The Adventure Begins…

Posted: December 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

After a few months of strange symptoms, many doctor’s visits and tests, I need to share with you that I have recently been diagnosed with ALS or Lou Gehrig’s Disease.  The doctors are 100% convinced that this is what I have.  There is no cure for ALS.  ALS is a serious neurological disease that causes muscle weakness and eventually leads to complete deterioration.  The speed and path varies from person to person, but the average life expectancy is two years.

Obviously, this is not what I had planned, nor what I would have ever dreamed would happen to me.  But there is another side to the story.  God is sovereign and in control.  Isaiah 6 is a passage that I preached here many years ago and Bob preached it last month.  I take that truth that “King Jesus” is seated on His throne as ruler and has authority of my life.  He also will give us strength as we go through this journey.

A song that has blessed my soul in this past week is written ultimately by God, through Job and passed down to Matt Redman. That song is “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”   I want to live that out!!

We love you so much and appreciate you so much.  Our lives have been blessed because of you!  Thank you for your prayers.

(Patrick shared the above with our church, Cornerstone Baptist, on the morning of 12/11/11)

  1. Arvin & Becky Tarbell says:

    We will be praying with you and for you as you take this journey with Jesus. May He be your comfort and strength for this day. Ps. 9:9,10 “The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble. And they who know thy name will put their trust in thee; for thou, Lord, has not forsaken those who seek thee.”

  2. Todd Neva says:

    Patrick, I’m right there with you, man. I was diagnosed with ALS two years ago. First, let me say that many people do outlive the average life expectancy. (I sometimes think doctors first tell you the worse, so that everything thereafter is positive.) Second, there can be joy in suffering at the very same time. Grieve well, and keep your focus on God. Please reach out to me if you have any questions or if you just want to talk. You may know my brother, Wayne Neva. Find me on Facebook, or call me: 414-217-6498.

    Todd Neva

  3. We are praying for you, Patrick and for your whole family.

    Dave and Kathy Cortner

  4. Earl and Becky Short says:

    Patrick and Dena… we are faithfully praying for all of you!

    “The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” – Deuteronomy 31:8

  5. Sally Neva says:

    Patrick and Dena,
    I only know you through a post by my daughter-in-law Janell Neva, on Facebook. I will pray for you and your family as you go through life’s journey with ALS. I encourage you to sign up on Caring Bridge. This organization will keep all those that care for you updated on your illness. It is also a way for you and your family to receive encouragement from your friends, PALS, and family. It has helped our family during my son’s experience with ALS. God give you strength. Sally Neva

  6. Kris and Nicole Kammer says:

    Patrick and Dena,
    You do not know us very well, but I have been a long time member of Cornerstone and my daughter Emma is in 8th grade. We just received the news about your diagnosis. We will be praying for your family. My husband and I would like to make sure you know what a wonderful influence you have been to our family. The role models that you both are and the impact you make on the lives of people that you may not even know. Thank you for all of your service. I hope we-as a church family can give you back half of what you have given to us through your Godliness advice and examples. May God bless you and your family as you go forward in this journey. Please know that you have an army of prayer warriors fighting beside you.
    Sent in love,

    The Kammer family

  7. Sally Urbaniak says:

    Patrick and Dena,

    As I have watched from a distance how lives have been touched by your strong devotion to God and the outpouring of love you exhibit, I am grateful for an influence in the young peoples lives that God has touched through you!
    We will be humbly and faithfully in prayer along with so many others for you and your family.
    Caring Bridge is a very nice site, I have been in contact with others through it and have heard it has been a wonderful asset as loved ones have gone through serious illness.

    In Christ’s Love,
    Sally Urbaniak

  8. Joe & Gail Asaro says:

    Patrick, Dena, Page and Parker, every day is an opportunity to serve and glorify God and those opportunities are not always the ones we would choose. We believe that God is sovereign in all things and that includes the tuff opportunities He sees us through. This life is God’s classroom and our heavenly Father is the master teacher, we only need to be still, rest in Him and learn. God always has our best in store and that is to be changed into the image of his son. We pray that your faith is enlarged and your peace increased as God grows each of you in His way.

