Posted: June 21, 2012 in Uncategorized

Everything in the last six months in my life has changed drastically.  So added to the list of “I never thought I would experience this” is the label of being disabled.  Yet, on June 1st, it became official as I was put on disability through the church’s policy.

While I am grateful that the finance team had the foresight to have such a policy, I have to admit that this really stinks.  I no longer am expected to go to work;  my name is not listed on the bulletin and no one is calling to look for me.  I am trying to joke that this is my early retirement, but the reality is that I  never planned to go out this way! I envisioned being able to serve/work in a church until I was completely gray and hopefully well into my 60’s.  Then I had hoped to finish out my days being an interim preacher.

As I reflect on this, I realize that my ways are not His ways.  I may be officially on disability and own a handicap sticker, but more importantly, I am a follower of Christ.  My identity is not in the title I had, but in the cross that I uphold.

Although I may not be employed, my desire is to still be used by God whenever and wherever I can.  Last week, as I purchased a lift chair from Art Van Furniture, I left my card with the friendly and thorough sales person (we actually request him now because he’s helpful without being annoying).  He said he would look up the website and I pray he does.

Another way God has used my disability is through the sermon I preached at Cornerstone on April 22nd.  Many people continue to send me messages via facebook and email about spiritual results from that message.  We’ve heard from Alaska, Yugoslavia, Jamaica, Canada and many nearby states.

I plan to try to preach it a few more times.  I am scheduled to share this Sunday night at our BASIC mission trip, as well as three more opportunities through August.  Please pray for wisdom regarding these, as my voice has only a few good hours a day where it is strong.  All these places know that I may have to cancel at the last minute.

By the way, although I walk slowly and even wobble (I think I look like a duck) and my speech is slow, there is nothing wrong with my brain.  My mind is sharp as a tack, at least as good as it ever was!  🙂

Psalm 139:14  I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;  your works are wonderful.  I know that full well.   (Top that, ALS!)

  1. Jeff Keady says:

    Pat, It’s hard for me to not be humorous, especially with you, but I know you avoid laughter these days, at least on the outside… So – I appreciate your openness and honesty about how you are handling this disease. None of us knows what will happen tomorrow, and since it is happening to you today, we are thankful you are leading by example in how to process this horrific experience in light of your faith.

    The absolute truth is this, I have NO IDEA what you are going through, I can only peek into your words, and wonder – wonder what it would be like. However, since you have always been open and gregarious, most of us have a really good idea of your heart, and I can see your heart coming through loud and clear in your posts and your words. Thanks!

    Hey, by the way yourself – I would never doubt your brain – I’m sure you haven’t changed – sharp as Kindergarten scissors! Finally – true story about my brain – a 15 year old boy was in my office yesterday, and drew a tic-tac-toe on my whiteboard. I thought “Oh boy, I’ve got better things to do Kid”, but I was a good former youth guy and played along – HE BEAT ME THE FIRST GAME!! At tic-tac-toe! I just had to laugh – I’m still sharp as ever as well!

    Love ya Pal!

  2. Shirley Piatek says:

    Every time we read your blog updates, we are so blessed. We ARE Blessed beyond measure just knowing you, Patrick and Dena and your family, Paige & Parker. Even through this journey that you are on, you continue to uplift those around you. Praising God through the trials ~ that is what we are supposed to do. And Patrick, you are such a shining testimony to that truth! We continue to lift the entire McGoldrick Family before the Throne of God! May God continue to richly use each of you as He sees fit. May God give you the strength to accomplish the things you have the desire to accomplish to the Glory of God! God’s richest blessings on you all!!! ❤

  3. Dennis and Carrie Ginnard says:

    Greetings Patrick!

    For but a moment consider how God has used you, and is using you, to further His work in a sin-filled and desperate world. Feel blessed about being an instrument in the hands of such a potter!

    God is good and in control, my brother. We love you dearly and we watch your courage in this challenge, as you lift up the name of the Lord for praise. It is the gift of courage provided through the Holy Spirit, through faith in Christ.

    Continue to follow His example . . .

