Country Living Series

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Prayer request for Bill

Let me tell you a little story.

About 2 ½ years ago, a few months after I started writing for WorldNetDaily, I wrote a column called Rednecks Vote which was more or less a rant about the snobbery against rural and small-town Americans by the mainstream media and the liberal elites. I found it objectionable when people assume rural folks are too stupid to participate in politics or have intelligent opinions.

I received an email from a gentleman named Bill who related the most extraordinary background. He was raised with wealth and privilege. Private schools, chartered trains (with private train stops), various huge estates… the world of luxury and affluence he described is light-years away from what any of us will ever witness or experience.

But the world of the wealthy elites didn’t appeal to him. When he was a young man, he left most of that behind and instead learned every practical skill he could. He far preferred to work with his hands.

He’s mentored a number of troubled teens over the years, both in person and via the internet. Some he’s watched go astray and then return to the fold. He had a strong Christian conversation a couple decades ago. He obviously has a heart as big as the state in which he lives.

Anyway, Bill and I became cyber friends. Over the years we’ve emailed back and forth, recounting various parts of our histories, cheering each other on, and generally being pals.

He’s inspired a column or two, and I’ve come to admire his rugged independence and fierce admiration for the blue-collar backbone workers of this country. I’ve become very fond of him. Is it possible to love a person you’ve never met? If so, that’s Bill.

Then a couple months ago, quite by accident, he let drop that he has cancer.

Cancer! Alarmed, I requested details so I could be specific in my prayers. He was embarrassed that he let slip his condition and in fact hadn’t realized he had mentioned anything at all – drugs will do that to a person – but then gave a verbal sigh and said maybe God wanted me to know.

So here’s the skinny: Bill has Stage 4 prostate cancer. It has metastasized to both his shoulders and several vertebrae, and he’s receiving radiation in those areas. He writes, “I'm not having a ‘brush’ with death. I'm definitely going to die in about a year. But I look fine, and -- for the most part -- feel fine except for drowsiness, and this damned shoulder.”

Since writing that, his condition has deteriorated.  He most certainly doesn't feel "fine" anymore.  I don't think he has a year left.

It’s always distressing to face the imminent loss of a friend. But Bill’s condition caught me broadside and I’ve found myself saddened in a way I never thought I’d be – considering I’ve never met him.

But he’s a stalwart soldier, Bill is. Presumably he’s come to terms with whatever God has in store for him, for he continues to be bright and cheerful in his emails.

I asked permission to post a prayer request on my blog. I figure my puny efforts may not be worth much, but multiplied by thousands of readers sending petitions to the Almighty, who knows what might happen? It’s probably too late to pray for recovery, but it’s never too late to pray for a lessening of pain and peace of mind.

But he refused.  Gently, but he refused.  Strong individualist that he is, he felt awkward accepting such a gesture.

And he fights on. He writes, “I’ve experienced a most amazing increase in my closeness to God such that I’m not afraid. It is precisely the same experience that your friend Cheryl describes in that half hour video you put up in your piece about her – which totally blew me away – that someone else could so clearly, and accurately describe what I had experienced without even knowing me.”

Typical of his generous nature, Bill is asking people to pray for Cheryl rather than him. “She has two kids and a husband who adores her, and need her,” he writes.

Bill admits it’s hard to ask for help. The rugged independence that has marked his life since he was old enough to leave home means sometimes holding out a hand can be difficult.

So I’m asking for him.

Bill needs some help right now. He’s sad and lonely. He's in pain and low in spirits.  Being so far away, all I can do is reach out a cyber hand toward him. It seems such a frustratingly small thing to do, but it’s all I have.

It’s taken me months to convince him to let me post this prayer request. Now that he’s reached a stage where he’s letting me, I want to swamp him with love. Hear that? Swamp him.

So post. Everyone, please post something. I’d love to see a thousand comments for him to read. Be upbeat. Be cheerful. Be funny. Bill has a terrific sense of humor, so the odd and quirky and funny would raise his spirits and appeal to his humor.

Please. Pray for Bill.

112 comments:

  1. Hold Fast, Bill! You have lived a life of service, and example of Our Messiah and his love for us. He said, "If you love me, serve one another." Someone has to be on the receiving end of the 'service'. Your Turn! Love is the one thing that we take with us when we leave here. You will get to take bunches of it! Spread it around when you get there, and know that the rest of us are not too far behind. Rest in His Comfort, for the end of this life, is only the beginning of eternity. Shalom!

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  2. Bill, I will definitely be praying for you. I will also ask my 5 year old to pray. She has been praying for a very sick girl every night, on her own, for the last 3 years. Bill, you may just not be finished just yet. Hang on! And, I think the most important thing is to know that God has absolutely nothing to do with you being sick. God does not bring sickness. Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life. He cannot do the opposite of who He is. So, I can believe for total healing. We hear it all the time, but nothing is too hard for God. We must press through, and you may not be able to do that by yourself. That is when those in the Body of Christ can come together and do the fighting for you. But, God's will is always life. Stay strong and fill yourself up with the Word of God! God Bless!!!

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  3. Praying for Bill. I lost both parents to cancer.

    Let Bill know that we don't have to choose between paruing for him *or* Cheryl. Our God is big enough to hear - and ansewer - prayers for both of them, and millions more.

    Perhapse Bill is being brought to this point...your description of his rugged individualism makes me wonder about a touch of pride. Eevn after having been a Christian for 39 years, I still have a struggle with pride. Bill doesn't want prayer or "help?" We ALL need it.

    So, Bill, like it or not, I'm praying for you, as I'm sure others are. And take heart in that I'm praying for Cheryl too. :) We serve a big God.

    And for you, Patrice, my friend, do not consider your own prayers "puny." Shame on you. It is not your faith that will accomplish anything, but the One in whom you place that faith. You have enough faith to ask? There is ample evidence in the Bible that that is enough. It's not YOU, it's God who hears you.

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  4. Dear Bill,
    Thank you for the life you have lived...for the love you have shown. Heavenly Father, please, be very close to Bill and fill his heart with your love.

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  5. Oh, Patrice, such a weight on my heart for all who have been touched by Bill. I pray that God will ease his pain, carry his burdens, multiply whatever joy he has left and wrap His arms around all who love him when he finally brings Bill home.
    In Christ, Patti

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  6. Bill, I'm honored to be one of the first to post. My prayers are for you to be held in God's hands.
    Here is a joke that my dad loved and was always good for a chuckle. Enjoy.

    Two old baseball buddies with lung cancer were chatting on a park bench. Paul says, "I hope they have a baseball team in heaven."

