Don’t give up!

After reading some of the comments from my last post (“More than just a Dream”), I’m afraid that I might have left the impression that my only hope (for physical healing) is in the next life. If I believed heaven was my only hope for healing, I probably would have checked out years ago. Waiting (for heaven) to be healed is merely my backup plan; it’s my Plan B. Whether it’s through medical science or a miracle from God, even after 16 years with ALS, I’m still hoping for the best outcome here on earth. This is what I believe for others too, regardless of the severity of their trial.

I realize how crazy it sounds for someone who has received a diagnosis of ALS to be hoping for a complete recovery. I’m not naïve; I’ve known so many good Christian people who have died of this and other insidious diseases like Cancer, Heart Disease and Lupus. And I realize that, medically speaking, ALS is 100 percent fatal. Well, technically that’s not true; there are medically documented cases of people being miraculously healed of ALS and even the ALS Association says, “There are people in whom ALS has stopped progressing and a small number of people in whom the symptoms of ALS reversed.”  So maybe it’s only like 99.9 percent fatal – I choose to believe for that one tenth of one percent chance.

As I typed that, a scene from the movie Dumb and Dumber came to my mind (don’t judge me). In this scene, one of the “dumb guy’s” named “Lloyd,” who’s in love with a beautiful and sophisticated character named “Mary,” is asking her what the chances of them ending up together are:

Lloyd: What do you think the chances are of a guy like you and a girl like me… ending up together?
Mary: Well, Lloyd, that’s difficult to say. I mean, we don’t really…
Lloyd: Hit me with it! Just give it to me straight! I came a long way just to see you, Mary. The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
Mary: Not good.
Lloyd: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
Mary: I’d say more like one out of a million.
[pause]
Lloyd: So you’re telling me there’s a chance… *YEAH!*

Maybe some of you reading this think I’m like Lloyd for being excited about a one in a million chance of being healed of ALS. Maybe you’re thinking that I shouldn’t encourage people to hold onto “false hope.” I’m definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I’m not “Lloyd” either; I’ve been contemplating this for over 16 years and here are some of my conclusions:

  • Miracles by definition defy all natural laws – including statistical probabilities.
  • For the 16+ years of this trial, God has sustained us with miracle after miracle; I don’t think I have the right, nor do I think that I’m qualified to categorize certain miracles as “big” and others as “small.”
  • There’s no such thing as “false hope” when you’re looking to the “God of hope.”
  • Jesus still heals; He “is the same yesterday and today and forever.” (Heb13:8)
  • “God doesn’t show partiality.” (Acts 10:34)
  • “The things that are impossible with people are possible with God.” (Luke 18:27)
  • I would rather die looking for a miracle than live not believing in them.

In Daniel chapter 3, King Nebuchadnezzar demanded that the Jews bow down and worship his god. All those that refused to bow would be thrown into the furnace that the Babylonians used to make bricks. As most people know, three young Jewish men refused to bow and this is what they told the king; “…our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

For me, this is more than a great example of strong faith; I believe this is a pattern of faith that all Christians should emulate regardless of challenges we might be facing. We can proclaim that, “Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from [insert your trial here]. BUT EVEN IF HE DOES NOT… we are not going to serve…” doubt, fear, worry, hopelessness or anything else that destroys faith, hope, joy and peace!

About Bill Sweeney

In 1996, Bill was diagnosed with ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) and the doctors told him he had 3-5 years to live. He is now completely paralyzed and unable to speak, but by God’s grace, he’s still alive and through his blog shares a message of hope in Christ - Unshakable Hope!

Posted on February 21, 2013, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 193 Comments.

  1. ” I’m definitely not the sharpest knife in the drawer…”

    I just checked my drawer. You are definitely the Ginsu! (I am the butter knife, lol!)

    I truly value the authenticity of your faith. Your heart for God is surely being used by Him, to shore us up, to challenge us and encourage us.

    (Speaking of encouraging, thank you for your recent visits.)

    I’ll probably post this next week, but I wanted to share with you a video I found through a local pastor. It is the best video I have seen this year. The video features Bob Sorge and is titled: : “God Could Have Left Job Alone” (5 min)

    Peace to you and yours! Beth

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  2. Bill, I really needed to hear this from you! I was diagnosed a almost two years ago with ALS. I have four beautiful daughters, 13-24 yrs old and a faithful husband. I so want to live this well for our Lord to honor Him and my family. I struggle because I work so hard to carry hope in a way that is different from the people around me. It is so good to hear my hope, reflected in your Godly perspective. Sometimes, I feel like I’m alone with my reflection of God’s hand/physical healing in my life. May the Lord Bless you. I’m praying for you as of today. I’m so proud of you! tracey elofson
    twewordplay.com

    Like

    • Thank you so much for your words of encouragement, Tracey. I don’t know how I haven’t come across your blog before now, but I’m glad I found you and am now following because you share my goal of spreading a message of hope in Christ. I am glad that, like me, you have a loving spouse and family to help you though this difficult time. I am looking forward to reading your posts. God bless you.

