Have You Met My Pop

Most people love their dad—I get that. Sometimes they forget to tell you why or they don’t have a chance. My dad is Jonathan Taylor, we call him Pop. The older I get, the more people I meet whose lives have been changed because Pop passed through their sojourn and proclaimed something of his character, the nature of God, the mission of the Kingdom and a love that he rarely spoke but felt deep within his stoic countenance. He was born in northeast Oklahoma. He worked as an iron worker by trade, preached the gospel and served several churches at God’s call. Now he drives a bus and spends his time loving my mom.

Growing up I remember his thundering voice. Scott and I have talked on occasion about wishing we had inherited that voice. But more than the tone, the message Pop conveyed to us was one that always called us higher. He challenged us to have integrity, to strive for excellence, to go the extra mile and to be noble in character. He set standards that seemed unreachable and then proved we could. I told him once that I couldn’t do something… he had me write ‘cant’ on a piece of paper and go bury it in the back yard. He told me often, “Cant is dead!”

I do not know, God knows, how many men are preaching the Gospel because of his influence. It’s a lot. Just this week a friend wrote me and expressed that he preaches because dad inspired his passion and God called him to it. Dad’s spiritual sojourn has been ahead of his peers for most of his life. He taught the active vibrant role of the Holy Spirit when most in our fellowship were still doubting it had a role at all. He focused on a working knowledge of the Bible and somehow instilled in me a love for the Bible that I do not even understand. I was a student of the Bible even as a boy. The world is different because of Pop’s ministry.

These are his hands. They’ve worked hard, served, and loved. Now they drive, lift grand-kids and ‘piddle around.’ He can be hard headed. He knows what he believes and holds to it with tenacity. But in recent years, he listens better and asks more questions. He’s gentler now and more tender. He expresses love more easily and tears come without restraint. He’s always been a softy, but didn’t show that side very often. (I recently found a picture of him in a crowd of people, he was sitting with a child pretending to talk on a toy phone—the old softy.) He’s growing as a person though he has some years on him. Don’t tell me people cant change. I’ve watched him become a different person in many ways over the years.

I cant tell you everything about him here, but this one thing I want to say. His kids love him. His friends love him and are the richer for knowing him. Pop plans to live to be 100. He has a thing he says that I adopted that goes; “Write this down wherever you write things down so you don’t forget.” Pop says this about his spiritual journey… “I don’t know everything or even most things, but I know this; I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever!” So to my dad I just want to say, “I am one of the many who have been inspired by you and I’m honored to call you Pop. Happy Father’s Day!

telemicus out

5 Responses to Have You Met My Pop

  1. Buddy Mills says:

    Very nicely done!

  2. Terry Rush says:

    I know what you mean, Michael, about the voice. Very true. How come he got it and we didn’t?

    Good job of writing and on target observation….I especially loved the toy phone vision.

  3. cindy smith says:

    Beautiful… I love it. I love him. You did well to honor him in this and your words are perfectly chosen, and that is saying alot because as my husband will tell, I love to edit. I especially like the hands and the talking on a toy phone. He cares far more about all of us than he acts like and we may never know the true depth. oh… and its 108 for your fyi. :) beautiful *~

  4. victoria garrett says:

    I cried as I read this….it is beautiful and very well written. So many people love your dad and have been influenced by his teaching, I am one of them. May God continue to bless him and all of the Taylor family! You are blessed to have him for a dad.

  5. Rocky Veach says:

    Great article! It says a lot when a son has observed his father so well that he understands those things written “between the lines.” I am one of those preachers you talked about…what a blessing to have observed you dad’s faith myself at a key age. I will be stealing his quote!!

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