Eclipse-I Feel so Small in This World

 I am so honored to be with you each day sharing hope. The outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. There are over 50 new subscribers a day. The site just past 107,500 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

+ WE HAVE A WINNER IN OUR PROMOTION. THE PERSON WHO HAS THE 105,000 REGISTRATION WILL WIN SOME NICE PRIZES.

We started a new promotion. The person who is our 110,000 followers will win some great prizes. As you can see it goes fast. Don’t miss out.

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Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, is writing a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It reaches out the military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, PTSD, and many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. We need to help stop those statistics. Be looking for more updates about the new book.

* Update!! Went to a writer’s conference this last week, and met with several agents. Three of them wanted me to send a proposal for my book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of life. One agent seems to be pretty excited about it. You will know as soon as I do!

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Well, yesterday was quite a phenomenon. The eclipse went right over the top of us here in Salem, Oregon. As the darkness began to come it made me think of when Jesus took His last breath and the sky went black. That was the very first eclipse created by God.

We live on a Cul de Sac, and all the neighbors gathered and watched the show together. The darker it got, as the moon came across the sun, the more interesting things started happening.

There first thing we noticed was how the air got cooler and cooler. It ended up being over 90 degrees for the day, but the temperature went down by several degrees quickly during the eclipse.

Another thing we saw was that the city street lights went on. They only come on when it is dark enough. The outside lights for the houses all around us went on.

One of our neighbors has some chickens. The roosters began “crowing their song,” like they usually do when the dawn is coming.

The birds were really confused.

We could see some stars is the sky.

All this made me feel so little in this world. God created the sun, moon, and the stars. I felt like I was just a pebble of sand at the beach.

We all are a speck, in a speck, in a speck, in a speck.

Now that I made you feel so insignificant, think on these things:

Moses was a murderer, and wondered why God would use him. Abraham was too old to have children.

In both of those lives God used these unimportant men to change the world. Moses went on to lead the Israelites out of bondage. Abraham had his first son, when he was close to 100 years old. God told him to be fruitful and multiply.

What about us??

God created each of us in His own image. We are His greatest creations. He cares for us and gives each of us purpose.

Yes, even you. You have a purpose that God is waiting for you to fulfill. He has plans for you. He wants the best for you, because you are His child. As a father I can completely understand that.

Seek what God has in mind for you. Follow His paths He has laid out for you.

You are not a tiny speck in life. God created you just one level below the angels of heaven.  You are worthy. You are important!

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

 

 

 

 

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A Soldier’s Fearful Battle to Survive

++++I am very excited to announce we have a new guest blogger. Michael Thorin is joining us each month on the third Sunday of each month. He has some inspiring thoughts and ideas to share. His first post is about PTSD, and how he found his way out of the fog of this world. 

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I am so honored to be with you each day sharing hope. The outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. There are over 50 new subscribers a day. The site just past 106,000 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

+ WE HAVE A WINNER IN OUR PROMOTION.  THE PERSON WHO HAS THE 105,00O REGISTRATION WILL WIN SOME NICE PRIZES. 

We are starting a new promotion tonight. The person who is our 110,000 followers will win some great prizes. As you can see it goes fast. Don‘t miss out. 

_____________________________________

Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, is writing a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It reaches out the military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, PTSD, and many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. We need to help stop those statistics. Be looking for more updates about the new book.

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“Where Were You? Where Are You? Where Are You Going?”

This will be written from my perspective on how I chose to cope with PTSD, and how my decisions brought me from a wrecked marriage, anger and depression to a life full of love, joy, and comfort.

Where Was I?

First off, I served 3 months in Afghanistan as a medic for OEF, and then a year and a half in Iraq as a scout. I was assigned to a gun truck platoon performing convoy security and route recon operations on the most dangerous roads in Iraq.

This time was spent dodging bullets, getting hit by IED’s, and essentially being targeted over 90% of the time. I saw things and did things that had no effect on me at the time. I was simply numb to what was going on around me. I had become callous as my family was back home growing more and more emotional, while I lost my emotions to a darkness to the fog of war, and its’ effect on my body, mind and soul.

Where Am I?

Yesterday I was preparing a devotional, and I was hit with a wave of emotions. The devotional is simply related to the effects of PTSD, and how the VA approaches its treatment of PTSD. My wife had forced me to receive treatment in 2014, or she was taking the kids and leaving me.

