What A SuperBowl Game!

We are so  honored to be with you each day sharing hope. Our outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. We just past 95,500 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

We have a promotion going with prizes. The person who was our 95,000 follower will receive two nice prizes, which we will not name. (This is called a hook in writing.)

WE HAVE A WINNER!! We will be notifying the winner by email, if they put in the right email address. I will also let you know about when the winner subscription happened, so you can know that it may be yours. 

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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 will be reaching out the many military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, PTSD, and the many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. Doug wants to help stop those statistics. Be looking for more details about the new book. Doug Is also seeking military who would be willing to do an interview. It will be part of the book. Sharing by actual soldiers will help many others. Doug just interviewed a WWII veteran. Fascinating! Look for updates here.

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It is time again for Taylor Wilkens to do his guest post. He always inspires us, and tonight he is talking about the Super Bowl.  Thank you Taylor for your insight, and wisdom.

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Super Bowl Champions 

Today is Superbowl Sunday and right now you, like most Americans, are probably getting together with a bunch of junk food to party with friends and family to watch the big game! I love the super bowl for many reasons— but the ultimate reason for me to watch is because I love good competition. After tonight one team will be crowned champion and the other will fall to second place. This level of game elevates the competition because the stakes are so high. Both of these teams have battled over the past year in the weight room, training, and competition to get to this point and now only one can be the champion. The crowning moment is hugely rewarding because of the effort put into a great victory.

Leading up to Super Bowl Sunday one thing has been ringing in my mind on a daily basis— “run in such a way as to win the prize…” It’s the summarizing verse out of 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 where Paul is encouraging the Corinthian people to walk out their faith with the highest level of excellence because at the end of this race there will be an imperishable prize for those who did not give up.  How much are you willing to fight for the prize? Super Bowl Sunday is amazing and the glory at the end of the day will be great, but temporary. All the time, energy, and effort going into only a moment of glory! I have so much respect for the coaches and athletes commitment to train and exert so much energy into becoming the best at what they do. We all have stuff in our lives that we put an exceptional amount of work into— yet at the end of all your endeavors, where will you end up? Where will your reward take you? What will be the prize of your life taken into eternity? 

“Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them; nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:16-17

The conviction on my heart is to follow Jesus with my whole heart. I have pushed all my chips into the middle, and I have found no reward greater than eternal life in the kingdom of heaven with the God who loves me so much that he offered up His life as a sacrifice for mine. Not only did he take away my sin and guilt but he is preparing a place for me in his kingdom. 

I believe Jesus is calling you to himself today, you are the prize he has been fighting for and pursuing— you are never alone, and you are always loved.

Today this is a Sign of Hope, that no matter the circumstance you are in, or the breakthrough you need, God is near to you and He has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

* New England Patriots won over Atlanta Falcons in overtime 34-28. 

 

Taylor Wilkins
twilkins@fca.org
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With the New Year, Comes Hope

We are so  honored to be with you each day sharing hope. Our outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. We just past 93,900 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it. We have a new promotion going with prizes. The person who is our 95,000 follower will receive two nice prizes, which we will not name. (This is called a hook in writing.) The number of followers raises fast. We are averaging close to 30 new subscribers each day. So don’t hesitate! Click on the icon right after the title of this post to subscribe to be eligible for the prizes. 

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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 will be reaching out the many military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, PTSD, and the many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides every day. That is almost one every hour. Doug wants to help stop those statistics. Be looking for more details about the new book. Doug Is also seeking military who would be willing to do an interview. It will be part of the book. Sharing by actual soldiers will help many others. Look for updates here.

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We welcome Tyler Wilkins back as a a guest blogger. He always inspires me, and I hope he does the same for you. 

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Today is the start to a new year, and with every new year comes a feeling of a fresh start. It’s not something mystical, it’s more than that. It’s a movement toward change, hope rises up as people dream of creating a better tomorrow. Many are encouraged to lose weight in hopes of a more confident and healthy lifestyle. Others set goals to get out of debt, save money, buy a house, get married, have a child and so on.

