Songs of Christmas…


I really enjoyed the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” we finished today. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

This time of year we don’t hardly seem to have finished one holiday before we have another looming in front of us. We celebrated Thanksgiving just under a week ago and, as the old Christmas song says, “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas…”

Because I enjoyed the Thanksgiving series so much, I decided to continue with that kind of idea for Christmas. “Songs of Christmas” will be that effort. Each day we will take one of the great songs of Christmas, songs we enjoy singing and hearing this time of year.

Most of the songs will be spiritual in nature. For me, the birth of Christ is always in the forefront of the Christmas season. But, I also like to have some fun with my writing too so we will also have a few secular songs to talk about. Those will happen primarily on Saturdays as I usually try to do something different, sometimes even funny on Saturday while at the same time sticking with my original theme. I may mix in one or two others as we go as well. I will not use a secular song on Christmas Eve (happens to be a Saturday this year). Christmas Eve and Christmas Day are reserved for Jesus!

Because this music usually carries a spiritual message with it, I probably won’t include as much Scripture as normal but what I share may well have Scripture in it.

It is my hope in this series to share with you a story or two behind the hymns. If I am unable to share a story, perhaps it will be something you maybe don’t know about the music. These stories have fascinated me for years. I look forward to what I will learn new as we go along. I invite you to join me for the journey.

Have a blessed night and we will get started tomorrow morning (December 1st with “O Come, O Come Emmanuel.”

Joy and Peace,

This page will also serve as the index for this series. See below.

Part 1: O Come, O Come Emmanuel
Part 2: O Little Town of Bethlehem
Part 3: Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer
Part 4: There’s a Song in the Air
Part 5: I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
Part 6: I’ll Be Home for Christmas
Part 7: Go Tell it on the Mountain
Part 8: Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
Part 9: It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
Part 10: Jingle Bells
Part 11: Joy to the World
Part 12: Mary Did You Know?
Part 13: What Child is This?
Part 14: O Come All Ye Faithful
Part 15: Away in a Manger
Part 16: White Christmas
Part 17: Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer
Part 18: Angels We Have Heard on High
Part 19: The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
Part 20: Do You Hear What I Hear?
Part 21: The First Noel
Part 22: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Part 23: Angels From the Realms of Glory
Part 24: O Holy Night
Part 25: Silent Night
Part 26: Carol of the Bells
Part 27: Sleigh Ride
Part 28: Winter Wonderland
Part 29: We Three Kings
Part 30: The Twelve Days of Christmas
Part 31: Auld Lang Syne

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

30 thoughts on “Songs of Christmas…

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