You Gotta Have Heart!

Compiled & Live by Anne Clark, Revision 2014

If you think about it, the heart is the only organ that has a symbol so
recognizable even a two year old can identify it. It’s also the only organ that
carries strong emotional associations such as love, passion, admiration and
affection. The heart even has its own holiday, which we celebrate in February.

But the heart is much more – it is a symbol of life and good health. In 2003
I found I was a victim of women’s No. 1 killer, heart disease. From being a fairly
healthy woman I was diagnosed with coronary artery disease, congestive heart
Failure and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the outcome was bleak –
Inoperable!! (I swear this happened within 2 weeks and came to a head on family
vacation in San Diego) (only 10% of my heart was working and 15% of the lungs
were working.) After going through cardiac rehab the improvement was such
that a year later high risk surgery was performed. In between, my husband had a
double bypass 3 months before my quadruple one. After surgery I was evidently
critical about a week in a coma, more time in intensive care, into a room, and
finally home after 21 days in the hospital. Now both of us going through rehab.

I’m not sure if I truly believed God was enough but I know I said, “if I have
Jesus and Morphine, I will be OK.”Plus no worry, but the family was doing enough
of that). Because of God’s grace and mercy I have a new lease on life and pray I
can use this extended time FOR HIS GLORY.

A mere three weeks after conception cells organize themselves into an
immature heart and begins beating. At fourteen weeks this heart is already
pumping seven gallons per day compared to two thousand gallons a day for an adult. Each blood cell goes around every minute, the red cell goes 200,000
times around only to be squished by the spleen. It doesn’t worry about it at all
because it has been discovered that worry is bad for the heart. It turns out when
God said, “ Do not fret,” “do not worry about tomorrow, and “ do not be
anxious,” He was acting as the world’s premier cardio-psychiatrist.

The medical literature is full of material that indicates the importance of
spiritual care for the heart. Psychiatrist Karl Menninger wrote in “The Human
Mind,” Love is the basic need of human nature, for without it, life is disrupted
emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.” He once gave a lecture on
mental health and was answering questions from the audience. One of the
audience asked “What would you advise a person to do if that person felt a
nervous breakdown coming on? Consult a psychiatrist?” He replied, “Lock up
your house, go across the railroad tracks, find someone in need, and do
something to help that person.”

The word ‘Heart’ is used more than 1000 times in the Old and New
Testaments. In Proverbs 23:7 “ As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” Proverb
4:23 “Keep and guard your heart with vigilance for all you do comes from it.”
Whatever is in your heart flows into our lives. If we are full of anger, bitterness,
and resentment, that’s what will flow into our lives. If we are full of love, peace
and joy, that will flow out of our lives. It goes without saying that what flows out
of our hearts, will naturally effect us and those around us. When we use our
talents and gifts that God has given us to serve others our health will be affected
in a positive way. So, if you want to be healthy, SERVE. Our salvation is
dependent on the right understanding of the heart. “If you confess with your
mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the
dead, you will be saved.” The mind and the heart are inseparable in this verse.
We have to make that trip of 18 inches from the head to the heart for your
salvation. God provides a lot of guidance on the various spiritual exercises that
affect the heart. Here’s one, “Spend your time and energy in training yourself for
spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much
more important for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. 1Timothy 4:7-8

More women die of heart disease than all forms of cancer. Did you know
420,000 women will die of heart disease this year? This disease is largely
preventable through healthy habits. 90% of women have at least one risk factor
for heart disease. So from this day forward, let every heart you see, on a card, to
that heart-shaped candy box – be a reminder to protect your heart.

Here’s the Heart Associations ‘Life’s Simple 7”: get active; eat better; lose weight; stop smoking; control cholesterol; manage blood pressure; and reduce blood sugar.

Consider making these four spiritual practices a regular part of your “exercise” routine: 1)Receive God’s love; 2)Love God; 3)Love and serve others; and 4)Forgive.

I can’t think of a better Valentine to give your love ones.
Jeremiah 17:9-10 from The Message (MSG)
9-10 “The heart is hopelessly dark and deceitful,
a puzzle that no one can figure out.
But I, GOD, search the heart
and examine the mind.
I get to the heart of the human.
I get to the root of things.
I treat them as they really are,
not as they pretend to be.”

Compiled & Live by Anne Clark, Revision 2014

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