Hey friends, I am on vacation this week so I am sending an old sermon your way. This sermon is from the First Sunday of Advent in 2016, November 27, 2016. Isaiah 11:1-10 is the Scripture passage. It was the first sermon in a series It’s a Wonderful Life.” The sermon title is “Hope in It.” The sermon was preached at First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas.

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

But I will thank the Lord
        for his righteousness;
    I will sing praises
        to the name of the Lord Most High. (Psalm 7:17, Common English Bible)

If you would prefer video, see below…

I sat in my office listening to him talk. He spoke at length about being, “a good for nothing.” He didn’t have any talent. God didn’t give him any gifts. The one thing God had given him, God had “taken away,” his wife.

His wife had passed away from cancer three years before. It was before I was the pastor of that church so I had never met her but I had spent a great deal of time with him over the 18 months I had been his pastor.

“Phil, God didn’t take Jeanette, cancer did. God healed Jeanette with ultimate healing. The cancer gives her no more pain, no more illness, weakness, tiredness. She is healed. She, as one of God’s gifts is fully restored.”

That conversation happened more than 20 years ago and I don’t remember where it went from there. What I do remember was, a few weeks later driving out near Phil’s farm. I decided to make a visit. He was in a large pin with several cows in it. Anytime I would go in a pin like that the cows would run away. That was never the case with Phil. Over the time I was his pastor Phil would work with just about any animal that came his way. he was a master. After watching for a few minutes I said, “That looks like a gift to me.”

Two weeks later was a covered dish dinner at church. Phil brought a huge brisket and set it on the serving table. Phil was outstanding on the grill and almost everyone in the county knew it. Once again, I pointed at his gift.

Over the next year or so I saw several of his gifts at work. I tried to remember and point to them each time. Phil also had the ability to grow plants like crazy. In that congregation they gave a plant to all their visitors. The were plants potted by Phil and most grew like crazy. After another gifts reminder Phil asked me, “None are that important. It isn’t like I can preach, or teach, or sing in the choir. They don’t do much. “Well pastor, that is fine and all, but they don’t seem to do anything for God.”

“Phil, you bring those plants up here that you have worked with to get it ready. We take those plants and give them away to our guests. That is you using a gift to spread the name of Jesus Christ.” Phil spent the rest of the time I was his pastor thinking about the things he could do to use all his gifts for the Glory of God. We prayed and I went on my way.

We are just about to the time of year we will start hearing first college and then professional football players, in after-game interviews, following the first question a reporter ask some will seemingly ignore the question (many times it is something like, “Did you ever dream you would catch 20 touchdown passes in a single game, and yes, I know that number is over the top unrealistic) and say something like “First I want to thank the Lord Jesus Christ. I wouldn’t be here if not for him. He gave me the talent and gifts to help my team win.”).

Before I seem to knock people thanking God for gifts, I am not. Still, I always laugh a bit when I hear an athlete say those things because playing a kids game, while needing some God-given talent, I just don’t think it is their greatest talent and absolutely not their greatest gift. Perhaps what is their greatest gift is the ability to stand in front of a crowd, a crowd of reporters, and/or a television camera broadcasting all over the world, proclaiming the name Jesus Christ to people all over the world. If that is the case, then their ability to play the game is really a tool to give them a voice and make them heard.

I have heard people ask, “So why does god give them those talents and not me? I would play that game for 5 million a year. I would play for $500,000 per year.” It is a legitimate question that I can’t help but think shows at least a little jealousy.

But, just like that athlete and just like Phil, God has given us gifts to bring Jesus Christ to all the world. That is our charge as people of faith.

God gives all of us gifts. God gives us gifts, I would argue that God gives us more than one. It is up to us to think of ways to use those gifts and talents God gives us for the Glory of God the Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. And this day, Thanksgiving Day here in the U.S. we need to stop and thank God for the gifts and talents we have and remember another gift from God, God is with us and where God is, there is always reason to hope.

Now, for those who would prefer the video…

Be Blessed.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. (Colossians 3:17, New International Version)

Video Below

This is the first Wednesday with the Wesley’s I have presented in a while. Today it wasn’t really planned that way, at least not by me. Could it perhaps be “Divine Inspiration?”

Statue of John Wesley by Paul Raphael Montford, in Melbourne, Australia. Photo by Adam Carr, Wikimedia Commons.

