Unexpected Help

We just moved, as many of you know. We left our old house clean and did the repairs the buyers asked for. We even left them a few bonus things, mostly things we didn’t want. We arrived at our new house to find a sheet of paper on the kitchen counter where the seller had written out everything she could think of to help us start our new life in this home. She made it as simple as possible to grasp all the details of a new place.

We came straight to our new house from camp. At camp, we had talked about how prayer, worship, and evangelism are all lifestyles, not just skills. As I saw that sheet of paper, I thought about the potential there. In sharing details of a home with someone, you could let them know where you went to church in this town. If they need help with something, you could give them the number of a Christian friend in your neighborhood. Obviously, they don’t have to take advantage of any of that, but just giving them the option opens the door to all kinds of possibilities.

Of course, hopefully you will only move a few times in your life. Can you think of any other ways that you could reach out to people in a non-threatening way? How could we connect people to other Christians and to church while actually helping them?



Wife Runs For Justice

My wife is raising money for International Justice Mission.  IJM is a great organization helping victims of abuse and oppression all over the world.  You can learn more about them on their website.  Right now they are doing a fundraising campaign called Just Run, where runners get sponsors and all the money goes to help IJM in their work around the world.  She has just started and almost has 10% of her goal, but I know we can raise much more than that.  I just wanted to let you guys know so you can either give, or at least learn about IJM and pray for this fundraising.  You can help and learn more at this site. Thanks for your help.


We’re Back!!!

Hey, the website’s up and running again. I’m so sorry for all the time that you couldn’t get on toddagnew.com, and instead had to read your Bible, hang out with your family, talk to real people, and eat good food. Seriously, I am sorry that the site has been down (in case you missed the news, it was hacked and had to be rebuilt from scratch.) So you missed a fairly strenuous time in our lives. We packed up and moved from Austin to Dallas. I preached two camps and led worship for one. I led for the last time at our church, Austin Stone Community Church. My wife got a great promotion, which instigated this process, but God made His opinion loud and clear for us and we are very grateful. I’m starting seminary in the fall at DTS (Dallas Theological Seminary). I’ll still be on the road a couple of weekends a month (same as last year) so hopefully I’ll get to see you somewhere this year. So we’re busy unpacking and getting settled here in the Metroplex. Definitely miss Austin but really excited about what God is going to do with us here.

So there’s the quick update from my end. Why don’t you leave a comment below and give us your summer update. New blogs coming soon. Thanks.


Circle of Artists tour

Hey everyone, we’re about to launch on the last run of the Circle of Artists tour.  I know we didn’t make it to a lot of you, but it’s a really neat tour, and I hope to see some of you this week.  33 Miles, Phil Joel, and Finding Favour are with me all week.  They are wonderful guys with great music.  Here’s where we will be this week:

Wed 4/3  Milan, TN  – Chapel Hill Baptist Church  6:30pm  FREE SHOW

Thurs 4/4  Laurens, SC  – Scarlet Chord  7pm

Fri 4/5  Severn, MD  –  Grace Pointe Community Church of the Nazarene  7pm

Sat 4/6  Oswego, NY  –  New Covenant Community Church

Sun 4/7  Shinnston, WV  –  Jewel City Church 6pm  FREE SHOW


I really hope you are able to make it out.  It is a fun night and a sweet time of worship.  See you soon.


Do You See What I See: Easter

Peter believed his mistake excluded him from being a part of what God was doing at Calvary.

John struggled to understand the truth he had been taught in light of the pain and suffering he saw.

Mary finally understood what Simeon meant when he said “A sword will pierce your heart as well”.

Mary Magdalene had been loved in spite of her mistakes and followed the One who loved her, even to the cross.

The centurion stood right next to Him but couldn’t recognize the Savior until he watched Him die.

The thief saw the possibility of hope in the midst of his shame, even in the midst of death.

