Someone Polluted Our Gene Pool :-)

By Bill

Because we can trace our mother’s and father’s families back to Ireland, my nine siblings and I have always assumed that we were 100% Irish, but…

About a year ago a few of my siblings decided to get their DNA tested. I don’t know how accurate this DNA testing is, but the tests showed that we are only 95% Irish, give or take 1%. Somehow, maybe hundreds of years ago, our gene pool was corrupted, or, likely enhanced, by 5%. Apparently, the relationship between the Irish and the English wasn’t always strained; in fact, it seems that the relationship was quite good for two of my ancestors.

It’s kind of fun to think about the possible scenarios of how and when our ancestor’s blood became mixed with another family’s DNA. I told my brother that it was probably a golfer from London who came over to Ireland to play around. Or, maybe my great, great, great grandmother traveled to England and got a job as a chambermaid for a wealthy family and ended up marrying a member of the household staff.

Regardless of how our ancestors got together, these two are probably to blame for my rebellious nature, and I’m pretty sure this is where I get my sense of adventure from. Living with ALS for 21+ years is quite an adventure, but I wouldn’t recommend it.

As I’ve mentioned in past blog posts, I have been an Online Missionary with Global Media Outreach since 2010. Like here on my blog, I have met and become friends with Christians all over the world; Africa, Europe, China, Iran… I don’t like to admit that I’m geographically-challenged, but I’ve even connected with people from tiny remote islands that I had to Google to find the location of.

As I am writing this, I’m thinking about two men that I disciple and communicate with regularly. These two men have become friends of mine. Their names are Claude, from Burundi (that’s in East Africa for my fellow geographically-challenged readers), and Biruk, from Ethiopia. Biruk is living in Japan right now finishing up a Masters program. He’s hoping and praying to get accepted into a Ph.D. program in Australia for the next school year.

I’ve never asked, but I’m guessing that, like most native Africans, Claude and Biruk have dark skin, probably several shades darker than my pasty white skin. I’ve never asked about their race because it really doesn’t matter to me. The strange thing is that both of these men address me as “Brother Bill.” They are both relatively new followers of Christ and genuinely believe that we are brothers, spiritually speaking. And, I believe that we are brothers too. Why? Because the New Testament tells us that followers of Christ are brothers and sisters in the eyes of God:

“There was a crowd around Jesus, and someone said, “Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” Jesus replied, “Who is my mother? Who are my brothers?” Then he looked at those around him and said, “These are my mother and brothers. Anyone who does God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” (Mark 3:31-35)

Claude, Biruk and all true followers of Christ are “strangers and exiles on the earth. For those who say such things make it clear that they are seeking a country of their own…they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God; for He has prepared a city for them.” (Hebrews 11;13-16)

I am so looking forward to living in “a country” with no racism, no human trafficking, no murder, no rape, no child abuse or any other form of evil.

No, I am not delusional, I know this place exists, and I hope that one day you’ll be there with me.

“…you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus…There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians–you are one in Christ Jesus.” (Galatians 3:26-29)

In a very real sense, Jesus has become the DNA of those who follow Him.

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 March 16, 2018, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 99 Comments.

  1. thank you my brother for this testimony. frankly you are a strong man that GOD is praised for that. you inspire me a lot. I do not know how to express my feelings towards God in the way we met. but you bless me. that GOD is your strength forever

  2. I am so looking forward to when my last tear drops. As usual, the Lord touches my heart through your writing. I haven’t been around on this blog much but know that I am still in the habit of Hope…still giving it away. Even when I feel like I do not have much left, God moves in me and I am grateful. I will see you in that beautiful country some sweet day. I can only imagine…no more evil and I will finally be free of my mind struggles. Thankful that God is using it for good on this side of eternity, but I am so grateful to know that it is only temporary. Praise the Lord. God bless you, Brother.