      Like

  3. What a great inspiration you are Bill! You have a wonderful attitude and I admire you for it. God is good!

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  4. Hi Bill, I am so glad I found your blog. Thank you for writing so many engaging, hope filled, truthful, inspiring articles. You are amazing! Your faith in our Heavenly Father is to be celebrated. You’ve inspired me. God is good and a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him as you have done. I’m following your blog. I also have a blog in which I share personal testimonies of overcoming and words of encouragement. God bless you! Pamela

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  5. I thank God for your testimony of unshakeable hope, I really do. Keep standing, keep hoping, keep trusting, keep believing, keep praying, keep shining, keep inspiring……..The Word says He’s is able so He’s able!…….Blessings!

    Like

  6. I do so enjoy your blogs, Bill. You never cease to amaze me, with your gentle but truthful insight. I pray for you and your wife often, and I hope you continue to share this wisdom for many years to come. Kari

    Like

  7. Amen Bill. As far as I am concerned you already are a miracle. I have added you to my blog roll. I would love to share this encouraging post in my series on encouragement if you would allow me to. Leslie Rose K

    Like

  8. This inspiring post really made me think. Thank you.

    God gives us hope. Without God and hope there is nothing.

    You are in my prayers.

    Nancy

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  9. I have nothing but praise for God and you for how he has allowed you to face this trial with grace, dignity, faith. Your words reminded me of Pastor Greg Rohlinger from the Palm Valley Church. He, too, is facing a terrible disease and both of you are an inspiration to us all.
    http://www.palmvalley.org/
    (I am nota member of this Church nor o I even live in the same state but He has visited my Church)

    Like

  10. Hi Bill. I’m grateful that you found my blog because your like led me to yours! You are an inspiration. I throughly enjoyed your two latest post. Are you watching “The Bible” on the History channel? Last nights episode reenacted the stories of King Nebuchadnezzar and the three young Jewish men and Daniel in the Lions Den. Daniel and the three men all believed in God as well as believing the power of God works through them. I grew up going to church and I’ve realized…just because I attended church, Sunday school and youth group… this doesn’t mean I believe in God…with help, I see I had to let go of my false perceptions about God in order to learn about the All Loving God that created the Universe and man…now I practice, faith, hope and trust. I believe one of the greatest gifts we have is our mind. I’m learning we aren’t our bodies, we are spiritual beings that create with our thoughts and feelings. Daniel and the three men knew this…they turned their thoughts and feelings toward God and God worked through them. We were created in the image of God. John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” God is working through you with your blog and I believe He can work through you healing your body. Have you heard of Morris E. Goodman (http://miraclemanfilm.wordpress.com)?
    Many Blessings to you, Pam

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    • Thank you, Pam.
      I have been watching “The Bible” for the last 3 Sundays. And, I have heard of Morris Goodman from another blogger – amazing story!
      I appreciate what you said about “getting rid of our false perceptions of God…” before we can truly know Him. I too had to unlearn everything I thought I knew about God before I learned who He really is. I think that religious teaching about God is more destructive (to genuine faith) than atheism and secularism.

      Like

  11. i praise the Lord that in your life, He is really, really big! this is beautiful!

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  12. God is still a God of miracles! We can not put limits on Him. you are an inspiration to all who read your blog. Kathy

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  13. Hi Bill,
    Not sure where to start, I’ve been browsing about your blog, & am so very encouraged. I checked this out when I saw that you had liked something on my blog. You are another means in which Father God has encouraged my heart this day. I particularly love how you are looking for a miracle here on planet earth. I look daily for His miracles here,& frankly, enjoy waiting with Him & the journey we go through with Him. One thing I have learned is that there is much to glean in the waiting. Each step of our relationship with Him is full of miracles & we can fully trust Him as He does His good work in & through us. Please know that my heart has already begun to pray with you & your family for complete physical healing here. I know it’s coming THERE (praise Jesus), but I will petition Him for it here. Thank you for sharing your story & for stopping by my blog.
    Lori

    Like

    • Thank you, Lori! I have been reading the Bible for 30 years and have never come across a verse that tells us we should wait until we get to heaven to receive God’s blessings and miracles; if that was the case, faith is useless. You and I have a right and even a Christian duty, Lori, to pray and wait with expectation to see God work on our behalf and on the behalf of others. It’s not waiting that causes despair; it’s giving up that causes despair.
      “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD
      In the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage;
      Yes, wait for the LORD.” (Psalm 27:13-14)

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      • Hi Bill,
        This Psalm you shared in reply to Lori has been such a source of encouragement to me over the years as I’ve been tempted to give up hope for healing of a chronic, painful spinal condition. God promised to be with us ‘in trouble’ and has proved Himself faithful to me countless times. I also stand in agreement with you for healing here and now, as well. May God continue to keep you and your family in His care; you are an inspiration, indeed! ~ Marsha

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  14. Thank you for reading. Much appreciated! I feel sorrow for those who believe we must ignore, or look past our circumstances to be people of faith. That is not faith, it is denial. It is not honest. If the Psalms teach us nothing else, it encourages us to be honest, even when it’s ugly. God can handle ugly. For it is in this place that His grace is much more beautiful and effective. So God takes care of both sides for us: healing for our bodies and soul, and grace while we wait. I pray both for you brother.

