Posts Tagged ‘health’

Thanks Be to God

December 15, 2014

Recently, my mother was very ill.  It was serious enough that all four of her children gathered together from different states to be with her as she went into surgery.  With the help of a lot of prayer, she came through and has since recovered enough to return to her own apartment in a senior center.

I Corinthians 15:54-58

 So when this corruptible has put on incorruption, and this mortal has put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.”

55 “O Death, where is your sting?
O Hades, where is your victory?”

56 The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

58 Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.

I.  Victory Over Death

As we talked with my mother about the surgery she said more than once “If the good Lord wills, I’ll come through this.”  There were two things that were important in that statement.  First, her life was in God’s hands.  She placed her trust, not in the doctors, but in God.  Second, although unsaid, it was understood that if she didn’t make it through the surgery, it was all right.  She was ready to go.  Her trust in God allowed her to face a surgery that she might not survive because death had lost its’ sting.

My mother lived out her faith in a difficult situation.  Each one of us who are believers should be able to place our trust in God who has overcome death and who holds our lives in His hands.

Thanks be to God.

II.  Victory in Life

We recognize that God has given us the victory in life as well as in death.  Our lives have purpose and meaning, even if we do not always see or understand. All good gifts ultimately come from God.  There are many  simple pleasures in this life.  Most important is the love of God, family and friends.

Thanks be to God.

III.  Be Steadfast

Since we believe that we can have victory either in life or in death, it is easier to remain steadfast.  We do not quit.  We do not give up.  We continue to carry out the purpose that God has for our life.  We know that our labor for God is not in vain.

Thanks be to God.

These are the sermon notes from 11/23/14.  Any advertisement is placed by WordPress.  I have no control over them, nor do I receive any money from them.

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Helath Care Reform and the Catholics

February 9, 2012

There has been information in the news recently about further implications of the health care reform and the impact that it will have on Catholic institutions, such as universities and hospitals.  Simply put, these institutions will be required to provide coverage in their health care packages for their employees that goes against Catholic teaching.  Specifically, “preventative care” including birth control pills, the morning after pill, and RU 486, which is a medication that induces an abortion.

Catholic institutions do not forbid their employees to use these products, they simply do not provide for them in their health care package.  They do not provide them because of a conflict with their religious teaching.

Churches are exempt from this part of the reform, why not religious institutions?  This is government control of religious practice.  This mandate should have no place in a country that practices religious freedom.

An Aging Gym Rat

December 8, 2011

Back in the spring of 1973, my friend Tom introduced me to lifting weights.   He showed me a handful of dumbbell exercises and told me that I should do them everyday.  My older brother had an unused weight set, so I set up the dumbbells to a weight that I could handle, and I was underway.

Since that time so many years ago, I have continued to lift weights.  I actually competed for several years in Olympic-style lifting and did reasonably well.  Throughout the years, I have tried a variety of routines and exercises, machines, free-weights, vitamins etc, etc, etc.

I never looked like a weightlifter.  At the peak of my competing years, I told a young lady that I was a weightlifter and she laughed in my face.   Apparently, appearances can be deceiving.

As I have aged there is much less emphasis on pushing hard to achieve maximum performance.  The no-pain/no gain approach has changed to no-pain is good…even a goal to be achieved.

I have also noticed that there are not many seasoned lifters left in the gym.  I look around and all I see is a bunch of people about the age of my children.  Only rarely do I see another person near my age, and it has been years since I saw someone older than myself lifting in the free-weight room.

I still enjoy it and plan to continue for as long as my body holds up.  I may not train as hard, or lift as much, but I still think of myself as a weightlifter.

Even if I look even less like one now.

 

Roofing

October 20, 2011

I have participated in roofing houses since I was a young teenager.  My father was gifted in many areas of home repair and did all the work on his own properties.  He also would help friends or family with projects from time to time.  I would frequently tag along.  In the early days I stayed on the ground and picked up trash or acted as a gopher…you know… go for this, or go for that.  In time I was promoted to going on the roof, passing shingles, getting nails, etc.  When I was finally trusted to nail down shingles, or cut them to size, it was big stuff.  By the time I was twenty, I was fairly accomplished, not professional, but good enough that I got job offers.

In my adult years, I have maintained my own roof and helped out others from time to time.  I have a section of roof that currently needs work, and I was going to do it last fall.

Last fall I had some heart issues.  It turns out that something triggered an electrical disruption of my heart causing symptoms similar to a heart attack.  It was scary.  Especially since my maternal uncles all had heart trouble.   I was certainly not going on the roof with heart problems.

Thank God, and modern medicine, after being carefully checked out, I was placed on some medication which allowed my heart’s rhythm to be restored.  I am no longer on medicine, nor do I have any symptoms.  I am cleared for all activity..including roofing, which is what I will be doing this Saturday.   I will probably move a little slower.  It might be a little harder than it was thirty years ago, but I think I still remember how to swing a hammer and use a knife.

Dodgeball at 50?

