Jeff Bartell

A "bottom line" kind of guy

6 Things I learned in the Hospital

I am writing this from my hospital room.  This is my 5th day here now.  Last week I was rushed to the emergency room with severe abdominal pain.  Ultimately it was determined that I have a large blood clot in a vein between my small intestine and my liver.  I narrowly escaped the need for emergency surgery and have been slowly on the mend ever since.  I feel much better now and am waiting for the blood thinners to take effect.

While here, I have had time to think about things and have compiled a short list of things that I have learned already.

1.  My life is in God’s hands. If I live or die ultimately is subject to the will of God.  Now, I would have said that I have known that already, but now it is much more apparent.  I’m sure God has many other lessons for me to learn through this experience and I am willing to accept whatever the Lord wants to show me, but for now it is enough that I am reminded “Who’s the Boss!”

2.  What in the world would I do without my wife? Or, what would she and the girls have to endure if I was no longer around?  Either scenario is unthinkable.  I am so thankful that I married right.  She has stood by me in the very worst of times.  This has been a hard time for me, but also for her having to watch me go through it.  Thank you, Erla, for loving and caring for me.

3.  “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain.” Phil 1:21 The Apostle Paul in this passage describes how he is ready to die and if he does it will be better for him personally.  But for him to continue to live is better for the Philippian church.  Since being here in the hospital and having “peeked” at death’s door, several church members have commented that “you can’t die – we need you here to be our pastor!” Now I must admit that at the moment I was feeling like that was kind of a selfish reason for praying that I make it – nonetheless, I do understand the reality.  It is a good feeling to know you are loved and still have a work to do here.

4.  Live life today. If you have something that you want to do, do it now.  At least get started now.  Waiting presupposes that you will actually have the chance to do it later.  You don’t know that.  I keep thinking that I don’t want to regret the things I wish I had done but never tried.  I have some things that I would like to do.  I am going to start to pursue them immediately.

5.  I am thankful for the body of Christ. Personally, I can’t imagine having to go through hardships in life alone, without a greater support group around me.  Locally, many have visited and offered to help my family.  When it happened, I didn’t send out any specific e-mail notices, I just posted the incident on Facebook.  As a result, friends responded from 9 different states and 9 different foreign countries telling me that they are praying for me and my family.

6.  You gotta have a sense of humor. If you can’t laugh at yourself and circumstances, life will be miserable.  I have been reminded that there is no substitute for a good, positive attitude.  Besides, it helps keep your mind off of the pain you are experiencing.  “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine.”  Prov. 17:22

What things have you learned in a hospital?

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I really feel led to tell you that you need to tell/share with every person there at the hospitial that you are in that Jesus Loves them. When a nurse gives you a pill say, “Thank you Jesus loves you.” I do not know you nor have I ever seen your site until this morning. I knew the Holy Spirit was trying to tell me something about you so I have bene in prayer. I saw you as an earth angel of light saying, “Jesus loves you,” specifically to a nurse.

Everything happens for a reason and 99.9% of everything good or bad that happens to us is not about (us) at all; it is about His people….Through your pain someone if not many will be saved through His blood.

You are healed; now heal everyone around you.


I guess I forgot the story that you asked for; as the good Lord pointed that out, so here it is,

My pastor/Chaplain from the early 1990’s took me aside one day and said, “Joanne when God speaks listen.” He then began to tell me what happened to him while in the hospital as a Chaplain. He was doing his rounds and the Holy Spirit came inside of him so much that he had to go to the nearest waiting room to sit down. The Holy Spirit told him that the next patient he see’s he must tell them that He loves them. Pastor Cooper got up and immediately a lady in her mid-twenties was being rushed on a gurney surrounded by nurses, doctors down the hall. Pastor Cooper froze and did not tell the young lady that Jesus loves her. About a half hour later over the intercom, “Chaplain Cooper to ICU please.” He knew exactly what had happened, but still hoping to tell the lady that Christ loves her, but it was too late; the women died. Pastor Cooper’s message to me never left, and so with that being said when the Holy Spirit speaks we must listen. There are those in the world who literally blow themselves up in the name of their god, but we; His people do not even have enough courage to tell someone that Jesus loves them. I am guilty of the same thing as we all are, and the next time the Lord tells me to sing; you better believe that I will.


Brother – I found you! I was wondering what happened to you. I have been thinking about you and your famly. I hate we didn’t get to watch curling together during the winter Olympics. Sure would be good to see you folks again. Please know we continue to pray for you. Would appreciate if you e-mailed me back. Lord bless from a lowly missionary friend. Here is my number also (813) xxx-xxxx


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