Take heart. Take care of your heart.

Being an engineer I have always tried to understand what makes us tick. The heart is a wonderful piece of engineering and it keeps on ticking no matter what, faster when anxious or exercising, then going back to resting pace when the challenge is over. It worked fine for the first 75 years of my life, but then I noticed a gradual change. Well, this is part of normal aging I thought, so I shrugged it off and went on with my life as best I could. One very early morning I woke up with a cold sweat and pain in my chest and both arms, so I stood up and started to walk it off. I burped and burped and after a couple of minutes it went away and I felt a good warmth in my chest and that was it, so I went back to sleep. Checking my stamina later I found it had gone down by at east a factor of two. This fall I had a congestive cold and found that I could not do the trick that always worked before, whenever I found myself short of breath with a slight pain in my chest I hyper ventilated until it went away. That does nor work well in a coughing spell. Anyhow, I decided to wait until my yearly physical checkout. That is when my doctor discovered I had anemia as well. Sudden anemia is usually a sign of internal bleeding, so first I was in for a complete plumbing checkout. But I insisted that I better see a cardiologist asap, and there was a cancellation, so I could go in the day after the colonoscopy. I failed the stress test miserably, and they found blockages. Off to catheterization. It revealed that my Left Anterior Descending artery (yes, that is the so called widowmaker) was more than 90% blocked. But it also revealed that another artery was 100% blocked, and the heart had connected that artery with another artery, it had provided its own bypass. Isn’t it wonderful how God in the 750 Megabyte DNA information provided in every cell He also provided us with a very good repair kit. However,  the widowmaker artery is alone, so when it goes altogether, that’s the end. For me, it was not too late, so they put in a stent, and already when I was wheeled out of the operating room I felt like a new man. (Yes, you are awake during the procedure, they tell you to hold your breath so they can take yet another x-ray as they poke around.) Poking around they found a third, partially blocked artery, but it may be fixed with medication.

I am thankful to God for modern medicine. They can do all these things just by going in through the artery in the wrist, look around and put in a stent. When I grew up, if you got a heart attack, that was it. But most of all I stand in awe at the wonders of God

Psalm 139:13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

Merry Christmas! A very traditional Scandinavian Christmas!

We have finally decorated our Christmas tree! From our Scandinavian traditions Christmas Eve is the big day. We are awaiting the arrival of our children and grand children. First we all go to church, singing Christmas carols, After a short message telling the real reason for the season that Jesus came to earth, born of a virgin, sent to die to redeem us from our sins, risen again and is now back in Heaven with the Father, as He was from before the beginning of time. The singing ends with all singing “Silent Night, Holy Night.

Then we go back home and enjoy our Christmas dinner, followed by at least one more hour of singing Christmas carols, all choose at least one, beginning with the youngest. We do this while dancing around the Christmas tree. Then we eat the Marzipan cake, decorated as the Rose of Sharon and sing happy birthday, Lord Jesus. After that, it is the giving out of Christmas presents. We open them, one at a time, giving thanks, or whatever come to mind after each present.

There is no Santa in our Christmas, that would take away from the centrality of Jesus Christ.

Christmas Day is for eating and relaxation.

This is our traditional Scandinavian Christmas. No Lutfisk, my wife is from Denmark.