A couple of weeks ago I was watching a show I have really come to enjoy called Texas Country Reporter. Where I live TCR comes on following the late local news on Saturday night. I enjoy the show because it features some of the things people around Texas do from running a restaurant owned by a woman who is a recovering addict and all the employees are also recovering addict, to a man who became a blacksmith that makes fine skillets now bought by chefs all over the world.

When I watched a couple of weeks back one of the stories on that night was that of J.R. Smith, a former active duty marine who, after leaving active duty started a remodeling business in Humble, Texas, north of Houston. Sometime after beginning the his now very successful company, “…coupled with some guilt that he was able to leave the USMC unhurt and able-bodied (unlike many), JR feels he has a huge sense of responsibility to his wounded brothers and sisters now living at home, many of whom need various home improvements. (https://www.gunstohammers.com/)”

Many veterans leave the service paying a high price. Others come home and have things happen leaving them in need of Guns to Hammers. The show featured veterans injured in the line of duty and another who is wheel-chair bound due to a motorcycle accident. It doesn’t matter to J.R. Smith and Guns to Hammers. It is done for vets, free of charge and much of the work appears amazing.

“Do all the good you can…” Those are the opening six words of what has gotten the name “John Wesley’s Rule,” or “John Wesley’s Rule of Life,” or “John Wesley’s Rule for Christian Living.”

I have no idea if J.R. Smith knows about John Wesley or his rule. I feel pretty certain, however, that Smith understands the sentiment behind the rule. His story seems to embody Wesley’s Rule.

The Rule says,

As I said above, I know nothing of the faith of J.R. Smith. He seems by his mission to have a heart to serve but that doesn’t necessarily make a person a person of faith.

In the verse from Colossians above, Paul reminds us that what we do and what we say, to do it in Jesus’ name. He also says that through Jesus we are to give thanks to God. I think that means giving thanks to the Father for Jesus. I also think it means giving thanks to the Father through Jesus for the opportunity to speak or work in Jesus name. I pray that my opportunities may speak for Jesus in both word and deed.

As I searched around on the internet I found someone had converted Wesley’s Rule into a prayer. They began saying, “Dear Lord, help us do all we can…” Then the author switched all the word “you,” to the word, “we.” I understand the effort at inclusiveness and I think it is appropriate in some settings. That said, I see this as a much more personal prayer to God. It is a prayer that, more often than not, I pray for God to lead me.

Thus, a prayer-poem fits for me. I thought I would share it with you in closing.

Dear Lord,
Help me do everything I can,
Using my gifts from your plan,
Opening my mind to see your tasks,
In all the places where you ask.
Send me the hour you choose,
In me, people see, Your Good News.
Today, always, while I have breath.

Be blessed.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

P.S. Friends I am going to be backing away some from writing “Pondering with Dr. B” for the next month or two, perhaps even longer. I will still write but I am feeling more and more burned out by the pressure I have put on myself to produce this as a daily column. With other responsibilities both in the church and beyond, I want to remove this self pressure. So, when I feel like I need a break or when I feel I am not inspired, I am not going to write that day. I still hope to produce something at least a couple of days a week, but I suspect that at least once a week I will take a day off. In addition, I am praying about what direction I may need to go after the first of the year. I would welcome your prayers (and your thoughts) about that too. jkb

42 The believers devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching, to the community, to their shared meals, and to their prayers. 43 A sense of awe came over everyone. God performed many wonders and signs through the apostles. 44 All the believers were united and shared everything. 45 They would sell pieces of property and possessions and distribute the proceeds to everyone who needed them. 46 Every day, they met together in the temple and ate in their homes. They shared food with gladness and simplicity. 47 They praised God and demonstrated God’s goodness to everyone. The Lord added daily to the community those who were being saved. (Acts 2:42-47, Common English Bible).

One of my favorite questions is, “What would it look like..?” What would it look like for families to have dinner together? What would it look like if people turned off the television for one hour every night? What would it look like if we all took the story of the Good Samaritan seriously? What would it look like if we all realized that at least some of the time we are one of the two sons in the story of the “Prodigal Son?” What would it look like to really live out love of God and love of neighbor?

Yes, I do ask the question with certain Bible passages. I find myself asking that question again and again with certain passages because I’m not true. That would include lessons like today’s passages..

What would it look like if believers today truly devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching? I am often surprised at how little many of us actually know from the Bible. If we devoted ourselves to the apostles’ teachings believers might know more than some non-believers. And friends, it is sad to say that, yes, some non-believers know the book infinitely better than many of us who believe.

