Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

On the last day of 2016, I was rushed to the hospital in an ambulance because, even with my breathing mask on, I couldn’t breathe. The doctors diagnosed me with an Upper Respiratory Infection. I didn’t think I would live to see the first day of 2017. I thought the last hours of 2016 would be the last hours of my life.

Obviously, I didn’t die. By God’s grace I lived to see another year. Every day of 2017 has been like a bonus to me, every day God gives me is a bonus. People with ALS are not supposed to live for 21 years. I hope that God will let me hang around for 2018.

I wasn’t planning on posting again this year, but I was sitting here and thought I’d type a short post to wish my blog followers a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. There will be no end to the increase of His government or of peace, On the throne of David and over his kingdom, To establish it and to uphold it with justice and righteousness From then on and forevermore.” (Isaiah 9:6-7)
(It’s so amazing to me that the Prophet Isaiah wrote the above 700 years before the birth of Jesus).

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 December 23, 2017, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 126 Comments.

  1. Sweet blessings to you during this holiday season. May 2018 be rich and full!

  2. It’s not until you have a serious illness that you realise what is important in life. I have had cancer in both kidneys and lived to tell the tale but it makes you pack everything you can in each and everyday and count your blessings that you are here for another year. Happy, Healthy New Year

    • Thank you for your comments. I agree with you about trials changing our perspective on life for the better. So much seems so trivial when we’re going through a trial. I’m so glad you are here to tell the tale. I hope you have a great 2018 in every aspect of your life.

  3. New Aim, New Dreams, New Achievements Everything Waiting for You. Forget The Failures. Correct Your Mistakes. Surely Success is yours. Happy NEW YEAR 2018.

  4. Thank you, Bill, for what you share on your blog, but more, for being who you are as a witness with great faith and unshakable hope. You are a blessing in my life and in the lives of many. Also, I like the photo on this post so as to see what you see. Beautiful home! I am glad this year is starting out better than last. How scary to not breathe.

  5. Merry Christmas to you Bill – Al;ways look forward to reading your posts.

  6. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you, Uncle Bill! All our love to you and Mary!

  7. Hallelujah!! Wonderful to hear from you. You’re a treasure and inspiration. I hope God has great plans for 2018 for you, too. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  8. How beautiful that both you and Isaiah have received such amazing grace… Hugs n’ blessings to you for reminding us (all) of the grace which God bestows upon us – throughout the ages.

  9. A hearty AMEN to previous comments. You’ve impacted us all, Bill–your strong faith, your positive attitude, your delightful humor in spite of very difficult circumstances. And then there’s the ripple effect. I have told your story to others, as I’m sure many of your readers have. As for the passage of scripture you shared today, I, too, marvel at the exactness of the prophecies surrounding Jesus’ birth, so long before the event occurred. Praise God for the hope prompted by such words too!

    • Thank you for your always encouraging comments, Nancy. Encouraging comments from my blog followers definitely contribute to my positive attitude. I hope you had a good Christmas and that you will have a blessed 2018.

  10. Merry Christmas, Bill, to you and your loved ones! May you have a blessed New Year in 2018!!

  11. Good morning Bill!
    Beautiful word, beautiful Christmas decorations.
    Not all things in this world are beautiful and encouraging. His strength and the things that are touched by Him are!
    Thank you for being obedient to His touch!


  12. Merry Christmas, what a lovely gift, a real one, to be here with your family. May love and peace fill you now and always, suzanne

  13. Merry Christmas, dear Bill, and warm wishes for a wonderful 2018 for you and Mary. The photo’s a great glimpse of you in your beautiful home. I listened to a radio program, while cooking today, about the prophecies concerning the birth and life of Jesus. It’s amazing how specific details were foretold. I look forward to His glorious return. It’s comforting to know it will be just as He said it would be.
    Blessings ~ Wendy

  14. God bless you and your family. Merry Christmas

  15. I just found your blog! That’s an amazing testimony of God’s faithfulness in your life. You have inspired me to regard every day God gives me on this earth as a bonus. Thank you for sharing God’s faithfulness also in His prophecy of Jesus. Amen, and Amen!
    Your life is a testimony to me of living out Philippians 1:20-25
    “According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. But if I live in the flesh, this is the fruit of my labour: yet what I
    shall choose I wot not. For I am in a strait betwixt two, having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ; which is far better: Nevertheless to abide in the flesh is more needful for you. And having this confidence, I know that I shall abide and continue
    with you all for your furtherance and joy of faith;”
    Jesus is faithful

    • Thank you, Michael.
      I just read this passage this morning. “To live is Christ…” Christ in me and working through me, this is my number one goal for whatever time I have left on this earth.
      Thank you for reading and for your comments.

  16. I am happy God decided it wasn’t your time to go home.. and you will be celebrating the birth of Christ with family..
    The Bible is amazing.. the word is God.. and he never fails to amaze us 🙂

  17. Happy Christmas to you and to your family!

  18. Well God certainly still has plans for you here in this world and I would say your blogging plays a big role in that. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year right back at you! 🙂

  19. Merry Christmas now and forever, my friend!

  20. jacquelinegwallace

    You, my brother, are an inspiration, and a conviction, to us all. And we thank God he is letting you have another day, each day as it comes. You inspire us to live worthy of our Lord. Your spirit convicts us to rise to that challenge, with no excuses. May you prosper and be in health–in 2018–even as your soul prospers. Merry Christmas to you and yours. Happy New Year!

  21. It’s for others that you are still here, Bill. I know that you know that to depart and be with the Lord is far better. But you’re a great inspiration of hope to many, many others! Blessings to you at this time, and throughout the coming new year!

