Perseverance

I finished this post on perseverance on the 23rd of last month and was planning to post it the following day. But it seemed that I had another lesson on perseverance to learn and more paragraphs to add before I posted it.

I woke up that Monday morning and was not feeling well, but I stuck with my routine of Mary getting me dressed and out of bed at 7:30. I found it so difficult to breathe, much more difficult than usual when Mary removed my breathing mask. Still, like thousands of times before, I lied to myself about being a tough guy and surged ahead.

When Mary finally got me propped up in my wheelchair in front of my computer I couldn’t breathe, even after Mary put my breathing mask back on. I struggled even to open my eyes, which is a real problem when you control your computer’s mouse with eye movements.

Somehow, by God’s grace and Mary’s adrenaline rush, she got me back in bed and called my visiting nurse Practitioner, Rebecca. She came right away (she’s the best). After checking my vitals and listening to my chest, she heard fluid in my right lung. She then called for an X-ray tech to come out to look at my lungs. On my best days, only 30% of my lungs are functioning; apparently this was not one of those “best days.”

The X-rays showed that I had pneumonia in my right lung. Even with my breathing mask on, I was gasping for air through my mouth, kind of like a Goldfish just before you scoop him out of the tank and flush him down the toilet. Rebecca later determined that my kidneys were no longer functioning and that I would probably not survive the short trip to the hospital; that I would likely die of heart or respiratory failure before even arriving. I knew that she was right.

With our agreement, Rebecca handed me off to hospice. I was so relieved with our decision. To understand my relief, you have to realize that, with my skinny arms and bony hands, it usually takes several Phlebotomists to find and puncture a vein for the IV; and that’s using the tiniest of needles, the needles they use for premature babies. They try so hard to be gentle, but it’s like a torture treatment, and my arms and hands end up looking like a pin cushions. The “stab a vein” contest is just the first step of my previous hospital visits. I’ll spare you from hearing about my catheter insertion stories. I am so thankful for nurses and caregivers, especially the caregiver I’ve been married to for the last thirty-three years.

The following is the original post that I planned to post the day I got pneumonia. I’ll give a brief update on my current health condition at the bottom of the post. Thank you for reading.

Perseverance

Among other things, perseverance is one of the lessons Mary and I have learned through this challenging Twenty-two year battle with my having ALS. In a protracted trial, the greatest temptation is giving up. So many times, Mary and I have come to a place that continuing the fight seemed impossible, but God’s grace steps in and carries us further down our narrow, bumpy path.

Have you ever been to a place where you felt surrounded by enemies and continuing the battle seemed to be impossible?

If yes, I hope and pray this simple post will strengthen your perseverance to keep “fighting the good fight.”

The definition of perseverance:
(The) continued effort to do or achieve something despite difficulties, failure, or opposition.

Critics of Christianity, like I once was, say that followers of Christ are weak-willed for having to rely on God for strength to go on. To this charge, I plead guilty. In every way, I am pathetically weak.

To be honest, it takes perseverance for me to get out of bed every morning. I’m comfortable, and I have my breathing mask on so I’m breathing well. It’s so tempting to stay in bed. But, except for the times I’ve been sick, it’s not a temptation I succumb to because, like all that temptations we give in to, it gets easier and easier to do so every time we face it. Thankfully, this works the other way also; when we do not give in to temptation, we find greater strength to overcome that temptation as well as other temptations we face down the road. Learning to overcome temptations, even minor temptations like saying “Shut-up” to the ice cream screaming your name from the freezer, is vital for perseverance.

“No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

Forming good habits and routines is also necessary if you are to persevere. Mary gets me dressed every morning, and, using a transfer lift to get me out of bed and dumps me into the wheelchair. She then makes me presentable and gets me set up on my computer. It’s a thirty-minute process that we have to finish before she goes into her office to start work at 8:00. This has been our routine for the last twenty-one years. Sounds very monotonous, you might be thinking. Yes; day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year – for two decades. You can see why I call my best friend and wife of thirty-three years an angel. Even though she isn’t usually angelic until after her morning devotions and a cup of coffee, which she starts at six every morning.

I don’t know if she got the joke at first, but, as was typing this post, I told Mary that perseverance is the most difficult of all virtues because it requires a whole lifetime to finally grasp.

I learned even more about perseverance writing this post. It took me so long to write what follows because I kept getting knocked off track by distractions and diversions. The truth is that I allowed those distractions and diversions to keep me from staying focused on writing this post. Do you ever allow the trivial to get in the way of the important things that you should be accomplishing? This seems to a part of our human nature.

As a devout follower of Christ and a member of the British Parliament, William Wilberforce tried and failed, for many years to put an end to the slave trade. Likely the following quote was recorded in a meeting with his fellow abolitionists. He became so ill with Colitis that he was forced to continue his fight from his bed; in so much pain that he was forced to use Morphine just to get through the day. I think he used this quote echoed through his head throughout the day:

“Our motto must continue to be perseverance. And ultimately I trust the Almighty will crown our efforts with success.”- William Wilberforce (If you’ve never seen the movie, “Amazing Grace,” the story of his, please watch it).

Followers of Christ should have a vision and goals for what we believe God wants us to accomplish in this life. To achieve these short-term and long-term goals, it takes God-given perseverance. To persevere, we must “just say no” to other things. That seems to be a hard thing to convince people of in this Twitter culture of ours. It’s something I have to recommit to every morning and usually throughout the day.

I don’t think it’s mere coincidence that the first time that the word “perseverance” appears in the Bible is in the eighth chapter of Luke, “The Parable of the Sower.” For those of you that might not know, this parable is about what followers of Christ now refer to as “The Great Commission.” It’s spreading the “Good News” to a world full of bad news. For Christians, this is, or, at least, should be, our number one priority.

In this parable, Jesus explains to the disciples that the seed being sown is the word of God – the Gospel message. He then tells them (I’m paraphrasing), “Your responsibility is to spread the word, you’re not responsible for the results you get; the hearers of your message will be held accountable for their response to hearing the message.”

When I was in sales, my boss never told me anything like that. In sales, it’s understood that, if you want a roof over your head and food on the table, you better get results. Fortunately, my dad was in sales and told me the first and most important rule to be successful in sales. This rule applies to sharing the Gospel message too: “There’s no secret to being successful in sales, the more doors you knock on, the more successful you’ll be.” I told the salesman that I managed the same thing.

Through this blog, my work as an “Online Missionary” with Global Media Outreach, and through other “fields,” I spread the Gospel message. Other than trying my best to make the “Good News” message as understandable as possible, I have no control over or responsibility for the response of the reader. “You can lead a horse to water…”

“Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; persevere in these things, for as you do this you will ensure salvation both for yourself and for those who hear you.” (1 Timothy 4:16)

In this parable of the Sower, Jesus also explains that several distractions and diversions hinder the message from being received and growing inside the hearers. These same distractions and diversions are also the enemies of perseverance in the follower of Christ. You might have heard the phrase, “The world, the flesh, and the devil.” That phrase often used sarcastically, is a summary of the hindrances that Jesus lists in this parable.

