I Did It For Peace

On our podcast this week we discussed a question that anyone who calls themselves a Christian should give consideration. Why did you choose to follow Jesus?

For starters, shoeing up on Sunday mornings and walking dow the aisle for an altar call make you a Christian. They don’t make you a Christ-follower. Think of it like a marriage. The aisle is day one. Every day that follows, sometimes every moment, you must choose to love the one you committed yourself to. It’s the same when you follow Jesus. Take up the cross, make the decision, daily.

Is it worth it though? Daily deciding that the way to live a life that is worth living is to go against the grain of the rest of the world?

If you take a look around you right now, you see chaos, especially in America. Politics, masks, Covid-19, and more divide us. And Christians are some of the worst about it. We may know the Way, but we aren’t called to win a battle of wits and wagers. We are called to love. Love our enemies. Love God. Love the outcast and difficult.

And once we’ve decided who is right and wrong, we have make sure we never change our mind or get caught in the act of judging another. We were told in the Bible that the measure we use to judge others will be used on us.

I’m not advocating a pacifist non-communicative method. I love civil discourse. But nothing is civil now. Nothing is peaceful.

Peace is not the absence of conflict in the world. Peace is established within our hearts and makes its way out into the world. It adds flavor to the way we respond to crisis and hatred. It brings character to our lives.

That’s why I make the decision to follow Jesus, at least right now. The reason may change as my life changes, but currently I see how he maintained connection to his Father, he loved everyone he came into contact with, and even in the midst of betrayal and crucifixion he kept peace in the center of his being. It doesn’t make sense. That’s okay. I’m at peace with that.

Go listen to Bad to the Bone, episode 7 in our podcast for more.

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/smoke-and-water/id1526237677?i=1000491150693

Inspiring Inspirados

There is a brand new episode wherever you listen to podcasts. Go check it out and share it with a friend!

A Peace of Our Minds Smoke and Water

Two reviews of two very different cigars and a little walk on the path to peace. You know you need it! Happy Thanksgiving! — This episode is sponsored by · Anchor: The easiest way to make a podcast. https://anchor.fm/app
  1. A Peace of Our Minds
  2. A Little Glitter Goes a Long Way.
  3. Diesel, Debates, Decency
  4. Chickens are Rude
  5. Doubt On the Rise

It’s A Pleasure

A cigar is a sort of thing, not exactly a pleasure, but the crown and outward sign of pleasure. – Leo Tolstoy

Maybe he was on to something. Maybe not. Depending on the cigar in hand, it may be a pleasure or simply a symptom of pleasure.

So why smoke?

For me it started on the back porch of a cabana in Belize with a mission team at the end of the trip. After a long day of debriefing, cigars and rum were dispersed to those who wanted them, and I smoked my first “big boy” cigar–a Cuban Monte Cristo. That’s all I remember.

But it was good.

I tried my hand at a few others, not really knowing what I was doing. Then I attended a men’s retreat. My own assumption was that it was be like every other retreat I had attended. No alcohol. No smokes. And I wasn’t really concerned about it.

But then they announced they were selling cigars for $5 a piece. I don’t recall what they were in name. They were decent, and over the course of the weekend I indulged in a few while around campfires with other men.

There is something about sitting around with other guys smoking a cigar and just talking about what you believe, what your values are, making the occasional off-color joke, and knowing that it’s okay enjoy this. It’s a lot like the community aspect of the church.

That’s where the idea for this blog and podcast came from. I am always looking for ways to gather men together to build friendships and sharpen one another. Why not include a smoke and a stiff drink?

My hope is that you will go look me up on Spotify or some other podcast outlet and listen. I and my friends review cigars and review the important things in life. I’m looking forward to the growth and the friendships that will be forged and strengthened and the lives that will hopefully be improved by this simple thing. Smoke ’em if you got ’em.

J