Blessed… The Foundation is Everything

“Everybody who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise builder who built a house on bedrock. The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It didn’t fall because it was firmly set on bedrock.  But everybody who hears these words of mine and doesn’t put them into practice will be like a fool who built a house on sand.  The rain fell, the floods came, and the wind blew and beat against that house. It fell and was completely destroyed” (Matthew 7:24-27, Common English Bible).

I live on a street where there is new home construction. Currently, there are three houses under construction on my street. Construction began on the first well before my arrival in Sweeny. I am told the owner is building it as he has available funds and paying cash for the house. The other two are very new construction. They did the underground work and poured the foundations for both at the same time. Since them the house across the street is framed out. They started the framing of the second house, down the street a couple of days ago.

I do have some limited construction experience in my life but I am far from being an expert. I do know this. The foundation of the house is the most important single element of the house or other building. If the foundation becomes bad, the rest of the building can quickly become problematic. Eventually, if left with no attention, the house can become uninhabitable. If left undone, foundation problems can crack walls and destroy roof structures. That can lead to still other problems.

During my career as a pastor I have been involved in two new building projects from the ground up. My knowledge and abilities aren’t much help when it comes to the plumbing, electrical, air conditioning or structural work (I am not a carpenter). But, because I know something about concrete, when construction crews poured the foundations for the buildings, I was there. I was watching for things like proper temperature of the concrete and the correct amount of water in the mix. This was an area where I have some knowledge.

I have also been involved with the remodeling of three parsonages. All three had some needed foundation work. In one parsonage, while I lived there I watched (over time) the foundation destroy ceramic tile on the living room floor. Pieces of tile quite literally popped up from the foundation. In other places tiles broke. The end result was, once the foundation was repaired, the church replaced all the flooring in that room.

Many people don’t worry about the foundation of the house. It is something you can’t see so they think it unimportant. Boy are these folks wrong.

Jesus says as much in our reading for today. Jesus reminds us of the importance to dig down and find the bedrock to serve as the foundation for the home. Today, we might not worry about digging down to bedrock, but a properly engineered foundation is as important now as it was in Jesus’ day.

Jesus reminds us that true wisdom is like the person who builds the house on a good foundation, the house that is built on bedrock. The person who builds on sand, well, wisdom is probably not the correct term for them.

The same is true for our life in the faith. We need a foundation. I believe that foundation is our faith. If our faith is grounded in Scripture, prayer, worship and more, we can weather the times of difficulty. If it is not grounded, if there is no foundation in faith, when difficulty comes our way, everything can crumble around us. There is nothing to hold us up during the storms of life.

In building construction and in spiritual formation, the foundation is everything.

What is the basis of your foundation?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy, Peace and Thanksgiving,

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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