What Am I Grateful For Today… City Workers

Love should be shown without pretending. Hate evil, and hold on to what is good. 10 Love each other like the members of your family. Be the best at showing honor to each other. 11 Don’t hesitate to be enthusiastic—be on fire in the Spirit as you serve the Lord! 12 Be happy in your hope, stand your ground when you’re in trouble, and devote yourselves to prayer. 13 Contribute to the needs of God’s people, and welcome strangers into your home (Romans 12:9-13, Common English Bible).

Late yesterday morning I had a situation happen at the church I had not encountered before. About 11:30 a city worker came into the church to tell me we had a water leak somewhere. He said the meter was spinning. He said I had a choice, I could sign a paper or allow them to turn the water off. I had to make a quick decision. I didn’t have time to consult with anyone. I decided to sign.

What happened next really surprised me. There were actually two city workers were present. We and I do mean we, started looking around the building in question trying to find a running toilet or a faucet left on. After looking at the two buildings in question, and finding nothing inside, we turned our focus outside. We found one outside faucet on and one dripping pretty badly. We got them turned off but the meter, while slower, was still spinning.

I did sign the paper to keep the water on. I then called the chair of the Board of Trustees. He told me what I did was the right decision. He took over from there.

The reason I am grateful for city workers in general and these two gentlemen, in particular, is, like many jobs, being a city worker is really pretty thankless and doesn’t pay that well to boot. About the only time we see or talk to these folks is when something is wrong. These two guys not only did their job, they took the time and went out of the way to help. They could have just turned the water off and not given us a choice in the matter. But, when he saw my concern about turning off the water, he helped me look for the place where we were losing water. We found some but at last report, we were still losing water somewhere.

Think of our police officers. They risk their lives to keep us safe. Or, what about firefighters or EMS workers? Theirs is also a dangerous job. Further, in many communities around the country, these folks aren’t city employees or employees of contractors of the city, they are volunteers. I don’t know the statistics but it wouldn’t surprise me any if the number of volunteer fire departments exceeds the number of paid fire departments.

I haven’t even gone to city hall, street maintenance, sanitation workers, sewer plant workers (talk about a thankless job), and more. I can’t think of all the positions workers hold in even small cities.

Paul says, “Love should be shown without pretending.” They have to do these jobs for some reason. I think for most, the reason is, they want to serve. They want to make a difference in their communities because they love their communities without pretending.

That is what I am grateful for today. What about you? What are you grateful for today. Write it in your journal and then go out and share it with someone. Hopefully it will make them smile.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With 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

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