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.
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.
Read more at: www.refreshinghope.org