todd clark

Jesus, Santa & VW Buses

(Photo by Joe Johnston)

I fell in love with Santa before Jesus.

I can remember the smell of pine and the glow of the Christmas tree covered with about 80 pounds of tinsel. The smell of cinnamon wassel on Christmas Eve, cookies and milk for Santa and carrots for the reindeer. And presents! It was easy to fall in love with Santa.

I knew who Jesus was all through my Elementary School years, but I didn’t really outwardly love and talk about Jesus until my High School years. There were many times during High School I had to remember …

[Tweet “My High School is a mission field not a popularity contest. #JESUS”]

I did my best to be a good reflection of Jesus in High School, but I am afraid I fell far short. There are still days where I look through my yearbooks from two decades ago and wish I had been more obviously passionate and outspoken about Jesus. He was my constant companion who gave me dexterity and got me through High School. I should have been more outward about my allegiance to Him. Then maybe others would have been curious. 

It was in my early 20s that I fell in love with VW buses.


I bought my first VW Westfalia camper bus when I was 26 years old and a youth pastor in Indianapolis, Indiana. I loved that bus. And when it wasn’t running just right, I actually took the motor out of the bus one Thanksgiving, put it in my garage and attempted that winter to rebuild it. I can still remember the smell of gas, grease and propane heaters. I bought a Chiltons VW manual and gave it my best shot. To make a long story medium length – that bus never ran again! The guys who bought it from me had to tow it out of my driveway. Since then I have owned three more camper buses. Including this latest camper I just purchased in June of 2015. Her name is Jetty. She’s a 1962 SO 23. 🙂


These days I don’t talk about Santa much, but I talk about my love for Jesus and VW buses pretty much daily!

You are possibly wondering why this trilogy of stories? And what do they all have in common?


Here is what I have learned …

[Tweet “When you make public your passions, people will rally around you.”]

As we head into 2016 … don’t be afraid to admit what you love and what you are passionate about.


Too many people in this world are sour.

Everything sucks.

And they suck … … … … the joy out of life and don’t appreciate all the good things God has given us.

[Tweet “One day God will hold us accountable for all the things He created for us to enjoy, but we refused to do so.”]

Here is my simple challenge to you this Christmas season and this New Year …

Spend more time proclaiming what you are for rather than what you are against.

What you love is far more compelling
than what you hate.

Stand up.

Stand out.

Live passionately.

Make people curious.

Make Jesus more famous.

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

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todd clark


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