A New Year

Posted: January 8, 2012 in Uncategorized

“Happy New Year” is something I’ve said each January for most of my 46 years.  Casually, happily and somewhat flippantly it flies out of my mouth.  As an eternal optimist, I usually look ahead with eager anticipation.  With a thankful heart, I ask the Lord for another year of blessings.

This year is different.  I am entering this year knowing that it will not be easy;  it will be one of difficulty and uncertainty.

Those words have not been coming out so easily now.

But what exactly does that phrase mean anyway?  Most Americans consider “happiness” to be a right… It’s in the Declaration of Independence, after all.  Each generation expects more than their parents had, which means bigger homes, cooler cars, more money and definitely a pain-free healthy life.

And if you can only get a few of those, most would choose the healthy part first.

See, we consider suffering and death the ultimate enemy.

But it is not.  Our biggest problem (my biggest problem) is sin.  Because of it, I can’t get to God.  On my own, I’d never be good enough.  Nothing I do will bridge the chasm between me and God.  That’s where the Gospel comes in.  God sent his son, Jesus Christ, to live the life I couldn’t live and die the death I couldn’t die, in order to provide a way for me to live eternally with God.  Based on my relationship with Christ, I know where my eternity will be spent.

Since my biggest problem is taken care of, I can face this year with my new health problems and not completely fall apart.

Am I excited about it? No.  Do I have some fears and concerns? Yes.  Do I want to suffer? No.  Typical human responses, I think.

But as I face 2012, I plan to keep preaching the Gospel to myself; I plan to soak daily in the promises of God to be my strength;  and I plan to be thankful that my eternity is figured out.

John 3:16 & 17 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.”

Proverbs 18:10 “The Name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run into it and they are safe.”

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Comments
  1. Tonya Burns says:

    Patrick,
    I am encouraged to live 2012 as you stated in your last few lines –

    “But as I face 2012, I plan to keep preaching the Gospel to myself; I plan to soak daily in the promises of God to be my strength; and I plan to be thankful that my eternity is figured out.”

    May Jesus’ Name be glorified as you live out 2012 with the strong tower to run to at all times! May the hardest days be made easier knowing your name is being lifted to Jesus! Prayer for strength for the journey and complete healing. Thank you for encouraging me!

    With love & prayers,
    Paul & Tonya Burns

  2. Ruby Heisler says:

    Patrick, this has been a powerful message of faith in our Savior, I will read this over and over and pray you experience God’s promises, one of them being “with God, all things are possible.” Our love and prayers (because there is POWER in prayer) Ruby Heisler

  3. Darlene Krucker says:

    Happy New Year Patrick! I Thank Jesus for you and pray that the awsome God we Serve will make you a walking testimony of our Gods Love and may the Power of Pray hold you up! You are a blessing to us and God is very proud to call you Son! Thank you from a Mom of a Teen you care for! Gods richest Blessing! Darlene

  4. lorie smith says:

    thank you for sharing your words, i understand, press on pilgrim

  5. Thanks for your well-written thoughts. We are praying for all of you.

  6. Jan Alvaro says:

    Well said!

  7. Joe DiVietro says:

    Patrick,

    You are daily in my prayers! I know that God has given you the opportunity to reach people through your pain that others will never get to reach. May the Lord give you abundant grace to keep strong in Him, and “in the power of His might!” Thank you for your testimony even in the day of adversity! Stay close to Him daily!

  8. Mandi says:

    Wow Patrick you have over 1000 people following your blog!!! I look forward to hearing from you so I know how to best pray for you and your family!!!! Even though I haven’t seen you or talked to you for years you are in my daily thoughts and prayers!!!

    Mandi

  9. Les and Judy Johnson says:

    Hi Patrick:: Thanks for your laatest update, we are blessed by it. Your faith gives us strength to face the future, and the fact that the LOord is our strength.

    As always yyou and your family are in our prayers and those of our prayer partners.

