A Dispatch From My Cave

I’ve joked for many years that I feel like a caveman. Unfortunately, ALS has turned me into somewhat of a recluse; the weaker I get, the more reclusive I’ve become.

As most of you know, I cannot speak or move. I use an eye-tracking computer to type and “speak.” Light affects the camera tracking my eye movements so I keep it dark in my bedroom, where I spend 95% of my time.

Allow me to paint you a brief picture of this scene: I’m in our large bedroom reclining in my wheelchair. I’m tethered to my breathing machine and a little pump that slowly releases manufactured sustenance into my feeding tube. We have blackout curtains that are usually closed and the only light coming in is from the open blinds of the door leading out to the back patio.

You can see why I’ve nicknamed our bedroom “the cave.”

Most days I’m sitting here on my computer for ten to twelve hours. Technology is an incredible blessing for someone like me. I read the Bible, Kindle books and blog posts. I listen to audio books, sermons and music. I scroll through Facebook, type emails and reply to comments on my blog. And, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, for about the last seven years I’ve been volunteering as an Online Missionary with Global Media Outreach. Daily I communicate with people from all over the world – all from my little cave.

It feels so good to be unhooked from my machines and just sit in the yard for a few hours, especially when my grand-kids are over like this past weekend.

I don’t mean this to sound like “it’s all good.” ALS stinks! Trials are so difficult even for the strongest of Jesus’s disciples. Even if you are not physically isolated as I am, trials, and the depression that often accompanies that trial, can make you feel as if you’re living alone in a dark cave.

Before he became the King of Israel, David had a death sentence hanging over his head. David’s predecessor, King Saul, and a large group of his most skillful warriors were searching for David in order to kill him. David wrote some of the Psalms during this time, including the following Psalm which he wrote while hiding out in a darkened cave:

Psalm 142
“I cry aloud with my voice to the LORD; I make supplication with my voice to the LORD. I pour out my complaint before Him; I declare my trouble before Him. When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, You knew my path. In the way where I walk They have hidden a trap for me. Look to the right and see; For there is no one who regards me; There is no escape for me; No one cares for my soul. I cried out to You, O LORD; I said, “You are my refuge, My portion in the land of the living. “Give heed to my cry, For I am brought very low; Deliver me from my persecutors, For they are too strong for me. “Bring my soul out of prison, So that I may give thanks to Your name; The righteous will surround me, For You will deal bountifully with me.”

The Cave of Adullam, where David wrote the above Psalm. Taken by Ferrell Jenkins
I know the circumstances are different, but it’s so easy to relate to the anguish that David was feeling in the midst of his trials. Sometimes it can actually feel as if the trial is some kind of demonic warrior trying to thwart God’s plan for our life, much like Saul trying to kill David so he wouldn’t become king.

We see this pattern repeated throughout the New Testament; beginning with Satan trying to use temptation, suffering, and finally Jesus’s death in his vain attempt to derail God’s plan for us and our eternity with Christ. This pattern continued with the trials, temptations and ultimately with the martyrdom of all of the Apostles and millions of disciples in every nation on earth over the last two thousand years.

Why did they have to suffer and be martyred?

They dared to obey the final commandment of Jesus; The Great Commission:

“…All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…” (Matthew 28:18-20).

Regardless of what we’re going through, we should do our best to carry The Great Commission.

I was thinking about this when my friend Heidi asked Mary and me if we would consider being interviewed on a national Christian radio show. Remember, I can’t speak at all and Mary gets nervous just speaking in front of a small group. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention it was live radio.

After a few days of discussing this, Mary and I agreed to do the show. We both concluded that it was worth the risk of making fools out of ourselves if we could encourage even one person that’s going through a trial or maybe give hope to a discouraged caregiver.

If any of you would like to hear our interview with Chris Fabry on Moody Radio click HERE.

Thank you for reading.

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 May 5, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 183 Comments.

  1. What an amazing blog and interview! Thank you for taking the time to share your life and story with so many. 🙂

  2. Great interview! Thanks for having the courage to do it. And I am shocked your wife gets nervous speaking in front of even small groups, as she seemed like a natural.

    My husband and I are missionaries in Mozambique, so we see and experience a lot of suffering. But like the title of your blog testifies to, we have an unshakable hope that is our anchor.

