Pass Me a Pillow

The Lord is my strength and my shield. My heart trusts him. I was helped, my heart rejoiced, and I thank him with my song (Psalm 28:7, Common English Bible).

This is the 30th and last part of the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.

Well, we have finally reached the end of our series. We started out at the beginning of the month and worked our way through an entire Thanksgiving menu (along with a few other non-food items). It has been quite a meal.

It didn’t happen to me this year, perhaps because I really paid attention to the quantity of food I ate, but most Thanksgiving afternoons come complete with nap time. Lots of people would blame it on the tryptophan from eating turkey. My limited on-line research said that it MIGHT be a contributing factor but the real factor is in the size of the meal. I always have gotten sleepy because I have always made a pig out of myself at the Thanksgiving table.*

After a meal like we have eaten over the past month, I would say that big meal is probably in order. So, would someone please pass me a pillow.

Many times, as I lay down, particularly at the end of a day I like to lay in bed, head on my pillow, and reflect on the blessings of the day and on the things where I can (and really should) give thanks. I want to live out my life with a thankful heart. I am pretty sure I have already said this (probably multiple times) over the course of this series. If I didn’t I should have. We need to be people who are not just those who remember to be thankful on the fourth Thursday of November. We need to be thankful every day because we really are blessed people.

Sure, there are times in all our lives where we have difficulty and being thankful can seem difficult. Think about someone who has been sick for a period of time? What is there for which to be thankful Well, we could be thankful for medication that prevents us from being even worse.

What about the person who lives in an abusive situation? We can be thankful for the strength that will not succumb, that will not allow us to stay down.

What about those who have lost a loved one. I am one of those this year having lost my dad just over a month ago. But, I can be thankful that I had 58 years with him. I can be thankful that he lived 85 years and had a good life. I can be thankful that he taught me to be a good man, a man of faith.

The thing is, no matter our situation, there is always, always a reason to be thankful. What I think it boils down to most is, we have to have a thankful heart. A thankful heart will always look for the reason to be thankful, for the glimmer of light that is reason to have hope in even the most difficult times life presents to us.

So, when I lay down with my pillow for that post-meal nap or at the end of the day, I choose to have a thankful heart. I choose to have a heart that will proclaim the goodness and blessings of God each day. I don’t want to be someone who waits for Thanksgiving Day or even the month of November each year to thank God for my blessings. And make no mistake, I am a very blessed man.

So my heart is thankful, and even for that I am thankful. I think I am ready for that pillow. I have come to understand that when I have a thankful heart, I just rest better. So, pass me a pillow. It’s nap time.

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s