Recent Blog Entries

  • Oct 21
    Posted by Dion Todd
    RHM Devotional: Can You Hear Me Now from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo. For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence firm to the end, while it is said, “Today if you will hear his voice, don’t harden your hearts, as in the rebellion.” ...
  • Oct 21
    Posted by Dion Todd
    Of the angels he says, 'Who makes his angels winds, And his servants a flame of fire.' Hebrews 1:7 WEBWhen the preacher walked past our row of seats, it seemed like you could feel heat coming off of him. When he looked at you, it was as if he looked straight into your heart and saw how black that it...
  • Oct 20
    Posted by Dion Todd
    For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, says Yahweh. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8 WEBThere were many times in my life that I worked something out in my mind, planned t...
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Who is Pastor Dion Todd

  • I blog about the adventures that I have while walking with Jesus in my everyday life, and why I believe what I write.

    The Words:  The words here can be very timely and usually come out of prayer or praise and worship. It is not head knowledge, but inspiration. Many people find that they address what they are dealing with on that day. I usually get up in the morning and praise and worship / pray for a while and then write what comes to mind. It is totally the Holy Spirit as I have a really empty mind.

    Interview with Pastor Dion Todd from Refreshing Hope Ministries on Vimeo.

    Who am I:  My name is Dion Todd. I grew up as an American heathen on a farm in beautiful coastal South Carolina.  Hunting, fishing, off roading, dirt bikes, racing and cropping tobacco were a lot of my childhood pastimes. While growing up we rarely went to church, but we were in the heart of the bible belt of the south. My Dad always taught us that there was an Almighty God, and that one day we would have to stand in front of Him and answer for the things that we had done.  That saying always stuck with me, and I knew one day that I would have to meet Him, like it or not.  How that happened though, was much different than I expected. I did not know that He was chasing me.

    In my late teens I started playing music with local bands and lived a pretty average life as a musician until one night the Holy Spirit showed up, in the bar.  I know this sounds strange, but in a flash, without anyone talking to me I suddenly knew what I wanted to do, and I was ready to get started.  I put my bass in the case, told the band good night, went home, went in my bedroom, prayed and gave my life to the Lord Jesus, and the next morning which was Sunday, I went to church.

    Like many, I soon developed a very legalistic view, wanted to earn my salvation and prove my dedication to the Lord. It became a competition.  I fasted for weeks, gave all that I had, tried to memorize the bible, prayed all day, listened to the Bible all night, and made all my friends into enemies. I was baptized in water at least four times, in rivers, pools and ditches ( I was a baptist at the time ).

    Believe it or not, you can do all of that and still not be very close to God, though it is all good in moderation. I knew a lot about Him, I just did not know Him.  Just as Jesus said there would be those that called Him Lord Lord and He said “I never knew you”, so was I.   When I started to just involve God in my life every day, relax, and just include Him in what ever decision I had to make, a relationship began to develop.

    Eventually I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and the Lord soon revealed to me that I had a calling into the ministry.  So I enrolled in bible college, got my bachelor of arts, and then became a shining vessel completely full of religion and legalism just as I thought He wanted. I had it all figured out and man was I smart.  The chosen one had arrived.  And then I… waited…

    I waited twenty-five years for that door to open in ministry. During this time I was non-denominational, then a Southern Baptist, later a Pentecostal, even later a Charismatic, and then back where I started: Non-denominational. I served the Lord as a painter, a carpenter, a mechanic, a musician,  I.T. Tech and a computer programmer, almost anything and anywhere, except the ministry that He had mentioned. I went through a divorce, lost loved ones, had my business burn to the ground during an insurance lapse, and at one point started life over with nothing.  Then I  met the love of my life, remarried, and experienced many other life changing  moments.  It turns out that I did not know, or believe, a fraction of what I thought I did.

    After decades of waiting, my shiny vessel full of religion slowly drained away until I felt completely emptied.  Where I had originally thought I knew a lot about Bible, I now felt like I knew hardly anything. My shiny vessel full of religion was now a dusty vessel filled with the experience of life.  My shallow head knowledge was replaced with a deeper heart knowledge. My legalism and looking down on others was replaced with compassion and the understanding that their sin, is just like mine, bad and hard to keep behind you.

    After I had finally given up on ever being in the ministry, the door finally did open and I became a creative arts pastor, which is my current day job. I was forced into it.  Our computer business dried up, all jobs were closed off, and when we were packing to move out of our home this path opened to me.  Like cattle herded into a trailer, I was driven into the ministry.