Yet others are not so hopeful… This morning I asked the guy at the front desk of the gym I attend what his new years resolution is and he jokingly responded that he set a goal to “survive 2017.” Although his intentions were light hearted I was reminded of the reality that so many people are entering into this new year without a sincere hope that something better is coming.

As for you on this new years day I want to encourage you to set your sights higher than ever before, to believe that the seemingly impossible is possible and that your current situation is not a projection of your future but is a sign that the old is melting away and the new life is coming. 

My goal in writing to you today is not to convince you that the mistakes, devastation, or hurt you faced yesterday has nothing to do with tomorrow. It sounds nice, but I believe it actually takes away from the fullness of joy you would otherwise experience.

As a Christian I have the privilege of living a life free from my past mistakes. It doesn’t mean I didn’t make mistakes, or even that I haven’t made mistakes since I gave my life to Jesus! But the penalty of my past no longer plays a domino affect into my future. Jesus brought into the world “good tidings of great joy.”

In Isaiah 61:1-7 God shows us somethings to expect with the coming of the gospel— “Good news to the poor, healing for the brokenhearted, liberty to the captives, opening of prison doors to those who are bound, the year of the Lords favor, the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn…” The list continues on but I think you can grasp the direction of God’s heart toward you in these verses.

I also want to encourage you to step out and trust God with your baggage. I am speaking to you as someone who lived my whole life in condemnation, guilt and sin. I was a liar, a thief, addicted to pornography, obsessed with the way I looked and filled with pride and a strong desire for money that overshadowed my love for people. I lived in a dark place without God for most of my life, a place without hope, and I thought I would never be completely free.

But it was in that dark place that God met me. Today I am a new creation, I have more joy, peace and love then ever before. I am happily married to my amazing wife Melissa. God removed from me the addiction to pornography, and every desire to sin and get away with it. My life feels squeaky clean, and I can’t help but share this freedom because I know it is for you as well.

Today this is a Sign of Hope, that no matter the circumstance you are in, or the breakthrough you need, God is near to you and He has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

Tyler Wilkins

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Salem, Oregon

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Stop! What Is Christmas Really About?

We are so  honored to be with you each day sharing hope. Our outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. We just past 93,350 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it. We have a new promotion going with prizes. The person who is our 95,000 follower will receive two nice prizes, which we will not name. (This is called a hook in writing.) The number of followers rises fast. We are averaging close to 40 new subscribers each day. So don’t hesitate! Click on the icon right after the title of this post to subscribe.

______________________________________________________________________

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 will be reaching out the many military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, PTSD, and the many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides ever day. That is almost one every hour. Doug wants to help stop those statistics. Be looking for more details about the new book. Doug Is also seeking military who would be willing to do an interview. It will be part of the book. Sharing by actual soldiers will help many others. Look for updates here.

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Got a surprise coming soon. Stay tuned to find out what it is. 