  22. Merry Christmas! Each day is a gift, and so are your words. Blessings for the coming year!

    Unto us a child is born, and lived, and was crucified, and rose again! Our only hope!

  23. Bill – so glad to hear from you. Merry Christmas to you and your family. Look forward to more posts from you next year.

  24. Christmas Blessings to you and your family. You are one very special person. And as your blog-followers and friends we get to see the grace of God in and through your eyes. We love you Bill.

  25. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, Mr. Sweeney! Thank you for your encouraging writing! Love your family so much.

  26. So thankful that God blessed us with you for another year! You and your blog have been a wonderful discovery for me this year! You inspire and encourage me! Thank you. Merry Christmas!

  27. Merry Christmas, and a blessed, full 2018!

  28. Have a blessed Christmas, Bill. May God give you many more years with us.

    Your friend,


  29. I am encouraged and humbled by your faith and example. I just shared with another blogger ( recalling same passage in Isaiah) that God became flesh to rescue us – from us. May you still be sharing your story and faith for many Christmases to come!

  30. I thank God you’re still here too. Thank you for allowing Him to use you to touch our hearts. I too am amazed by what Isaiah wrote all those years before Christ was born! So grateful for God’s promises. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family.

  31. Thank you for the reminder that every day is a gift to each of us, and God has blessed us all for 21 years of fufillment through you…it’s how he works. Peace and joy to you, Mary and the kids this Christmas 🎄 and on to 2018! Love you brother!

  32. I’m glad you posted so I could wish you and your family a very blessed and Merry Christmas. May God continue to give you strength and peace each and every day.. Diane <3

  33. Merry Christmas to you and yours Bill. I am back home and doing better now, thank you for your prayers. I join your prayer for living and ministering to your family and friends. May our Lord give you much to pass on to your family and readers. All joy and blessings encompass you and all that you encourage in this foreign land.
    Your Brother in Christ,

  34. Merry Christmas to you and your family. I pray God watch over and keep you for many inspirations. Thank you for your uplifting thoughts and heart.

  35. Bill, I hope your hardware does icons! 👍💪👍🤩🎅☃️🇬🇧🇺🇸🇬🇧🇺🇸👍💪👍 Thank you for being you. Wishing you and yours a warm and loving Christmas and New Year ((hugs))

  36. Thanks for blessing us with your Christmas wishes, Bill … and for pointing us to Jesus! Can’t think of any blog post I’d rather read 🙂
    Merry Christmas to you and Mary!

  37. You are God’s gift to us all and you are an inspiration to continue BELIEVING AND HOPING. Blessings and joy to you and yours.

  38. A very warm and Merry Christmas to you 🙂

  39. You are a true inspiration! Merry Christmas and blessings to you and your family!

  40. I’m thankful God blessed you with another year, and for the encouraging words you share with so many. May God continue to bless you and uphold you this Christmas and in this coming new year.

  41. I’m glad you survived! Have a blessed and joyous Christmas also.

  42. God’s blessings and Merry Christmas to you also

  43. Thank you for sharing your love of the Lord, and helping to fill our hearts with faith, gratitude, love and joy! Many blessings and much love to you and your family. Merry Christmas!

  44. God needed you here yet, Bill. Your testimony of God’s grace in the midst of deep trials always encourages me. Thank you. May you have a Hope-filled Christmas filled with Jesus’ love and peace!

  45. Bill, Merry Christmas and a blessed New Year to you and your family!

  46. Merry Christmas Bill! Blessings to you and your family.

  47. I was really hoping to hear from you Bill! May our Lord bless you and your family abundantly this Christmas!

  48. Celebrating God’s Goodness with you, Bill. Indeed, every day given us is a gift from Him; each breath taken to be savored as His Return comes ever closer. Merry Christmas to you and yours, both now and into the New Year! ❤️

  49. I love you Bill, and I’m thankful to be your friend.

    And I’m just S.W. of you a few miles in Katy. So if I can ever help you, I’d be honored to.

  50. What a blessing you are to us, Bill! Merry Christmas and MANY more Happy New Years!

  51. Your home looks so warm and cozy! Merry, merry Christmas to you. So enjoyed your 2017 posts and look forward to many more.

  52. Merry Christmas! Be blessed. God is with you and in a great mood.

  53. Hi Bill, you’ve got my vote to keep you going throughout 2018 and beyond! I wish there was some way to accurately convey how much you mean to so many of us who follow you and also your dear wife Mary and your lovely family. I think of you often Bill and you are in my prayers every day. You are a dear brother and I sincerely wish you all a most joyous and blessed Christmas and Happy New Year!

  54. God has given you a unique ministry, Bill. One to folks who struggle with ALS, to people who love them, and to those who feel the pressure of life and don’t know how to deal. You’ve got a wonderful voice of hope in the midst of the challenge of what you walk through every day. And you see each day as a bonus. What a beautiful reflection of God’s grace in and through you. May this Christmas be a time of joyous reflecting on His great gift of hope. And may your new year be one where you see His ministry through you continue to grow. I’m grateful for you, my friend.

  55. Ellen Anne Irons

    Merry Christmas and here’s to 2018 and many more. You inspiration to others continues to amaze me. Love you all

  56. Merry Christmas, brother.

  57. Happy CHRISTmas and a very Blessed New Year for you and your family.

  58. I’m glad you were here for 2017 and hope you have a wonderful 2018 too! Thank you for your blogs …always an inspiration to read. Merry Christmas.

  59. Wishing you the happiest and healthiest 2018!

  60. Merry Christmas. You are an inspiration and I hope God does keep you around for a while longer

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