I have been deeply impacted by this fall tour with Pocket Full of Rocks already. We have done two weekends, but one night each week has really devastated me. The other nights were wonderful as well, but these two really challenged me, so I wanted to share them with you.
The second night of the tour we were in Wilmington OH at Joe’s Java. We were walking in expecting a small possibly trendy coffeehouse and were quite surprised to find a full venue actually housing the best sound system we’ve had on the tour so far. But much more surprising was that the coffeehouse is really just the front for a soup kitchen. That is really who they are and what they do. They feed 200 people a day in a town that lost 8,000 jobs last year. And even more impressive is that they can really cook. They don’t just open a Sam’s size can of Campbell’s soup for some homeless people; they actually cook. They treat these people with respect and truly value them, giving them the best they have to offer. I swiped a recipe for Italian chicken soup and couldn’t quite talk my way into the recipe for the meatloaf. Seriously, it was incredible. One of their cooks, Frank, told me a story of a lady who called one day trying to reserve a table, not realizing it was a soup kitchen, because she had seen that it was the 3rd highest rated food in town. Last year Rachael Ray heard about this place, came to town, shut them down for 9 days, and completely renovated their kitchen. I think she should have stolen their meatloaf recipe. And many of the people serving came off the streets through this ministry. They understand the lives of the people they are serving and truly love them.
Then this last weekend we visited Henning TN. Henning is the poorest county in the state of Tennessee and yet they fed us like kings. We drove way out into the country and finally found Victory Baptist Church up on a hill. We pulled around back, and as I got out of the van, I smelled the most wonderful aroma coming from a huge grill. I quickly made friends with Eddie, and got to taste a rib before they were done. He had worked on them for two days. Amazing. My favorite rib place in Memphis has nothing on this guy. It was incredible. But before we could get to that food, they fed us lunch of incredible soups. Then the ribs were for dinner. And banana pudding. But more importantly as I talked to their pastor, he started sharing with me stories of the needs in their community. They believed God had put them their to love and invest in their people but they had no money. So they asked themselves, “What do we have?” And the answer was land. 19 acres of land. So they planted a 7 acre garden. To help feed their community. Incredible. So humbling. We were honored to be a part of their worship that night, just to be a bit of encouragement to them. Not nearly the encouragement they were to us.
I can’t wait until the day when Jesus looks at these people and says, “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” And they will answer, saying, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you?” And Jesus will say, “Truly I say to you, the meals you prepared, the respect you showed, the food you grew for the least of these, you did it for me.”
20 thoughts on “Tour Changes Everyone, Mostly Me”
Dude, you’re such an encouragement and inspiration, thanks for sharing this today.
How wonderful to hear about what is happening in Wilmington and Henning! Groups of people like that are truly the Church that Jesus intended. The town of Henning has just had a tragedy occur today in a post office shooting. Families there need our prayers.
Thanks for sharing this encouraging story Todd!
What really touches me about this whole thing, is the love that is shown, assuring the value of each person that comes, and quite literally, not only being the hands and feet of Jesus, but also “doing all things as unto the Lord”.
I am the pastor of a small ministry here that loves on the houseless, those who have been rejected by society, and we do our best to shout the Gospel with the way that we live our lives.
I visited with Pocket Of Rocks yesterday at Ampfest in Wilmington, NC as I had to drop off a banner for The Edge 88.5, although I had other commitments which kept me from attending the service, I hope to catch you guys sometime along the way.
God bless, and keep us in your prayers as we pray with you.
Thanks again for sharing!
“We can do no great things, only small things in great love” ~Teresa of Calcutta~. I’ve kept that quote in mind since reading The Irresistible Revolution. I can’t say that I live by it as well as I’d like though. We often find greatness in the most unexpected and obscure places, don’t we? You take care, and may God’s richest blessings fill your life.
These stories warm my heart and make me smile! I work at a non-profit mental health clinic and I am beginning to see more and more homeless people. I already take many of them to the food pantries in the area, but the need seems to be growing for this rural area. These folks loving the needy are truly an inspiration to me. Thanks for sharing your journeys with us Todd!
Hoping the blessings of this tour continue. We’re excited to see you this weekend in Danville VA at New Life Community Church. All proceeds from the show are going to an amazing ministry in Haiti, an orphanage/school/church (www.danitaschildren.org). The missionary/founder Danita Estrella is going to be at the concert. The concert is completely sold out and will make a difference in the lives of some awesome kids in Haiti.
The first time I saw you in concert you spoke of taking care of the least of these. I sponsored my first child that night, Oliver in the Dominican R… Please keep speaking this same message, singing the same message
I love reading your posts Todd! You speak straight from the heart and it’s so inspiring. God calls each one of us. Sometimes we think we are too small to make a differnce or that what we are doing isn’t “big” enough–but it is. When The Lord is in it, it’s always big!! He knows the motives of our heart and if we ask Him, He will lead us to something. I always had my ideas of what my gifts were ect but recently I began asking Him “where do you want me Lord? Show me where to go, what to do.” I live in a small city in Rhode Island. Being from such a small state I was shocked to hear that we have over 4,300 homeless and the number is quickly rising. The number is also only for those who check into shelters and can be counted. How many more are there? It’s not even winter yet and the shelters are already overflowing. What can I do? God said plenty! I spoke with my Pastor and we are starting a homeless program at church called “Refuge in The Lord.” We are just starting to collect warm coats, blankets, hats, socks, toiletries ect and we will be bringing them right out to the city streets where they are sleeping. We want to offer them more than just food and a warm place to sleep. We want to offer them refuge in The Lord. God lead me to Psalm 34 and I’d like to print it up and hand it out with the other items. Hope to build relationships with them. Go out weekly and spend time with them. Bring them hot coffee and a bagged lunch and sit with them. I don’t know how big this will be or what else God will have us to but He is leading me to step out in faith.
