The Man In The Mirror

Can you imagine going a whole month without seeing yourself in a mirror?

If you’re a follower of my blog, you know that I’ve had ALS for almost 21 years, and that I’m totally paralyzed and home-bound. In addition to an excellent nurse visiting me once a month to confirm that I’m still alive, a very nice lady also comes to our home once a month to cut my hair. She came the other day to cut my hair so Mary maneuvered my wheelchair into the bathroom in front of the dreaded mirror (mirrors don’t lie). “Who is that guy with gray hair and big bags under his eyes?” I asked myself.

You see, unless I ask Mary or my caregiver to place me in front of the mirror, which, for obvious reasons, I rarely do, haircut time is the only time I have to face this 56 year old man in a wheelchair (a really disturbing experience).

In some ways, my journey with ALS almost seems like a bad dream, a really long bad dream, even more so when I don’t see myself in the mirror for long periods of time.

Except for the constant reminders of the wheelchair I’m sitting on and the eye-tracking (Look Ma, no hands) computer I’m using, I could close my eyes and almost imagine that I am still the healthy 36 year old man that I was before being diagnosed with this stinkin’ disease.

Then I look in the mirror…

“…we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Corinthians 4:16-18)

Can you imagine someone picking out the clothes you wear every day – for 20 years? On occasion, when we’re having company, Mary will bring out three shirts and ask me which one I’d like to wear. But, other than those rare occasions, Mary or Sharlene, my caregiver and good friend for the last ten years, pick out the clothes I’m going to wear without any input from me.

As I was writing this post, I thought about an old black & white movie I’ve seen, titled “The Picture of Dorian Gray.” It’s about a narcissistic man, Dorian Gray, that, while examining his just-completed portrait, basically makes a pact with the devil that his physical appearance would remain just as it is in the portrait.

Over the period of several years, all of his friends age naturally, but Dorians appearance remains the same as it was the day that he collaborated with evil. However, his now-hidden portrait reflects his soul, and this portrait becomes more hideous with every evil act he commits.

If there was such a thing as a mirror that reflected our soul, what would your reflection look like? (I have probably asked myself this question a thousand times since making a commitment to follow Christ some 35 years ago).

When looking into a mirror, we can see our physical imperfections, but for those who call themselves Christians, the Bible is the mirror of our soul. If we’re open to making changes to our spiritual imperfections (if we have “eyes to see and ears to hear”) the Bible will transform us.

But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.”(James1:22-25)

“But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

Are you being transformed by the Mirror of your Soul?

If not, I hope and pray you’ll begin doing so today.

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 August 3, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 134 Comments.

  1. I know I’m late to the party (having just read this post) but this is very thought-provoking, something we all need to seriously consider and continually work on improving, so that one day when this earthly tent of a body is gone and we’re clothed with our heavenly body, our soul will reflect the beauty of Jesus.
    You are so inspiring and so are your posts. ❤️ God is using you greatly. I look forward to meeting you in heaven someday.

    • Thank you for taking time to read and comment, Mia. This old “tent” is wearing out fast 🙂 I can’t wait to get a new body that will never wear out. I’m looking forward to meeting you also. Do you think you’ll still have a New Zealand accent? 🙂

  2. Beautifully shared, thank you so much ☺️

  3. Thinking of you this morning Bill.
    Father,I thank you for your servant Bill. I thank you for his example of faithfulness in the midst of a storm I cannot imagine. May you touch his heart this day,and reveal yourself to him in a personal way. Draw near to Bill, comfort and uplift him. Grant unto him souls for his labor,and bless his family this day. In Jesus name I pray. Amen.

  4. It’s been a while since I’ve been on here. Occasional mental struggles keep me from writing (and reading) at times, but I keep pressing on — capturing every thought. Remembering God’s greatness in my life and absorbing His Word daily is what keeps me going. I just read this post and I thought I’d stop and say that I truly appreciate you. More than you can know. I am grateful to say that I am being transformed by the mirror of my soul. Glory to God.

    God Bless you richly.

    • Thank you very much for taking the time to read and comment, Debbie. “pressing on” (when we don’t “feel” like doing so) is what we must do. I know it’s difficult, but keep pressing on.

  5. Your inner strength makes you stand so much taller than many I meet today and are healthy. To say I admire you is a drastic understatement!