The disciples didn’t understand this parable about a person casting seed the first time they heard it, so Jesus had to sit them down and explain it. It’s kind of funny to me because I can so relate to the confusion disciples.

(Jesus explains) “Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God…”
(The first group hears the message) “…then the devil comes and takes away the word from their heart, so that they will not believe and be saved.”
(The second group hears the message) “…when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no firm root; they believe for a while, and in time of temptation fall away.”
(The third group hears the message) “…and as they go on their way they are choked with worries and riches and pleasures of this life, and bring no fruit to maturity.”
(The fourth group hears the message) “…these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.” (Luke 8:11-15)

Notice, only the fourth and final group perseveres.

This is the difference between churchgoers and disciples of Christ. It certainly does apply to first-time “hearers of the word,” but also to those who so proudly saw themselves in the fourth group. Are you “holding firmly” (to the “seed”)? Are you “bearing fruit with perseverance?”

While reading the Bible or when praying do you ever find your thoughts wondering or find yourself worrying? Yeah, me too. Go back and read what “destroyed the seed” in the first three groups. I bet you’ll find every wondering thought that is trying to destroy your daily devotion. Among other things, discipleship is a daily battle of the thought-life. We have to stay focused like those in the fourth-group. This is perseverance.

Two-decades of being imprisoned in my body, unable even to speak, I’ve learned that I didn’t need a body or even a voice to be a disciple of Christ – being a disciple is a matter of the spirit and soul (mind, will and emotions) of man.

This kind of God-given and daily renewed kind of perseverance includes grace, joy, peace, hope, and strength to get us through the most difficult of trials and temptations; even the temptation to give up, the strongest of all temptations while in the midst of a trial.

“But he that shall persevere to the end, he shall be saved.” (Mathew 24:13)

I know that trials are a tough way to learn about perseverance and hope, and the strength of our faith. I wish there were an easier way, but only “…tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint…” (Romans 5:4-5)

This is Unshakable Hope.

If you feel you are on the wrong road, go back to the foot of the cross and begin again. I’m ashamed to admit that I’ve found myself taking wrong turns too many times even to remember. I went back to the cross, and Christ accepted me every time. If He accepted and forgave this pathetic creature, I know He will accept and forgive you.

“God knows our situation; He will not judge us as if we had no difficulties to overcome. What matters is the sincerity and perseverance of our will to overcome them. We all want progress, but if you’re on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive.” C.S. Lewis

Health update:
As you might have guessed, I’m still alive. Except for the brief moments I died in 2015 (it was incredible), this latest case of pneumonia was the closest I’ve come to going home. It’s now been eleven days since pneumonia tried to take me out, and, while lying in bed in pain and gasping for during the first six days, I felt like God was giving me a choice to stay or go. I had no fear, just the opposite, I had to fight the excitement of being released from this pitiful excuse for a body.

I chose to stay because I’ve been working so hard on writing a book and desperately want to finish it. Maybe only my family and friends will read the book. That is fine with me; it would have been more than worth the effort for me. This is a goal I have; it’s something to make me persevere.

I’m still on hospice; our bedroom looks like a hospital room. But I feel great, or, at least as great as a guy that’s had ALS for twenty-two years can feel. The hospice nurse told us yesterday that my lungs are clear, and, I know it’s TMI, but my kidneys are functioning great. She was able to yank out the catheter yesterday morning so, except for my feeding tube, I’m completely untethered.

I was diagnosed with ALS just weeks after my 36th birthday. The neurologist explained to Mary and I that I had 3-5 years to live and most of that time I would be voiceless and confined to a wheelchair. He was right about everything except the living 3-5 years part.

My 40th birthday was a big deal, not just because I was turning forty, but because I was still alive.
As I sat in my room studying the Bible and reading books, the years clicked. I tried my best to keep an active role as the father of our two beautiful daughters, Lauren and Leah. I would type simple Bible studies and life lessons that we would read and discuss over dinner. It wasn’t the father-role I had envisioned, with me playing basketball in the driveway, teaching them to drive and walking them out on the football field when they were on Homecoming Court.

The list of things I couldn’t do as a non-disabled father increased as the years clicked by. My hair became grayer and grayer. My 50th birthday was a big deal. It was the best birthday I’ve ever had. I was so thankful that God allowed me to live to see my little girls grow into beautiful women.

I was born October 5th, 1960. Which means – Today is my 58th Birthday!!!

Please don’t feel bad if you forgot to send me a gift. But if you’re feeling guilty, click the link below and make a small donation to my Go Fund Me Account 🙂 Just kidding, I don’t even have a Go Fund Me Account.

A simple “Happy Birthday” in the comment section will do. Please be patient with me in replying to your comments. I’m still building up my strength and, it’s my birthday weekend!

I so appreciate your continued prayers. It’s inexplicable, but I literally felt the prayers of family and friends suspending me in the darkest hours of this latest trial. Mary and I both felt this, as we have so many times before.

Thank you so much!

God is good!

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 October 5, 2018, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 155 Comments.

  1. “God is good!”
    All the time!

    I am grateful to Mr. Mitch Teemely for directing his readers to your blog.
    I am grateful to you for creating this oasis. No need to reply. Your energy
    is better spent creating new posts. You make a difference.

    Thank you!