    "Me too", says Jack.

    "Tell you what", says Paul, "If I die first, I'll give you a message about whether there is baseball in Heaven. If you die first, you can do the same for me."

    A year later, Paul is dead and Jack is sitting on the park bench when he hears: "Jack, it's me, Paul. I have great news! Guess what. There really is a baseball team in heaven."

    "Thank God", sighs Jack, "Now I can die in peace."

    "I'm glad you feel that way," says Paul, "because you're pitching tomorrow!
    (yes my dad was a baseball fan)

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  7. Dear bill, I am going to keep you in my prayers. I am asking for quality of life and freedom from pain. I will see you in heaven and if I get there first I will look for you. Please do the same.
    Your Christian sister, Doris Gregston

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  8. I had a sweet friend named Paul. He and his wife, Louise, were dear to me and to my daughter for more than 20 years. Paul was like a father to my daughter, as her own had left us before she was born. Paul and Louise nurtured her, took her to softball games and sang songs with her, sat with us at church, and held her close in their hearts.

    One day, not so many years ago, Paul told us that he had cancer. A bad sort that eventually, someday, always kills.

    Paul fought his cancer valiantly for several years, and with great courage, never taking his eyes off of Jesus. In his last days and weeks, when Paul was quiet and in bed, Louise, a violin virtuoso, played the music he loved. We sat with him, encouraged her, and felt the power of love all around. It was not a sad time. It was a time of anticipation. Soon the pain would end, and Paul would see the Jesus he had so dearly loved.

    One night, I had a dream. In it, I was standing in some bushes across a cobblestone path from what looked for all the world like an English country cottage. White walls, thatched roof, and a magnificent, overflowing garden. A rose arch covered the garden gate, and the lush abundance of blossoms sent a perfume to heaven. And there were birds singing so softly you could hardly hear them. But they were there.

    I noticed that from the house there came singing. There was laughter, the hustle and bustle of a group of friends happily at work. Somehow, I became aware that a party was being arranged. Perhaps I smelled the food, perhaps I just somehow knew.

    At one point, the heavy wooden door slowly opened, and out stepped a man in a long robe, using a straw broom to clear the path to the gate. The gate swung open, and the man stepped out on the road, hand at his brow, looking in the distance. Excitement overtook him, and as his hand fell away, I could see that it was our precious Lord Jesus. He turned to the house, and announced, "He's coming, he's almost here!" The laughter and music were almost visible, pouring out the open windows.

    I turned to look where he had been searching, and I saw Paul, walking towards the house. At first, his steps were slow and halting, and he leaned on fences as he passed. But then, as he caught sight of the glow from the windows of the house, he began to straighten, no longer leaning, and then he began to run!

    Paul was just steps away from the garden gait, when the Lord ran to him, arms open wide, face a picture of joy and love. The embrace was powerful as the Lord pulled Paul close.

    Finally, Jesus pulled back and said, "Welcome home. I have missed you. Come in and see the celebration we have prepared, my good and faithful servant." And arm-in-arm, they went inside.

    Bill, Patrice asked us to be upbeat and happy. I hope I have done that. This dream was a great gift to many people, and I hope you are encouraged by the message. Whatever the Father has planned for you, there will be a great celebration at the end! Just think about it! Jesus clears the way for us all to join in. Perhaps you will meet Paul!

    Please allow me the great honor of praying for you, Bill. That the joy of your salvation will arise in this most unlikely of times. That the gift you have been given, this life of service and a heart of love, will swell and fill you, that the sweet peace of the Holy Spirit will encourage and uplift you, and that you will anticipate that great reunion with your Lord, thou good and faithful servant.

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  9. I'm glad you posted this, Patrice, and that Bill finally let his needs be known so that many more can pray for him. I'm doing that now, and will continue praying. Wish I had something witty to say to lift Bill's spirits. I have those moments, but mostly, it's the quiet sincerity I'm known for. Patrice, I'm emailing you with something that you may want to pass along to Bill. It isn't too late.
    God Bless,
    Jenny in Alaska

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  10. "He’s mentored a number of troubled teens over the years, both in person and via the internet."

    Bill should not feel sad or lonely, for a part of his good spirit and examples of his wonderful life carries on with each and everyone he's reached out to......I'm not very good at humor when I don't know the person, but I'd say: relax, put your feet up and be at peace knowing you lived such a wonderful and purposeful life....Your body may be failing you but your soul lives strong for an eternity ;)

    Allow some of what you've "put out into the world" to come back to you now, in good wishes and prayers....Accept what you've worked so hard for all these years, to be honored for being the great person you became.....*raises a cranberry juice toast to you, Bill*

    And hey, keep a spot open at the party table for the rest of us, we'll get there too, eventually :)

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  11. Thanks for sharing, Patrice! As with many circumstances, it's far better to ask for forgiveness - which I'm sure will be forthcoming - rather than hold out for permission. Otherwise we'd never have "known" Bill this way, or known of his circumstance.

    Bill, doggoneit, you're in my prayers. Period. Nothing you can do about it. And there you will remain. So there, take that!

    May God grant you the physical strength you need, ease your discomfort, and give you a clarity of thought and peace of spirit until the very moment He calls you home.

    Warm regards,

    Jeff - Tucson

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  12. Bill,

    The Lord bless you and keep you,
    the Lord make his face to shine upon you
    and give you peace

    May the Lord life His countenance upon you and be gracious to you. Amen.

    You are now in my journal and this blessing will be prayed for you every day.


    MelTX

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  13. Bill, I am so glad that you are feeling the grace and love of God all around you. You have fought a good fight and your life has helped many others to be different and better because of you. I pray that God will just overwhelm you with His love and presence. Thank you for the race you are running!! Thank you for the attitude you have shown and the strength.

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  14. Bill, my prayers are with you. I'm asking the Father to send someone to you to keep you from being lonesome. But further, the Bible says in James to call the elders of the church and have them anoint you with oil and "the prayer of faith with heal the sick". And then the verse continues, confess your sins to one another.

    Jesus also told us to forgive others, or God will not forgive you. So if it seems to you that God is not hearing your prayers, perhaps unforgiveness in your life is preventing God from answering. I'm not saying that pertains to you, so if that's not the problem, and it's probably not, please forgive me. But sometimes what we hold on to as "hurt" God calls unforgiveness and then our communication with God is cut off. Even Jesus on the cross prayed, "Father forgive them for they know not what they do."

