About Acronyms

I want to tell you about Ken (Not his real name). Ken is one of many special members I’ve had in my congregations over the years. Ken has Down’s Syndrome. He is a loving and joyful man. He loves his church like no one I’ve seen before. He has a love for Jesus that is remarkable. Though he is an adult, for years he has gone to church camp. He usually attends as a middle school youth. The other kids in his cabin are usually skeptical at the beginning of the week. By the end, the other kids love Ken and Ken loves all those other kids.

There is something else Ken absolutely loves. He loves acronyms. And, he knows a lot of acronyms.

UGLY is Ken’s acronym. It was by far his favorite. It stands for, “Unconditionally God Loves You.” The first time I heard it was on my first Sunday serving Ken’s congregation. Ken walked up to me, looked me up and down then said, “Pastor Keith, you’re ugly.” That was a surprise. It isn’t something pastors usually hear their first Sunday. Second Sunday? Perhaps they hear it, perhaps I had heard it and I didn’t remember. It might even be true but people are usually kinder than that. Ken asks me, “Do you know what it means?” I confessed that I didn’t. Ken continued, “You know, UGLY, Unconditionally God Loves You.”

Most of us can remember at least a few. Some like these.

  • ASAP – As soon as possible (not for Ken)
  • BTW – By the Way
  • BRB – Be Right Back
  • BBS – Be Back Soon
  • BRB – Be Right Back
  • BTW – By the Way
  • TTYL – Talk To You Later

Those who text quite a bit on their phones know more than I ever will. There are too many for my pea sized brain.

I was always amazed at how many of these things Ken knew.

  • FROG – Fully Rely On God
  • PRAY – Pray. Repent, Ask, Yield
  • BIBLE – Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth
  • PUSH – Push Pray Until Something Happens
  • UGLY – Unconditionally God Loves You
  • ASAP – Always Say a Prayer

There are many more. Sometimes one will show up on my screen that I don’t understand. When I first saw IMHO I started at it for a bit and finally had to ask the friend for a meaning – “In My Humble Opinion.”

Acronyms can be a lot of fun, but I also think we all have to understand.

On my last Sunday as his pastor, Ken was busily working on something throughout the sermon. I found it a little surprising. Ken was usually one to follow the sermon closely and often would ask me a question about it after church. At one point I saw he was carrying around a piece of paper he had written on. After the service ended, he came up to me and said, “Pastor Keith, I did this for you. These are all my acronyms and what they mean.” And, sure enough, both sides were covered with acronyms.

I thanked him and he started to leave. “Ken,” I said. He stopped and made his way back to me. I put my arm on his shoulder and I said, “Ken, You are UGLY.”

He was quick to come back, “Yeah, well you’re B.A.D.”

I checked my quick reference sheet he just given me. There it was: “Blessed and Delivered.” Ken was right, I absolutely am. I know I am blessed by God because God continues to bring people like Ken into my life.

We were interrupted by someone else wanting to talk to me. Ken started laughing. He didn’t stop until he was out the door.

Blessings on you this evening.

Seeking the Genuine,
Keith

Copyright 2020, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved
Permission give for the non-commercial use of this material.

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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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