Blessed… There is Mold Inside!

“How terrible it will be for you legal experts and Pharisees! Hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs. They look beautiful on the outside. But inside they are full of dead bones and all kinds of filth. In the same way, you look righteous to people. But inside you are full of pretense and rebellion” (Matthew 23:27-28, Common English Bible).

They had a beautiful home. When you drove up outside you saw a well-manicured lawn. Someone had taken the time to clean out the gutters. Someone in that house didn’t believe in the saying, “I don’t do windows.” The driveway to didn’t have a spot of oil on. The brick looked like it had been pressure washed within the last week. On top of that, was the paint. When I was in the Navy we all said, only half joking, that you began painting at one end of the ship. When you reached the other end, it was time to start over again. It looked like this homeowner had been in that Navy and now treated his house like we kept the ship.

Every time I went to these folks home, it looked good. When you went inside it looked a great deal like the outside. Everything had a place and everything was in its place. The floors were swept or vacuumed. The furniture was dusted. It was immaculate. It didn’t matter if they knew I was coming or if I just showed up unannounced, This house looked good, inside and out.

One day the homeowner called me. “Pastor, can you swing by the house this afternoon?” I told him I would and within a couple of hours I was there. He was outside when I drove up. We exchanged pleasantries and then he invited me in.

Imagine my shock when I walked in the door and all I could see were the wall studs and pieces of broken sheetrock on the floor. I asked him what was going on. He responded by taking me on a tour of the house and pointing out the black mold in just about every room in the house.

We went back outside and sat down in his lawn chairs. I started to think about the number of times I had been in his home. It always was spotless. It always looked so good. But, while we were sitting there talking in his spotless home, there was something eerie growing inside the walls. The outside looked. Inside the walls, not so much. Even that day, Things on the outside looked really good but inside the house, not so much.

In today’s lesson, Jesus was telling the Pharisees and legal experts they were a lot like that house. They looked good on the outside but they were pretty filthy on the inside. They looked righteous but their hearts were anything but.

The same thing can apply to you and me. We can go to church. We can read our Bibles. We can look like we know and do all the right things. But inside, are our hearts pure? Do we live the part like we look the part?

How do you live the part?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Thanksgiving<
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

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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