  3. Just thought I’d drop by to see how you’re doing, Bill. Things move at a slow pace in this rural area. Coming from an urban background as I do, I find it amazing to drive past the fields. The corn is already taller than I am. Everywhere I look, nature praises the Creator. Blessings, A.

  4. Bill, I know you don’t post often, but I’ve nominated you for a Sunshine Blogger Award anyway! To accept, go here and follow the guidelines posted. https://wordpress.com/post/mitchteemley.com/29977 Love you, brother!

  5. Bill, thank you so much for sharing your trials with us. It’s not about the trials though, is it? It’s about how God uses them in our lives for His glory. Thank you so much for pointing that out! I appreciate you stopping by BigSisterKnows.com recently, and I look forward to reading more of your posts. May God bless you and your family as you continue to do His work.

    • Thank you for your comments, Ashley. You are so right, I would not blog about trials, how boring would that be? 🙂 it’s ALL about hope in Christ in the midst of our trials. That is Unshakable Hope.

  6. I’m not sure you realize the positive extant of how much your story and writings effect others. Not just those of us who drop by your blog either, but your messages of hope and inspiration in turn affects our own interactions with others and then theirs with still others more. God’s purpose for you is solid and your continued commitment to Him blesses us all.

    • Thank you so much for your encouraging comments, Tricia. I’ve been kind of MIA lately from the blogging scene, but plan to be more active soon. I miss my blogging friends 🙂

  7. Thank you for sharing these words with us.
    We each take for granted so many simple
    things in this life, & sharing our stories with
    each other is a way of not only humbling us,
    but also filling us with hope. The work you
    do is clearly touching people (like myself) all
    over Gods great kingdom, which is a miracle
    in itself. Again thank you for sharing! Sending
    you love & respect, & well wishes from Miami.

  8. Hi and blessings. Would it be OK if I gave the web address for your site and used an excerpt from your last post in my next post? Helen from Wildernessjoy

    • Thank you for your comments, Helen. Of course you can use portions of my posts, I’d be honored. I like the name of your blog – only through Christ can we have joy in the wilderness times of our journey.

  9. What a tremendous encouragement you are to so many people. I firmly believe that eternity is going to be upside down from what we experience here on earth. I think that the way we came into the earth from the womb, upside down, was a little wink from God, hinting at how we would go out. The poor, the mourners, the meek, the hungry, the persecuted…will rejoice for all eternity. God bless you.

  10. “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven” 2 Cor. 5.1,2

  11. Your story gives me such hope, Bill. It’s amazing how God has given you more years than the doctors said, He is providing you and Mary with your needs, and is using you to spread hope to others. What a blessing it is that there is technology that helps you communicate and share the gifts God has given you. When I read your “About” page, this thought brings tears to my eyes – “This trial has taught us that the only way to experience genuine and consistent hope, peace and joy in the midst of a trial is to view our life and situation through God’s eyes.” And on the talk, how you’d rather die still believing in a miracle than live not believing in them. Anyway, I am so glad you took time to “like” my post. God has blessed me today and given me hope through you. Thank you! Blessings of grace and strength to you and Mary and your family!

    • Thank you for your comments, Trudy. Yes, God’s grace is truly sufficient. I am very thankful for this technology, I would go crazy if I couldn’t communicate 🙂

  12. Thank you for sharing your story. I was speaking with my parents about wanting to make a difference in even one life just by being an example. Just by showing God’s love. Right after saying those words my mom noticed that you liked my most recent blog post. I was excited to see someone liked it. So my mom looked at your blog and then excitedly looked at me and said, this guy is writing through technology with his eyes! I was immediately intrigued. I read this blog post and I just started tearing up. I am so inspired by you, your love and devotion to God. And I am so humbled that you read my blog post and liked it. Thank you, Bill. God bless you!

    • Thank you very much for your encouraging message, Mahalah.
      I think our goal and prayer every morning should be to make a positive impact on just one life that day. At the very least that goal and prayer would keep us focused.

  13. Blessings to you my friend. 1 Peter 5:10-11

  14. You are my hero Bill.you inspire me like a mountain top high at church camp when I was a teenager. Or the accumulation of all the best sermons I’ve ever heard. Every time I read one of your posts, I am so blessed!
    Thank you.

    • You always encourage me, Diane. I like the picture in my head of that mountain top church. Thank you for your encouragement.