  6. Reblogged this on quirkywritingcorner and commented:
    I enjoyed reading this and didn’t want to wait until Friday to post it. I don’t particularly like the old woman I see when looking into a mirror, but I am thankful that the Lord has helped me do better. ~ Connie

  7. I’ve been a bit absent from blogging due to a few life events. When I saw you in my inbox, my heart lit up because I knew that your spirit and the way you express yourself always lifts me up and gives me a message that I need to hear. You never disappoint…your faith comes through loud and strong…and while I can detect…I’m not sure what I detect…it was all about the mirror. I think you know who you are and you see yourself the way God sees you…that is until you look in the mirror and see the ‘outside.’ It made me really stop and think about my life…I just had a birthday…I turned 56 Sunday. I had a lot of stress this summer and I gained weight. I see lines in the mirror that were not there before and when I do look in the mirror (every day!) it feels like a disconnect to what I feel inside. I don’t know…I think part of this journey is being able to see with the eyes of God…and to heck with the mirrors.
    Here I go…just typing what I am thinking…I won’t go back and edit because I would probably hit delete. I just want you to know that this post and the message you conveyed …hit me and I will think about it for days…weeks.
    Many blessings to you…I see you with the eyes of God! <3

  8. Theresa Schrock

    Gosh, I so enjoy reading Unshakeable Hope. There is not anything I love more than God’s Word. I’m so blessed to read such a deeper meaning of His Word through your faith and insight. WOW! How rich Christ Word dwells in your heart. I wonder will we ever truly experience the depth of His Word this side of heaven. Probably not but what an amazing and awesome pursuit! You and Mary are extraordinary people and you both are so easy to love. Thank you for sharing your heart with us!

    • Thank you for your encouraging comments, Theresa. I don’t think we will discover the depth of His word this side of heaven, but, you’re right, it’s all about the pursuit.
      I am so glad that we are getting to know Don and you.

  9. You inspire me as always as your continual living testimony leaves me in awe. You are gracious enough to share yourself and your story not only glorifying God but also urging the rest of us to take a look inward, not just outward. Thank you as always for giving me a bit of clarity or something substantial to ponder. Now, I’m going to try and find that movie! I love old movies 🙂 Much peace and love to you!

    • Thank you for your kind message, Lilka. Since becoming disabled, I have become a big fan of old movies. What they lack in special effects and vibrant colors, they make up for in great plots and creativity. And, no gratuitous sex, violence and profanity.
      Now that you are retired, maybe you have more time to watch old movies 🙂 I looked on Turner Classic Movies (TCM) and found that The Picture of Dorian Gray will be on two weeks from today (9/30) at 2:00 PM (ET). If you have a DVR, record it.

      • I’ll be looking forward to it! I enjoyed a movie on TCM just a bit ago with Charleston Heston (before he was Ben Herr BIG).
        My husband enjoys the old ones as well. These movies actually are usually well written with great scores I enjoy them a lot. I could never do blood and the sex and profanity increasingly have me hitting the off button. Maybe I’m getting old but I just can’t take it anymore! 🙂
        One of the first stations I watched back in the seventies when we “got cable” was the TBS Super Station and they showed old black and white movies all the time. I was so glad to have more than 3 channels I got hooked! I won’t have to record The Picture of Dorian Gray, I’ll be able to sit down with popcorn and watch since both boys will be off at college.
        I forgot to mention I love the photo with you and your “girls.” They are quite beautiful young ladies and I know you must be proud of them.
        Always a pleasure to “see” you. Keep doing what you do, I doubt you have any idea how much of a testimony your life is to everyone who meets you, virtual or otherwise. 🙂

        • Thank you, Lilka. We are very proud of our girls. I am so glad that I was still here to see them graduate high school and college, and to see Lauren, the older one, get married. I was also here to see my two grandchildren and another granddaughter arriving in October 🙂
          I remember when they showed old movies on TBS. I am so glad that Ted Turner started TBS, TCM and AMC because, with the exception of Discovery and The History Channel, most stations are garbage.
          I bet you’re enjoying being retired and having an empty nest. We had an empty nest for about a year until my mother-in-law moved in with us. But she’s a big help around the house 🙂

  10. Phenomenal ❤️

  11. As always your post is very inspiring Bill. Thank you for persistently making the choice to invest your time and energy on what you do have rather than on what you don’t have. As I type this I hear the passage from Deuteronomy 30:19-20 …. YOU, Bill, are a living testimony to this word “I call the heavens and the earth to witness about you today, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Therefore choose life so that you and your descendants may live, by loving Adonai your God, listening to His voice, and clinging to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days,”.