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    • That is excellent, Scott! I have discovered that there’s a fine line between faith and denial and I hate to admit there have been times, early in this trial, what I thought was faith was only useless denial. You figure it out after a while because denial is an emotional coping mechanism that doesn’t last – faith lasts!

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  15. Never ever I mean never ever EVER give up and lose hope as long as there is breath in you as long as God sits enthroned, as long as there is night and day and earth NEVER GIVE UP OR LOSE HOPE. I wish I could say more but I think you get the picture.

    Also thank you for stopping by and reading my book extract, the book is on my healing journey with a ‘rare’ illness so please feel free to stop by whenever you can.

    Shalom

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  16. Thank you. This is a timely word as my mom is in stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She was in hospice but stopped it. She has decided to do chemo again. Needless to say, that threw us all for a loop. However, I do not know God’s plan, and I do believe He can do ANYTHING. I know He is working in my mom’s life to bring her healing, freedom and restoration…abundant life. How will that look? How will everything play out? I don’t know, but I know I will not give up hope. And, I will not be let down b/c my hope is in Jesus Christ!
    Blessings to you in Him. May He bring you into the inheritance He has for you.
    Natalie

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    • I am so sorry about your mom, Natalie! As you know, Pancreatic cancer is one of the worst forms of cancer, but, like ALS, we cannot lose hope just because the doctors tell us there is no hope. A close friend of my sister’s has had pancreatic cancer for many years. I wish I could say her cancer was gone, but it’s not – however she’s outlived the doctors prognosis by many years. I will keep your mom in my prayers.

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  17. You expressed yourself so eloquently. Several years ago, when I started having health issues, people at church would tell me things like, “If you just had more faith, God would heal you” or “You must have some un-confessed sin in your life and that’s why you’re so ill”. I couldn’t understand why the Lord wasn’t healing me. I’ve come to the conclusion that the Lord CAN heal me if He so chooses but sometimes His will is to let us stay where we are and learn to trust Him and encourage others through our weaknesses. I also hold onto the hope of healing. I don’t know when it will happen but I know it will one day. Whether in this life or the next, I will be healed. In the meantime, I keep praising my Lord and Savior and use this opportunity to reach out to others.
    God Bless you.

    Like

    • Yes, the attitude that bad things don’t happen to “good Christians” is still quite prevalent in churches today; pretty sad. So, on top of having to deal with whatever trial you might be going through, you have to deal with the guilt over your supposed doubt and/or sin. Fortunately nobody at my church ever insinuated that my getting ALS was my fault. Doing this or even thinking along these lines is self-righteousness; it’s the attitude of the men that wanted to stone the woman caught in adultery – today self-righteous people use words instead of stones.
      God bless you, Carol.

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  18. And, yes. It will be available on Kindle. The book releases July 1, 2013. Search either “Dabney Hedegard” or “When God Intervenes” on Amazon. I might even be able to get you a digital advanced reader copy for free. I think they can email that to me. I sure wish I would have known you back when I went through my illnesses. I did not always have the positive attitude that you have. I did ask a lot of “why” questions, and it took facing death a handful of times for me to really appreciate life and understand possibly why I was going through so many illnesses.

    On the flip side of everything, I understand now, though. God is so good.

    Dabney

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    • I probably wouldn’t have been much of an encouragement to you back then because I was probably trying to figure out the same mysteries that you were seeking to solve. Now, we can both encourage people who are discouraged and asking “Why me?”
      I would love a digital copy of your book.

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  19. Amazing. This post is so encouraging. Thank you, I needed this today, and I plan on tweeting a couple of your above quotes. So far I’ve posted one on my Facebook page because it spoke to my soul:

    •I would rather die looking for a miracle than live not believing in them.

    I know your first name is Bill, but may I use your last so you receive credit? Or, I can simply say Bill from unshakablehope.wordpress.com ?

    Please let me know. I’m glad I found your site.

    Dabney

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    • One last thing. I just turned my final edits in for the galleys for my book When God Intervenes (Tyndale House Publishers), but if there is still time, I think I’d like to use this above quote for the beginning of my book, if my editor approves. Would you be okay with this?

      No worries if you feel uncomfortable. I’m just so inspired by your message.

      Thank you,

      Dabney Hedegard

      Like

    • Thank you so much, Dabney. You are welcome to use my name or not use it. It’s Bill Sweeney.

