Years ago, Reader’s Digest ran a series of articles about different parts of the body. They would take your foot, your liver, your ear, your tongue or your eyes and write an article about the way that part functioned and what you could do to take care of it.

 

The stories would begin with something like, “Hi. I’m Joe’s liver.” Or, “Hi. I’m Jane’s ear.”   Well, today I want to say, “Hi.   I’m Edwin’s heart.” And I hope the story of my heart will speak to you.

 

It was a time in my life when my days were full of activity—and full of stress. There was the financial stress of our church having built a building…and the bottom falling out of the economy.

 

Then there was the stress of speaking at conventions, meetings and rallies all around the country. During those days I didn’t think a plane could leave my hometown of Houston unless I was on it!

 

On top of all this, I was conducting funerals, performing weddings, adding to our church staff, needing to add another service on Sunday morning, etc., etc., etc. I was going full steam ahead day after day!

 

In the midst of the craziness, I remember actually thinking, “Hey, I’m strong! I have so much energy…I’m bullet proof.   I’m OK!”   But one day, my heart started to speak to me…and not in a way I wanted to hear.

 

It was in the middle of a particularly busy and stressful couple of days, and I decided I would exercise a little bit.   As I was riding my stationary bike, I started getting those heavy, heavy forearms. And I said to myself, “You know, I think I may have a problem.”

 

So I went to the doctor, and they did an electrocardiogram. They didn’t like what they found and ended up wheeling me straight into the emergency room!

 

To make a long story short, they examined me at the hospital and found I had an artery that was 90 percent blocked. So they performed an angioplasty that day and opened the artery back up.

 

Do you know what the hardest part of this experience was for me? It was surrendering…giving up control. It was a tough thing for me to do, as I imagine it is for you at times!

 

But once I surrendered, there was a deep sense of relief inside of me. And I prayed the prayer found in Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.”

 

I began to reorganize all of my life—my schedule, my activities—and I started a new walk.   I realized that there was a direct connection between my physical health and spiritual health…and both needed to be addressed.

 

I realized my life was packed too full of activity. As a result, I had been doing my quiet time in sort of a hit-and-miss fashion, as was the case with my physical exercise.

 

That day my heart spoke a message to me physically and spiritually—heart and soul  I knew I had to change my lifestyle if I wanted to get where God desired for me to be.

 

Today I want to ask you:   What is your heart saying to you?

 

Are you taking care of your physical heart like you should be?   And are you taking care of your spiritual heart…your soul…like you should?

 

These are questions each of us needs to ask ourselves from time to time.   And the beginning of a new year is a great time to renew your commitment to become heart and soul healthy.


 

I would love to send you a copy of my new devotional called 365 Days of Total Heart Health  It is my gift to you at the beginning of this new year—to express my thanks for your donation to Winning Walk Family. I have written this book in collaboration with my wife, JoBeth, cardiovascular surgeon Dr. Michael Duncan and cardiologist Dr. Richard Leachman from the Texas Heart Institute,to help you care for both your heart and your soul.   I’m confident this book—filled with sound biblical and medical advice—will help you or someone you know develop a healthy lifestyle…and encourage you to dig deeper in your relationship with God like you never have before!

 

It is my prayer that you will begin 2006 walking a new walk…and determined to become healthy—heart and soul!

 

Visit the Winning Walk website.