Blessed… Our Stuff

Stop collecting treasures for your own benefit on earth, where moth and rust eat them and where thieves break in and steal them. Instead, collect treasures for yourselves in heaven, where moth and rust don’t eat them and where thieves don’t break in and steal them. Where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21, Common English Bible).

This one is tough for me. I love my stuff. I am not saying I can’t give any of it up, I can, but I still love my stuff. In particular, I love my guitars. In my life I have owned seven guitars. I still have six. I know, as collections go, mine is pretty small. Still, I do love my guitars. And, that one I no longer have, yeah, it was stolen out of my office at the church (not my current church and it was taken during a break in) a few years back. And, believe it or not, I didn’t shed too many tears when it was gone. Though I only had two guitars at the time, I pretty well looked at it, “It’s just a guitar. I enjoyed it while I had it. Now its time to move on.”

I enjoy all of them. And with the possible exception of my first guitar (a gift from my parents) I would probably react much the same to any of them. They are just things to use. They may bring me some enjoyment now but when they are gone, I hope they bring someone else some enjoyment. And yes, even whoever stole my little blue guitar.

I have viewed electronics much the same way. For most of my adult life I have had a computer at home. I enjoy using them. But, when their useful life comes to an end, getting rid of it has never been particularly difficult.

I really do think that is the key. It isn’t so much the stuff we have that Jesus is talking about in today’s reading. If it is, far more of us than not in American society have a real problem (and that could be the case). What is really at issue, it seems to me, is not what we have but its place of importance in our lives. When what we are and who we are rises and sets with the things we have, we are in real trouble.

Stuff may bring us enjoyment. I obviously enjoy my guitars and I have already said in this post how much I like my electronics. I know there are other things I enjoy having around too. But, I can’t let that interfere with my relationship with God and with the people God has placed in my life.

I will say right now, I’m really not a car guy. That being said, this week Cindy and I have been looking for a new car (well a new to us car). She had one in mind and I had another. I called her one afternoon this week and told her to go ahead and get the car she wanted. She is more important than the car we drive. Cars are just not that important. The relationship must mean more.

Most of us have stuff in our lives. If you are reading this right now you have a computer, a tablet or a smart phone or at least access to one. That means you have stuff. Having that stuff is OK. If that stuff means more to you than your relationships with God and with the gifts God has given you (the people), well not so much. You have missed the mark. It might be time to stop and re-evaluate.

What stuff do you have? How important is that stuff to you?

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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