TGIF 2

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42 Responses

  1. I used to be captured by that addiction also. My wife and I left that behind 4 yrs ago through the aid of Chantix. If you haven’t tried it I highly suggest it. I also know people who tried it and it didn’t work. The need for cigarettes left me within a week and I haven’t smoked since. I won’t say I haven’t wanted to…you see a scene in a movie with someone smoking and your mind says “A cigarette would be really good right now!”, but by the grace of God I am able to not give in.
    I will be praying for you!

  2. That last comment was me, Derek. Sorry I hadn’t set up a gravatar.

  3. Reuben says:

    Oh Michael, you would do this…

    I have been a smoker since I was 15.

  4. Michael says:

    Reuben,

    I love you and I don’t want your family and friends to go though what mine have had too…nor do I want you to go through what I have gone through.
    I’ll be praying for you…as will be others now, I’m sure.

  5. Michael says:

    Thank you, Nancy!
    Derek, I’m giving that a shot soon…it’s expensive, but so is the ambulance, 🙂

  6. covered says:

    After 3 packs a day for 32 years, 2 pastors laid hands on me and God took it away. I will never forget that one of the prayers was, “never let him think he had anything to do with this and remind him that it was YOU God Who delivered him…” It worked and never once after that prayer did I light up or even crave a cigarette. Michael, we will pray this for you and for you Rueben. It was one of the most gratifying and “freeing” events of my life and I want that for both you Michael and for you Reuben. Last time I checked, God is still in the business of healing and intercession…

  7. Michael says:

    Reuben,

    Let me say it again…I love you.
    I will do so whether you continue to smoke or not.
    God bless you for being honest to God…that’s when He begins to work.

  8. pardon ze interrupcion. says:

    It’s okay. To not be okay.

  9. nancy says:

    Reuben … praying for you as well… you & Michael are loved by many!

  10. Yeah, it is expensive, but if you add up how much you spend on cigarettes it is worth it. It was sort of weird. I would smoke less every day that week. Then finally on the last day, I tried a cigarette right after waking up and one puff and I knew I was through. I gave the good part of a whole carton to my platoon leader and had no withdrawal or anything. Gave me weird dreams while I was on it.

  11. Michael says:

    Covered,

    That is an awesome testimony…I believe it can happen for me.
    Thank you for being such an encouragement for me and others, my friend.

  12. erunner says:

    When you shared about your collapsed lung I decided to read up about it and saw that smoking is a big part of it and I wondered if you were a smoker. I don’t recall before today that you’ve ever shared this. I’ve never smoked so I can’t relate to what you and others experience.

    You’re an easy target for those who are so inclined but that’s cheap and ungodly. We all have our struggles and unfortunately too many of us don’t feel safe in sharing them with others. I’ll pray for you. God bless.

  13. Michael says:

    Thank you, Erunner.
    I’m too old to worry about what people think about my piety, I just want to be someone who helps others while getting help myself.

  14. Nonnie says:

    Praying for you MIchael….you too Reuben.
    It took getting pregnant for me to be able to quit over 35 years ago……I guess that’s not an option for you two.

  15. Paige says:

    I just want to be someone who helps others while getting help myself.
    Beautiful.

  16. Em says:

    i have an addicted daughter, as an emergency room nurse in a town just off of I-80 in Wyoming, she joined the others in a smoke after dealing with the highway carnage that came through the door quite regularly; now, stress = “i need a smoke” – she is the most disciplined, strong minded person i know and she can’t quit either – she’s a gorgeous Christian woman and an athlete and she stinks (i learned that word here)

    i think a tired, stressed body makes it much, much harder – praying

  17. Michael says:

    Thank you, Em…I may start a separate prayer list for addictions and other things that just won’t “break’.

  18. Chile says:

    “I’m too old to worry about what people think about my piety”–Michael

    This is priceless!

    Just prayed for you both. I’ve seen many with severe struggles in trying to quit finally get free! God delights in our taking our desperation to Him.

    We all have addictions. Seems to me that some socially acceptable ones are even harder to admit … even to ourselves.

  19. Paige says:

    My wonderful husband MrFixit is a former long time cig smoker….and he definitely states the biggest part of the addiction is the emotional ‘comfort’ part and needing to discover what it is driving the need to smoke, aside from the chemical neurotransmitter aspect. BTW, he quit by going on a 3 day hike into the woods w/o cigs…. and no option to buy more. hahah
    Seriously tho. nicotine is the closest thing to acetyl-choline, our most prevalent intra cellular communication molecule….. it profoundly affects the physical body. There are herbal, medicinal and alternative medicine modalities that help with the transition.

  20. Michael says:

    Chile,

    Thank you.
    While I was writing this I was thinking of those with addictions to anger, or porn, or approval…they need the same grace and hope that I’m being offered by the community today.
    I hope many will be able to tell God about their struggles even if they can’t confess to anyone else.

