After more than four decades where Rev. Paul Turner’s hand was never far from a cigarette, he finally got mad enough to quit for good.
New Year’s Eve marked nine weeks since his last cigarette.
“I quit something that I should have never have started,” Turner said.
His last cigarette came from a pack he bought in late October, and it followed an almost spontaneous decision to lay down the cancer sticks.
Have you ever had one of those times when you felt like no matter what you did, no one was thankful or appreciative of the amount of effort it took to do what you did?
Maybe at some point in your life you took on a project that took all your ability to think about how it would affect you emotionally, spiritually, and your job security. When you went ahead, did the project and got it completed, there were those who simply looked at you and said of the project, “It’s about damn time you got this done!”
Maybe you have a relationship with someone that, for whatever reason, cannot get the phrase “I love you” out of their mouth and into your ear. Then one day after an especially trying moment or close call, you hear the words you have always wanted to hear, “I love you!” And your response on the inside is, “About time”, or “This is what it took for you to say it?” Or “You don’t mean it!”
Since it is the beginning of the year and everybody seems to be doing a list, I thought I would jump in with one of my own. Please understand, I am writing this from my point of view as a follower of Jesus. If that is not the path you follow I pray after you have finished reading that some of the arrogant sting of the so-called Christian faith will have been removed. The Creator of this universe is far bigger then any self-described human-made faith or set of beliefs.
Now it has been said my writing style is not the warm comforting and cuddly stuff but rather more “in your face” and "take it or leave it style." This list will be no different.
For far too long the institutional church has taken the position it owns the faith and simply rent it to us. Those within the institutional church give us traditions, pronouncements, laws and creeds and if we do not live by them — since we are nothing more then renters — we get evicted, or as the Roman Catholic Church has done for centuries, ex-communicated.