Tis the season!! Unfortunately not for our hearts. A study back in 2004 found a 5% increase in heart attacks during the Christmas season. Then last year, a study published in the British Medical Journal found Christmas Eve to be especially risky for those who are prone to heart disease. Let’s dissect why….
The cold has long been associated with heart stress. Cold weather causes blood vessel constriction and this adds extra work for the heart. Moreover, it causes less oxygen to reach vital organs, including the heart.
Snow shoveling has been infamous for inciting heart attacks for this same reason. The heart demands extra blood due to the increase in activity and the cold restricts blood flow.
Alcohol, especially in excessive amounts, can put stress on the heart by increasing blood pressure, worsening diabetes, and causing abnormal heart rhythms. Moreover, it interferes with the metabolism of medications, hence many of these may not work at their best. Which brings us to…..
Medical providers take vacation too. And if a patient forgets to refill his medication he may go without during the two weeks of holiday season. Moreover many forget to pack everything they need for a Holiday trip and without anticipating delays, one could be without crucial medication dosing. The heart does not like this.
Holiday travel is never easy. Delays, long lines, the cold, traffic and then…..family. We may love our family but prefer seeing them in small doses. All the family at once can be a little overwhelming for some. As for coping with the in-laws…..well a guide is available for you all here.
Firstly, we must know our risk factors. These include:
and even short stature has been cited as a potential risk factor.
As you can see, many of us can be at risk for heart disease. Therefore, secondly, we should be evaluated with an EKG, echocardiogram and any other exams our medical provider and/or cardiologist deem necessary.
Thirdly, reduce your risk by the following:
Plan ahead by doing the following:
Holiday time should be a happy time. Let’s make it a healthy one!!!
A minister's wife came up to me after seeing my due diligence in seeking out the Scriptures and said, "You're so heavenly-minded that you're no earthly good.”-Bradlee Dean
When I was first saved from my sins (Matthew 1:21) back in 1998, I remember how much the Lord had broken me down to nothing, and I mean nothing. A man of God once said that until a man becomes nothing, God will create nothing out of him (Isaiah 66:2; Psalm 34:18, 51:17). The Lord has definitely taken the time to show me this truth by showing me what I am not, by showing me who He is (Malachi 3:6).
During this breaking process, I also remember feeding on the Word day and night (John 6:35). For me, it was like King David when he said:
“As the deer pants for the water brooks, So pants my soul for You, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.” -Psalm 42:1-2
I'm also reminded in Matthew 5:6 where Jesus said: “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”
This is where I am after 21 years of working out my own salvation with fear and trembling and in studying to shew myself approved unto God (Philippians 2:12; 2 Timothy 2:15).
I did not want to have anything to do with the old man.
“That ye put off concerning the former conversation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; And be renewed in the spirit of your mind; And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.” -Ephesians 4:22-24
This is what being born again means and looks like (John 3:3-5).
“Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;” -Titus 3:5
We are new creatures in Christ.
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” -2 Corinthians 5:17
I had new desires and my affections were set on Christ (Colossians 3:1). I wanted His will; and how was I to do that if I did not know His Word (John 7:17)?
Now, in the beginning process of growing in grace (2 Peter 3:18) and being rooted and built up in Him (Colossians 2:7), this minister's wife tells me that if I was so heavenly-minded that I would never be any earthly good. I almost fell out of my chair. The first thing that came to my mind was that if I am not heavenly-minded, how is it that His will can be done on earth as it is in Heaven (Matthew 6:10)?
How was I supposed to give the answers to the world that they so desperately needed if I didn’t have them to give? (Matthew 10:8; 2 Timothy 2:6-7)
Furthermore, “our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:20).
Our conversation is to becometh the Gospel of Christ (Philippians 1:27).
For anyone one to say, I care not for whom it may be, that if we are so heavenly-minded that we are no earthly good, it is one of the most backward, as well as, unscriptural things to say (Galatians 1:3-12).
The fact of the matter is if you are not heavenly-minded, you will be no earthly good!
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, the will of God.” -Romans 12:2
After all friends,
“You can’t go on heavenly missions without heavenly fire." -D. L. Moody