      • Your interview is amazing. What a wonderful family you have. Your wife is also my hero. You all always look so perfect. When I grow up I want the same kind of faith you guys have. When I get discouraged or frustrated, I just have to replay your interview and keep finding The Lord in that deep place you have. Have you read THe Shack or seen the movie? I know the metaphoric tones bother a lot of believers. I was wondering what your opinion of it was?
        I wish you’d write a book. So many people need the kind of faith you have!

        • Oh, Diane, we all get discouraged and frustrated, don’t be so hard on yourself.
          It’s ironic that you asked me about The Shack because Mary and me were just discussing this. Like others, I have mixed feelings about it. I read the book, but haven’t yet seen the movie. Obviously it’s not based on anything even close Biblical Christianity so that bothers me. Humanizing the Holy Spirit borders on blasphemy of the Holy Spirit and that is the part that I have a check in my spirit about.
          I’ll watch the movie when it comes out on DVD and see.

      • I never thought of that. “Humanizing the Holy Spirit just short of blasphemy” I guess in that sense, it’s a scary thought. I guess I was thinking it was more perhaps like the authors and illustrations that have changed the Bible into children’s Bibles. Maybe? Maybe not quite the same. Or CS Lewis’s The Lion The Witch & The Wardrobe? There’s supposed to be a lot of Biblical symbolism in there. But I know you are a studier of the WORD & that’s why I care what you think! And why I asked. I’d heard a story of how The Shack was initially written for the author’s children to help them understand and for their father to try to share with his kids his version of the kind of love God had for them. And it got into different hands that led to it getting published. And supposedly it never was meant for anyone but his kids.
        Of course when the publishers and now Hollywood has gotten a hold of it, its being judged. When I first read the book there were some very hateful threads and it made me so sad how “Christians” talk to each other when they don’t agree. BOTH sides. It’s sad. I loved your answer because in your sweet and thoughtful delivery, it made me think. THAT is how we should always discuss things. I think being in that cave is a bit like the wise owl at the top of the hill who figures out the wisdom of the world. It is a little bit miraculous how when you have the time to have the right attitude, you can paint an entirely different viewpoint for someone else. Even the most closed minds could be opened by your approach.
        I think you should take up politics. 😏

        • Diane, I probably shouldn’t have used the word blasphemy. But, I think I could make a good case for heresy (Belief or opinion contrary to orthodox religious (especially Christian) doctrine). I love how CS Lewis uses a lion to represent Christ, but the Bible kind of gave him permission to do so (Revelation 5:5). And, of course, God has been portrayed as a father figure. I think it’s okay to have Jesus and God represented by humans. But, to me, the Holy Spirit is another matter. In the Bible, the Holy Spirit is represented as a dove, oil, water, wine, wind, fire…, but removing the mysterious nature of the Holy Spirit is a step too far. Obviously millions of people disagree with me and that’s OK. Thank you for challenging me to think more about this, my friend.
          As for taking up politics, no way, not in this political environment, I’d lose my religion 🙂
          Have a good weekend.

  15. You never cease to amaze me. Through your own personal trials which would have crushed most people you continue to follow the great commission and encourage others. The willingness of you and your wife to let God use you right where you are so faithfully is such a great witness. Your testimony is building a legacy that proves the Light overtakes the darkness! Peace and Blessings to you. Always a pleasure to “see” you.

  16. You are an amazing man of God. The trial you are in is not noticeable by your faith. Gentle hugs to you and your family. I am going to listen to your interview now.

  17. Reblogged this on I ONCE WAS LOST and commented:
    “Regardless of what we’re going through, we should do our best to carry The Great Commission.”

  18. I cried…this is sad and beautiful at the same time…my heart goes out to you. You are so very brave to find things to be thankful for in your situation…to exude life while the natural life is being sucked out of you. Your ZOE life speaks so loud and clear! I’m thankful you can communicate the beauty that is in your heart. You and Mary are no fools. No, you usher life and you say Yes to the Life Giver…I am just thanking God for his anointing on the both of you…it’s never by our might nor power but by HIS SPIRIT. Thank you. Many prayers.

  19. I am grateful you don’t let your temporary body tie you down. I can’t imagine how frustrating it is. You have such a free and uplifting spirit – we can sense it in your writing. I’m glad we get new bodies soon! This chica could use an upgrade, lol!

