Category Archives: holidays

Easter Traditions!

On Friday night, I called my kids up to the living room.  The only light in the room was candle light.  I read some Scripture (John 13) and talked about the night before Jesus was crucified.  Yes, I know Friday night isn’t the right night for that, but I had a late meeting on Thursday.

I told my three children about foot washing and what it means to be a servant to others.  Then I went around the room and washed all their feet.  Then, I washed my wife’s feet.  I didn’t expect it, but each of them took turns washing my feet.  It was a great experience and opened up some great conversation, at least from my two oldest children.

Then, I read to them about the Lord’s Supper from Matthew 26.  We talked about what the Lord’s Supper is and why we have communion each Sunday at church (Acts 20:7).  We had grape juice out and some crackers.  Some of you might not agree with my next move, but we talked about how communion reminds us of Jesus’ crucifixion and what He did for us.  Then we all drank some grape juice and at the crackers.  It was a special night and I wanted my kids to understand what communion is and who it is for.

Communion

Then, we went into the dining room to have supper.  It was a good segway into the next part of our evening.  After dinner, we made “empty tomb” cookies.  It’s actually amazing how they are hollow inside.  If you want the recipe, you’ll have to ask my wife.  We made them together and talked about different parts of the Easter story.  Smashing up walnuts we talked about how Jesus’ body was broken.  Putting some vinegar in the cookies we talked about how Jesus was offered vinegar to drink on the cross.  We added salt and talked about the salty taste of tears and the people who were crying when Jesus died.  It was really cool.  I’m hoping to make stuff like this a Rodda family tradition.

*On a side note, I even let my oldest son watch a few scenes from The Passion of the Christ.  I thought he was old enough to see a pretty accurate image of what the crucifixion was like.

I don’t remember a lot of Easter traditions in my family.  We probably had some, I’ve just forgotten (I know, I’m a bad son).  I’m looking forward to sharing cool moments like this each Easter with my family.  I pray it helps them develop a strong connection with how important Easter is and how it is much more than an Easter bunny and candy.

Does your family have any Easter traditions?

I’d love to hear them.

Please share in the comments.

Sunday’s Coming!

I’m putting the finishing touches on my Easter lesson for Sunday.  Here’s my point – There is something desperately wrong with the world, but God is setting it right in Jesus!

Every year I write an Easter lesson.  I have been for more than 10 years.  Every year, I use roughly the same verses of Scripture.  And every year, I’m blown away by the evidence that is stacked up in God’s favor.

There is no question that Jesus rose from the dead.  Any other option requires more faith than believing He rose from the dead.

And because Jesus rose from the dead, my life should be significantly different.  But, it’s not.  I’m not who I should be.  I’m not who I could be for my Jesus.  I am disappointed in myself when I don’t give my all.  My God deserves so much better.

I’m so excited that Sunday’s coming.  Easter morning changes everything.  God’s plan is fully realized and His grace is in full swing.

Thank you God for your grace through Jesus Christ.

I pray I live a life that is worthy of all you have done for me!

Forgive me when I fall short.

I love You!

Empty Tomb

Easter Invites!

This year, New Life is going big.  We are inviting some top name people to join us for Easter Sunday.  I’m scheduled to make a call next week, but who I’m calling will remain a surprise.  For now, check out this year’s Easter Invites!

Whirlwind!

Starting last Monday, pretty much everything is a blur.  My week was insane.  Literally, at moments I thought I was going to go crazy.

I’m happy to say, I’m still alive.

I was able to get an awesome deal on a new (to me) trailer and cabinets for our church.  We are mobile, so everything has to go in a trailer.  We are making moves toward a one trailer system.  The day we picked it up, was insane.  Everything from driving the opposite direction looking for a trailer, to reading a last minute ad in a flyer where we ultimately bought a trailer.  Emails from out of the blue.  Crazy cool conversations at times.  Then, topped off with an awesome Sunday morning with a near record attendance for our campus (on a Sunday not a holiday).  We are also connecting with a couple, area communities to help with their Easter events.  We are bringing moon bounces, sno-cones, popcorn, ice cream and face painting, all for FREE.  It’s a great way to plug in to area communities and their events.Ashton James

Stepping away from church talk, I volunteered to manage my son’s, 6-7 year old, coach pitch, little league team.  For those of you who are getting to know me on this little blog o’mine, I don’t really have anything to do with baseball.  Heck, I don’t even have a favorite team.  I don’t watch baseball.  I don’t really play it.  Now, I’m coaching it in one of the most competitive areas of the country.  Sheesh!

Beyond the lack of confidence since I know nothing about baseball, I’m super excited to spend time with my son.  I’m also really looking forward to meeting other families in the area.  Hopefully, God will use that to lead to some cool conversations.

It’s amazing how God opens doors through the most unlikely scenarios (me and baseball) for ministry.  I truly am excited to see where this might lead.

In other news, I’m really wanting to get back on Facebook.  My wife is posting awesome pictures online and I desperately want to check those out.  If you haven’t checked out her amazing photography, you should.  Misty Rodda Photography.