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Spiritual Eyes

Every Christmas season I seem to find myself in a battle against my selfishness and selflessness! On the one hand I am thinking about all the amazing gifts I could get for my friends and family, and on the other hand there seems to rise up in me this desire to get all the things for myself that I don’t actually need.
I believe life isn’t random, the feelings and emotions we experience during the Christmas season don’t just come from “something in the air.” In my experience the Holidays can be fun and stressful at the same time. They can be the best of times and the most dreaded of times! Why is that? How can it be that the season of Thanksgiving and the season Christmas can become so messy? As a Christian I believe with the right perspective we can unfold a mystery that to an untrained eye goes completely unnoticed.
So lets take a step back for a minute…
Christmas is the season for cerebrating the birth of Jesus Christ, the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords. It was through the birth of Jesus that salvation has come into the world, and set us free from sin and death.
Many of you have probably heard the famous verse in the bible John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.” It was the most selfless act that the world has ever seen. The King volunteering His life on the altar to save the people that despised him, spat on him, and uttered all kinds of evil against him.
Not only did he lay his life down, but it was for the joy set before him that he went to the cross. Jesus was giddy with joy to receive the reward on the other side of the cross. It is in this mystery of King Jesus and the cross that I want to get perspective behind what is physically seen and spiritually seen. At the cross their was nothing pretty happening in the physical. An innocent man was being beaten beyond description, flogged and tortured to the point of being unrecognizable.
It was not a pretty sight. Yet the Bible says it was out of an abundance of love that He hung on the cross. That’s because Jesus was seeing in the spiritual. Jesus could see through the outer layer of the flesh into the deeper treasures of the spirit.
Inside of the men and women who despised and rejected Jesus is a spirit created by God, made in the image of God, and worth redeeming. God even goes so far as to say, “His desire is that non would perish, but all would come to repentance.”
My hope for you this Christmas season is that you would have eyes to see that true value of your life. You have been created as the most beautiful of all creation and you are loved by a God who wants to father you. As we continue to inch closer to Christmas my challenge to you is to get to a quiet place and simply ask God what His thought are about you.
 Today this is a Sign of Hope, that no matter the circumstance you are in, or the breakthrough you need, God is near to you and He has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”
Taylor Wilkins
FCA Salem Area Director (Fellowship of Christian Athletes)
twilkins@fca.org
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he  do…” John 14:12
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Searching for Your True Identity?

We are still doing our promotions I next winner will be the person who is our 95,000th subscriber. As you found out here, it goes very fast. We average over 30 new subscribers a day. We will get there pretty fast. We just passed 92,550 If you haven’t already subscribed please do by clicking on the icon right after the title of this post.

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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 will be reaching out the many military and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, PTSD, and the many other usual suspects. There are 22 military connected suicides ever day. That is almost one every hour. Doug wants to help stop those statistics. Be looking for more details about the new book. Doug Is also seeking military who would be willing to do an interview. It will be part of the book. Sharing by actual soldiers will help many others. Look for updates here.

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So Proud to share with you a  guest blog by Taylor Wilkens. He is a new writer here at Signs of Hope. He is an excellent writer as you will see.

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My True Identity  

Growing up, athletics came really easily for me. I felt like a fish in water whenever I was doing anything athletic. Whether it was football, basketball, swimming, tennis, track or underwater basket weaving it didn’t matter to me, I was going to be the best at it. Because of my athletic ability people began to give me nicknames according to my lifestyle such as, the jock, Taylorade, and the chosen one. One nickname that sticks out to me the most is one I received in college and that was T-Flex.

In my opinion it is the ultimate meat head nickname and it probably paints a picture about my life at the time! I believe nicknames can symbolized what things appear to be superficially, but they hardly ever speak to the heart of a person. It’s unfortunate because often times we tend to believe we are what people see on the outside.

For me, I believed my value as a person came from my athletic ability. The value of my life was completely dependent on how well I could compete in athletics. If I did well, I had great value, but if I did poorly I had little to no value.

It was a roller coaster of ups and downs emotionally. I was either king of the world or a complete failure. This continued for many years until finally a new light was shed on my life. For me, that light didn’t come until after I hit rock bottom. It was at my lowest point that I decided, I’m tired of living for myself and I gave my life to Jesus  and began to seek him in a secret place.

After that, everything started to change because it was a new voice speaking over my identity. My value shifted from being an athlete trying to perform for people, to being a son standing approved before my father in heaven.

God took me on a journey to show me that my value has nothing to do with what I do, but who I am in him. One verse that encourages me and I hope you is found in Psalm 139:17-19 “How precious to me are your thoughts, God! How vast is the sum of them! Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand when I awake, I am still with you.”

God’s thoughts toward you out number the grains of sand on the earth, and all his thoughts for you are about the love and good will to you. You are precious to God, and the value of your life doesn’t depend on what you do. The value of your life only comes from who God says you are.

Today this is a Sign of Hope, that no matter the circumstance you are in, or the breakthrough you need, God is near to you and He has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Taylor Wilkins
FCA Salem Area Director
twilkins@fca.org
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he  do…” John 14:12
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