  20. I enjoy Chris Fabry’s show, but I missed hearing that broadcast when it was live. I just finished listening to it and thought how wonderful it was to hear Mary’s voice and get to know her a bit, too. My faith was strengthened as I listened to your testimony, even though I follow your blog, and I imagined you in your cave. [chuckle] Praise God!

    • Thank you for taking the time to listen, Rene. I bet you were putting out a house fire when the show was live. I’m so happy to hear that your faith was strengthened.

  21. Wow, Bill, I’m listening to it again as I heard it back when Heidi shared the link on her blog. You and Mary are a marvelous team. No one could ever accuse you of burying the talents God gave you. Keep shining His hope, dear brother. Thank you for encouraging us to carry on the “Great Commission.”
    Blessings to you both ~ Wendy

  22. Hi CaveDweller…..I hope you are doing well this week! Your grandkids are CUTE! Thanks for taking the time to encourage all of us.

  23. Thank you for sharing your testimony! ALL GLORY AND HONOR TO GOD! <3

  24. All I can say through tears right now is: WOW! JUST WOW! <3

  25. What a wonderful testimony and thankyou Bill for the encouragment you have given me through it. I will pray for you and , as a new Christian walking with the Lord , please pray for me. As im disabled also , but not as serious, your story has given me hope and extreme encouragment. May our precious Saviour give you strength and just know that you are loved. May God bless you and your family.

    • Thank you so much! After reading your encouraging comments, I thought – if you were the only one that read this post, it would have been well worth the time and effort it took me to write it. I started this blog with people like you in mind.
      I’m so sorry you are disabled, but SO glad that you’ve made a commitment to follow Christ!!!
      Thank you for your prayers. I will pray for you also.

  26. Thank you for sharing your story, the radio broadcast is a great message of hope for all who are struggling through something; no matter what the struggle is!! Your strength and courage is a testament of the power of God that resides in you and operates through you. God loves you dearly and You are a blessing to so many people!! 💞

  27. You never fail to inspire me, Bill. Seems odd to say that I treasure your friendship since we’ve never even met, but I do. As do many, many others, I’m certain. Heading for the interview now. Blessings, brother.

  28. Your hope is indeed unshakeable and oh that my faith was even 1/8th’s of yours! Thank you for sharing this post and thank you for always believing. You are a true inspiration and I will share these words on my blog as well because I believe that you have made most of us forfeit the right to complain about anything in our lives, ever. God bless.

    • Thank you for your encouraging comments, Gale. I have never believed that my faith is stronger than any other Christian, it’s just God’s grace, Gale.
      The level of our faith is determined by our willingness to rely on God’s grace.

  29. wow. you don’t mean to but I am put to shame. I can see, breathe on my own, speak and walk. yet I whine about the stupidest things. I guess God led you to my blogpost “darkness” so I would read your blog, which I will now follow. You still consider yourself a regular guy, which you are, just with more challenges than most. And because you have overcome these with herculean strength you still maintain regular guy status. Except for one important thing. You are truly carrying out the Great Commission. Fearlessly, consistently and courageously. No fanfare, just as you are. Inspiring. thank you. and thanks for reading my blog.

    • Thank you for your encouraging comments, Ekurie. That’s me, Hercules :-). Hey, I complained about minor things before I was diagnosed with ALS, when I was healthy… It’s sad, but let’s face it, it’s human nature.

  30. Thank you for your honesty and for your faith. I can’t begin to imagine the daily tribulations you and your family face, but in my heart I know that you all face them with love that shines from the depths of your souls! The older I get, the more I realize that every single person has something to deal with…some it seems have much more than others. I don’t think that life is about trying to eradicate the ‘somethings’…it seems to me that it is more about how we walk through…or with them.
    I send you and your family blessings from my heart and thanks for showing your journey. Blessitude <3

    • Thank you for your comments, Lorrie. I agree with you, we all have “something” to cope with, health problems, marital problems, emotional problems, financial problems… In light of my own “something,” I never minimize the comparably minor problems of others because I’ve learned that (for those that rely on God), God’s grace rises to the level of our problems.

