The Girl with Pretty Red Hair

Cindy with Jenna on the day I baptized Jenna

To the extent I have them, I thought I would use Saturdays to post the song lyrics I write. I actually started last week with “Hello Little Girl” that I wrote for that sweet new granddaughter Cindy and I have. By the way, since I have added music to it, there have been some changes in those lyrics since I finished them a week ago.

I have worked on songs for Jenna and Natalie this past week. I will post them at some point in the future as they are not yet finished.

Today’s song is one I wrote almost three years ago for the anniversary of Cindy putting up with me for 40 years. I don’t think I posted it back then but even if I did, when I pulled out out in the last couple of weeks to submit to a site where I can have it dated and a bit better protected, I had forgotten a good bit of it. Plus, with Valentine’s Day coming, I thought I should blow the dust off it. This is one of the few songs I have that both the lyrics and the music (not shown here) are both original.

The picture is of Cindy with our oldest granddaughter Jenna, when Jenna was the only granddaughter. The title of the song is, “The Girl with Pretty Red Hair,” and I guess the title at least fits Jenna too. Morgan’s latest post about Sydney indicates that Sydney just may be a girl with pretty red hair too. Natalie doesn’t have red hair but it is still pretty and so is she. Hey, I am Gramps, what do you expect me to say? Besides that, I’m right!!!

The Girl with Pretty Red Hair

I first saw you, we never spoke.
The girl had class, I was a joke.
I didn’t see, I didn’t care,
About the girl, with pretty red hair.

Opened my eyes, took a fresh look,
I saw you there, with opened book,
Saw what I’d missed, I Saw your flair,
Flair from the girl, with pretty red hair.

Back then most folks, gave us no chance,
But with each year, our love enhanced,
We’ve had great fun, and love we share,
Me and the girl, with pretty red hair.

I look at you, Lord I can see,
Each day you give, your love to me,
Today with me, we’re quite the pair,
Me and the girl, with pretty red hair,

I do look back, I look ahead,
Approaching days, I have no dread,
You touched my heart, blessings we share,
Me and the girl, with pretty red hair.

Me and the girl, with pretty red hair.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

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

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In God’s Shelter I Will Trust (Psalm 2)

Why do the nations rant?
    Why do the peoples rave uselessly?
The earth’s rulers take their stand;
    the leaders scheme together
    against the Lord and
    against his anointed one.
        “Come!” they say.
        “We will tear off their ropes
        and throw off their chains!”
The one who rules in heaven laughs;
    my Lord makes fun of them.
But then God speaks to them angrily;
    then he terrifies them with his fury:
        “I hereby appoint my king on Zion,
        my holy mountain!”

I will announce the Lord’s decision:
    He said to me, “You are my son,
        today I have become your father.
Just ask me,
    and I will make the nations your possession;
    the far corners of the earth will be your property.
You will smash them with an iron rod;
    you will shatter them like a pottery jar.”

10 So kings, wise up!
    Be warned, you rulers of the earth!
11 Serve the Lord reverently—
    trembling, 12 kiss his feet
        or else he will become angry,
        and your way will be destroyed
    because his anger ignites in an instant.

But all who take refuge in the Lord are truly happy! (Psalm 2, Common English Bible)

We fall short, we miss God’s mark
Our sin moves us to tremble
The One who has the power
Power to condemn or embrace

God calls us to serve, respond
Serve God and serve your neighbor
Serve not from duty, serve from love
Approach God’s throne with reverence

Where do God’s children find joy?
We don’t find joy in the world
The worldly leaves us lacking
We find joy in our creator

We seek refuge and shelter
We place trust in humanity
Refuge is not in our hands
Shelter is in the Lord’s hand

Human shelter is lacking
In it there is no joy found
In the Divine One is joy
Come near, bow down, trust the Lord

My life, it comes from God’s hand
The One who created my life
It is God, and I will trust
In God’s shelter will I trust.

