Wednesday, June 30, 2010

"Eases" and "Itis's"

There's a lot to say about "eases" and "itis's" and even "isms."

Diseases, conditions, and ailments always begin with a Latin word equivalent for the part of the body or type of problem, followed by an ending to fit the category.

I have quite a few; diabetes, rheumatism, cardiac disease, hypothyroidism, dermatitis, canceritis, footatitis, kidneyism, brainisms...okay, the last few were silly. But a long history of serious health problems creates a long list of itis's, eases, and isms.

I remember Sunday's Catholic Mass when I was growing up in a large Italian family in New York. When we all repeated this verse: "Heal me, O LORD, and I shall be healed; save me, and I shall be saved: for thou art my praise." (Jeremiah 17:14 KJV) I would repeat the "I shall be healed" part over and over in my head hoping He would heal me of diabetes. But it never happened.

Now, I am almost 50 years old and the list is longer. The itis's, isms, and eases, are multiplying. Has God healed me? Yes, in many ways and of many itis's.

But He hasn't healed me completely of physical isms.


Never ask why.

Instead, ask, "How can I encourage others to trust in a loving God?" Whatever isms, itis's, or eases you have are there for your growth and character. To quote a dear friend, "What is more powerful, a healed physical body or a changed heart?"

Book signing at One For the Books in Cape Coral, Florida

I am on tour for my first book, A Heart Like Mine, Finding God's Will for Your Life. And I plan to be around for the next two books in the Heart Like Mine trilogy. The road is not easy. Keeping my health fine tuned takes a lot of work. But I refuse to sit back and feel sorry for myself. As long as I am breathing, I am going to offer hope and encouragement to everyone I can.

YOU too have a story and message of hope when you know Jesus. Don't compare yourself to anyone else. Just move forward, take notes, and keep going the path God's will for your life has taken you on!


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Friday, June 11, 2010

"X" Your Size!

Exercise? Oh yuck...I really hate to get started.

In fact, me being able to exercise was squashed by an emotional handicap after years of fighting heart disease and diabetes. Take a look at the list of surgery and procedures under "A Note From the Author" from my book: Click here.

After my first heart attack on September 18, 2001, I started back with my normal routine but each time another heart attack or illness would completely stop me. This kept happening on a regular basis: monthly, weekly, bi-monthly...and dozens of times so I stopped keeping track. I kept thinking I would get better but never did.

After so many let downs, I created a "gun-shy" attitude about exercise and thought if my health situation was better and I started an exercise routine, I'd get sick again. It happened too many times. I had to find a way to eliminate the emotional fear and free myself of the dread, but it took a long time.

  1. I look at exercise as another prescription to take each day and convince myself with each pill I swallow that exercise is just as critical.
  2. I threw routines and specific days out and simply exercise when, how, how much, and when I feel like it. No keeping track of days or results.
  3. I make it fun--walk the mall, bike ride, swimming, parking far from a store and power walking, race down the isles when I grocery shop, avoiding people like an obstacle course, running up and down the steps in my house with create your own ways.
  4. Envision the GOOD feeling you always have after you exercise. It feels good to be so accomplished and the mental and physical benefits pay off.
Do you need to get rid of the dread?

Exercise = being able to "X" your size as you lose weight and trim your body. The scale may not always reflect that so be patient. Be free to do what works for you. Keep it simple!

"He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint." (Isaiah 40:29-31 NIV)

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Wednesday, June 2, 2010

If I Only Had a Heart

Just because I'm presumin' that I could be kind-a-human,
If I only had heart.
I'd be tender - I'd be gentle and awful sentimental
Regarding Love and Art.
I'd be friends with the sparrows ... and the boys who shoots the arrows
If I only had a heart.

I hear a beat...How sweet.
Just to register emotion, jealousy - devotion,
And really feel the part.
I could stay young and chipper and I'd lock it with a zipper, If I only had a heart.

The Tin Man in The Wizard of Oz knew what a hollow feeling it was to not have a heart in his chest.

And a young teen--14 years old, also knew what it was like to live without a heart. D'Zhana Simmons said she felt like a "fake person" for 118 days while she had no heart beating in her chest--no heart in her chest at all. "But I know that I really was here," the 14-year-old said, "and I did live without a heart."

IN 2008, D'Zhana needed a heart transplant. Her heart had become dangerously enlarged and could no longer pump enough blood throughout her body. Without a new heart, she would die.

Shortly after traveling from her home in South Carolina, to Holtz Children's Hospital in Miami, she received a life saving heart transplant. But that heart failed her and had to be removed two days later. There is only one heart in each of us, and no backup. D'Zhana would not live without a heart.

Doctors at Holtz Children's Hospital did the unheard of: they replaced the failing, transplanted heart with two pumps, ventricular assist devices, typically used to help a failing heart's chambers circulate blood. VAD's are only used as a bridge to transplant.

A procedure never done before presented new challenges. D'Zhana's doctors had to design replacement heart chambers made of special fabric and then connected to the two pumps.

For more than 100 days, D'Zhana had no heart beating in her chest until she received a second chance at life through one more heart transplant.

Why did D'Zhana feel like a fake person? What makes the heart not only essential to life, but integral to a person's emotional and spiritual state?

There is a higher reason than any scientific explanation for life and creation. Plato said the heart is the center of our being; the I am of who we are.

God speaks of the heart more than 800 times in His Word. And not just as an ethereal concept, but as a life giving, life sustainable part of who we are.

Do you need a new physical heart? Tell me your situation as a comment below, and I will pray for you.

Do you need a new spiritual heart? Post your request below or message me privately on my contact form and I will pray for your need.

"I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh." (Ezekiel 36:26 NIV)

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