      • You brought tears to my eyes. Yes! God’s grace is amazing. And it is so obvious that he is at work in your life. I don’t know how it is decided who gets what trials…what tribulations…but knowing a little (from a research paper) about ALS…I would say that yours are quite hefty. Your incredible spirit allows you to walk in grace and be able to see others trials no matter how much smaller than yours. And that, my friend, is simply awesome. Thank you for your soul which shines so bright!!

  31. You my dear friend, could never be a fool….

    Thank you for continuing to live out daily the Great Commission, as a beacon of Unshakable Hope for us all! Hugs & Blessings!

  32. I listened to your radio interview–what an amazing gift to be able to “hear” you and get your feelings about this. Your graciousness and humility are a gentle reminder of how God chooses to use those He loves in ways we may never choose ourselves. And yet your acceptance–even in the challenge of daily accepting–encourages my heart with the things I go through. Your chances to go outside of your “cave” into the light is a glimpse of heaven for me. Thanks, Bill. So wonderfully encouraging and hopeful. You really ministered to my heart.

  33. Catching up on some emails while returning home from a road trip I found a notice of this post. Read it and followed the link and my family listened all the rest of the way home. I felt there could be no more beautiful example and testimony for my kids to hear about the sacred covenant of marriage and the unwavering commitment, love, devotion… than your testimony. We all enjoyed it and will be changed by in as our lives unfold and we see ways we can follow your lead as you have lead us by example. I have been greatly ministered to by you Bill for 3 years but what a treat to hear your beautiful wife tell of her own testimony through this. I’m thankful for you both. My favorite part of the show was when you said (I hope I don’t butcher this), I would rather die believing in a miracle than die believing miracles don’t exist.
    Thank you again we pray for you.

    • Thank you for listening, Gina and family. Thank you also for coming back to encourage us with your comments.
      My quote that “I would rather die looking for a miracle than live not believing in them,” occurred to me after reading Hebrews 11:13 – “All these died in faith…” Medically speaking, my looking for healing is dillusional, I know that. But I want to at least “die in faith” so we cannot stop believing that “Nothing is impossible…” I’ve seen and experienced amazing miracles, Gina!

  34. Hi Billo. Thank you so much for your LIFE. You reveal Jesus life so powerfully. I hope Mary is looking over your shoulder. Mary thank you for your humility,honesty and rawness. You fill us all with hope for His grace each day. Great broadcast. Love and peace my friends

    • Thank you very much, Phil. I am so glad that I’ve gotten to know you.
      For you, someone who is used to speaking in front of thousands of people, doing a radio interview like this would have been easy, but it was all new for us.
      Congratulations on becoming a grandfather again.

  35. Thank you for sharing your story, Bill and Mary! Mark and I both enjoyed this post, Bill, and the radio broadcast was such an encouraging testimony. Praise our wonderful God for using you both to remind us all that He can use each of us, no matter what our limitations or weaknesses may be. May God bless you both, and your precious family always.

  36. Nancy Turner

    Hello Bill, and Mary too,
    I am sorry for the trial you have both endured for so many years..hours and hours and months and days and moment by moment at times. Let me just say that from my heart to you as mine weeps in compassion and love for you both. Thank you for sharing it, and I thank God for using every bit of it.
    I am also a friend of Heidi’s and I work at Moody Radio on the air. God bless you in ways that I can never imagine for believing and trusting through the unimaginable. Thank you.

    • Thank you so much, Nancy. I’m so glad that your friend Heidi is our friend too. I am also glad she connected us to Moody Radio, I enjoy listening online.

  37. A truly uplifting post. You are amazing, Bill!

  38. Hi Bill. Just finished listening to your and Mary’s interview on Chris Fabry Live. So many truths expressed, it was difficult to digest them all! Will have to listen several more times. I will “introduce” you to my Facebook friends and connect them to your website as well as the radio interview. May God continue to bless you richly and powerfully. In Christ, David Ettinger.

  39. Your faith is so wonderful and inspiring. I am thankful for how the Lord is using you. It truly is in a powerful way! I hope you know that. ALS sucks, indeed. But I thank God that His hand is on you and using your circumstance for good…for His glory. My heart is stirred up! It has been a long time since a blog post has made my heart do that. So, I know He’s reaching many more hearts through you. God bless you and your family sir. I believe the Lord has put you all in my heart to be lifting up in prayer. Thank you so much for courageously sharing Hope that never disappoints. God is good, all the time…

  40. Bill, I can’t help but wonder what a better world this would be if all of us who claim to know Jesus as Lord and Savior had just a portion of the love you have for the lost.

