Sunday, March 29, 2009

'A crown that will last forever'

Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.

Not that I did "strict" training, but recently finished third in my age division in the Sedalia (Mo.) Half-Marathon. The award sits on a shelf in the same room I'm typing up this blog entry. I don't run to get awards, but it's pleasing to win one from time to time.

The verse from 1 Corinthians is a good lesson from Paul. Awards - like this one - received on earth will eventually turn to dust. God's awards are eternal.

Stroke survivors often struggle to do all they can. Sometimes, earthly prizes are appreciated. But remember that the true award awaits, promised and ready.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

You can't earn this gift - but you can accept it

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

I've seen and heard this verse all my life, but today it struck me differently. Too many people, I think, focus on the first part of the sentence and not the last part. For the moment, let's consider the last part: "... the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord."

Notice too, that if you make yourself as a servant to sin, it's about wages - what you "earn."

Place yourself in the hands of God, and it's not what you "earn" but instead a gift. More than you could ever earn but a gift through Christ, through his unconditional love. An eternal gift - one that keeps on giving. Now and forever.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Women need care, too

One of my news alerts pointed me to this disturbing article: Women less likely to receive critical care after a stroke, MSU researchers find.

Women are 30 percent less likely than men to receive a critical clot-busting drug than can limit brain damage after a stroke, according to a Michigan State University study.

The study findings were presented Feb. 19 in San Diego at the International Stroke Conference, organized by the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association.

Tissue plasminogen activator, or tPA, first approved as a treatment in the mid-1990s, is a potent blood thinner used to dissolve artery-clogging clots, which cause most strokes. As part of its study, a team of MSU researchers reviewed all stroke studies published between 1995 and March 2008 that presented data on tPA treatment rates. Eighteen studies provided data on more than 2.3 million patients.

A recent posting mentioned that stroke symptoms are often missed for the under-55 crowd. My stroke occurred at age 39 and fortunately, it was recognized. Still, it's clear that people who do not fit in the mold of a classic stroke patient - elderly male - need help, too.

This shows further evidence that if you even think you might be having a stroke, call 911, get somewhere and get a satisfactory answer. And if you are getting someone else to an emergency room, you might have to be that person's advocate for proper care.

So learn stroke signs. Don't hesitate. Waiting might be fatal.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

'Do not be ashamed'

So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time ...

The world wants us to be "ashamed" of our faith, "ashamed" of testifying about our Lord.

But Paul knew better then, and Christians need to remember they know better now. Paul suffered with beatings and being imprisoned - but never ashamed. Just keep in mind who "called us to a holy life."

Remember, then, the power of God, and share your story and faith.

From Korea 2006

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Just because you're young ...

Recent Reuters article shows that even health professionals can misdiagnose a stroke - for those who don't fit the mold.

Because the typical stroke victim is age 55 or older, an emergency room's staff may not suspect a stroke when a patient under 45 arrives with telltale symptoms, the researchers said.

They urged doctors to be vigilant for signs of a stroke even if the patient is young, noting the importance of quick treatment to prevent lasting damage.

"Accurate diagnosis of stroke on initial presentation in young adults can reduce the number of patients who have continued paralysis and continued speech problems," Dr. Seemant Chaturvedi of Wayne State University in Detroit, one of the researchers, said in a statement.

As other blog entries have noted, the move to get stroke patients to the right location for proper treatment is a great step forward. Another important move is to make sure the people who deal with emergencies - those who answer 911 calls, those who respond to those calls, ER staff, etc. - are aware of the signs and can help make life-saving decisions.

That includes you - even if you're under 40, it can still happen to you. Believe me, I know.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

'God will be with you'

"Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go."

Strong words for the right time. Joshua had just taken charge after the death of Moses.

These words had to be reassuring for someone in a new position in life. Did a stroke leave you or a loved one in a new position in life? To this day, I stumble through words, especially in times of stress or fatigue.

But the words calm and re-energize: "... God will be with you where you go." Good words to consider and remember.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Another blog telling a stroke survivor story

One of my Google alerts pointed me to the story of another stroke survivor and, most importantly, a fellow Christian.

To quote:

I know the One Who is the Great Physician. I don't know a doctor, but I know The Doctor.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

'You have been healed'

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

Anyone perfect out there? With no defect, never ill, always right?

Follow him, and all your wounds, all your infirmities, will fall away. Follow him, and you will see.