Time to relax for the rest of my Sunday evening.  I think I’ll run and grab a Dr. Pepper from somewhere.  Yeah, that sounds good.

Just “Like” The Update Already!

Social mediaSince last Wednesday, I have been fasting from social media.  I have given up Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare and more for Lent.  This has turned out to be a great decision for me personally!  I am finding myself with so much more time for more meaningful things.  With the exception of a few moments, I really haven’t missed social media that much.  To be honest, I really needed to contact someone the other day and I thought I could get their info from Facebook.  Instead of logging on, I chose to email someone who could give me their info.  It was a close call.

I’m not being legalistic about my decision, but I do want to honor the promise I have made to God as well.  It seems as if things are going the right direction.  I feel like things are clearing up for me.  Now that I have given God more of my time, it feels as if He is trying to capitalize on it.  I don’t believe I have all the answers and I certainly don’t believe I have arrived at some state of spiritual nirvana from which I can go no higher, but I do believe God is showing me some things.

I believe that social media is here to stay.  It may not always exist in its current form, but I think that social media in some form will be with us for a very long time.  That being said, God is the Beginning and the End.  God existed before social media and will continue to exist long after its gone.  God is showing me that social media can be a tool for ministry and that’s it.  Just a tool.  Social media is not life.  It is not the cure all for what ails you.  Social media when used properly, can be a great tool for connecting, networking and even caring for people you know.  But sometimes I act as if social media is somehow life.  That somehow my worthiness is wrapped up in how many people comment on a picture or “like” a status update.  If people don’t RT me, somehow I’m less of a man.  But this simply isn’t true.

God created me with a purpose.  He has big plans for me, plans that He designed for me (and for you) before I was even born (Ephesians 2:10).  And social media is not the plan.  It might be a tool that goes along with the plan, but it isn’t the plan!  I’m going to continue seeking God’s face and clinging to Him in times when social media used to reign supreme.  And in those moments I will wait to see what God has in store.

How is Lent going for you?

What are you learning?

Lent Day 3!

Today was a whirlwind for me.  I woke up a little later than normal since today was my “day off.”  I spent some time reading Scripture and giving God my top priority in the morning.  From there, it was pretty insane.

My oldest son said he was sick, but acted okay.  Sent him to school.

Off to the nZone by 9:30 am to shoot a new video for next Sunday.

While I waited for the set to be ready, I worked on my lesson (sermon) for Sunday morning.

Shot the video from 11-12pm.

Walked around the nZone to get the latest updates on construction.  Speaking of, you have to go to that link and watch some of our webcams.  New Life Christian Church is doing the coolest thing and I am so thankful to God for allowing me to be a small part of it.  If you want to see the live cams, simply click the cam you want to watch.  Your browser will ask you for a username and password.  Type in “guest” as the username and leave the password blank.  Awesome stuff is happening here!  And speaking of my tour, this was the hardest part of my day in terms of breaking Lent.  I so wanted to tweet about what I was seeing.  I held strong though.

Went home and scarfed down lunch at like 1:20.

Finally got my 4 year old daughter a big girl bed (since she was still sleeping on her crib mattress).  I know, father of the year.

Bought her some new sheets and pillows to make it more girly.  I didn’t think she would like sleeping on just the mattress.

Shipped off an ebay item I sold.

Back home to my new “office” and started slaying more work on my sermon.

Boys came home from school.  Both of them had fevers.  They did not have good days.  Again, father of the year right here.

Slammed down some dinner before “Family Night” with two sick sons.

For family night we (they) watched “Megamind.”  I had a couple more errands to run.

Knocked out the errands and then back home in time to tuck the kids in bed.

What an awesome day off!

I’m finishing up my lesson for Sunday.  I think it’s going to be good.  Can I say that about my own sermon?  Is that okay?  God has helped me to use my time well this week without other distractions keeping me from Him.  He has kept me focused on what’s most important and I really believe He is doing a great work.  I’m so thankful for this great start to Lent.  I can’t wait to see what else God has in store for me and you.  I’ll be back soon to share more.

What is God teaching you so far during Lent?

Lent Day 1!

As a heads up, I probably won’t blog every single day for 46 days.  Let’s just go ahead and set that expectation up front.  If I tried that, I’d probably go crazy.

Charlie Sheen

Oh, come on.  Not that crazy!

However, I wanted to make note of a couple of things about my first day without social media.

1) Only one person sent me a txt to ask if I was going crazy or not.  Honestly, I’m hurt.  I really don’t know if this is a good or bad thing.  Oh well.  Thanks for the txt to check up on me, Tom.

2) “Your focus needs more focus,” a line from the newer “Karate Kid” movie (I like the original better).  In an effort to have more focus, I have a new office area in my bedroom.  So today, armed with my new whiteboard of knowledge and wisdom, calendar, new notepad, laptop (minus social media) and a few other goodies, I set out for the day.  Well, not to be proud but, I conquered today like Arthur conquered the sword in the stone.  Like buttah!  =)  Don’t tell my boss.  I don’t want to get his expectations up.

