What Am I Grateful for Today…Modern Medicine

Don’t consider yourself wise. Fear the Lord and turn away from evil.
Then your body will be healthy and your bones strengthened (Proverbs 3:7-8, Common English Bible).

I went and got my annual flu shot today. Getting a shot is not my favorite thing to do in life. I don’t know many people who would say they enjoy getting an injection. Being diabetic, shots are not an unusual part of my life. Still, I am very grateful for these things.

The first time I ever got a flu shot was when I was in the Navy. There was a bad flu bug going around and in the close quarters of the ship, they required all of us to get a flu shot. It was administered by one of those scary looking inoculation guns. And, I didn’t get the flu. I didn’t have a flu shot for several years and, more often than not, I got the flu.

When I entered the ministry I started getting flu shots again. I thought it was a good idea with as much time as a pastor spends in a hospital. I have been fortunate in that I don’t think I have had the flu since, as long as I took my flu shot.

My friend Rick is my primary care physician. He works hard to make sure I stay in at least reasonably good health. I am grateful he is part of my life too.

In a sermon I once heard the late Dr. Bill Hinson, formerly pastor at First United Methodist Church in Houston, he talked about four ways that God heals us. I am not going to go into all of them now, but I want to focus on the first. Dr. Hinson said, “Sometimes God heals us by sending us to the right doctor.

A few years ago I started developing some problems with vertigo. I went to my primary care physician (before I knew Rick). He tried a few things but ended up sending me to an ear, nose and throat specialist. He tried a few things too. He ended up sending me to yet another ENT who really specialized in inner ear disorders. It ended up being a chronic condition but because of medication today, it is manageable.

With some of the things I deal with, I am grateful for doctors, nurses and other medical professionals and the work they do. I have a difficult time imagining what life was like without them.

There is a sickness we all face and it is something my friend Rick cannot overcome, nor can anyone else. And as grateful as I am for modern medicine, it is actually old medicine that is the only cure. The sickness is sin and the old medicine that cures is God’s grace. But, what is more, it really is the best medication for our lives as a whole.

Modern medicine can do a great deal for me. It can make conditions that only a few years ago were debilitating at best, easy to live with, well at least easier than they were back in previous eras.

But, there is only medication that can help me overcome and give me eternal life. That medicine is about as old as the creation. It is God’s grace.

For modern medicine and the most ancient of medicines, I am grateful today. What are you grateful for today? Write it down in your journal and then share it with someone else. You may know what they need to hear.

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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