    I truly understand how Moses set out in his youth to deliver Israel in his own strength, failed, and instead served as a shepherd for forty years in the wilderness.  Then when the Lord appeared to him in the burning bush he could only say: “Send someone else…”.  Moses no longer even wanted to go, but God would not take no for an answer.

    Most of my life I have walked with the Lord, sometimes falling but so far managing to get back up.  God has proven Himself to be faithful over the years and I have had to go back and unlearn a lot of the things that I grew up with.  I have learned that for me, it is all about relationship, and not religious practices.  I can be just as close to God while fishing, as I can in church, even though I love attending.  If you remove the personal relationship from Christianity, I want nothing to do with it.  I would rather be fishing.

    My style of writing:  Jesus said that He would make us “fishers of men”, not their hunters.  When fishing, you use a lure and try to get the fish to bite.  The lure has to look real and good or the fish will run from it, the fish also has to come to you. Not like hunting where you chase them down.  Likewise, I try and make Jesus look good.

    Trying to make the world live like a Christian when they do not even know Him is missing the entire point of the gospel.  In my opinion, if I bring people to Jesus He will change what is wrong with them when the time is right.  It is not my place to try and correct sin in people’s lives; the Lord can do that when He is ready.  It is my goal to bring people into a personal relationship with the Lord Jesus, and as they come to know Him, their life will fall into place.

    This may not be a balanced view in some people’s mind,  but I fully believe that there is enough negative in the world and people’s lives to counter act the positive teachings that I write here.  For now, you will have to get your guilt, hell, fire and brimstone message somewhere else.

    I have had a lot of adventures while walking with the Lord Jesus Christ and feel like it is time to write about some of them.  So here I will share my story.

    Thank you for reading.

