I Will Not Give-Up on You!

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: Psalm 79-80; Romans 11:1-18

13 People were bringing children to Jesus so that he would bless them. But the disciples scolded them. 14 When Jesus saw this, he grew angry and said to them, “Allow the children to come to me. Don’t forbid them, because God’s kingdom belongs to people like these children. 15  I assure you that whoever doesn’t welcome God’s kingdom like a child will never enter it.” 16 Then he hugged the children and blessed them. (Mark 10:13-16, Common English Bible)

Well, tonight is one of those nights that my mind isn’t wrapping around the Journey Through Scripture passages (It is actually Thursday night as I write this). It is most likely because I am pretty tired tonight. But, more on that tomorrow night.

As I know some of you do, I read several people in my devotion time. One of them, actually the only one I ever read written by someone I don’t know personally. The devotional title is “The Daily Huddle,” and it is written by Dr. Joe Pettigrew (You can read Pettigrew’s devotion below this post). Pettigrew is involved with a men’s ministry called “In the Zone.” He is also co-author with Soccer Hall of Fame star, Kyle Rote Jr. of a book, Living Life In The Zone, A Forty Day Study for Men.

On Wednesday I attended a workshop with all of my new colleagues from Center High School that was primarily focused on teaching English language learners, but much of what the presenter had to say gave us some excellent tools for teaching any student.

Those tools came back to my mind this morning when I read Dr. Pettigrew’s devotion. Wednesday our presenter said,

You are important.
What we are studying is important.
You can do this.
I will not give up on you!

I liked what he said yesterday but at the time I didn’t really give any thought about its potential meaning beyond the context of English language learning students. As I have thought on both the speaker from Wednesday’s workshop and Dr. Pettigrew’s devotion I can’t help but think there is something here that, as people of faith, we should be working to convey to the world. To paraphrase, how about this:

You are important.
What we are doing is important.
You can do this.
I will not give up on you.

It is just a slight change, just one word. We aren’t always studying, but we do spend a lot of time doing something. That one-word change, changes the context from something a few might be doing to something we all should be doing.

Dr. Pettigrew, in his devotion, talked about children. To me his words and the words from the workshop, while fitting children as both the writer and the speaker point out, it seems to me they fit all of us, all of God’s children. Yes, “You are important, What we are doing is important. You can do this. I will not [and neither will God] give up on you.”

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

With Joy and Thankfulness,
Keith

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

From “The Daily Huddle” by Dr. Joe Pettigrew
“He took the children in His arms and placed His hands on their heads and blessed them.”
Mark 10:16
I recently read of a restaurant owner who instituted a policy that wouldn’t have been well liked by Jesus. Instead of letting young children dine at his restaurant, he announced he was banning little ones under six years old from the upscale restaurant. He indicated that he wouldn’t allow the young customers because he feels they’re bad for business.
Like that restaurant owner, Jesus’ disciples seemed to believe children might be bad for the business of the kingdom of God. But parents brought their children to Jesus so He could touch them. The disciples, thinking that children were socially powerless and unimportant and should not be wasting Jesus’ time, rebuked the parents and tried to keep them away from Jesus (Mark 10:13). Jesus became indignant with His disciples (Mark 10:14).
Jesus rebuked them because they failed to realize that there are no outcasts or unimportant people in the kingdom of God. In fact, Jesus used children (eager and dependent) as the perfect example of how everyone should receive the kingdom. Then Jesus took the children into His arms and laid His hands on them—a visible means of conveying God’s blessing on their future lives (Mark 10:16).
Thought of the Day:  Eager to get on with the business of life, we sometimes have little time for the tiny people who do not wield political, social or financial power. But, as followers of Jesus, we’re called to see them as gifts from the hand of God, to welcome them in Jesus’ name and to remove obstacles that prevent them from coming to Jesus.

 

If you would like to subscribe to “The Daily Huddle,” follow the link below and sign up. It is free and will arrive in the inbox of your email bright and early, or whatever time you get up.

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Author:

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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