Let My Generosity Flow Like Honey

honeyThe Lord is my shepherd I lack nothing. He lets me rest in grassy meadows; he leads me to restful waters; he keeps me alive. He guides me in proper paths for the sake of his good name. Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no danger because you are with me. Your rod and your staff—they protect me. You set a table for me right in front of my enemies. You bathe my head in oil; my cup is so full it spills over! Yes, goodness and faithful love will pursue me all the days of my life, and I will live in the Lord’s house as long as I live (Psalm 23, Common English Bible).

Givers can be divided into three types: the flint, the sponge and the honeycomb. Some givers are like a piece of flint – to get anything out of it you must hammer it, and even then you only get chips and sparks. Other are like a sponge – to get anything out of a sponge you must squeeze it and squeeze it hard, because the more you squeeze a sponge, the more you get. But others are like a honeycomb – which just overflows with its own sweetness. That is how God gives to us, and it is how we should give in turn  – Anonymous.

I would love to meet the person who first shared today’s quote. Generosity, the writer says givers, can be divided into three types. The first is like a piece of flint. Even after hammering all you get is chips and sparks. Perhaps that is the origin of the term skinflint. This is a person who doesn’t give anymore than absolutely necessary. It is all about them and what they have.

The second example giver from the anonymous writer is the sponge. A sponge can hold a lot of fluid. Sometimes some will drip out, but if you want to get the majority from it, you are going to have to do some squeezing. If you want all of it, you better squeeze really, really hard. Some will come easy but all of it? It takes some squeezing.

Then is the last kind, the kind that perhaps the writer of Psalm 23 had in mind when he write, “my cup overflows.” The honeycomb is much like that. As the bees produce more and more honey, the comb starts to overflow. It pours out its sweetness to any who would take it.

At one church I served in the past, we had a bee hive in its bell tower. The bottom of the bell tower served as the church’s entrance. One day we noticed honey dripping down the brick walls. Within a couple of weeks, if you walked through the doors it felt like you were being lightly sprinkled with honey when you walked into the building.

We finally had to call a bee keeper to remove the hive. Beyond the honey shower, some of the bees at the door started to become aggressive. But here is the thing, the bees honey overflowed from them, giving their sweetness.

What a great example for us. We need to be like the bees. No, not the aggressive ones, but to be a people who work hard to not only fill our cup, but to make it overflow so it not only meets our needs, it can meet the needs of people all around. May our generosity flow from us to a hungry world.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Grace and Peace,
Keith

Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

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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