In the New Year

happy-new-year-2017-love

Don’t fool yourself. If some of you think they are worldly-wise, then they should become foolish so that they can become wise. This world’s wisdom is foolishness to God. As it’s written, He  catches the wise in their cleverness.  And also, The Lord knows that the thoughts of the wise are silly.  So then, no one should brag about human beings. Everything belongs to you—Paul, Apollos, Cephas, the world, life, death, things in the present, things in the future—everything belongs to you,  but you belong to Christ, and Christ belongs to God (1 Corinthians 3:18-23, Common English Bible).

As I sit here typing this, there is an hour and ten minutes left in 2016. I haven’t yet decided on any New Year’s resolutions. When you think about the most common resolutions, I quit smoking years ago. I don’t drink much at all. I have already been losing weight over the past couple of months. I could always use more exercise but…. The thing is, it just doesn’t sound like what I would want my resolution to be for 2017.

How about you? Have you decided on anything yet? The clock is ticking.

As I think about it, the lesson above might speak to my dilemma. I belong to Christ. I need to live more often, with that idea in mind. I know, I am a pastor, so it sounds like something I am already doing. It would seem that I could put it into the same category as losing weight. It isn’t as much of a resolution when you are already living that way.

The thing that makes living a more disciplined faith different is there is always more we can do, more ways we can grow into the likeness of Christ. I want to grow in my faithfulness.

I mentioned in a previous post that I am not really into New Year’s resolutions. I read a book several years ago titled, My One Word by Rev. Mike Ashcraft. We will talk more about it in the days ahead. But, the basic idea is, instead of having resolutions that we might or might not keep, to have one word that would be your focus for the year.

So, I have decided, my word for 2017 is going to be “faithfulness.” Instead of having a resolution that would be something specific, my word, through prayer, I will work to leave myself open to what God thinks that should look like. Perhaps when I leave that to God, it will make me a better disciple.

I pray God’s richest blessings on you in 2017. May it be the best year of your life.

Joy and Peace,

Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" 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. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have 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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