What Am I Grateful for Today… Music

96 Sing to the Lord a new song!
    Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Sing to the Lord! Bless his name!
    Share the news of his saving work every single day!
Declare God’s glory among the nations;
    declare his wondrous works among all people
    because the Lord is great and so worthy of praise.
He is awesome beyond all other gods
    because all the gods of the nations are just idols,
        but it is the Lord who created heaven!
Greatness and grandeur are in front of him;
    strength and beauty are in his sanctuary (Psalm 96:1-6, Common English Bible).

I love music. I always have. Once upon a time in my life, for about six years I played the trumpet. During that time I also learned to play bugle, baritone, valve trombone and French horn. I also sang in the youth choir at church. And, to quote my father, “I played a mean radio.” That one I still play.

Today things are different. I still love music, but I don’t play the same instruments. Instead of trumpet, today I play the guitar. I am pretty sure I was a better trumpet player back in the day, than I am a guitar player. All I do on guitar is strum chords.

One of the most fun things I do is singing bass with the Coastalaires. The Coastalaires are a barbershop chorus. There are about 30 of us. The whole reason this particular thing I am grateful for came up is, tonight is “Opening Night,” for the Coastalaires annual Christmas show. I am excited about it. I already know I will also be ready for it to be over Sunday afternoon.

The last way I enjoy music is in writing. I don’t do a whole lot of writing, but I do some. I have written lyrics for six songs that are sung to tunes of better known songs. I have also written words and music to two more.

For me, music is, at different times, a diversion from the work I do and an offering to God. The Bible says to “Make a joyful noise to the Lord… (Psalm 100:1, KJV). For me, the optimum word there is probably noise. Like I said, I’m not very good, but I love playing.

Both at rehearsals and in our shows, The Coastalaires always finish with the same song. The title of the song is, “Keep the Whole World Singing.” Here are the lyrics”

Keep the whole world singing, all day long.
Watch goodwill come a winging, on a song.
Smile the while you are singing.
Oh carry, carry, carry your part.
Keep the melody ringing and ringing,
In your heart.

I love this song because it addresses something that would make for a better world. I truly believe, if we could get more of the world singing and/or playing together, the music really would make a difference and our world just might look very different from what we see today.

Music is what I am grateful for today. What about you? What are you grateful for today. Write it down in your journal and then share it with someone else. Like the music, it just might make a difference.

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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