Posted on 09 January 2015.
Pastor Cherri’ Kerr, Discipleship Pastor
The Springs Church
135 N. Grant, Cedar Springs
Happy New Year! So how goes the New Year’s Resolution? If you’re like me, you are doing okay, for now. But we know the struggle is coming. We can look ahead and see a bright future but it’s that space in between here and there that we struggle. God knows more about our struggle than we might realize. Exodus 13:17 (NIV) says, “When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.”
God knew that the Israelites lacked the faith they would need to get to the Promised Land. The people needed time to prepare for what was ahead of them. And God was protecting His investment. He wasn’t putting a band-aid on their situation. He did not set them free for them to be enslaved again by some other nation. No, He had plans for them and every intention of seeing those plans to completion.
The same is true for us. God has everything we need to get from here to there. Have you ever noticed that the problems that tend to bother us are things like debt, obesity, addictions, anger and worry? These things are symptoms of our real problem. And like the Israelites, God isn’t looking to set us free so that we can become captive again to something else. He isn’t offering a band-aid. He offers a solution. God knows that all that we struggle with in this life starts in our heart.
Ezekiel 36:22-23 (NIV) “Therefore say to the Israelites, ‘This is what the Sovereign Lord says: It is not for your sake, people of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of my holy name… Then the nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I am proved holy through you before their eyes.
As you journey from here to there remember that you’re not the only one with skin in the game. God is completely invested in you. It is His Holy Name, His character, His power which is called into question when Christians choose to live enslaved.
Ezekiel 36:25-26 (NIV) says, “I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your impurities and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.”
Real change comes from a changed heart. God changes people from the inside out. This year allow God to uncover some things that may be hidden in your heart so that you may experience the fullness of God’s blessing in the coming year.
Posted in From the Pulpit
Posted on 22 December 2011.
American Heart Association offers lifesaving tips to get through the season
As many of us hope for a white Christmas, keep in mind the snow and cold winter months can be very hard on people with potential heart problems and people with existing heart problems. Some studies even suggest that harsh winter weather may increase a person’s risk of heart attack due to overexertion. Therefore, the American Heart Association is sharing some safe winter weather tips for your heart.
This winter, while you’re outdoors in the cold weather, be aware that your heart is working harder. If you’re not accustomed to physical activity, you should avoid sudden exertion, like lifting a heavy shovel full of snow. Even walking through heavy, wet snow or snowdrifts can strain a person’s heart.
To help make snow removal safer, the American Heart Association suggests:
*Give yourself a break. Take frequent rest breaks during shoveling so you don’t overstress your heart. Pay attention to how your body feels during those breaks.
*Don’t eat a heavy meal prior or soon after shoveling. Eating a large meal can put an extra load on your heart.
*Use a small shovel or consider a snow thrower. The act of lifting heavy snow can raise blood pressure acutely during the lift. It is safer to lift smaller amounts more times, than to lug a few huge shovelfuls of snow. When possible, simply push the snow.
*Learn the heart attack warning signs and listen to your body, but remember this: Even if you’re not sure it’s a heart attack, have it checked out (tell a doctor about your symptoms). Minutes matter! Fast action can save lives — maybe your own. Don’t wait more than five minutes to call 9-1-1
*Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before or immediately after shoveling. Alcohol may increase a person’s sensation of warmth and may cause them to underestimate the extra strain their body is under in the cold.
*Consult a doctor. If you have a medical condition, don’t exercise on a regular basis or are middle aged or older, meet with your doctor prior to the first anticipated snowfall.
*Be aware of the dangers of hypothermia. Heart failure causes most deaths in hypothermia. To prevent hypothermia, dress in layers of warm clothing, which traps air between layers forming a protective insulation. Wear a hat because much of your body’s heat can be lost through your head.
Besides cold temperatures and snow, we know we’ll have high winds to cope with also. Wind is especially dangerous, because it removes the layer of heated air from around your body. At 30 degrees Fahrenheit in a 30-mile wind, the cooling effect is equal to 15 degrees Fahrenheit.
To keep warm, wear layers of clothing. This traps air between layers, forming a protective insulation. Also, wear a hat or head scarf. Heat can be lost through your head. And ears are especially prone to frostbite. Keep your hands and feet warm, too, as they tend to lose heat rapidly.
Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before going outdoors or when outside. Alcohol gives an initial feeling of warmth, because blood vessels in the skin expand. Heat is then drawn away from the body’s vital organs.
Heart Attack Warning Signs
Some heart attacks are sudden and intense — the “movie heart attack,” where no one doubts what’s happening. But most heart attacks start slowly, with mild pain or discomfort. Often people affected aren’t sure what’s wrong and wait too long before getting help. Here are signs that can mean a heart attack is happening:
*Chest discomfort. Most heart attacks involve discomfort in the center of the chest that lasts more than a few minutes, or that goes away and comes back. It can feel like uncomfortable pressure, squeezing, fullness or pain.
*Discomfort in other areas of the upper body. Symptoms can include pain or discomfort in one or both arms, the back, neck, jaw or stomach.
*Shortness of breath with or without chest discomfort.
*Other signs may include breaking out in a cold sweat, nausea or lightheadedness
As with men, women’s most common heart attack symptom is chest pain or discomfort. But women are somewhat more likely than men to experience some of the other common symptoms, particularly shortness of breath, nausea or vomiting, and back or jaw pain.
Calling 9-1-1 is almost always the fastest way to get lifesaving treatment. Emergency medical services (EMS) staff can begin treatment when they arrive — up to an hour sooner than if someone gets to the hospital by car. EMS staff is also trained to revive someone whose heart has stopped. Patients with chest pain who arrive by ambulance usually receive faster treatment at the hospital, too. It is best to call EMS for rapid transport to the emergency room. If you can’t access EMS, have someone drive you to the hospital right away.
For more information, visit your physician or call the American Heart Association at 800-AHA-USA1 or visit online at www.heart.org.
Posted in Health