What would it look like if believers today devoted themselves to their communities? We sometimes think this means our communities as in our neighborhoods. It could be that. So, what would that look like? Might it mean helping the elderly lady down the street who struggles to get her groceries into the house? Might it mean gathering a group together to help the single mom with a coat of paint?

What might it mean if our churches were to ask that question of themselves and then take the answer seriously. What would it look like if we took the the lives of those around our facilities seriously? It might mean we would actually work together for the greater good. What would it look like if we devoted ourselves to the work of our churches? We would have both the people and the money to do whatever we think needs to be done to share the Gospel with our communities, with a hurting world that desperately needs to know the grace of God through Jesus Christ.

What would it look like if we devoted ourselves to our shared meals? Well, we have a pretty good idea. I think we have that one down pretty well. But, what might it look like to carry that shared meal out into the neighborhood from time to time?

What would it look like if we devoted ourselves to prayers? I am part of a small prayer group. We use group texting as we share the various prayer concerns. Group texting drives me crazy, but I deal with it for prayer’s sake. I think I would have to find a different way to share prayer concerns if we truly devote ourselves to prayer because my phone would never stop.

Or, what might it look like if, as we decided to take prayer more seriously and when someone asked us to pray for them, we actually stopped what we are doing and said a prayer with them right then and there? I try to do that. I am not always successful, but I do try.

What would it look like if we all felt that sense of awe when we know God is at work around us? Well, first we would have to get over the idea that things are a coincidence when really God is working. And we might also become overwhelmed with the need to share God’s love with the world.

I could continue with all this but I think you get the idea. I am not talking about what things would look like for some trivial matter. I am far more concerned about things that could really change us or could really change the world around us.

The thirty days of gratitude today is all about Christian heritage. I believe our greatest point of heritage is our mission. What would it look like if we actually went out and made disciples of Jesus Christ as we seek to transform the world as we are told to do in the last few chapters of Matthew.

What would it look like if we showed the world how much we love God and how much we love them?

I think the world might like to know the answer to that one.

Be blessed.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

A Short Story (Part 1)

Monterey Herald

22 Jesus and his disciples came to Bethsaida. Some people brought a blind man to Jesus and begged him to touch and heal him. 23 Taking the blind man’s hand, Jesus led him out of the village. After spitting on his eyes and laying his hands on the man, he asked him, “Do you see anything?”

24 The man looked up and said, “I see people. They look like trees, only they are walking around.”

25 Then Jesus placed his hands on the man’s eyes again. He looked with his eyes wide open, his sight was restored, and he could see everything clearly. (Mark 8:22-25, Common English Bible).

Jason, Zach, and I stood in the pro shop. When we checked in the young lady behind the counter, her nametag identified her as Michele, asked if we would mind a fourth to go with our group. I could tell Jason and Zach were less than thrilled but being the one that would spend the day by myself in the golf cart, I jumped in before they had a chance and said, “sure, he can ride with me.”

Michele walked away telling me, “Let me go and get him. He is having a cup of coffee. I’ll be right back.”

Within just a minute or two, Michele came in with a 40 something year-old-man in tow. He had his clubs over his shoulder, wore sun glasses and souvenir golf cap from Lighthouse for the Blind’s many nighttime glow ball scramble tournaments. He extended his hand to me and said, “Hi, I am Tyler. Thanks for letting me tag along. Playing with an unknown fourth can be hard on a group. I appreciate it.”

Jason and Zach looked at each other with a bit of a snide expression. Zach just said, “Shall we?” turned and headed for the door with Jason right behind.

“Your with me, Tyler. I’m Ray. I’m glad we can play together today. I always like to meet new people out here. You also might want to wait on the thanks. I am not a very good golfer, but I like to have a day outdoors, playing with friends. It is far more about that than about golf for me.”

“You probably aren’t that bad. But friends with those two guys?”

“Just wait, you will see. As far as those guys, we have been friends since we were kids. Most of the time they aren’t bad guys. Sorry for the questionable start.”

“There’s no need for you to apologize. You aren’t the one acting like a… well, never mind.”

Tyler and I loaded our clubs on my cart. As we made our way to the first hole I asked him about his hat. “Have you played in the tournament?” I asked pointing to his hat.

“Yes, in fact I have played every year of the Washington, D.C. tournament,” he said.

We got to the tee box and Jason said, “Hey Tyler, why don’t you take the first shot.”

Tyler walked up onto the tee box, pushes is tee into the ground and places his ball on the tee. He stood and took a couple of practice swings and then approached his ball. He brought his club back slowly and then quickly and firmly swung his driver at the ball. On contact the club connected with the ball producing the sound all golfers love, titanium hitting the hard surface of a golf ball. Tyler’s drive went straight down the fairway, landing, perfectly in the center of the fairway 260 yards away.