    God Bless
    LES AND jUDY

  10. Shirley Piatek says:

    Thank you for your words of wisdom and for your positive thoughts. You and your family are in our prayers. Sometimes, in the middle of the night, God puts you into my thoughts, and I pray! That is what we are supposed to do when God brings someone to mind! So KNOW that God is bringing you to the minds of many and at all times of the day and night, and you, and your family, are being prayed for as soon as you are.
    Blessings,
    Shirley & Larry

  11. Stephen Shedletzky says:

    Patrick – I was inspired by your genuine optimism, perspective, kind heartedness, and values when I first met you. I feel inspired because having more people like you in our world makes it a better place! This respect and inspiration continues to grow as I am blessed in getting to know you and your family further.

    I feel comfortable speaking on behalf of my family and wish you guys all the best for 2012.

    With faith,
    Stephen

  12. Bev Stewart says:

    Patrick & Dena, I am sure so many are giving you advice. All I can give you is encouragement. Our trials do come and make us strong. You have touched so many lives that I cannot doubt God has a strong purpose in this. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Love to all from the Stewarts in N Ky.

  13. Mel Stull, Jr. says:

    Praying for you this morning. I came across this in my readings of Charles Spurgeon and I thought of you big time:

    I Shall See God

    In my flesh I shall see God.
    Job 19:26

    Consider the subject of Job’s devout anticipation: “I shall see God.” He does not say, “I shall see the saints”–though doubtless that will be untold happiness–but “I shall see God.” It is not “I shall see the pearly gates, I shall behold the walls of jasper, I shall gaze upon the crowns of gold,” but “I shall see God.”

    This is the sum and substance of heaven; this is the joyful hope of all believers. It is their delight to see Him now in the ordinances by faith. They love to behold Him in communion and in prayer; but there in heaven they shall have an open and unclouded vision, and thus seeing “him as he is,”1 shall be made completely like Him.

    Likeness to God–what more can we wish for? And a sight of God–what can we desire better? Some read the passage, “Yet I shall see God in my flesh” and find here an allusion to Christ as the Word made flesh, and that glorious beholding of Him that shall be the splendor of the latter days.

    Whether so or not, it is certain that Christ shall be the object of our eternal vision; nor shall we ever want any joy beyond that of seeing Him. Do not think that this will be a narrow sphere for the mind to dwell in. It is but one source of delight, but that source is infinite. All His attributes shall be subjects for contemplation, and as He is infinite under each aspect, there is no fear of exhaustion. His works, His gifts, His love to us, and His glory in all His purposes and in all His actions, these shall make a theme that will be ever new.

    The patriarch looked forward to this sight of God as a personal enjoyment. “Whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another.”2 Take realizing views of heaven’s bliss; think what it will be to you. “Your eyes will behold the king in his beauty.”3 All earthly brightness fades and darkens as we gaze upon it, but here is a brightness that can never dim, a glory that can never fade–“I shall see God.”

    1 1 John 3:2
    2Job 19:27
    3Isaiah 33:17

    Melster 😎

  14. Ken McMaster says:

    Patrick, I am praying for you and our church is praying for you. Your example of Christ like love and humility both to me and to the ones I love (as you became the youth pastor at Cornerstone and began discipling the students that I loved) has ALWAYS been such an encouragement. And you still model a life sold out to Christ.

  15. Jo Ann Gasparotto says:

    Patrick,
    I’ve been praying for you and your family daily. Thank you for being real… and thank you for continuing to bless our family with the Love of Christ as you always have ~ Jo

  16. JROD says:

    Patrick & family,

    As I opened devotional book tonight, for the first time in a while, the very first story helped bring you guys to the front of my mind again. The title “Only Believe” and it talked about the story of Jairus and his sick daughter. He had no were else to go but to Jesus. I am honored to have you be an example of this to me no matter what the issue was, you always pointed it back to Christ and the importance of receiving comfort & closure in His timing. Check out Mark 5:36 (NKJV) & Isaiah 41:10 (MSG). “Dear God, I do trust you. Thank you that you are with me in my situation and I don’t need to be afraid. AMEN!”

    Love to you all

  17. […] important as research for ALS is, there is something more important. He mentioned back in his blog on January 8, 2012 that his biggest problem was not his fatal disease. It was his need for a […]

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