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2009 Conversations

2008 Conversations

2007 Conversations

2006 Conversations

2005 Conversations

Benji creator Joe Camp: Moral movies, personal cost (12/26/04)

Gloria Gaither: A Gaither family Christmas(12/19/04)

Allyson Feliz: Olympic medalist  shares passion for following Christ (12/12/04)

Dan Dean: Walking by faith (11/28/04)

J. Don George: Every church can touch the poor (11/21/04)

Brock Gill: Jesus is no illusion (11/14/04)

Ted Dekker: Good, evil and the battle for souls (10/31/04)

Bob Kilpatrick: CCM: Growing and changing (10/17/04)

Eugene H. Peterson: Man with a message (10/10/04)

Caz McCaslin: Fixing kids sports (9/26/04)

Jerry B. Jenkins: A novel approach to evangelism (9/19/04)

Natalie Grant: Living the dream (9/12/04)

Sharon Ellard: A life-changing education (8/29/04)

Steven Curtis Chapman: All things new (8/22/04)

Jim Ryun: Running to Jesus (8/15/04)

George Barna: Today’s church: By the numbers (8/8/04)

Randy Singer: Made to count (7/25/04)

Holly McClure: Morality and the media (7/18/04)

Don Miller and Richard Flory:Taking the Church to today's culture (7/11/04)

Cecil Richardson: Pastoring the Air Force’s 'Pastors' (6/27/04)

Barry Meguiar: Driven by faith (6/20/04)

Thomas E. Trask: Concerned for America (6/13/04)

Dr. David Yonggi Cho: The work of the Holy Spirit (5/30/04)

Tom Greene: High school: A great mission field (5/16/04)

Jennifer Rothschild: Walk by faith, not by sight (5/9/04)

Chaplain Alex Taylor: Forgiveness and restoration (4/25/04)

Joshua Harris: Not even a hint (4/18/04)

Nicky Cruz: Changing America (4/11/04)

Jason Schmidt: Lessons learned on life’s field (3/28/04)

Scott Temple: One church, many colors (3/21/04)

Michael W. Smith: Called to worship (3/14/04)

Representative Jo Ann Davis: Christians in politics (2/29/04)

Darlene Zschech: Sing, shout … just shout the praise the Lord (2/22/04)

Surgeon James W Long: For your heart’s sake, get fit (2/15/04)

Jerry R. Kirk: Battling pornography (2/8/04)

Dr Michael Ferris: A choice to heal (1/18/04)

Chaplain Al Worthley: Outside the four walls of the church (1/11/04)

2003 Conversations

2002 Conversations

2001 Conversations

For your heart’s sake, get fit

Heart surgeon James W. Long Jr. directs the Utah Artificial Heart Program in Salt Lake City and leads a team that is developing a revolutionary artificial heart pump. The following conversation is adapted from a recent interview Associate Editor Kirk Noonan had with Long and an article Long wrote.

PE: Tell me about your work as a heart surgeon and researcher.

LONG: My work focuses on combating death and disability due to heart disease with the most advanced therapies and technologies available. It includes fundamental approaches to preventing heart disease by providing my patients with knowledge, inspiration, and motivation to change their lifestyles.

PE: How serious of a threat is heart disease in the United States?

LONG: Cardiovascular disease is America’s No. 1 killer, but it is amenable to prevention. We need to understand the factors that contribute to coronary artery atherosclerosis, the most prevalent yet most preventable form of heart disease.

PE: What are those risk factors?

LONG: Inherited predisposition, high blood pressure, smoking, diabetes, high or abnormal cholesterol and obesity. At least 60 percent of people in the United States are well over their ideal body weight. Over the last several decades the problem of being overweight has worsened by 20 to 25 percent. Being overweight raises the risk of developing heart disease by two to four times. Other conditions made worse by obesity include high blood pressure, diabetes, stroke, cholesterol abnormalities, gall bladder disease, arthritis, respiratory problems, sleep disorders and several types of cancer.

PE: What can a person do to become and stay healthy?

LONG: There is no time like the present to take control of your health. First, learn as much as you can about health risks and how to prevent sickness and disease by reading and by consulting your physician. Second, get motivated to make the necessary lifestyle changes to be healthy. Third, put that newly obtained knowledge and sense of motivation into action and start working toward a healthy life.

PE: If a person is overweight, what is a good first step to better health?

LONG: Lose weight. One needs to reduce his or her caloric intake by 500 to 1,000 calories per day. This should be an integral part of any program aimed at achieving a weight loss of one to two pounds per week.

One should also exercise to the point of comfortable fatigue three to five times a week. This means some sweating and hard breathing over 20 to 30 minutes of exercise. But before a person undertakes any drastic changes in their lifestyle they should consult their physician.

PE: You have a busy, time-consuming and stressful career — what steps do you take to stay healthy?

LONG: I do most of my transplants in the middle of the night, so my work will go literally around the clock. I have to regiment myself to find the block of time to exercise. I improvise by taking the stairs rather than the elevator, and whenever possible I break away long enough to work out in the fitness center. I also try to watch what I eat.

The motivation for me to do this, even though it is done in an irregular and unpredictable way, are the people I operate on who are suffering.

PE: What is your greatest passion?

LONG: My passions are my wife and sons, helping others by using my God-given abilities, and attacking the problem of heart disease.

PE: Speaking of passion, can a person’s passion contribute positively to their overall health?

LONG: People who have a strong desire to be productive and reach out beyond themselves and help others have exuberance for life that those who have no passion lack. Those who are passionate about something manage to have their spirit and mind driven and their body just seems to follow. Taking care of your body is the linkage between passion and health.

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