Christi is the sister of my wife, Trudi.


She died a year ago today, succumbing to a brain aneurysm.

But I won’t say she was Trudi’s (and Julie’s) sister. She still is.

Not only is she still alive with Jesus, but I see her quite frequently in the mannerisms of Trudi and my three girls. (Yes, Shae, you, too.) You can hear her in the inflections of their voices, especially when they are excited about something. I see her in the intensity my girls sometimes display when happy, angry, disappointed, or delighted.

We see her all the time, yet we still miss her.


Happy Birthday!

I’m in another airport. Atlanta Hartsfield. It’s 9:15pm – our flight was supposed to leave at 8:10pm – and we’re waiting for some sign that we might leave soon.

But this post is for my sister, Tammy. Happy Birthday, Tam! This is the only picture I have with me – I offloaded all my other pictures onto an external drive that’s not available at the moment. She’s probably glad I don’t have access to any of those. [EDIT: Looking back at this post, this is hilarious. That is NOT me. It’s my brother-in-law, Terry. I have no idea why I said it was me. -Tim 5/9/22]

I won’t say how old she is, but 1970 was a long time ago.

Like I said in my last post, I seem to have an overload of birth and death things on my mind at the moment. That’s not a bad thing. Thinking about life and death in a healthy way can keep you focused on what’s important. It doesn’t have to be morbid.

Birthdays – rather, your original birth day – is one of the beginning steps to your death day. Okay, that might be a little morbid. Trite, but true – you don’t live forever – at least not in this life.

But your birth day is also one of the beginning steps in your forever days. Eternity is out there. The only question is how you plan to spend it – with whom and where.

This would be the Rev part of RevMcGator – are you living right now with your eternity in mind? Live everyday as a birthday – a new birth day, in the realization that every day God gives us the opportunity to live out the reality of the new birth of grace we experience in him.

{We finally left Atlanta just after 10pm. But the rest is a story for another day.}

What’s so interesting about an empty sky?

In less than 20 posts it seems I’ve been doing a lot of writing about life and death. With our summer schedule, and the things that have been happening, it’s almost unavoidable.

Tomorrow I leave with five others for the Willow Arts Conference in Chicago. Another departure. We fly AirTran, not the most luxurious airline around. We’re all looking forward to this. It should be fun – even if I have to go without Trudi {frown}.

As I mentioned in an earlier post, my friend, Bob Bean, passed away last week. Tonight we attended the memorial service. I was privileged to have a small part, representing the family and sharing their words with the congregation. Although I’ve spent the last week thinking very hard about what I would say, and what personal anecdotes I might share, I ended up not saying very much at all.

For one thing, there were four preachers behind me that were all going to take a turn, so I didn’t want to preach. And most of the stories I could think of wouldn’t have meant a whole lot to anyone else. After I sat down, I wished I could’ve had another shot at it. (There’s a lesson in that, isn’t there?)

Mentally, and maybe a little emotionally, I was having a bit of a battle with the whole thing – and not like you would think.

Part of the problem was, I wasn’t sad. I’m still not. Maybe I will be. But I haven’t been able to see Bob a lot in the last few years, so I’m used to him not being around. And I know that he is one gatrillion percent happier right now.

I realized as I was coming home – and maybe I’ve heard this illustration somewhere, but I don’t remember – that it was sort of like going to the airport and seeing a relative depart. There are hugs and best wishes, and perhaps some tears. You watch them walk through security and towards the gate. You might wait and watch the plane take off. Then you stand around and talk with the rest of the family awhile, stopping by Starbucks on your way out, and drive home.

That was what the hospital was like.

The memorial service was like going to the airport a week later, standing in the terminal, talking about what it was like before we went to the airport the first time, and how we’re dealing with the departure. We might see other planes taking off, but he’s not on any of them. He left a week ago.

We’re just standing there, looking out the window at an empty sky.

Yes, just like Acts 1. “Why do you just stand here looking up at an empty sky?”

Luke doesn’t record the disciples’ verbal answer. It was probably something like, “Um…we were just – thinking. Remembering. Wondering. (pause) I guess we better get going.”

Me, too.

Odds and Ends

Thanks to everyone who has expressed their opinion in the current poll (The big blue one on the right side of the main page.) There’s still time to vote. I’d love to know what you think. About this.

Thanks to Shae, I’ve changed the settings on this blog so anyone can leave a comment, without having a Google account. Love the comments. The one restriction I have is that I moderate every comment. That just means that I make sure no one is spamming the blog – I won’t change anything you write.

Don’t know how you feel about it, but an unnamed family member is a little skittish about the whole blog thing and the posting of family pictures and names and such. Hmm. I obviously don’t agree, but I’m not willing to start a fight, either. I’ll have to think some more about that.

In the meantime, thought I’d post one more family pic.

Our Place

No picture with this post – but there is a new poll!

The question I asked myself was – if our family were to have a website, what would the name be?

For some reason – I can’t remember why – I went to bed last night wondering if my name was available as a dot com domain. That is, is available? (It’s not, although no website comes up when you go there.) How about (No.)

