Props to Harding University

June 12, 2017



Harding University, in Searcy, Arkansas, is a liberal arts college affiliated with the Churches of Christ. It’s scenic campus sits not that far from the Levy church’s campus in North Little Rock, AR. As a result of this fortunate geography we are quite often the happy recipients of Harding’s products–both their graduates who move into our area and their professors who occasionally speak here.

So I give props to the university for their good work in emphasizing Christ in their educational process. We have different generations of Harding graduates at Levy and all bless our church. Within our leadership–among our shepherds and staff–we have Harding graduates. We get to enjoy a wonderful stream of young people fresh from the campus. They bring energy, vision, and faith, which in turn, continually creates a fresh, rejuvenating spirit within our congregation.

My personal experience at Harding was through their Master of Ministry program. That was a tremendous growth period for me, but I have never been a resident student there. Our current preaching intern and several of our youth and children’s ministry interns are from Harding also. I am impressed by them all. And while I realize that there is no perfect school (and also acknowledge that Levy is blessed by those from other fine Christian schools and other universities)–Harding has indeed been a notable blessing to the Levy church over the years.

So thanks to everyone who keeps the Harding tradition going! May God continue to bless the university! At Levy we look forward to future Harding graduates potentially coming our way.


Meet Will

June 7, 2017


Serving as preaching intern this summer at Levy is Will Brannen. Will will be a junior at Harding University in Searcy, AR studying Bible and ministry. He is from Houston, TX. He and his family worship at the Bammel Church of Christ.

I have known Will since 2003 when my family and I moved to work with the Gateway congregation in Pensacola, FL. Will and his family were living there then.

Will has an amazing God story to share about his life. He had a heart transplant as an infant and is a two-time cancer survivor. He plans to tell us a little more about that soon at Levy.

In spending dedicated time with Will–studying text; talking ministry and preaching; visiting people–I am deeply impressed by Will’s desire to serve God, his genuineness and his maturity.

I am thankful that Will is with us for six weeks and I urge everyone at Levy to pray for him, encourage him and support him in his pursuit of a life of ministry.

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! 🙂


May 19, 2011

I love books! How about you? So I just thought I would share with you some that I have recently spent time with or hope to do so soon.

  •  Radical: Taking Back Your Faith From the American Dream by David Platt is currently a very popular book and a worthy read. In it he asks us to reexamine our faith in light of our American cultural context. It is an interesting and challenging book.
  • What Happened to My Little Girl? by Nancy and Jim Rue is about helping fathers of “tween” girls unlock some of the mystery of that age group. Since my daughter, Taylor, at nine years of age is solidly in this age group- I need the help (which is why my wife, Terri, gave me the book). I enjoyed this book and recommend it to dads and moms with tweenagers. It is written from a Christian perspective.
  • Going to Church in the First Century by Robert Banks is a delightful little book that transports you right into the middle of a first century house church. Reading it, I felt as if I were there participating with them as they gathered to worship Christ in Aquila and Prisca’s home.
  • House Church and Mission by Roger W. Gehring is a textbook (for my latest M.Min class at Harding University) and reads like a textbook, but is filled with fascinating information about the place and significance of house churches to the Christian movement in the first three centuries. Not necessarily an easy read, but extremely informational.
  • The Long Walk by Slavomir Rawicz chronicles an amazing WWII era true story about the author’s escape (along with others) from a Siberian Soviet Gulag and their long, grueling 4000 mile walk to freedom to India. I had missed this incredible piece of history until I stumbled upon the movie- The Way Back– which is based on the book. I have not yet read this book, but am greatly looking forward to when I can (I think it will be a good read for our week on the beach.)

Maybe some of these may interest you. If so, good reading to you!