Don’t Shut Up and Don’t Give Up

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings
Exod 25-26, Matt 20:17-34


29 As Jesus and his disciples were going out of Jericho a large crowd followed him. 30 When two blind men sitting along the road heard that Jesus was passing by, they shouted, “Show us mercy, Lord, Son of David!”

31 Now the crowd scolded them and told them to be quiet. But they shouted even louder, “Show us mercy, Lord, Son of David!”

32 Jesus stopped in his tracks and called to them. “What do you want me to do for you?” he asked.

33 “Lord, we want to see,” they replied.

34 Jesus had compassion on them and touched their eyes. Immediately they were able to see, and they followed him (Matthew 20:29-34, Common English Bible).

Everyone said to the two blind men, “Shut Up! Jesus is too busy for the likes of you (my paraphrase).”

I can’t help but wonder, what would have become of these two had they listened to those around them? What would have happened if they would have shut up? Could these two have survived had they given up on being noticed by Jesus?

I have never been quite sure what the motivation was that caused the crowds to be so insistent that these two men should give up on their dream to see, to have their sight. We have no idea if these two blind sons of God had ever seen before. Whether they wanted to see for the first time or they wanted to see again, they had a dream. They clearly say they want to see.

Many of us have dreams and some people around us tell us that our dreams are silly or our dreams are impossible. Sometimes they are right. Many other times they are wrong.

This week is the Super Bowl. Tom Brady, the quarterback for the New England Patriots (I am not a fan of Brady or the Patriots but his record cannot be denied), was one of the last players taken in the 2000 NFL draft. Brady was drafted in the sixth round. There are only seven rounds in the draft. People told Brady he wasn’t good enough. People told him he shouldn’t even bother. Yet Brady knew his dream and knew his determination. He used the draft snub as motivation to fulfill his dream.

I truly have no idea if Brady is a spiritual man or not. I do know he was a man with a dream that was going to do all he could to fulfill his dream.

What is your dream? Do people try to tell you to “shut up?” Do those people want you to give up? Perhaps their biggest problem is they don’t have a dream for themselves.

So, we have a dream we don’t want to give up.  How do we keep speaking in a way that makes a difference? The blind men kept calling out to Jesus in a very loud manner. The key here is, they kept calling out to Jesus.

If we want to speak in a way that makes a difference, we need to speak to God. And, the way we do that best is to pray. The two blind men’s cries to Jesus were really prayer and prayer always matters.

So does that mean all our dreams will come to pass? When I was a kid I dreamed of being a professional baseball player. It didn’t happen. I didn’t have the skills and it wasn’t within God’s will. My skills, my gifts lie in a different place. And, as much as I wanted to be a baseball player as a kid, those dreams changed and I know God is here.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

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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