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Category Archives: Health

Keeping heredity at bay

As I was exercising one morning last week, I was struck with the fact that the older I get, the harder I have to work to keep my heredity at bay. In that sense, my parents did not do me any favors by passing on their genetic makeup to me.

My father had high blood pressure all his life. When I was in my 20’s, our family physician told me never to get heavy if the condition was hereditary. Now that I am in my 60’s, I have to pay more attention to what I eat and how much I exercise. On top of that, my dad had glaucoma and my mother had cataracts. I have to get my eyes checked on an annual basis to keep track of those potential conditions.

At to that my recovery from a broken leg/hip two years ago. I continue to do my therapy exercises trying to regain more strength and mobility. I feel like Frodo Baggins at the end of The Lord of the Rings where he tells Samwise Gamgee that some injuries never heal completely. Despite all my efforts and exercises, I wonder if my leg will ever be 100% again.

If I go to this much trouble and effort for my physical health, how much more attention should I pay to my spiritual health? In the same way that I have to exercise and have annual physical checkups, I need to exercise spiritually as well. Colossians 3:5-17 instructs me to allow my old sinful habits and practices to die. In their place, I need to cultivate healthy spiritual character qualities. I need to stop my old bad habits and cultivate some new healthier habits of the heart.

Put to death therefore what is earthly in you: sexual immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. On account of these the wrath of God is coming. In these you too once walked, when you were living in them. But now you must put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, slander, and obscene talk from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old self with its practices 10 and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge after the image of its creator. 11 Here there is not Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave, free; but Christ is all, and in all.

12 Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, 13 bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. 14 And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. 15 And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. 17 And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

Whether spiritual or physical, I need to work hard to ensure good, healthy habits.

 

The blessing of adversity

Book Review: The Luckiest Man: How a Seventeen-Year Battle with ALS Led Me to Intimacy with God, by John R. Paine with Seth Haines

Are God’s blessings limited to the pleasurable? Does God only bless us with experiences that lead to prosperity? Might God’s blessings also include adversity? Can God bless someone with a disease, loss, failure, or tragedy?

John Paine would argue for the latter. He can testify firsthand how God used the disease of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS)—also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease—to draw him into a deeper and more abiding relationship with Jesus Christ.

The book tells the story of growing up in east Texas. John was a scrawny kid with poor eyesight and a learning disability. His father was difficult to please. This motivated John to push himself and to excel in order to win approval. He drove him to be in CONTROL of every part of his life—business, marriage, family, church. It all came crashing down in his mid-40’s when he was diagnosed with ALS.

And yet, John discovered that as God stripped away his pride and control, he replaced it with a deeper, richer, and more intimate relationship with Christ. As he now nears the end of his life, he states that he would not trade his intimacy with Christ for better health.

I’ve been asked what I’d do to be rid of this disease. I’m not sure how to answer that question, but let me say it this way: if I could hold Margaret (his wife) one more time, if I could bounce my grandchildren on my lap or hug my children, if I could put in a full day at the office, if I could be a captain of industry, if I could lead thousands into professions of faith, if I could be the pillar of the church—if I could do it all but had to trade this rhythm of intimacy with God born from ALS? The choice is easy. I would keep this disease. I’d take this pain, this slow suffocation. I’d drink this cup all over again. I wouldn’t trade this intimacy for anything. What was meant for my torture has been used for my salvation. I’m thankful for that.

The book is well written and very encouraging. While it doesn’t lead to a happily-ever-after ending, it does provide an example of a man who discovered that when he lost everything but his faith in God, he discovered that God was enough. The book will cause you to reexamine your own life and perspective of who God is. Well worth the read.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers <http://booklookbloggers.com> book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2019 in Books, Health, Personal growth, Quotes

 

MD humor

Fortunately, the doctors and staff of New England Orthopedic Surgeons, who worked on my leg/hip and my wife’s knees were better trained and attentive to detail than these folks. Praise God for good doctors. 😉

 
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Posted by on November 15, 2018 in Fun, Health

 
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A good reason for an annual physical

 
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Posted by on October 22, 2018 in Fun, Health

 

Rehab & Recovery, Round Two

As some of you may be aware, I’ve spent the past 10+ months rehabbing a broken leg. While putting up Christmas lights in early November 2017, I fell off a step ladder and broke my right femur in two places at the hip. ER, surgery, rehab, physical therapy, daily exercises … been there, done that, still doing it.

This morning, my wife begins her season in the crucible. In a few short hours, Carol will be in surgery to have her right knee replaced. Assuming it all goes well, she will begin PT this afternoon. In mid-November, she will have the left knee taken care of. And the PT cycle will continue.

Two years of rehab … one for me … one for her. I think this falls under the “… in sickness and in health …” portion of the marriage vows.

Thanks for praying.

 
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Posted by on September 19, 2018 in Health

 

Ten months

It has now been ten months since I fell on November 6 and broke my leg/hip. While I am not quite 100% yet, I am light years removed from where I began.

  • I have not used a cane since Memorial Day.
  • The past three Sundays I was able to preach standing up. (For many weeks, I sat on a stool. For a few weeks, I started the sermon standing up and sat down part way through. I am now able to be on my feet the whole time.)
  • I am able to walk longer and farther.
  • I am still doing therapy exercises 6 days a week to continue to rebuild the strength in my leg.

Thanks be to God for his continued healing and grace.

 
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Posted by on September 6, 2018 in Health

 

Answered prayer

I am now eight months into my recovery from a broken hip/leg. I had another ultrasound on my right leg this morning and then met with the vascular surgeon. He confirmed that the blood clots are gone. Praise God for answered prayer. The only think remaining is to continue strengthening the leg. Thanks for praying.

 
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Posted by on July 5, 2018 in Health, Prayer