New Year…Fresh Start-Learning Something New

Teach the wise, and they will become wiser; inform the righteous, and their learning will increase (Proverbs 9:9, Common English Bible).

One of my great joys these days is tying prayer ropes I either sell or give away (I sell just enough to cover my expenses). I’ve had an interest in prayer beads since becoming a pastor. There are bead traditions in just about every religion on the planet. I was interested because I wanted to investigate other ways of praying in order to remain better focused during my prayer life.

When I started training to be a spiritual director that interest changed from beads to knotted prayer ropes. First I bought myself a prayer rope and started using it in my daily prayers. But as time went on, I wanted to learn how to tie the knot used in an Orthodox Prayer Rope so I could share the value of the rope with others.

I started out trying to follow a YouTube video. I wasn’t successful. It is a very hard knot to tie. I still haven’t learned it. I did, however, learn a knot that works effectively and looks good. Though my ropes are not “orthodox” they can still be great aids to prayer.

All this is to say, I learned something new and it helped my prayer life as well as the prayer lives of others. I love tying the ropes, I love praying with the ropes and I love sharing the ropes with others.

It all started because I wanted to learn something new. This was not a New Year’s resolution, I don’t think I have ever made a resolution to learn something new but I can see, it wouldn’t be a bad idea.

The thing is, God wants us always to be about learning new things. God wants us to learn new things about our faith, to aid us in our faith, to learn new things about our careers, to learn new skills that will help others and more.

When was the last time you learned something new? What was it?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

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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