    May the Lord bless and keep you.

    BTW……beautiful grandchildren!!

  41. What a waste of any of our mental and emotional energy ever to feel sorry for ourselves. You have taken a crummy and painful and scary situation and used it as a platform to minister from. God be praised for the rays of His glory shining forth from your life in the midst of that dark cave of ALS. You & Joni encourage all of us greatly.

    ( I never knew that the geographic spot of that cave had been identified!)

    Maria in Western NC

    • Thank you for your always encouraging comments, Maria. I didn’t know about the cave being identified either. It was ironic that I found a Christian archeologist/photographer that has been leading tours of Israel for decades. If you haven’t done so already, check out the link to his site, incredible photographs.

  42. I have followed your blog for some time now. Your blog is one of the few that I’ve always looked forward to reading because I can tell it’s not filled with just words that are thrown together, but words that are put together with much thought, much time, and from your heart. Loved listening to the interview. You both did awesome! Prayers continue for you and your family.

  43. Dang bill-

    You put us to shame having less but having more!!

    God bless you, and keep on.

  44. Bill, as always so blessed by your and Mary. It was so wonderful to be able to listen to this broadcast and I look forward to sharing so that others may be encouraged by you, Mary and your family. Love to you both

  45. What a great title Bill!
    I am really getting into the imagery of how God weaves truth and hope together. I will say this: your cave is a lucky cave! It houses and protects not only a man, but a man of God. I deeply respect your humility living in all of your success as a communicator of Jesus Christ. Thank you for your lesson in humility to an awesome God you have portrayed in this article. Even the darkness of a cave does not have a chance when your hope is in Jesus Christ.
    It felt really good to hear you on the radio. I am so glad you posted the link. It has served to connect me more deeply with the God that I serve and a fellow laborer in Jesus Christ. You are so strong and courageous my friend and I think that is an understatement. Keep being a valiant soldier of the Lord my friend. I will continue to pray for you and your family and your Spiritual family!

  46. Good morning Bill – you and your wife, Mary, are such an inspiration. Listening to your radio interview “being willing to allow God to use you regardless of your situation”. A great reminder nothing is too hard for God and all He asks from us is our response. He has everything else. It is the one gift we can give to Him. How wonderfully you and Mary have responded!! Thank you for continuing to provide such hope and inspiration by sharing your journey with us.

    • Thank you for listening and for your encouraging comments.
      “A great reminder nothing is too hard for God and all He asks from us is our response.” YES! That is it exactly. It’s not about the vessel, it’s about what God can do through the vessel.

  47. Bill- Thank you for sharing and encouraging us in our faith walk. ~Liz

  48. Bill and Mary, Just heard the radio broadcast. Thank you for sharing about your lives and how God has provided for your needs and given you grace just as He promises each of us. I was blessed! Had no idea it took so long to write these blogs.

    • Thank you for your encouraging comments and for listening, Karen. Typing blog posts and emails… Is time consuming, but I have to do the audio recordings in a different format, takes more time. As I mentioned in another reply to a comment, I did figure out a new way to do this so it will be much easier if I ever do another radio interview.

  49. That was a wonderful interview. You apparently told Mary to “cowgirl up.” She did. Of course, she has a great example in you. You make a great team. Thanks for sharing your experience and your faith.

    • Thank you for taking the time to listen, Cowboy. I haven’t yet told Mary to “cowgirl up,” but I will – even though I don’t need to, I will just for fun. 🙂

  50. I just now posted this to my site

  51. Bless your heart my friend. It makes me sad to hear of your misery. You’re not weird, I’d be miserable too if I were in your situation.
    And I will pray for you as well.
    God bless you my friend.
    Just remember, Jesus loves you, and He knows your anguish. And He’s got a brand new body waiting for you.

  52. Hi Bill and Mary, I listened to the radio broadcast and I learned things that I didn’t know. I also saw your beautiful grandchildren. I’m sure they must bring much joy to your hearts. I also am honoured to call you my friend. Your faith and hope confirms the love and grace of our Lord Jesus and the work that His Holy Spirit has done on your hearts. Thank you so much.