    I find it interesting and heartening that when Jesus was on earth, he always healed all that asked him. And the Bible says God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

    So Bill, it's not wrong to ask for healing, I believe it's our perogative as Christians to ask for healing and to certainly pray for the sick. And I've come to believe (I'm 70 years old) that our God wants us to be in health and prosper "even as our soul prospers."

    When I was 54 I had chronic kidney failure, gloomerial nepherits (I can't remember how to spell it now). Anyway, the last time I saw that Doctor, he looked at my test reports that after a year or so was now normal and said, "This is amazing, simply amazing!" Then he asked me, "What church did you say you attended?" and when I told him, Calvary Chapel, he wrote it on my medical chart, because I had once told him my friends at church were praying for me.

    My doctor had never seen anyone recover from that disease before.

    And through prayer, God has done other mighty works for me and my family in my life. Praise God. And it's not that he favors me. God is not a respector of persons. It's because I looked to him in faith trusting and believing. Sometimes I was blue, lonely and afraid. But those times didn't last and I always took my fears to the father and told him all about them.

    So please examine your life and forgive all, if you need to, then begin to look for your healing. And if it is your time to go to be with the Lord, and we all die, then that is wonderful that you soon will be in his arms and you will be full of his love.

    I pray also that his peace will come into your home and His love cover you like a warm blanket.

    God bless you Bill.

    Marilyn

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  15. Prayers sent up for you, Bill... May Jesus the Great Physician be close to you and grant you comfort and healing.

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  16. Bill and Cheryl will be in my thoughts and prayers.

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  17. Thank you, Bill. You have given and stored up treasures in heaven.
    Father I ask You to bring tremendous joy to Bill right now and strengthen him in Your supernatural way.
    Thank you,
    Rhonda

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  18. My sister is in her last days fighting cancer....39-years-old with a 4-year-old daughter.

    I hate cancer.

    God be with you, Bill.

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  19. You have my prayers Bill! Take comfort - you are joining a great cloud of witnesses. Hebrews 12:1

    "Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:4-7

    I'm looking forward to meeting you someday in glory. :)

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  20. Adding prayers here for Bill. What an amazing man you have described Patrice! I can understand why our Father wants to take him home, but I'm going to pray for healing nonetheless.

    Bill, thank you for all you've done in your life. It seems that you've blessed a lot of people on your journey. Well done!

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  21. I have just prayed for both Bill and Cheryl and will continue to. I pray for healing and also for peace and love to fill them both. May the Lord Jesus Christ wrap his loving arms around both of them. Keep your faith strong Bill and you are truly blessed to have such a loving friend as Patrice.
    MaryB in GA

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  22. Bill my prayeers are with you- I too am struggleing with recovering from lung cancer - I was operated on 10 months ago- and its still touch and go for me- i have good days and bad days as im sure you do- but i understand the calm that settles in after the shock wears off- and there is time to reflect on your life and all the good things you have done throughout your time here on earth... the peace comes from knowing that you have touched so many lives and that all the suffering and heartache is comeing to an end- so for the rest of your jopurney I wish you peace and comfort- and know that the fathers arms are waiting to hug you and welcome you home... God Bless you..... Glo

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  23. Bill,

    You ARE worthy of prayer....and you are receiving it. Father, wrap Bill in Your loving arms. Bathe him in Your comfort. Surround him with loving family and friends. Ease his pain. Fill him with peace. Gift him with joy. Thank You, Father, for knowing all of Bill's needs and for hearing our prayers. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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  24. Dear Bill,

    I pray the God of all comfort and peace would wrap His arms around you and shower you with His love. He is a God of miracles, so I will pray for that! God bless you for your servant heart and all He has done in your life!
    In Him,

    Amanda

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  25. On this National Day of Prayer, May 5th, I have included Bill and Cheryl along with Cheryl's children and husband. With this much prayer activity, how can we go wrong!

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  26. Bill, This earthly world is Notutopia.
    The next one IS!
    I pray to The Lord God our Father, for you to be given
    time enough to carry out all of your last wishes.
    I pray for your easing of pain and suffering NOW.
    I pray for all those whom you have touched with love and kindness to remember your name and for them to pass those gifts, you gave to them, on to others.
    I pray that you will close your mind to regret and
    concerns for others at this time in your life.
    For you, and only you are what is most important.
    I pray for God to hear all our prayers for you and multiply them into sweet song that only you can hear.
    I have never met you Bill, but I know you.
    And God knows you too!

    For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end. Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

    Jeremiah 29:11-12


    For this is what the LORD says -

    he who created you, O Jacob,

    he who formed you, O Israel:

    "Fear not, for I have redeemed you;

    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

    Isaiah 43:1

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  27. Hi there, Bill!
    Thought I'd read the article Patrice referenced to get to know some more about the man I'm getting ready to talk to the Lord about:)and boy, you sound like my husband! Takes a man who has been walking with the Lord for a while to understand the important stuff and appreciate the truth and beauty in the small things-because the world's view is just stuff and nonsense!
    I will be talking to the Lord (for both you and for Cheryl:))that the Lord holds onto you tight, eases any pain and answers those private, special prayers you have. He has a way of sneaking some surprises in when we least expect it! Remember, you can rest secure in Him with your head between His shoulders! (Deut.33:12)
    Blessings to you,
    Mary (and family) in Ft Laud

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  28. Heavenly Father,

    We repent of our wrongdoing and ask that you hear our prayer. Father, please comfort Bill and Cheryl and their families during this time of trials in their lives. Father, we ask for Your will to be done. Father, we would love to have their complete healing and restoration, but if it is Your will that they come home to You, them please make their last moments on this earth without pain and suffering. Lord, we love You and praise You.

    In Jesus' Precious Name,
    Amen.

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  29. Prayers sent! We don't know the number of days we've been gifted. We can only make the best of the ones we have. Based on the response here I suspect you live well and touched many hearts. My dogs remind to wake to each new day with a wagging tail and an enthusiasm for what's ahead. My hopes and prayers for you is the same. God Bless.

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  30. Bill, what a terrific person you are and what a wonderful life you've led. You (and Cheryl)are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Kay

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  31. God Bless you Bill! In this Easter season we are reminded of the incredible hope of Resurrection. May the rest of your journey be filled with peace and comfort and one day you will hear the words of our Heavenly Father "Well done, my good and faithful servant. Now enter into the joy of your Master's house"

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  32. Patrice and Bill,

    Here is a link that was sent to me just this morning that seems so relevant and timely:

    "Perspective":

    http://blog.hsoi.com/2011/05/05/perspective/

    The link to his story is worth reading as well.