    • Thank you the encouraging words. It’s ironic that you mention “investing my time” because I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately – there aren’t enough hours in the day for everything I want to do.

  12. Excellent post, Bill. The Picture of Dorian Gray is the perfect illustration of what happens if we’re getting older but not better. I’m grateful Jesus began and completes the good work in us so we don’t have to get unduly upset about our aging reflection. I’m also 56. I’m also surprised how fast time has flown.
    Blessings to you & Mary ~ Wendy

    • Thank you, Wendy. Age and/or trials definitely change us for the good or bad. After being diagnosed, while going through the stages of grief, I remember coming to a series of crossroads where I had to make a decision to move towards God or further grief and misery – I can’t speak for others, but for me it was a conscious choice. I’m thankful that the Holy Spirit urged me to move closer to God.
      You don’t look 56, Wendy. When is your birthday?

      • I was born March 12. I’ve got the gray hair and forgiving skin like my dad had. But my achy joints remind me I’m heading up yonder sooner and not too much later. 🙂 Crossroads come in all sorts of ways–don’t they? I’m glad you didn’t stay in the grief stage too long, Bill, because your blog is always a blessing to read.

        • I’ll turn 57 in October. Another birthday, that’s all. We won’t have birthdays in heaven, no getting older because time itself will be done away with. No more health problems, no more grieving. It’s a really great deal, this accepting Jesus as your Lord and Savior – I don’t know why more people don’t take God up on it. Too bad, so sad.
          Thanks for being a faithful follower of my blog and a friend, Wendy.

  13. GOD BLESS You Brother in Christ Jesus-Yeshua!! I will Pray fore You!! “Pray Without Ceasing.” ( 1 Thessalonians 5:17 KJV )!!

    Love <3 Always and Shalom, YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

  14. Getting there, Bill. And reminders and prods along the way from caring friends and pilgrims like you, help immensely. Don’t know if I’ll ever meet you in person in this life, but I look forward to hanging out with you on the other side!

    • Thank you, Mitch. Yes, encouragement and support from friends like you helps so much. I’m looking forward to hanging out with you, here or there 🙂 God is good, my friend.

  15. It was what I needed to hear today. I haven’t seen a blog from you for some time. I haven’t taken time to do a blog of my own and I need to let somethings go undone so I can complete and continue my story. Yes, looking in a mirror can be a challenge as we do not stay the same and some times I don’t even think I look like myself anymore. I never look in a full length mirror or watch myself walk with my cane and significant limp to the left due to polio. I never care what shoes I can wear because I am so limited on what I can wear that it just doesn’t matter as long as I can continue to walk. Thanks so much for your message to me this morning. God bless you in your continued journey. You daughters are beautiful.

    • Thank you for reading and commenting, Linda. I know what you mean about full-length mirrors 🙂 up until a few years ago, we had a full-length mirror directory across from where I park my wheelchair every night, I hated going to bed with that image on my mind.
      Thank you for agreeing with my opinion on my daughters – like their mom, they’re beautiful inside and out.

  16. Bill, you undo me man. I confess I’ve at times gotten pretty discouraged by the impact of ALS on my body (i know I’m a little self concious). Im so glad there is a mirror that reflects that part of us that is transformed from glory to glory as we meditate and grow on His word. Im learning so much from you. thanks mate. Love and prayers to you.

    • Thank you, Phil. I too fight discouragement, mate. But the Holy Spirit provides just enough encouragement for me to begin the arduous process of getting out of bed, getting dressed and on my computer one more day: only enough drive for that day – I don’t entertain thoughts about the future. His grace, like Manna in the wilderness, has a 24 hour expiration date 🙂 “His mercy is new every morning.”

  17. Bill, my friend’s father passed just over one week ago. She shared an absolutely beautiful testimony and picture of agape love just before he went home from the hospital for the last time. I share because I can’t help but think this is so much of what you want your family to know:

    “Heartbroken to see dad’s tears yet cannot utter a word from this ugly ALS. I stare into his blue eyes wondering what he’s thinking or what he wants to say in his final hours or days.

    It’s been over 3 and a half years he hasn’t been able to move nor speak, with his mind completely intact.

    And then it hit my spirit. More than anything he wants us to know how deeply he loves us, even knowing he won’t be with us long.