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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Prayers for a Precious Child of God

Sydney Jayne Broyles

21 From there, Jesus went to the regions of Tyre and Sidon. 22 A Canaanite woman from those territories came out and shouted, “Show me mercy, Son of David. My daughter is suffering terribly from demon possession.” 23 But he didn’t respond to her at all.

His disciples came and urged him, “Send her away; she keeps shouting out after us.”

24 Jesus replied, “I’ve been sent only to the lost sheep, the people of Israel.”

25 But she knelt before him and said, “Lord, help me.”

26 He replied, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and toss it to dogs.”

27 She said, “Yes, Lord. But even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall off their masters’ table.”

28 Jesus answered, “Woman, you have great faith. It will be just as you wish.” And right then her daughter was healed.

29 Jesus moved on from there along the shore of the Galilee Sea. He went up a mountain and sat down. 30 Large crowds came to him, including those who were paralyzed, blind, injured, and unable to speak, and many others. They laid them at his feet, and he healed them. 31 So the crowd was amazed when they saw those who had been unable to speak talking, and the paralyzed cured, and the injured walking, and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel. (Matthew 15:21-31, Common English Bible).

Isn’t it interesting how a child can so quickly grab our hearts? Such is the case with Sydney Jayne Broyles, my new granddaughter. She is my third granddaughter and sixth grandchild over all. God delivered her to us last Friday, January 24, 2020 at about 4:30 in the afternoon. She was seven lbs, seven oz. or at least that is what I think Morgan, my daughter-in-law said. Cindy and I drove the two hours (short Texas ride) to Tyler to meet this new precious child. Both mom and daughter were doing fine.

On Sunday, Sydney wasn’t eating. Over night Morgan decided something wasn’t right and she was taking her to the pediatrician Monday morning and she did. They checked our little girl’s blood sugar and it wouldn’t even register. As a diabetic I know how I feel when my blood sugar falls into the 50s. I can’t begin to comprehend what that little girl was feeling.

The pediatrician’s office building also housed an emergency room in it. They rushed her over. While they were putting in an IV she started seizing. As soon as they could stabilize her they flew both Morgan and Sydney to Dallas where they have been since.

They continue to have difficulty stabilizing her blood sugar. But about 9:45 tonight (Tuesday) I got a text from Christopher (my son). He said the doctors had just been in. Though Sydney had seizures throughout the night and morning, she had not had a seizure since noon today. If she remains seizure free overnight they may take her off the EEG tomorrow. Her blood sugar remains unregulated but they are continuing to work on that.

We are all very thankful for this good news but also realize there is still a ways to go. She remains sedated and as I said, she still has blood sugar issues and remains in NICU. But, this is a HUGE step forward.

Needless to say, Christopher and Morgan are beyond stressed and exhausted. Sydney’s two older sisters, Jenna and Natalie are feeling the impact too. Jenna has some understanding of what is happening but is such a tenderhearted little girl it surely has upset her. Natalie isn’t old enough to understand yet but she is a mama’s girl and clearly understands that mama isn’t around right now.

Cindy and I are both upset of course. Today I found myself stressed to the point I had no focus. My normal Tuesday activity, sermon preparation, didn’t happen. But, it isn’t Sunday, yet.

I chose the text above because Jesus heals quite a few people, with many different maladies. I see it much like where Sydney is right now. There are a lot of kids at Children’s Hospital in Dallas. They are dealing with many different conditions and just as Jesus was there for all those people, God is present and at work for all those children, including our Sydney.

I also picked the text because, when I read about the Canaanite woman whose daughter was in need of Jesus’ healing power, this was a Mother on a Mission. She was determined to get her daughter the help she needed. I see that in my daughter-in-law. Don’t get in the way of that mama when it comes to the help any of her three daughters need. In Christopher’s defense, I know he would move heaven and earth to see to the needs of those little girls. I shouldn’t neglect him.

I have no doubt, God’s hand is sitting with Sydney right now. I am thankful.