    Happy birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your post was reblogged on another I am subscribed to and I had no idea what I was going to be taking in or how deeply it would impact me. The glory you give God as you partner with your wife to get up each morning and turn to Him… and then to get these words and this hope onto your screen to share with others… well it is stunning. And humbling. Thank you. Happy birthday. It is definitely reason to celebrate!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Wow! I was so touched by your post! I have no words except Thank you for sharing your story and for passing on such inspiring words! Your family is so blessed to have you. Your light is definitely shining!! It is very belated, but Happy Happy Birthday, you toutally understand what life is all about! Prayers for you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy belated birthday, from a brand new follower. You are indeed an inspiration, and I look forward to meeting you someday when we all have new bodies. 🙂 Meanwhile, when I’m tempted to feel sorry for myself for some trivial reason, I’ll think of your example and be grateful instead.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Belated Blessed Birthday, and thanks for humbly & perseveringly BEING salt & light in this dark world. The Father (not the force) is strong in you, and He will complete what He’s begun, for His glory. May you continue to be enriched and an enricher of others. Joy in the journey!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. You are such an inspiration, Bill. I cried a little just by reading your story. I realised a lot of things. Your positive attitude gives me life. I admire your courage, keep fighting your battle, Sir!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Happy Belated Birthday Bill! Your story has encouraged me beyond words! God bless you and your whole family! My prayers are with you!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hello Bill. A friend of mine shared your blog and i was blessed to read it. We share the same birth date and year! After reading your post, I realize that the health issues i deal with are miniscule by comparison and I have had the nerve to complain on several occasions. Thank you for this valuable lesson and the reminder to persevere. Some days it seems so hard to do. Bless you, Bill. May God sustain you as you continue to serve him.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Oh Bill, you have persevered with God’s grace, hope, and your loving wife, Mary (one of my favorite cousins. God is our refuge and strength. I pray He gives you strength to finish your book. You are amazing; to God be the glory!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Bill, happy belated birthday! I came to this post almost a week late, but am so glad I did, and so glad you’re here, so that I can say once more how much I appreciate your writings and profound example of living by faith. I’m praying that you’re able to joyfully finish your book and that all who should read it–more than you can imagine–are able to do so. Blessings now and forever, my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Bill, I am sorry that you had such a rough time. How scary to have difficulty breathing. I admire your faith, your strength, your attitude, and your perseverance. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Happy birthday to you Bill,
    Having read over (a couple of times) your Blog on ‘Perseverance’ I would like to commend you for your on going victory and that by ‘the graced of God’. But no matter how great your victory, in Jesus there is always more. As I have never read any of your writings except this one I do not know where your faith is at in regards to ‘Divine Healing’, but I would like to exhort you not to give up on receiving the healing touch of Jesus upon your body.
    A brief background:
    In the last two years my wife and I have both had major surgery, my wife for the 2nd time and myself for at least the seventh time. So our faith has not come without much trial and tribulation. We, like you, are both walking in victory without that slightest smell of smoke upon our spirits. But the Lord would have us not to give up on healing. We are not into naming it and claiming it without hearing a specific ‘naming it’ by the Holy Spirit. But if the Holy Spirit says “I am going to heal your physical body” then our responsibility is to hear it and to believe it and to hope for it.
    The more hopeless the situation the more the Lord is glorified. There could be a greater purpose in our lives that after patience (perseverance) has done its perfect work. …Could it be that God would choose to be glorified by imparting his resurrection life into our mortal bodies?
    I would like to share a few short, very familiar verses that perhaps will speak to what I am saying to you.
    There is a danger that after we have been walking with the Lord for a number of decades most scriptures become very familiar and could lose their impact. May God quicken his living word to us once again.
    Scriptures:
    12 years:
    And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years……..and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.
    18 years:
    And behold there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years…………and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God.
    40+ years: For the man was above 40 years old, on whom this miracle of healing was showed
    Purpose: And His disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
    Jesus answered, neither has this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.
    Jesus’ Modus Operandi: But thou hast kept the good wine until now.
    Bill, God Bless you and your ever so faithful wife, and your two daughters and all that is yours
    Terry Conroy

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Lord bless my brother and his family. Thank you Jesus for his perseverance and for using all he has to spread your word, the Good News! Continue to watch over him, give his wife strength. Lord I thank you for sparing his life and keeping him in this situation. We don’t understand your ways Lord but we give you praise and glory anyway!! Amen!!

    Brother you are an inspiration this is the first time I’ve heard about you and I’m thrilled to have read about you from my friend Becky Lindsey! God bless you!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, BILL! I’m always encouraged and uplifted by your posts. I’m praying for you and your family. Praise the Lord you are still here with us to shine that beautiful light of yours.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. As usual, I am almost moved to tears. You amaze me. I tried the eye gaze technology and I found it to be so taxing on my eyes. I can’t believe you can write a blog this long! I am so sorry for all of your health struggles. Before reading your blog I said a prayer for you. Like you, I will be beyond joyful when it’s my time to go home. I absolutely can’t wait! Some people (even Christians) are uncomfortable when I say this, and I can’t imagine why! I’ve read about heaven – getting a new body and no more aches and pains… Who cannot be happy about such a thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. A very HAPPY Belated Birthday Bill. So very delighted to catch a glimpse of you and a glimmer of encouragement. You are a blessing!! ~ Wynema

    Liked by 1 person

  17. And happy belated birthday! Continue to stick around, Bill. I want to read that book. Lord willing, I’ll try to stick around myself long enough to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. This was so good, dear brother. I am so grateful for you. This, if we have eyes to recognize Him in you, is what Christ is like.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Bill, I wish I could meet you in person! Happy Belated Birthday! I am so humbled by your blog entries. You have a fabulous testimony of the love of Christ. He is my Sustainer, as well. Without Him, how do people cope with having ALS? I know I couldn’t! I’m a 13 year survivor of ALS and plan on many more years, God willing. May you be blessed with many more, as well. Blessings and hugs…>Claudia

    Liked by 1 person

  20. Happy Birthday! (One month older than me! haha) What an amazing miracle your life has been. This is a great post in every way, but the tears came when I read that you chose to stay to finish your book. Your life has been such a tremendous encouragement to so many. How precious that you would “die to yourself” in choosing to live a while longer to continue the impact you have. You and your wife are truly special people. And in spite of it all, you still have a sense of humor. Praying you accomplish your goal, and when you do finally go home, you and your family will have a special time of ushering you there. I look forward to meeting you in person someday in heaven!

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Morton Fairleigh

    Happy Birthday Sir👍

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Happy Happy Belated Birthday!! I’m so blessed to know you 🙂
    Also wanted to share that my uncle was just recently diagnosed with ALS. He and my aunt are in a bit of a shock, and struggling, but I plan to send them the link to this blog and I just know it will be a blessing to them as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Thank you for your continuous inspirations. Happy 58th!

    Liked by 1 person

  24. Kimberly Owens

    Happy Birthday Bill! Your perseverance is exactly what I needed to read about today. You give me so much encouragement. I know I am exactly where God wants me to be. Even though I’m struggling through this valley right now, I have hope and I know there is a reason for what I’m going through. I know I’m not the one in control, and that’s comforting because God’s plan is always better than what I can come up with. I’m so happy to read you are feeling much better, and I too can’t wait to read your book! We are all so blessed to have you still with us on this side of heaven.