    Not sure where Bill resides; however, when you mention a big state, I automatically think Texas - I live in Texas....perhaps we can join our cyber hands together

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  33. I'm praying that Bill is surrounded by a sense of peace and comfort as he journeys Home. I pray that the Lord will help to control his pain and let him know that he is not alone. We are never alone Bill, never. You sound like a wonderful man who has touched many and given much. Peace to you during this difficult time.

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  34. I have said my prayers for Bill & Cheryl & for all those affected by cancer.

    Can I ask a favor of you, Bill?
    When you meet our Creator, would you put in a good word for me, too?

    With prayers for Peace,
    Cindy in Texas

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  35. I'll send prayers your way too Bill. I'm a different religion, but I talk to God/Goddess/All That Is daily and I will definitely be asking for prayers and healing to be sent your way. To me it's not about someone's religion, it's about how they live their lives. You are an honorable person and I wish you well.

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  36. Dude, don't make me use stealth prayer. :)

    I've already told my friends to pray for you. You'll be in our thoughts and prayers.

    P.S. Don't be afraid to ask for help. It would be an honor to lend a hand and it would make my day.

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  37. God Bless you, Bill! We're keeping you in our prayers!

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  38. Bill,
    Every night before we eat our dinner my oldest boy says the blessing for our food. Then, as is our tradition, we go around the table and say a specific thing we are thankful for or that we would like to pray for. You (and Cheryl) will both be my families prayer tonight. Please know that my small family in Virginia will be thinking about you today.
    God Bless!

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  39. Dear Bill,
    Even though I do not know you face to face please know I hold you close in thought and prayer...may you be blessed with faith and peace as you journey homeward...much love...Kim

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  40. You aren't alone Bill! It may seem like it at times but don't believe it. I'm praying for you now and in the days ahead. God bless you!!

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  41. Praying for you Bill whether you want it or not!
    Just think you weren't comfortable with affluence and wealth, but when you get to heaven you get to walk on streets of gold and live in a mansion. Maybe God will give you a hut. It is heaven after all.

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  42. We are created for signs and wonders, so, like it or not, Bill, you just may be miraculously healed! No worries though, your celebrity status upon your healing will likely be short-lived and you can go back to a quiet rural life. And if not, I must say I've often thought that the only things worth stressing over are those that can't be done for eternity... saving the lost, helping the poor and pulling weeds. So, be strong, love fiercely and NEVER miss the weeds. :-) I lost my dad to cancer just a little over a year ago. Please believe me when I say I'll be praying for you daily.

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  43. Bill, I loved reading what Patrice wrote about you. How awesome that you turned your back on the things of this world to learn and do the things God wanted you to do!! I am a firm believer in healing and I will pray the Lord heal you and use you here for many years to come. In the name of the mighty Jesus Christ, be healed of your cancer!! My daughters and I just prayed for your healing. For the cancer to be gone and to never return! I believe it and they do too!! Please know there are prayers for you in Idaho.

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  44. I just came across this quote:

    "There is no cure
    for birth and death
    save to enjoy the interval."
    George Santayana

    From Patrice's words about you Bill, it sounds like that is what you have accomplished.

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  45. Well, I'm terrible at jokes, but I can pray! And so I am praying for Bill.

    Bill, I want to say: God will honor your life. I'm praying for a miracle. It sounds like you have a LOT of children - the lives you have made the effort to honor and change. Spiritual children, if you will. I'll keep praying. Jennifer

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  46. God bless you and your family, Bill! Our God is a wonderful God and He will bless you and care for you in your time of need.

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  47. Praying for you, Bill!

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  48. Bill, you sound like a treasure! A real honest to goodness treasure and it sounds like it might be close to time for you to reap your treasure in Heaven. If so please put in a good word for me and my family, okay? And check up on my little sister Michelle. She was a kid that had some issues here on earth and I have no doubt that she could still use a little loving guidance (and an occasional smack upside the head) from someone like you. And she is a character too so I have no doubt that you two could have more than a little fun together.

    And know we are praying for you. My mom is a survivor after being told she had at most 5 years. So far we are at about 17 and there is no sign of a change. You just never know and if it isn't your time then I hope you'll keep up your great work here on earth. And if it is your time (my sister had 3 weird accidents all in less then a week, finally being kicked by a horse took her home) then nothing will stop you from getting where you are meant to be.

    Much love and God bless, Heather

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  49. You set a great example for the rest of us and my prayers are with you.

    This one makes me laugh:
    A local priest and pastor stood by the side of the road holding up a sign that said, "The End is Near! Turn yourself around now before it's too late!"
    They planned to hold up the sign to each passing car.
    "Leave us alone you religious nuts!" yelled the first driver as he sped by.
    From around the curve they heard a big splash. "Do you think," said one clergy to the other, "we should just put up a sign that says 'bridge out' instead?"

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  50. For The Love Of AlpacasMay 5, 2011 at 12:27 PM

    Dear Bill,

    My prayer for you is that Jesus will sustain you, give you hope and continued faith and to know that you are very much loved by Him and by many others and He is always there, always. May God bless you with everything that you need at this time.You are in my daily prayers Bill...PRAYER IS POWERFUL IN AND THROUGH CHRIST!
    Sincerely,
    Your Sister in Our Lord Jesus Christ
    For The Love of Alpacas

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  51. I will pray the prayer that brings my daughter great joy and comfort....May God send down His army of angels to protect and watch over you. I pray you feel the wings wrapped around you and bring you rest. May God place His hands upon you and your family so that you feel His mighty presence and rejoice in His power and love.

    You will be in our prayers!!

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  52. Prayers of comfort for you Bill! You're an inspiration. God has already used you in a mighty way and I know that in His infinite wisdom that he will continue to do so. Regards, Alex

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  53. Phyllis (N/W Jersey)May 5, 2011 at 12:37 PM

    Dear Bill,

    Thank you for the wonderful life you were given. You have probably changed so many people's lives that you will never know about. One person CAN change world around him. You have passed it forward.

    May God wrap you in in arms and give you peace and comfort.

    Patrice, thank you for sharing his amazing story with us.

    Bill IS a hero.

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  54. Bill (and Cheryl), my prayers are with both of you.

    Yesterday I heard that it was Star Wars Day! How'd I know? May the Fourth, be with you!

    Rest in His peace and know He is with you always.