  53. What a great broadcast. I have been blessed many times over with your ‘unshakable hope’. While most of us will and have never had to face such a ‘trial as you and Mary have’, I’m sure you have touched many hearts for God. And to realize just how long it takes you, to do your post and other ministry, is eye-opening. I know that you have a humble nature, and don’t need a lot of accolades, but I believe that God’s words to you will be “With you I am well pleased’ ! Diane

    • Thank you for taking the time to read and listen, Diane. I found a way to speed up the way I write and record audio so if I ever do another radio interview it will be much easier.

  54. Bill and Mary you are both such an inspiration. Your trust in God’s plan for your lives has reminded me to let go and let God in ALL circumstances! God bless you both! And thank you for sharing your story!

  55. Bill, I don’t live in a cave; mine is a prison, of pain. And tho my struggle cannot compare, thank you once again for encouraging me to press on. And to somehow find God’s purpose within the midst of the daily struggles. Also, please tell Mary that she too brought such blessing to me, listening to the broadcast. Listening to her speak of her tender love for you & the Lord. Thanks to both of you, for your witness & faithfulness to Him. And much prayer, for His strength & healing, Bill.

    • Sue! It’s good to hear from you. Thank you for your comments. Mary always reads my comments.
      I’m sorry you are living with constant pain – that’s the worse! ALS is horrible, but, other than muscle cramps… I am thankful that there is not a lot of pain.
      I started keeping up my long-neglected Twitter account and I see that you still keep up with yours.

  56. Bill, God bless you!

  57. I will listen if I can in Australia … but I wanted to say thank you. Thank you for writing, for holding on and reaching out regardless of your circumstances. I also wanted to say what beautiful beautiful grandchildren you have 😊

    • Thank you for your comments. You should be able to hear the radio show online in Australia.
      You have a long way to go before becoming a grandmother, but it’s a lot of fun being a grandparent.

      • I can imagine it’s fun! I occasionally entertain the thought of another and then remind myself that being in my 60’s with a high schooler would not be a good idea. 😂 I have decided I will just have to wait for the blessing of the next generation.
        I will try to listen this morning (it’s Saturday morning here).

        • Go ahead and have another one 🙂

          • 🤣

          • Dear Bill. I just finished the radio interview. Thank you for taking the time in doing that interview. I felt a tangible anointing at times and I know it will impact many many people. Thank you also to your wife for stepping well out of her comfort zone in doing it … she too will impact many. You were both real, transparent and vulnerable while all the while radiating Gods goodness love and provision. Thank you.
            I will be forwarding the interview on to people.
            Thank you also for the words of encouragement over the years. Like the interviewer, I too had no idea how labor intensive your writing was. It makes your kind words over the years even more precious … I particularly hold onto the fact that you were witnessed to in a shop (which is where God often has me step out). But I also hold onto your kind suggestion about my 20th wedding anniversary … funny, my husband and I have a night away now for our 23rd anniversary.
            I also love the international ministry you are a part of. I will look into that. What I’m writing about (but have not yet published) is that God has called me back to work with refugees here in Australia. I used to work as a lawyer with boat arrivals 20 years ago. Syrians and Iraqis now. Some are Christian, others not, and I have had the chance to witness. I felt excited at the thought that you and your wife (because your ministry is her ministry) were also working in touching Muslims and other so called “unreachable” people groups with the love of God. It made me feel very encouraged … so I thank you!

          • Thank you very much for your comments. I didn’t think Mary would ever step that far outside her comfort zone, it had to be God 🙂
            through the online ministry, I do communicate with a lot of Muslims that want to know more about Christ, and also many new Christians/former Muslims. The unknown story is the exploding underground church throughout the Muslim world.
            I have a good friend that helps resettle (mostly Muslim) people from Iraq and Syria here in Texas. That is a great ministry. I’m glad you are getting back to doing that.

        • Friend, God is good! In fact God is good all the time. At least explore the possibility of having another child. God’s gifts are good all the time!

          • Amen, Denny. Through suffering we find just how good God is. From a human standpoint that is a nonsensical statement, but it is proof of the Holy Spirit working in us when the outer man is disintegrating. God is good!