I know that we just started our look at Psalms a few days ago and I am already out of it. At this point, though the news is better right now, I will not make any promises that I am going to get anything written in the next few days. I had quite a bit on my plate this week before all this occurred. As of now, most of it is still on my calendar. Just know, I am committed to Psalms but, when things happen, I will always put the plan on the back burner. Sometimes it might even happen because I feel God leading me to something different for a day or two. I will return to the Psalm work before too much longer. I hope you understand.

Please keep Sydney, Morgan, Christopher, Jenna, and Natalie in your prayers. They are all in special need right now. Thank you in advance for what you do to support us.

In search of the genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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Refuge in God, the Church (Psalm 2)

Why do the nations rant? Why do the peoples rave uselessly?
The earth’s rulers take their stand; the leaders scheme together
    against the Lord and against his anointed one.
        “Come!” they say. “We will tear off their ropes
        and throw off their chains!”
The one who rules in heaven laughs; my Lord makes fun of them.
But then God speaks to them angrily; then he terrifies them with his fury:
        “I hereby appoint my king on Zion,
my holy mountain!”

I will announce the Lord’s decision: He said to me, “You are my son,
        today I have become your father.
Just ask me, and I will make the nations your possession;
    the far corners of the earth will be your property.
You will smash them with an iron rod;

you will shatter them like a pottery jar.”

10 So kings, wise up! Be warned, you rulers of the earth!
11 Serve the Lord reverently—trembling, 12 kiss his feet
        or else he will become angry, and your way will be destroyed
    because his anger ignites in an instant.

But all who take refuge in the Lord are truly happy! (Psalm 2:1-12, Common English Bible)

I thought I would share a story (actually more of an idea) with you I ran across in Homiletics Online, an online magazine used by many preachers. I have subscribed since 1998. Other than Homiletics I have no idea who to credit. The writer isn’t named.

“Maybe it’s time for a remake of Frank Capra’s beloved 1946 film, It’s a Wonderful Life — only this time, with the main character being not a banker, but a minister. Clarence, the clumsy but well-meaning angel, would escort the Rev. George Bailey not to an imaginary Bedford Falls bereft of a savings-and-loan, but one without a single church.

“What would it be like to live in such a community? Would there be the same levels of volunteerism, of civility, of simple human kindness?

What would happen to the teenager who’s been finding refuge from his abusive family in the church’s youth group? Or the divorced single mother who discovered that her volunteer experience as a Sunday School teacher helped her find employment as a teacher’s aide in the local school? Or the potential suicide whose life was changed after sitting down with the pastor in Starbucks for a cup of coffee and a heart-to-heart chat?

Our churches are worth more than we could ever imagine. What we have is more than a building. Of course, the Church is not a building at all. But, that said, even our buildings are worth more than we might think. Sure a dollar figure can be given to a building. A building costs so much to build. A building costs another amount to insure.

Our buildings are worth more than money because for many, they are a refuge from the storms of the world. The church is a place to escape, even if for a short time, the difficulties of life. For a period, we can find refuge from whatever it is that brings weight upon our shoulders. It is a place to learn. It is a place to find peace. It is a place for experience. It is a place with ears to listen.

The question has been asked, “If this church were to close its doors today, would anyone notice.” I would hope so. I would hope so for all he reasons I just said.

But, here is the thing, the building is not what makes the real difference. And in truth, the only refuge a building can offer is physical protection. It can keep the rain off our heads, it might give us refuge from the dark. We can find refuge in the building but it is all about the physical.

The psalmist speaks of refuge in God and how that refuge brings us to a place of joy. The building might be a place to escape, but we really escape to God, and that escape, that protection is of the spirit and it lasts longer than an hour on Sunday morning. Yes, we can feel weight lifted, but it is God who lifts the weight, not a building. Yes, the church building can be a place where we learn, but it is God who is the real teacher. Yes, we gain experience but God leads us in the way of light and life, and in God is where we gain experience. The Church is a place of listening ears. But, while people may listen, God never fails to hear. We always pray the Church might be a place of peace, but we pray because we know that God is the origin of peace.

When we take our refuge in anything of this world, even the Church building, we must remember, the refuge is temporary. We always find real and lasting refuge in the arms of Almighty God.