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  55. So honored to have met you Bill, through this blog post of course. God is gracious to allow us to hear about his mighty workers of which you are most certainly one. You inspire and encourage and I pray that the feedback that you receive will do the same for you. I pray for peace and comfort for you during this difficult time. Patrice says you enjoy a little humor and my kids are some of the funniest people I have ever met. Picture if you will me making bread in my kitchen while my 6, 5, and 2 year old daughters play a game where they are all israelite slaves. Or perhaps when my 9 year old and 6 year old nephew sat around and had a very serious conversation about identity theft. Let your mind go wild, it was just as funny as you can imagine it. My love to you In Christ, Abby

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  56. I'm not wordy but I can tell you I'll be praying, Bill!!!!

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  57. Hi Bill,
    Maybe by the time everyone posts you will have a nice little book. It is amazing how much the Lord love us. Look how He gave you a friend like Patrice who is making your need known. That He has loved you so much that through this friend others can encourage you in your time of need.

    How great is our God. Sing with me. How great is our God and all will see how great, how great is our God. I hope you know this song and are singing in your head right now. For He knew what you would be facing. He knows when He will heal you either here on earth or the perfect healing of being with our Lord Jesus in the mansion He has prepared for you.

    You are running the race and fighting the good fight and I am praying for you right now that Lord you will encourage Bill and comfort him and those around him. Give him strength to keep running and if it be your will heal him now, thank you that your ear if ever attentive to our cries. Amen

    Jeri

    P.S. I do not remember jokes that I hear or I would post one for you maybe I will get my kids joke book and see if I can find one.

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  58. Dear Bill,

    I wish I knew you in person and we could sit together and chat about anything and everything. That we could share a cup of tea and a scone.

    I hate cancer! I lost my beloved brother to cancer, and also the father I never knew. I, myself, was diagnosed with cancer last year, but it was caught early and am now *no evidence of disease*, at least for today.

    I used to ask my dear grandmother why good people had to experience pain and sorrow. She told me that God was in control, and that our eyes would be opened when we saw Him, and all answers given.

    I believe in the power of prayer. My grandfather was given 24 hours to live when he had a major heart attack in the 1940's. He was taken upstairs to his bed to die. My great-grandmother's congregation had a prayer service for him that evening, and he went on to live a full and normal life for another 35 years. My grandmother always remarked how my grandfather was healed by prayer.

    Sorry for the rambling. Just know that you have strangers from the internet thinking of you and praying for you, a good man.

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  59. OK, forgot to post something funny. This is one of my favorites -
    A rabbi, priest and minister were having dinner one evening. The discussion soon centered on when life begins. The minister stated that life begins when the baby is born. The priest, of course, disagreed. He firmly stated that life begins at conception. The rabbi laughed and said "You both are wrong. Life begins when all the kids are grown and moved out on their own, and all the pets are dead."
    Kay

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  60. Sven and Ollie were visiting Texas. As they drove through Dallas they saw a store window advertising: "Shirts $2.00, Pants $3.00, Suits $7.00".

    "Sven", said Ollie, "Do you see that store over there?"

    "Yah" said Sven, "What great prices! Hey - you know what ve oughta do? Ve shoould pool our money, buy a bunch of these clothes. Ve'll make a killing back home!"

    So they got as much money as they could from the bank and went back to the store.

    "Can I help ya boys?" asked the clerk.

    "Ya!" they said. "Ve vant $100 of assorted shirts, $100 of pants and $200 vorth of suits!"

    "Hmmm, you boys aren't from around here are you?" asked the clerk, "'Cause this ain't no clothing store, it's a dry cleaners!"
    *****************
    Ol' Roy

    A farmer bought a new rooster named Roy. Roy was touted to be the strongest, most virile rooster in the county. From the first day the farmer set Roy loose, Roy took after the hens and didn't stop until he nailed every one of them, several times. Any other livestock that came within reach wasn't safe from Roy's amorous advances.

    Then one day, the farmer saw buzzards circling overhead. Then he saw Roy in the middle of the yard, lying flat on his back with his feet in the air. Rushing out to him, the farmer fell to his knees and cried, "Oh Roy! Roy! Why'd you have die? You were the best darn rooster I've ever had!!"

    At which point Roy cracked open an eye and whispered to the farmer, "Shut up you fool! They're getting ready to land!"
    *********************
    O'l Roy Part Deux

    Years had gone by and the farmer thought Ol' Roy might be getting a little tired so he bought a new rooster for the yard. The young rooster sauntered over to Ol' Roy and proclaimed, "Listen old man, your days of ruling the roost are over. I'm taking over here, see?"

    Roy replied, "OK sonny, but before I quit, what say we have a little race. If you can beat me around the house, I'll step down. Agreed?"

    "Sure", said the younster. "Heck, you're so old, I'll even give you a head start!"

    "Ok" said Roy, nodding.

    Then off they went. Roy raced around, and around, and around the house. Screeching and flappin' and a hollerin' like a banshee with the young rooster hot on his heels.

    Hearing this, the farmer stepped out of the house with his shotgun, BLAM!, and blew away the young rooster. He shook his head and muttered to himself, "Dang it! Third gay rooster I've bought this month!"
    ********************
    Bill,

    To have your earthly sight fade away and your heavenly sight become clearer is quite a blessing. I will pray for you and your young charges that all will be well in the times to come. Thank you for making a difference in so many young lives.

    P.S. Say Hi to my father please. I regret not being able to be with him as he passed last year.

    Sincerely,

    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska

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  61. Bill,
    May God grant you peace and comfort in your remaining days, how ever long God chooses for that to be.
    Thanks you for allowing Patrice to post your personal info, so your internet friends can do as our Lord ask, we can pray for you.
    Prayers for Cheryl and Bill.
    Texas Nana

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  62. Prayers for Bill & Cheryl. Thank you Patice for reminding me that burdens and blessings make us stronger when we allow others to share them.

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  63. Praying for you and for your family, Bill!

    God won't let any one of you go-- He's got you all in the palm of His hand.


    Mary, Idaho mom to many

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  64. Oh my, Bill. Bless your heart. My prayer for you is that you will know joy, be free from pain and be able to laugh the rest of your life. I suppose that is a prayer for all of us!! :-) It is so reassuring to hear of your faith and your walk with God and it just makes me grin. Keep your eye on the prize - Jesus Christ, the author of our faith - and may God's peace absolutely envelope you!!!

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  65. Many years ago, my Father was diagnosed with Congestive Heart Failure. Towards the end, he would die often and be revived, only to make his heart weaker and weaker each time. After one of these episodes, he said "I'm disappointed. There was no light, anywhere." And I said, "That's because you are still here." And he'd say "I didn't see any one from my family "on the other side." And I said: "Because it's not your time, I guess." Finally I asked "well, what DID you see or feel?" and he said, simply "I haven't felt that energetic in so many years! Nothing hurt, at all. It was like I was floating and weightless!" And I asked "Anything else?" And he said "Ice cream! I could taste ice cream." We both got a chuckle out of that.

