The United Club celebrated Heart Month by listening to special guest speaker Patty Smith, wife of Robert Smith, senior pastor of Wesley Memorial United Methodist Church.
Martha Bostic, founder and hostess of the United Club, called the meeting to order by passing out booklets titled, “Heart Insight,” published by the American Heart Association.
Bostic talked about the time when she had heart problems several years ago and had to go to the hospital for open-heart surgery. She urged those present to get checked out if they felt a tightening sensation or pain in their neck, shoulder, arm, chest or stomach.
“Check it out. Don’t wait, it could be your heart. We don’t want something to happen,” she said. “Another thing I worry about is strokes. If you get a tingling or numbness or feel funny in your face or something, don’t wait. Don’t hesitate. Get to the doctor because it just might save your life.”
After discussing the history of February and its many celebrations, including Black History Month, Valentine’s Day and American Heart Month, Smith mentioned the Texas Heart Institute has a great website on the heart and also PBS Nova, a documentary channel, has a website about the heart. It shows how the blood pumps through the heart in and out the chambers and to the lungs.
She said the heart weighs in around 7 to 15 ounces, is slightly larger than your fist and is right in the center of the chest. Smith also said a person’s heart will beat more than 3.5 billion times in a lifetime. She also said the average number of beats per day is around 100,000, pumping about 2,000 gallons of blood. If all of the vessels in the cardiac system were laid end to end they would stretch around 60,000 miles or circle more than twice around the earth. “This is phenomenal,” she said.
Smith explained the heart keeps us alive from the physical side. “But did you know that throughout history the heart has been understood in more than just the physical realm? That throughout ages many philosophers and scientists, including Aristotle have considered the heart the seat of thought, reason or emotion, often rejecting the value of the brain. “Now that’s historical,” she said. She also said the Stoics (a philosophy stressing indifference to pleasure or pain) thought that the heart was the seat of the soul and the Roman physicians supposedly located the seat of passion in the liver, the seat of reason in the brain and they considered the heart to be the seat of emotion.
Smith talked about an Egyptian monk, Macarius, born in 300 A.D. who was attributed with writing some 50 spiritual homilies. He wrote about the heart, stating, “Within the heart is an unfathomable depth, there are reception rooms and bed chambers in it, doors and porches, and many offices and passages.”
She said she looked up in the King James Version of the Bible on www.BibleGateWay.com the word “heart.”
“It has 774 references to the heart,” she said. She added that the heart is very important with God and His relationship with us and our relationship with him. She quoted some of the ways the word “heart” was used, saying, “Hardened heart,” referring to the pharaoh, who’s heart was hardened by God,” “The integrity of the heart,” “Speaking in my heart,” “ Their heart fails them,” “Jacob’s heart fainted” and “Comfort ye your heart,” and “Thou shall not hate thy brother in your heart.”
An important passage she read was, “Soloman’s wives turned away his heart after other gods and his heart was not perfect with the Lord his God.”
“I just thought that was a sad one to me,” Smith said.
She then quoted some phrases Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God,” “For where your treasure is there your heart will be also,” “Take my yoke upon you and learn of Me for I’m meek and lowly in heart and ye shall find rest unto your soul,” Matthew 11:29. “Shall likewise shall my heavenly Father shall also do unto you if you from your heart forgive not everyone of his brother their trespass.”
Then Smith said, “I would just close with one verse from Psalm 51:10, ‘Create in me a clean heart, Oh God; and renew a right spirit within me.’ Amen.” She then thanked attendees for the opportunity to speak.
Martha took the floor again and announced the guest speaker for March will be Lamar Vest, president and CEO of the American Bible Society. He will speak on March 27 at the Golden Corral.