Blessed… Don’t Be Deterred

As Jesus and his disciples were going out of Jericho a large crowd followed him. When two blind men sitting along the road heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Show us mercy, Lord, Son of David!” Now the crowd scolded them and told them to be quiet. But they shouted even louder, “Show us mercy, Lord, Son of David!” Jesus stopped in his tracks and called to them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked. “Lord, we want to see,” they replied.  Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they were able to see, and they followed him (Matthew 20:29-34, Common English Bible).

Jesus was walking through town and there were two blind men who asked for Jesus to have mercy on them. At least to me, this idea of having mercy on them is a bit strange. The two are blind. Instead of asking for mercy, why did they not immediately come out asking Jesus to heal them?

The two must have been stirring up quite a ruckus and making a scene. They were making enough noise that the people around them are wanting them to be quiet. We aren’t sure why the two, in their efforts to get Jesus’ attention, were bothering others in the crowd so much. Some speculate that they were attempting to get the two not to bother Jesus. Others believe that they were afraid that, with all the noise these two were making, Jesus might notice the two blind men and completely miss seeing them. Therefore they might miss the chance of having Jesus giving mercy to them. Regardless of the reasons, the two stirred up those around them.

What I enjoy about this story and that these two were not going to be deterred.  If anything, when the crowd is attempting to get the two to settle down, the two, if anything, turned the volume up. They wanted to a moment with Jesus. To be more precise, they wanted to see Jesus.

As the two continue to make noise and stir things up in order to gain Jesus’ attention, their efforts come to a successful moment when Jesus comes to them and asks what they want. Their response? “We want to see.” Jesus meets them where they are and takes them where they want to go.

The point for today is simply this. When we have a dream, when we have a wish, when we have something only God can do for us, never, ever be deterred by the nay sayers around you. I believe God puts these dreams into our heads. I also believe there are many things we cannot do ourselves. WE NEED GOD!

In his book The Circle Maker: Praying Circles Around Your Biggest Dreams and Greatest Fears, Mark Batterson says that God is not offended by your big dreams. God is offended by anything less. Further, Batterson believes that it is offensive to God for us to pray for things we can do. What we truly need to pray for are the things we are unable to do, things we need God to do for us.

In the lesson, the two blind men were unable to restore their own sight. When I pray for my adult son who travels all over the world, to have safe travels, that is something I cannot do for them. I need God’s hand to be at work. And, when someone says to me, “Accidents are relatively rare. You don’t need to waste your time praying about that.” I cannot be deterred. I can protect my child in no other way than through prayer.

Whatever it is you need, if you can do it for yourself, do it. If you cannot do it for yourself, the place best to begin is prayer.

What are you trying to do that you cannot allow the world to deter you?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy 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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