Heart Problems

About a month ago, I went to the doctor to follow up on my still new CPAP machine and its usage. In that appointment I mentioned to the doctor that I had woken up in the night with a bunch of chest pressure and pain.

He ordered his nurse to hook me up to a box which did an automated EKG on me. I was so relaxed I was almost asleep, but I woke right up when I heard her tone change as she said, “I want to show this to the doctor.” and slipped out the door.

A moment later my doctor came back in the room and informed me that the box had said I had had a heart attack. He was quick to say he didn’t believe that; he believed my slow heart rate and an anomaly in my rhythm had fooled the machine. But to be certain, he sent me for a full stress test which I had done within a week.

For a bit of history, my father was one year younger than me when he had his first heart attack. My middle brother, who is in fantastic shape and goes on long runs regularly, had a heart attack earlier this year. So family history is stacked against me.

In the time intervening I suppose I tried to take it easy, but my schedule was far from normal. I went on a mission trip for five days. I took several days off to paint my house. I also took my wife in for medical tests and attended a meeting which promised to be very stressful for a local ministry.

During all of these events, I repeatedly noticed pressure in my chest. I tried to take it as easy as possible, but I also fully intended to meet all of my obligations. Even the day I went back to get results proved unusual. My car had a tire going flat, so I dropped it to the shop, and walked from there to the doctor appointment. Along the way I thought to myself, if I get a bad report I am going to feel like an idiot for pushing my luck with all this physical activity.

My doctor said the tests demonstrated my heart was completely healthy. As I walked back to my car after the appointment I didn’t notice any pressure in my chest. Since then, I have had some once or twice, but I am ignoring it like I did all my life prior to that first appointment.

This is an example of how life events affect us. Before the box had made the mistaken diagnosis I had never worried about my heart. But from that time until I got the final word, my head (and spiritually speaking, my heart) were filled with concern for my physical heart. This concern caused me to notice things I normally wouldn’t have. Even though I resisted the temptation to live differently, what filled my heart and mind did shape my behavior.Cover

This is an example of why I wrote the book, The Storeroom of the Heart. I wanted to help believers recognize how the content of their heart shapes their potential. Only by doing what we can to control the content of our heart will we allow ourselves to be most useful to God.

If you are interested in purchasing a copy, you can either pick it up anywhere books are sold. You can get it from CrossBooks, or from Amazon. Or if you want a signed copy you can contact me and I will arrange it. You can use the social media links, on the right side of the blog, then contact me by private message.

Advertisements

God is Big

CoverOn Wednesdays I promote my book, The Storeroom of the Heart. You can get it anywhere books are sold, regular bookstores will special order it, Amazon or Nook can give it to you as an E-book, or you can contact me and arrange for me to mail you a signed copy.  Here is a link to the publisher site if you want to buy it from them.

http://bookstore.crossbooks.com/Products/SKU-000556067/The-Storeroom-of-the-Heart.aspx

Here is a short excerpt for you to consider.

If we are willing to be used by God, there is no telling what He might accomplish through us. Perhaps what God would accomplish through us would be the next great accomplishment of humankind – finding a cure for some disease, inventing a life-changing device, unlocking a better source of energy, or awakening revival in our times. Maybe what God would accomplish through us would be the redirecting of public attitudes, which are currently shifting hard and fast toward hating God and everything He stands for. I can only imagine and dream about the great things God might do in us. I can’t help but dream big, because I know God. God is big. God does big things in people who are committed to Him. God knows how to use a person whose heart is undivided.

Doing What You Want

For I do not understand what I am doing, because I do not practice what I want to do, but I do what I hate. Romans 7:15

CoverThe above verse explains a constant battle Christians engage in with themselves. Sin is so much a part of the human condition that even though we have come to hate sin, we often find ourselves in the thick of it. We can improve, and should always endeavor to gain ground in the war with sin, but we will never celebrate an all out victory.