    So Christ-like. Because as Jesus died on the cross, more than anything he wanted us to know how deeply we were loved too.

    Agape love. Self-sacrificial love.

    Our prayer asking for peace, but that everyone may know how deeply loved they are.

    Thank you for Dad’s army of friends that came to serenade him beautifully tonight, filling his hospital room and the hall.

    You sang his favorite hymns and Gaither songs, gathered around him and prayed through your own tears. What you did tonight took courage… and have made me see what true friends do.

    Tomorrow morning we are taking him off the high flow oxygen that he hasn’t been able to breathe without. Doctors and nurses have said that he has already defied any medical explanation this far, so we do not not what tomorrow holds.
    But we do know that Dad loves us (and you) so self-sacrificially. Jesus taught him so.💖🙏”

    • Thank you very much for sharing this, Janessa. I’m sorry for their loss. ALS is, in every sense, an “ugly” disease! Praying that this family and all those that loved this man would be comforted in their grief.

  18. I try very hard to be transformed daily into the person Jesus has in mind for me to be. Some days are better than others…
    Thanks for always encouraging us to be better versions of ourselves, Bill.

  19. You know what? Regardless of your disabilities or your age, you are much more stronger in spirit and in your heart. 🙂 God sees that… and you are still young. It may seem as if you cannot do too much, when actually, you are already doing something: You’re writing on your blog. I am 29-years old thinking that I am getting older too fast, which in actuality, I needed to be thankful and blessed that God watches over my life and still sees me as being beautiful. 🙂 You, sir, are a young and handsome man that is taking everyday one day at a time. Besides, “with God, all things are possible.” Philippians 4:13.

    • Thank you for your encouraging comments, even if you had to bend the truth about my being young and handsome 🙂

      • Well, it is true. 🙂 I’m living with MS and cannot imagine what you are going through. If I can say anything is that you have inspired me to keep on living and never give up on moving. There are days when I experience some stiffness, but I will keep on fighting just like you have and are right now. Thank you so much for your reply and for inspiring me. Wish that you could see me clap right now… but technology hasn’t fully advanced into the future just yet. 🙂

        • Thank you for inspiring me with your words of encouragement. I can relate to muscle stiffness (and weakness and cramping…), but we need to keep moving as best we can, physically, emotionally and spiritually.

  20. Thank you for your insightful posts.

  21. Thank you, Bill. From Pilgrim’s Progress:

    “I saw also, that the Interpreter took him again by the hand, and led him into a pleasant place, where was built a stately Palace, beautiful to behold; at the sight of which, Christian was greatly delighted; he saw also upon the top thereof certain persons walking, who were clothed all in gold.

    Then said Christian, May we go in thither?

    Then the Interpreter took him and led him up toward the Door of the Palace; and behold, at the Door stood a great Company of men, as desirous to go in, but durst not. There also sat a man at a little distance from the door, at a table side, with a book, and his inkhorn before him, to take the name of him that should enter therein: He saw also that in the doorway stood many men in armor to keep it, being resolved to do to the men that would enter, what hurt and mischief they could. Now was Christian somewhat in amaze: At last, when every man started back for fear of the armed men, Christian saw a man of a very stout countenance, come up to the man that sat there to write, saying, Set down my name, Sir; the which when he had done, he saw the man draw his Sword, and put an Helmet upon his head, and rush toward the Door upon the armed men, who laid upon him with deadly force: But the man, not at all discouraged, fell to cutting and hacking most fiercely. So after he had received and given many wounds to those that attempted to keep him out, he cut his way through them all, and pressed forward into the Palace; at which there was a pleasant voice heard from those that were within, even of those that walked upon the top of the Palace, saying,

    Come in, Come in: Eternal Glory you shall win.

    So he went in, and was clothed with such garments as they. Then Christian smiled, and said, I think verily I know the meaning of this. Now, said Christian, let me go hence. Nay, stay (said the Interpreter) till I have showed you a little more, and after that you shall go on your way.”

    Blessings to you, Good Warrior.

  22. Beautifully written and very thought provoking. Thank you for this reminder. I may never look in the mirror the same way again, and I do believe that’s a good thing. Thank you again and big hugs to you. God Bless you my friend.