    The next attack was the last one, I think once he knew could still have some of his favorite things he was ok with leaving us.....Nothing ever ends, it just changes form ;)....Heaven holds all good things, and it is full of love.

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  66. Bill, I honestly don't know what to say. I am not a very good Christian, so my prayers may not help you. I'm a terrible cook, so I can't bake you a cake in your honor. My jokes never have meaning and my sense of humor is usually misunderstood. But here's what I'm going to do. I'll work hard to improve my own life and live more as you have lived. That's the highest tribute I can pay another mortal.

    Thanks for the inspiration, Bill. May God ease your pain and comfort you at this time.

    Sally the Sinner (working on becoming Sally the Saint)

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  67. I am praying for you, for your kind heart. I am praying for comfort. This story brought tears to my eyes. I am also praying for Cheryl as requested! Bless you!

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  68. Dear Bill,

    Any friend of Patrice "I'll Can Anything That'll Hold Still Long Enough" Lewis is a friend of mine. :) God bless and keep you.

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  69. Bill, I will also pray for you. God is so great and He has promised to be close to those who seek Him. May He comfort and keep you now and forever. God Bless!

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  70. bill, we will pray for you and for your friends who are praying for you. the air will be filled with breezes brought on by the wings of angels and will be filled with thoughts and prayers.

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  71. Dear Bill,

    You are in my thoughts and prayers. Thank you for all you have done here. I am praying that if your work here is done, you will have a gentle crossing welcomed by those you love. If your work here is not completed, I pray that God will grant you the miracles needed to finish your work. Above all, His will be done. Blessings to you and yours.

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  72. Bill- any friend of Patrice is a friend of mine! You are part of such an amazing community / family here and you know you have all our prayers coming your way & some good jokes as well (^the Roy rooster joke above ^)
    Sending love & prayers your way
    ~Clare

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  73. Prayers for you from Florida.

    Lord please let your Grace and Mercy pour out on Bill. Let his heart be in Peace and contentment that only you can give.

    A. Jones

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  74. God bless you, Bill. May the Lord lift you up. Rest in His almighty hand.

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  75. Prayers for Bill and for Cheryl.

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  76. Dear Bill,

    I try to pray with child-like faith, so I will simply pray for Jesus to make you all better. He can do anything. Nothing is impossible, as I'm sure you know. If He calls you home it is because He needs you there.

    I loved the earlier comment about the streets of gold, and maybe He has a hut for you! Ha! That was cute.

    Blessings, dear Bill. Know that you are loved.

    Red

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  77. Bill, the giving of one's self and time has to be the greatest testament one can give. You seem to have done a lot of testifying! I hope you are not in much pain. Rest easy, and find strength in the many prayers being said for you. Add mine to that list.

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  78. Up there somewhere, the jokes? The first one is supposed to be a Sven and Ole, not Ollie, joke. We tell a lot of those around here. In fact, here's another:

    Sven stopped by Ole's house one Saturday to see what he was up to. Ole said he was facing a job he found distasteful: The outhouse needed to be moved, as the pit was full, and that meant digging a new pit and relocating the outhouse, then covering the old hole.

    "Oh no Ole, you got it all wrong," said Sven. "You don't gotta move dat outhouse, you yust gotta clean it out."

    Ole said he had never heard of cleaning out an outhouse and asked how it could be done. Sven explained, "Well, ya take 2 sticks of dynamite. You cut one fuse short and leave de odder one long. You light both fuses and t'row 'em in da hole, den run like hell. De first stick goes BOOM, up flies the outhouse in de air, den de second stick goes off, BOOM, and t'rows all de stuff all over de place and empties out de hole. Den the outhouse comes back down in its place. All done."

    Well, that sounded like a pretty good idea to Sven. So they got 2 sticks of dynamite. They cut one fuse short and left the other one long. They lit both fuses and threw them down the hole, then they ran and hid behind the barn.

    Just then the kitchen door flew open and Lena, Ole's wife, came running out, holding her skirts high, racing for the outhouse. "No, Lena, no!" they both yelled from behind the barn. But she didn't listen. She ran into the outhouse and slammed the door.

    Just then the short fuse went off. BOOM went the dynamite, just as Sven had predicted. The outhouse rose high into the air with Lena inside. Then the other stick of dynamite blew. BOOM, all the stuff in the hole flew out and all over the place.

    Then the outhouse fell back to earth, landing exactly where it belonged, right over the empty pit! It was amazing.

    As soon as things stopped flying around, Sven and Ole rushed to the outhouse and hammered on the door with their fists. "Lena! Lena! Are you all right in dere?" they shouted.

    The door opened slowly and a dazed-looking Lena stepped out. "Oh yah, I'm all right," she replied. "But I sure am glad I didn't let DAT one off in de kitchen!"

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  79. Did you hear about when Ole went to the smorgasbord dinner down at the Sons of Norway hall?

    Yeah, the sign said "All you can eat - Three dollars." He thought it was such a great deal, he bought 6 dollars' worth.

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  80. Bill, your. god loves you and does not want you to be in fear. He is the almighty comforter and brings joy to his children. Nin this time of pain, know that you have people praying for you, that you have a God caring for you. Peace be with you during. This trial. Find comfort in knowing he is always near.

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  81. Hi again Bill, Another day, another prayer, another joke.
    Here goes.

    A wealthy man decided to go on a safari in Africa. He took his faithful pet dachshund along for company. One day, the dachshund starts chasing butterflies and before long the dachshund discovers that he is lost.

    So, wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the obvious intention of having him for lunch. The dachshund thinks, "I'm in deep trouble now!" Then he noticed some bones on the ground close by, and immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat.

    Just as the leopard is about to leap, the dachshund exclaims loudly, "Boy, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here."

    Hearing this, the leopard halts his attack in mid-stride, as a look of terror comes over him, and slinks away into the trees.

    "Whew," says the leopard. "That was close. That dachshund nearly had me."

    Meanwhile, a monkey, who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree, figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So, off he goes.

    But the dachshund saw him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figured that something must be up.

    The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, "Here monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine."

    Now the dachshund sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back, and thinks, "What am I going to do now?" But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet. And, just when they get close enough to hear, the dachshund says:

    "Where's that darn monkey? Sent him off half an hour ago to bring me another leopard."