  21. Paige says:

    Amen, Michael #21…..

  22. Chantix. warning -it might be good to research it a bit as it can trigger some bad things – my daughter found that it messed with her mind – unpredictable

    FWIW – she’s tried just about everything and has found the electric cigarette the most effective (water vapor variety – not shock treatment)

    “We all have addictions. Seems to me that some socially acceptable ones are even harder to admit … even to ourselves.” amen to that … i have a hunch gossip is higher on the ladder than smoking

  23. “There are herbal, medicinal and alternative medicine modalities that help with the transition.” that was the route my son took … don’t know what, tho

  24. sarahkwolfe says:

    Praying for you, Michael…and for Reuben as well.

  25. Ixtlan says:

    I am an addict as well. Nicotine, morphine and alcohol are my drugs of choice that enslaved me. I have been free from the morphine,alcohol and all the other associated drugs for over 20 years, nicotine for about 20. I still think like an addict some times. THe Big Book of AA says that alcohol was just a symptom of our problem and it is true.. and then the relationship with the drug takes on a life of its own.

  26. Paul Lytton says:

    Michael,

    As with anything else, this may or may not work for you but I kind of found my case to be a little different than the ordinary. After I had been smoking for about thirteen years and tried several times to quit, I found it to be a crutch in calling it an “addition” mainly because it implied that it was not my fault. One day after not smoking for two days, due to having a sore throat, I became aware that in actuality I did not “need” it. I told myself that I will not claim that I am quitting, because again I did not want to show myself as being wrong should I smoke again, which I was sure I would do. I made a deal with myself. If I really feel I “need” to smoke, I will. If I feel I can go longer without it, I will not have a cig. at that time. That was sixteen years ago and I have not smoked since. I have had a couple thoughts about smoking but never a stronger desire than realizing that I do not “need” to have it.

    Of course it was through the help of God. But this was like any other thing you ask God to help you with. You ask Him to “help” you; you need to do your part as well. By admitting to the fact that I will do my part of not smoking until I reach the point of “need” (beyond my self-power), I first hand learned that I have more power than I thought I did.

    God bless you,
    Paul

  27. Pouredout says:

    You are an open book Michael! I commend you for that. We all have our vices. This is not a time to look back with loathing , look forward.

  28. n o m a n s says:

    So impressed with you right now. Father, strengthen my friend.

  29. witness says:

    my sojourner experience is one of being addicted to the experience that occurred one night when after midnight by a trash can and I rolled up my pack of Salem’s (yes menthol’s) into a crunched up bundle and threw them into the garbage. I looked into the beautiful night sky and while appreciating the wonder of countless entities in the night sky, I said God if you are real show yourself in my life, I Know I’m a sinner and I need a savior. That was 1977. Wow. I discarded my Rare Earth and Led Zeppelin albums and quit tobacco and Barcardi’s and swore to quit fornicating and live for Christ. Newness gave way eventually to the ordinary mundane substance of life and my foul nature and a gentleman’s appreciation of Scotch and fine cigars. My emotional ascent to the heavily kingdom surrendered to the daily struggle with self and the carnality inherited from Adam yet I held on to what I did know and in whom I believed. What happened since that hallmark of my spiritual journey has been nothing less than sin and grace, more sin and more grace. I can no longer walk away as I once did. I’ve recognized addictions are usually nothing more than interruptions and time outs on the way to what religious people call sanctification. My experience is less one of religiosity than it is one of final realization that I am a broken and wretched man and that my righteousness is filthy, rotten, phony and void of value. By grace, I’ve found rest in Christ and in his work and his love for me. I now know that another cigarette or another vino is less a barometer of my spiritual health than is my assumption that my freedom from such vices is a marker along the path to intimacy with Christ. The sins of the flesh pale in comparison to the spiritual darkness championing a righteousness found within a surrendered vice. Let us never find solace in anything other than the living Christ and his gift to us. Everything else is lip gloss and vanity, it is the mask we wear to appease ourselves and influence others. He is faithful to finish the work he began in us and it is that work that will find us one day astonished as to why we have found ourselves devoid of desires that once enslaved us. Onward Christian soldier!

  30. Jim says:

    Michael,

    I started doing drugs when I was 12. I was high on something every day for 10 years. At age 20 -21 I was done with all the hard stuff, but started every day with a joint, and a lot of days added a tall boy of bud for breakfast. At age 22, I had been married for two years, had a one year old daughter, and was still smoking pot all day, and pounding down beer at night. Oh-and 3-4 packs of Marlboro red a day.

    In August of 1982 (still 22 years old), God saved me.

