Youth ministry programs

I am Potential

"How many today's do you have left in your life? If you are like me, twenty years old, and you aim to reach at least 82, you have 22,645 todays left". Patrick Henry continues, "Today is full of opportunities to do something worthwhile... So live now, give now, love now and laugh as much as you can."

These are amazing words from a young man born blind, unable to walk and with limited dexterity in his hands. "I am Potential" is Patrick Henry's story, with multiple comments from his father, one of many heroes in Patrick's life. Once immersed in the story, I had trouble putting the book down as Patrick tells us of his accomplishments and struggles in a life filled with determination and appreciation for what he was given and not a focus on what he did not receive.

Patrick recognizes that his unique struggle offers him unique awareness. He writes, "I can't form opinions based on looks. When you study history, it seems that a lot of problems are caused by snap judgments made about people just on appearance. Maybe their clothes are torn or they wear Armani suits. Maybe they're overweight or too short, or they have a big nose or bad teeth. Because I can't observe any of these things to me everyone I meet is perfectly human, the way God created us. And since I am not influenced by what I can't see, it allows me to tune into more important things, like the good that lies inside everyone. I believe everyone is capable of loving and being loved".

In many ways "I am Potential" tells not only Patrick Henry's story but our own story. I found myself often nodding my head as if to say that I was once there - not that I was unable to see or walk but there were times when I wondered what it was that God had for me to do in this life. Patrick's advice, "live now, give now, love now" rings so true in the midst of a life filled with planning for tomorrow's event and the next day's event that we never fully take time for the present.

Yes, Patrick has had "crosses to bear" but don't we all. This book helps the reader put the crosses in our life in perspective and to trust that God will be there to assure that we face no cross that we are not able to overcome. Patrick Henry's life is evidence of the potential to overcome whatever struggles we face through the faith that God will see us through when we apply the effort to be the best we can be. "I am Potential" applies to not only Patrick Henry. It is a mantra each of us should apply to our lives.

The book is available on and is published by Da Capo Press, a member of the Perseus Books Group.

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