Sunday, May 9, 2021

Do You Know How To Recognize A Stroke?


How many of you know how to recognize the symptoms of a stroke and know what to do? Maybe you've seen our acronym:


We even have BE-FASTER! copyrighted and it is a registered trademark owned by United Stroke Alliance.

We show it a lot to help people remember what the majority of symptoms are. Do you know what the letters represent?

To help you know and understand what BE-FASTER! means we have created and made available in the USA an app, free of charge, for Android and Apple devices. These apps do not collect, store or download any information on or from your phone.  

Google Play Store(click here --> BE-FASTER! This should take you right to our Android version for downloadng.) If this doesn't work, go to the Google Play store and use the search outlined below.

Apple's Apple Store: (You have to use their store app and use the following search. Apple doesn't have a direct link to it.)  

Search for these letters, BE-FASTER! on the store of your choice. Include the dash and the exclamation point to make sure you find it, and download it to your device. With this always available to you on your device you won't be under pressure to remember all those letters.

Each letter and its symptom on the screen is a button that when tapped will give further explanation of that symptom.

Once a stroke begins to present itself, BE-FASTER! and dial 911 immediately - the more time that is wasted, the more functioning a stroke survivor could lose as a result of the loss of 1,900,000 brain cells a minute. As described above, BE-FASTER! represents the majority of the signs of stroke. Most people in America do not know the signs and do not respond quick enough to receive early treatment to minimize post stroke challenges. One or more of these symptoms could indicate a stroke. And especially if multiple symptoms are present.  

United Stroke Alliance recognizes that each year 700,000 Americans suffer a new or recurrent stroke. Approximately 543,000 survive the stroke, many experiencing significant physical limitations as well as emotional and cognitive challenges. For almost everyone, the stroke was not a planned or wanted event. In fact, 80% of Americans that experience a stroke do not respond quick enough because they did not know the signs of stroke. It struck without notice and changed the lives of the family forever.

According to Monroe Clinica national survey commissioned by Ronald Reagan, UCLA Medical Center revealed the startling findings that 75 percent of respondents under age 45 are unaware of, or underestimate, the signs and symptoms of a stroke. Because of this they do not respond quick enough to reduce the effects of the stroke. The web site states the same thing.

With this app, we hope to improve the awareness. Please use it and let your family and friends be aware of it. They could save your life.

Tuesday, May 4, 2021

Self-Denial A Hallmark Of Christianity by Pastor and Stroke Survivor Phil Bell


Editor note: Beginning with May, automatic email notification will be discontinued. Today, I received this message from Blogger support: You are receiving this information because your blog uses the FollowByEmail widget (Feedburner).
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Phil Bell is a retired Baptist pastor and stroke survivor. He writes articles for his home town newspaper and permits us to pass them along. This article was meant for the Lenten season but came too late to make that timeframe. There is still, even now, a lot that you might gain from his writing. 


Street & Steeple for March 26, 2021

By Phil Bell, retired, pastor, University Baptist Church
“Self-Denial A Hallmark Of Christianity”
We are in the period of the Christian Calendar known as Lent. Just exactly when is that? It begins on Ash Wednesday (Feb, 17 this year) and lasts for approximately six weeks, ending the Saturday night before Easter Sunday. During Lent many or most Christians give up something they normally would enjoy! The day before Ash Wednesday is sometimes called Fat Tuesday (Mardi Gras) is a day of indulgences before the many days of denial.

Self-denial of the physical is a way to emphasize the Spiritual. In fact, fasting, which has been practiced since Bible times, is for just that purpose. It is intended to be a time in which we stop eating to be devoted to prayer and meditation on the Lord our God. Please note I’m writing of self-denial, not self-degradation. God wants us to have a healthy, humble respect for ourselves! Self-denial starts with Jesus as do most things Spiritual! Consider the words of Paul beginning with Philippians 2:5, “Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus, who, although existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond –servant, and being made in the likeness of a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Here, Paul explains that we, also are to have the same attitude of Jesus, who existed in heaven the second person of the triune God. The Trinity is clearly identified in Scriptures although the word, itself, is not used. We mortals have tried to come up with an analogy to help us try to understand it better, but have never done so successfully. One I like is the player in a baseball game. A Cubs player is a tremendous hitter, artful base runner, and gold glove defensive fielder, but this analogy fails in the sense that not even a Cubs player is all of those things at the same time, as is God is, the Father, God, the Son, and God the Holy Spirit!

Paul was writing of God, the Son, who, in heaven, has existed always and participated in creation with His Father. Why, then, did He choose to come to earth as a mere man? Love is the answer. Love for and obedience to His Father and great love for you and me! Didn’t He give up an awfully lot, I ask you. Yes, you say, but He knew He would be returning to heaven when His work on earth was done, you answer. Yes, He certainly did, but He also knew that while fully a man and fully God, He would endure physical torture both before and on the cross! I hope you’re getting the picture of just how great was and is the love of God for you!

While I can’t give you an example of the trinity I can give you an example of someone having the same attitude of the Christ, the example is my own dear loving wife, Nancy. When, following my massive stroke in January, 2012, I found myself in Heartland Healthcare for nursing and rehabilitation. I was being quite well taken care of, but, Nancy, took me home to be my sole caregiver, knowing she was giving up a life of her own, because she thought that was what was best for me! She even did this even before my insurance coverage for assisted living care had been exhausted. You might say, “Well, that’s what any spouse would do.” Tragically, that isn’t the case. While in Heartland I met a woman, there because of a stroke, like I, whose husband, not only did not take her home to care for, but left her on the day after their twenty seventh wedding anniversary! “Unimaginable,” you react angrily. Yes, but, all too common, I tell you. The attitude and actions of Nancy are those of an obedient Christian, knowing a good deal about self-denial and love!

I guess the opposite of self-denial is probably the overestimation of the importance of oneself. There have been many negative consequences of my disabling stroke nearly ten years ago now. The one I hate most is an insidious one. I find myself thinking and acting as if everything is all about me. I don’t want to have that attitude, but I have come to believe that, most likely, anyone who has lived through a catastrophic event is prone to that syndrome. Of course, we probably all know someone who thinks that, even though having not suffered anything catastrophic.

This clearly cannot be the attitude of an obedient Jesus follower! If you aren’t familiar with the practices of Lent this is still a good time to ask your pastor to tell you more about Lent and prepare for Holy Week; the remembrance of Holy Thursday, thankfulness of Good Friday, and celebration of Easter Sunday! Perhaps, by participating in Lent next year you will, indeed experience for yourself that self-denial is a hallmark of Christianity, just as much as participating in Holy Week is!

Why do we Jesus followers make such a big deal about Holy Week and Easter anyway? Jesus rising from the dead validates what He said about Himself and what was said about Him! Christianity is the only of the world’s major religions with a living leader! That should be evidence enough to believe Him when He said what John records in John 14:6, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life, no one comes to the Father but through Me.” Jesus made it clear that there is no other source or religion in which a person can have a relationship with God the Father except by way of Him! Then, all He did to prove it is defeat death by rising from the dead on what we call Easter Sunday!

- Phil Bell, retired, pastor, University Baptist Church