We see the cross, knowing the resurrection.  And yet many of us believe our mistakes define us, struggle to correlate truth and suffering, fail to see God next to us.  But Jesus died.  And then rose again.  So that we might not merely know Him as a good man, but as a Savior.  That we might be loved in spite of all we have done.  That we might find the hope of glory, even in the midst of our death.

Bless the Resurrected.


Last night, this morning

Last night, we taught our Worship Leader Development class.  The topic was monitor mixes.  We were just helping young worship leaders know how to build a good monitor mix with in-ears or floor monitors, how to professionally run a sound check, and how to treat your sound engineer.  I was surprised that with all the tips I offered about small details, my main point was this: You need to build a monitor mix that will help you to do the best job of leading worship.  The main point wasn’t in the details.  The details were ways to accomplish the main point.  And the main point was that mixes are different for everyone; you need to find what works for you.  Your job isn’t to hear everything; your job is to lead worship.  What will help you do that?

This morning, I was still thinking about that and realized it applied more to the Christian life than to monitor mixes.  We often try to obey God in the midst of the chaos of our lives.  Rather than building a life that will help us do the best job of obeying God.  We try to be strong enough in a hard situation, rather than changing the situation.  Admittedly, you can’t always do that.  But many times you can.  We find ourselves in the midst of our structured, full lives trying to make Jesus our number one priority, rather than stopping, taking apart our lives, and rebuilding them, structured around Christ and His priority.

What can you do in your life today to help yourself be obedient?  What can you take apart and rebuild?  What can you take out completely?  What pieces of a life help you be more like Christ?  I am going to be asking myself these questions today, too.  I hope you will respond with some of your ideas.  Looking forward to hearing from you.



March Madness 2013

If you’re a college basketball fan, come join my CBSSports.com bracket group! #CBSbrackets The group password is: H2BL. Click here to join.

If you aren’t a fan, that’s fine. You can play too. One of my friends used to make his picks by deciding the strength of the mascots. He only ran into a problem when UCLA played Belmont.

The prize this year is pride.  Because the other years we had prizes that I don’t think were ever sent out.  So the prize those years was pride also.  And this year my birthday is already passed, so there won’t be any surprise birthday trips that didn’t allow me to finish filling out my bracket before the tournament started.  So be ready.

Looking forward to seeing your picks.


I Never: Spring Tour 2013 with 33 Miles, Phil Joel, & Finding Favour

I never thought I’d open a show with a medley of old gospel songs mixed with a Mumford & Sons song.

I never thought I’d be singing Entertaining Angels onstage with the guy who really sings it on the radio (Phil Joel).

I never thought I’d be doing a big tour with a bus and trailer, with lights and sound equipment where all that stuff was owned by the youngest band.

I never thought I’d have tourmates where the international (New Zealand) is easier to understand than the nationals (Georgia).

I never thought I’d do a whole tour run (5 shows) all across Texas and never be within 200 miles of my house.

I never thought I would enjoy passing out child packets during the Food for the Hungry appeal.

I never thought my favorite song of the night would be one that hasn’t even been recorded yet (Greener – Phil Joel).

I never thought we’d do a tour where the entire second half of the night is corporate worship.

I never thought I’d do a tour where the singer with the most gray hair is the youngest.

I never thought I’d be halfway through a tour and have everyone on the tour wishing we had more shows together.

I never thought I’d be on a tour where the biggest radio hit was by the youngest band whose record just came out last Tuesday. (Slip On By – Finding Favour)

I never thought I’d be on a tour where the best guitar player was from a group known as a vocal group (Chris Lockwood – 33 Miles).

I never thought I’d do a tour with artists this diverse that blended so well socially, spiritually, and musically.


I know with such a limited schedule that many of you won’t get to see this show.  But if you’re in Tennessee, South Carolina, Maryland, New York, West Virginia, or Pennsylvania, I hope you will join us the first week of April.  See you then.


