Monthly Reflection – August 2015

Dear all-

Good afternoon, I hope you are all well! This month’s reflection is a few days late to a minor computer glitch…. Sorry!

 

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

 

What’s the Condition of Your Heart?

What if I told you that I have a heart condition? What would your reaction be? Most likely, you would respond with gasps of “oh no!” You would probably feel sorry for me.

Well I have a Heart condition! I have a condition called Wolff Parkinson White syndrome.

The syndrome is congenital (present at birth) and is caused by an extra electrical connection in the heart.

WPW syndrome is one of the most common causes of an abnormally fast heart rate in infants and children. However, the syndrome is sometimes not detected until later in life.

The heart of a person with the syndrome will suddenly start racing before stopping or slowing down abruptly. This rapid heart rate is called supraventricular tachycardia (SVT).

Episodes can last for seconds, minutes, hours or, in rare cases, days. The frequency with which episodes occur can vary from person to person. Some people may have episodes on a daily basis, whereas others may only experience them occasionally.

When someone with WPW syndrome has SVT, their heart rate may be as high as 230 beats per minute (bpm). At rest, a normal heart rate in adults is 60-100 bpm.

I never knew I had this syndrome- it has never caused me any problems that I can remember- I found out almost by accident when I was part of a study at work on how shift work impacts on the health of staff and I was given a full medical including an ECG- I was told that I wouldn’t hear back from the medical team unless there was a problem…. Well I was shocked to get a phone call three days later saying ‘contact your Doctor immediately’…….. I am pleased to say that the condition is so minor that it still hasn’t caused me any issues other than work hitting the panic button briefly!!!!

 

Matters of the Heart

Your heart’s condition depends on the things you allow into your heart. These things form your thoughts and attitudes, and ultimately, shape the deepest part of your being. No matter what your circumstances (the outside) are, if your heart (the inside) is right, you’re going to be okay.

But if wrong things in our hearts go unattended, they will become deeply rooted and harder to deal with. The quicker you can detect a wrong heart condition and get it straightened out, the better off you are. We must be aware as Christian that all things that matter are matters of the Heart! I think about in years gone by where I have hurt someone or have been hurt by someone- I know that we feel it in our hearts- in our inner being…. That feeling where you have been let down sits in the pit of your stomach…….

 

How to Guard Your Heart

As Christians, we need to check our hearts a lot more often. Because many times, Christians can go through the motions and keep doing the “Christian thing,” but something has crept in their hearts and is hurting them and others. I believe that the piece of scripture I am about to read to you is the best piece of advice I was never given as a young man- and I believe that it is important to each of us from young to old!

 

Proverbs 4:23 says, ‘Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.’

 

 Notice that it doesn’t say somebody else will guard your heart. It doesn’t say God will guard your heart, your neighbour will guard your heart, your branch leader will guard your heart or pastor will guard your heart. It says you need to guard your heart. Your heart is your responsibility – yours and yours alone.

I wish someone had said that to me twenty years ago as a piece of advice- if I could go back in time and offer a younger me a piece of advice it would be ‘guard your heart’…..

I am not saying ‘don’t love’ or ‘don’t let anyone in’ I am saying be wise about who and what you love- learn to say no when you need to and keep a watch on your own inner being! 

You’re in charge of guarding your own heart. Realise that it’s pretty much a full-time job because we don’t know on any given day what’s going to come up. You don’t know what somebody may say to you that may hurt you, disappoint you or let you down. Then suddenly, there’s a wound in there that needs to be dealt with. As Christians  we need to move forwards in our families, our branch and our church- we can’t do this if we are carrying baggage in our hearts-  We need to humbly deal with hurt and pain when we cause it or when we feel hurt; I know that the best way to deal with upsetting someone close to you is to say sorry as soon as you can!

Since you just don’t know what you are going to encounter every day  you have to constantly be working with the Holy Spirit to keep your heart right. Proverbs 4 is titled ‘Get Wisdom at Any Cost’ – if you are reading this reflection then Proverbs 4 is for you!

 

The Most Important Thing

There’s nothing more important than your inner life—what’s in your heart-

7 But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 16:7

 

One of the biggest revelations I’ve received from God is that my real life is the life that’s in me. The same goes for you! Life is not your circumstances, the kind of house you live in, the kind of job you have or how much money you have. You can have the best of these things and still be miserable- I had friends at school who lived in huge houses but who never saw their parents from day to the next- they didn’t and still don’t have a relationship with their parents- how sad is that!

On the other hand, it’s amazing how happy and peaceful you can be in the middle of the most humble circumstances, including the turmoil that’s going on in the world today, if you keep your heart in the right condition- We were never rich when I was young, we lived within our means, my parents were at home every day for us- and although I probably didn’t appreciate it at the time it was truly a blessing to have a relationship with my parents who I am still close to today- when we spend time with our father we build a loving relationship……. There is a song by Tom Jones that goes:

My heart has love enough for two, More than enough for me and you I’m rich with love, a millionaire I’ve so much, it’s unfair…..

That is how I want my life to be rich in love with enough love for others!

Matthew 5:8 says, ‘blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God’ (NIV). I love that! Do you want to hear from God? Keep your heart pure. Do you want to know God’s secrets? Keep your heart pure.

Taking time to keep your heart pure is similar to cleaning out your basement or attic. Once you turn on the lights and start looking around in there, don’t be surprised to find some things you didn’t expect!

 

Preventing Further Heart Damage

I have found that if I meet with the father in the morning through prayer and meditating on Scripture, then it’s easier to protect my heart.  I can risk waiting until the afternoon, when I’ve already let the enemy use it as a rubbish dump for a while and then try to get a handle on it. Obviously, it would be better to start my morning doing the right thing! Spending time with God in prayer and quiet thought is so important- taking time to speak with the father and then listen is so valuable.  Which is why when a friend of mine who works for the church full time said he had dropped his morning quiet time as he wanted and extra 15 mins in bed I was troubled because this isn’t ‘guarding your heart’.

We must guard our hearts-I want you to understand this: Every time you feel like doing the wrong thing and you choose to do the right thing, you are growing—and God is smiling. So, be wise, develop self-control, Keep your commitments, keep your word and do what you know God wants you to do. And every time you feel like doing the wrong thing, choose to do the right thing!

 

I’m not saying that you ignore your feelings. We need to take care of our emotions. I tell God how I feel. But then I also tell Him what I will do through His strength and power. The bottom line is, if you want to be a victorious Christian, guard your heart—even when you don’t feel like it!

 

‘Dear Lord help us all to keep our hearts pure so that we can move forward in your will, if there is pain or hurt that needs to be healed help us to deal with it humbly and with love.

Amen.’

 

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Posted on September 4, 2015, in Monthly reflection. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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