“Did any of you see where my ball went?” Tyler asked.

“Are you kidding?” asked Zach. “You hit a perfect shot. The only thing that could have made it better would he if you hit the ball another 40 yards. How could you not have seen it?”

As I walked up to the tee box I said Tyler, “Good shot man. Finding the ball won’t be hard.” I hit my shot and as usual, my worm burner was headed to the rough on the right side of the fairway.

Zach and Jason followed with good shots, but not as good as Tyler’s. When I pulled up to Tyler’s ball, after a shot that got me on the fairway, barely beyond Tyler’s tee shot.

Tyler took his second shot and put it on the green, leaving himself about a ten-foot putt for birdie. When the hole ended, Tyler had a birdie 3, Zach made par, and Jason had a bogie. As for me, I had a four over, eight. On the second hole.

Before we got to the second tee-box I saw Michele sitting in a cart waiting. When we stopped she got out with a small ice chest. “Tyler, I saw you accidently left your ice chest in the pro shop. I knew you would need it so I ran it out here.” She laughed and said, “It was a good excuse to get out of the pro shop and out on the course for a few minutes.”

I looked up in time to see Zach and Jason snickering to themselves and shaking their heads. I walked up to them and said, “What is your problem guys?”

“You shouldn’t have agreed to a fourth. It is slowing us down,” said Jason. “Neither of us want someone we don’t know playing with us.”

“He is slowing you down? He outscored both of you on that hole,” I said.

“You too. In fact, I think if you look at the score card, all of us outscored you,” Zach sneered at me.

“You are quite right. I stink at golf. I only play because for some reason I want to spend some time with my friends,” I snapped back.

In the meantime, Tyler was on the tee box of the par-three second hole. Michele stood there for watching Tyler swing. He smoothly swung his club and hit another perfect shot with just the right spin. His ball landed and stuck a foot from the hole. Though he said nothing, I saw him look at Michele, she walked up to him, said something, returned to her cart and drove away. Zach and Jason both split the green, one on each side. My tee-shot went onto the green, going about 15 feet past the pin.

As we drove away from the tee-box to the green, I asked Tyler, “What was that with Michele?”

He replied, “I am a Type 1 diabetic. I have to keep food and drinks in my little ice chest. There is some insulin in there too.”

“No, no.” I said. “I saw you look at her right after your shot. Then she came up to you. Just wanting to make sure everything is OK.”

“I have a hard time seeing the ball sometimes. I am good friends with the club pro and when I don’t have anyone I can play with, he will let Michelle come play at least 9 holes with me. She got used to standing on the tee-box and watching me hit the ball and telling me where it landed. Since she was there I didn’t want to hear Zach and Jason again. I knew you didn’t know to watch and I knew Michele would be watching. She looks for ways to help people around the club.”

“Well,” I told Tyler, “I will stand on the back of the tee-box and watch your ball and let you know where it lands. When we finish this hole, why don’t we let Zach and Jason go on ahead. I have played plenty with them. I think we will have a better day.”

I looked over at Tyler as he pulled his putter from his golf bag, started to head for the hole. Suddenly he stopped and turned around and said…

To be continued…

Be blessed.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Barbara Franco helps her husband U.S. Navy veteran, Carlos Franco with his service dog Miguel on the practice range at Bayonet and Black Horse Golf Club in Seaside on Tuesday, August 7, 2018. Franco who is blind is learning golf through the PGA HOPE (Helping Our Patriots Everywhere) program at the Seaside golf course. (Vern Fisher – Monterey Herald)

10 So now we can tell who are children of God and who are children of the devil. Anyone who does not live righteously and does not love other believers does not belong to God.

Love One Another

11 This is the message you have heard from the beginning: We should love one another. 12 We must not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because Cain had been doing what was evil, and his brother had been doing what was righteous. 13 So don’t be surprised, dear brothers and sisters, if the world hates you.

14 If we love our brothers and sisters who are believers, it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead. 15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them.

16 We know what real love is because Jesus gave up his life for us. So we also ought to give up our lives for our brothers and sisters. 17 If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister[f] in need but shows no compassion—how can God’s love be in that person?

18 Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. 19 Our actions will show that we belong to the truth, so we will be confident when we stand before God. 20 Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything.