    Liked by 1 person

  25. I hope you had a wonderful birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Happy Birthday Billy! Your inspiration for perserverence is exactly what I needed to read! You give me and so many others Hope to Live on and know that God has placed us exactly where we are suppose to be. When I think of you turning 58, which is the age Terrence recently turned, I know we have no control over Life. Its Gods plan not ours. Im so happy to read you are feeling much better! I can’t wait to read your book! We are all so Blessed to have you on this Earth! Xoxoxo Pamela Young

    Liked by 1 person

  27. Happy Belated Birthday, Bill! So glad you’re still with us and able to continue your book! I’d love to read it!

    Liked by 1 person

  28. Happy Belated Birthday and God Bless you.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. I celebrate the day of your birth and thank God for bringing you into my life through this blog. I look forward to meeting you one day, when we can hug, and sing praises together to our great God forever. May He bless you and your angel today and every day He gives you on this earth. You, my friend, are a blessing and an encouragement. Happy belated birthday.
    I’m praying for you. Connie

    Liked by 1 person

  30. Linda Wurmlinger

    You and Mary are truly an inspiration! Thank you for reminding us of what a true disciple of Christ is. I look forward to reading your book!

    Liked by 1 person

  31. Hi Bill. A very big happy birthday to you. WOW its already October 8 in Australia. Sorry I missed the actual day. Love to you and prayers for you today mate. Once again you have revealed Christ to me through your blog. Your blog this time has challenged me to keep going. Thank you. I too will be waiting to buy your book.

    Liked by 1 person

  32. Belated Happy Birthday Bill, and God is truly Awesome. Your post has been a deep blessing to me and an answered prayer. This is for you Bill.
    https://amarquette333.wordpress.com/2018/10/07/lessons-in-perseverance/

    Liked by 1 person

  33. This is the first of your blogs that I’ve read. I received it from my sister Brittany who is a dear friend to both your daughters. Thank you for this, for putting forth the effort and energy to reach out for others despite how you’re feeling. This is spiritual food I can’t get enough of and am eager to hear.
    Happy Birthday! I’m thankful you’re still around to post more blogs like these.

    Liked by 1 person

  34. Praise God for another birthday!
    You are evidence of God’s grace.. I would love to read your book if God nudges you to publish it.

    Liked by 1 person

  35. I hope your birthday was a day of wonderful celebration–and that you feel celebrated every day the Lord gives you. Knowing you’ve fought through another battle with pneumonia and have once again experienced His victory is a reflection of the work He still has for you to do, the people you will continue to impact. Thank you for your words of wisdom–words that have the power of the battle in them. Words that reflect your heart of commitment to Jesus. He has made you a gift to so many.

    Liked by 2 people

  36. I truly hope your birthday was a wonderful celebration, my friend. Your response to the challenge you’ve been handed is inspiring and real–I can’t tell you enough, Bill, how your words bring me back to the foot of the cross, again and again. Only Jesus saves. Only Jesus forgives. Only Jesus. Persevering pushes us to move boldly against everything the enemy throws at us. Staying the course. Till Jesus takes us home. I’m praying you finish your book soon. That God will sustain you, even in the times that quitting seems so much easier. And that you’ll find the refreshment and joy in His Holy Spirit to bring the message He wants you to. You have to know you impact so many through the journey God’s brought you on. My friend, who contracted ALS just nine months ago, went home to be with the Lord the day before your birthday. Thank you for encouraging her as well.

    Liked by 1 person

  37. Happy Birthday Bill! I am so glad you made it through this latest episode. To believe that the Lord gave you a choice to stay or not, and you chose to stay, because you still have love to give and a book to finish, cannot be more inspiring.

    I have done a somewhat exhaustive study of the life of Paul the apostle this summer. I followed him everywhere he went. I read all of his letters. I know where he wrote them, the time he wrote them (as clear as we can tell), and the circumstances concerning them. Thanks to some great sources I was even able to see what he most likely did after the Book of Acts was finished. I had never known any of this before to such detail though I have been a Christians for over forty years. I had read biographies of Paul and read his stuff many times over, of course. I certainly knew of all his travels, etc and his great many works but not in such a way that I could see an overall picture with such great understanding.

    Paul wanted to go home but he also wanted to finish his work. “To live is Christ and to die is gain,” he said. He had such incredible love for all the believers and felt responsible to stay and help them and continue preaching the Gospel so even more would come to the Lord. He left the final decision up to the Lord Jesus. He wanted to stay but one day the Lord said it was time. He wanted to go but he also wanted to keep working. If he lived to be a hundred he would have always continued working. When his time came he knew it. He accepted it. And he prepared to meet the Lord face to face.

    I so admire your will to live and be productive. The Lord has an entirely different standard than this world regarding a life well-lived. As believers we know we are strictly saved by God’s grace and can never earn it. We try then to make the best of our time here. We are not trying to earn heaven but to simply be who He made us to be and do the work He called us to do. But there are very few who are doing this under your conditions.

    I marvel at your strength and perseverance. You destroy the false paradigm of the atheistic no God no afterlife crowd with every breath you take. You have already destroyed the idea that your life would end many years ago. You prove there is so much more to the human spirit than it is given credit for by a merely strict scientific perspective.

    The Lord gave you your strong spirit. You are such a powerful man! And you are so blessed to have such a loving wife and family and so many friends. I pray the Lord continues to give you the strength you need to finish your course, whenever that may be. He did this for Paul. Paul would have kept going forever if he could but one day the Lord told him he was done. He finished his work! He got it done! Against all odds! He suffered so much but he just kept going. He completed his course.

    I am looking forward to reading your book, Bill. In the meantime I want you to know that you are an inspiration to me. All glory to the Lord Jesus for showing us how it’s done!

    Liked by 1 person

  38. Happy Birthday! Thank you for persevering and sharing the wisdom and insight you’ve gained through trials. Your testimony always inspires me, and I’m so thankful the result is always HOPE. I love both of your girls so much, and you said it right- Mary is an angel. 🙂 God bless your 58th year and you can count on me to be another reader of your book! I will be sending this post on to several people!

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  39. I’m sorry to have missed your BIG DAY but am grateful to have opened your post on this Sabbath morning. Bill, you have been a blessing in so many lives (including my own) and this post on perseverance hits it out of the park! Thank you for persevering these many years and thank you for sharing your heart to inspire others like myself to persevere despite my failures. HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY, BILL, AND HAPPY SABBATH TO YOU AND MARY. 💝

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  40. Bill, you have a lot of lives out here that you are touching and inspiring with your perseverance and persistence, including this family doctor who is always awe-struck by your testimony and by your angel wife. Bless you both and so glad you are going to finish that book! ~Emily from Barnstorming blog

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  41. Happy birthday!
    When I find it difficult to face today’s trials, your testimony is extremely encouraging. It shows us all, that our attitude is the only thing that closes the door on the Lords opportunities for true joy and making eternal change by sharing the way the truth and the life.
    Keep running the race for the crown!

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  42. Happy Birthday, Bill. There is no greater testimony that praising the Lord in the midst of strife. So glad your lungs are clear again. You are such an inspiration to me, I’m not even 20 years into my journey with ALS. I pray for the Lord to put peace in your mind and continue to put praise in your soul.