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Searching for the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

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A Change in Attitude

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You were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only don’t let this freedom be an opportunity to indulge your selfish impulses, but serve each other through love.  All the Law has been fulfilled in a single statement: Love your neighbor as yourself.  But if you bite and devour each other, be careful that you don’t get eaten up by each other! (Galatians 5:13-15, Common English Bible)

 

I haven’t posted on here in quite a while. I really need to get better about that. I will try. This post came about because of thoughts that have been bouncing around in my head for a couple of days. Hope you enjoy. Feel free to leave your comments.

several years things seem to have changed in our society. We just don’t seem to treat each other with the kind of love and dignity and respect I seem to remember from when I was a child. Our society has gotten mean. I wish I could say it just rested in our polarized and partisan politics but nothing could be further from the truth.

I think there may be a couple of things at work. I first started noticing this shift in the days following 9/11. Perhaps part of it is rooted in a fear that we no longer feel safe in our communities. But I think there is more to it than that. It seems to me that this shift also parallels the rise in those of our population who participate in social media. While it is not an anonymous platform, it has become a place where it is easy to attack others, particularly those we do not know and/or who share different ideas from our own.

Because this rise in viciousness has continued to escalate since the last presidential election, we have seen more than the usual mudslinging. The gloves came off early and every candidate has seen the level of hateful rhetoric increase exponentially and they have not been immune from dishing out their fair share and more. And, I wish I could write here that it was just the candidates who were spewing so much hate, but it is not. The level of distrust, the level of animosity seems to come from the citizen as well as the candidate.

I wish I were writing this to beg non-Christians to stop because it was a behavior that, by-in-large was an activity in which Christians were not participating. But to think as such, would be wrong in more ways than I would care to count.

To some degree this is to be expected from non-Christians. I am not trying to say Christians are better than non-Christians or should be better than non-Christians. My point with that statement is simply to say, we shouldn’t expect non-Christians to behave as though they are Christian. How can we expect Christian behavior from people who do not know Christian behavior and have little interest in such?

It seems to me, we as Christians should know better. We are supposed to be people who know and live in the behavior of love. Yet what I see from many cannot be classified as love to anyone’s way of thinking. Paul’s words above serve as a warning to us. “But if you bite and devour each other, be careful that you don’t get eaten up by each other!

As I have stewed over this the past couple of days, the meme above floated across my Facebook feed. It gave me an idea. In truth, while I love what the meme says, I really do not expect any politician to cease tearing down their opponents. I actually think that is part of our problem. We used to elect statesmen. Today we elect politicians. It has been a long time since we had a real statesman in the White House. But, I digress.

As I was thinking, the idea ran through my mind, “I can’t stop the politicians from bashing each other, but I can stop bashing them.” I know I am far from perfect and I feel pretty certain that between now and November 8th I will say something negative about some candidate for some office, but I at least want to try.

Because I am a pastor I really try to refrain from talking much about politics, particularly around my church members. Again, I’m not always successful, but I do try. What I want to try even harder to do is, if I speak at all, to speak only positively about the candidates I support. When I talk politics, I want to talk about why my particular candidate should be elected, not why the candidate I oppose should not be.

The truth is, right now, in at least some of the elections I will vote in this November, I haven’t made up my mind. The current political rhetoric out of both politicians and the public I do not find helpful. Tell me what you are going to do, what your candidate is going to do, why that person should be elected and allow me to make up my mind. I will not make up my mind by only hearing why someone in the opposition should not be elected.

As both a citizen and child of God, I pledge to work hard to be positive in the days ahead. Perhaps if we all were to work on that, we might see a change for the better in the society in which we live. I believe as people of faith the Scriptures seem pretty clear. We are to act in love and back-biting is the polar opposite of that. Not only that, if we were to all start focusing on the positive not only would our society seem better, I think we all might be a little more happy in life regardless of who wins any of the upcoming elections.

That is what I think and that is my pledge. With God’s help I believe I can follow through with that. Will you join me?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Grace and Peace,

Keith

Copyright 2016, James “Keith” Broyles, All Rights Reserved