Impact Weekend

Hey everyone from Impact Weekend in Jasper AL.  Sorry I couldn’t get this to load while we were on the road last week, but I wanted to go ahead and post it.  This can be a place where you can comment and tell your story about what God did in your life last weekend.  I’m also going to make a list of songs we did and where you can find them.  Looking forward to hearing from you.

God I Look To You – Bethel Music – Be Lifted High

Your Love Never Fails – Jesus Culture – Your Love Never Fails

One Thing Remains – Bethel Music – Be Lifted High

Happy Day – Tim Hughes – Holding Nothing Back

Our God – Chris Tomlin – And If Our God Is For Us

10,000 Reasons – Matt Redman – 10,000 Reasons

How He Loves – John Mark McMillan – The Medicine

Mighty To Save – Hillsong – Mighty To Save




Worship Planning Thought Process

Well, everyone.  I know we have some worship leaders on here.  So I thought I would take you through my planning for this past Sunday.  Maybe it will help a little.  Maybe it won’t.

So I got an email from our teaching pastor.  It said, “The title and most likely the driving point is this, “Weak Faith In A Strong Savior”. The text is Mark 9:14-29.

I think this text will be both encouraging and challenging for our church. Encouraging because the model of faith is the father crying out to Jesus with doubts alongside his faith, and Jesus still responds to weak faith. But also challenging because the disciples were publicly humbled because they lacked prayer. Their lack of prayer revealed their lack of faith. It wasn’t that their prayers weren’t long enough or bold enough, they just simply weren’t praying.”

Now, if you don’t know, this is one of my favorite Scripture passages.  I love that the father comes to Jesus and says if you can help, please do.  And Jesus responds, “IF YOU CAN?! (caps and exclamation point mine)  All things are possible for one who believes.”  But my favorite is the father’s response in verse 24, “I believe!  Help my unbelief!”  That is my Christianity right there.  I do believe, I don’t believe.  Help.  So I was excited for this week.

We started with Your Great Name, a wonderful song by my friend Michael Neale and Krissy Nordhoff.  I wanted to start focused on Christ, who He is and what He’s done.  Before we get into our response, we declare who He is.  The verses were perfect, “Lost are saved, find their way,” “Every fear has no place,” “All the weak find their strength,” “The sick are healed, the dead are raised at the sound of Your great name.”

Then we moved into 10,000 Reasons by Matt Redman.  I’ve always been intrigued by David’s opening to Psalm 103, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.”  The psalmist recognized the need to instruct himself to worship God.  He must pull his own attention towards God and His worthiness.  So we took the same path.  We declared who He is, and then directed ourselves to focus on that and worship Him.

Next came God I Look To You by Jenn Johnson and Ian McIntosh from Bethel Church.  I wrote a couple of blogs on this song a couple of weeks ago.  We had made a statement of fact in who He is, then a call to focus.  Now we move into recognizing that He is the one filling the needs in our lives.  “You’re where my help comes from.”  We are admitting that we are in need, and that He is the answer.

And we finished with Healer by Michael Guglielmucci from Planetshakers.  I have always loved this song, and it wrapped up our set perfectly.  It is the finishing touch of our journey, declaring who He is, and now declaring that He has been and is being those things for me.  “I believe You’re my Healer.  I believe You are all I need.  I believe You’re my portion.  I believe You’re more that enough for me.  Jesus, You’re all I need.”  We are confessing our belief, confessing our need, confessing His abundance.  Before we move into Mark, we are saying we believe.  And the bridge is so powerful: “Nothing is impossible for You.  You hold my world in Your hand.”  It is a pre-cursor to Jesus’s statement, “All things are possible for one who believes.”

And then Tyler brought it.  What a great sermon.  If you’d like to hear it, you can find it here.  It’s called Weak Faith in a Strong Savior.

Well, I don’t know if that was helpful at all, but it was good for me to write it all down.  If you have any thoughts, I’d love to hear them.  Or you can share your own thought process in planning this week.  Looking forward to hearing from you.