Monday, October 1, 2012

day 1: a matter of the heart

meet my parents
(View all the 31 Days of Deep Love Diving posts here )

Today my dad is having bypass surgery. Genetics plus a SAD (standard american diet) way of eating added up to blocked arteries in his heart, neck, leg and probably elsewhere too.

The funny thing is, we had no idea.

My dad never exhibited the "classic" heart disease symptoms and for the past nine years he's maintained a healthy weight, worked out regularly and ate what we assumed was a healthy diet. Only by God's grace did we find out the extent of his heart disease when he chose to have a voluntary day-long physical offered through work.

If you read no further than here, please consider jumping to the end of this post to the "Loving Others" section. It may change your life or the life of a loved one. 

I still find it hard to believe someone can walk around with multiple, significant blockages in their heart and neck and have no idea. It's hard to believe because I judge by outward appearance, i.e. my dad looked healthy.

I think I've read something like that before...

I might be in danger of a spiritual heart attack: There are God-truths which cement themselves in my brain but have a hard time penetrating my heart. I have spiritual calcifications built up from years of living in a fallen world, gorging myself on cheap imitations of the life abundant. I am in danger of hard heartedness.

And how do I love God, love others, love myself with a whole heart when it doesn't work properly?

I can't. I need heart surgery too.

That's what Deep Love Diving is all about. 

The challenge: Learn what it means to love God with your whole heart.

This week I want to learn what it means to love God with my whole heart. For the next three days, I'm thinking on, praying about and meditating upon what this means. And I'll also be asking Him how to challenge me in this area Thursday through Sunday.

The challenge: Share life-changing information with others. 
Here's mine: One third of Americans are living with one or more forms of heart disease. (source) It's the leading cause of death in the U.S. (source). But heart disease is preventable. You can read about how here. I also would encourage you to have your cholesterol levels checked. A total cholesterol above 150 and LDL cholesterol about 80 puts you at risk for heart disease (source). And men? Impotence is not an inevitability of old age. It's a circulation issue. Problems there could be warning signs of blockages in your heart (source). Yes. You read that right.

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Susan Stilwell said...

Hi there,

Heart disease is scary, and you offered some good info. I didn't realize it attributed to impotence. Wow.

Your post reminded me of Ps 51 - create in me a clean heart. Physically and spiritually.

Linking up from SDG,

Melanie N. Brasher said...

My dad had a heart attack when I was ten, so this post resonates with me. We do tend to look at the outside, but the Lord looks at the heart. I love that analogy!

Tara Pohlkotte said...

a family affected by heart disease here too, i understand how scary and how serious it can be... how it is for all of us!

Pamela said...

I've had God doing some heart surgery on me the last few weeks, too. I've found that each step I made toward God, He drew near to me.

I hope your father heals quickly.