go, please go to him.  This is the beginning of a great relationship and I cannot wait to see how it continues.  As Jenny and I grow and mature, so will our relationship with our tattoo master, TJ Harmon.  

till another day,