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  43. Bill, we are praising the Lord that you are able to write of another event in which He witnesses of His presence and power in and through you. We hope you have had a blessed birthday. Your gift of life has been passed on to us as you write of the wonder of our God. We praise HIm for keeping you with us, to continue to bless us with your hope and joy. I hope that Jerry will be able to read this. We will continue to pray for you and your book. If Mary would be interested in reading Two Full Plates ~ Learning to be a Caregiver, I would be glad to send a PDF copy. We could learn from each other. You are indeed blessed to have her as your caregiver. Much love and blessings for the days ahead.

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  44. Happy Birthday! What a gift you are. God Bless you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  45. Happy birthday! I so look forward to your posts. You bless each of us with your determination and faith.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. Bill happy Birthday. What a testimony. I was moved to pray for you and your wife. What a love she has, and it moved me to evaluate my own love for my wife, in a good way. Thank you.

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  47. Happy birthday, and well met, Bill! What an amazing post and and incredible testimony you continue to be for our Lord and Savior. Some of us who have much less to battle could learn a lesson or two from your perseverance. I love the joke about it taking a lifetime to grasp – funnier because it’s so true!!

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  48. Happy birthday Bill. I’m a big fan. I blog for Christ like you do but anything I have to say will never have the authority and authenticity of your words and well-lived life. Would love to read the book when it’s finished.

    Liked by 1 person

  49. Happy happy birthday, Bill. And may the Lord bless you richly in your remaining time here.

    Liked by 1 person

  50. Happy Birthday Bill!!! I had forgotten your birthday was so close to Mark’s. His birthday is October 4, he would have turned 56 this year. God bless:)

    Liked by 1 person

  51. Lana Higginbotham

    Happy Birthday, Bill! God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  52. My dear friend, I am often left speechless by your posts. Your own faith and the faithfulness of your wife are astounding. They humble me. On this your birthday, you’ve once again given a gift to your readers, Bill. But your life and your spirit are a gift to all those who know you. I look forward with great anticipation to reading your book and with even greater anticipation to the day we meet in heaven…no tethers at all.

    With love and gratitude,

    Anna ❤

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  53. Happy birthday, and thank you for this beautiful post! You are regularly in my prayers, and it was a relief to see your post as you persevere in doing what God would have you to do. I will pray for your dear wife as well. 🙏

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  54. Happy Birthday! I have read several of your blog posts when Sr. Dorcee puts them out there. My husband has had ALS for 4 years (well, longer, but he was diagnosed 4 years ago.) He was diagnosed with FTD in 2010. He too is confined to a wheelchair and our home looks like a clinic! We are so blessed, and experience the love of God every day. I appreciate your perseverance and want to cheer you onwards. It is a decision. And it is a descsion for life, and love, and Christ. God bless you and keep you.

    Leslie

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  55. Happy birthday, Bill. I’m glad you’re sticking around to finish your book. I know I want to buy and read it. You are a gift to the blogging world and beyond, dear brother.
    Blessings to you and Mary ~ Wendy

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  56. nicoleslittleblackblog

    This message is sooo amazing! You are a very strong man who is an example of true perseverance. You’re family is very lucky to have such an amazing father/husband/leader.

    Liked by 1 person

  57. Such a beautiful story. God is so good! And thank you for the encouragement to keep pressing on! Happy birthday and God Bless.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Dear Bill and Mary, your faith and perseverance have inspired me for many years. Becky shared this post with me, which she often does. I see clearly the times in my life when I chose the power of my fear vs. the strength of my faith. So many times I elected to not persevere. Thank you both for modeling faith and perseverance, and the greatest of all is love!! May you both continue to be blessed and to share your life lessons. God Bless, Nancy

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  59. Happy Birthday Bill……I work with your brother Mark and he told me of your family gathering to celebrate your birthday. Your words always touch my heart and your perseverance is a life lesson for us all. God bless you and your family today and every day.

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  60. Dear Bill thank you for an inspiring. Encouraging post and Happy Birthday. To read your post today is a tremendous encouragement for me. I had a few weeks back in early summer when I had difficulty with putting one foot in front of another, I felt I had no strength at times, but was persuaded through the Holy Spirit that my trial wouldn’t last and praise the Lord it didn’t, I now know I have a calling to speak for the Lord, but burdened with so many administrative duties at my church, it is going to take very much perseverance to move myself in new directions. I shall come back to this post if I begin to feel sorry for myself.. with Christian love and blessings.

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  61. Dorcee A Clarey

    A very blessed and happy birthday to you, Bill. You are absolutely amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  62. God is good! And you are a blessing Bill. Happy birthday!!! I’m grateful you’re recovering and excited about the book that keeps you going.

    Liked by 1 person

  63. Happy birthday, Bill. Yours has been an amazing adventure into the grace and sustaining power of God. You have blessed me many times through your blog posts.

    May God continue to bless your incredible, faithful wife and your lovely daughters.

    Liked by 1 person

  64. Happy Birthday to my well spoken business coach and friend. I look forward to life with you in Eternity….running a foot race, skipping rocks across a beautiful sea and sharing a pastry over a long conversation. We love you both.

    Liked by 1 person

  65. Cordelia Lovelady

    Happy Birthday! You’re an inspiration to me and so many others. You have a beautiful and caring family which speaks volumes. I hope to read your book one day. Enjoy your weekend Birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  66. Bernadette Pfeiffenberger

    Bill, I pray you had the most glorious birthday celebration!

    My best friend (disabled) was taken home to be with the Lord several years ago. I truly miss our fellowship together and always will. He was an inspiration and witness to many, but especially me. His faith to overcome the most difficult situations drew me deeper and deeper into the heart of God. He was a faithful servant.

    Like you, you draw people to the well of Living Water where our thirst is qenched.

    The Lord flows through you.

    Thank you for persevering. You and Mary are a blessing, far greater than you know.

    God’s peace as you are blanketed in His love, mercy and grace.

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  67. Happy Birthday Bill!!! You are such an inspiration to ALL! I am always in awe at what a beautiful soul you and your wife are! THIS IS what true love looks like! For better or for worse . . . THANK YOU BILL for being you and for leading by example! I hope you know what great impact you have had and continue to have on us all! I am humbled by your story. God Bless you always!

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  68. You are an inspiration to me.. Happy Birthday and thank you for the post…
    You will be in my prayers… I will be reblogging this on my own blog….

    Liked by 1 person

  69. Happy belated birthday! I didn’t know that you had pneumonia, but I felt the need to pray for you. (I am always amazed by this phenomenon.) Thank you, thank you, for persevering.

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  70. Hello Bill…Happy Birthday!…As I contemplate the words that our Lord Jesus declare to the Church in Smyrna…

    Rev. 2:9…I know your works and tribulations…BUT YOU ARE RICH!