That made me ponder…if our family – me, Trudi, Shae, Sam, Summer, and Sawyer – were to have their own web site, what would it be called? So, I set some ground rules…

– It would be a .com – not a .net, .org, or any other dot something. A website with a .com just sounds better.
– It has to be relatively short. You don’t want to have to enter a long name. That eliminates That was Summer’s first suggestion. (It’s available.)
– It has to be easy to understand when you say it. You don’t want to have to spell it out every time you say it. is short, but you would definitely have to spell it out when you’re telling someone about it. (Say it out loud. See?)
– It has to be easy to spell. Shae’s favorite was Could you spell it without looking at it?
– It has to relate to our family somehow.
– It has to be available.

With those basic ground rules, I came up with a short list of possibilities and created a poll for everyone to vote on. That’s what you see on the right side of this page. Here is a brief explanation or comment on each choice.

– McDanielTribe. I think that was a Shae suggestion.
– McDanielNation. Like GatorNation.
– McDanielCentral. Basic.
– McDanielSix. It’s already Trudi’s web address, so we have a connection.
– TimandTrudi. Eventually the kids will be gone and have their own web sites.
– GatorMonkeys. On the other hand, they’re still here, and they’ve always been my little monkeys.
– SixMcs. Pronounced “sixmix”, thereby violating rule #3, but it sounds nice.
– Other. That’s what you choose when you have a better idea.


Please vote. I’d love to know what you think. And if you come up with a better name, let me know. Either send me an email or post it in the comments. Don’t know that we’ll ever use it, but it’ll be fun for me to think about.

(The poll generator lets you vote once a day. The poll results page comes with ads…not mine, just part of the poll generator.)

…and Onward!

I’m Mr. Mom for the next couple days as Trudi helps her Mom in Wildwood.

Today’s picture is of Summer, the dodgeball queen, and Sawyer, the 7-year-old princess. I was picking them up from Upward camp at the church. After a rough first day of camp – neither of them wanted to go back – they have enjoyed the rest of the week.

Sam has also been there, working as one of the camp leaders.

Growing Up

[With this post I will attempt to make it standard practice to include some piece of media (picture, video, cartoon, etc.) with every post. This was suggested by Jason Van Orden in one of his recent podcasts. Good idea.]

Congratulations to Nathan and Brandi on their recent engagement. For those that don’t know, Nathan is my nephew and Brandy is his lovely Oklahoma bride-to-be. (Notice the multiple spellings of Brandie, since I don’t know how she spells it. Maybe I should just wait until she spells it M-r-s G-r-i-e-p-p)

Yes, that’s Nathan on the right.

Blessed are Those That Haven’t Seen…

More departures and arrivals.

This could be the theme for the summer, since I have a few more trips to make. Just noticed the time, and realized that Sunday has turned to Monday. It was an eventful Sunday.

Starting from the end and working my way backwards…

Looks like Billy Donovan might be having a change of heart (and budget) and staying with the Gators after all. I thought his leaving was good for him. I would’ve been upset had he left the Gators for Kenyucky or some other rival, but had no problem with leaving for the NBA. (and I like Dwight Howard.) So is he really staying with the Gators?

I’ll believe it when I see it. (I don’t know Billy.)

Shae returned from El Salvador. They had a great time and gained perspective. I’ll be looking at her pictures tomorrow. Maybe she’ll let me share one for the blog. Several people told me how impressed they were with her on the trip.

I wasn’t there to see it, but I believe it. (I know her.)

My friend, Bob Bean, whom I spoke of in an earlier post, passed away Sunday at 3pm. Trudi and I were privileged to be there with his wife, Chris, and their son, Willie, as Bob officially went to be with the Lord.

It was very painful on the one hand, experiencing the pain of separation. And, of course, it was joyful to know that Bob is where he most longed to be, with God.

I’ve never been there, but I believe it. (I know them both)

The Lukester

My nephew, Luke. His appearance in this blog is overdue. Future Hall-of-Famer. The picture isn’t the most recent, but it’s still cute.


The ball was headed directly for their cart, as the twosome passed behind the green on their way to the next hole.

So, yes, I did really yell “Fore!” once this week.

I was at the Southeastern University Tournament at The Pearl in Calabash, North Carolina. It’s a very good tournament. It was great to see Mark Carr. He’s started a new church in Raleigh. It looks like he’ll do well.

We – the seven of us from Faith, along with Pastor’s brother – arrived Monday about 10am, having left North Fort Myers after the Sunday morning service, driving all day, spending the night in Florence, SC, and driving to the course, by way of Krispy Kreme.

We played golf until 5pm Monday – 18 holes on the West Course, then the last 5 holes of the East Course – then had dinner in the clubhouse.

After a good night’s sleep at the hotel on the beach, we played the 1st round of the tourney on Tuesday morning on the West Course. My foursome – me, Pastor, his brother Paul, and Stephen Porter – didn’t have a good day, but it worked out well for us. We shot a 1 under, 71, and we were put into the 3rd flight. We then played a practice round on the East Course.

Tuesday night was dinner at The Isle restaurant on the beach. It was a buffet with she-crab soup, salad, fish…then we went to the main buffet, with steak, chicken, fish, and vegetables.

