Pass the… Car Keys

Let them offer thanksgiving sacrifices and declare what God has done in songs of joy! (Psalm 107:22, Common English Bible)

This is part 4 in the November Thanksgiving series, “Pass the…” for a listing on the other posts please see the index.

One of my favorite Thanksgiving memories came courtesy of my father-in-law, the late Mearl Oquinn Jr.

I don’t remember the year but of course we arrived at my in-laws early. Just about as quickly as we walked in the door Mearl handed me his car keys and just said, “Keith, Come on. Let’s go.” While the “request” was a bit unusual, it wasn’t totally unheard of either so I didn’t ask any questions and kept my winter coat on and walked right back out the door Cindy, the boys and I had just come in.

Once we were outside I said, “Are you sure you don’t want to drive? You know where we are are going.”

Mearl just said, “No, you drive. Take us up to the church.” While I don’t remember the year, I am pretty sure I was already in ministry. Even if I wasn’t, we attended different churches. Beyond that, we were in a town with several pages of churches in the Yellow Pages. Still, there was never a question in my mind where he intended for us to go. So, we got in his truck and headed to “the church.”

I still didn’t know why we were going there but getting an ice chest of ice or borrowing a fellowship hall table and some chairs were real possibilities.  When we arrived at the church there were several cars there already. I did think that was unusual for Thanksgiving morning. Mearl told me to pull in and park close to the Fellowship Hall.

Once inside I saw Cindy’s oldest brother Jimmy inside. There were a few other people I knew. Then one of the church leaders began to speak. “If ‘Meals-on-Wheels’ drivers take Thanksgiving Day off, that would mean no food for their clients. We are stepping in to fill the gap. By each of us making a few stops, ‘Meals on Wheels’ clients still get their food and the drivers get a much deserved day off.”

Mearl and I got into a line. We got the names and addresses of four clients and an “ice chest” with the appropriate number of hot meals in it. Then we started out to make our deliveries.

There is nothing like stepping out to meet a need to remind you to first, be thankful of all you have and second, to realize just how blessed you are.

That day I was thankful for the opportunity to serve. This opportunity reminded me of my many blessings, one of which was that I had a family I could gather with to celebrate the blessings God gives to us. Some of these folks didn’t even have that. Other than perhaps the food in their delivered meal, Thanksgiving was just like any other day.

What sticks out the loudest for me, however, is how thankful each client was that day. At a time when they could have been bitter or angry for the lousy hand life had dealt them, these folks were thankful not only for the meal, they were thankful to me for having brought the food do them.

Our lesson today reminds us to offer thanksgiving sacrifices. I guess you could say that I was doing that but in retrospect, it just doesn’t seem like much of a sacrifice. Still, it makes my heart glad to sing this song of joy!

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Grace and Peace,

Copyright 2016, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved

Published by drjkbroyles

I love Mike Ashcraft's book, "My One Word." For the past nine years I have participated and encouraged others to participate to in the "My One Word" Challenge. My first word was discipline was my word the first year. Since then my word has been focus, sight, jungle, peace, concentration, serve, genuine and this year is fit. I seek to be fit for my health, my family, my church, my ministries. I seek to be fit in any are of my life where God might point to me. I also have a nickname, "Dr. B." When I was a public high school teacher, Dr. B. is what most of my students called me, at least in my presence. I am still called that by many people though I no longer teach in public schools. I am the author of "Average Joe: With an Extraordinary Story" (available on Amazon). The book fits into the genre of "Biblical Fiction" or "Christian Fiction" and features some of the Bible's lesser known characters. The name of my blog is, "Fork in the Road." Life is filled with forks in the road. It isn't a matter of if we encounter a fork in the road, but when will we and how many will we experience in a lifetime. I love to strum my guitar. I am not a great guitar player but I enjoy it. I also enjoy writing music. I get excited with I feel a new song emerging. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog, "Bishop" in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 30 years as a United Methodist pastor, serving churches all over east and southeast Texas, from just north of Tyler to south of Houston, from the Gulf Coast to east of Madisonville. I currently serve Perritte Memorial UMC in Nacogdoches. I spent one year in the classroom, teaching High School government, economics, psychology, and sociology. Cindy and I have been married for 43 years. We have two grown sons and six grandchildren, three boys and three girls. I enjoy preaching and all it's aspects from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading. I have dabble in drawing and "painting" with pastels as well as woodworking and woodcarving. My current projects are two ukuleles. I collect, repair and restore guitars too. I play the guitar (badly, but I still do) I also enjoy working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, TX, 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. This blog started out as devotional writings. In August of 2020, I made a major change to the blog, switching to a daily theme format. Sunday Sermon-usually my manuscript sermon Miscellaneous Monday-misc. writing, poetry, ministry Tuesday Thoughts-Devotion Wed. with Wesleys-hist. & theol. of early Methodists TED Talk Thursday-Video & appl. in current theology Five for Friday-5 things I've seen & my thoughts Sing-Along Sat. - Usually a new song I have written I write, "Strumming a G-Chord with Dr.B." to get my thoughts onto something permanent. After all, they say, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. Seeking the Genuine, Keith Lufkin, Texas August 2020

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