    …I am persuaded that you fall in this category. May the Lord be exhalted in our mouths and actions because of your ministry. AMEN

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  71. Happy birthday, Bill! You continue to be an inspiration to us all as you “fight the good fight.” Thank you for persevering…we’re all better because you do!

    Liked by 1 person

  72. I know it’s a day late but Happy Birthday! I work with Leah (and used to work with Lauren) at Ideal Impact. Thank you for this message. I have been trying to get in a habit of reading the Bible but realized that I’m not always paying attention and meditating on what I’m reading. Thank you for the encouragement to go back and read it again!

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  73. Happy Birthday to a brother who continues to amaze us with his strength an fortitude. Our family is so lucky to get to wish you Happy 58th Birthday! Love you

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  74. Happy birthday! I’m a friend of Lauren. I enjoyed your blog post and so appreciate how Lauren talks of you. I love that your writing (which is very good btw) is your powerful voice. Been praying for you
    – Sherri

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  75. Oh how I love Jesus. I love you. Praise the Lord. Thank you Bill. Happy birthday dear friend. Hope.

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  76. Happy Birthday Bill!
    “so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
    ‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭1:7‬ ‭
    This verse came to mind after reading your amazing life story of faith, courage and endurance.
    Praise God for you and the wonderful wife the Lord has given you.
    Praying for you and your beautiful family.

    Liked by 1 person

  77. Happy birthday! I’m so thankful and envisioned by your post and perseverance! This is so powerful and so encouraging. Praise God for you, your life, and your words!

    Liked by 1 person

  78. Happy Birthday! I too, am 58 and woke up this morning thinking about “harvest” and reaping that will not occur if I don’t sow, if I don’t persevere. I’m sure you believe there are no coincidences with God, that on a Saturday morning I would wake with new enthusiasm and rather than reach for my journal and set devotions, I read your blog! Thank you so much for writing your post and sharing your beautiful story of perseverance. Thank you for reminding of the parable and thank you for being so sweet as you describe your wife. Thank you for including the C.S. Lewis quote. Thank you for giving God the glory.

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  79. I cannot explain to you what a powerful testimony this was for me to read this morning and how blessed I feel to have com across your words of inspiration and encouragement! Happy birthday, sir! You are truly being used by God and I pray this is the happiest birthday year for you, yet! Praying also for your health trials and continued perseverance!! Thank you!!

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  80. Happy Birthday Bill. Thank you for sharing your words on perseverance. I needed those words today. I know you are really the one who knows the meaning of the words,4
    Unshakable Hope. You are such an inspiration to me. I am humbled when I read your words and challenged to to do more. My prayers for you and Mary.

    (ble Hope. You are such an inspiration to me. I am humbled when I read your words and challenged to strive to do more. Your light truly shines brightly, Billl. My prayers continue for you and Mary..4

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  81. Fifty eight years, with a testimony of great grace, faith hope and love. You humble us with your courage and perseverance in life’s subtle temptations and great trials. We stand with you when you say God is good ! His ways are not our ways, but His grace is sufficient. So happy birthday Bill, you and Mary are Super Saints !! And we love you both for who you are in Christ.

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  82. There is a pending perfect target somewhere Bill in all your courage and perseverence. The book is a most worthy offering. Its content will be largely God and that is all our joy.

    Go to issuu.com and look up the booklet entitled Seeming Underdogs.

    Doug

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  83. Happy Birthday to you all the way from Uganda. May you and your family be blessed.

    Liked by 1 person

  84. Jamie Marquardt

    Hi Uncle Bill! I am so grateful for your perseverance. You have touched the lives of so many people and given them a stronger sense of perspective, love, determination and hope. You are simply amazing and I think a lot of people are going to want to read your book! I hope you enjoy your birthday weekend with family visiting. All my love to you and Mary!

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  85. The very biggest and bestest ((hugs)) 😊😊😊

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  86. Happy birthday! God has truly blessed others through your amazing testimony, and blessed you with a wonderful wife and family.

    Liked by 1 person

  87. Hi Bill, I can only imagine what your sixty years old birthday party will be like. I am now 82 and Psalm 28:7 has been a constant reminder to me that if I want God’s help then I know what to do. Keep up the good work God is using you to impact the world. I am located in Sydney, Australia. Abundant blessings, Ron

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  88. Happy Birthday and thank you for sharing your faith.

    Liked by 1 person

  89. Happy Birthday!! Thank you for sharing your story.

    Liked by 1 person

  90. Happy Birthday Bill!
    I really enjoy reading your blogs and I look forward to your book because you may not be able to speak but I hear you loud and clear in the voice I’ve always known when reading your words. There are many things I enjoy when reading your blog, post or even your family annual review but the most is when you go off script and let the Bill Sweeney I know come through, it reminds me of our earlier years when our friendship started. Bill you will never know how much I admire you as a man along with your bravery, honesty & strength to not just stay alive but to make a difference. I pray Gods blessings on you, Mary and your whole family! I’ll be watching Fox News to see when the book will be released!

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  91. Happy Birthday! What an inspiration and blessing to read your testimony. It really puts my own tribulations into perspective. May God bless you and your family. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  92. Happy Birthday! My apologies for being late.

    Liked by 1 person

  93. May the blessings of the Lotd be upon you
    I bless you in the name of the Lord
    What a milestone

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  94. Happy Birthday, Bill!

    May God bless all that you do for His Kingdom, by His power and for His glory, amen! \o/

    Liked by 1 person

  95. Happy birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

  96. Bill,
    A very Happy 58th Birthday to you! I hope you have a wonderful weekend celebrating with your family this weekend. (I saw Kathryn earlier this week and spoke with Paula this afternoon.). As I read your post, I envisioned us having his conversation sitting out by Paula’s pool in The Woodlands, back In the day before we all had so much gray hair (I think Paula must color hers, don’t you think?) and laughing.

    Your work here is clearly not done, and God has bigger plans for you! I’m glad your still able to share your wit and wisdom with us all, and I look forward to your book.
    Alaina

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  97. Dearest Bill. A very happy birthday to you and thank you once again for such an inspiring post. I so look forward to opening them as they pop into my in box over here in the UK. I am always so humbled and inspired by what you share and believe they are heaven sent and of God. To think that God Himself, robed in majesty and from upon high chooses to live in you – to be with you in your pathetic and broken body absolutely blows my mind. To think that He who knows all has chosen to know and be in you – with you. To think that He knows and feels every ailment in exactly the same way as you do is beyond reason and understanding. “Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us”. You are not defeated Bill “as greater is He that is in you than is in the world.”There is no material gift that can compare the to internal and eternal gift that resides within you and so on this day – your birthday, I pray that you be filled, renewed and reborn by the power that has overcome the world.