3) By the time I deleted bookmark folders, apps on my phone and even my new Facebook browser (Rockmelt), I realized how much time I spend on social media.  Day one wasn’t even over and I was already disgusted with myself.  I enjoy social media, but need to be more disciplined with it.  I posted about that awhile back as well.

4) When you replace your social media time with time with God, you will be surprised how much of the book of Deuteronomy you can read.

5) This is obviously a spiritual journey for me.  You might not do Lent, might not care about it and it might just not be your thing.  But today was great for me.  Simply replacing time on Facebook with time being focused on God and realigning myself with Him, was amazing.  I was very aware of God’s presence in my life today.  Sometimes, I get so wrapped up with the things I think are important, that I drown out what’s most important.  I hope all 46 days are like this.

1 down, 45 to go.  This is going to be one cool journey.

Lent 2011!

I have never done anything for Lent.  Never fasted.  Never sacrificed anything.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.  Zilch.

I always thought Lent was some weird holiday for Catholics (just being honest here).  But it’s more than that.  Lent is simply a time of preparation.  It’s a 40 day preparation, leading up to the Holy Week (the week of Jesus’ death and resurrection).

Lent

I was out running tonight with a group of guys.  I get together with them once a week (at least).  We workout, run and even study together.  It’s a great group.  Tonight, we ended up on the subject of Lent.  One of the guys in our group basically said, “We should do it.  We should sacrifice something for Lent.”  So, we decided to go for it.

Since Lent is a time of preparation through sacrifice, we will each be sacrificing something to God for 40 days.  Each guy chose something that would be difficult for him to give up.  The idea being that it would be something difficult, a challenge, something that would really be a sacrifice.  One guy chose sweets, and another chose Mountain Dew.

What about me?  I wasn’t sure what to give up.  I was stuck.

So I went to my ever faithful wife and asked her what she thought.  When I asked her to make it tough, I had no idea how tough she was going to go.  Still, it’s a great challenge and I’m going to go forward with it.

For 40 days, I’m going to give up social media!  (Isn’t she brutal?)

I’m exempting my blog from this fast/sacrifice.  All other social media will go.  Facebook, Twitter, FourSquare, Tumblr, Path, etc.  40 days.  All gone.  No comments.  No posts.  No status updates.  No picture posts.  Nothing.

My goal is to spend the time I would usually be on social media, reading Scripture, praying and clinging to God as Easter approaches.

So, there you have it.  Lent 2011 – no social media!

What do you think about Lent?

Will you be sacrificing anything this year?

Top 5!

I wanted to “interrupt” this blog to share with you my “Top 5” Super Bowl commercials from this year.  Why would I do such a thing?  Well, because when I registered my blog at WordPress, I didn’t give you the password.  This means, I get to interrupt my blog any time I want for fun stuff like this.  Plus, I couldn’t choose just one this year.  I liked a lot of them.  So, without further adieu, I present to you my “Top 5” favorite, Super Bowl commercials from Super Bowl 45.

#5 – NFL Best Fans Ever!

#4 – Doritos – House Sitting!

#3 – Snickers – Logging!

#2 – Volkswagen – The Force!

#1 – Chrysler – Imported from Detroit!

 

There you have it.  My top 5, favorite Super Bowl commercials from this year.

Let me know what you think.

Which ones were your favorites?

Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  I wanted to post some of the things I am thankful for today.  Seems like an appropriate day for it.Turkey

  • I’m thankful for the first person who saw this bird, and thought to themselves, “I bet, after a few hours in an oven, that is one tasty bird.”
  • I’m thankful for a country that lets me eat turkey if I want to.
  • I’m thankful for being able to watch football and eat turkey at the same time.
  • I’m thankful for toilet paper.
  • I’m thankful for toothpaste.
  • I’m thankful for a home that has heat in the winter.
  • I’m thankful for good friends to share an amazing dinner with.
  • I’m thankful for a family that constantly helps me to grow and become a better man.
  • I’m thankful for a wife who loves me and allows me to be the man God has created me to be.
  • I’m thankful for an amazing staff team to work with at New Life Christian Church.
  • I’m thankful for a healthy church that is striving together to accomplish God’s mission on earth.
  • I’m thankful for mentors who have taken time to pour life experience into me.
  • I’m thankful for a faith that goes beyond religious legalism and manipulation.
  • I’m thankful that God is bigger than my faults and mistakes.
  • I’m thankful for His grace.
  • I’m thankful for His mission.
  • I’m thankful that He has invited me to be a part of His work.

I have so much to be thankful for.  I’m sure I could make this list go on forever.  There’s so much to be thankful for in our world.  So my question for you is; what are you thankful for?  You don’t have to leave an exhaustive list, but maybe your top 2 or 3.  As consumerism knocks at the door of taking over the next 30 days or so of our lives, let’s use this day to slow down and keep a proper perspective on the things that really count in our lives.

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