Wednesday morning we played the second round. It was a much better day. We started the day with a one-shot lead in our flight, then shot a 9-under 63. I had told Stephen before we started that I thought we would need to shoot a 62 to win. I was right. The 2nd place team shot a 62 to tie us, then won on the tiebreaker.

It didn’t matter, because everyone gets a prize. I won a pair of golf shoes. Adidas. Worth $150. Nice shoes. I also got a pitching wedge, hat, and shirt.

We left about 3pm, and drove to just north of Orlando. We drove home this morning.

It was a good trip. Good golf, good food, good fellowship. It was good to see Mark. It was great weather. It’s good to be home.

Yes, the ball missed the twosome.

All the Drama

Here’s the commercial…

The Church Drama Podcast is a little show a few of us do every week…except we’ve missed a week or two in the last month. It’s supposed to be about drama, but ends up being about whatever our discussion leads us to. But we do include a sketch and some pseudo-drama every time.

This picture is from the video version of our podcast. (I post both an audio and a video version of the podcast.) This isn’t a shot that you’ll see from the show…it was taken just prior to the latest episode.

We have fun. At least I do – I think Steve, Trish, Mary-Jane, and Trudi do, too. If you get time, give a listen. (The audio version is longer – I don’t edit out anything – but it takes less effort than watching the video.) And if you know someone interested in drama, let them know about us.

The links to the show are on the right side of this blog. (

A Bottle of Dumb

The reviewer in our newspaper said that “Pirates of the Carribbean 3” was “yo-ho-ho and a bottle of dumb.” Very accurate. Sam was going to meet some other kids from the youth group to see it, but the whole family ended up going.

Shae is a huge fan. Unfortunately, this was a very long, very confusing mess of a movie.

But if you go – stay until the bitter end…AFTER the credits. It’s not over until it’s over.

Shae (16) leaves tomorrow with a group from the church for 8 days in El Salvador on a missions trip.


Speaking of departures and arrivals…

“Cheers” was a great television comedy. Yes, there was the drawback that it was all about a bar, so the material was not always fit to watch, but for the most part, it was consistently funny.

The best bits were with the Coach, Norm, and Cliff. Here’s a clip from the very first episode, with Ted Danson as the lead character, Sam Malone.

Did you know that it’s been exactly 14 years since the last episode of Cheers? Thursday, May 20, 1996. It really is coincidental that we watched that last episode in the hospital, while we tried to figure out what to name our newborn son.

Happy Birthday, Sam!

Departures and Arrivals

Blogs are for deep thoughts, right? (Well, that, and stupid YouTube videos.)

Can’t avoid thinking of departures and arrivals at the moment. I’m writing this while waiting for my flight to Greensboro by way of Charlotte. Headed to this weekend’s Southeast Region Teen Bible Quiz Finals as part of my Pen. Florida District Coordinator duties. (For more on all that, listen to my podcast.)

It’s an old adage and true – every departure means an arrival…and vice-versa. You can’t get where you’re going until you leave where you’ve been. And – if people like you – the arrivals are happier than the departures.

My friend, Bob, is lying in a hospital room right now. They’re not sure what caused it, but he experienced renal and kidney failure, and pancreatis. His liver doesn’t seem to be working. Doctors haven’t given him much chance of making it.

Right now , we don’t know if Bob will be making his departure soon, or not. I hope not. I can’t imagine that God is done with what He wants him to do in this life.

But I don’t have God all figured out. I hope I never think I do. God is more complex than that. He’s bigger – big enough to not figure out. But He loves us, and does all of those complex things in order to simply love us and do what is best for us.

I hope that means that Bob’s departure is later rather than sooner, and that I’ll see him next week.

But if I don’t, I know I’ll see him soon.


Everyone has them…things you thought you’d never do that you end up doing.

For instance, there’s an old Bill Cosby routine where he talks about kissing a girl and the punchline is “I’ll never do that!” It’s what children say – “I’ll never move away from home” or “I’ll never leave you, Daddy” or “I’ll never eat broccoli.”

As a child, and even later, as an adult, you have those moments where you think, “I’ll never do that.” Then, at some point, you’re doing exactly what you never thought you’d be doing.

Actually (and isn’t THAT an overused word? Marv Albert even uttered it as I wrote the last few words) my original thought – the one that started this post – is slightly different. There are things we thought we would never do, then there are things we never thought we would do.

That is, the thought of doing or not doing never even existed. You didn’t know it was possible. You didn’t know it could happen.

When I think about the things I thought I’d never do that I have done – they tend to be more negative than positive.

But the things I never thought I’d do that I have done – those tend to be more positive than negative.

Homeschool dad.

The possibility of being one was unknown to me when I was in high school. I had never heard of it. I thought about the possibility of one day being married and having children. But having children that did school at home, taught by their mother and me? Outside my universe.

As we end our 12th year of homeschooling – Shae is finishing 11th grade – it’s pretty cool to think about what we’ve experienced and how different raising our children has been than what I ever would have expected.

Shae got her A.C.T. scores back today. 31.

What a blessing.