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  20. Wow! Bill, you’re right! God has blessed us in similar ways. I love how you are encouraging others to believe in our awesome God and His amazing promises. Nothing is impossible for God. We need to believe He will perform miracles in our lives! I’ve mentioned my father-in-law to you who is a quadriplegic and suffering from colon cancer. Due to being paralyzed from the neck down, he cannot undergo chemo for the cancer. However, they did do surgery. His cancer was stage 4. Now it’s stage 1!! No matter how long we have here in the temporary world, may we give God the glory, put our faith in Him, and give Him recognition for His beautiful blessings and miracles!

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    • Thank you, Danielle.
      As I mentioned, I don’t believe we can group miracles into big and small categories; whatever else miracles are, they’re God intervening on our behalf and, to me, that’s always HUGE!
      God sustaining us through the 16+ years with ALS has been with miracle after miracle. He doesn’t always come through in the way I thought He would or as quick as I would have liked, but He always comes through! After proving Himself time and time again, to not believe would be the ultimate betrayal – I’d be like Judas.
      I’m so glad to hear your father-in-law’s cancer is no longer as bad; I hope and pray it will soon be gone altogether!

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  21. Thank you for visiting my blog today. I appreciate the time you took to stop by. May your day be filled with joy and peace.
    BE ENCOURAGED! BE BLESSED!

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  22. Great post, thanks for following me..now I can be blessed by your page as well. Happy Friday!

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  23. Hey Bill. Thanks for clicking like on my blog and in doing led me to yours. I too suffered a debilitating illness, when a virus paralysed me on the right side and put me in hospital for a few months. This happened in 2007 and I haven’t been in any paid work since. I wrote a lot on identity, which you may find corrosponds with your own experience.

    Bless you mate and I will be seeking the Lord and asking him how best to pray for you.

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  24. What an amazing ministry you have through this time of suffering. Great quote from Dumb and Dumber too– that movie is hysterical.

    I’m sure you’ve probably already examined this possibility, but I have heard of LDN (low-dose naltrexone) being used by people with ALS. While I don’t know of one study that would say, “yes! This works!”, I have seen chat room murmurs and such from people who seem to find it beneficial. I don’t know for sure one way or the other, so this isn’t medical advice, but it popped into my head while reading this. I put a blurb about it on my blog awhile back:
    http://wildninja.wordpress.com/2011/01/19/low-dose-naltrexone/.

    Thank you for keeping your eyes on Him during this trial. It is a great witness to others and strengthens believers’ faith.

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  25. Please accept this award for your blog..God bless you

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  26. Beautifully written. I especially loved your Daniel reference. It’s what I teach my children constantly – no matter what, never turn your back on God. I agree that He is able to heal, but even if He does not, He sustains us and gives the grace we need for each circumstance. I will be praying for you and I am glad to have met you through your posts. God bless you.

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  27. Looking forward to reading more of your blog. I am honored that you stopped by mine. 🙂

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  28. Thanks for stopping by my blog.
    I always say, while there is breath, there’s hope.
    We don’t always understand God’ ways,
    but if we know Him at all,
    then we know that He has reasons for everything.

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  29. So glad you enjoyed my poem “All Things in God’s Hands”….thank you for the “like”. I’ve been reading your blog, and have enjoyed your writing; it’s very inspiring. I’m now following, and looking forward to your future posts : ) God Bless You!

    Like

  30. Thank you Bill for sharing your Hope, I share it with you and know like you, that God is God of the impossible.

    I have faced death much more than a few times but as you can see I’m still here, each time the Doctors could not explain how my conditions disappeared, they were good Doctors but they could not help me only God could, perhaps that is why He did.

    You have been very much on my mind and in my prayers Bill, I rejoice that you have not given up hoping for a Compleat recovery and not just eternally in Heaven, hold on to your Hope, God knows your heart and what you can endure He will respond to your need.

    We will continue to pray for you, my heart conviction is still as I shared before is that you will be healed.

    I posted a rather funny focus on not giving up but the moral of the story is spot on.

    Christian Love from both of us – Anne.

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  31. again, i’m in awe of your faith. it’s so easy to be negative in a world that focuses on the natural, but you’re determined to view things from an eternal perspective. great post. lovin’ it. keep up the good work. you’re strengthening and encouraging people you don’t even know. k

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  32. Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for and hope for and expect the Lord! Ps. 31:24 You are a living testimony of this verse.

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  33. Well said! Jesus is our hope. Period. He also does what to us is impossible. You bless many and bring glory to God in your current situation, but that is not to say that a miraculous healing wouldn’t do the same. Only God knows what the best end result of it all is. In the meantime, I agree with you that to live without hope is worse than living with the idea that God can and may do something miraculous. Once again, you bolster my faith. Thank you!