    • “I am still in the habit of hope…” I like that, Debbie. Hope (in Christ) really is a habit that needs to be cultivated, it doesn’t come naturally, not for me, anyway. I am so looking forward to the “last tear dropping” also.

  3. Yes – you are my brother and I am so joyful to have met you in this blogging universe. You always inspire me, Bill.

  4. I could not agree more with your perspective. I am a member of a multiracial church. It does my heart good to see how people from all over the world can get along. My own Bible study is mixed and we love each other very well.

    • Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Joe. It was said that Sunday morning was the most segregated time in America. Maybe it was, but I no longer believe that, certainly not at our church or your church. I’m thankful for that.

  5. Beautifully written, Brother Bill! Hugs to you for sharing how much in common our DNA’s really are in the Christian realm!!

  6. I’m glad for our union in Christ who became my spiritual DNA!

  7. I so enjoyed this post! I even laughed out loud. I look forward to meeting you when we get to our heavenly home. Enjoy a very Blessed Holy Week!

  8. Wow! 95%! I’m 75% Scottish, which is amazing since I’m American, the true melting pot. Your faith is inspiring. My faith is what keeps me alive.

  9. Thanks for following my blog; you are very kind.

  10. Thanks, as always. I am so looking forward to spending time with you in that eternal country, Bill! ~Brother Mitch

  11. I really like your blog; please keep up your good work. I’m following you; please follow my blog.

  12. Thank you, dear Bill, for such a refreshing post. I’m also looking forward to moving on up to a home where equality is perfectly and permanently realized between all God’s children.
    Blessings ~ Wendy Mac

  13. I agree, Bill! Won’t heaven be glorious – and I’ll finally meet you and your lovely family in person. Or spirit…you get it. 😉

  14. Another great entry Brother Bill! This was another great reminder of our eternla home.

  15. Amen. I can’t wait for a place with no racism, no privilege, no inequity. Jesus sees us all the same. Soooo frustrating that we can’t figure out how to do that, too. It breaks my heart… Great post, Bill. Always wonderful to hear from you. You are an inspiration!

    • Thank you, Jessica. It is really frustrating! This question keeps coming to my mind – why do we (humans) do the things we do??? It’s maddening that we cannot seem to follow the Golden Rule – it’s SO simple!

  16. Well Bill… I am glad it was Gene’s pool and not your pool that was polluted. And you are right “In a very real sense, Jesus has become the DNA of those who follow Him.” This DNA pool is pure and clean. I sure hope all the colors of people on Earth will be in Heaven. I love God’s pallet of Color for people.

    Our outward color is skin deep after that we are more alike than different. God looks on the heart not the outward appearance so the more skin blind we become the more heavenly minded we are. Right? I want some day to go to a meeting place where skin color and thought is more balanced.

    Great post Bill, I find you to be a single minded man and thank you for your many posts sharing your life in Christ with us.

    • Thanks, Denny.
      I was watching Planet Earth a few weeks ago and was thinking that God, the Creator, has quite the imagination when it comes to the plant and animal world. This is also true for man, a colorful pallet indeed.

  17. Edward Sweeney

    I’m lucky because you are my actual DNA brother here on earth, as well as in Christ! Love this perspective (although I admit, I’m not thrilled about discovering we’re only 95% Irish!) — Especially today on March 17th! 🙂

  18. Thank you Bill. I am a friend of Heidi Viars and I am on the air at Moody Radio.

    Sent from my iPhone


  19. I LOVE this… Jesus is our DNA as believers! What a profound and wonderful thought! And I love that you are discipling online. I didn’t know there was such a formalized ministry, but I think it is a fantastic idea. Bravo! Great and inspiring post, Bill!

    • Thank you, Lynn. Global Media Outreach is actually a part of Campus Crusade for Christ. It’s a non-denominational ministry with, I think, around five thousand online missionaries who speak many languages. Great ministry for homebound people like me. We reach millions of people a year, many of them are in nations like Iran that cannot be reached by traditional means of spreading the gospel.

