New Year…Fresh Start – Get Organized

Know your flock well; pay attention to your herds, for no treasure lasts forever, nor a crown generation after generation (Proverbs 27:23-24, Common English Bible).

I know I can’t speak for you, but, as for me? I am just not a fan of New Year’s resolutions. That probably has something to do with, over the course of my life I have had some difficulty in keeping them. I have had some success. There was the year that my resolution was, “During the year ahead I will quit smoking.” Because I gave myself some space when I said, “During the year ahead,” I wasn’t an instant failure. I would not have quit on that New Year’s day.

There are any number of things people pick out to be their resolutions. I happen to believe that any well thought out New Year’s resolution is a good one. That doesn’t mean all resolutions are necessarily good resolutions. A child making a New Year’s Resolution to not speak to a sibling again probably isn’t the best, well thought out resolution.

When I started considering this particular blog series, I knew I would need ideas that were well thought out. I ran across much of what is on the list below from the webpage About Travel at about.com. There are others here that were all my ideas. Take a look:

Get Organized, Help Others (Volunteer), Learn Something New, Get Out of Debt, Quit Drinking, Enjoy Life More, Quit Smoking, Tame the Bulge, Get Fit, Spend More Time with Friends and Family, Get Back in Church, Read the Bible, Pray, Be Generous, Find My Mission and To Make No More New Year’s Resolutions (We won’t necessarily follow these in this order).

When I look across this list, I see a number of these where I could use some improvement. At the same time, I also know some just aren’t that big of a deal for me. As I said already (either yesterday or today), I don’t drink much and I’ve already quit smoking. It would bee extraordinarily difficult for me to be in church more. I guess I could always read the Bible more but I already do that quite a bit. I already pray and have a pretty good idea of my mission in life. I also at least like to think of myself as pretty generous. We will get into the no more resolutions thing later.

Still, there are those areas where I could do some serious improving. Today’s resolution springs quickly to mind. If you have ever walked into my office and taken a look at my desk you probably thought this guy could use some improvement in the organization department. If you looked at my 2017 calendar, it is blank. This guy needs some organization improvement. I could go on, but I think you get the idea.

 The writer of our lesson today (tradition says the writer was wise old Solomon) is reminding all who read his words of the importance of being organized. In the agrarian society that was the world for Solomon and the Israelites, keeping up with the flocks and herds was extremely important. One calf or one lamb was the payoff for an investment. Up through the days of the old west, a single animal was vitally important. It just might have something to do with why cattle rustlers were hung. Even today, the loss of a single animal to a small farmer can make the difference between days of difficulty and days of plenty. So, knowing the location of each animal is important. Knowing whether that animal is ready for market is very important. It all comes down to being organized.

For many of us today, cattle don’t make a great deal of difference. But, knowing where our valuables are does. Knowing how we manage the things in our personal business and our business life makes a lot of difference. It might make the difference between keeping a job and losing it. That could make the difference between providing for your family and struggling to make ends meet, or even worse.

Wesley said, “Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can.” It is a quote I feel pretty sure we will look at again, probably more than once, before this series is over. Without some amount of organization, we would find it difficult to live out any of those things.

I said yesterday my word for 2017 is going to be faithfulness. As I think about it, I can’t help but think organization can play an important part in what I need to do in the coming year to be a more faithful disciple of Jesus Christ.

Where do you need a change in your life to be more faithful? Where do you need to be better organized?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Peace,

Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

Author:

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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