October 3, 2011

I used to be pretty good at dodge-ball.  I was reasonably quick and agile in my youth.  This past weekend I attended a Chi Alpha Iowa retreat.  One of the events on Friday night was black-light dodge-ball.  I was a little hesitant because I was concerned that it might not be a good idea for a 50-something to play dodge-ball with college kids.

I shouldn’t have been worried about it.

My reflexes have slowed down considerably since I last played.  I was eliminated very early.  Hey, at least the only injury suffered, was to my pride.

I have begun to think that it might be time to ease off the throttle in other areas of my life as well.  That slowing down, just a little, might be a good idea.  This means that I will have to trust that God will give me wisdom as to what is important, that I will use my time and energy on the things that really matter.

Hopefully, along with the gray hairs, and the slower reflexes, will come the necessary wisdom to live the life that God has intended for me.

Divine Healing

June 14, 2011

I believe that God is able to heal people.  James 5:14-15 says “Is anyone among you sick?  Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.  And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up.  And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. ”

Healing is also listed among the gifts of the Spirit “…to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healings by the same Spirit, (I Cor 12:9) but there is a qualification stated in verse 11 “But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills.

The power of God and the will of God must somehow be reconciled in our thinking.  We recognize that God is able to bring healing, sometimes instantly through a miraculous touch, sometimes over time, and sometimes in combination with medical treatment.  (Did you know that anointing with oil was a form of medical treatment, not just a prayer format?)  Yet people do not live forever in these bodies.  Only God knows how much time we have on this earth.

I believe that the key is found with how Paul dealt with his “thorn in the flesh”.  II Cor 12:7-9 says  “And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.  Concerning this thing.  I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me.  And He said to me.  ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.’  Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”

God’s grace is sufficient for us.  God may bring the gift of healing to our lives, or He will give us the grace to deal with our own “thorn in the flesh”.  Either way, our lives can be a testimony of the grace of God, either by healing , or by how we deal with the afflictions of this life.

Running Hot

June 7, 2011

When I was a young man, thirty years and thirty pounds ago, I loved to go for runs on hot, summer days.  The hotter, the better.  There was something about the experience that was particularly exhilarating.

Not so much anymore.

Now I prefer the temperature to be in the sixties.

When it becomes hot, and humid, I struggle to complete the distance.  My times slow down and I may even have to walk, (something I never did when I was younger).  I wear a hydration belt that carries thirty-two ounces of fluid and will use it all before I am done.

Yesterday, it was in the nineties, with high humidity.

I ran inside, where it was air-conditioned.

Fifty Miles

May 5, 2011

Well, I have participated in my first ultra running event.  It was a 24 hour track run.  That means that you have a 24 hour period to run or walk as many laps as you are able to complete.

I made 198 laps, which is fifty miles.

I did not make it through 24 hours.  I quit after 13 hours and eight minutes.  I decided I had enough for my first experience.  I was tired and my feet hurt.  My comments as I left the track was that I would never be doing this again.  However, before I went to bed that night I was already thinking about what I would do different next year.

Next year?  Have I lost my mind???

Maybe.

Next year I will be more prepared mentally for the event.  I will have an idea of what to expect.  I will bring along some comfortable walking shoes to go along with the running shoes.

I will try again.  Maybe next year I will be able to complete the 100k necessary to obtain a plaque.  (That is 62.5 miles.)  After this year,  I recognize that it is not an easy task to perform.

A Healthy Heart

January 27, 2011

Last fall I passed out while spending a day shopping with my wife and some friends.  No, it was not the prices!  After I came to, I was checked out by the medical personal who said that I was stable enough to be driven to the hospital by private vehicle.  I spent the night in the hospital.  There did not appear to be anything wrong with me so they released me, but told me to follow-up with my physician.

My doctor sent me for a stress test.  It was borderline abnormal.  After that there were additional tests, visits to the cardiologist and finally some medication was prescribed and my activities were somewhat restricted.

It turns out that my hearts electrical system had been knocked off by some form of “trigger”  It took the medication to help my heart’s system to reset.  My heart has been pronounced healthy once again. No more drugs, no restrictions, life has returned to normal.

Thank you God, and thank you doctors, and thanks to all who prayed for me.

God and Modern Medicine

December 7, 2010

A few months ago,  I made the comment to a friend that “Modern medicine hadn’t done anything for me.”

That has changed.

After months of tests and appointments, I have been placed on medicine for my heart.

I started to feel better within hours.  It has been four days now and I can say with confidence that the medicine appears to be doing its’ job.  The symptoms that had been concerning me have pretty well disappeared.

One little pill, twice a day.  It is a good thing.

I also acknowledge all the prayers that have been said on my behalf.  I am profoundly thankful, that all that is needed at this time is a little medicine, and that there are no side effects at this time.  I believe that God is able to work supernaturally, but that at times He works through doctors and modern medicine.  We pray, we seek medical attention when necessary, and we pray some more.  We recognize that all healing is a gift of God, whether it comes through the laying on of hands, or a little pill.