Simply put, this BLOG is all about: LIFE STEWARDSHIP. Below you will find notes from Bible studies that cover basic stewardship principles and how to apply them to our lives.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


INTRO:  Have you ever had a heart attack?

I.                 MY DAD’S STORY
Last Monday morning, my Dad woke up, had his breakfast and went to his office for another day of “work”!  At some point in the morning, he fainted and fell out of his chair, evidently hit his head on the desk, flipped his chair and ended up on the floor.  He came too and had enough energy and sense to call home and told Mom, ‘I fainted and fell, please come get me and take me home’.  When the family got to him and saw his condition, they took him immediately to ETMC-Tyler, TX.  There they saw he had survived a heart attack.  Immediately they transferred him to the Cardiac ICU where they did an emergency procedure to open up one artery that was 100% blocked.  He improved significantly.  The resulting battery of tests indicated a significant amount of blockage, so he was kept in the ICU and scheduled for by-pass surgery the next morning, Tue at 7AM.  I got there in time to visit and pray with him prior to surgery and was so grateful to be able to do that!

We got reports throughout the surgery.  1st, he handled the anesthesia well.  2nd, he successfully transitioned to the by-pass machine so they were able to work on his heart and the surrounding blockage.  Then finally we heard that the surgery was completed and that he had come through well.  The Dr. met with us and told us he had done a triple by-pass that the fourth was not necessary as he was getting good blood flow.  It was going to take him some time to come out from under the anesthesia.  He was asleep all day Tuesday.  His face was swollen and it was difficult seeing him in that condition.  We prayed and talked to him anyway!  He had a good night and on Wednesday morning, we saw his eyes.  Wow, was that reassuring!  My dad has beautiful eyes…at least I think so!  Then we got to hear his voice and again, a sigh of relief came over all of us.  He was very groggy and foggy.  Dad has never taken much medicine especially the strong stuff they were giving him!  They had hoped to get him from the bed into the lounge chair sometime during the day on Wednesday but this didn’t happen.  He was slowly recovering.  We prayed as we left and hoped that he would have a great night of improvement.  When we got there Thursday morning, he was in the lounge chair smiling and recognizing us…he introduced me to each nurse as they came in and out.  How wonderful that was.  We saw him improve greatly through the day Thursday.  We played Glen Miller music and recalled some of the lyrics…he knew them all!  He was still not walking well enough to be moved to a private room.  One of the nurses told us that for someone his age with a heart as sick as his was, it is not uncommon to take and extra day or two in ICU.  We prayed that he would have another great night.  I didn’t want to leave town until he was in a private room.  Keeping him in ICU meant they thought he needed constant supervision, etc.  If he could just get to a private room, then that meant the Dr. thought he was able to move on to rehab and so forth. 

Well, I got up Friday, and by faith I packed the car to come back to Memphis and then headed to the hospital to see Dad.  On the way, I got a call.  “Randy, don’t come to ICU when you get here, come to 5287…Dad’s in a private room!  Well, I did a little praising on the way and some more when I got there!  The Dr. had seen Dad early on Friday, saw him walk and gave him the 'OK' to move to a private room.  He told Dad about how 'he had to kill him, put him on the by-pass machine and then resuscitate him, reconnecting his body to his newly cleaned heart and vessels.'  Dad said, “isn’t that a strange way to say what he did?”  I agreed, but then some Dr.’s do have an unusual sense of humor!

So, I prayed for Dad one more time, then got in my car, and came home to Memphis.  I sang all the way home!  Really!

I’ve thought about all that happened that week in Tyler, TX.  I’m sure I’ll think more about it too, but God said some very clear things to me this week about all of this.
a)   A Verse: Proverbs 14:30a says, “A sound heart is life to the body…”  I read through verses over the week looking for ‘heart’ and prayed for Dad’s heart to be strengthened.
b)   A Truth: Part of the ephod, what the high priest wore in worship in the Old Testament, was the breastplate.  It had 12 stones for the 12 tribes of Israel on it…this was worn over the heart!  Exodus 28 describes how it was made and what stones were place where, etc.  The first stone was called ‘sardius’ and the twelfth and last stone was referred to as ‘jasper’.  Adrian Rogers:  Referring to Rev. 4:2-3 “This was a way of saying that God has His people upon His heart.  Here he mentions jasper and sardius stones and a rainbow of emerald.  Here the jasper is more like what we’d consider a clear pure crystal…speaking of His purity and righteousness while sardius is red like ruby speaking of the blood sacrifice of our sinless Savior.”  The first stone in the breastplate was sardius and the last stone was jasper!  Then it hit me, we’ve all had a heart attack…all of our hearts were sick with sin!  We all need the sardius stone, the blood of Jesus to wash our hearts from all the sin that made us dead in our trespasses.  We all need the jasper stone, the very righteousness of Jesus…for our righteousness is as filthy rags!
A Paradox:  I kept thinking of what the Dr. told my Dad about killing him and resuscitating him.  2 Corinthians 4:11-12 says, "For we who live are always delivered to death for Jesus’ sake, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So then death is working in us, but life in you."  I understand this verse enough to know it is true.  We’ve all heard the lessons compelling us to know and practice ‘death to self’ and now I’ve seen a first-hand example.  There’s no reason in the world to keep walking around with a sick heart!  Who’d want to?  I was convicted of how I’ve let the junk of the world block my spiritual arteries, how sin kept God from flowing His life through me to others.  King David when faced with his sin with Bathsheba said this:  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.  God gave my Dad a new heart…twice now!  One physically a few days ago, and one spiritually when he was 16 years old!  This week He graciously gave me spiritual heart surgery!

A healthy heart, both physically and spiritually, are necessary for a sound life so don’t neglect your spiritual or your physical arteries!

> How is your heart today?  Do you need to have spiritual by-pass surgery?

> Can others say they experience life because of your self-less-ness?

> Do you need ‘heart surgery’?  Let the Great Physician perform the operation and let His life flow freely through you to others!

Well, that's all for now, but check back soon for another installment of REDD-INK!

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