What Am I Grateful For Today… Clean Drinking Water

Now there was no water for the community, and they assembled against Moses and Aaron. Then the people confronted Moses and said to him, “If only we too had died when our brothers perished in the Lord’s presence! Why have you brought the Lord’s assembly into this desert to kill us and our animals here? Why have you led us up from Egypt to bring us to this evil place without grain, figs, vines, or pomegranates? And there’s no water to drink!”

Moses and Aaron went away from the assembly to the entrance of the meeting tent and they fell on their faces. Then the Lord’s glory appeared to them. The Lord spoke to Moses: “You and Aaron your brother, take the staff and assemble the community. In their presence, tell the rock to provide water. You will produce water from the rock for them and allow the community and their animals to drink.”

Moses took the staff from the Lord’s presence, as the Lord had commanded him (Numbers 20:2-9, Common English Bible).

When the bishop appointed me to one particular community a few years ago, I didn’t like the taste of the water. When Cindy and I bought our retirement home a few years ago, we didn’t like the taste of Lufkin water. Really, at least when I first moved to several communities, at least at first, I didn’t like the taste of the water. Eventually I got used to the taste. Well, at least it wasn’t as bad.

When I first went to sea when I was in the Navy, I really didn’t like the taste of the water. In port, we drank water from city sources just like most anyone else. But, when we went to sea the ship produced its own drinking water. They would take sea water, boil it, capture the steam and cool it back into water we would use for drinking, cleaning and to make steam to power the engines. I don’t think I really ever got used to drinking the ship’s water.

I guess it has been six or seven years ago I was introduced to a man who has made a ministry based on what he saw on one trip to Haiti. Bob paused when he saw children scooping water with their hands from tire ruts in the road and drinking it. God grabbed Bob that day. When he got home he started researching. First he looked at the statistics regarding water born illness in Haiti. Bob told me the numbers. To be honest, I don’t remember them and even if I did we really don’t have room here.

Once Bob saw the statistics, he started looking for a solution to the problem. These people, in the part of Haiti where Bob focuses are among the poorest in the world. Some people try to address the problem by drilling water wells. If you can raise that kind of money it is a good plan but wells can be expensive and many churches don’t have the resources to meet the need. Bob wanted something where just about any church and many individuals could participate.

Bob found the Sawyer Water Filter. With the filter (his teams carry the filters in from the US) and a plastic bucket (they purchase the buckets in Haiti, helping the local economy), for less than $75, a Haitian family can clean enough water (the system filters out 98% of the bacteria and other things in the water) to supply their needs for up to ten years.

I often think about that when I turn my water faucet on to get a glass of water, take a drink and I don’t like the taste. It causes me to realize, at least some of the time, I am not to thankful for the water I have at my fingertips. I am a lot like the grumbling Israelites for whom Moses had to find water. God gives. I complain. Those who receive those filters are grateful because their lives are changed.

It makes me think, sometimes I may not be very grateful, but I need to be thankful for clean drinking water, both for me and for those Bob’s teams touch when they take water filters to Haiti.

Clean water is what I am grateful for today. What about you? What are you grateful for today?  Write it in your journal and then share it with someone who needs to hear about the joys of a grateful heart.

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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