Pass the… Leftovers

He said, “Bring them here to me.” He ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves of bread and the two fish, looked up to heaven, blessed them and broke the loaves apart and gave them to his disciples. Then the disciples gave them to the crowds. Everyone ate until they were full, and they filled twelve baskets with the leftovers. About five thousand men plus women and children had eaten (Matthew 14:18-21, Common English Bible).

This is part 28 in the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.

One of my favorite parts of Thanksgiving has always been the Turkey sandwich for my evening meal after having eaten the turkey as the main course at lunchtime. I also enjoy the leftover pecan pie (I promise, we will pass that tomorrow), cranberry sauce and several other things that might be found in the refrigerator following the biggest meal of the year. There is nothing quite like a good turkey sandwich while watching the Thanksgiving night football game.

This year I actually tried something new. Cindy made my sandwich and she put both turkey and cranberry sauce on it. I have had both of them, separately, for as long as I can remember. This was the first time I ate both together on a sandwich. In fact, it was the first time I had cranberry sauce on a sandwich.

I talked to my friend Paul later in the day. He told me he was going to eat a dressing sandwich for supper. It sounded both gross and redundant to me. Gross because, well, its dressing and we already went there in this series. It sounds redundant because dressing is cornbread and a sandwich, by definition has bread. So, Paul was going to have a bread sandwich. Oh, yum!!!! (well maybe not).

When I started thinking about this particular day there was only one place to go for the Scripture for the day, Jesus feeding of the five thousand. Think about it, there were twelve baskets of leftovers after the end of a meal where he used five loaves of bread and two fish. I know there is nothing that says how big the bread or fish might have been but considering it was a boy’s lunch, it is a good possibility they were pretty normal in size.

The story tells us how God doesn’t just meet the need, God is so often extravagant in supplying our needs. Jesus fed over 5000 people (the scriptures say 5000 men plus women and children, it could be they fed 15,000 people or even more) with five loaves of bread and two fish. Then, as if that isn’t extravagant enough, there were twelve baskets of leftovers. That at least makes it sound like Jesus and the disciples ended up with more food leftover than there was in the beginning. WOW!!!! That is providing in an extravagant way.

While we didn’t feed 5000 last Thursday, we fed ten, and I don’t think there were more leftovers than there was food at the beginning, there is still no question, we were blessed beyond measure. Then, the blessings continued with that great turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich (and I can’t ever forget the pecan pie).

Isn’t that the way God always seems to be? We are blessed with what God does for us. We are blessed beyond measure and then God blesses us again, and again, and again.

So with that, pass me those leftovers. I think I could use another turkey and cranberry sauce sandwich!

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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