    By Grace Alone,
    Joe & Gail

  9. Cal and Joyce says:

    Patrick, We will be praying for you and for Dena and the family. Praying for the extended family too as they encourage you and walk through this trial with you. I know you will honor God through it all. We will add your name to our staff prayer list here in Portugal. Cal and Joyce Voelker (Portugal)

  10. Vivian Poole says:

    Patrick, My husband, Daryl, and I only know you through Dena and Ross and Karen, because I was both 3rd and 4th grade teacher for Dena and Tim. My heart goes out to you and your entire family. I have been reading in Genesis lately. Today, I was reminded of a man who had had troubles from childhood. Joseph, as a relatively young man had to face big trials but he found the grace and faith to stand for his God. I know that will be true of you. Dena, as you face these tough days ahead, call on that strong faith that you have. God never leaves us alone to bear these burdens in life. Be assured that I will be praying for your family.
    In His WonderfulName, Vivian Poole

  11. Kathi Sherrill says:

    Patrick, Dena, Paige and Parker. Please know that you are all in my prayers each morning. My drive to school each morning is a time I set aside to pray and get ready for the day. All of you are now a part of that early morning prayer, as well as when God brings you to mind anytime during the day. Kalli has added you to her prayers also. You are all loved and we stand beside you in this. We will “Praise Him in the Storm”. All to God’s Glory.
    Kathi Sherrill

  12. Bill & Barbara Kidwell says:

    Patrick, Dena, Paige and Parker,..a quote of George Mueller came to mind..”My eye is not on the
    density of the fog but on the living God Who controls every circumstance of my life.” He had found himself needing to be in Canada on a given day but the sailing ship he was on was locked in a heavy dense fog. His comment was made to the unbelieving ship captain. Mueller prayed, the fog lifted and he was on time. All to say as it has been said and will continue to be said – God is sovereign and His goal is for us to become more like Christ as we journey sometimes through clear weather and other times when the fog is incredibly dense that we simply walk in complete faith and trust. Know that a multitude of your brothers and sisters in the family of Christ are daily if not hour by hour leaning hard on God for all of you.

    Bill & Barbara Kidwell

  13. 2K says:

    Your faith is real because He is. A mighty multitude is lifting you up to Him in prayer.

  14. Carl & Lori Reichanadter says:

    Patrick & Dena,

    We just received your Christmas Newsletter today and paused as we read your words, “Patrick has recently been diagnosed with ALS …..” I know it’s been a long time since we’ve seen each other, but my (Carl) first thought was, “I wish we could be with them right now and just give them a hug.” There is a passage from Isaiah 43 that spoke into my life when I was going through a trial. I hope it speaks to you as well: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through the fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you.”

    I noticed that one of your friends recommended the Caring Bridge website. I would strongly encourage you to check it out. We have four friends who have used Caring Bridge and it’s been a great encouragement to them and their friends. We want you to know that we will be praying for you and your family.

    With much love,

    Carl & Lori Reichanadter

  15. Jim knight says:

    Providentially I was scrolling down through my fb friend list and saw your name. I just wanted to take a quick peak and shoot you a Merry Christmas…needless to say I was speechless to learn of your diagnosis. Cathy (my beautiful new bride) and I will keep you and your family in our prayers. The path you are on will end with the beatific vision but the valley you must travel will be rocky. Christ has never waivered. He will not suffer your foot to be moved, he never slumbers or sleeps and he will guide you to that perfect day. I love you. Gods grace will be made perfect in your weakness. In Christ alone right!? Jim Knight

  16. Dale & Wanda Edwards says:

    We have always admired you from a distance for the work you have done with the youth at Cornerstone. Many kids have passed through your class and God has used your teaching to direct them on to do His work. We have had the pleasure of sitting under your teaching on occasion in the morning service and have always totally enjoyed your candid bubbly style. Loved Jonah!!!! We are praying for you and have faith that God will do great things for you in the new year. We have always wanted to give you this “flower” as we have watched your life but never had the opportunity to do so. You are truly loved and admired more than you know.

