Like Father, Like Son

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 1 Chronicles 1-3; John 5:25-47

25 “I assure you that the time is coming—and is here!—when the dead will hear the voice of God’s Son, and those who hear it will live. 26 Just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. 27 He gives the Son authority to judge, because he is the Human One. 28 Don’t be surprised by this, because the time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice. 29 Those who did good things will come out into the resurrection of life, and those who did wicked things into the resurrection of judgment. 30 I can’t do anything by myself. Whatever I hear, I judge, and my judgment is just. I don’t seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me. (John 5:25-30, Common English Bible).

My sister is in possession of a picture of my dad when he was a young man. You could take a picture of me, at the same age, and you couldn’t tell who was who except for the obvious age of the pictures. Even the tie my dad was wearing in his picture fits my taste in ties (I still wish I had that tie).

It has been more than 25 years since a day when I was pastor at Elwood United Methodist Church, a rural congregation outside Midway, Texas. We never did discover how it happened but several boxes in the garage got wet. In one of those boxes were several old photos of me. When our boys came in from school that day, we had several of those photos laying out in an attempt to dry them. Wayne picked up a picture of me. I was about 14 or 15 years old in the picture. Wayne was about the same age. He said, “I don’t remember taking this picture. When was it taken.” Well, son, you don’t remember it because the picture isn’t of you.

When I look at my grandsons, particularly the oldest, Kaleb, I instantly see the Broyles coming out in that young man (who now is about the age his dad was when discovering the picture of me at the same age).

I am a Broyles. I always have been and always will be a Broyles. I am the son of a Broyles who was as well. All the way back to 1520 when a man, my ancestor, Michael Bruelle (a change in the spelling to Broyles happened circa 1725 with immigration to North America) and even before.

Yes, I am a Broyles, the son of Johnnie Broyles and the father of Wayne and Christopher Broyles. NOTHING can change that. I can go to court and change my name. I will still, genetically, be a Broyles. I can change my name. I cannot change my DNA.

In today’s lesson, Jesus says much the same thing. “Just as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself.” The Father gave life to the Son. They share the same DNA.

Just as, at the same age my father, me, my son, and my grandson, all look alike, Jesus says, “…Whoever has seen me has seen the Father…” (John 14:9b). We know Jesus and the Father are one. Nothing can change that. Nothing will change that.

It is also important that we remember, we were created in the likeness and image of God (Genesis 1:26). I have spiritual DNA with my creator. I look like God. By that, I don’t mean God is a sixty-year-old, five-foot ten-inch, overweight Anglo guy whose hair is starting to thin and has a bit of gray in it.

Scripture tells us that God is love (1 John 4:8). When we see love, we see God. That also means, if I am born in the image and likeness of God when you see me, you should see love and you should see God. Unlike God, when you look at me, at least sometimes, you will see anyone and anything but God.

I can’t work on my physical DNA. Nothing will ever change it. But, with God’s help, I can work on my spiritual DNA. With God’s help, maybe when you look at me, you just might see love and get a glimpse of God.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness (for the love of God I strive to be),

Copyright 2018, J. Keth 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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