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  82. Save the Canning JarsMay 5, 2011 at 8:26 PM

    Wow! As I post this, I see there are at least 77 other people who have already posted. I have not read a single one (yet) as I don't want these posts to influence what I would like to say ('cause if someone has already said it, I might hesitate to repeat...yet if the same theme keeps getting repeated, maybe it's because it is SUPPOSED to be said.)

    Bill, God bless you! God is able and He is willing! Bill, I encourage you to tell God every day, "Father, I receive EVERY good thing that YOU have for me today!" We are told to cast ALL our cares on Him, because He cares for us. He did not say cast SOME of your cares...no, He said cast ALL. People who don't even know you care for you because God cares for you, and you belong to Him. You are precious and dearly loved as God sent His Son to the cross to take away your sins, my sins, Patrice's sins, everyone who is reading this's sins. Yes Bill, you are loved with an everlasting love.

    Now may the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His countenance upon you and give you His perfect peace. Grace, healing, peace, mercy be yours, now and always.

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  83. I have prayed for a lightness of heart, freedom from pain and to feel the love and prayers directed at you so it may wrap you up and keep your spirit warm.
    Do not be afraid, God is there.

    I'll be praying for Cheryl too at your behest.

    Amanda

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  84. Patrice, thank you for sharing whats dear to your heart. I feel as though I know you and if Bill is a friend of yours, then I consider him one of mine.

    Bill & Cheryl, I've prayed for healing and comfort for you in the loving arms of our Heavenly Father.

    Bill, when you get to Heaven, please say hi to my mom and grandma...I've prayed that they are there to greet you and welcome you home, as I know they will be. I'm sure we'll meet there someday too.

    Blessings,
    Nina

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  85. Last summer, my brother-in-law, John, reached the final stage of his courageous battle with ALS. During his last week, he had hundreds of people praying for him. He got to say his farewells, and the 6 of us who spent day and night with him that last week got to laugh, cry, pray and love each other. On his last night, John told us that all he wanted to do was go to sleep and wake up with Jesus. And that's just what he did.

    When your time on this earth is done, and you see our Lord face-to-face, look not far away, 'cuz John will be close by. He loves to make music, and he will be glad to meet a brother in Christ who enjoys working with his hands.

    You, Cheryl, and Amy's sister will be in my prayers. I know God is holding all of you close. And in His time, the joy will be to hear, "Well done, my good and faithful servant."

    Thanks for the opportunity to pray together - what a priviledge! Hope you can feel the love, Bill!

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  86. Here in Oregon... lifting Bill (and Cheryl) in prayer, along with those who are near and dear to them.

    We may not know each other but for this wonderful blog that Patrice shares with us. Hope this funny from Crosswalk lightens your day.

    COW ADVICE
    A city man was tooling down a country road when his car sputtered to a complete stop near a field filled with cows. The driver, getting out to see what was the matter, noticed one of the cows looking at him.

    "I believe it's your radiator," said the cow.

    The man nearly jumped right out of his city slicker britches! He ran to the nearest farmhouse and knocked on the door.

    "A cow just gave me advice about my car!" he shouted, waving his arms franticly back toward the field.

    The farmer nonchalantly leaned out beyond the door frame to glance down the field. "The cow with two big black spots on it?" the farmer asked slowly.

    "Yes! Yes! That's the one!" the excited man replied.

    "Oh. Well, that's Ethel," the farmer said, turning back to the man. "Don't pay any attention to her. She doesn't know a darn thing about cars."

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  87. Bill, I have visited a church in redding California. It is called Bethel, pastored by Bill Johnson. see their website at ibethel.org. or ibethel.tv - This church has had so many cases of cancer being healed it is awesome. It is approaching a cancer free zone. tune into their website. go to their healng rooms. You will be healed. Andy - viola Idaho.

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  88. Bill, last night our pastor concluded his Wed night series on imitators, those who imitate Christ. He wrapped up the series with 2 Timothy 4:6-8. Paul worte to Timothy just before his passing:
    "For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing" NKJ version.
    Based on the things that Patrice has written about you, I have the feeling that you are an imitator of Chirst, trying to live your life as He expects and desires. My heartfelt prayers go out to you Bill, may the Lord bring you Peace.

    v/r

    Rob

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  89. Bill,
    Do you feel loved? Isn't this amazing?!! I feel loved here and my name isn't Bill! What an out pouring of love and prayers for you. What did it say in the last part of 'It's a Wonderful Life' on the inside cover of Tom Sawyer?' Something like 'a man is rich who has many friends.' I have to watch that part again to be sure (maybe someone can help.) Hey, Bill, I think you are rich! Please know I'm praying for you and if you need help ask the Lord and he will help you!...Lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.
    --K in OK <><

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  90. Bill,

    As of this writing there are at least 87 comments ahead of this one. I can't remember ever seeing anything generate such an outpouring on this site, can you? If they keep coming in at this rate I have to wonder if you'll live long enough to read them all.

    I've often loved reading your posts, and as I've said before, you're a man after me own heart.

    You're on a special list I keep and add to from time to time of the people I look forward to meeting one day in Heaven.

    Until then, may God continue to strengthen, comfort and uplift you, dear brother, and may He reflect back upon you the warmth of all our prayers.

    Love,

    A.McSp

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  91. Absolutely, Patrice! Bill, my thoughts and prayers are with you. May you feel the love and comfort of a thousand "strangers" and know you are not alone in your journey.

    Mara

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  92. Our thought and prayers go out to you Bill. Stay strong in faith.

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  93. Love the Ole and Lena jokes. Here's another -
    Ole and Lena had just married and were on their honeymoon. They were nearing Minneapolis when Ole put his hand on Lena's knee. Giggling, Lena said, "Ole, you can go farther if ya vant to"... so Ole drove to Duluth.
    Prayers for Bill and Cheryl.
    Kay

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  94. Hi, it's Just Me....adding my voice to the multitude. I don't really know what to say. Only that may blessings be with you. They show up in the most mysterious ways.

    Just Me.

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  95. Bill,
    I'm adding my prayers to the amazing ones here. I only wish I could meet you in person, since this kind of praise from Patrice most certainly makes you a very special soul. I pray for the Lord's will for you. My will can't come close to the love Our Heavenly Father has for you. And I pray for your heart, and the hearts of your family and friends, to be comforted and strengthened. I pray He touches you in such a way you can feel His presence and know He loves you and is with you.
    Sending you hugs and love,
    Lisa

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  96. Proud of Bill, for opening up and letting us share in his struggle.

    What use are we if we can't love on a brother or sister in Christ in their time of need.

    I'm honored and privileged to pray for (((((Bill))))).....And will continue to do so.
    (Those are hugs by the way.)