  23. Bill – always so amazed by you and so love the way you always weave the scarlet thread throughout your stories. By the way, I saw the movie The Picture of Dorian Gray – so remarkable how you took your story, wove it into Dorian Gray’s and then framed it with what God’s sees – you are dearly treasured, and always so delighted to hear a word from you. ~ Wynema

    • Thank you for your comments, Wynema. The great thing is that the grace and forgiveness offered by God, through Christ, can take a hideous soul like Dorian’s and make it beautiful.

  24. Though we do eventually change in our outward physical appearance, and even the slowing of our minds, I believe our soul for the most part remains intact as we age, as is so evident with you. I believe your spirit and the love of the Lord keeps you persevering, and has accomplished much for Him and for others, who you have touched over these many years.
    Those moment of reflection … looking in the mirror.. and in other ways only seems to enhance the love you have for God and for your family and many others… Diane

  25. Bill, thank you as always for another uplifting post sharing your positive outlook and your faith. When I read your posts, I think of them as though we are talking out by Paula’s pool in The Woodlands when Lauren and Leah were young girls. Now they have grown into beautiful young women, which must make you and Mary so proud! God bless you!

  26. Great post.. It is a beautiful family portrait..

  27. Hi Bill,

    I loved your newest post! And you are absolutely correct, the Bible is the mirror of our soul as it has the power to change us into the image of Christ.

    Ask anyone who has truly loved their husband or wife over many years what they see when they look at their mate and their answer will be, “I see the one that I love.” It matters not that we age because love doesn’t age, love never gets old, if anything love grows deeper, stronger and encompasses much more than what we see with our eyes. Love looks inside at the heart, at the joy, laughter and tears that the years have bonded, each with the another.

    So it is with our soul’s union with our heavenly Father where we are transformed into the image of His Son. Our bodies will indeed someday be new, in the twinkling of an eye, but His Spirit has dwelt within our hearts, long before.

    God’s rich blessings on you and your family Bill!


  28. Still handsome my friend, nonetheless. A lady made a comment to my face this morning on the bus going to work. I told her “I don’t know what I look like on the outside, but I want to look like Jesus on the inside”. She and the other women around her let out big smiles.

    The she gave me a big hug. And this was a black woman hugging a white man on a bus in downtown Baltimore. History was made and made my day.

    May God richly bless you!

    • Thank you for your kind comments, David. I like what you told those women.
      “I look to a day when people will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.”
      Martin Luther King, Jr.

  29. Beautiful. Thank you!

  30. a gentle reminder, thank you. and thank God.

  31. Love the picture of you with your grown daughters. Think how God has transformed their lives through your day-in/ day-out dependence and proof of God’s sustenance
    May God strengthen you by building up your faith as you keep looking into his promises through the eyes of faith that he has gifted you with so you can KNOW that He loves you.

    • Thank you, Maria. Yes, by seeing God supply our needs, providing their college tuition…, I think they are much better people, more compassionate… Maybe more than they would have been otherwise. They have seen God work several miracles in our family over the last 20 years.

  32. Hi,
    I know so well how looking in the mirror can be such a shock. I never see myself, my hospital bed is to the left of the mirror in my hospital room, until someone wants to take a picture with me. Which I hate! It shows just how much I have deteriorated. I haven’t had ALS as long as you, I’m at 13 years but like you I can close my eyes and see myself at 30.
    I hope that my soul is not like Dorian Gray! Though if that were true I would have something to say to the devil for not upholding our deal!
    I know that God loves me regardless of my physical appearance and that I will one day walk, hand in hand with my husband who has already lost his battle with ALS and is waiting for me by God’s side.
    Stay strong and Bless you! xo

    • I’m so sorry for your suffering and grief, Lisa. I am adding you to my prayer list, please add me to yours. I love your sense of humor, “the devil didn’t hold up his end of the deal.” 🙂 LOL
      I am looking forward to meeting you some day, but not too soon, okay.

  33. Reblogged this on Moonlight Reflections and commented:
    A really excellent post by Bill at Unshakable Hope. It sure convicted me.

  34. BIG ((hugs)) 🙂

  35. I remember being terrified by “Dorian Gray” as a young girl. That image was haunting. Your post reminded me of the time our Lord compared the Pharisees to whitewashed tombs — outwardly beautiful , but corrupt within (Matt. 23: 27-28).

    Your life is a lesson in humility, Bill. It is humbling to know you. The image of Christ is very clear.

