New Year…Fresh Start – Quit Smoking

Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves? You have been bought and paid for, so honor God with your body (1 Corinthians 6:29-20, Common English Bible).

My Disclaimer – I am a former smoker. As far as some of you are concerned I am about to quit preachin’ and go to meddlin’. I make no apologies for that. Whether I know you or not, I love you and I want what is best for you. So, if you are a smoker, you’ve been warned.

If you are a smoker and you do nothing else this year, QUIT SMOKING!!!!! Yes, I am a former smoker. I quit about 30 years ago. I have many friends and relatives who have quit. It is a nasty habit that is no longer socially acceptable and is prohibited in many places. It is also VERY expensive. One of the things that got me to quit was when I realized every time I lit a cigarette I might as well take a dollar bill and light it instead. It was essentially what I was doing and it would be a lot cheaper and cigarettes were a lot cheaper then than they are now. Every time I see $50 (or more) a carton, I am so glad I quit.

But none of those are the real reason I want you to quit. If you have been reading this blog over the past four months, you know that my father passed away back in October. What I don’t think I said in any of the blogs I wrote during that time was, my father died because he had smoked. He had lung cancer brought on by smoking. He hadn’t smoked in years. In fact, he had quit before I did (don’t think that hasn’t given me reason to pause and think about some of my decisions earlier in life). When my dad was first diagnosed with lung cancer he was talking to another member of the family who still smokes. Dad asked him, “Would you do me a favor?” The answer was sure. Then dad said, “Quit smoking.” I can’t help but echo my dad’s words.

In some of the research I have done for this post I ran across a few interesting ideas. First was this quote, “Rather than you smoking a cigarette, the cigarette is really smoking you.” Wow. In truth I never really considered that, but it is true.

A second quote said, “Every time you light up a cigarette you are saying your life really isn’t worth living.” You say that because every time you light up you are taking a little more time off your life.

“There are no benefits of smoking. Cigarettes don’t make you healthier they make you worse. They are dangerous. They are terrible for your health and they will harm your lungs.” I really don’t think I can add any more to that one.

“Smoking in no way honors God’s body. Your body is His and you are just borrowing it. In no way does smoking glorify God.” Our Scripture lesson for today backs this one up.

I love the verses that are our lesson today. Or don’t you know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you? Don’t you know that you have the Holy Spirit from God, and you don’t belong to yourselves? You have been bought and paid for, so honor God with your body. I know there are ways that I too need to do a better job of honoring God with my body and I am working on it. Yesterday’s post is one of those. But that was yesterday, and yes, I know I need to work on it and I am working on it. But today? Today is a new topic. Are you ready to work on this one.

I don’t care if it is a New Year’s Resolution or not. I want you to quit. I love you and want you around for a while. None of us are perfect, but this is one place we can make a move that really matters.

Will you make that move?

Have a blessed day in the Lord.

Joy and Peace,

Copyright 2017, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved


Spirita Spiro (Esperanza for "Spirit's Breath) is rather new in my life. But the blog is not. I began writing a blog several years ago. It lived under the title, "The Pastor Ponders." Over the years I have tried several different names and "The Pastor Ponders" always seemed to fit best. I am trying again with Spirita Spiro. For 27 years I was a full-time pastor in the United Methodist Church. This year, August 2018, I semi-retired (I can't actually retire quite yet) and began teaching social studies. It is something I have always wanted to do and if I was going to do this, I needed to make it sooner rather than later. So, I made the move. I thought with the career change there also needed to be a name change to the blog and other things, such as spiritual direction. Spirita Spiro is my attempt to share some of my thoughts. I often share what I am thinking with my dog "Bishop," but he keeps his thoughts to himself. He will even go to sleep sometimes while I am sharing my thoughts with him. The truth is, if it doesn't involve getting his ears scratched, his belly rubbed or some kind of treat, he really doesn't care. I will say this for him, he never argues with me or tells me I am wrong. So, I decided to share some of my thoughts with whoever might come across this blog in their ramblings around the Internet. I live with my wife Cindy and our little dog in Lufkin, Texas. I spent the past 27 years as a full-time United Methodist pastor. Most recently I served as pastor of First United Methodist Church in Sweeny, Texas. I have also served United Methodist congregations throughout East Texas including rural Madison County (Elwood UMC), Lovelady (First UMC) and Kennard (Center Hill UMC), Canton (First UMC), rural Smith County (Mt. Sylvan UMC and Union Chapel UMC), Grapeland (First UMC), Tyler (Pleasant Retreat UMC), Santa Fe (Aldersgate UMC), Freeport (First UMC) and Oyster Creek (Oyster Creek UMC), Diboll (First UMC), and now Sweeny (First UMC). My wife Cindy and I have been married for over 40 years. We have two grown sons. Wayne and his wife Nikki and all our grandsons (Kaleb, Noah, and Jaxon) live in Southern California. Christopher and his wife Morgan and both our granddaughters (Jenna and Natalie) live in Tyler Texas. I enjoy preaching and all aspects of preaching from research to writing to the actual preaching event. I also love writing, reading, playing the guitar as well as a bit of drawing. I have spent quite a bit of time over the past two years working with paracord on various projects, mostly prayer ropes I usually give away. I sing bass with a local barbershop chorus called The Coastalaires. I have also recently begun doing a little wood carving. I also enjoy playing with Bishop, something he likes a great deal better than listening to my thoughts. I hold an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Business Data Processing, specializing in Microcomputers from San Jacinto College in Pasadena, Texas, 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. When I was a student at Carolina, the school was in Iron Station North Carolina. They have since relocated to Manassas Virginia (Yeah, go figure, a school named Carolina geographically in Virginia). This blog is mostly devotional writing, but there are other things here too. Just about every week I will either post my sermon manuscript or a video of the worship service. On occasion, I will post something I see in society. Occasionally I write a short story, a poem, or a song and will post it here too. I will say this, my motivations for writing this blog are really selfish. I write it to get what I am thinking out of my head and onto something a bit more permanent. They say, after all, once something is on the internet it never really goes away. Still, I hope you enjoy reading it. And, should you desire, you can one-up Bishop and actually tell me what you think. Who knows, it might generate a bit of discussion between you and me and anyone else who might make their way here. With Joy and Thankfulness, Keith Sweeny, Texas May 2018

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