    Dion


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Social Sharing

31 comments
  • 3
Janice Phillips
Janice Phillips This is why I love the things you write here. When I am in church I want to worship and thank the Lord...I do not want to hear that I am going to hell because I am a sinner or that God is going to bring down the brimstone and fire on us! I want to experience His peace and joy everyday. Knowing that He is always there for me, to support me and hold me up instead of wanting to punish me for being human. I just don't understand that kind of preaching. Thanks for sharing.
March 7, 2015
  • 2
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd We don't care for that kind of thing either, Janice! Glad to have you here :).
March 9, 2015
  • 2
Sunnie McPhetres
Sunnie McPhetres Jesus brought me to your online community for a reason!  Your attitude,views and the words that He inspires you to write are exactly what I need in my life right now.  You are real, you write about real things, and Jesus shines through you!  Bless you, Dion!
March 11, 2015
  • 2
Martin Snyder
Martin Snyder Mornin' PD, you still play? We should get together and jam sometime, I'd bet it'd be a hoot! God bless you and thanks for your ministry. Keep on keepin' on!
March 21, 2015
  • 3
Dion Todd
Dion Todd Hi Martin, I mostly play keyboard in my prayer room these days. Well, and fill in at church now and then on bass. Who knows what the future holds :)
March 22, 2015
  • 1
timothy dirig
timothy dirig APOSTOLIC PENTECOSTAL ONENESS APOSTLES DOCTRINE ACTS 2;38 JESUS IS GOD 100% THIS IS WHAT WE TEACH
January 17, 2016
  • 2
Martin Snyder
Martin Snyder In the prayer room sounds like the perfect place to play. I'm glad to hear you get to play the bass occasionally, also. You're right, the future is an advent-ure!
March 23, 2015
  • 2
Lissy Verghese
Lissy Verghese Thank you for writing!
April 5, 2015
  • 3
Joseph Krell
Joseph Krell God is good all the time, all we have to do is follow. After reading the devotional I thought it might be time for some support, it tells me I shouldn't be there, go back. So I try to go around, Book store, Bible study, Faq, and finally About Us. I was blessed by more of your testimony, I almost feel like I know you and can for sure identify with you. Maybe tomorrow it will let me give as Refreshing Hope Ministries is worthy of my monthly support. Be blessed be blessed be blessed! 
September 1, 2015
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd Thank you so much for being part of RHM, Joseph, God bless!
September 1, 2015
  • 2
Michelle Toney
Michelle Toney Wow...i just read your testimony...i loved it...thank you for sharing...it would be great if people shared like that more offen..i think it gives God the glory and to show people how God really is...an not this some ATM machine. .give me. Give me. I also think your store is so down to earth, it makes it easy for people to relate to...an that ...i believe will draw more people closer to him...:-) .  Oh...by the way...i enoy how you write your devotionals , the story of the verse, an your personal experience to it....i think if we all take the time to actually sit down an read the bible, im sure we can reflect back on a few experiences ourselves. .. you devotionals are great....please dont change them...       May God continue to bless you an your family & ministry 
September 24, 2015
  • 2
Dion Todd
Dion Todd Thank you Michelle. I feel that we should be real people just as we are, trying to serve God the best that we can. Thank you for reading.
September 24, 2015
  • 1
Michelle Toney
Michelle Toney Your welcome....i really enjoy reading your devotions...exspecially when you put your person experience with it...:-) . 
September 28, 2015
  • 2
Darlene Blackmon
Darlene Blackmon I really enjoyed reading your test money and yor devotions as well. Your personal experiences shared with it makes very comfortable and relational to identify with. Hope some day you have a chance to speak in the San Francisco area. Thank you and your wife for sharing this ministry!
October 15, 2015
  • 2
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann Thank you for sharing your testimony with us pastor it means more than u know, We have so much in common it blows my mind But after reading your devotionals sense you started doing them I feel like I knew u before I ever read about u I hope that makes sense, Most of all I just want to say thanku, and someday I will share my testimony with u God willing of coarse, thanks for sharing from your heart and for your Love of the Lord and mostly for your humility, As u know Jesus is all about that word humility and your an awesome example for me, Sincerely Scott R your friend and brother in Christ Jesus!
November 24, 2015
  • 2
Scott Riegelmann
Scott Riegelmann I forgot to tell you that I play the drums and would love to jam with u someday I have my kit set up in my garage and my son plays lead guitar and my youngest plays bass guitar we have alot of fun I cant wait tell we move and get a bigger place anyways I rambling now Good night pastor Todd
November 24, 2015
  • 1
Dion Todd
Dion Todd That is excellent Scott, I love the rhythm section and carrying the tune. A three piece is a lot of fun :)
February 29, 2016
  • 3
Victor Avila
Victor Avila "Jesus said that He would make us “fishers of men”, not their hunters." I love that brother, as I read your testimony I was relatingoing in a lot of ways. God bless you, your family & your ministry.
February 29, 2016
  • 1
Dion Todd
Dion Todd Thank you Victor. It is a truth that I have learned to live by. When I first came to the Lord, I turned all of my friends into enemies in a record time. If I had been less aggresive, some might have actually listened to me. We are doing no one a favor by pursuing them. That is God's job. 
February 29, 2016
  • 1
Becky  Hines
Becky Hines Amen! Hard lesson for me to learn but,Praise God, I finally did. 
May 16, 2016
  • 2
Tyler Velau
Tyler Velau Thank you for sharing your story here. It is a wonderful story and you make a lot of sense. I can see that the years you have lived brought you wisdom and understanding that is only gained through experience and life. I think that the Lord was with you throughout your life guiding you to where you needed to be. Thank you for your story and for RHM, they have made a impact on my life in a positive way. 
March 1, 2016
  • 2
Molly Miller
Molly Milleredited: March 25, 2016 Thanks, Pastor Dion! I love how God uses you to touch others! ( hehe, me included ) I pray God gives me the grace to grow my faith, stay strong and courageous in Him, and that He opens my ears to listen and understand what He wants me to do. I want with all my heart to be pleasing to my God. I continue to pray about my "pre believer" husband and trust God....
March 25, 2016
  • 3
Lashanda Hearne
Lashanda Hearne

Thanks for sharing your story, It is very inspiring. I really love how God used you. 

July 5, 2016
  • 2
Loriann Riley
Loriann Riley

Hello Pastor Dion thank you for sharing your life story. Its very inspiring because  I am going through a challenge in my life right now and I know that when God is finish with me. He is giong to let me use it as a testimony to inspire someones life who is going through a struggle in their life that not to give up when it seems like all hope is gone. But we sevre a mighty big God. Who is bigger than our problems or whatever we are facing or going through. Your story gives me hope that keep on pressing on in the Lord. I know he is working out things for my good. what the devil meaant for evil God meant it for good. Stay Strong and encourage in the Lord. Continue to minsiter to people you are doing a great job keep up the good work pastor Dion God bless you. 

August 15, 2016
  • 1
Sylvia Todd
Sylvia Todd

Amen, Loriann!

August 15, 2016
  • 1
Joseph Adams, Jr.
Joseph Adams, Jr.

What a powerful testimony. God is always on time.

