Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wet Feet...

If you haven't already, I strongly urge you to purchase the book Circle Maker by Mark Batterson.  It is a great story about a faith journey for National Community Church.  Most of all it teaches us as pastor to reinvent the way that we pray and the way that we interact with our Lord.  But what I have found most recently is the way that I pray is being forever changed.  The way I think about my relationship with God is coming alive through the way that I communicate with him.

I just recently started the Draw the Circle 40 Day Prayer Challenge that is laid out in the book and the companion.  Reading today I found a text that was so empowering.  That is the story of the Israelities crossing the Jordan River.

It is explained that the Israelities were making along journey to the promise land and they were on the cusp of finally making it there and the only thing that stood in their way was the mighty Jordan River during flood season.  This was the most intimidating thing that they faced since the parting of the Red Sea.  Yet another daunting task that they had to face in order to achieve what God called them to.  But what is interesting about this story is that God called the Israelities to take the first step.  He promised them that when they go their feet wet, the River would be stopped and they would walk across on dry ground.  Therefore they had a decision to make, would they wait for God to make something happen before or would they be willing to get their feet wet and make the first move.

This is the issue that rescinates so much with my life because so much of the time what God is calling me to is so close, but I spend my life waiting for God to make the first move, when in fact God is waiting on me to get my feet wet.  I don't know how close I have been to the dreams God has ordained me for and I am waiting for him to move.  But this text suggests something so different.  That is the idea that sometimes, God is waiting for us to step out in faith and say "I know it doesn't look like it now, but if I get my feet wet and step into the raging Jordan, then you will complete your side of the bargain and allow us to walk on dry ground."  How many times are we waiting for God's will to be revealed in our lives when in fact God is waiting for us to step out in faith, so that he could then reveal his will in us?

What things are holding you back from truly stepping into the river and saying God I am ready and willing for you to part it.  So much of the time we spend our time so close to our dreams when in fact they are there for the taking if we are willing to make the first move.

God is saying it is time for us to move, are you willing to take the first step and truly get your feet WET.

till another day,


Thursdays 9/8c...

Each generation has a TV Show that encapsulates the said generation, there was I Love Lucy, Happy Days, Cheers, Seinfeld, Friends, & most recently The Office.  A show beginning on the BBC network made it's way to American almost 10 years ago and wasn't an instant hit, but through its' longevity, loyal fans, and comedic humor, it has become one of the most beloved shows of our generation.  

If you haven't already guested, my wife and I are huge fans of the office and were heartbroken when it was revealed last summer that this would indeed be the last season.  I fell in love with the show during the airing of its' second season while I was in High School.  Quickly renting the first two seasons, only to get hooked very soon after that.  I would then jump into live episodes in season 3 only to have met my future wife mid way through season 4.  I knew that if this show had such a huge impact on me, I knew it would have an impact on Jenny.  We spent the spring break of 2010 catching all the way up to the current season and she was hooked.  We then, looked forward to every September when the previous season's DVDs would be released shortly followed by the premiere of the current season.

My wife and I grew alongside the relationships of Jim & Pam, Dwight & Angela, & eventually Michael  & Holly.  By the middle of the series aching for each of the characters as if they were a part of our lives and feeling like as we struggled with heartache we could always throw in those DVDs and see that their are others in this world that share in it.  As the years past, my wife and I created an even greater tradition that on every Christmas Eve, we will watch each Christmas Episode of the Office (currently there are 6) as we celebrate the holiday.

As you can see, this is not just a show that airs on NBC thursdays 9/8c, but it was much more than that.  It was a show that I grew up watching, it was the first show my wife and I shared together, and it was truly one of the first things we shared together.  Even as we spent our 2 year relationship long distance we would still have the office.  As we have purchased each season on DVD, we know that each year on Christmas we will have the office tradition to look forward to.  Our Children will look forward to Christmas Eve, when they will get a glimpse of their parents past.

As the show came to a close on its' ninth and final season, we could not be more sad, but what we do know is that we owe a lot to the office and it is and always will be much more than a show for us.  It is what has and will bring us together.  It changed a generation and what resinates with me is that it changed OUR generation.  Thank you NBC and the entire Office Cast.  Could not be more grateful.

till another day,


Good Friends, Making Great Music...

Over the past couple of months, My wife and I have had the privilege of helping support a couple great friends of our who are making some great music this summer/fall.  Much of this connection came from our time in Cincinnati, OH over the past year and I would love to share with you some projects that you must check out if you love music.

First being a band from Northern KY/Cincinnati area called Seabird.  This band has been around for a little while putting our 2 CDs up till this summer and I first got a glimpse of there music on a blog like this from a fellow Ohioan.  I grabbed there first album and could not put it down.  Their piano-driven sound is something that is lacking these days in music and their passion behind each note is amazing.  Not to mention they could not be nicer guys.  I have had the privilege of getting to know Aaron and he could not be a greater guy to enjoy a cup of coffee with.  Therefore, when we found out they were putting on a kickstarter campaign to fund their third album, we had to be apart of it.  Their protect would eventually become fully funded and they will be releasing their third indie record titled Troubled Days this summer.  If you wanna grab some updates from this awesome band check out their twitter, facebook, & Youtube.  If you would like to grab a copy or if you are in the Cincy area, check out their CD Release Show at Fountain Square with the next band I will be talking about Mike Mains and the Branches on July 16th.  