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  34. Bill, I always have hope and I am with you! Hugs to you! I believe in miracles too! xo

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  35. Loving your faith!! The God I serve can do ANYTHING!!!! Even if to man it is a 1/1,000,000,000,000 chance!!!! He’s just that GOOD!! Keep believing and pressing forward! God’s got your back 😉 It wouldn’t be considered a miracle if man could do it 😉

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  36. Hi Bill, I had been thinking about you then I saw your ‘LIKE’ on my last post. You are as your chosen blog name, UNSHAKABLE HOPE! The Hebrew youth expressed it well how we must have STEADFAST FAITH- HOPE IN GOD THAT IS UNSHAKABLE! You are ‘UNSHAKABLE HOPE BILL’!
    GOD BLESS YOU,
    ~Liz

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  37. Jennifer Stepanski

    Thank you Bill. Your words remind and encourage me. I appreciate you and what God is doing in your life and all those around you. Love so much. Blessings. Grace.

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  38. Fantastic! Your attitude and faith is truly an inspiration. Yes, nothing is impossible with God but EVEN if He does not answer our prayers, we have a confident hope in his plans that it will be for good.

    God bless you.

    Like

  39. Reblogged this on Richard's Watch and commented:
    Bill is a tremendous encouragement to everyone in demonstrating his incredible faith amidst the trials of Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), often referred to as “Lou Gehrig’s Disease,” which is a progressive neuro-degenerative disease. The Lord be with you, always, Bill.

    Like

  40. Even with all of the scripture, and all of my faith, and my firm belief in miracles 😀 this says it all to me: “I would rather die looking for a miracle than live not believing in them.” You inspire and humble me each day 🙂 . I don’t think you take one thing for granted and so many of us can learn from you. Take care and you are in my daily prayers! 😀

    Like

  41. 96 comments and you have answered every one! oh my!! This was a terrific post though, your honesty and unselfishness are inspiring as well as so much of what you write so I wanted to stop by also and let you know that I have nominated you for the Illuminating Blogger Award. Please stop here to copy your award and get the details. http://correnadotme.wordpress.com/2013/02/22/yay-i-won-another-award/ I have nominated you because you inspire me to do better and to always stay close to the Lord. Thanks, have a great day!

    Like

    • “96 comments and you have answered every one!” You sound like my wife, Correna – she keeps telling me, “you don’t have to answer every comment…”
      Thank you for your encouragement and for the award nomination!

      Like

  42. You are an amazing “ponderer”, Bill…and I will continue to hold onto hope unswervingly for your healing.

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  43. Amen.When there is Life there is hope with God by our side.Great post!Godbless

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  44. Will stand in agreement with you for healing. Sorry for your journey but your honest sharing touches lives. Shave been praying for you and will continue.

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  45. Such an uplifting post, Bill–from beginning to end. Especially love your list of convictions about God’s miracles–honest, but laced with hope. Makes me want to stand up and cheer for our uber-amazing God and positive, grace-filled Christians like you. Your solid faith in and peaceful contentment in spite of dire circumstances speak loud and clear about the difference Jesus makes in a person’s life. Thank you for procaiming the truth with honesty, yet the strong conviction that this life, this situation, isn’t over until it’s over. And even then, for us who believe in our Savior? It’s still not over!! Hallelujah!

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  46. this was a profound piece of writing. thank you.

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  47. Thank you so much for sharing your journey. Hope is such an anchor for us at all times. I’m blessed to read your posts. 🙂

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  48. I hear you. I’m the girl who thinks it’s literally possible to move a mountain with the faith of a mustard seed! With God, anything is possible. I love your bullet points and maybe especially the last one. I’d rather live a life trying than throw in the towel. You’re a man of faith. That’s who you are. Nothing will change that. It would feel false to you if you started entertaining fears and probability. The opposite of faith is fear. I wouldn’t choose to live in that state for all the world’s riches.
    From one believer to another…
    Blessings to you my stalwart friend!!
    Lisa

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  49. Your posts are so Spirit-filled. This is such a great reminder that we can look forward to our destination but we must enjoy the journey. And we can do this by walking hand in hand with God. Thank you for inspiring me today.

    Like

    • Thank you, Carolyn. It is so easy to fall into the trap of, “I will be happy when…” But Jesus warned us not to worry about tomorrow; the “abundant life” is always about today – regardless of what our circumstances might be. As you said, it’s all about the journey.

      Like

  50. Bill, this is my favorite reason you give for hope: “I would rather die looking for a miracle than live not believing in them.” EXACTLY! Believing so thoroughly in the phrase, BUT IF HE DOES NOT takes great courage. Every day you live in such courage and faith, you are living out the miracle of His redeeming grace. I’m grateful for your hope, Bill. You encourage me through it. Blessings. Continue hoping! Peg

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    • Thank you, Peg. I have lived a life of not believing in a personal God; a God that wouldn’t act on my behalf. Not only is that a depressing existence, it’s a really boring one also. Looking for what God’s going to do and how He’s going to do it… is an exciting life – even for a recluse like me:-)

      Like

  51. Bill , I loved this post and wanted to add that you did get your one in a million Mary. I pray with all my heart that you get this wish too. Love you, Ellen

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    • Thank you, Ellen! You’re right about Mary – she is a miraculous blessing! I have had so many blessings in my life; a great wife, great kids, great friends and a great family… Thanks again! Love you.

