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Pipe Smoking—The Theological Part

“I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.” — C.S. Lewis
I started this series as an introduction into the wonderful world of pipe smoking and theology. So far, we’ve focused on the pipe side of the series. Now I want to focus on the theological side of it.
Before we go any further, though, let’s just put this out there so there’s no misunderstanding:
There aren’t any passages in the Bible that speak directly to smoking a pipe.
Oh, I suppose someone could claim that since prayer is like incense before God and the smoke from a pipe is sort of the same thing, it’s really not. And while Latakia tobacco does remind me a lot of incense, and incense is mentioned over 120 times in the Bible (even more so if you include the Apocrypha, and if you don’t, you really should),…

Lectionary Reflection—13 August 2017

Matthew 14:22-33 (adapted): Right then, Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead to the other side of the lake while he dismissed the crowds. 23When he sent them away, Jesus went up onto a mountain by himself to pray. Evening came and he was alone.
24Meanwhile, the boat, fighting a strong headwind, was being battered by the waves and was already far away from land.
25Very early in the morning Jesus came to his disciples, walking on the lake. 26When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified and said, “It’s a ghost!” They were so frightened they screamed.
27Just then Jesus spoke to them, “Be encouraged! It’s me. Don’t be afraid.”
28Peter replied, “Lord, if it’s you, order me to come to you on the water.”
29And Jesus said, “Come.”
Then Peter got out of the boat and was walking on the water toward Jesus. 30But when he saw the strong wind, Peter became frightened. As he began to sink, he shouted, “Lord, rescue me!”
31Jesus immediately reached out and grabbed him…

Pipe Smoking—The Cleaning Process

“I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.” — C.S. Lewis
Now that we’ve had such an enjoyable smoke, let’s clean out that pipe!
We’ll start with a general, after you smoke your pipe, cleaning. You’ll need some pipe cleaners (who knew that this is what they were really for instead of making crafts!), paper towels, cotton swabs, and a cloth (preferably a microfibre cloth). Now, you could get away with a shorter list (only pipe cleaners and maybe the cloth), especially if you’re smoking your pipe on the go, but this is a good list for a standard cleaning.
First, you want to make sure the pipe is completely cool before taking it apart. Taking the stem out of the stummel before it’s cooled could damage your pipe.
Next, using the pick of your pipe tool (a pipe cleaner w…

Lectionary Reflection—06 August 2017

Matthew 14:13-21 (adapted): When Jesus heard about John (that Herod had him beheaded; vv. 1-12 — jg+), he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place to be by himself. But the people learned of this and followed him on foot from the cities. 14When Jesus arrived and saw a large crowd, he had compassion for them and healed those who were sick.
15That evening his disciples came and said to him, “This is an isolated place and it’s getting late. Send the crowds away so they can go into the villages and buy food for themselves.”
16But Jesus said to them, “There’s no need to send them away. You give them something to eat.”
17They replied, “We have nothing here except five loaves of bread and two fish.”
18He said, “Bring them here to me.” 19He directed the crowds to sit down on the grass. He took the five loaves of bread and the two fish, looked up to heaven, and blessed them. He then broke the loaves apart, and gave them to his disciples. The disciples gave them to the crowds. 20Everyone ate until the…

Pipe Smoking—The Art of Smoking a Pipe

“I believe that many who find that ‘nothing happens’ when they sit down, or kneel down, to a book of devotion, would find that the heart sings unbidden while they are working their way through a tough bit of theology with a pipe in their teeth and a pencil in their hand.” — C.S. Lewis

Now that we’ve talked about different pipe shapes and the various types of tobacco, let’s put it all together. But let me say from the outset—as the title of this post states, smoking a pipe is an art and, like all art, it takes time to become proficient at it.

So you’ve got your new pipe, some tobacco, tamper, lighter, and some pipe cleaners. Okay! Let’s load up that pipe for your first smoke!



I’ve found the easiest way to load my pipe is in three stages:

Prepare your tobacco. This may seem silly but, believe me, it will save you some grief later on. Take out the tobacco you intend to smoke and place some of it on a flat surface.1 While just about every tobacco I’ve ever tried has been ready to smoke right …