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Introduction. My sisters planned to go to church camp (Eastern) in the summer of 2000 they asked me what to say if they are asked how I am.  I wrote this letter to answer them.  I also envision it as an perfect opportunity to share my faith to those I didn't know. What happened is incredible, during youth praise and worship my story was shared and this letter was passed out to a couple hundred people. From there it became widely distributed. Many people were touched by it, some were inspired to write poems and songs about me, others gained faith in God. I'm only boasting of what God has done with it, not in myself. So please read it.

Phil Toth

7309 Draper Avenue

La Jolla, CA 92037

 

 

Saturday, July 8, 2000

 

Dear Friend;

 

I hope this letter finds you in a great mood and full of Godís grace! I want to tell you about the hope I have in Christ, as well as an update of how God is leading me through my current physical challenges.

 

A bit about myself; my name is Phil Toth, Iím from California, 24 years old, I am a Christian, I was baptized March 20th 1994 at the San Diego church where I am a member.

 

First, Iíve been living on prayers-so I thank you for yours-please continue to pray for me. I also am very appreciative of the financial support youíve sent, I equate it as from God.  Thank you!

 

Let me quickly recap what has been happening to me:  In the summer of 1997 I started to notice a loss of balance, then my knees started to ďgive outĒ along with a general sense of fatigue.  This slowly progressed to all areas of my body.  In May of 1999 my neurologist diagnosed me with ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis/Lou Gehrig's Disease/Motor Neuron Disease).

 

Modern medicine has not found a cause, cure, or effective treatment/drug for ALS. The medical community reports people with ALS usually live about 2-5 years. What happens is-the motor nerve cells in the brain and spine start to slowly disintegrate until they are unable to send the correct signals to the muscles, since the muscles arenít receiving the correct impulses they slowly die off. This is accompanied with general overall weakness, tremors and twitching.

 

So far my physical limitations are: the muscles in my arms, hands, fingers, legs, abs, face, etc. don't work very well. I am fully dependant on others to do simple tasks (e.g. stand up/walk). I require constant care. My voice is greatly effected, sometimes my family cannot understand what Iím saying, this is frustrating. The one area I am physically independent in, is the computer (I'm using an onscreen keyboard right now, using a mouse) If you have access to the internet check out my website at: www.philtoth.com

 

As negative as this may sound it actually is very good and beneficial for me. In fact, I thank God for leading me through this! It has brought me closer to God [it would be worth it if this is all it did], it also caused me to reevaluate my life and see if Iím in the faith, caused me to experience the love of my brothers and sisters in Christ, near and far. Taught me to depend fully on the Word of God, my knowledge of the Word increased, as well as maturing in faith. My family and friends are allot closer now. Additionally Iíve been learning allot more about health, nutrition and taking care of my body. The benefits of my situation are endless.

 

When you pray for me it is important that you truly believe. Have faith in God that He will heal me. Jesus says ďwhatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receiveĒ (Matt. 21:22) Yes, I know it must be according to Godís will, that is no reason not to believe God will heal me, in fact He commands real belief to be accompanied with prayer.  So if you pray that God will heal me, believe it.

 

I have faith in reversing my current physical limitations. I know God is able. While modern medicine has not found any treatment to alter this condition Iíve learned to depend fully on God. I donít consider myself a hopeless victim, I havenít done anything so special that I deserve physical health, actually Iíve done the opposite, I ate the wrong foods, drank unhealthy drinks, little exercise,  worried about finances, etc. I worked really hard at getting sick.  I take full responsibility for my health. I am convinced the human body has amazing healing properties and if I stop doing the things that got me sick, and start working really hard with things that will get me well, healing is a real good possibility. I challenge you to make healthy choices in your life (you know what you have to do).

 

When I was physically able I focused way to much on myself and not on sharing Godís message, this has changed, if God strengthens me I am determined to fulfill the great commission, and proclaim the message to every creature.  If you are able I encourage you to do the same.

 

The goal and hope of my life is the day I resurrect from the dead. According to the Bible (Rom. 6:5) those who have been saved by Christ in salvation (his death), will also be raised from the dead just as He was. In 1 Cor 15 Paul likens our physical resurrection to a dry little seed, it doesnít grow into a plant unless it dies first. Then God gives it a new body, further on, he explains itís same way we are resurrected from the dead. Our bodies may be weak now and will die but they will be different when they are resurrected, theyíll never die, be full of glory and full of power. Theyíre normal human bodies now, when they are raised, theyíll be spiritual bodies. Just as we have human bodies now, we will have spiritual bodies then.

 

Acts 24:15 ď. . . there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjustĒ If your hope is not in the resurrection, here is why you need that hope--> To do that we will go through the Ten Commandments to see if you need forgiveness . . . have you ever told a lie? If you have, then you are a liar. Have you ever stolen (value is irrelevant)? Then you are a thief. Jesus said if you look with lust, you are an adulterer. If you hate, then you have committed murder in your heart. Have you loved God above all else? Have you made a 'god' to suit yourself (having your own beliefs about God)? Have you used God's name to curse, or been greedy? Have you kept the Sabbath holy, honored your parents? Have you broken the Ten Commandments?

 

Knowing that God has seen your thought-life, and every deed done in darkness, will you be innocent or guilty on Judgment Day? You know you will be guilty. So, will you end up in Heaven or Hell? The only thing you can do to be saved from His anger, is to repent and to put your faith in the Savior, Jesus Christ. When He died on the Cross, He took the punishment for our sins. He stepped into the Courtroom and paid the fine for us. Then He rose from the dead, defeating death. Confess your sins to God now, put your faith in Jesus, and you will pass from death into life. Read the Bible daily and obey what you read (check out John 14:21) -- God will never let you down! 

 

I hope this letter encourages you. Please pray and believe that God will heal me. Thank you for taking the time to read this.

 

In Jesusí love and grace,

 

Phil Toth

 

That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.

Phil 3:10-11