    Please keep us posted.

    Sincerely,
    In Christ Jesus,

    Donna G.

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  97. Bill,

    Thank you for serving the Lord by ministering to troubled teens. I pray that God will provide you comfort.
    Karen

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  98. Bill and Cheryl, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I recently lost a terrific coworker to cancer, and my beautiful red-headed 6-year-old niece has been fighting leukemia with weekly chemo treatments for 2 years as of this month.

    Seventeen years ago, my grandmother was diagnosed with intestinal cancer; nobody told her how bad it was, but the surgeon who worked on her told my mother she had "less than a 1% chance to live a year." At the time she had 3 great-grandchildren, the youngest of which was my toddler daughter. My grandmother turned 82 a few days ago, now has 5 great-grandchildren, and has lived to see her first great-great-grandchild -- and that toddler daughter of mine is graduating high school next month. And I have learnt the truth of the adage: "Where there is Life, there is Hope."

    You've probably seen this already, but just in case you haven't, here's a poem I once read and thought was wonderful:

    Cancer is so limited...
    It cannot cripple love.
    It cannot shatter hope.
    It cannot corrode faith.
    It cannot eat away peace.
    It cannot destroy confidence.
    It cannot kill friendship.
    It cannot shut out memories.
    It cannot silence courage.
    It cannot reduce eternal life.
    It cannot quench the Spirit.

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  99. Bill -

    Praying!! Hassling the Father's hem on your behalf and Cheryl's.

    Pearls

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  100. I congradulate you Bill for showing such courage and faith. You will be alright. Remember this, no one can beat the physics of how the world works since the fall. It is sad to deal with. My mothers death was the most inspiring and courageous thing I ever witnessed. Fear not Bill just hang on to Jesus Christ.

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  101. Dear Bill,
    Praying for the peace and love of our Father to wrap you in a soft cocoon. You've lived your life as Jesus asked us all to. Bless you. My prayers are for you and Cheryl and all children of God who need His love.
    Bless you and keep you safe.
    Nina

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  102. If Patrice thinks you are wonderful, then you must be more than that. Since she regards you so highly, I find that I must as well. You may not be long for this world, but you did a fabulous thing for those lives you touched and will never truly be gone from here. When you move on to the other side, and we join you, we expect a hug and a smile! And a hearty wave seeing as your shoulder will no longer be hurting you.

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  103. Kiwi in New ZealandMay 6, 2011 at 10:01 PM

    Dear Bro Bill, ALL of our Heavenly Father's children are of great worth! His love for us knows no bounds. Soon enough we will all return to His presence. For many it will be a GRAND reunion! My prayers for you have ascended heavenward and they have been answered. Much love to you Bill. Keep the faith. Kia kaha!

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  104. Please pray for me Joanna, to get out of my financial problem.
    I needed God's miraculous help for my desperate and seemingly impossible cases.
    Thank you so very much.

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  105. Bill,

    I have been thinking of you and praying for you since Patrice Posted...You have been heavy in my thoughts..I have been plagued by those thoughts, really, until it became crystal clear what it was I was supposed do...

    God has this way of whispering to me over and over something I am to do, and when I don't catch on quick enough he yells...

    So here is the deal, Bill,

    A week ago I got a call from a very old acquaintance that a mutual old friend we had both worked with was gravely ill and that the breast cancer she had beat 3 years ago had returned with a vengeance, metastasized in her liver, lungs, bones: she was a mess and didn't have much time at all.

    I told myself I was going to call her that evening. I absolutely could not do it. I picked up the phone and all I could do was cry. I told myself I would call her in the morning. There were so many things I had to tell her. I was a misdirected teen, Bill, and she (like you have done for others) saw all the light and potential in the world in me in spite of myself and loved me with an genuineness I had never known.

    I wanted to tell her I loved her, and thank her for loving me so unconditionally. I wanted to tell her that knowing her had made me a better woman. I wanted to thank her for loving me and being honest with me when no one else would, and for teaching me so many things simply by being willing to listen.

    She slipped into a coma early that next morning and was gone in 24 hours. I never got to tell her how much she affected my life those 20 years ago...

    Bill, my guess is I am to share this with you because there is someone just like me you have touched in all those same ways, and if you touched just one life (my guess is there have been more)...

    Patrice said "He’s mentored a number of troubled teens over the years, both in person and via the internet. Some he’s watched go astray and then return to the fold. He had a strong Christian conversation a couple decades ago. He obviously has a heart as big as the state in which he lives."

    You are one of those rare breeds who is able to extend to someone genuine grace, share a different kind of hope, and to love someone with understanding and sincerity when everyone else wants to walk away...It sounds so simple written here, but drink in all those words with the meaning Jesus conveyed and it is a profoundly difficult thing...

    You are blessing. You have lived an incredibly rich life. To know heartache for someone lost to the struggles of this world is a beautiful thing...Beautiful because so few are truly able to put themselves in that position willingly. Many are drug there unwillingly, thrust into the fire with troubled family members, friends or loved ones... but those few strangers who reach out when they don't have to...and genuinely hurt for them in a way even their own kin are not able to?...that, is EXACTLY what Jesus had in mind.

    When you get to Heaven Bill, would you please tell Shirley (I called her squirrel) how much she meant to me? Please give her a hug...She will be the funny one with a heart as big as a sunflower..

    My heart humbly thanks you for reaching out to youngsters the likes of me (20 years ago)...the seeds you and others like you plant do take root, they do blossom and grow, and eventually thrive and turn into God fearing, Jesus Loving people who have a depth and understanding for life and love and how incredibly fragile it is that is unsurpassed. It is all because of people like you.

    May God hold you tight, Bill.

    The kingdom of God is within you...

    Kim

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  106. Bill,
    David asked; "What is man, that you are mindful of him?" God delights in us,... in you Bill. I don't know you but I love you and I pray that God's will be done for God's glory and that your reward be the joy of the Lord. I don't know or presume that your physical body will be healed. I do know that your spirit is with "The Healer" now and forevermore. Amen

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  107. To all of the kind posters here and now, I would like to say thankyou. Being gracious is more than just a word. It is an irrational act of mercy. It is God's love in action. The kind of love that can forgive your killers(on a personal level) because there is a HUGE picture that we are not in on. We will have the answer when the time is right. It will be alright!

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  108. Praying for God's perfect will.

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  109. I found this article very helpful to me ...thanks for such a good work

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  110. Bill, I am praying for a buyer for your condo, and that peace of God which passes all understanding for you.
    In Christ,
    Xa Lynn

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