A Troubled Heart Log Blog: 2015.11.20

It has been awhile since my last entry in my “Troubled Heart Log Blog” and some Troubled Heartthings have come up that have prompted me to start up the log again. More on that later. Before going further with today’s entry I would like to take us back to August 14, 2013. It was my first entry in what had been (and still is) very helpful for me as I’ve tried to come to the fact that the life my heart is currently sustaining is only temporary. Now don’t get the idea that I’ve got one foot in the grave because that is not the case I’ve still have a lot of living to do and just as the picture above states, “God fixes troubled hearts” and I need to add He’s far beyond good at it too! Now let’s turn back the calendar to the summer of 2013…

A Troubled Heart Log Blog: 2013.08.14

To Anticipate or not to Anticipate


Take a wild guess on what date my surgery will take place! Go ahead I’m a patient man I’ll wait for you to turn on your ISP (Internal Spiritual Perception).


That’s right! Friday September 13th. Your ISP is tuned to the right channel so that means you and are on the wavelength. Therefore there can be little doubt that as I relate to you the many things firing through my simple mind will resonate within you. And hopefully our journey together will be a blessing to and for all of us.


Before going any further you need to read this disclaimer. If you proceed further please do so any your own risk because when you get to the end you may say to yourself, “Does this guy really know what he is talking about.” If that is where you find yourself then you need to know that I am not talking about your life I am talking about MY life. So if you’re a chance taker then by all means press on. If you’re not a chance taker then press on anyway you may just get a good laugh out of me.

I believe one of the most powerful and useful emotion we humans possess is anticipation yet at the same time anticipation is a doubled edged sword because it can encourage and discourage, it can excite us or depress us, it can be controllable or uncontrollable, it can bring warmth and peace to a stone cold life or it can rob a life of a warm and peaceful life. Anticipation can also be used by another person as a tool of motivation.

Whenever I think about anticipation I always think about my days as a kid at home waking up about 5 or 6 o’clock on Christmas Day and anticipating that magic moment when mom or dad would say, “It’s time to see what Santa Claus left us.” My brothers and sister and I would rocket downstairs empowered by pure anticipation to our treasures left by Santa Claus. (I know it was my mom and dad who left the treasures but I am still a believer in Santa Claus. I’ll have to tell you about him at a later date.)

There’s a good chance you’ve never considered how important anticipation is to you or how dependent you are on it. Whether you realize it or not anticipation is at work in you nearly every waking moment. For example one of the first things we do in the morning is to anticipate what the day will bring. Somewhere in your awaking exercises you anticipate what you’ll eat for breakfast and as each experience/opportunity presents itself to you anticipation presents to you will be accompanied by a variety of outcomes.

I remember laying in my bed Saturday (08/10) as my heart surgeon was explaining to me what was troubling my heart and a brief description of how he would go about fixing it anticipating another “pain in the neck” date in an operating room and that was accompanied by the memory of my first experience of open chest surgery which was my most painful surgical experience. (It was more painful than any of my twelve hip surgeries.) Much to my surprise as the doctor was talking I was secretly hoping he’d do it right away. But because of the complexity of things here a home that was the wrong thing to happen. When asked what time frame we were looking  at he told us any time within the next four to six weeks that I wasn’t in any grave danger as long as I was a good boy.

After the doctor left and we were preparing me to go home we anticipated August 27th which would give us enough time to cover everything we needed to cover here at home. That date was also good because of a visit from our son who lives I Louisville, Kentucky and a weekend get away with some members of our church family. So Monday morning we began anticipating securing the 27th as the date of my party. Tuesday, no date. Wednesday (today) Friday September 13th. Anticipating the 27th shot in the seat of the pants. Anticipating Friday the 13th I gotta wait a whole month! So fire up your ISP again and see if you can figure how I will be anticipating this latest detour. Go ahead I’ll wait again.

roller-coaster_thumb3A Roller Coaster ride! WOW! See I told you your ISP was working great. Now if I an only talk you into seeking what the lottery numbers will be. Personally I’ve never been on a roller coaster and personally I don’t want to b either but unfortunately like most the circumstances/situations we face in life we’ve no choice. However, this may come as a surprise to you (it does me anyway) I am really anticipating the ride because it will all be good! I can say that because of my relationship with Jesus and his relationship with me.

