Thursday, November 29, 2012

2013? We will see...

I know many of you are wondering is there gonna be a 2013, I mean the Mayan Calendar ends on Dec. 21st 2012, yes there is going to be a 2013.  With that being established there are a lot of great things to look forward to for 2013.  I would to share with you just a couple of those as we look forward to 2013:

1.  Ra Ra Riot - Beta Love
2.  One Republic - Native
3. Foster the People - TBA
4. The Black Keys - TBA
5. Jimmy Eat World - TBA

1. Gangster Squad - Jan. 11th
2. The Hunger Games - Catching Fire - Nov. 22nd
3. Man of Steel - June 14th
4. Oz: The Great & Powerful - March 8th
5. The Great Gatsby - May 10th

1. Jesus is _____? - Judah Smith
2. Follow Me - David Platt
3. Who do you think you are? - Mark Driscoll
4. Risk is Right - John Piper
5. What We Talk about When we Talk about God - Rob Bell

These are just a couple of the things that I am looking forward to for 2013, not to mention the fact that I get to celebrate my first year of marriage with my wife, we will celebrate our first year in Michigan as well as my first year work anniversary.  It is going to be yet another monumental year in 2013 for the Tod Family and I can't wait to get started.

till another day,


That Time of Year...

Yes, once again it is the holiday season and if you have been paying attention, the radio stations have started to play Christmas music, the department stores have been selling their overpriced artificial trees, & black friday came and went.  It is a great time of the year not only because it is an excuse to ask for things that none of us really need, but it is a great time to be with family.

This year is my first Christmas with my new family, which is made of up of my beautiful wife Jenny & our little puppy Indie.  We are spending this Christmas in the great state of Michigan at our home and it is a wonderful time.  There are a couple of things that really make this time of year great for us and I would like to share those with you:

                     Decorating the Home
                     Buying Christmas Sweaters
                     Taking Pictures together in the snow
                     Watching Christmas Movies (Elf, Home Alone)
                     Decorating Cookies
                     Drinking Egg Nog
                     Buying stocking stuffers for each other
                     Watching All the Office Christmas Episodes on Christmas Eve
                     Opening one Present on Christmas Eve (New Tradition)
                     Spoiling Each other with things
                     Eating as much holiday themed food as possible
                     Layering Clothes
                     Drinking some great Holiday Grogg Coffee

These are just a couple of the things that I look forward to this time of year and I am so excited to be spending this Christmas with my beautiful wife and making new traditions each year.  It truly is a wonderful time of the year and I am so happy to have the family I do to spend it with.

till another day,


Monday, November 5, 2012

On my Chest...

The expression of "wearing your heart on your chest" is something I had never really thought of till this moment.  I would like to think of it in a little different way.  I think that God does call us to truly wear our love of Christ on our chest, but I think that God lays others things on our heart that he would like to be included when people look at us.  Most recently (besides everything else I have written about tonight) God has put on my heart the idea that we are disciples of Christ and that we have a job to do.  But even outside of the fact that we have a job to do, Jesus has faith that we can do this job.  He merely calls us to take up our cross, deny our own selfish ambitions, and follow him.  Truly do what a disciple is which is be more like Christ (our rabbi) and follow him.

God is put it on my heart so much that I did not even realize it until I entitled an entire sermon series, "Going all in" challenging our students to have Bold Faith, Bold Obedience, & Bold Sacrifice.  Little did I know God was going to talk directly to me in the midst of me talking to a group of 50 students on a weekly basis.  I did not realize that he would be challenging me to truly think about the decision I have made with my life and will make with the rest of my life and ask am I denying myself and follow Christ or am I letting my crosses weigh me down?  How are the decision I am making leading me closer to Christ and making me more like my rabbi.

If all we are called to do in this life is to love Christ and make him known, that is what I want all of my future decisions to display.  I want people to look at my heart that is surely on my sleeve and see that it is stamped by Christ.  I have a tattoo on my chest that is a price tag that is stamped with the word PAID.  I did not do this to look cool or get an awesome Christian tattoo, instead I did this to remind myself that no matter what I do or have done my life has been paid by the blood of Christ.  In response to that, what else can I do but follow the man that saved my life as close as possible.  

Following my own selfish ambitions are merely the things that led Jesus to his death on the cross, so I am going to do all I can do to throw those down, turn around, and follow my savior, my christ, my sacrificial lamb.

That is what I wear on my sleeve.  I wear a heart that has a stamp of payment on it and I have decided in order to glorify the man/God that saved my life, I am going to follow him with all everything that I have.

till another day,



We were in staff meeting today at Twin Oaks CC and for the past couple of months we have been working through the book, "Hole in the Gospel" which tells the story of the directer of World Vision, how God called him into that position, and what God is calling his church to do to serve the poor.  It is a great book that really brings to light what seems to always stay in the shadows.  But this is not yet another book review.  This is instead a story about what I hope to be Someday.

Our pastor at Twin Oaks has challenged us recently with the idea of Generosity and as someone who has been around the church for much time, I understand that each church does a series on money, giving, and what to do with it.  Sometimes I have found myself to be desensitized to this because I have heard these messages so many times.  But for some reason God grabbed my wife and I and said it is time to listen up.

