Pass the…Ribs

Fetch the fattened calf and slaughter it. We must celebrate with feasting (Luke 15:23, Common English Bible).

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

This is part 10 in the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.

“OK Keith. Hold on a minute. You said this was about the Thanksgiving table! ‘Pass the Ribs?’ What gives?”

Boy, I am sure glad you asked that question. After I entered the ministry there were several years Cindy and I, along with our boys, were unable to go home (either her parents or mine) for Thanksgiving. For many of those years Cindy worked in banking and contrary to what many believe, banks are open on the Friday after Thanksgiving and she always had to work. The distance was just to far to make a one day trip so we stayed home and had Thanksgiving with just the four of us.

One of these years we were lamenting the fact that if we bought a turkey we would be eating turkey for days. The boys weren’t that crazy about turkey and to be honest, neither was I. It’s OK on Thanksgiving Day and the sandwiches from the leftovers (we will talk about those later) are good as well. But, in my line of work it is not at all unusual to have had two or three “Thanksgiving meals,” always turkey before Thanksgiving and with the Christmas season right afterwards, I really didn’t want to eat turkey leftovers for a week.

As we were all talking, Cindy told us, “Don’t worry, I know what to do. I will handle it.” That was all she would say then. But, on Thanksgiving morning, I walked into the kitchen to her getting beef ribs ready to cook. I kind of looked at her funny and she said, “What? You don’t think at what had to have been a cookout on the first Thanksgiving they might not have had something besides turkey, like barbecue?” Well, I couldn’t argue her point without having historical data to back it up. Besides, I liked her logic. And, I liked her menu even better (and this may have been the Thanksgiving that put the idea of Deviled eggs into my Thanksgiving thought). And with that, a new tradition was born into the Broyles household. From then until the boys were grown and gone, if it was just the four of us, ribs were the menu item of the day.

I love my wife. She is often someone who can think quickly and clearly, outside the box. I love barbecue in general and ribs in particular. So do our boys. Yet, in spite of how much I enjoy a great plate of ribs, I never even considered that for our Thanksgiving meal. But, Cindy did.

It isn’t the first time Cindy has come up with a creative solution to a problem (I know, in the grand scheme of things this isn’t much of a problem), nor was it the last and I would imagine as we move into the future she will continue to have creative inspiration for which I will always be grateful.

But, it wasn’t just the idea of having ribs for Thanksgiving dinner. Cindy is also an excellent cook. One look at me can back up the idea that Cindy can really cook. That Thanksgiving meal is but one example. She does so again and again at other meals. She has even done so a few times when we have hosted more traditional Thanksgiving meals when the whole family has come to visit us.

Cindy has gotten creative in other areas too. I called her one evening a few weeks ago. One of our church members was in the hospital with a broken leg and when he left the hospital he would be going into a nursing home. I wanted to do a prayer quilt (something we have done in other places) for the man to remind him of the prayers his church was lifting up for him. Before the night was over she had designed the quilt from scratch. By the end of the next night the quilt top was made, and before Sunday morning the quilt was finished so church members could pray over it. It is just another example of Cindy’s creativity and her attitude to get things done.

All of this is to say, I am thankful to God for the gift of my wife. Cindy is quick to tell people she didn’t marry a preacher, she married a sailor. Yet while that is true, I couldn’t ask for anyone better to be a compliment to my ministry. Over the years there are so many things that have happened because of who my wife is and the talents and gifts God blessed her with. I will forever be thankful to God.

So, I would appreciate it if someone would pass the ribs. Not only do they taste really good, they remind me of my wife and I need to say prayers of Thanksgiving again and again for all she does in my life.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Grace and Peace,

Copyright 2016, J. 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

9 thoughts on “Pass the…Ribs

  1. That’s very sweet, my Sweetie. I love you very much.


    On Thursday, November 10, 2016, Pastor’s Ponderings wrote:

    > revbroyles posted: ” Fetch the fattened calf and slaughter it. We must > celebrate with feasting (Luke 15:23, Common English Bible). As for > husbands, love your wives just like Christ loved the church and gave > himself for her (Ephesians 5:25, Common English Bible). This is part” >

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