I Want to Thank…

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,
Keith

Copyright 2020, 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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