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  52. Woah! I am happy to meet someone like you. I hope you will learn more of the truth (except you are feeling somewhat -subconsciously -puffed up with knowledge). Hehehe!
    Yep! We don’t serve God just because of what we stand to gain from him.
    Yep! “Miracles” happening or not are not what make us believe or not in God.
    Yep! No big or small miracle.
    Yep! Hope in the God of hope cannot be false. Besides, why would it be hope if it follows natural laws. I don’t think people NEED to hope in God before taking water to quench thirst. (There is of course that lifestyle of faith in which the human lives by a heart of thanksgiving and communion to/with God in/through all.)
    Yep! Life goes on, communing with God goes on. The world doesn’t end at the doorstep of severe pain/torture/illness/debilitation.
    Wish you well.

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    • That’s good! We don’t serve God for what we can get from Him. I think this is one of the ways we gauge if we really love Him unconditionally – do we still serve Him if/when our prayers are not being answered as we envisioned they would?
      I agree with you when you said it’s not hope to want something that follows natural laws – “…hope that is seen (the natural) is not hope; for who hopes for what he already sees? But if we hope for what we do not see (the supernatural), with perseverance we wait eagerly for it.” (Romans 8:24-25)

      Like

  53. God bless you. Indeed faith, pure and selfless faith is the most powerful weeping against the works of satan. I pray that your miracle happens soon. I’m waiting for mine too.:-) In Jesus name, Amen.

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  54. Great post Bill. In a sense you are healed, just not physically YET.

    Like

  55. Reblogged this on anne2ken's pillow and commented:
    Thank you for such a wonderful post. I love the thought of “God is able” and “if He does not” (still able though chooses to not intervene for reasons we cannot comprehend) we are not going to serve…” doubt, fear, worry, hopelessness or anything else that destroys faith, hope, joy and peace! …. and ♥. I am greatly encouraged. Will pray for your healing. God bless you 🙂

    Like

  56. Thanks for shining your light. It reminds me that in times of not understanding why God allows things to happen the way they do, we don’t give up on God. He is still Who He was before these trying circumstances. We don’t need to think life has gone awry, but it’d be more characteristic of Him to be working a greater Glory behind the scenes…

    Like

  57. This doctor believes in miracles too, and has seen them. I love your reference to Daniel as that is the essence of our faith: He is able, but even if He does not, we believe and will serve Him with every fiber of our frail, flawed but God-created minds and bodies! Bless you, Bill as you bless so many others. Emily

    Like

  58. Bill, I was thinking the same thing! I wasn’t sure how to say it! I am praying for a miracle for you and Chris! Actually God has answered much of our prayers. He has blessed you guys with so much. But I am believing in even more. God is GREAT and He can do anything whether it is HIS miracle or He uses a medical break through. You better bet I am believing in even more! He is unlimitless!

    Like

    • Thank you, Diane! God has already blessed Chris and me with great wives and a long survival rate (with ALS), but, as you said, God can do much more for us and through us. I’m praying for Chris and Michele.

      Like

  59. Bill, you are an amazing example of what they mean when they say “keep the faith!” By the way, I can just imagine your laughter when I read the dumb & dumber section…just like the old days out by the pool at Paula’s old house in The Woodlands!
    Alaina

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  60. I love that quote from Dumb and Dumber, and you are amazing. My father is a physician and I told him about your blog. He was astonished that you were diagnosed 16 years ago and are still alive today! You are something special, and God is good. I’m praying for you.

    Like

    • Thanks Jessica. That is a funny line – “So you’re telling me there’s a chance.”:-) “Lloyd” might be “dumb,” but I like his optimism. Your dad obviously knows something about ALS; 16 years is a long survival rate for this disease, but I know people who have survived longer – sadly they are very few though. One day at a time, right. Isn’t that a lesson you learned after your accident?

      Like

  61. It just make more sense to keep your mind and heart on God and the awesome possibilities He offers! Praising God now for your awesome healing!
    God Bless you & your family!

