My good friend Roger visited with us earlier this week before heading back to Celebration where he will be staying the next few months. Roger, a long time follower of Jesus Christ has finally been blessed to live in Central Florida, one of his life long dreams.
It is greatly unfortunate he is here for a medical reason rather than on vacation or on one of his many adventure trips. You see Roger’s mother was diagnosed with cancer and she will be operated on tomorrow. Following unsuccessful previous treatment, Dona is now entrusting a purpose driven medical team in Celebration with the removal of her cancerous tumors.
I pray and lift-up Dona, that God performs a miracle in her life and rids her of the cancer that has been draining the life from her and hope you will also say a prayer for her and her family.
A little over a year ago Roger lost his father, then shortly after Dona found out she had cancer. The past couple years have certainly been challenging for Roger. You couldn’t tell by looking at him though; he’s lost weight, has been working out and follows a strict diet. He hasn’t look this good in ten years! Elizabeth and I were blown away to hear his plan to continue exercising and get in the best shape of his life, way to go Roger! But there is one little thing Roger confessed: He started smoking again…
Roger smoked when he first me back in 1991, when we both worked at Disney’s EPCOT Center. He quit a few times since, then started again, seemingly smoking out of mood rather than addiction. Never the less, he knows smoking is wrong by God and continues to defile his body in spite of God’s commands. What’s troubling is that he went on making excuses trying to justify his habit yet also quoted scripture “Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?” (1 Cor 6:19)
Roger knows I lost my mother to throat and lung cancer, that she too was a smoker and paid a hefty price for her continual disregard of God’s decrees. Hers and my dad’s chain smoking greatly affected my childhood. To this day, I am reminded of both their habits each time I get heart palpitations when exercising or worse yet, when I gasp for air during asthma episodes. Add to this severe chronic bronchitis and you get one frustrated second hand smoker! What’s ironic is my story is that even though I never smoked a day in my life, I am permanently injured because of cigarette smoke.
I have to admit to not thinking very highly of smokers. Although I try and understand the addictive side of smoking, I cannot justify the willingness to continue defiling one’s body little by little. The bible is clear about these small habits that eat at one’s soul. “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” (Gal 6:7)
Is the issue the fact that smoking is legal? No it’s not. Guns, prescription medication and even alcohol are all legal yet a wise person knows what to do with each one according to God’s word. Since there are no excuses for smoking and Roger can’t find reason enough in scripture, how can I help him quit smoking so he doesn’t end up on the operating table himself?
By praying for him. By holding him accountable and reminding him that it is the devil that brings forth the temptation to defile his body. It is pure evil that is succeeding in killing him one breath at a time. That each cigarette shortens his life by 15-30 minutes. That each time he inhales the poison that is nicotine he defies God and faces judgement for his addiction.
I can also educate him on the fact he needs to surround himself with tools to help him quit such as a nicotine patch or nicotine gum to soothe a craving. I can help him set goals for himself and be there to rejoice with him when he meets or surpasses these goals. I can be sympathetic when he fails, when he falls. I can continue encourage him along his habitual road until he is smoke free, just as God commands me to.
If you are a smoker trying to quit or are helping someone quit, I invite you to call or email us for prayer and encouragement. This addictive sinful habit has choked the life of too many of God’s children and must be stopped.
We thank you for this day
Thank you for all that surrounds us,
Praise you father for all that came
All that is, and that will be.
Lord we thank you for looking after us
And guiding us each day,
Leading us to be more like you
Spreading gratitude throughout.
We pray you will continue to bless our lives
And we ask that you strengthen us when tempted
By sinful addictions, habits or ungodly ways.
Thank you lord father for your ever growing splendor.
This message was written by Daniel St.Pierre