21 Dear friends, if we don’t feel guilty, we can come to God with bold confidence. 22 And we will receive from him whatever we ask because we obey him and do the things that please him.

23 And this is his commandment: We must believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one another, just as he commanded us. (1 John 3:11-23)

As a kid, my family was surrounded by a lot of good folks. Our next door neighbors, the Jones, were amazing friends of my parents. The Browns were a few doors down. Going the other way, the Hardys were friends. Across the street were my friends Brian and his neighbor Tony. Mr. McDonald, an older man directly across the street often got “strong armed” to toss a football around with the boys on the street. (Names are changed as I do not have permission to use their names).

They were great neighbors. They helped each other regularly. Mrs. Jones watched my sister and I when my mother went back to work. The older we got, the more the rules changed to just making sure she knew where we were, Paula Brown was a few few years older than I. When my parents needed to go out and night in a non-kid setting, Paula was always the first babysitter called.

When I was 15 we moved from southwest Houston to Pasadena, a suburb city that was part of the Houston-metro area. The Graham’s lived next door but we never had the relationship with them that we had with any of the family friends in the old neighborhood. That doesn’t mean we weren’t grateful, just that they weren’t as close.

When I went into the Navy, Cindy and I lived in an apartment in Orlando for three months. We knew no one who lived there.

Continuing along the way, before I entered the ministry, we lived a lot of places. Nore often than not, we knew no one who lived around. I am not blaming them. The issues were far more with us. than with the neighbors. After entering the ministry, how much we had a relationship with our neighbors depended on how close we lived to the church. At my first church my closest neighbors were cows. I have no idea what their names were.

At many times we had neighbors that lived close, at other times there just wasn’t a place for neighbors to live. At one church, we lived behind the church. A street ran behind the church and the church owned everything on the street. No one but me and my family lived on the street.

When Cindy and I bought our condo in Lufkin, we made a real effort to meet our neighbors. We did favors for some of the people around us. They do things for us. I never understood the importance of neighbors when I was a kid. I get it today.

We do many things for those around living around us. They do much for us too and I am grateful. It makes our little condo community a better place to live and I am thankful.

Be blessed.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

Just in time for Sing Along Saturday, a new song for you. I have been thinking a lot about how we try to make ourselves happy with all our stuff. I like my stuff as well as anyone. I definitely do not live a minimalist lifestyle. I know I should be closer to it than I am. It is where I am at the moment. I have actually thinned down my guitar herd recently but that was more about getting rid of some I rarely played because I could use that money to buy a couple I would prefer to have.

I know I have shared this story before but it highlights what I am talking about.

A few years back, I bought a new guitar. I got home that day, I played the guitar about 20 minutes and because it wasn’t set-up yet, it was really hard on my fingers. So, I put it away and got out my computer and I started looking at what guitar I wanted to get next.

As it turns out, that guitar is one of the ones I am selling because I never play it. I figured out later that I like thinner bodied guitars better because my surgically repaired shoulders don’t hurt as bad when I am playing.

Anyway, that afternoon, after I got home with the new guitar and got through playing for the day, I put it up and got on my computer and started looking for my next guitar. The new wasn’t even worn off yet and I am already looking for another.

After realizing that, it was a little while before I bought another.

I have a friend who reached the same conclusion. He just didn’t do it with guitars. His was with deer rifles.

So, I think God is working on me and it is meaning something.

Here is the typed version of the summer. The video will be available as soon as I get it close, be ready to bring it forward. I think you will find it helpful.

Time in God

I thought life’s big things bring us joy                        
Only learning it’s life’s worst ploy.
Friends know, this plan will fail
You look for a holy grail.
Great eagles soar the skies above,                                  
Peaceful doves shining signs of love                                          
From deepest seas whales swim and feed                        
Some of the gifts God knows we need.                            

Joy will never be in our things
To drive our senses down leaves a sting
The push for stuff makes us want more.
What we think we want can shake our core.

Is it small things we really want?
No joy here, just my fears and taunts.
I want more than my share
There are needs here, help me care
The big things are what we want most.
Or the small things so we won’t boast.     
God knows our hearts in every way.
Hearts won’t change so let’s stop and pray.

Joy will never be in our things
To drive our senses down leaves a stin
The push for stuff makes us want more.
What we think we want can shake our core.

Friend where does your passion lie
Wanting more can make souls cry
We plot and scheme, so we get more
All our stuff is what we adore.
It’s time to know what drives your soul
That is the thing that makes you whole.
We have more than we will give
Our greatest need, a life to live.

