Pass the… Giblet Gravy

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in faith so that you overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 15:13, Common English Bible).

This is part 20 in the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.

Well, the truth is, I don’t really have an opinion one way or the other when it comes to giblet gravy. Since it is most often and most traditionally eaten on top of cornbread dressing, and I rarely eat cornbread dressing, I also rarely eat giblet gravy. I have eaten it and even without the dressing, I don’t have much of an opinion about the food.

During my growing up years I never really remember giblet gravy being a topic of discussion in my family. It was something on the table. People ate it, but that was about the extent of it.

When I was introduced to Thanksgiving with Cindy’s family I learned that, at least for some people, it is not just a big deal about Thanksgiving, it is a HUGE deal about the holiday. Thanksgiving just isn’t Thanksgiving without the giblet gravy. And, Cindy was the one who led that particular Thanksgiving parade. She loves the stuff. I also think it was then she decided maybe there was a little something wrong with me. Since she won’t eat raw tomatoes and I love them, I can say the same about her.

In most families I have been around, enough giblet gravy (or perhaps some other gravy) is made to fill a nice gravy boat and there is plenty there for all who want some on their dressing. Such would never do with Cindy’s family. When Cindy’s mother makes giblet gravy it is in a good sized pot and you serve yourself from the stove because it would require a good sized bowl and those are in use for other things we eat at Thanksgiving.

I have heard Cindy say, more than once, she could eat giblet grave (in general and her mother’s to be more specific) just like a  bowl of creamy soup. I confess I thought that was a bit weird at first. Once Cindy and I were married and all her brothers got married and there started to be grandkids around, it wasn’t long before it became easy to see this love of giblet gravy was something that ran in the family. I don’t know if Cindy coached her or not, but I have heard one niece say, “This is so good I could eat it as soup.” Hence the reason Cindy’s mother has to make giblet gravy in a large amount.

In our lesson above, Paul is really asking God’s blessings on the Roman Christians. Paul is asking God to fill them with joy and peace. If you have ever wondered what that kind of joy might look like, I would invite you to watch someone who is getting to sit down and eat one of their very favorite things (for me, though I don’t eat it much these days, pecan pie, which I will ask you to pass later in the series). As joyful as their face may be and as good of an example we might think that is, I know the joy that comes when we are filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit exceeds anything something like food might bring to us.

Giblet gravy does, however, remind me of that joy. When I gather with Cindy’s family and see the joy so many of them get when they scoop up the giblet gravy, even though I care nothing about it, that gravy brings joy to me. Seeing those I love filled with joy, brings joy to me.

So, would you pass the giblet gravy. I’m not sure if I actually want any or not, but I look forward to passing it on so I can see the look of joy on the faces of these people I love. It reminds me of what they look like when they are filled with joy that comes from God above.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Peace and Joy,

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

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