New Year…Fresh Start – Quit Drinking

If any of you are suffering, they should pray. If any of you are happy, they should sing. If any of you are sick, they should call for the elders of the church, and the elders should pray over them, anointing them with oil in the name of the Lord. Prayer that comes from faith will heal the sick, for the Lord will restore them to health. And if they have sinned, they will be forgiven. For this reason, confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of the righteous person is powerful in what it can achieve (James 5:13-16, Common English Bible).

As I begin to write this post, I admit to you, I don’t have strong feelings about this post. This is not a subject I have any strong feelings about. I am only writing this particular post because it is on just about every list of popular New Year’s Resolutions I saw during my research.

I also admit, I drink. I don’t do so often. I don’t drink much when I do drink. And, I NEVER drive after drinking anything, no matter how small the amount. That last part, I do have pretty strong feelings about.

I truly do not believe there is anything wrong with drinking, for most of us. There are some people, however, who do need to stop drinking. People who are recovering alcoholics  need to stay far away from alcohol.

I used to drink quite a bit more than I do now. In my younger days, I drank just about every night, at least a little bit. Sometimes it was a whole lot. I sinned because I didn’t drink in moderation, I was often drunk. Drunkenness is a sin. I committed that sin many times.

When I entered the ministry I realized I needed to change. I stopped drinking completely for a while. After some time, I did begin to drink again, but it is rare. It is probably about 3-5 drinks a year. And as I said above, I never drink and drive regardless of the amount I drink. I refuse to risk hurting someone else because I had something to drink. In my opinion, the mere act of getting behind the wheel of a car after having consumed alcohol is a sin because it places other people, innocent people, at risk. I will not take the chance.

Because I don’t have strong feelings about this particular resolution, I don’t have a lot of answers about how to proceed, but I have a few suggestions.

  1. Tell someone you want to quit to help hold you accountable.
  2. Pray. The first place we should go with any problem is to God in prayer.
  3. Stay away from people and places that might tempt you to drink again.
  4. Find a way to get some help. I typed “Quit Drinking” into Google and found over 11 million websites to help.
  5. If you need more help, look into programs like Alcoholic’s Anonymous.

Quitting any habit isn’t easy. In fact, it is one of the hardest things you will ever do. But, if you need to quit drinking, take it to God, tell a friend, avoid tempting people and places and get the help you need. I believe we can overcome this just like any other problem. With God on our side, we cannot fail.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Peace,

Copyright 2017, 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

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