Goodbye Andy

July 4, 2012

 

TV icon Andy Griffith died today. It was sad news for me personally. His old TV hit, The Andy Griffith Show (TAGS), is my all-time favorite. I have seen every episode many times and now I am enjoying them on DVD with my girls. They probably can quote more TAGS dialogue than any other kids their age. A couple of years ago we visited Mt. Airy, North Carolina which is Andy’s real home town and the small town ideal upon which Mayberry is modeled. We had a blast.

 

TAGS represented an America that seems to be vanishing– innocent, kind, friendly, and forgiving. Folks in Mayberry were honest, simple church-going folks who were tolerant of all others– including Otis, the town drunk.

Andy Griffith’s character was central to the show, of course. He modeled the kind of wise, patient parenting to which I aspire, but never can seem to capture. His friendship with his deputy, goofy ole Barney Fife demonstrates what true friendship is all about.

Of course, it was just a old black and white TV show set in the simpler times of the early 1960s, but it continues to entertain and educate us old heads while finding new audiences among younger folks (like my daughters. You should see us playing TAGS trivia game!)

Mayberry was Andy Griffith’s creation. Thank you Andy. Your gifts continue to bless many. Please tell Barney, Goober, Floyd, Aunt Bea, and all the rest that Danny says hey.


I Sat Down (and other news)

May 9, 2012

For almost a year I sat down. I stopped exercising and followed a horrible diet of junk and fatty food. I found ways to justify it- the move and new job; having surgery; the desk-time demands of my master’s program. The consequences have been predictable: some weight gain, huffing and puffing going up the stairs; and a general feeling of sluggishness. Yep, I sat down and it was tough getting back up. But I have. Already I feel better. So don’t neglect exercise. I knew better. I was the exercise guy.

The Baltic Family Camp set for July 30-August 5 in Lithuania is shaping up, praise be to God. Our theme is “We Are One.” It will have a wonderful international flavor with Christians from Estoinia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Germany, and the U.S. coming together at Camp Ruta. We have our schedule set including class topics and daily activities. Excitement is building. All four Dodds are scheduled to be there, God willing. Keep this effort in your prayers.

Well, after all these years I finally earned my master’s degree. In was in ministry through Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas. I would recommend the MMIN program for anyone interested in expanding their educational and ministry experience. It is a wonderfully challenging and practical online program.

It is the political season. If you are like me you continue to ask which is the best way for a Christian to engage politics. There are many different viewpoints concerning this. Here is an interesting one.

I continue to appreciate the Levy church. I am enjoying my ministry here. Levy is truly an “organic” church where ministry grows from the grass roots. We recently hosted a Community Day in which nearly 500 guests enjoyed all kinds of activities. It was a blessing for all involved.

And finally, it is no secret that I am a big fan of The Andy Griffith Show. My ten year-old daughter, Taylor, is following in my footsteps and enjoys watching our DVD episodes. In a conversation with her the other day she replied to something I said with, “Well, you  know what Barney would say.” I was so proud! :)


The Adventures of a New Preacher

October 1, 2011

I am a new preacher again and at my age that is no small feat!

Actually, I am now the new preaching minister for the Levy Church of Christ in North Little Rock, Arkansas.  God works in amazing and surprising ways and did so by opening up the door to me for this opportunity. For over sixty years Levy has been an active kingdom presence in her community. I feel blessed to join the ranks of those who have preached before me and I look forward to the wonderful adventures God has planned for my ministry here. By God’s grace, I think we are off to a good start.

As I get settled in here, my mind still drifts back to my family in Pensacola at the Gateway Church of Christ. Regardless of where God may lead me, I will always cherish my time there. This church loved me and my family and supported and encouraged my ministry in tremendous ways. They are family and I love them. My prayers are earnest in asking God to bring them a special servant to minister with them in the Word. It was not at all easy to depart, but I felt that perhaps they needed a new voice. I will be excited to see what God has in store for this sweet church next. I expect it to be terrific.

I have some pretty high expectations at Levy too, but they have much more to do with the heart of this family than with me.  I see an incredible and grace-oriented servant spirit saturating this church and an encouraging vision for letting God work in powerful ways.  From every thing I have observed so far, the Levy family is fully committed to being a church who serves her community. The direction and extent of the ministries here clearly demonstrate that. Talk about exciting!  This desire to be a church of the community stems from a heart for reaching people for Christ- both here and abroad.  I am truly humbled to now be a part of this family- my family at Levy.

I still do not think Levy is fully aware of what they have in their new preacher. I have yet to introduce the theology of country music into my sermons or to quote Barney Fife! :)

For now, I am just enjoying the adventures of a new preacher!

 

 

 

 


Bringing Up Girls

August 17, 2010

 

I am currently reading James Dobson’s book, Bringing Up Girls. The book was a gift (and a hint) from my wife, Terri.

I come from a family of girls- three sisters and no brothers. All my children are girls. Even my sister’s children are all girls.  “Girls, Girls, Girls” could be my life-story and not just an old Elvis movie! :)

But the challenge of rearing my two youngest girls in today’s fluid culture is daunting- a mixture of blessings and challenges.

