I am Todd Bowman, a child of the living God by faith through grace in my Lord, Jesus Christ. I grew up in a home not without its trials, but full of love. When trials came, my parents were over-flowing with God’s love and grace. I also grew up with a psychologist mother and a Presbyterian pastor as a father. No pressure there to be on my best behavior. 🙂 Needless to say, I had my share of rebellion. Providentially, I never strayed so far as to end up in a pig sty feeding pigs. I always returned to parents with open arms.
As far as my faith goes, it is honestly difficult for me to say the exact date I trusted Christ for my salvation. Growing up in a pastor’s home, God was always seated at the table with us and included in all of our activities. I remember thinking it very odd as an elementary school student that the school suddenly stopped saying the Lord’s prayer when we said the pledge of allegiance.
I do remember as a four-year old, taking the Lords name in vain, my father reprimanding me for it, me feeling a huge blanket of guilt over it, and my father explaining that Christ died so that we can be forgiven of all our sins. I know I accepted Christ that day. But, back then, the Presbyterian church didn’t officially recognize salvation until you went through catechism and made a public profession (written out) of faith (I was 12 or 13). Without meaning to offend a church dear to my heart, I affectionately call the Presbyterian church “God’s frozen chosen,” a term I used when I was an active member in that denomination. These days, my worship style is a bit more lively.
Throughout my youth, while very active in church, I have to say I only played at church and cannot profess to have walked out a faith that Jesus would have been proud of. Then one evening, sitting alone by a campfire, at a church-camp, I asked God for him to be REAL to me. (I now know that what I was really praying was “let me see how REAL You are.”) Sitting there alone with God, I was baptized by the Holy Spirit. What a difference His presence makes in a Christian walk!
There was a lot of life in-between then and now… almost married, married, four beautiful kids, divorced, never wanting anything to do with women again, God showing me that hearts can be mended, the gift of a godly woman, married, three beautiful (step-) kids, seven beautiful kids (young men and women now), two horses, three dogs…. You get the idea.
Today, I am a teaching youth pastor at Christ Fellowship (a Four Square church) in New Port Richey, Florida. If you had asked me three years ago if I saw my self ever going into the ministry (other than lay ministry), let alone the YOUTH ministry, you probably would have gotten a “What! Are you nuts?!” reply. If you asked me today if I ever saw myself as leaving the ministry, you would get the same reaction.
I am wildly in love with an incredible, indescribable, almighty God who loves me more than I could ever imagine and more than I can begin to describe in these blog entries. But, besides Sunday evening messages and bible studies with my own children (when they are here), this is as good a place as any to try.