Pass the… Green Beans

I urge you to take some food. Your health depends on it. None of you will lose a single hair from his head (Acts 27:34, Common English Bible)

This is part 23 in the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.

Yes, on the day before Thanksgiving, I went there! On the day before just about all of us will eat about 5000 calories, I quote a scripture saying, “I urge you to take some food. Your health depends on it.” Also, for many of us, it would hurt us to miss a meal or two. I know I could skip eating tomorrow and I would still be carrying around too many pounds. And, I will certainly make up for it on Thursday.

The thing is, that verse doesn’t say anything about what food we should take. It is just that we should take food because our health depends on it. Well, if our health depends on it, what we eat should be something healthy. For way too many of us, we don’t get enough veggies. If we are going to eat healthy, we really need to be eating something “green.” I put green in quotes because I really don’t think it has to be green. It just needs to be a vegetable.

There is no question that if I was going to just pick out a single vegetable to eat, what that veggie would be and it isn’t green. I love tomatoes but there are enough people in my family who don’t (of me, Cindy and our boys I am the only one who will eat tomatoes, at least raw tomatoes) eat tomatoes.

It isn’t that I don’t like actual green. I do. I eat lettuce of several varieties. I like celery, spinach (at least if it is raw), onions, brussel sprouts, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans and more.

Green beans seems to be a staple at many of our Thanksgiving table because it is a veggie that most everybody will eat (please note, I didn’t say everyone liked it). Some families will prepare them much like the picture above. Others put them into a casserole. I even knew one family would would bread them and then deep fry them. At least to me, that would seem to be defeat the purpose of eating something healthy.

When I see green beans my mind usually goes to “healthy.” Eating healthy is a good idea for any of us. I know that for the next month or so, eating healthy is also easier said than done. And, I am preaching to myself at least as much here as I am to any of you. I am far from the best at eating healthy.

The thing is, God gave us one body. We need to take care of it. When we care for ourselves we are better able to carry out the work God has for us. Without question there are those who, regardless of how well they eat have conditions that still limit them. I think of those with Lupus, diabetes, cancer and so many other things. But, the better we maintain our health, the better off we will be in both the short and long term.

When I see that bowl of green beans sitting on the table my mind goes to thoughts of healthy food. I am thankful for green beans because they do help me to be healthier than I might otherwise be.

Perhaps what I need to do is, eat more green beans (along with tomatoes and all those other veggies I mentioned above) and a less of those things I might enjoy but aren’t as good for me. By eating those green beans, I will be able to better do the work God has for me.

So, if you would, please pass the green beans.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy 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

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