Your music has been life changing for me!! I walked away from God several years ago-but He never let me go! About a year and a half ago, after being facedown in the muck, He reached out His hand, pulled me back up, brushed me off and held me. There is no greater LOVE!! Your lyrics have always touched a deep place in my heart. It’s real..you’re real! You have been a blessing to my life! Unfortunately, not many Christian bands come to the Rhode Island area. I’m actually driving an hour and a half on November 12th to see my first Christian concert (MercyMe)!! I’m beyond excited. I pray someday I will get to see you live!! and that more bands will come to this area. We have some great places to play!!
I came home this morning after working a very hard shift last night in the ER. It is easy to get jaded night after night. Thank you for the reminder of “I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me.” Sometimes it is more than a paycheck.
I’ve been being blessed by your music for years. Thank you. Its gratifying to see how others around the country are in turn blessing others.
On your live feed from Joe’s Java it started with a jamming song about how no matter where you went God could rescue you. (“His spirit’s followed me all across this land and I know, my God can rescue me..) WHAT IS THAT SONG!!!! it’s driving me crazy. I love it.
thanks again. May God bless you and keep you and may He cause His face to shine upon you.
Special thanks to the most knowledgeable woman alive, (you know who you are) for turning me on to the name of the song, “God Can Rescue Me” which it seems i’m going to have to wait another year to get my eager hands on. Hey Todd, can I preorder a year in advance! ha.
It’s amazing when you see how a simple act of compassion can transform a life. Not just the life of the person being ministered to, but the one doing the work gains immeasurably. Thanks for the reminder.
These ministries remind me of Isaiah 58:5-12. Todd, your experiences are excellent examples of how to share Christ’s love. Thank you for noticing how God is working through them and writing about them! I hope these ministries continue, and that more ministries like them will begin! I pray God continues to show you and PFOR His heart on this tour and always!
Thanks Todd, reading this has been a great encouragement for me today! My wife and I have accepted God’s calling into youth ministry, and He has opened an amazing door to work at a Nazarene Church in Michigan as Youth pastors. We have been praying and dreaming together as to what the future holds, and reading stories like this reassures me that God wants us to dream big, and that everything is possible with Him. God bless you my friend!
Thank you Todd for signing my guitar last night at Bethleham Baptisst Churc in Cunningham KY. Your message inspired me to love those who do not love me back. And I will love them because they are a creation ofGod just like me regardless if they love me back or not. I have become a better person and christian because of your message I shall pray for you and Pocket Full of Rocks every night for the success of your tour. God bless you guys and thnx again
WOW… I picked up ur cd “Better Questions” in the “Sale box” for R15 (US$2) and only because of the question on your Shirt. I have been blessed with they way you bring a fresh look and old scriptures. I then came to this site and was broken to tears as I read how you have been blessed. I wuold love to if you ever plan to visit us across the pond in the “Mother Land” South Africa. Thank you for being availble to Christ and being willing to be used in the way you are.
Thank you Todd for sharing this story.I felt so blessed to attend to the benefit for Haiti concert(praise & worship)@ New Life in Danville ,Va Friday night.Your music is beautiful and your ministry is wonderful! I appreciate you being such a humble and caring servant for God.
Hi Todd – greetings from Down Under. Thanks so much for your music, but more importantly the thought provoking lyrics. Am enjoying your blogs too- they have much relevance for an Australian reader.
Any thoughts of coming on a Tour Down Under?
My husband and I are so blessed and encouraged by your music! We often talk about how incredibly honest your music is, that encourages us! We saw you when you came to Phoenix and still talk about the evening. Like you, we had recently been married, we giggle to this day about you not being the ” angry prophet anymore”. You told of the beginnings of your life, and we better understood your song about “baby boy”. I had an experience yesterday that compels me to write you. I am a nursing student and I had the privilege of taking care of infants at the county hospital in Phoenix. I got to take care of a “baby boy”. I overheard a conversation between the nurse and social worker. The question, “What is his name?” “He does not have a name”. The LORD immediatly put you on my heart. I want you to know that this “baby boy” was loved on, and cared for, not only by his nurse, but the team as well. I had the amazing opportunity to hold, feed, and pray over him. It was such a GOD moment. I also had the opportunity to see the foster parents. They were in such anticipation of taking him home. It was beautiful to see the LORD provide for him. I just wanted you to know the other side of the “baby boy”. Blessings to you and your family!!
You’ve hit the ball out the park! Iencrdilbe!