  20. Wonderful and uplifting post as always Brother Bill. Like you, I’ve been curious about my own DNA, mainly to try and determine where some of my “less than desirable traits” hail from. My mother was 100% Italian so no worries there. My father however…..well let’s just say some stones are better left unturned!

    Bless you Bill. I too am longing to enter the place you describe. Like Abraham, we’re looking for a city whose builder and maker is God.

  21. Excellent post Bill, I’m looking forward to being there too. I have one additional item to add to the list … no politics, can’t wait to see that one gone. Grace and blessings!

  22. Bill, I enjoyed this post very much, you inspire me. I taught the Word in Ethiopia several years ago at a Bible school, just a 10-day lecture. The Ethiopian people are amicable. They are quite happy to mention the times in the Bible that their place is written, both in the old and new testament. Praise the Lord that we have many brothers and sisters in this world that love our Lord. Be blessed, my brother, Richard

    • That is so great, Rich. I totally agree with you about the Ethiopian people, they are so humble and have a great hunger for God’s word.
      I received a message from my Ethiopian friend last night and he said, “more than the PhD program, I want to be in God’s program.” Wow, what if all Christians had Biruk’s attitude?

  23. Oh my. I never gave it much thought that “Jesus has become the DNA of those who follow Him.” That truth would be worthy of meditation, determining how Jesus’ characteristics are showing up in the way I think, speak, act, and react–even look! (Am I reflecting his joy, peace, compassion, etc. with my facial expressions?) Loved reading about the mentoring you’re conducting with those two young men. They are indeed blessed to have you, such a soldier of the faith, coming along side!

    • Thank you, Nancy.
      You ask some great questions about us reflecting the character of Jesus. Ouch. As we grow in Christ, our character should definitely be more like His. There certainly shouldn’t be any grouchy old men (or women) Christians 🙂

  24. Where in Australia does Biruk want to study? Which university?

  25. I haven’t done my DNA testing. I have African descent but in my family we have very fair skin. I wouldn’t know what i’ll Find if I tried but I sincerely look forward to a country where racism, hatred, murder etc wouldn’t be part of that city. I look forward to living in heaven when my time here is over.
    Awesome post!😁😁

  26. The older I get, the more and louder home calls. This place isn’t our home–no matter where we’re from. I love that those two men call you “Brother Bill”. It’s such a great family identity, such a wonderful reminder that we’re all made in His image. Created by God to be unified in Him. Thanks for this, Bill. Great insight and wisdom.

    • Thank you, Dayle.
      The people I communicate with through Global Media Outreach are more of a blessing to me than I am to them. Grown up Christians should always be involved with helping younger believers grow up because it keeps us on track.

  27. I told my brother that it was probably a golfer from London who came over to Ireland to play a–round.


    i find the whole dna thing interesting, too. i love how people are able to find each other through dna – adopted kids finding birth parents, etc.

    • Yes, it’s pretty amazing how much information you can find through DNA. I think there are probably some wandering men out there dreading a unknown son or daughter tracking them down 🙂

      • I am sure there are. My husband is adopted. He found his birth mom years ago but has not been able to find his birth dad. Perhaps someday we will look into DNA to try to find him. The birth mom’s story is that she told him in a letter but never heard from him again, and she only knew his nickname. Anyway, it’s an interesting thought.

        • It can be difficult to trace family origins for the adopted. My late father-in-law was adopted and then the man who adopted him died and the now widowed mom, during the Great Depression, couldn’t take care of him. She dropped him off at Boys town in Nebraska. I spent a lot of time trying to research his past, but not much success.

  28. My hubby had his DNA tested several years ago. Both of his parents are from Great Britian. He once had a t-shirt that said “Made in Canada with English Parts”. LOL It was very interesting to find out that his DNA traced back to an island south of mainland Greece.