Something snapped. Since I had gotten home at the end of 2006, I was miserable. Worse, I made my wife and daughters lives painful and miserable as well. I received treatment and still could not get rid of the nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, lack of trust, and my inability to feel any semblance of emotion. I was essentially a zombie with an attitude and a short fuse.

I was broken.

During my time of PTSD counselling, I found one thing very interesting; the counselors could provide self-help techniques for me, but they could not offer me what I needed: redemption and forgiveness.

What I found interesting was that all of the techniques could bring you back from the bad, but could never help you resolve the bad. While I was receiving tips, I was not receiving forgiveness, and this is what I believe to be the root of the problem.

One of my biggest problems was my inability to feel emotions for what I had been through. I thought I should feel guilty, but I didn’t. I thought I should be upset, but I wasn’t.

What kind of a person was I? Where are my emotions and why does nothing in my family concern me?

I was no longer worthy of my family’s love, and I was determined to drive everything I loved away from me, because no one could understand what I was going through. I began having fits of rage and anger.

I needed forgiveness, pure and simple. I needed to know I was still worth something, and that I wasn’t too far gone to become human again. The only way I could feel forgiven was to seek forgiveness from a higher power. The second person I needed forgiveness from was myself, and then my family. I needed to right my wrongs there and then, or I would not be able to go on with my future in peace.

My choice was relying on my Christian faith and realizing that I was worth so much that Christ had hung on the cross, beaten and torn, for me. I was worth forgiveness, and I believe I cried for an hour when that finally hit me.

Where Am I Going?

While I was fumbling through some pictures to prepare the devotional on PTSD I spoke about earlier, I found one that made me stop and thank God for the miracles he worked, and how blessed I was to have not taken the “easy” way out and gave myself a chance at life, a chance to be as close to normal as possible, and that was the answer.

I was no longer beyond saving. I was no longer worthless. I was no longer the guy that could not rectify what he had seen and done with what he was “supposed” to be. I was finally human again, and not an emotionless robot.

This picture made me realize the importance of forgiveness and redemption; they are invaluable tools in the fight against PTSD and veteran suicides.

I hung in and persevered through my faith, and continue to grow and see miracles and blessings in my life, and the lives of those I care about and love. Had I given up, I would have never experienced the miracles of seeing my daughters grow, and then give us two beautiful grandchildren.

My miracle is that I am still here to enjoy my family, and had I given up in the dark days, I would have never been around to see the brilliance of these good days. As I sit here writing this blog I can’t help but shudder at the thought of my never getting a chance to see these two miracles.

Asking for forgiveness is not that hard, accepting that we have received forgiveness is another matter. I found that my comfort in Christ was the only reason I can write this blog. It is simply a miracle. Reach out and find forgiveness, and you should also forgive yourself. It makes life work, or at least it has not failed me yet.

Where do you want to go with your future, and who will you rely on to get there?

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

Theodore Roosevelt

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Michael Thorin

Fultonale, Alabama

 

 

 

 

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The Old Rugged Cross

We are so  honored to be with you each day sharing hope. Our outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. We are averaging over 100 new subscribers a day. We just past 102,500 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

We are starting a new promotion. The person who is our 105,000 will wins some nice prizes. It goes very fast so don’t miss out. 

_____________________________________

Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, is writing  a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It reaches out the military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, PTSD, and many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. We need to help stop those statistics. Be looking for more updates about the new book. 

+ Update! The book has been sent to my editor this week. Now I wait and see how many red marks she will have in it. 🙂 

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We have our regular guest blogger for the second month of each month here tonight. She has a perfect post for the Easter season. She talks about one of my favorite songs. The Old Rugged Cross.

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The Old Rugged Cross

I cannot sing and cry at the same time. Therefore, I never sing “The Old Rugged Cross.” You see, I had a precious grandmother whom I adored. She loved to sing the old hymns, loud and off-key. And that hymn was one of her favorites. I can still hear her voice ringing in my memory. Jesus has been listening to her sing for the last 56 years. I’m sure she sings much better now.

George Bennard, a Methodist evangelist, wrote the first verse of “The Old Rugged Cross” in 1912 and finished the hymn one year later. It is said that during one of his revival meetings, Bennard suffered ridicule when some youths heckled him. After which, he experienced a life struggle.