    Like

  62. Good post! I wrote this post a little while back, but it is with the same heart that you are saying here. I enjoy reading what you write!!
    http://aliciareagan.wordpress.com/2011/02/05/but-if-not/

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  63. “For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.” Matthew 17:20-22 (ESV)

    ybiC, Kim*

    http://www.faithhopeandloveblog.wordpress.com

    Like

  64. Hey Bill, thank so much for this post and your reminder to have hope. Hope is what anchors our faith. In a storm our hope may lie deep in the ocean of uncertainty. While we may sway, we can hang on to our hope… and then, when the storm passes we often realize how safe we were, for our hope was embedded in the only thing that never moves … the Rock … the Fortress … the Strong Tower… He will not disappoint our hope in Him.
    Thank you so much for inspiring me today! You touch many lives and hearts with your blog! Keep going!!!! You might never know, on this side of eternity, what your display of hope will do for someone else!!! Blessings to you…

    Like

  65. Bill:

    I thank you for the encouragement. I pushed back my sleep period & just completed and posted: The Apostle Paul: Outlier for The Lord.

    Regards, Glen

    Like

  66. Bill:

    Years ago, I had an older lay pastor whose ministry was characterized by a number of miracles, both in his own life and in the lives of certain others that he prayed for. His stunned cardiologist once paid a special visit to our church to testify that he had seen the arteries of our pastor–a candidate for immediate multiple bypass surgery following a heart attack–transformed into the arteries of a healthy, twenty-year-old man.

    This same man of God once prayed for a missionary who–like Joni Eareckson Tada–was paralyzed from the neck down from a diving accident. The missionary walked out of the hospital. Our pastor did not pray for everyone, but when God spoke the FAITH to his spirit–which invariably came in the form of a direct quote from scripture–God moved.

    There were several times when he himself was supernaturally healed, but there were also times when God allowed him to go through the torment of multiple, painful surgeries and long recoveries. Sometimes he wanted to die. He is in pain today from neurological damage to one of his feet from a surgical procedure. But whenever God allowed him to go through one of these medical crises, he always came through it with his faith strengthened, trusting in a sovereign and loving heavenly Father.

    Like you, Bill, God’s GRACE was always there for him!

    One thing this man used to say was, “The hardest thing is knowing God CAN, but He DOESN’T.” I am reminded of an old book I have called “School of Christ” (probably out of print), in which the writer notes that God’s law of love is always bound to His own glory. I think of all the thousands of lives that would not have been touched if God had not allowed Joni Eareckson Tada to endure the struggles of quadriplegia.

    I guess the bottom line is: God heals for His glory and God does not heal for his glory.

    I would love it if God would touch me and supernaturally replace certain critical nasal structures destroyed by an overzealous ENT surgeon years ago. But in the meantime, I just want to draw near to the One who gave me life, and gave His life for me…

    Your blogs are such an encouragement!

    Bryan

    Like

    • Thank you, Bryan. Your Pastor’s life of miracles and suffering demonstrate that “God’s ways are not our ways.” Many times His ways are not logical according to our ways of reasoning. I’ve seen people that religious people would classify as “sinners” receive instantaneous and undeniable miracles while some of the Christians that prayed for that person had been seeking a miracle for years. What’s up with that?:-) But His grace is the real miracle – that’s what keeps us seeking to know Him more. The physical/temporal miracles are awesome, but the only thing that will matter in 100 years is what our relationship with God was – regardless of what He did or didn’t do for us when we were occupying these bodies.

      Like

  67. Hooray!
    Unless He tells us different, my understanding is that He wants us to persevere in prayer with faith and praise in all things. I am praying with you and praising with you.

    Thank you for all you do for so many.

    Like

  68. Thank you so much for you post. Hope … we need lots of it, we need it in various places of our lives … Hope is what anchors our Faith. With it we persevere. Thank you so much for your encouragement! Blessings

    Like

  69. I feel you brother… praying with you… hoping with you… trusting with you… nothing is impossible with God. Eyes on Him – no matter what!

    Like

  70. You have such a positive heart about it! I was blessed just reading your story. And you just never know, in time. 🙂

    Like

  71. Standing with you in faith, expecting and anticipating the loving, healing power of our awesome God, Who considers nothing impossible or too big.

    Like

  72. Amen! “God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. With God nothing is impossible.” We serve a supernatural God who called the universe into existence. My mother is 94 years old. Recently, she told me that she was healed of Rheumatoid Arthritis in church. (I don’t know which church, but Mom was a Methodist preacher’s wife.)

    I remember when my mother was bedridden with Rheumatoid Arthritis about 30 years ago. She improved but continued to suffer. Her doctor tried drug after drug. Then one night, she was at a service and the preacher said, “Someone is being healed.” Mom said that the word was meant for her. I always wondered how Mom got well so suddenly. I just assumed that she was in remission. Not so. She has never manifested symptoms since God healed her.

    Also, my grandmother, who was a Baptist and a great woman of faith, went to an Oral Roberts service, probably in the 1940s. She always said that she was healed during that service. I didn’t know until many years later what her ailment was. Now I know that she had cervical cancer prior to the service. Cancer free after that.

    I could go and go about supernatural experiences I have had that are in line with the Bible: prophetic dreams, visions, gift(s) of the Holy Spirit. I will remember you in prayer. Also, I am also learning that prayer and fasting make a great combination. This is something that I think the church in general (me in particular) have not fully realized. May God bless you and make you whole.

