What Am I Grateful For Today…My Dog Bishop

21 From there, Jesus went to the regions of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from those territories came out and shouted, “Show me mercy, Son of David. My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.” 23 But he didn’t respond to her at all.

His disciples came and urged him, “Send her away; she keeps shouting out after us.”

24 Jesus replied, “I’ve been sent only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel.”

25 But she knelt before him and said, “Lord, help me.”

26 He replied, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and toss it to dogs.”

27 She said, “Yes, Lord. But even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall off their masters’ table.”

28 Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith. It will be just as you wish.” And right then her daughter was healed (Matthew 15:21-28, Common English Bible).

Bishop is a fun little dog. He sometimes makes me smile. He sometimes makes me laugh. And sometimes, he makes me want to pull my hair out. Not often, but sometimes, he can be a real toot. It could be said, he gets that from me. I would never say that, but some would.

Before I go any further, the Bible doesn’t have much to say about pets period and much less about dogs. Well still, this lesson indicates to me that people not only had dogs during the Biblical era, they had inside dogs. I would take that to mean they had dogs as pets. My guess would be, they had domestic cats as well.

I told you yesterday that I had five teeth pulled on Monday. From the minute I came home on Monday, Bishop has been trying to be my “nurse.” Except when he is outside, that dog has not been more than 20 feet from me, most of the time he has been much closer than that.

I feel certain our pets don’t know exactly what is wrong with us, but they do have an understanding that something is wrong. They understand when we aren’t feeling well and it is their great desire to do something to help us., to make us feel better.

The thing is, there isn’t much they can do to make us feel better. I suppose a dog could be trained to go and get our medication for us. There are problems with that. Bishop and most other dogs can’t read so they don’t really know what medication they are bringing us. Additionally, if you are anything like me, I am on more than one medication. If I needed all my medication, even for one time a day, it would take him a while to bring it all to me. Then, on top of all that, all my meds are up to high. He could never reach them.

So, Bishop does what he can. The biggest thing he can do is a ministry of presence. He is always there. He can’t offer advice. He isn’t trained to get me things I need.  He is just there and his presence makes me feel better. He is always ready to give me something else to think about. He loves me to give him attention.

Bishop is a great little dog and I am grateful for him.

That is what I am grateful for. What about you? For what are you grateful? Write it down in your journal and then share it with someone.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

In Joy and Thankfulness,

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

One thought on “What Am I Grateful For Today…My Dog Bishop

  1. Dogs are awesome and I grew up with 2 of them. Unfortunately I am unable to have a dog at the moment due to living in such a small space. I am thankful for “bring your dog to work day” which is today. 2 of my bosses have their dogs here, they are the most chilled out dogs. I am also thankful to live in a suburb where just about everyone has a dog so whenever I am out an about I can have a pat and play. How good is God that he would give us dogs!

    Thanks for your post

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s