    He took away the desire for beer and pot that day. No temptation-I was done. No such grace for cigarettes. I quit every day for three months. Crying, begging God, rebuking satan, scared to death because the rapture was imminent, and I knew that I wouldn’t go with a cigarette in hand (remember, I was a brand new believer, and pretty confused about some things). I finally quit.

    (Insert altar call here)

    Fast forward to 2007. My wife and I have raised three kids, and the youngest turns 21, gets a job an hour away, and moves out. We sell the house and buy a condo. I can stop living like a mormon because I know longer have to be an example for my kids.

    One day I decide I want a cigarette. I jump right back on the train like a junkie, and work back up to 3 packs a day, fast. Beer, I can take it or leave it. had maybe 5 last year, and none this year, but might have one tomorrow. But cigarettes are my heroin. I spent $9500 in 2011 on tobacco.

    I haven’t had a cigarette since January 1. I switched to e cigs at an equivalent cost of 66 cents a pack. I smoke American made, pharmaceutical grade stuff, not the made in China jusk sold at the mall, and while I’m ingesting some nicotine, my body feels like I don’t smoke. And yes, I had two days of not too bad withdrawal, because cigarette smokers are addicted to more than nicotine. The industry is evil.

    Anyway, it’s worth discussing with your Dr. The brand is halo, the model is g6, and the flavor is torque. I don’t sell the stuff, I just tell smokers about it.

    FWIW.

  31. Michael says:

    Jim, I wrote it all down and will give it to my doctor Monday. Thanks, my friend…good to see you again.

  32. Michael Snow says:

    Decades ago, the pastor’s wife in our church told us that she told God that if she was going to stop smoking, He would have to take the desire away. And He did.

    I had and uncle who, when his mother died of lung cancer, threw the cigarettes away and never looked back. These seem to be rare instances. But the reality of such happening may give hope. Praying!

  33. Tim says:

    Praying for you. Addictions tear people up in ways that many cannot understand. Christians are often overwhelmed with feelings of guilt, falsely thinking that “good Christians would never truly struggle like this.” I am so grateful to God that He saw fit to include Romans 7 in our Bibles.

    Romans 7:24–25, “(24) O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? (25) I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

  34. Michael, I recall several years ago that you mentioned you were a smoker, and I wasn’t sure if you still were. Thank you for your openness. Cigarettes killed my dad when I was 11 years old. I will be praying selfishly for you, because I don’t want to lose another man that I care about.

    Reuben, you as well, friend. Maybe you wouldn’t need a smoke if you rooted for a different team…like maybe the Padres?!! In all seriousness, I will be praying for you.

    I ask for prayer for two addictions. One is food. You know, one of the socially acceptable ones. I know my health would improve if my knees and ankles didn’t have to support so much weight. The other is not socially acceptable, but has to do with thoughts that I entertain. They plague me, and sometimes I wish I could just cut my head off. Then comes the condemnation: “And you say you want to be a pastor? Be done with that dream!”

  35. Reuben says:

    Having been a pastor, and worked amongst pastors for most of my life, CK, there is no uniqueness to this socially unacceptable sin. To say otherwise is to lie.

  36. Reuben, I know that shouldn’t bring me hope, but it does.

  37. Michael Sewell says:

    I was delivered from an addiction and demonic torment instantly when I came to the Lord, but when it came to smoking I had to be delivered over a matter of years. I quit every day and everyday I failed. I heard that Christians in Europe didn’t consider smoking a sin, and thought about moving there. Finally all the failed attempts culminated into a victory, and no smoke for over 24 yrs, I’ve been praying for you to find that strength since you admitted this years ago. You know, not every day, but now and then. I’ve heard, and I agree, that anyone who is going to minister is well served by having a prolonged struggle with a habit, or addiction. It makes you more understanding and compassionate.

  38. “I’ve heard, and I agree, that anyone who is going to minister is well served by having a prolonged struggle with a habit, or addiction. It makes you more understanding and compassionate.”

    Michael S., thank you for that. I’ve been around Calvaries for many years, and there always seems to be this notion that pastors are the ones who have the miraculous, instantaneous healings or deliverances.

  39. PP Veteran 2006-2011 says:

    “I heard that Christians in Europe didn’t consider smoking a sin, and thought about moving there.” I can relate. Sort of like joining a pre-trib church because I did not want to go thru the tribulation.

    As to the addiction providing compassion, that is an excellent insight. Someone said, I do not trust a man that does not walk with a limp.

    A thorn in the flesh, maybe. Not an excuse for not overcoming – just understanding to a degree the depth of our dependence.

  40. Steve says:

    Michael
    I have followed your blog for a little while now. I love your honesty and transparency. I am going to ask God to help me to remember to pray for you every time I come to this site.
    Your brother in Christ in Northeast Alabama

  41. Michael says:

    Steve,

    Thank you for reading and thank you for praying!

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