He has not only brought to light the fact that we, as humans, have the cure to AIDS, water deprivation, malnutrition, poverty.  This cure can be found in our bank accounts.  But I did not feel that God said it is time for you to write a check, I mean he is probably calling us to do that, but much more he is calling us to change our attitudes.  Change our attitude when it comes to money and possessions all together.

I have had a couple people in my life that I just feel exude God and what I feel like Jesus would be like.    It all began with having a nature of a servant.  Not just going on a mission trip here and there, but truly putting all others in this world ahead of their own needs.  This means finances are included.  Instead of thinking about how I am going to buy a new iPhone or how I am going to go on a vacation with my beautiful wife (both are much deserved), I would love to get to the point when I say how are we gonna pay for rent because we have spent all of our money helping our friends, family, or people that we may not even know.  I do not think God is calling us to be irresponsible, I merely think God is asking us to change our attitude when it comes to money and taking care of ourselves.

He is asking us to truly say that all these things on this earth are rentals from him and we should never worry that we will be taken care of because we have always been taken care of, not because of anything we have done, but all because of Jesus.

I am not at that point in my relationship with Christ, but I hope that my wife and I can take the steps that we need to start to be more like him in this way.  I hope that i can think of others first when I am paying the bills and how my money (not my excess) can go to help someone else.

till another day,


"Greater" by Steven Furtick, Book Review

If any of you have paid attention lately to the Ministry world, you have probably heard of the Elevation Church in North Carolina (if I am not mistaken).  He started that church after many years of dreaming, hoping, questioning, and trusting God.  Just 6 years later he is worshipping with 10,000 believers from the area, not to mention millions around the world through their digital footprint.  It is so exciting to see a guy that is committed to the call God has given him to do some amazing things including ministering to a church he attends as well as to the people that are listening, reading, and watching him speak.

A couple of years ago he released a book called, "Sun Stand Still" that challenged its' readers to believe like Joshua did when he asked the sun to literally stand still.  The amazing thing in that story is that God came through, supernaturally.  He challenged me to personally start challenging God to answer supernatural prayers that if they were answered could only be pointed back to him.  This book changed the way I thought about the idea of dreaming, prayer, and a passionate relationship with God.

Most recently, Steven Furtick released a second book entitled "Greater", this time challenging his readers to realize that their life is and will be greater than they could ever imagine if they merely obeyed, sacrificed, and faith in the fact that God has called them to do something.

Beside the fact that his writing style makes it easy for even a new believer to get engaged, it is a book that does not leave you thinking that you have it all figured out.  It does the exact opposite.  As you will see in the next two blog posts, this book challenged me to rethink what I am doing in my life.  It made me ask the question, "How am I leading my students that God has blessed me to minister to live a much greater life?"  This book challenged me to question how I am living my life today.  Am I really living the greater life God has called me to?  Where will I be in 50 years and at that point will I feel that I truly capitalized on all that God has given me?  Will Jesus say come join me in paradise good and faithful servant?

These are just a few of the questions that will surely come to mind as you read through this book and if you are someone who wants to take their life with God to another level, I strongly suggest getting a copy of both "Sun Stand Still" & "Greater" by Steven Furtick.  Allow the writings of a great man of God change the relationship that you have with Christ.

till another day,


Way to Long...

So, I made a commitment about 2 years ago that I would blog once a week for as long as I can and I have fallen off that bandwagon, but tonight I am vowing to catch back up.   Yes, I know it is cheating, but my hope is to get back to blogging once a week.  With that being said I will be writing three different blog posts to make up for lost time.  Starting with this crazy Michigan weather.

As many of you know (if I do have any readers out there in cyber space) my beautiful wife Jenny and I have most recently moved to the great state of Michigan.  Yes, we are living in Pure Michigan as Tim Allen likes to call it on all of those awesome commercials.  It has been such a great experience so far and we have met some really awesome people through the church I am working at here on the Southside of Detroit or as they call it here Down River (DWR).  We have been blessed with an awesome two bedroom apartment in the heart of Down River with a great church to attend (I get to work at) for the past two months.  We could not be happier with the situation that God has brought us in.

But what i find to be most exciting is the fact that we are on a journey.  We read about in scripture about the journeys that the disciples were able to take over their lifetime, traveling to far away lands, sometimes away from home, and spread the gospel along the way.  I like to think that Cincinnati was one of those stops for the past 7 months of our lives and now we are off on our next stop of this epic journey God is taking us on.  We moved here two months ago totally through God, because we definitely did not imagine that we would be packing up in early September for Michigan (a state Jenny and i had only been to briefly) and starting a student ministry.  What i find astonishing is that God continues to show us that we are on a journey.  Although we are further from the place that we love so much, being closer to our families, we have found that a ministry must be done here.  We have had opportunity to meet some great leaders from the church here at Twin Oaks Christian, as well as run into some awesome people along the way.  It is even more exciting to think that we are just at the very beginning of this very long journey, here in Michigan specifically.

We have truly felt called here, Michigan was not on either of our minds, and we both believe that although it is a had to be far from our families that we have been brought here for a reason.  God has placed us in the "DWR" to make a change and we could not be happier to be a part of such an amazing change.

My prayer over the next year is that this blog will continue to chronicle the journey that God is taking us on.  We will encounter good times and bad, ups and downs, but I am so excited to continue on this journey.  Just hoping that the little, seemingly insignificant things that we do in our daily lives would truly reflect the love of Christ with those we in encounter.  For what more is there in this world than to glorify the living God.

till another day,