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  98. Happy birthday Bill! I am a friend of Lauren’s from Lifegroup and I have been praying for you! Your words are so powerful and encouraging- thank you! The week before you got sick, I felt like God was bringing you to mind, (because Lauren had told me you were trying to finish a book!). And I kept thinking he has to finish his book! I am overwhelmed thinking about the impact this book will have, and just want you to know I am praying and believing for the book to be finished in his perfect time. Hope you have a wonderful celebration- no need to respond, Charity

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  99. Your perseverance is beyond inspiring. Praise God that you can celebrate another year doing His work here. Happy Birthday! Lindsay Summerlin Munson

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  100. Happy Birthday and thank you for sharing your faith. I am blessed by you.

    Liked by 1 person

  101. Happy Birthday! God is our strength, truly! Great post!

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  102. Happy Birthday Bill! Inspirational post that encourages others and provides a way of hope – both here and hereafter. I pray for God’s continued strength and encouragement to each of you as you journey this together. We can’t understand fully what you all encounter on a daily basis but your testimony provides at least some insight – and how God is in control regardless. We sometimes wonder “why” but we often will not receive the answer while here on Earth. Keep pressing on brother toward the mark! You are appreciated and God is using your words.

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  103. Happy Birthday, brother.

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  104. Happy Brthday Bill! So sorry to hear of your recent health difficulties. You sre an inspiration.

    “Among other things, discipleship is a daily battle of the thought-life.” As they say in Baltimore – that there is a “gut one”. Will be thinking about you. Blessings!

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  105. Happy Happy Birthday!! Keeping you and your family in my most ardent prayers.

    Liked by 1 person

  106. Happy birthday Bill, I love you my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  107. Thank you for your post! Your faith is so moving. I am a friend of Leah’s and have been praying for you for years. I love her so much and also love how she speaks of you. You’re a wonderful father and I hope you know the impact you have had on your daughters life. Thank you again for being an example to all of us.

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  108. A very happy birthday to you! What a blessing and miracle you are! I look forward to reading your book one day. Praying for you and your family as you continue to spread the good news. What an inspiration you all are.

    Liked by 1 person

  109. Happy Birthday, and thank you for this thoughtful post!

    Liked by 1 person

  110. Happy birthday, Bill! Blessings always, Lisa Young

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  111. Happy Birthday, Bill! I am an old friend of Paula’s from Libertyville! I am in awe of you! Your faith and yes, perseverance are so awesome!!! God bless you and I hope you are feeling better very soon!!!! Hugs!

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  112. HAPPY BIRTHDAY 💐 🎁 🍰 ‘! God is do good!! I am sharing this with a few people!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  113. Bill, you are such an inspiration to all of us. We can’t even begin to grasp what your day and life consists of, but you handle it with such grace and your never ending good humor. Wishing you a happy birthday. God’s blessings to you.

    Liked by 1 person

  114. Happy birthday Bill! May everyday be filled with love and great peace 🌷take care, suzanne 🦋

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  115. Happy Birthday Bill. I praise our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, that you again chose to remain in life here on earth, when you could have given up and graduated early to LIFE in Glory. You still have a valuable, important, meaningful mission to carry through with on this earth, planting seeds, and discipling many who come to know Christ.
    Enjoy this Birthday weekend with your loving wife, daughters, and whomever else is blessed to be with you.
    Will continue to look forward to the publishing date of your book. God Bless you Bill.

    Liked by 1 person

  116. What a wonderful message you have delivered interspersed with your story.

    Happy birthday brother! May you and Mary continue to persevere in your marriage, ministry and faith!

    Liked by 2 people

  117. First of all I really do wish you a Happy Birthday.. though a bit late in the day Bill.
    Your post as always is so full of truth and the realities of persevering through distractions and trials. So many times I find myself so caught up in the moment… and then I realize by worrying and striving, that I am more focused on my problems, my issues and that I have pushed God to the number two priority of my life, than ‘number one’ where He should be.
    While I do realize perseverance makes us stronger it sure weakens us while ‘in the moment’… Our hope of course is always that God will bring us through it every time!…. Take care Bill… Diane

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  118. paula sweeney corey

    Happy Birthday! We are so blessed to be able to say that! Have a wonderful weekend celebrating and I will see you in a few weeks. Love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  119. Jean Ure Besserud

    Happy Birthday, Billy! You’ll always be Billy to many of us. I’m always humbled by your testimonies. God Bless you and your family.

    Liked by 1 person

  120. WordPress actually let me log in today, so I will wish you a happy birthday here. I am glad you are feeling better. I hope you have a great weekend. Much love to you and your family. P.S. Don’t party too hard. :-p

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  121. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! Thankyou Bill for your persaverance. It encourages me and I’m sure many others to keep pressing on ….Philippians 3v14

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  122. Bill, every post from you is like a monument chiseled in stone. They are meant to be admired, studied, and studied some more. The life lessons your journey has taught you are teaching all of us in turn.

    Like most Christians,I’ve often asked God “why”. The longer I serve Him however leads me to answer “why not me”? God uses all of us in ways we could never have imagined to build up the body of Christ, and I am persuaded to believe that you will one day hear those words we all long to hear: “well done thou good and faithful servant”.

    Your strength and perseverance is a testimony on God’s faithfulness and goodness, and all of your readers have been blessed to sit under your ministry.

    Take care my friend, and put me down for a copy of your book!

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  123. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    Bless you Bill, and thankyou for your persaverance. It encourages me and I’m sure many others to keep pressing on …..
    Philippians 3v14

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  124. Always love reading your posts! I’m so glad that you are feeling better and I can’t wait for you to finish your book. You and your wife are such beautiful people and a blessing to everyone that follows you. God bless from a sister in Christ 🌸

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  125. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Bill! I woke up this morning thinking of you…I did remember it was your birthday😉 I’m so glad you are doing better and decided to stay instead of go home. I know you’re tired, but God isn’t finished with you…you have touched so many lives I more ways than you know, mine included. Continuing to pray for your recovery from pneumonia! Love you and your sweet family!

