My dad stopped smoking about two decades ago after his personal physician told him that he'd die if he didn't.
Whenever I've asked him if he misses it, he says, "Every damn day of my life."
Addictions are like that.
Bad things taste good.
That's why they're so, uh, tempting.
They taste good but don't digest well.
Getting back to my favorite nuns at the Scriptorium in Maryland, they like to say, "When tempted, turn to the right!"
Somebody said, "Sex is the greatest temptation for a young man, money for an older man, and power for a mature man."
I don't think so.
I see human nature through Pauline and Freudian filters; assuming any of the three can pop up at any time which is so reminiscent of those embarrassing moments when called to the chalkboard in 8th grade without warning.
I may be wrong but I think mainline bureaucrats and jingoists are so addicted to the way things never were or maybe were but are no more that they're not sober enough to see what's happened to their formerly faithful franchises.
I think of the guy down South who rationalized his employment: "Tobacco built this church."
Then there was one of the smartest women who I've ever met who is now home with Jesus but once said to me in one her less bright moments, "There's no proof that tobacco causes cancer."
That's why I still think JM should pick RB as his running mate.
He's right smack in the middle of tobacco country; yet he said a few days ago, "We do not need another government bureaucracy to tell us the obvious: cigarettes are not safe."
That's the kind of courage we need in church and government; saying what's true regardless of the responses from those who are false.
By the way, he's also against government regulating tobacco.
I'm with him on that too.
I mean if government is going to regulate tobacco, it should also regulate rap music, women who shouldn't wear two-piece bathing suits, and fat guys who wear Speedos.
Government regulations remind me of golf courses which require collared shirts but let guys wear cut-off blue jeans and women wear tank tops.
Of course, common sense in government and church is like those single guys in carts speeding around golf courses who think it's the number of holes played rather than the quality of each hole that matters; and I won't mention their ignorance about singles not having the right of way.
It's all so addicting.
I'm really into this "Ask Jesus" strategy for discerning His will for life and ministry.
If you've got a challenge or temptation or decision before you, just ask Jesus.
Unless He's lying, He promises to answer; but, of course, once He answers, we better...
Have you ever meditated on that old Gospel hymn "Trust and Obey"?
Go back to the previous section.
Now go to the hymn and meditate a while.
I asked Jesus what He wants us to say to mainline bureaucrats and jingoists.
Before the answer came, I started thinking about the Sanhedrin and its Biblical kin and how so many mainline bureaucrats and jingoists remind me of 'em and tempt me to believe in reincarnation.
The answer came: "Tell Pharaoh, 'Let me people go!'"
I started singing Jason Upton's "Freedom."
You can hear/see it by going to YouTube and searching for Jason Upton's, uh, "Freedom."
But stay away from the other tempting stuff.
Getting back to tobacco, it's addicting.
As one comic concluded, "You could put a skull and crossbones on every package and call 'em Tumors and people would still line up to buy 'em."
Yeah, that's about right.
Addictions are like that.
The only way to get rid of 'em is to turn to the right.
But be careful because they can pop up again at any time like a...
Blessings and Love!