A Special Birthday


As for husbands, love your wives just like Christ loved the church and gave himself for her (Ephesians 5:25, Common English Bible).

Today is a special day to me. It is a special day because it is the birthday of the most important person in my life, my wife Cindy. I know many would say their children are the most important people in their lives. Since my children are now grown adults, others might argue their grandchildren.

As is probably obvious already, I do not agree. Without Cindy, there would be no children and no grandchildren. She really is the most important person to me.

As many of you know, several years ago, Cindy and I were in a very bad car accident. It was the scariest night of my life because I thought I had lost her. She was unresponsive and I was scared. Other than a broken hip (I am not trying to down play the hip, it was bad enough) she was fine, as was I. Still, it made me start thinking about what my life would be like without this wonderful lady in it.

Other than salvation and grace, Cindy is the greatest gift God has given me. I thank God everyday for the gift of this special lady. We have had our ups and downs over the years. Together we have raised two fine young men (one who shares a birthday with his mother, Happy Birthday Christopher) and the other has a birthday in just over a week (Happy Birthday Wayne). Those two boys and their wives have give us five wonderful grandkids all of whom we enjoy. All of these are also gifts from God that God used Cindy to give to us and many others who are touched by my family.

Cindy and I got married young. Many said it wouldn’t last a year. That was 39 years ago. I would say we exceeded their expectations. I am thankful for it all, and would not trade it for anything. Cindy puts up with a lot from me and because of me. She is quick to tell anyone who asks, she didn’t marry a preacher, she married a sailor. Big difference. She still puts up with a lot because of my work. There are the weeknight meetings, trips out of town, late night phone calls and more. She accepts it all with grace and constantly tells me and reminds me of her love.

In the verse above we husbands are instructed to love our wives. This might be the divine instruction I find the easiest to follow.

So, I want to say, “Happy Birthday, Sweets. I love you and pray God gives us many more years together.”

And, I pray all of you have a blessed day from the God who blesses us all with the gifts of the people we love.

Grace and Peace,

Copyright 2016, James “Keith” Broyles, All Rights Reserved


Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, a Bachelor of Science in Political Science with a minor in History from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX, a Master of Divinity from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX and a Doctor of Ministry from Carolina University of Theology. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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