          • Thank you Denny. We have explored it and at 47 years of age with two children at the elite level of ballet with me needing to drive long distances into town and back daily and the possibility of pelvic instability that had me in and out of a wheel chair with the last pregnancy 10 years ago … without family help and with an ageing 86 year old mother … unless it’s clearly Gods will … it is not a wise thing to do. Unless we heard very clearly from Heaven we will not go there. But thank you for the encouragement. Children are a gift 🎁 and I am grateful for the two previous brilliant ones we have now. Many blessings and thank you for taking time to care 😎

  58. The radio program was well-worth listening to. I’m glad I was able to. Thank you Bill, and I continue to pray for the Lord’s blessing on you.

  59. Bill, I knew you had ALS but didn’t know how far along the disease had progressed. My neighbor down the store had ALS and it was up close and personal for our neighborhood. I am sorry for your unfathomable pain but rejoice in the knowledge that you are in a strong relationship with our beloved Savior, Christ Jesus. May His Holy Spirit bring you comfort and may His church bring you encouragement.

    • Thank you, Mona. I’m sorry about your neighbor. I’m sure you’ve seen what this disease does to the body. Actually, I am thankful that God has given me 20 years. Our girls were just 7 and 4 when I was diagnosed, and look, I’m now a grandfather 🙂

  60. Thank you for your openness and honesty. Your extraordinary courage is an encouragement to many. I just posted a blog about my friend who has just been diagnosed with cancer who also has a battle ahead.

  61. Good post, Bill.

  62. Dear Bill (and Mary), that interview changed me for eternity. What you said there gave me a new lens with which I view God’s plans. He is trustworthy, isn’t He. I am honored you would call me your friend 🙂

  63. Bill, you’ve inspired hundreds, maybe thousands, of people with your God-centered outlook on life, in spite of ALS. I am one of them! Most important, God delights in you because your spiritual and moral integrity (Proverbs 11:20b). I, too, look forward to hearing more of your story on the Moody broadcast.

  64. What a talented and inspiring writer you are. I don’t pretend to know how challenging living with ALS can be, but nevertheless, I am so thankful that you still choose to give of yourself and encourage us all in our faith.

  65. I will be blessed by listening to your interview with Chris Fabry, I enjoy his program.
    I know this sounds crazy.. but have you ever been bitten by a tick? I have been studying Alzheimer syndrome, and many patients who were being treated for Alzheimer’s or ALS, actually had what they call late Lyme disease.. The singer Kris Kristofferson was among them.. If you would like to read more about how Lyme can mimic ALS please visit http://www.als-cure.com/about/
    I praise the Lord that He is equipping you to be a blessing to others.. Wouldn’t it be a miracle if God used you to minister to Stephen Hawking 🙂

    God Bless you and your family.

    • Thank you for your comments and for the information, Mary Ann. Your suggestion doesn’t “sound crazy” at all to me. I have communicated with people over my 20+ years of investigating this mysterious disease that have had Lyme disease with very similar symptoms. I don’t think this is the case in my situation.

  66. My brother in law passed away from als. Prayers for you and your family and online ministry as you continue to touch the hearts of so many people!

    • Thank you very much, Rick. I’m sorry about your brother-in-law. I hate this disease – all these horrible illnesses causing so much suffering and grief.

  67. I am thankful for your perseverance despite a very debilitating disease and your work to spread the good news of hope in Christ in all circumstances. God’s light shines brightly from your cave! Thank you for inspiring and encouraging me!

  68. Your post came at a great time. I know many people who are suffering from chronic pain and debilitating diseases right now. Thank you for sharing your life, but mostly exhorting us to spread the Gospel regardless of our circumstances!

    • Thank you, Karen. Yes, I know so many people that are suffering in physical and/or emotional pain. Spreading the message of hope in Christ is the best answer I know to help hurting people.

  69. Debbie Johnson

    Thank you, Bill. That was a great analogy. Brent & I have listened to your radio show taping already, and we thought you were both amazing. So glad you have those precious grandchildren to brighten your day! We love you & your family and are always praying for you.

  70. I am so proud to be your sister.

  71. Thank you for yet another encouraging post. I appreciate deeply that you are so open regarding your condition, and continue to uplift and uphold the name of the Lord Jesus. It helps put so many things in perspective.

  72. Thank you very much for the re-blog, Karen.

  73. Thank you very much for the re-blog, Claudia.

  74. Thank you very much for the re-blog, Bruce.

  75. Thank you very much for the re-blog, Wynema.

  76. Gale, thank you so much for the re-blog and for your kind words.

  77. Thank you very much for the re-blog.

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