  36. I am always blessed to read your blog. My mom died in 1994 from ALS after only 3 and a half years. I am glad you have lived until now and continue to point to the Lord. Growing old is better than the alternative as my 93 year old neighbor always says.

  37. Bill, this post makes me think of a fond memory of my mother. She suffered from two different brain tumors over the last ten years of her life. She had several surgeries, one through the roof of her mouth which caused slurred speech and some paralysis. My mom was an excellent singer prior to the surgery, but needless to say, her singing was affected. This did not stop my mom from worshipping God through song, however.

    One Sunday, she gathered the nerve to sing on stage at church like she used to. Although her pronunciation was off her heart for God shone through.

    Afterward, she asked me if her slurring made it difficult to enjoy the song. I told her in all honesty, she had never sung more beautifully. I have a feeling the Lord would agree! Afterall, He sees the heart!

    Thanks for sharing another thought-provoking and moving post, Bill. As usual, you made my day!
    Grace and peace to you and yours.

  38. Thanks for the challenge – Always enjoy reading your posts!! Keep it up.

  39. Bill, the mirror of your soul reflects the light of Jesus with dazzling brilliance! Thank you for your supreme example of pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God.

    • Thank you, Nancy. “pressing on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God” is what it’s all about. Last month was the five year anniversary of my blog, and you were one of my early and most faithful followers. Thanks! 🙂

  40. Just prayed for you Bill. Your willingness to allow our Lord to use your suffering is a great faith builder and teacher. Blessings to you and your precious family.

  41. This is such a great reminder, Bill, to be more concerned with the mirror of our souls than of our bodies. God teaches you such deep lessons, and the beauty He has created in your soul shines forth in your blog posts. Thank you for taking time to share your heart here. I just watched a youtube video on how an eye-tracking computer works. It’s amazing how God uses this technology to release the voice inside of those who can’t vocalize their thoughts. It must get frustrating though. May God give you sufficient grace for each moment of your life!

    • Thank you for your encouraging message, Trudy. I am very thankful for this technology, but, yes, it is slow and can be extremely frustrating, but sitting around watching TV or listening to audio books would be even more frustrating – I know because I have had to do that when my computer is broken.

      • Wonderful, uplifting post Bill, you never have to worry what you see in the mirror you are beautiful inside and out. Wish we could be there to see our man in the mirror this weekend, love you. Ellen

        • Thank you very much, sister. I wish you were coming this weekend, we get to see your daughter and grandson. But it’s too hot in Texas for cheese heads this time of year 🙂

  42. Reblogged this on 1 Way 2 Yahweh.

  43. Bill,
    Writing you from Germany 🙂 God is using your story here, too! Like you said before, suffering is a universal deal and God is using your blog all over the globe. I am so conflicted in my heart, for I wish with a very big part of my heart that you would not have to suffer the way you do, but I see God using you so powerfully each time your story is told.
    I am praying for your strength and encouragement! Thank you for loving God’s people so well and for strengthening us in our souls! (Sending my love to your Mary as well)

    • Great to hear from you, Heidi. I hope you and the kids are enjoying your summer adventure in Germany. Thank for your encouraging comments and especially for your prayers – God answers prayers.
      I’m sorry I haven’t yet replied to your email, I was writing this post when it came. We’re having some of my relatives from up north visit this weekend, only one of your fellow cheese heads 🙂

  44. Bill, every time you write and share your soul, the Lord brings us a blessing. We are very familiar with your quotes from 2 Corinthians due to the ages and stages we have been through. Praise the Lord that He brings us through the wilderness of this life, preparing us for His presence and glory, an eternity for which we are transformed by His glory. With the same hope, we share the same Lord, in whose image we are meant to see ourselves. When the Father sees us, He sees His Son. We are “in Him” waiting for His final glory to be revealed in and through us. You and I both know that it is in His strength that we live each day, pressing forward to the hope that we have in Him. Blessings and prayers as you continue to live in the humility of our Lord.

  45. This was an excellent post brother. Thank you.
    Coincidentally, I just now read the book of James. I tried to take a fresh, unbiased look at it without pre conceived doctrinal ideas as to justification (before men, or God). And I’ll be honest, I’m stumped. I know the greater argument is that James is about justification before men. And I lean there. Especially in light of Romans 4 and Ephesians 2.
    But there’s a feeling that James is speaking to potentially unconverted Jews. Esp. 1.21, 2.1, 2.14, 2.24, 3.1, 4.8
    And 5.19,20 is a mystery to me.
    How can a multitude of sins be “hidden,” if Christ has purged (removed) our sins? I know I sound stupid, but I don’t understand this.

