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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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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We Need to Do Things Together as aTeam

We have another promotion where there will be prizes. The 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 91,000. 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.

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I just got home from watching my granddaughter in a soccer match. Her team won 9-1.

The other team was from the school of the deaf in my home town. They never gave up, and I admired their sportsmanship. They helped our players up when they fell.

It is hard to be a team that will probably be losing many matches, but what I saw in these young men, was the desire to compete. They wanted to do something as a team.

What if all of us had that attitude? What if the world changed and helped everyone up when they fell. What if their desire to compete, and better themselves, spread to all of us?

This can happen. We just need to take inventory on our own world. Do we go out of our way to help someone in need? Do we stay with it even though the storms come? Are we thinking of trying to better our world, instead of ridiculing each other and looking out for # 1, ourselves?

Might be a good think to emulate these players from the school of the deaf. It might be a good idea if we strive to never give up like they did in this match.

God can give us the strength to weather the storms. We just need to reach out to others and help them survive.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never give up!

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Lessons Learned on Father’s Day

We just started a new promotion. The next winner will be the person who is our 90,000th subscriber. As you found out here, it goes very fast. We average over 50 new subscribers a day. We will get there pretty fast. We just passed 88,100.  If you haven’t already subscribed please do by clicking on the icon right after the title of this post.

______________________________________________________________________

Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, has written 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, 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.

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I have been bedridden since 6-14-16 due to an infection in my spine. That’s the bad news. The good news is that I was told I am cancer free! I can handle the infection with ease even though it means daily IV feeds of antibiotics for four weeks, and then up to a year of oral pills of antibiotics after that. The battle for cancer is much more daunting and often fatal.

As I was lying in my bed yesterday during Father’s Day I watched animals come by. A squirrel jumped over our fence planters. A loose chicken from the neighbors coups, sauntered along the edge of the same fence.

Later in the day I saw a Robin land near our ground bird bath. It splashed into it, and looked like he was having a lot of fun. He got out and flew to the fence above him. He preened himself for about twenty minutes trying to look cool.

As he did, he started to look smaller because the water was falling off of his body. A while later he took off flying to the north.

Not long after that another robin landed at the exact spot the first robin was preening itself. This robin looked around for a few minutes, and quickly flew off in the same direction of the bigger, “father,” robin.

I began to catch what was going on. The female robin was upset because the male was having a bath, and enjoying himself while she was back home keeping the eggs warm.

Things really started happening then. I saw the papa robin flying as fast as he could into a large fir tree in the back of my neighbors house. Not two seconds later the female robin landed right next to him. He took off again and landed exactly where I first saw him near the bird bath. The mama robin came diving right at him and almost landed on top of him. They both flew off again.

I will let you finish this story. Did papa get into big trouble? Did mama send him packing?

On the Father’s Day, this robin made the mistake that he thought he should have special privileges since it was his day. WRONG!

Mama robin needed his help even though it was his day.

I am I on a “deep end,” trip? Why should I tell such a silly story line? Because all of us dads often also take for granted that we should have special privileges on Father’s Day. We forget that there are no days off as a parent. There aren’t times you can “get away,” and do what ever you want.

The robin story woke me up a little about being thankful for family. It taught me that we should love those around us who care for us, even if it is a special day for us.

It just so happened that the final game of the NBA championship was on this Father’s Day. I wanted to stay in bed longer to watch it, but my daughter wanted to take me out to dinner on this special day. She wanted to show me how much she loved me.

Give up the final game of the 2016 NBA championship to see my daughter? Are you crazy?

I did give up seeing the final game. I did go out to dinner with my daughter. How could a “macho guy,” like me do that!

Because my daughter was born on Father’s Day many years ago. She was my lifelong present for Father’s Day. She brought joy to me on my special day.

So, on this Father’s Day and all future Father’s Days, please don’t think you should be able to be a couch potato, and watch sports all day. Don’t feel like you deserve it.

Be a good dad and enjoy the day, but still be alert to the needs of your family. If you have to give up that couch to reach out to one of your children, do it. If you have to go get something for your wife, do it. It may cause you some, “poor me,” moments, but in reality your family will be in awe of how you still put them first on your special day.

On God’s Father’s Day, He later sent His only Son to die on this earth for us. A supreme sacrifice of the Father of fathers.

This whole post could apply to mom’s as well. Happy belated Mother’s Day!

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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