  4. Matt Mackensen says:

    Patrick.. As hard as it is to stomach your journey, you continuously draw me in with your posts. To hear how you are hurts me, yet to see your constant faith in Christ eases my mind. You have made a foot print in my heart, and only wish I could handle things as you do. God has given us challanges for a reason, many of which we will never understand why. We can only trust in him to lead us through it all. We send our love to you and your family.. The Mackensen’s

  5. Phyllis says:

    PATRICK, YOU are SUCH a FANTASTIC example to EVERYONE – you have NO IDEA who will be in Heaven because of your ATTITUDE! It is one thing being a ‘believer’, and it is an entirely different thing LIVING like one, and showing people ‘how to die’ is yet another phase. The people you are ministering to now and have previously ministered to are and will be telling others of your example during this MOST trying time. We, too, miss seeing your name on our Bulletin! I imagine you are ‘going through a period’ that most ‘retirees’ go through – thoroughly missing being with all the people you have been with for so many years. That in itself is a big adjustment! Continue to feed upon God’s Word and strengthen your faith. If there is ever anything at all that we can do for you, please let us know! We love you and continue to pray for you and your family. May God continue to give you each grace and strength.

  6. lorie says:

    thank you! we serve an awesome Lord, His ways are not our ways, but they bless His holy name, I agree it stinks being disabled, but press on pilgrim the best it yet ahead, , ,

  7. Russ Arbuckle says:

    You may wobble like a duck, but you don’t look like a duck. Continue to press on pilgrim and you know by your words that God is with you even in a wobble walk. We love you Patrick.
    Russ & Karin Arbuckle

  8. Tracy says:

    Thank you for your continued honesty and your faithful example! So grateful God has allowed you to see already just how far-reaching your April message has been, and I feel certain He will continue to carry it further. Will definitely be praying for these additional opportunities.

    I’ve been memorizing various passages with a couple of high school/college students and couldn’t help but think of my verse for the week as I read your post. A great addition to your spiritual arsenal…

    “Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in Heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart, He is mine forever. ~ Psalm 73:23-26”

    • Leetha Tomlinson says:

      Patrick we are praying for you. You probably don’t remember us but one of the boys we raise was in your youth group at Calvary Baptist in Latonia. His name was Tony Barrett. Tony married Brandi and after 11 years of marriage they had their first baby named Samathia but she was born with down syndrome. but she is precious. Everyone at Calvary is praying for you. Take-care.

  9. Shirley Deacon says:

    Patrick …I heard you were going to be speaking on April 22nd, so I came to Cornerstone (I attend Bethany) to hear what you had to say. I have been through my own health crisis this last year, and I came very close to meeting my Savior “ahead of my schedule” too. I figured that God would speak to me through your testimony and did He ever!

    My daughter, Julie, and her husband, Glen Ellis, were working with the kids during the service, so my granddaughter,Grace, sat with me. Ten minutes before the service started, I looked around and could barely see an empty seat. I leaned over to Grace amd and told her to look around the auditorium. She said, “Wow, Grandma, I have never seen so many people!” I said, “Grace, this is how Christians support one another.”

    I forwarded the link to your message to a friend of mine who is also struggling with physical limitations. A few weeks later, I had an opportunity to teach our Sunday School Class, and included how God was using you to encourage and witness to others,.

    Though you may not be “officially” working, God is still using you. Many at Bethany are holding you up in prayer.

    God Bless,

    Shirley Deacon

  10. Carl & Lori Reichanadter says:

    Patrick, Praying for you buddy. I absolutely love your candor, and, as always your sense of humor! God has used you in some great ways and he will continue to use you because you are a man after His own heart. May He continue to speak truth into your life my friend.

  11. billie baucom says:

    Your thoughts, words, and attitudes continually amaze me. Only a man who is not just a Christian, but a man who truly loves God could possibly go through each day so upbeat and positive. I hope you and the “Editor & Chief” had a wonderful anniversary.

  12. Todd Neva says:

    I know what your saying. I just “retired” last week. Although I had months to prepare for disability, I was completely unprepared when asked last Sunday by somebody I had just met, “So what do you do?” If you come up with a good response, let me know.

  13. Cheryl Marie says:

    Thank you, Patrick (and Dena) for reminding us that God is so good. Thankful every day that the Lord made our paths cross. Your posts are so motivational and inspirational, it is obvious that God has a teaching plan for you.