I know my emotions will range from anticipating the worse (that I will survive the surgery but be permanently incapacitated) to living with a renovated heart in tip-top shape allowing me to “Ride Ole Blue, Ride”. One of the greatest allies of anticipation is our memory and my memory is alive with memories of all the times when the prayers of my friends and family and Jesus have seen me through some pretty rough surgeries and recovery periods. And as I stated in my last Log Blog entry the LORD has reassured me that everything before, during, and after the surgery will be okay. However, (here’s how anticipation can take some sharp turns) I will be anticipating just what the LORD means by the will be okay. Does he mean the surgery will be a complete success or does he mean he will be taking me home to live in heaven.

Isn’t the process of anticipation not only a great mystery but also a source of great unrest as well. (Here comes another however.) However it is the mystery and the unrest that are the “proving grounds” of our faith. For example if I choose to trust and exercise my faith and anticipate whatever the outcome the LORD will not only accompany me through whatever but also add his blessings to the outcome. The key to living a life full of hope, joy, love, and peace is to anticipate Jesus’ Agenda for our lives rather than our own agenda.

Not many who read this will probably remember a family show on television back in the black and white days of television (not quite back in the stone age, but pretty close anyway) titled “Father Knows Best”. Since wrestling with God over whether I would follow Jesus’ Agenda or my agenda I’ve come to believe that NO “Father does know no best” but “God Knows Best” and God knows Jesus’ Agenda is best.

As I anticipate my way to Friday September 13th I will be going deeper and deeper into the process of anticipation its importance in our everyday life. And from where I sit right now I anticipate some more thoughts along this line, “Do I really know what I’m talking about?”

It is my prayer and anticipation that you’ll join me on what is proving to be a great adventure to me. (Now that’s positive anticipation in action!)

Grace and PEACE,


For the past several months I’ve been experiencing some mild chest pain and shortness of breath when they first started I attributed them to pulmonary fibrosis. While I aware that I still had one minor cardiac artery partially blocked but because the doctors told me it wouldn’t cause any real trouble I was sure the chest pain was do to the rapid expansion and collapse of my lungs. Then one day a couple of weeks ago the thought occurred to me I’d better see my cardiologist just to be safe. So we made the appointment saw the doctor he didn’t seem to worried but to be safe he ordered a stress test using nuclear die and a electro cardiogram.

Yesterday we went back to the doctor for the test results. The electro cardiogram was okay indicating there was no damage to my heart, “It’s pumping great,” Dr. G told me. But the stress test came back showing an abnormality, there appeared to be some blocked arteries. He suggested scheduling a heart cath. so before leaving we scheduled one for December 4th at St. John’s Providence Hospital, where my bypass surgery was done. Now I find myself back on the proverbial emotional roller coaster I boarded in August 2013. Did you know God does not like emotional roller coasters? He doesn’t. I don’t either but unfortunately they are a huge part of life. sometimes we board them because we choose to other times (like now in my case) life pushes us on one.

Because emotional roller coasters are a part of life they’re not completely go away but we can minimize the ups and downs and one way of doing that is through journals such as “A Troubled Heart Log Blog”. And when we invite Jesus to ride with us it not only becomes a method whereby our relationship with him becomes deeper, and stronger but also we feel more secure in depending on him. I’ve never been on an amusement park roller coaster (mainly because they frighten me) but I am beginning to enjoy riding an emotional roller coaster as long as Jesus rides with me. And you want to know a secret? There are even times when Jesus pushes us on one. Did he push me on this one? I’m not sure but I do know he’s riding with me so we’ll see where this one takes me.

Author John D. Barry poses a question everyone of us need to not just give an answer but also accept and live by our answer. “What does it take for us to trust someone with our lives? “What does it take for us to trust God with our lives?”  For me the answer is simple and because of some minor chest pain and shortness of breath quite obvious – a troubled heart. Of course there have been many more “bumps in the road” that have contributed to my ability to depend on and trust in God for whatever I need to live and love in this world and his world. There is one consistent message from God that has sustained me over the 69 plus years of my life. “…Since the day you were born, I have carried you along. I will still be the same when you are old and gray, and I will take care of you. I created you. I will carry you and always keep you safe.” (Isaiah 46:3–4, CEV)

And the journey/adventure begins!

Grace and PEACE,

Gary Piper






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