Next, is the band Mike Mains and the Branches who are from the great state of Michigan (which my wife and I currently call home) and I first ran into them at the music festival Ichthus in Kentucky (after the recommendation from Seabird).  I love their hard sound both mixed with great musical riffs and dynamic lyrics.  I instantly fell in love grabbed their album, an awesome tank top from their booth, and my wife and I were completely hooked.  We have been following the band ever since and after loving their first album Home, we were so pumped to find out they would be putting out their first indie album through the popular site  We were so excited to be a pledger for the campaign and even more excited when their project was fully funded.  No longer would we have to wait for their highly anticipated indie project entitled Calm Down, Everything is Fine.  It will be available very soon and if you would like to get updates follow them on Instagram, Twitter, & Facebook.  They are all great people and their live show is worth whatever drive you need to make.

Lastly, I would like to give props to my man Austin Livingood, who just recently announced his solo release of a 3 EP set entitled Weightless Anchor.  I first ran into Austin when he was the guitarist for a small band called Good Morning Gladys (still have a shirt from their benefit show).  He would then move on to be involved in a few other bands, until ultimately being apart of the group Belle Histoire which has had major success as of recently (just released a great CD entitled Dreamers).  But most recently he has written some solo work and will be releasing a three part EP entitled Weightless Anchor , this first part titled "By Plane" is set to release August 6th.  Austin is truly one of the most genuine, compassionate, and kind-hearted people you will meet in the music business.  I could not be happier to call him a friend and I am so excited to be apart of his future in music by purchasing his material and promoting his stuff.  Could not be more blessed to call him a friend and I am so excited for his future.  If you would like to hear more from him check out

These are just a couple of great bands that are releasing some amazing music this year and I am so excited to be part of it.  I ask that whenever you stumble upon some great bands that are not only putting out great music, but doing it the right way, that you will look for every way possible to support them.  So excited for this year and all it has to offer.  Thank you Seabird, Mike Mains, & Austin for everything you do.  Keep doin' what you do best.

till another day,


My Little Brother...

Last week my wife and I had the privilege of being apart of my little brother Zachary's High School Graduation.  I guess what seems to baffle me most is the fact that he is old enough to graduate High School.  To me my little brother will always be just that, my little brother.  The person I talk with, the person who is my best friend, the person who was the best man at my wedding, and the person I will care for till the end of my days.  We have spent so much time together over the years and despite the fact that we are 5 years apart, we have always had a bond like no other.  A bond that can only be understand if you have a brother or sister of your own.  

But of course, my brother is no longer little.  He is actually a couple inches taller than me and I am pretty sure he can now beat me at basketball.  He has a girlfriend, Lindsey Peoples, of 10 month who is a great addition to our family, he as agreed to pursue of life of ministry at Johnson University in Knoxville, TN, and he could not be more wacky (check out his posts on vine).  But despite all of that, what I love most about my brother is he has never been afraid to be himself.  He would never change his character or personality for anyone and if you didn't like it, well then tough luck.  I admire that in him and strive to be more like that in my life.  I strive to stick to my convictions and character even when it is not the popular thing to do.  I strive to be the person God has created me to be, preach the word God has created me to preach, and lead my family the way God has called me to lead.  He may not know it, but I learn that from him and I look up to him everyday of my life.  I admire is outlook on life, I admire his courage, and I most of all admire his heart for relationships.  

Zachy, I am so excited for you and your future in ministry and in life.  I want you to know that I have and always will look up to you and most of all, no matter what, I am here for you.  You and Lindsay will always have a home at the Tod household (Alec & Jenny Edition) and we will care for you no matter what.  Thank you for your fortitude, your leadership, and your example.  I am so excited to be able to say I will have a true brother in ministry and I am here for you as you begin your journey.  I love you. 

Jenny, Alec, Zachy, Lindsey

till another day, 


Monday, May 13, 2013


Every once in awhile I like to do something I like to call an InstaUpdate on this blog.  That is just updating you on one of my favorite iOS apps that makes me feel like a real photographer (when in fact my pictures are awful).  I take pictures of about everything and enjoy seeing what my friends have to say both close friends and those famous people we all love to follow.  Here are a couple pictures from the past couple months that I especially liked.  Enjoy:

1st Tourney as the Assistant Golf Coach for Trenton HS

Inspired by Opening Day 2013 & the Struggle I have with living in Detroit, but loving the Cards

One of my new favorite hobbies.  Chemex & Toddy Iced Coffee

My Brother & I's Senior Bricks @ Normal West HS

The Environment @ the Uprising SM

Working on Golf Game, Shooting in the 70s

Keep up to date on all things normallyINDIE on twitter @normallyINDIE & instagram @normallyindie.  Be looking out for more blog updates to come.

till another day,