    Shalom & blessings,
    Sheryl

    Like

    • Those are some great testimonies, Sheryl. I think some of these popular TV “faith healers” have caused people, even many Christians, to mock the idea of “big miracles,” like people getting out of wheelchairs or miracles like your mom received; they’ve become the stuff of SNL skits. I won’t give my opinion about whether or not some popular faith healers are deceivers; I don’t know their hearts. But even if someone concludes that they are deceivers, it substantiates the existence of miracles. I know that sounds strange, but deception and comedy have one thing in common – they must contain an element of truth to be effective – miracles like your mom received still occur today – as you know firsthand!

      Like

  73. Bill, I so agree with you, GOD is still in the miracle business! So I speak the WORD to you. Jesus spoke these words to a man with an infirmity of 38 years.
    “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” (John 5:8) Thank you Father, that you have heard me. It is settled in Heaven. God gave you His vision – you are completely healed. Father God, let Your will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven, thank you for the complete healing of Bill, in Jesus Name.

    Like

  74. Your post a real inspiration to this 25 year Cancer Survivor, now living with chronic illnesses.

    Power in Weakness! 2 Corinthians 12:9

    Regards,
    Glen Kirkpatrick
    Refer Blog ‘Overcoming daily’ at:
    glenkirkpatrickjr.wordpress.com

    Like

    • Thank you, Glen. 25 years? That’s awesome! I’m glad you’re still with us.

      Like

      • Bill:

        Yes, Twenty Five years: My wife Debbie & 4 adult children are grateful I’m living as well.

        Living in extended survivorship, any length of survivorship, comes with it’s set of unique rewards & challenges.

        Gee, perhaps topic of Survivorship, as journey, will be one of my next blog posts.

        I wish you continued inspiration & hope. From the One who came to humanity, full of Truth & Grace.

        Regards, Glen

        Like

  75. Well said, Bill. Thank you.

    Like

  76. What good writing, solid WORD base, So much HOPE we have in GOD! Don’t ever give up! Your blog is the place I go where I know some one understands the challenges I face with Multiple Sclerosis though I know our disease differs ; you encourage me greatly. Thank You!

    Like

  77. What powerful testimony. I believe right along with you on this point. He is the God of miracles. I know I’ve seen it happen. (Check out today’s post at http://asatisfiedspirit.com). He’s been with me through it all and without question He will be for the rest of it throughout eternity. What a blessing you are! Marie

    Like

  78. Amen!! \(^_^)/ One of your best posts— so inspiring, full of truth, and witty. Love it!! Thank you! Oh! And the new look is great, too!

    Like

  79. Amen! Beautiful post. — Patty

    Like

  80. Thank you for your encouraging posts- you reflect God each and every time . I’m with you- keep expecting to see God in every day.

    In His Wings,
    nanc

    Like

  81. That verse says it all. God’s in control. He can do anything, but even if He doesn’t do what we want, yet will we praise Him – a wonderful verse to live by! If life is about God, life is always good. Even when it’s bad.

    Like

  82. What a beautiful post, I am going to share it with my friends and loved ones who are dealing with difficult/chronic/terminal medical conditions. Thank you for your wisdom and beautiful way with words.

    Like

  83. I love your attitude! I spend my life in bed (complications of polio I collected in Nov. 1954). I, too, continue to rejoice as I discover if Docs can do anything. I’ve only been “down” for the last six or seven years, and have seen God’s grace in so many ways. I pray you will experience your miracle

    Thanks for your great work!

    Steve Ponchot

    “We will enter His courts with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise!” – Psalm 100

    Like

    • Thank you so much, Steve! I think it’s proof of God’s abundant grace that people like you and I can still be hoping in God even when everything we see with our natural eyes and hear with our natural ears, tells us there’s no hope! God bless you, Steve.

      Like

  84. a resounding AMEN!!!!!!!!!

    Like

  85. MustardSeedBudget.wordpress.com

    I’ll believe with you in faith for that miracle, brother! Thank God for your resilient faith!

    Like

  86. a resounding AMEN!!!!!!!

    Like

  87. “BUT EVEN IF HE DOES NOT… we will still serve Him.” Wow, that right there is a great quote we should live by! Even if He does not, we know that what is happening is His will and He will make sure we end up with Him!

    This other comment you said above is another way in which all people should live:
    “I would rather die looking for a miracle than live not believing in them.”

    Great post, Thanks again! 🙂

    Like

  88. I have also been praying about this very thing, that the Holy Spirit would remove an barriers or doubts I have about healing and to not categorize the miracles as large or small. This post was one that hit me square between the eyes! Thank you for sharing, today I lifted you up in prayer, friend, for healing and for God’s will above all. Thank you for instilling the hope you do. God Bless

    Like

  1. Pingback: “Don’t give up!” 10/09/2014 by Bill Sweeney | God's group

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