Charlene and I are pleased & grateful for the visits, conversations, inquiries and prayers of our Christian friends at Parker Hill Community Church during our troubles.  Thanks to Lois G. for talking to me as I waited in the emergency room lobby.  I am awkward in general conversation situations and have trouble holding up my end mostly because I work alone all day listening to tapes and lost in my own thoughts, but I appreciate it.  During supper, Char always has things to tell me that help me climb back to the surface, though I don't always get there.

My wife, Charlene, began bleeding from her uterus rather heavily and shedding blood clots Tuesday afternoon.  This continued the rest of that day and all night.  Wednesday I took her to the emergency room at Mercy Hospital.  We arrived there at 11am, a gynecologist didn't attend to her until 4:30pm.  She continued bleeding heavily the whole time and then nearly stopped sometime after 5pm.  I left at 5:15.  They moved her into a room and started estrogen and saline solution IV at 8pm.  I brought her home before noon Thursday.  She was tired and not feeling well Thursday.  Friday she was fine.

The state of modern medicine certainly makes today a great time in which to live.  We learned a few things this trip.  One thing that is not particularly new to us is that bleeding stops when your blood pressure drops after you run out of blood.  We suspected this, though we were surprised that this was the method used in the hospital.  They have a neat thing where they draw some of the blood you have left (after 2 days of heavy bleeding) and test it.  Then a couple hours later (when the results are no longer current), they come up with, "you have lost a lot of blood, your red cell count is really low."  The emergency room nurses are very responsive too.  When I told one that the heavy quilted pad covering the gurney Char was laying on was completely soaked with blood, she came right in, removed it & gave Char a fresh one to bleed on.


I regard trouble that comes upon us first as a call to worship.*  My inclination is to bow before God, to be quiet & think about Him, to be overwhelmed by the wonder and mystique of His majesty.  I am filled with gratitude and content in His sovereignty, the very thing I fight against at other times.  Usually I am uncomfortable asking Him to reverse a situation that just changed [whether by His will or allowance is mostly semantics].  I find that at this time it is enough to worship.  Praying at such times for God to fix and restore things is not in me as my requests are spoiled by self-interests, "What will happen to me?  What will it cost?  I don't want this setback!"

In the same way, I am reluctant to first pray for others when their difficulties are made known to me.  It's one thing to worship as I am pressed by fearful and desperate circumstances.  It's another to enter into someone else's circumstances.  It's too easy to ask God for help and then continue on relatively unaffected myself, divorced and abstracted from their situation and anxieties.  I need some time before The Sovereign in meditation about Him and them before I am affected and can take their struggles to myself.  I don't do this near well enough.  Mostly I ask that God will help them to appreciate Him and see something of the grace that comes with the trouble.


* There is a parallel here in trouble's call to people who have not come to Christ.  People of different cultures and times have been very creative in communicating through signals.  The trumpet is one such method spoken of in the Bible.  Revelation 8-11 speaks of judgments (calamities and tragedies) brought by God upon the unconverted all the time everywhere in the world.  They are calls to repentance (Lk.13:1-4).  When disasters strike, whether by earthquake, vicious intent affecting many such as 9/11, or by accident affecting a few such as a traffic accident, the call goes out to turn from idols and bow to the Living God.  And, people know this.  They feel it in their guts along with all the other emotions including anger toward God…just like we do as Christians facing troubles of our own.  See NPR Interview, God and Tsunamis at


1.   Attitude toward trials  2 Cor.4:16-17; 12:9-10

2.   Types of trials  2 Cor.1:8; 4:8; 7:5; 11:23-29, 32; 12:7-8

3.   Purposes of trials  2 Cor.1:9, 11; 4:10; 7:6; 12:7, 9-10

A.  God calls us to separation and takes us down a different path

B. The journey is the destiny [destination is not all there is]

C. Endurance of faith is necessary and challenges will arise to contend with our faith

D. Confidence in the Lord is what grows in us through endurance in trials

E.  Hoping in His promises is what keeps us through the trials

F.  Getting to know the Lord through the in-between times helps us in crises

G. Trials of persecution involve identifying with and standing with Christ (being rejected, scorned, cast out, and crucified with Him)

Psalm 77 - A Psalm of Asaph

a lament [sorrow; regret; veiled form of complaint] that reveals Asaph's working through his troubles.
{notes from a message by Mark Stuenzi}


[Asaph is consumed with his grief (I, me, my - 18 times).  It seems like God is not hearing]

1.    I cried out to God for Help; I cried out to God to hear me.

2.    When I was in distress, I sought the Lord; at night I stretched out untiring hands but my soul refused to be comforted.

3.    I remembered you O God, and I groaned; I mused and my spirit grew faint.

4.    You kept my eyes from closing; I was too troubled to speak.

5.    I thought about the former days, the years of long ago; (6.) I remembered my songs in the night.

[Who among us is exempt from experiencing a dark night of the soul?  As anguish continues and no help is found, the heart begins to question on its descent into doubt and despair.]


My heart mused and my spirit inquired:

7.  "Will the Lord reject forever?  Will He never show His favor again?

8.  Has His unfailing love vanished?  Has His promise failed for all time?

9.  Has God forgotten to be merciful?  Has He in anger withheld His compassion?"

[In such times, the temptation is to ask "Why?" a question which may never be answered.  If all one does is relive his grief, he cannot consider the truths that under-gird his life.  The most important question is "How will I handle this?"]


10. Then I thought, "To this I will appeal: the years of the right hand of the Most High." [the times when God has demonstrated His power and authority]

11. I will remember the deeds of the Lord; yes, I will remember Your miracles of long ago.

12. I will meditate on all Your works and consider all Your mighty deeds.


Though Asaph doesn't have firsthand knowledge of God's deliverance of Israel in the Exodus [a type of our rescue from sin], it is the bedrock of his faith.  He can move on. [God referred to 21 times.]

13. Your ways O God, are holy.  What God is so great as our God?

14. You are the God who performs miracles; You display Your power among the peoples.

15. With Your mighty arm You redeemed Your people, the descendants of Jacob and Joseph.

16. The waters saw You O God, the waters saw You and writhed; the very depths were convulsed.

17. The clouds poured down water, the skies resounded with thunder; Your arrows flashed back and forth.

18. Your thunder was heard in the whirlwind, Your lightening lit up the world; the earth trembled and quaked [signs of the Lord's coming in judgment and redemption].

19. Your path led through the sea, Your way through the mighty waters, though Your footprints were not seen.

20. You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.