Thursday, February 27, 2014

Help for a Heart Attack

“If not for the Bible, the bullets would have gone right through his heart.”

An innocent bus driver in Dayton, Ohio noticed that his bus was having problems so he decided to pull over and investigate. As he exited the bus, a barrage of bullets assaulted him. Two hit him in the chest and one landed in his leg. As the bus driver was being attacked, he grabbed an aluminum pen and retaliated causing the young assailants to drop their weapon and flee. He got stabbed in the arm but also managed to stab one of his attackers in the leg before they broke loose.

When the paramedics arrived, the bus driver was alive. Saved by a New Testament version of The Message bible. Lodged between its pages are two bullets that were purposed for his heart.

I believe that one of the most vulnerable parts of the human body is the heart. Frequently it is attacked with bullets called anger, bitterness, self-hate, fear, and more.  Our best protection against heart attack is the Word of God.

Proverbs 4:23 says, “Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.” (MSG)

The verse is admonishing us to not only keep our hearts from experiencing danger but also expressing deceit. When we consume large amounts of God’s word, we are in essence wrapping our hearts in His love. God’s Word provides, protects, and pushes us to attain more from life. When we are distant, it leaves us exposed and vulnerable to attack.

The bible also reminds us that what we say is a direct result of what is in our hearts. (Luke 6:45).  So, fill your heart with good things. 

Here are four ways to protect yourself against/during a heart attack:

  1. Get involved in a good bible study that challenges you to read the scriptures. There is strength in numbers. Matthew 18:19-20 (NLT)  “I also tell you this: If two of you agree here on earth concerning anything you ask, my Father in heaven will do it for you. 20 For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.”
  2. Listen and sing encouraging music that uplifts your soul and points to God. Colossians 3:16 (NLT)  "Let the message about Christ, in all its richness, fill your lives. Teach and counsel each other with all the wisdom he gives. Sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs to God with thankful hearts
  3. Take everything to God and let him confirm its validity. 1 John 4:1 (NLT) "Dear friends, do not believe everyone who claims to speak by the Spirit. You must test them to see if the spirit they have comes from God. For there are many false prophets in the world.
  4. Pray. Stay in contact with the master physician and creator of your heart. Philippians 4:6 "Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done."

There are many times that the bullets of life should have taken you out - but God…

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Here is a hint! Catch it or get hit!

Hear the Whisper or Feel the Brick

1 Corinthians 16:13 (MSG)
13-14 Keep your eyes open, hold tight to your convictions, give it all you’ve got, be resolute, and love without stopping.

I was told about two boys who were riding a bike down a dirt road on a sunny afternoon. One boy was pedaling and the other boy was sitting on the handlebars. They seemed to be enjoying the ride more than anything else. Suddenly the bike's front tire caught a hole in the road and launched the boys into an overgrown grassy ditch. One of the boys was badly injured. They started yelling for any passerby to stop and assist them. One after another, people passed by without stopping. It was like their heart wrenching screams for attention were only faint whispers. Frustrated, the less injured boy grabbed a brick and hurled it at a car on the roadway. It crashed through the front passenger window and landed on the seat. The driver jammed his right foot onto the break pedal and the car screeched to a halt. He jumped out the car and ran in the direction the brick came from. The boys were lying in the ditch. Upset, the driver exclaimed, "Why did you chunk that brick at my car?" The boys replied, "Would you have stopped had we not thrown it?"

What will it take for you to stop and pay attention?

Will you hear the whisper or feel the brick?

If you consistently pay attention - you will never go broke in any aspect of your life.

Everyday, something is fighting for your attention. You can choose to ignore it or you can wait until something major happens. The cries for attention can appear faint if who or what is calling does not carry great significance in our lives. I contend that life’s little annoyances can appear so loud that we miss out on what we really need to be paying attention to. We are too busy taking care of trivial matters that we neglect the important.

The flip is that some people have become comfortable just yelling for attention. And like the man who sat at the pool of Bethesda in John chapter 5 – your cries for attention have become excuses for not getting up. Now is your time to quit complaining and whispering. Pick up a brick and demand attention.

I challenge you to review your life and see where you have walked blindly into places not because of faith but because of vanity or pride. What are areas that you have become complacent in and now your life demands change. Whether you adhere to the whisper or feel the brick – you must make a change. 

(side note) I’m not promoting violence of any kind. These bricks are allegorical.