Taylor is my eight year old. She is such a smart kid- bright and beautiful and somewhat of a nerd. She probably knows more about Andy Griffith and Barney Fife than any other eight year old girl! She is growing up so fast it is scary.

Jordan is four. She is sneaky smart and quite mischievous. When she chooses, she can charm anyone with her beautiful smile which lights up her face. Other times- well she will let you know how she is feeling. She stays busy always trying to catch up with big sis.

I think about these two amazing gifts from God and I pray that God will give me the insight, strength, patience and love to be the kind of dad they need.  I want to bring up these girls to know and love God.

I am asking for your prayers too- and not just for me, but for all dads and moms working diligently to bring up girls and boys in the Lord.

Somewhow I don’t think it is as easy as it used to be.


Some Kind of Summer!

July 26, 2010

Hello!

Anyone still stopping by?

If so, you are well aware that my blog has suffered greatly this summer from neglect.  I will not make excuses just share what has been happening in this summer of 2010.

First up, my latest class in my M.Min program from Harding- Christian Communication- has had me communicating in all sorts of ways mainly to my professor! It has not been a typical laid-back summer course.

Next, I got to spend a wonderful week with two of my daughters (and other family members) at Sardis Lake Christian Camp. I took Taylor to her first full session of camp as a camper back to my old stomping grounds. Natalie, my oldest daughter,  also came and served as the camp nurse. Nat grew up going to this camp. My cousin, Kenny Jackson, directed the week. It was a grand family reunion.

Then we went on the family “road-trip” vacation. The first stop was Mayberry- Mt. Airy, North Carolina. This is where Andy Griffith grew up and the town Mayberry was based on. Way cool for me and my girls. We have been watching DVD episodes of The Andy Griffith Show ever since the visit.  Our main stop was Washington D.C. We enjoyed a July 4th concert and fireworks on the capital lawn, visiting the museums and seeing the sites and the hospitality of our friends- Will, Michelle, Kaitlyn and Rachel Hawkins.

Then I was off to Chicago to check off another bucket list item. Thanks to friend, Scottie Ray, I basked in the sun during a Saturday afternoon at Wrigley field! Fantastic! The Cubs lost, of course, in the ninth inning- so I got the real experience. lol

Beyond travels, our summer at Gateway has been busy- all about community outreach. Our summer Sunday night program has moved out of the building and into the lives of people. Our Latino ministry kicked off this summer and is going well, praise God. We also have begun a homeless outreach ministry- providing showers, food, and supplies to our surrounding  homeless population.

As always- thanks for dropping in and visiting even while I have been away!

Gob bless!


I am so much cooler off-line

April 23, 2010

Well, maybe. Some would argue that whatever cool quota I was given has been long used up!

But online? Besides blogging, my most enjoyable online activity is fantasy baseball. Cool- for those involved, but for most of the world, kind of geeky.

I have always had old-fashioned leanings. I much prefer to watch old episodes of The Andy Griffith Show than dancing stars, singing idols and biggest surviving losers. So this whole new cyber world reality we live in now challenges me.  I constantly stay behind the curve.  About the time I catch up with one online component, it is old news.

I can’t text. My fingers are a mess on phone pads. Tweeting frightens me. I can envision having a discussion with another tweeter. “I have 2387 followers” he says. In a tiny, humiliated voice I would reply, “I have three.” Thus having to admit just how uncool online I am.

I am on Facebook. I try  to be cool there with witty one-liners and snappy sayings- which usually come across as lame. (An aside- I believe Facebook will eventually take over the world. Soon we will be ordering pizza there, shopping for clothes, doing our banking, conducting church services, asking someone at our dinner table to pass us the potatoes- everything!)

Sometimes I feel like the loneliest guy in the world. I find myself surrounded by people, but who have no time for a conversation with me because they  are texting, tweeting, or doing one of a thousand possible things on their cool iphones. I am nostalgic for the day when I could actually chat with someone on the phone. Just chat. Talk about whatever in thirty-five characters or more. Not cool any longer though. When my old, uncool cell phone rings I know it is either my wife (thanks for still calling Terri) or someone wanting something. I am not complaining though. It is actual voice interaction. Sometimes I find myself fighting the urge to ask Punjab from India how his day is going when he calls as an outsourced telemarketer.

I have actually had these type of brief exchanges. “Hey, give me a call sometime and let’s talk about it,” I say. “I will text you” comes the reply. I realize that social networking is here to stay, but in it I am the dorky guy who shows up at the dance without a date and without any dance moves.

Even my eight-year old is cooler online than me. Recently she asked her mom to borrow her iphone so she could listen to a song. I didn’t even know you could!

Offline, I am a fairly confident, competent guy. I am Andy Taylor! Online I stay dazed, confused and intimidated. I am a combination of Barney Fife and Gomer Pyle.

Just this week I tried to “network” my blog. I followed the instructions given me on my computer screen and sent out invitations. I did get a single response. A friend replied to tell me that the link I sent out to my blog did not work! LOL! This in a nutshell sums up my online ineptitude and uncoolness. 

If on the world-wide web there will ever be a cyber cemetary, my epitaph will read:

“Here lies Danny. His links hardly ever worked.”


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