    • That is a good shirt 🙂 The whole DNA thing is fascinating, especially in people of European origins, the explorers, who traveled throughout the world and mixed and mingled their DNA. 🙂

  29. Bill, I’m so grateful and overjoyed to call you and Mary my brother and sister in Christ! Even though I have never sat down and shared a cup of coffee with you two, we share an amazing bond because we are part of God’s family.

    My heart longs for the “country of our own” where I can sit face-to-face with Christ and my precious brothers and sisters. But until that day, we have a job to do: spread the love of Christ to this world. This also includes loving and encouraging fellow believers. That is exactly what you do, Bill. You, my friend, are an encourager.
    Thanks, Bill and may the Lord bless you and yours.

  30. “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above…” Col 3:1
    I want to keep looking for that country, too.

  31. Love this one Bill, so glad you are in my gene pool. Happy St.Patrick’s Day. Love you.

  32. Bill, I was just thinking about you and had a moment to check in just in time to read this delighful post! I agree – I so long for the great Day when all suffering is ended and my brothers and sisters of all races rejoice together forever.

    It is especially brought to me when my brother-in-law, two of my precious nieces, and some close friends are hurt by people silly enough to judge them based on the extra content of melanin in their skin… as if they could choose. Sometimes, I think it is jealousy because my darker-skinned friends certainly age more gracefully than those who share my pallor. 😉

    • Thank you, Heather. I totally agree with you, it’s really sad to be judged by the “coat” you’re wearing. And, as for darker skinned people aging more gracefully, I think you are right on. This stupid pale man and most of my siblings, have had multiple Basal Cell Carcinoma spots cut off of our pasty white skin. Just two weeks ago I had to have a Basal Cell bump cut off of my lower eyelid. And, because of my low breathing capacity (only 30% of my lungs function), he couldn’t give me any pain meds – Ouch! Then, last week he calls and tells Mary he didn’t go deep enough and he has to do it again. This is a curse of the Irish migrating to America 🙂

      • Lol! Too true.. But sorry to hear about the “missed” spot and the lack of pain meds. Ugh! No fun at all.

        I’ve some Scots Irish in my blood, too, along with some rumored Cherokee and a tremendous question mark from an unknown traveling salesman from New York who is my biological great-grandfather. Guess my gene pool is a little corrupted, too. 😉

  33. Kathryn Graber

    Your blogs are always a blessing to me. Thank you Bill. He is Risen – Hallelujah.

  34. Amen Brother Bill! I am looking forward to our new home in Glory also, with no sin, hurts, etc.

  35. A wonderful post, Bill. Happy St. Patrick’s Day! 🙂

  36. What a great privilege to call you “brother” (I only have sisters and always wondered what it would be like to have a brother.) I am sure with your stubbornness you have a couple of percentages of German in you … trust me!!! It takes one to know one 🙂
    BTW, today your interview on Moody Radio (Christ Fabry) gets re-aired/re-podcasted! I am praying like crazy many more will get to know what it is like to be in this amazing family of God! Keep going, dear Brother!

    • Thank you, sister. Yeah, the DNA tests are probably not that accurate, I probably have some German in me.
      Thanks for letting us know about the radio show today, I Chris is such a great guy.

  37. And therein lies joy. Thank you for writing; it has meant a lot to me. Happy Easter! He is risen!

  38. Thank you, Rene. I didn’t want to get to deep into original sin…, but humanity’s gene pool has been polluted since Adam and Eve.

  39. This is an amazing blog. I need to call you guys this weekend and plan my trip for Mary’s Birthday. Love you!


  40. Wonderful post, Bill. I’m looking forward to spending quality with you in our future country where Christ will reign!

  41. Yes! We are ultimately all of ‘one blood’ since we come from Adam and Eve, and of one spirit as Christians! I love your last line!

    • carol louise ferguson

      Excellent blog. We are all destined for that country that the Lord has already prepared for us. Our knees with bow, our tongues confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. Looking forward to meeting you there, Bill.

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