September 11, 2016
  • 1
Gina Blakey
Gina Blakey

Bro Dion, I enjoyed reading your testimony!  God is good and longsuffering. Oh that we all may unlearn what we've been taught about God so that we may truly know Him more and more!  God bless you and Sylvia as you share Refreshing Hope in Jesus to the world. Amen. 

October 14, 2016
  • 1
David and Dianna Wyles
David and Dianna Wyles

You are always inspiring! I am blessed to have connected with this ministry, you, Sylvia, and all of RHM. Thank you for all you do. God bless

 

November 16, 2016
  • 2
Rosemary Marsh
Rosemary Marsh

I know this is late in making any comment.Please forgive me.

 Thank you so much For Sharing This Pastor Dion. I found it very interesting inspiring and uplifting. Also we can learn a lot from it. Praise God for his faithfulness,and his timing is always perfect. It is good to know about our Earthly Shepherd,that God has given us. Heavenly Father I give thanks to you with a grateful heart for leading me to this church on here..Thank you for everyone in the Ministry of  Refreshing Hope Ministry. Lovely picture of you both.

November 27, 2016
  • 1
Leena Knuuttila
Leena Knuuttila

tHANK YOU HONEST AND TOUCHING TESTIMONY. wE REALLY CAN LOST SOMETIMES LOVED ONES CHOOSE TO FOLLOW STILL JESUS. DESERT TIMES ARE REPENTING TIMES NOT TRYING TO FULLFIL LEGALISTIC CHRISTTIAN LAW WHAT I DID ALSO AND WHERE TRHEE YEARS IN BABTIST OLD FASHION CHURCH,I LIKE THAT TIME TOTALLY TURNED AWAY FROM THE WORLD,BUT LEGALISITIG LIGHT  AND PHARISEES JUGMENT ARE NOT THAT JESUS TOTALLY WHAT BIBLE SHOWED  FOR THE WOMAN IN PHrisees room,i believe we fall from highway of holiness many of us but there is no tecnic to desrve love of JESUS and be freee.it is in THE BLOOD OF JESUS WHAT CAN FORGIVE EARNIEST SERVANT GRACE COME UP AGAIN FOLLOW HIM. HE IS OUR MASTER AND ONLY TEACHER,IF WE CONFESS OUR SINS HE IS FAITHFUL,REPENTANCE IS BEFORE GLORY AND PEACE,WHEN WE ARE FORGIVEN WE CAN UNDERSTAND GOD LOVE AND GRACE,HE WHO CALLS US IS FAITHFULL,CAN PURIFY US,GRACE IS 100 PROSENT GOD GIFT.MY FATHER RECEIVE GOD GRACE EVEN THAT HE WAS SO QUILT ABUSING ME FOR YEARS,THIS TIME IN HIS ALTZHEIMER AND PRAYING FOR HIM IN HOSPITAL,REALLY SEE THAT THE QUILT AND OLD FATHER IS GONE,I HAVE LEARNED MORE THAT NO WHERE ELSE GOD UNCONTIONAL LOVE<3WHEN OUR HEART THINK GALVARY AND JESUS  IN THE CROSS WE KNOW WE CANNOT EARN GRACE,ROBBER DID NOT HAVE TIME TO GO ASK FORGIVENES FOR THOSE WHO EARNED TO TO DO SO,HE HUMBLED HIS LIFE BEFORE THE LORD,JESUS FORGIVE HIM ALL-HE PAID IT ALL!LET US ALL TRY HONESTLY IN REPENTANCE BARE HOLY SPIRIT FUITS TO GOD AND SERVE THOSE TO GOD LEAD OUR LIFE,WHAT EVER THEY HAVE DONE,GIFT RIGHTEOUSNES CLOTHE IS PROMISED IF WE TURN TO BACK AND REPENT,GRACE  AND LOVE OF GOD IS BIGGER THAN LIFE,THEY CONTINUE FOREVER,EARNEIST MANY MISTAKES MAKE LEENA SHEEP BROKEN MIND CLAY IN ONE HAND OF GARMENT OF THE LORD,HALLELYAAH!  

February 26, 2017
  • 1
Liesel  aka  Lisa Wardle
Liesel aka Lisa Wardle

Dear Pastor Dion! It's about time for me to hear/read your story & testimony! Thank you for being so honest and down to earth! You're really proving a point to patiently wait on the Lord for answers should it be in our prayer lives for example, mentioning that you had to wait 15 years ... See patience and having to wait on answers is a hard thing for me, but I'm learning, God the Hl. Spirit is my teacher! Thank you again!

 

August 8, 2017