In the Beginning

Reading for the Day… Genesis 1-3, Matthew 1

When God began to create the heavens and the earth— the earth was without shape or form, it was dark over the deep sea, and God’s wind swept over the waters— God said, “Let there be light.” And so light appeared. God saw how good the light was. God separated the light from the darkness. God named the light Day and the darkness Night. There was evening and there was morning: the first day. (Genesis 1:1-5, Common English Bible)

Several thousand years later, when we readdress Genesis 1 & 2 it is really easy to see God had a busy week. All we have around us plus a few things (relatively) that are no longer with us, God created. Without question, there are a those who would argue that the beginning didn’t happen the way Scripture says. Scripture is pretty vague on exactly how God went about this creation. And, none of us k ow for sure. Could there have been a “bang” involved? Perhaps, as long as God was the one setting off the explosives. Could there be some form of evolution? I have little problem with that as long as God is the one driving that evolution. Could it not have happened that way at all? Like I said, none of us really know. What I do know is to this, however it happened, I know God was in charge and some pretty spectacular things happened.

Another thing I know is, it was a beginning. Scripture tells us that much.

Today we all have a new beginning. From the oldest among us to the youngest, today we get a fresh start. Lest we forget, we still live with the results, both good and bad, of past actions and decisions. But, God gives us another chance at a new beginning.

A few years back I encountered a book titled My One Word by Mike Ashcraft. I have mentioned his book before and highly recommend it to you. The basic context of the book is, instead of making New Year’s resolutions, most of which we will fail at to keep, instead, with the help and guidance of God, select one word that will be the focus for the year.j In past hears I had ave selected words like discipline, joy, and focus.

This year my word is going to take on a bit of a different feel. This year my one word will be”higher.” It is my prayer that God will take me higher in my faith. I hope to see a higher prayer life. I want to, with God’s help move to a higher level of fitness. Perhaps God will take me to higher plains of worship and study. Exactly where the higher places God will take me remain unclear. I do know, my word is yet another opportunity I have for a new beginning.

Higher. That is my word and my new beginning. Where will this new opportunity take you?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Looking higher,

Copyright 2018, 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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