  14. Darlene krucker says:

    God will continue to us you to bring souls to Christ! Love and Prayers Kruckers

  15. Mel Stull says:

    Read this and thought of you and prayed for you this morning. This by Charles Spurgeon:

    You are standing at the foot of Christ’s cross, trusting alone in the merit of His precious blood, and no rise or fall of the markets can interfere with your salvation in Him; no breaking of banks, no failures and bankruptcies can touch that. Then you are a child of God this evening. God is your Father. No change of circumstances can ever rob you of that. Even if by loss you are brought to poverty and stripped bare, you can still say, “He is still my Father. In my Father’s house are many rooms; therefore I will not be troubled.” You have another permanent blessing, namely, the love of Jesus Christ. He who is God and man loves you with all the strength of His affectionate nature—nothing can affect that. The fig tree may not blossom, and the flocks may dwindle and wander from the field, but it does not matter to the man who can sing, “My Beloved is mine, and I am His.” Our best portion and richest heritage we cannot lose.

    Whatever troubles come, let us play the man; let us show that we are not like little children cast down by what happens to us in this poor fleeting state of time. Our country is Immanuel’s land, our hope is fixed in heaven, and therefore, calm as the summer’s ocean, we will see the wreck of everything earthborn and yet rejoice in the God of our salvation.

    Brother Mel

  16. Les and Judy Johnson says:

    We really miss you at bible study. Our prayers are with you always. God Bless you and we love you

  17. Allison (Secrest) Walters says:

    Just want you to know how much I love you all and am praying for you. Praying these verses for you now: “Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.” (2 Cor 4:16-18) To God be the glory for your faithfulness. Your life and ministry are a testimony of the awesome sovereignty of Him who sits on the throne. I can never thank you enough for what you have done for me nor express how much you mean to me.

  18. Debra Armstrong says:

    Dear Patrick,
    When I read this, although I haven’t replied before, I couldn’t help it this time. I have been in spontaneous prayer for you and your family as you come to mind. The following phrases in your update that “I no longer am expected to go to work”, thinking “this is my early retirement” and “Although I may not be employed” struck me that one could become very discouraged and feel useless. I am happy that God brought to mind that He is always in the process of changing us and allowing change to use us for his glory. Therefore, Patrick, if I may be so bold, I think if God had no more “work” for you, wanted you to “retire”, or not be “employed” He would take you home already. As I am sure you know, the job we ultimately have is to bring glory to the Lord for all eternity and employment is merely the means He uses to provide for our needs while we are here on earth. Although I am sure you miss your “employment”, I want to encourage you that you obviously are still bringing Him glory and He is not finished with you. The changes and challenges in your life are causing changes and challenges in other lives – it’s all His PERFECT plan! I’m glad you didn’t “plan to go out this way” because this has spurred many conversations with my sons about how they need to tell others about the Lord as they never know if today is their last chance, or even if it’s the last day for the other person. Because you are important in their lives, it has hit their heart that God’s way (and timing) is not ours. It has also made me more aware of unplanned moments to speak truth or listen, pray, love and serve people. So, thank you, McGoldrick family, for sharing this journey with your heavenly family – it truly is helping to bind us together and bring glory to God as we serve and love each other. God uses all things for good to those who love the Lord.

  19. Lisa Kotal says:


    Today I spoke about you to a friend who does my nails. I gave her a couple of the cards you gave us to share with someone else. I told her you are bringing glory to God through this incredible challenge! Your message will keep reaching many people and, Lord willing, will bring them to the Cross. Keep pressing on! We love you.


  20. Mary Alice Stahl says:

    Patrick you have inspired me evry time I feel I can not go on some times I read about you and all the fears disappear I see your face and smile and I am totally all right thank you for that smile that is always there you hang in there pineapple upside down cake to the rescue love ya Mary

  21. fran Griffith says:

    Patrick you married Dan Griffith and Jenny Haberek August 12, 2010. You made us feel very comfortable in your Church and we thank you for all the advise that you gave Dan and Jenny. You helped them in so many ways and we thank you!

    We are so sorry that you have ALS, and we are in awe with how you are handling it. Not fair for sure, but God’s way.

    You are in our prayers and thoughts.
    Fran Griffith

  22. Patrick , Dena, Paige & Parker
    Y’all have blessed My family & I ever since the Lord brought you to Cornerstone, your humility & tender heart have taught me much. Thankful that your in our midst & are willing to share & be used by the LORD.
    Plus I thank you for multiple spiritual challenges ,encouragement & tough no nonsense advice,I’m / we are better having had you as a brother in our lives .

    By His Grace
    Ron & Kathleen

    Hebrews 11:6

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