  17. Joe & Gail Asaro says:

    Patrick & Family,

    We continue to pray for God’s righteous work in each of your lives. Only God know why He chooses the paths of our lives that we walk, but we walk by faith non the less and we are to do it with Joy as we travel. God can only be working for our good because He has said that He has nothing else in mind. We are praying that the race that He has set before you all is ran in a manner worthy of your calling.

    May you see His unfailing love in all you experience,
    Joe & Gail

  18. Joe and Jess says:

    We are reading the book Radical by David Platt and came across this encouragement, “This is how God works. He puts His people in positions where they are desperate for His power, and then He shows His provision in ways that display His greatness.”

    For the Glory of God!
    Joe and Jess

  19. John Wenz says:

    Patrick , My heart goes out to you brother. When I put my kids to bed, we pray for you. And thoughout the day. Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, who’s mind is stayed on thee, because he trusteth in thee. Isa 26:3

  20. Patricia Burman says:

    Patrick and Dena,
    This is Patricia Burman for Cornerstone, Elizabeth our oldest daughter is in the 9th grade. I just wanted to let you and your family know that we as a family have been praying for your family and doctors nightly and will continue to do so. It is amazing the strength and comfort the Lord will give you during this time. The challenge is seeing His opportunities He will give you and the spiritual growth you can attain from it. Your family will continue in our prayers nightly just as many others.

  21. john hicks says:

    Patrick and Dena

    Not wanting to respond too quickly to the news of your adventure, but praying for the right words to say mary, and I think of the joy, honor, and direction you have brought to our children. When you arrived jessica was at the end of her eighth grade year, john seventh, and matt not yet a part of the youth group, thinking of the return of the first trip to Jamaica and the high schoolers walking arm in arm down the airport hallway and us hearing their praise singing from a long way off before we could see them, blessings upon blessings, thinking as I shared with you last week that there was a hicks bloodline there when you arrived and is still one there with tammy deyoung as you move into a new ministry. Praise above Praises and we know who recieves this glory. Reading tonight the pleasures of God [piper] was a description of you from Kilby’s resolutions #3 I shall not fall into the falsehood that this day, or any other day, is merely another ambiguous and plodding twenty-four hours, but rather a unique event, filled if I so wish, with worthy potentialities, I shall not be fool enough to suppose that trouble and pain are wholly evil parentheses in my existence but, just as likely, ladders to be climbed toward moral and spiritual manhood. You know of johns love for Habakkuk We quote from this.

    Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet i will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the GOD of my salvation. God the Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s he makes me tread on my high places. Hab. 3:17-19

    We will be always grateful for these truths you worked so hard through GOD’s strength to help instill in our children and the example you continue to be.

    Praying Hard and Often for you and your family. mary and john hicks

  22. Jeremy Harkins says:

    I was not in town for your sermon/testimony but was able to listen to the cd over the last few days. You really did a great job explaining some of the most difficult questions I ask my self and even my kids ask me. I also appreciated the the humor and real life that you brought to the message. It is that genuine, witty side of your personality that has always made it easy and fun to work with you. You were an inspiration to me as a man and father before I heard your message, and want to thank you for sharing your story to add to that inspiration. I am grateful that you have allowed me to work with the kids at the church in the soccer camp and I look forward to continuing that event this year with Johnny. You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you again for your friendship.

  23. […] and brought the party to every room he entered. Then, shortly after Thanksgiving, he received the awful news that he had Lou Gehrig disease (ALS). It is incurable and […]

  24. […] December 2011, I received the news that my husband had ALS.  In December 2012, I watched him take his last earthly breath.  Now […]

  25. […] wrote the first couple posts, then he dictated and eventually I was writing them all. When Patrick passed away, so […]

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