Joy will never be in our things
To drive our senses down leaves a sting
Less stuff won’t make us want more.
Hold to God, take time in Him adore

Be Blessed,

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Pondering with DrB
October 31, 2020
Hold on to Him
Saturday Sing Along
Perritte Memorial United Methodist Church
Spirit’s Breath Ministries

And I will restore your judges as at the first, and your counselors as at the beginning. Afterward you shall be called the city of righteousness, the faithful city.” (Isaiah 1:26, English Standard Version).

I have been to many cities in my life. Some I have really liked, some not so much. I spent six months in Philadelphia. If not for Veteran’s Stadium right outside the gate to the base, I am not sure I would have found any redeeming quality to my time there. I am told it is a much better place to visit today. I would consider going back but the travel dollars and vacation days in the present usually go west and grandsons. In at least a general kind of way, Philadelphia is almost as opposite as you can get.

Copenhagen is among the prettiest places I have had the opportunity to visit. We arrived in Copenhagen in late September or early October. There were lots of seasonal flowers all over the city.

When the ship tied up to the pier in Copenhagen, we were all, as usual, ready to get off the ship and do just about anything that had nothing to do with the ship itself. At this point it had been about six or eight weeks since we had left Norfolk. We spent a month at sea followed by stops in Scotland which was beautiful in its own right and I would go back again in a minute.

Hamburg, on the other hand, well, let’s just say, I didn’t leave anything there in September or October of 1978 and have no interest in going back. No place is for everyone and that one wasn’t for me. I think I spent about 6 hours total in the drizzling rain and had enough. We were there three or four days before moving on to Copenhagen.

We got to Copenhagen and liberty call just in time for lunch and wandered our way into an area of Copenhagen called Tivoli. I wasn’t thrilled with ship’s food by this point and we wandered into Burger King. We did have hamburger’s aboard ship but we called them sliders and sliders were not the tiny hamburgers you find at Chilies’ and other such places. For the Navy, hamburgers were made from beef heavy in fat. The saying among the sailors was, you have to be careful eating your burger or it would slide out from between the bun and down onto the deck.

My buddies and I decided we wanted a real American hamburger and as we walked through Tivoli, we found this Burger King.

I think it was this Burger King. The only other picture I found of a Burger King in the Tivoli area was inside something resembling a shopping mall. I know that one wasn’t our Burger King.

It didn’t take long to decide on our lunch. I vividly remember my order. It was a double meat Whopper, large fries and a large Coke. When the cashier rang up the total, 25.50. I almost had a heart attack on the spot. 25.50 for a hamburger? In 1978 25.50 for a hamburger?

I forgot about the exchange rate. At the time, the exchange rate was was five dollars to one kroner. So my 25.50 Kroner burger meal was actually $5.10. Still, expensive for a 1978 hamburger but not worthy of a coronary. Today, that same hamburger would be more than K60.

Once there was a full stomach we started walking around. We wandered around seeing the sites of Copenhagen in general and Tivoli in particular. One of the first things I saw was statue of “The Little Mermaid, “which comes from one of the fairy tales of arguably Denmark’s most famous person, Hans Christian Andersen. Andersen was a writer. He wrote plays, travelogues, novels, and poems but he was best known for those fairy tales.

The one thing about traveling on Uncle Same’s dime, at least with the Navy, I saw a lot of places, places on the coast. With few exceptions we didn’t make it to the interior of the countries we visited. We did going into Hamburg. It was an eight hour ride up the River Elbe to the city. New Orleans is the same way, up the Mississippi. Still, it may have taken a bit to get there but it was still a port city. It is difficult to see those land based sites from the deck of a ship.

I didn’t see many churches in those days, especially not from the inside. Denmark is a Lutheran country. And, I do remember seeing some stunningly beautiful churches, from the outside. I would love to see some from the inside too.

I really enjoyed my limited time in Copenhagen. It is a beautiful city and at least as I remember them, exceedingly kind. I won’t sit here and tell you I felt the Spirit in a new, unique, or special way. I didn’t. If they were all special like that, none would be special.

There was a lot of joy I saw those few days in Copenhagen. But perhaps the biggest joy came from seeing a tiny statue and from a simple but expensive, and not quite as expensive as I first thought, hamburger. Could such jyo come from God? I certainly hope so.

Copenhagen, a beautiful place God let me see.

Be blessed.

Seeking the Genuine,

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

Pondering with DrB for October 22, 2020
Thursday Thoughts…Copenhagen
Beauty of the World
Joy in a Simple as a Hamburger