Jed Todd

I grew up in a Christian home as a Presbyterian and my parents always made sure my brothers and I were in Sunday school and church every Sunday as a family. And I’m very thankful for that. But when I think back, going to church felt more like a duty we did for a couple of hours each Sunday. I followed my parent’s example and we made sure our kids were in Sunday school and church with us on Sundays. And like my parents, we attended church without being involved or getting close to other believers.

On January 28, 2005, just after my 49th birthday I came across a book called “The Purpose Driven Life”. As I was approaching 50, I was ready for some purpose in my life.  So, as I started reading, I asked Jesus to come into my life and take control. 

Up until this point I had very little interest in reading the Bible, but after inviting Jesus into my life, I developed a hunger to be in the Word and prayer started feeling like I was having a real conversation with the Lord.

I looked forward to being in church and hearing the Word preached on Sundays. But, I still refused to get involved or join a small group and get to know other believers.

I don’t remember the exact date but, many years later, life started getting in the way. I gradually started cooling off in my faith, missing days reading the Bible and spending less and less time with God. I now realize I made a major mistake by not being part of a small group of believers that could have seen me falling away from the Lord and help get me back on track.

Then on January 4, 2021, bad news. I had a rare aggressive incurable stage four appendix cancer with poor life expectancy.

I have had two major surgeries and months of chemo treatments, but the cancer recently returned, this time in my small bowels causing a total blockage.

I believe God allowed this trial into my life to get my attention and draw me back to Him. If that’s the case, it sure worked. Before going into my first surgery, I promised God I would spend the remaining days He gives me getting to know and love Him more. I committed to finding a smaller church where it would be harder to attend as a spectator and get connected with other believers and never drift from Him again. After that prayer I felt the peace that I have read about in the Bible pour over me and to this day I feel a peace that is not natural. 

This trial has also given me more opportunity to share with others the hope I have in Jesus. People I know see the unnatural peace I have, even in this seemingly hopeless situation, and that opens the door to share the source of my peace and the hope I have in Christ.

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Brandon Robinson

Brandon Robinson

I remember being in church and going up to the altar and crying. I was so tired of the life I was living. I needed help. I felt a sense of peace at that time and knew that if this Jesus thing can work for some of these other guys, then it can definitely work for me.