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  126. Jerry Chati Tasantab

    Happy Birthday Bill. Thank you for your encouraging words. My the Gracious LORD and Father of our LORD Jesus Christ continue to strengthen you. Stay blessed. Shalom 🙏

    Liked by 1 person

  127. Jack & peggy lesch

    We are so thankful you bounced back and are this side of heaven celebrating your 58 th birthday !! Hope it’s wonderful🎉We ‘re inspired to persevere 😊

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  128. Happy Birthday, Bill! Thank you so much for posting this powerful message about perseverance! It is truly one that speaks to my heart. I am so thankful to our Heavenly Father for your life for you and your ministry are a beautiful blessing to the the Kingdom of God and to this world. There are no earthly stats to record how many multitudes of lives have been touched by your faithful obedience to Christ and your perseverance, despite your many challenges. Your life is an incredible inspiration to us all, for through your brokenness you have allowed the strength and power of the living, resurrected Jesus Christ to shine forth in this dark world, giving testimony to the glorious reality of our awesome God who chooses the weak things of this world to confound the wise.
    May the Lord be forever glorified by your life on earth and in Heaven, in Jesus mighty name, amen and amen. ~ Suzanne

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  129. Happy Birthday Bill! Praising the Lord for you!

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  130. When I absorb your words of hope,fortitude,My spirit is lifted with gratitude ,the swirl of Christ in me ,christ around me,thru me,captured in the words “He gives Me Joy” , and “Home” by the Esh family.May you be filled as you have given,pressed down overflowing,and may we meet when He greats is in the morning.Blessings Linda and Phillip Gerhardt

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  131. thank you for the encouragement … much needed 🙂

    Happy Birthday!!!

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  132. Don’t expend the energy replying, please. But just know I hope you have a happy birthday. Your testimony encourages me in my own disabled walk.

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  133. God loves you….I know you feel it. Happy birthday and many more!

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  134. Happy Birthday, Bill! Glad you persevered! Thank you for your inspirational posts.

    Liked by 1 person

  135. —3rd try— grateful for your fresh sharing of the Gospel, a living joy. I hope to get to read your book someday. Happy birthday 🎂🎁🎉!

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  136. I hope to get to read your book someday. You share the Gospel for the living joy and truth that it is. Happy birthday 🎉🎁🎂 — if I posted twice please ignore it! Having problems with wp

    Like

  137. Happy birthday, and God bless you!

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  138. You manage to share the Gosoel for the living joy and truth that it is. That is a real gift. Just as naturally as the breathing we all take so for granted. I am grateful you are persevering, and hope to read your book someday. Happy Birthday!🎉🎂🎁

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  139. Happy birthday, Bill! Was good to read that you are still breathing and fighting the good fight. Here is to being alive and celebrating 58 years. Hope you have a great birthday weekend.

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  140. I have been so blessed by every blog posting. You have truly and faithfully planted good seed, which will bring an eternal harvest. Thank you so much for persevering and being faithful to finish the work. I look forward to the book!

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  141. Bill, your post this time really cuts to the core of what life is all truly about. Perseverance is interdependent also in that when we persevere we do it not just for ourselves but for other people who rely on us or value our time or effort in their lives. It is a constructive life enhancing discipline that takes incremental steps daily and it is also something we have to practise in all areas of our lives as if not we start to lose momentum very easily across the board! Your posts are such an encouragement. A great source of spiritual counsel internationally! What a blessing to read and I’m so glad to read you are recovering well. You are in my prayers. Looking forward to reading the book one day!

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  142. I was one of the blessed ones who was privileged to pray for you during this latest illness. Team Bill Sweeney was one happy crowd when we heard the news you were on the mend! If anyone has the right to teach about perseverance, it’s you, Bill. You live it every day, and we are so grateful for your example. P.S. Years ago I heard author and seminary professor, Dr. Howard Hendricks say, “There’s one way to get horse to drink. Give him salt!” You, my friend, are definitely salt, adding distinctive flavor in your community, in the blogosphere, and elsewhere within your sphere of influence. We all praise God for you, Bill! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

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  143. Happy Birthday!!! What a great post, and just what I needed to hear! I’ve been struggling with staying focused. thanks for the inspiration and praying for you and your family!

    Liked by 1 person

  144. Happy birthday Bill! 🎂Ever since I began following your blog a few weeks back, I have been in prayer for you and will continue to. I’m so thankful for your life and for your humor you keep while you write! Your testimony deeply touched my heart and also your writings of God’s grace He gives to you and your wife daily. I have a brain injury, and life isn’t fun, but knowing you gives me courage and hope! I will SO buy your book!😊

    Liked by 2 people

  145. You have been a constant source of encouragement to me. I eagerly look forward to each blog posting. It is always good seed! I pray for you, your family and caregivers daily. I am so grateful God chose to send His Light and Love through you. Many Blessings to you! 💞

    Liked by 1 person

  146. Happy Birthday, dear Brother! Because of your obedience and perseverance many (MANY) lives are changed. I know that it is Jesus, but He is always looking for those who are willing to sow the seeds while it is day. I know that to live for you is Christ and that to die is gain. But your choice to live is our gain. THANK YOU and your sweet Mary for perseveing. Love you two dearly!

    Liked by 1 person

  147. Bill and Mary, I don’t know what God has in store for us when we leave this world behind but when we meet there in His presence, and we will, what you both have achieved does and is bringing glory to our Father and our Lord Jesus Christ, because you have defied all odds and in spite of restrictions that all of us normal folk can’t even imagine, you have indeed persevered and it isn’t over yet. Congratulations on your 58th birthday! It has been my honor and pleasure to have crossed paths with you and I pray that God permits you to complete your mission in the manner that your heart has chosen. Enjoy your family and the well wishes of all of us. You are loved by so many and that in itself speaks volumes. May our gracious Lord and Savior bless you and your family this day.

    Liked by 1 person

  148. Beth Ostrander

    Happy Birthday Bill🎈.
    Enjoy your weekend with the family

    Beth

    Liked by 1 person

  149. Dear Bill,
    I have an alarm on my cell phone to remind me to pray, 3 times per day. And I pray first thing in the am and last thing at night.
    You are in all of those prayers.. and I had just gotten done praying for you when I found this latest miracle of an email. I am overjoyed and humbled.
    I send you love and prayers and gratitude. Your words bring me to tears, and I needed your messsge today about saying “NO” to many things.. and “YES” to others. Maybe you will pray for me.
    I work on the air at Moody Radio.. Nancy Turner. Alongside Chris Fabry. Heidi Viars is my dear friend.
    Gods richest blessings to you and Mary and all, and I am so looking forward to reading that book. Thank you for living to tell your story. It is needed.

    Liked by 1 person

  150. Debbie Johnson

    Happy Birthday to you Bill! You did give us a scare last week, but after the scare was over I knew your next blog would be incredible … and it is. So thankful that God uses you in this way, and I can’t wait to see your book!

    Liked by 1 person

  151. Happy Birthday Bill and may you continue to be a blessing as we all travel home.

    Liked by 1 person

  152. Happy Birthday! I feel that your posts are a gift to me and all your readers/followers and subscribers.

    Liked by 1 person

  153. Great and encouraging post, Bill, and so glad you overcame this latest challenge to your mortality. So grateful for you and your amazing testimony!

    Liked by 2 people

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