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Abandoned Babies

November 8th, 2009

I Have Cut the Cord

I am in torment. Okay, not really. But I’m a little disturbed.

I haven’t had a cigar since 2007, unless my memory is faulty. Which it is, but still, I think I’m right. I don’t think smoking a cigar is a sin, but they started keeping me awake at night, and I found it harder and harder to find convenient times when I could smoke them, early enough in the day to avoid sleeplessness. Months without a cigar turned into a year. Tobacco-free time piled up, and now it has been nearly two years.

Once I realized it had been a very long time since my last smoke, I felt a motivational barrier between me and my stogies. I just could not reach for one. Sometimes I got them out of the Rubbermaid storage box, but I always put them back.

My sister was diagnosed with lung cancer. My mother and my aunt died from it. Two of my great-grandmothers died from it, although neither smoked. My uncle died from stomach cancer which was probably related to tobacco use. All four of my maternal grandfather’s daughters smoke or smoked.

My family has grown a lot of cigarette tobacco, and I have been against it for decades. I suspect that our addiction and cancer problems are spiritual blowback related to selling a poisonous addictive drug. We’ve killed a good number of people, and we haven’t made much money from it, so we don’t even have the excuse of financial incentive.

For a while now, I’ve felt that it was hypocritical to have cigars around. They’re not addictive, and they won’t make you ill. Not unless you suck on them night and day. But tobacco is a horrible drug. Probably the worst drug man has ever encountered. If I keep it around, I’m going to feel like I’m giving Satan his own little place in my closet. A foothold.

Perry Stone notes that a minor error in one generation of a family can become a major sin for the next. It’s an interesting point. Grandpa smokes a pipe. Dad smokes cigarettes. Junior smokes dope and cigarettes. Junior’s son smokes crack. Things like this really do happen. It has happened in my own family. A family’s morals tend to move in one direction or the other. If I have cigars in my house, wouldn’t it be easier for the young people who see them to accept cigarettes?

Spirits follow families, and they are associated with objects we possess. No sane Christian would own a Ouija board or a Hindu idol or a stack of porn magazines. It’s important to keep a clean house, morally as well as physically. That’s indisputable. So is it okay to keep a big pile of expensive cigars in your closet? How can I pray for my sister to get over her cancer and her addiction when I keep tobacco for myself? Besides, while cigars in moderation don’t cause cancer, they do fill you with nicotine, which renders your body less capable of fighting new cancers that arise from other causes.

Charles Spurgeon smoked cigars. I read about it while making this decision. But Charles Spurgeon didn’t know everything.

My cigars are sitting by the side of the road right now. I have to apologize to Aaron, because I was planning to donate them to his study group. He gets together with other Jews, under the authority of a rabbi, and they talk religion while enjoying good stogies. I wanted to send the cigars to him, but I can’t rationalize taking something questionable out of my house and putting it in someone else’s. So I put 19 boxes of delicious smokes–most of them Cubans–out in the trash heap. It’s like throwing out a stack of twenty-dollar bills.

I feel like I left a baby out there. Oh, my poor stogies. I think I’m having heart palpitations. But the reality is, I am never going to smoke them. Tell me I’m going to survive this day.

Here’s a prayer request:

Steve,
I am having arthroscopic knee surgery tomorrow. It is on my “good” knee. The other needs total replacement but we are trying to save this one from going down that road. I got up this morning with extremely high blood pressure, probably from anxiety, stress and pain, but I know they won’t do the surgery tomorrow if it is still this high. Please prayer for my anxiety to cease, my blood pressure to be normal and for a good outcome of the surgery. The surgery I am confident of, but I need that BP down. Thanks for your prayers for me and for the many others you intercede for.
Ruth

Hop on it while I weep for my smokes.

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6 Responses to “Abandoned Babies”

  1. Cond0010 Says:

    “Oh, my poor stogies. I think I’m having heart palpitations.”
    .
    LOL you are too funny. But in a good way… ;)

  2. Ruth H Says:

    You are a blessing. I’m down to 135 / 75, it was 195 over 105. Now to keep it that way. I’ve got to clear my mind as well as depending on prayer, but keep it up. And thank you for all of us who call on you when we need your prayers.

  3. Steve in CA Says:

    I used to smoke 3 packs of cigarettes a day. I quit over 20 years ago. I allow myself 2 cigars a year, usually on a camping trip. I still have 1 cuban and just can never find the occasion to smoke it. It has been now nearly two years since that last cigar. It is difficult to find the right time, maybe it’s never.

  4. Steve H. Says:

    I had no idea I had this many cigars. I multiplied 19 by the approximate average cost of a box, and my knees got weak.

  5. Anonymous Says:

    Freud died from cancer of the jaw. No doubt it was cigar-related. Of course, he really did suck on them all the time (but it didn’t mean anything, psychologically speaking).

    I quit a 25 year snuff habit two months ago, after about a year of praying to be delivered from my addiction. I was and am delivered, glory be to God.

  6. Aaron's cc: Says:

    Well, you still have pork.
    .
    It’s a good month if I can manage the time for more than one cigar.
    .
    I’m politically pro-cigar for the reason I’m pro-Second Amendment. If I don’t exercise rights, they tend to be whittled away by an increasingly totalitarian majority. If you decide to put your firearms in the garbage, I’ll consider what it takes to have you committed to an institution.
    .
    I entirely understand that this was a personal issue for you.
    .
    There’s an interesting lesson in the laws of the Nazirite who takes a vow to neither cut his hair, come in contact with the dead (even a close relative), nor partake from grapes and its derivatives for the purpose of correcting a personal character flaw. When the period of the vow is over, they are obligated to bring a sin offering because they denied themselves something God permits.
    .
    We pulled the plug on our TV in 1996. Doesn’t mean we won’t glance at one nor enjoy a show at someone else’s. It’s just that having a “loaded TV” with topics antithetical to our values randomly and frequently exposed to our children doesn’t fit well with the values with which we are trying to raise them. Adults can choose to be moderate in their exposure.
    .
    This is ironic. My birthday was 2 weeks ago and my wife surprised me with a couple of cigars. She’s never done that before. She HATES how I smell after I have one. OTOH, she admits that I’m relaxed and in a great mood after one. I realized that it’s probably been over a year since I purchased cigars, except for those I bought in a cigar store where I sat and watched the Super Bowl (my one game a season).
    .
    It’s hard to do things in moderation.
    .
    Another idea comes to mind. The Biblical curse of tzaraas (incorrectly translated as leprosy but likened to it due to appearance) was due to a sin, primarily of gossip, not disease. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tzaraath#The_metzorah:_management_of_tzaraath_of_human_flesh Note the purification ritual.While traditionally, tzaraas didn’t happen to gentiles, there were exceptions. Tzaraas definitely confirms your recent observations about the connections between spiritual and physical health. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tzaraath#Cause_and_treatment A house (!) afflicted with tzaraas would have affected stones removed (expelling cigars?). If the tzaraas re-appeared, the house would be dismantled.
    .
    May your spiritual and material sacrifice be accepted.