What Am I Grateful For Today… Blue Skies

19 Heaven is declaring God’s glory; the sky is proclaiming his handiwork.
One day gushes the news to the next, and one night informs another what needs to be known.
Of course, there’s no speech, no words— their voices can’t be heard—
    but their sound[a] extends throughout the world; their words reach the ends of the earth. God has made a tent in heaven for the sun.

The sun is like a groom coming out of his honeymoon suite; like a warrior, it thrills at running its course.
It rises in one end of the sky; its circuit is complete at the other. Nothing escapes its heat (Psalm 19:1-6, Common English Bible).

I am sure there are those who would argue, but when I went outside today I was grabbed by the beauty of the day. This day is a far cry from a Saturday, Sunday and a few more days that followed when the area around where I live endured the unwanted guest of Hurricane Harvey who just did not want to go away.

I know we could probably use a nice, steady, gentle rain. As I type this it is Friday night and the 10:00 nightly news is on. The weather forecast for the next week seems to show it will a lot closer to this day’s weather than it will be to Hurricane Harvey (praise God) or even the rain we could use.

It is not uncommon for me to get prayer requests when we are in need of a weather change. I always tell people I don’t pray about changes in the weather. I believe God not only answers prayer, God sometimes answers prayer abundantly.

I had been at a former church less than two weeks. The old proverbial saying of “The good Lord willing and the creek don’t rise,” took on a literal meaning. It was RAINING and had been for a while. It wasn’t Harvey bad but it was bad. I started getting calls at the parsonage from people telling me they wouldn’t be at church that morning. The creek had risen. The wooden bridges over the creeks on the rural county roads had literally floated away. I began the service by saying, “Whoever among you has been praying for rain, you can stop now. Your prayers have been answered abundantly.”

Rain doesn’t bother me and when we get it, particularly when we really need it, I am grateful. But there is something special about an absolutely gorgeous day like we are experiencing here in Sweeny the last few days that should make us say, “Hey God, I see what you did there and I am grateful.”

Blue Skies are what I am grateful for today. What about you? What are you grateful for today? Write it in your journal. Share it with someone else. Let them see there is always something for which they can be thankful!

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Author:

"The Pastor Ponders" 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. Bishop and I live in Sweeny, Texas where I am the pastor of First United Methodist Church. I have served here for the past two years. For the past 27 years I have 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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