I’m sure you’re familiar with the first verse and chorus…

On a hill far away stood an old rugged cross,
The emblem of suff’ring and shame;
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.

Refrain:
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

The One dying for the world’s sins carried a rugged crossbeam that fateful day…

A large, jeering crowd, intermingled with a great many mourners, moved toward Golgotha’s hill on the Via Dolorosa (the Way of Grief). A man, whipped beyond recognition, stumbled in agony under the weight of His crossbeam.

So disfigured and injured was He that the soldiers “laid hold on one Simon, a Cyrenean…and on his shoulders they put the cross, for him to carry it behind Jesus.” (Luke 23:26 Weymouth)

Jesus said to His disciples…

“If anyone desires to come after Me,

let him deny himself,

and take up his cross,

and follow Me.”

(Matt. 16:24 NKJV)

Matthew Henry wrote, “In taking up the cross, we must follow Christ’s example, and bear it as he did.”

Is it our heart’s desire to trail behind in the footsteps of Jesus so that we deny ourselves, take up our cross, and follow Him daily? I say as Paul did, “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death.” (Phil. 3:10 NIV)

My heart has been to Golgotha’s hill. The agony of that cross pierced the depth of my soul. My life received the precious blood of salvation poured out at the foot of that cross, washing me with the Savior’s forgiveness, cleansing me of all my sins.

Therefore, I will deny myself, take up that old rugged cross, and follow Christ daily.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown.

How about you? Will you deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Jesus daily?

From His feet,

Lynn

lynnmosher.com

 

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Stop the Stress, and See the Light

We are so  honored to be with you each day sharing hope. Our outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. We are averaging over 100 new subscribers a day. We just past 101,100 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

In our current promotion the winner will be the person who is the 100,000th subscriber will win some nice prizes. It will go very fast. This is a huge milestone for us. 

* WE HAVE A WINNER!!! At 11:54pm last night we had the 100,000th subscriber! If you subscribed at that time, email us at doug@dougbolton.com to confirm you are the winner.+

______________________________________________________________________

Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, is writing  a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It reaches out the military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, PTSD, and many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. We need to help stop those statistics. Be looking for more details about the new book. Look for updates here.

UPDATE!!  In the final stages of having the book finished. Much of it is already sent off to my editor. The countdown begins!!

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Glad to have Dennis Booth back as our Guest blogger today. He has an unusual post on visions. We have all heard of them. He has seen one.

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Whether you believe in visions or not, whether you are a Christian or not, I am going to share something with you that I believe will talk to individuals about where they are at present and offer them hope.

Recently my wife had occasion to travel and meet up with family during which matters close to that family were discussed and which in turn provided some spirited discussion that sometimes was bordering on flared tempers.

Fair enough that happens to a lot of families but when the discussion or call it what you will is all over, in the solitude of silence and contemplation there can arise a lot of hurt, a lot of bitterness and a lot of regret.

And so this last Sunday in church I believe I received a vision (I sometimes do) and this is what I believe I saw.

It was like a Western wilderness scene in the sense that there was a lot of rocky outcrop and on the ground not uneven there were giant cacti with thorns and smaller bramble bushes.

However in the middle was a road heading into the distance through a gap in hills in front of the outcrop and cacti and through that gap there was a brightness that almost lit up the entire sky but only through that gap.

And I believe I heard this to support the vision.

Many are having divisions, quarrels, arguments, strife with those close to them and many are being drawn into these situations.

But that same many know that they want to stay out of it all because it causes them to stray away from what they know is right.

The problem is in this situation not only has there been strife to the left but it has developed into strife to the right and so one side tries to get the person over to their side but the same applies on the other side.

Yet the path/road is still there and I believe God is saying that in these situations keep your focus, your eyes on what you know is the way out….it is ahead and by staying on the path you will see light very much like the saying, “light at the end of the tunnel.”

I think too often we tend to be drawn into taking on burdens that we are not meant to carry, too often we tend to be drawn into adding to strife and argument that we never intended to happen.

We may be staying out of it all, be seen as a fence sitter but I believe God is saying come into the light through the gap, out of the wilderness and all will be well.

Dennis Booth

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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