Pass the… Wishbone

Those who give generously receive more, but those who are stingy with what is appropriate will grow needy. Generous persons will prosper; those who refresh others will themselves be refreshed (Proverbs 11:24-25, Common English Bible).

This is part 26 in the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.

From the day they discover the Thanksgiving tradition of making a wish and breaking the wishbone, I think the wishbone might be every child’s favorite part of the Thanksgiving table.

I did some research about the wishbone. Even though Thanksgiving is an American holiday the tradition of two people making a wish and then breaking a wishbone to see who got the bigger half and their wish granted actually goes all the way back to the Roman Empire. The Romans would dry out the chicken wishbones believing they held great power. Later, when wishbones started to become more scarce, they began breaking them. It makes little sense really. If you think it has power why would you break it?*

Irregardless, most of us know the wishbone has no real power. Still, getting to break the wishbone with your favorite cousin is a tradition that just can’t be beat. It is just a lot of fun.

I also know that breaking a wishbone from a freshly cooked bird, whether it be a turkey, chicken, duck or goose, is difficult if not impossible. The wishbone needs to sit outside the bird and dry out for a bit before it will break cleanly.

For me and my cousins, it didn’t matter. When we could get our hands on that odd bone, we were going to give it a try. I really don’t remember how many times I won or lost on the breaking of the bone (that in our rush NEVER broke cleanly).

Here is the thing about the wishbone, it isn’t something you can do by yourself. Sure, you might be able to break the bone, but breaking the bone isn’t what makes the tradition fun. It is making that wish and someone else making their wish and the two of you breaking the bone. The tradition, of necessity is a shared event.

These days, when I see a wishbone that’s what I think of. I think of the things I am blessed to share. I am blessed to share of the finances God has blessed me with. I am blessed to share God’s word from the pulpit each week and from this blog most every day. I am blessed to share a home and family with my wife. I have been blessed to share this holiday with Cindy, my mother, sister and brother-in-law, my niece, her boyfriend and his family. I was able to share an hour or so today at the nursing home visiting with my grandmother. I am blessed to share…… Boy, am I blessed to share……

I know God has blessed me in so many ways. I believe God calls on me to share what I have in just about that many ways too. As I share with others in the ways God has blessed me, I continue to see that God blesses me even further. What I have never seems to run out. I’ve always tried to be generous.

I know that as much as I try, at times I do fail. Even when I have been somewhat successful, I probably could have done a lot better than what I actually did. I know sometimes I thought about how little I had and not how blessed I am. I let the negative feelings influence my sharing and generosity.

Still, despite how I might have failed, God has continued to bless me. If I were to fail so badly God was to start taking the blessings away, I don’t really know how or what blessings God would take away from me. If I were to become even more stingy with what I have but our lesson makes pretty clear that such would be the case. I know there are many people in the world who seem to have it all, are stingy with what they have, and seem to always get more and more. Still, in some way, I feel certain they are missing out on some of the rich blessings that come from God.

I love the idea that through my generosity, through the blessings I share with others, God will also bless me. Help me O Lord, to be generous, to be a blessing to others. As you have blessed me, may I always be a blessing to others. And to the ways I can be even more of a blessing, open my eyes that I may see.

As I see the wishbone, may it always remind me of God’s call on my life to be generous, to be a blessing to others in the world around. So, please pass me that wishbone.

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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