Todd’s Surprise Gift

April 29, 2007


If you polled the students of SP07 and asked them what made this semester so special, one of the top answers would be “Todd.” Throughout the semester, Todd endeavored to teach us about the land of Israel and the Bible and to remove the need for maps at the back of our Bibles because they are now “burned on our minds.” And through studying in that class and by going on the most amazing field trips, we more fully understand the stage on which the events of the Bible were played out. However, Todd’s instruction did not end with the geological composition of the Shephelah, and over the past months he has shown the students of SP07 his concern for us and his love for the Lord.

With our Land and Bible class winding down at the end of March, Todd decided to open his home each week for “Tuesdays at Todd’s.” During these times, we would pack out his living room and pick his brain about everything from teaching to easchatology to photography to Bible study to the topic every college student is thinking about–dating. I wish more professors would do things like this with their students; interaction like this does not require an IBEX environment.

Over the last few days, Todd has taken a few more chances to invest in SP07. On Friday night, he spoke at our last chapel service for the semester. 2 Timothy 2 provided the text for his message, and his message provided a new context for this epistle to us. Paul wrote this letter as his last words to Timothy; Todd taught from this text as part of his last words to us.

Tonight, Todd gathered us in the miklat in the evening for a “surprise.” As we were all debating whether the surprise would be edible or framable, Todd walked in and revealed that the surprise was a letter–an ancient letter–and he proceeded to recite Ephesians to us from memory. After I got over the realization that he had memorized the whole book, I was blown away by the content of this amazing letter in which Paul speaks of “the unsearchable riches of Christ.” When you hear all of the words of this epistle together in one sitting, you easily see Paul’s train of thought. In this letter, he teaches so much about what we have “in him” and how this should affect our lives. I left the miklat tonight with a few friends in silence as we were challenged by Paul’s words to the Ephesians and inspired to memorize God’s word and let it dwell in us richly. Later this evening, I was talking to my friend Austen, and he commented on how neat Todd’s “surprise” gift was. “You can see how Scripture is the most important thing to [Todd], and that was his present to us.”

Within a week, I’ll be eating some non-kosher goodness at In-N-Out, but as life returns to “normal,” I hope that in many ways my life will never be the same after my time in IBEX. I want to delight more in the Word. I want to commit myself more to the ministry in Hotchkiss and at my church. I want to be more passionate about evangelism. I do NOT want to forget the things I have learned this semester in this amazing place with this amazing group taught by amazing professors–like Todd.


5 Responses to “Todd’s Surprise Gift”

  1. mrsdestroyer said

    Have a safe trip home! If your flight is over Europe to Eastern US, make sure to look for the icebergs. They can be seen rather nicely.

  2. Ben,
    Egypt looks awesome. I wanted to hear your thoughts on Thompson. Is he the candidate I’ve been looking for?

    – Matt

  3. Beckie Ruggles said

    Hi Ben…Tonight I was up late…and accidently bumped into your blog…(got it from YouTube…the bus pushing incident) I read EVERYTHING you have written about Israel.(and now I have stayed up TOO late!) You are doing an excellent job…and tells me alot about what you all are learning….and what AMAZING teachers you have been blessed with! I will continue to check out this site…Israel is a place I think about EVERY DAY! I will be praying as you all return..and take finals….enjoy your last week.

  4. Micah Lugg said

    Isn’t Todd an incredible example of a man of God (1 Timothy 6)?! I learned so much from him and I am happy to hear that your semester has endeared itself to him as well. Praise God for such wonderful experiences and blessings

  5. Hey Ben,

    I’ve enjoyed the Israel inspiration exuding from your blog. I thought you could use some new music to relax as you fly back to the states. There are a couple free downloads here
    The song “This Side of Your Life” reminded me of you. Peace out.


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