Blessed… Old-New

 “Have you understood all these things?” Jesus asked. They said to him, “Yes.” Then he said to them, “Therefore, every legal expert who has been trained as a disciple for the kingdom of heaven is like the head of a household who brings old and new things out of their treasure chest” (Matthew 13:51-52, Common English Bible).

I have many Bibles. I really don’t even know how many I have. I have two, however, that I really enjoy using these days (and yes, I have an electronic like the one in the pic above, but it isn’t one I use all that often). One is a pretty old King James Bible. The other is a very new Common English Study Bible.

I like both, but for very different reasons. The new Bible, The Common English Study Bible, I like because this new translation is easy to understand. Because it is a study Bible it also has many different study aids in its pages. When I am involved with a Bible study, it is my go-to Bible. I don’t use it for preaching because, being a study Bible, it is big and bulky. I have others I use for that. But sitting in my study, far more often than not, this is the Bible I use to study.

That old Bible, is a regular King James Bible. There are no study aids. It’s one advantage is, it has large print (another reason I don’t use my Common English Study Bible for preaching). When I am reading during worship I love having the large print.

I am not generally a big fan of King James but I do realize that many people love to hear its words and beyond that there are passages that when read, people want to hear from King James. Whenever I am going to preach the birth story from Luke 2 or Psalm 23, as well as a few others, this Bible is my go-to Bible.

Those aren’t the biggest reason I like that old King James Bible. I love this particular Bible because it once belonged to my great-grandmother. Though she never knew me as a preacher, I feel pretty sure that it would please her that I use her old Bible in worship from time to time.

In the lesson today Jesus asks the disciples if they understood what he was teaching. They responded that they did. And then I think Jesus is giving them an instruction to be ready with both the old and the new. While the Scriptures themselves and the meanings behind them do not change, sometimes we need to change the way we present them.

These Bibles are a good example. For a long time, King James was the English Bible. To some people, it still is. I am not one of those people. We don’t speak in the same ways today that people did in 1611 when the King James Bible was first published. I encounter many people on a daily basis who find the King James version very difficult to understand. They want something they can truly understand.

The point is, there are times and places for both the old and the new. I do read most weeks from a Common English Bible, just not that new study Bible. Sometimes I read from New Revised Standard or New International. Sometimes I think my best approach is to break out my great-grandmother’s King James Bible.

It is the same Bible. It is just presented in different ways. If we are to faithfully live out our calling to make disciples, we need to be prepared to use both the old and the new to shine light on the eternal truths of Holy Scripture.

Can you find truth in the old and the new?

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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