Jacob said to his household and to everyone who was with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you. Clean yourselves and change your clothes” (Genesis 35:2, Common English Bible).

I spent a good deal of time today cleaning house. Before Cindy reads this and really calls me out on it, I don’t mean that I cleaned the house. First of all, it didn’t really need to be cleaned. Considering I am usually the only one here, the majority of the house doesn’t get that bad. But then again, because I am usually the only one here and I hate cleaning house almost as much as I hate yard work, it often only gets done when I absolutely have to, which is usually on a Friday afternoon before Cindy gets here that night. I know I should be better about it but considering how long I have avoided house cleaning in my life, that probably isn’t going to happen.

No, what I spent my time doing today was cleaning house on this and another blog. I went in and looked over all the old posts and I thought, you know, if something were to ever happen at Blog Spot and I lost all these posts I might be at least a little disappointed. So, I copied almost all the blog posts here and on Blogger. I took many of them off the site to clear up some space. It was out with the old to make room for the new.

I think one of the reasons I am not a big fan of house cleaning is, all too often, it is hard for me to get rid of some of those old things. My parents have been visiting me all week this week (another reason the house has stayed clean). My Dad was asking me about disposal of some of his old scout memorabilia. I told him I didn’t want him to get rid of it, instead I wanted to put it in a shadow box that we might later share with my kids and grandkids. Still, it is more stuff and I don’t want to get rid of it. And that, I can promise you, I will be keeping for a while.

The thing is, as much as I dislike cleaning house, it is something important. If we don’t clean house at least from time to time, the stuff will eventually take over.

As I was cleaning up the blog sites I got to thinking about how the same ideas apply to our spiritual lives. Knowingly or unknowingly, we collect stuff in our spiritual lives we don’t need, things we shouldn’t want and if left on their own will eventually take over.

In our lesson today, Jacob is returning home to meet Esau. He instructs the members of his household, because of the Scripture says everyone, we can presume both family members and household servants, to clean house, to get rid of their foreign gods and to clean themselves and change their clothes. “Get rid of the foreign gods you have with you. Clean yourselves….” In other words, do some spiritual housecleaning.

It is something we need to do to. Today is the beginning of a new week. It is the day we go to worship. I can’t think of a much better time than today to clean our spiritual houses. We need to get rid of the stuff so we can build a better relationship with God.

Have a blessed day in the Lord,

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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