    The faith / grace message of Paul outnumbers James works/faith message by volume. And I know that I don’t do anything that justifies me.

    I’m just stumped.

    Lord bless you my friend. 😃

    • Thank you for your comments, Lee. I never saw that when reading James or any other book in the New Testament, Lee. Of course, with the possible exception of Luke, all the books of the New Testament were I written by Jews, so… I believe the New Testament was written for all men, Jews and gentiles alike because it tells the way to be born again, and…
      “… (God)desires ALL men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.” (1 Timothy 2:4)

      • I believe the Lord just answered my question.
        Genuine faith will have attendant works.

        I don’t have all the answers, and I thank you for your kindness and patience.

        • Thank you, Lee. I sure don’t have all the answers either, but we’d quit searching if we did so not having all the answers is a good thing, right? 🙂

          • Right brother, and thank you for your kindness. 😃
            The more I grow in faith, the more I have to re examine things, and the more I realize I know nothing.

    • Hi Lee, sorry to butt in – James 5:19-20 …

      That word “cover” in Greek is used seven times in the New Testament. The word is used as in “the waves swamped the boats” … “having lit a lamp, no one covers its light” … “love covers a multitude of sins”.

      I take that to mean not “hide” or “hidden” – but blocked out … washed away … overcome … Which, for me, makes perfect sense:

      “Whoever turns a sinner from the error of their way will save them from death and block out/wash away/overcome a multitude of sins.”



  46. Very convicting post today Bill. I appreciate you

  47. ALWAYS my sweet sermon just when I need it most. My husband sent a horrible picture entitled “my two sleeping beauties” I’d fallen asleep with my glasses on with our cat sleeping as close as she could get to me. And I thought arghhh I look so old! Just as I was reading this!! Coincidence? I don’t think so. For so many reasons I needed this. You are an amazing man. When you WALK through those Heavenly gates God is going surely say “Well done good and faithful servant.” Someday!
    That is all I want to hear when I meet my Maker. And I fail everyday. My soul’s portrait is something I wouldn’t want to see! But you are an “encourager” and you inspire me. Thank you for reminding me to work on wanting to look in the mirror. And by the way I think that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder. I’m blessed to have a husband who sees things so differently than I do! And your Mary sees you the same. And we all see you with a shining light around you! Anyone who knows you! But it’s kind of not fair how men get more distinguished and women just get older…. And my friend, I must say that you actually have aged quite well! 😄😉

    • Thank you, Diane. Yes, our bodies are not what they used to be 🙂 BUT someday, hopefully not for quite a while, we’ll have, in every way, perfect bodies – I am so looking forward to that day, Diane!

  48. That was powerful.

  49. Bill, your beautiful words always make me stop and reflect.

  50. Thank you for taking the time to write your thoughts. I have been thinking about you recently…as I had not received a blog in several months. I pray for you when you cross my mind. I do not know you and have only followed you since last spring when I heard you on Chris Fabry. Your testimony touches me deeply for some reason. It causes me to realize how blessed I am. Thank you for being a testimony to God’s goodness. It is such an encouragement to all of us. I know to write this takes a lot of time and discipline. Thank you ~ Jana Marshall

  51. This is a tremendously convicting post, Bill. Like you, I too would be afraid to look into the “mirror of my soul.” Alas, f0r those who, as you say, are “open to making changes to our spiritual imperfections,” we probably are honest enough to know exactly what lies within our souls. Thank you for this difficult reminder.

    Continued blessings upon you as God “insists” on using in a powerful way as your blogs reach down to the heart and soul and make your readers look a little more deeply at themselves than they otherwise would prefer.

  52. Hello Bill,
    Great to hear from you! I have thought of Dorian Gray more often now that I am older. When I was young and strong and knew more than everybody else, and my pride! I surely did not understand what Dorian was all about.

    Great use of a literary classic to illustrate the point God wants all of us to know. The outward man does perish. But God takes care of the inward man and he is renewed day by day.

    Bill again, it is so good to hear your post, yes, sometimes it feels like you are reading it to me as I read your post. Thank you for sharing a bit of your life with all of us we are richer for it.

    Your brother in Christ,

  53. Reblogged this on dianelindstrom.

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

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

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