Fighting a battle we can never win is frustrating. But many believers live a reality that is even worse. They never even make progress.

The book, The Storeroom of the Heart, is for these individuals. It takes the storeroom principle, taught by Jesus in Matthew 12:34-35, and allows the contemporary Christian to explain why they get stranded in this manner. Understanding the storeroom principle can help the believer to begin gaining ground in the battle, shape their lives in such a way as to be useful to the kingdom, and allow them to see principles for successful living that are often overlooked in today’s culture.

The Storeroom of the Heart is available in electronic format, hardcover or softcover. You can order it anywhere books are sold or from the publisher, CrossBooks. If you are interested in obtaining a copy signed by the author contact me on one of the social media links to the right and I will be happy to work that out for you.

Character Matters

One of the points I am careful to make in my book, The Storeroom of the Heart, I go to great lengths to highlight the importance of filling your heart with positive character and courage. You never know when an opportunity to do something great for God and humanity will pop up in front of you. You can, however, be sure that if you don’t work on your character prior to the critical moment, then you will not have the gumption to do whatever is necessary and the opportunity will be lost.

This past week a friend pointed me an article by Michael Hyatt called The Reflex of Character which also makes that point.  Jump over and read this incredible true story.

Olympic Curling

Curling seems to have become more popular during these winter Olympics.  I have heard others talking about getting into it, and I just found it on TV myself.  My wife then informed me she had seen it on just about every day, only reason I hadn’t noticed before is, I am going through a very busy time.

This might well be an example of the storeroom principle. Whatever you are exposed to will be stored in your heart. Whatever gets stored in your heart will spill out into your life. If curling has been on TV at times when people see more of it their heart is filled with it, and whether they love it or hate it doesn’t matter, it will spill out of their life.

My book, The Storeroom of the Heart, I explore the storeroom principle and discuss the implications for Christian growth. If you are interested in buying a signed copy directly from me contact me via social media and I will tell you how to arrange it, or you can buy it from normal book sellers such as CrossBooks or Amazon.  It is available in hardcover, softcover and e-book.

The Olympics

When I was a kid, the Olympics was a big deal. The family would gather around the TV and all of us would want to watch the events that were on our McDonald’s game cards.

Yea, I know I just dated myself.

As an adult I seldom sit still to watch the Olympics, but when I do I notice a change in the events. Back when I was a kid the most extreme sport for aerial stunts was figure skating. In more recent years we have had people doing stunts on skis, then came snowboards, and in this Olympics Slopestyle events have also been added.

In my book I talked about courage, and the movement towards extreme sports. If you want to know what I said, you will have to buy the book. Contact me via social media if you would like to buy a copy directly from me. This will get you a signed copy for about the same cost as ordering a hard copy from any other source.

But you can also order it from CrossBooks, Amazon or any other bookseller, including picking it up as an E-book.

Self-worth and the Heart

In The Storeroom of the Heart I address three issues which affect the heart and its ability to empower a well lived life. Can you guess what they are? Here is a quote from the book to give you a strong hint as to the one most people miss.

A broken heart, or discouragement, makes us less able to achieve, less likely to do the right things, and more vulnerable to temptation. Discouragement makes us weak in heart, not just in the emotional sense, but in the sense our moral fiber becomes weakened. It is important to accept and understand how difficult events in life also damage our hearts.

If you said self-esteem, broken-heartedness or discouragement then, yes you got it. (I did say it was a strong hint.) But you might be looking at my answer and questioning whether self-esteem is the same thing as being broken-hearted or discouraged. It’s a matter open to opinion perhaps but I say yes—both are what you think of yourself. Self-esteem is what you think of yourself in the long term, while the other two are what you think of yourself in the short term. Both are a matter of your opinion of your own value.

The book is available by order from any book source, including amazon and including ebooks.  For you convenience here is a link to the publisher site if you wish to get it from them. http://bookstore.crossbooks.com/Products/SKU-000556068/The-Storeroom-of-the-Heart.aspx