Hope’s Battleground is Upon Us

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 105,100 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. 

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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.

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I am excited to say Linda Clare is back with her monthly guest blog. This one is her best in my opinion. As always she speaks directly from the heart and doesn’t pull any punches. 

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Hope’s Battleground

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. I Timothy 1:7 KJV

The day the doctor pronounced my mother legally blind in one eye, we both cried. That same day, a close friend, also in her mid-eighties called me, worried her only son’s fourth heart attack meant he might die before she does. I was still reeling over my own son’s recent psychotic episode—a meth-fueled outburst I’d never witnessed from him before. All the while, more mass shootings rocked the nation as gunmen took aim at innocents.

A man had shot and wounded US Congressmen during baseball practice. Whether from personal loss or mass shooting, that day we stood with our arms wrapped around one another, grieving in unison. Each fresh sorrow strained our shoulders. Spring would never come and our hearts would always be frozen, stuck in the numbness that presides over tragedy.

That day, hope got whupped by fear.

Fear like we’d never known—until. Until the Twin Towers fell. Until Dad got cancer, until the long-awaited baby died in his crib. Until. Now fear stormed our psyches, bullied optimism into the corner.

In airports, we’ve learned to be afraid of bombs in shoes—from now on we’ll glance about nervously at the stadium too. Fear will follow our days and lie down with us at night. We’ll worry our sons and daughters will die before we do and terror will stalk us if we go blind in one eye.

Life is so much scarier than in the good old days, some say. Now just going to the mailbox or heading out to ball practice might end it all.  But as the world grows more and more dangerous, we must not lose sight of life’s most dangerous thing.

Love.

Love is the most dangerous way to live. It runs into burning buildings. Real love swoops you up the day you come home and find your suicidal spouse sitting with a loaded gun. Love risks getting hurt, and doesn’t make blanket assumptions. Love hopes all things.

Love knows that if we cannot resurrect hope, our fears will surely come true.

I saw this up close and personal the night my son went berserk on a meth high—screaming obscenities, he threatened to shove a pot of boiling water off the stove and onto me. After the cops left, I went for a walk. I needed to pray.  I walked and sobbed.

I cried for my lost son, whose meth addiction has gone on so long that it seems intractable. I wept tears of rage for my failure to do as the cop admonished: kick out my two grown sons. Most of all, I cried because I was afraid. Afraid I couldn’t trust God anymore. Afraid God wasn’t there.

Over and over in scripture, my faith tells me not to be afraid. Christians are supposed to trust God, even when it makes no sense.  That day, I was terrified, not of the prospect of my son living his entire adult life as an active addict, but of something deeper. Love was excruciating. Hope had left the building.

I stumbled along, raking in gulps of air as my nose ran and my throat ached. I kept my head down in case neighbors saw me mumbling like a crazy woman.

At that moment, I feared God didn’t exist.

Living in fear instead of hope has chilling consequences. When bad stuff happens—like blindness or heart trouble or when a nut job with an automatic rifle shoots up a ball field—fear orders us to assume the future, too, is loaded with horrible events.

Fear said to me, “Don’t trust anybody. Keep your fists clenched, ready to fight. Lock the doors and sit in the dark. Don’t make eye contact with strangers, in case they’re ready to blow themselves up and take you with them. And by the way, your addicted sons are hopeless.”

Fear laughed. “There is no hope.”

My heart turned leaden. The beautiful mystery of an aspen tree’s leaves left me. Every prayer I’d ever aimed at heaven seemed stuck to one side of the sky—the way the wind pins trash against a chain link fence. What if the whole story—heaven, the God of Love, Jesus—is just a myth?

“God. You have to be there,” I said, “You have to be real. If you’re not, nothing matters.” My tears grew hot as I thought of my poor feeble-sighted mom, my worried friend, my struggling, addicted sons. How could a loving God allow so much heartache?

Fear gloated, but something else said, “Dare to love anyway.”

I sank down on the street curb; gazed up at the aspen’s shimmering leaves. I had no answers. Still, a strange sense of peace came over me as I thought about those I care for. “God, be there for them,” I finally said. “Be real to those who need love.”

Somehow I saw that hope takes its marching orders from the One who is Love. Hope says, go ahead, love your neighbor. Open your fist. Look people in the eye. Forgive them when they screw up. Be generous and compassionate and stop letting your judgments about other people splatter all over everybody. And even if you can’t quite do all of this, Hope says don’t stop trying. Keep right on loving, right on hoping.

It isn’t easy. If I could work miracles, I’d spit on the dirt like Jesus did, rub mud on Mom’s bad eye and she’d see again. I’d give my friend’s son a decent heart and I’d cure my son in his fight against meth. But even if I can’t work miracles, I won’t stop loving. Or hoping for a better tomorrow.

For a while, I let fear take over my life. I questioned the faith I live by. And Fear delighted in my weakness.

But Love answered, bringing with it hope I sorely needed. All sorts of disasters happen in life, but Love says don’t live in fear. Don’t assume the worst. With Love, we can hope for the best, trusting that we are all valued, watched over, loved.

I stood up and drew my sleeve across my wet cheeks. My tears were spent but I walked home surrounded by renewed hope in the Lover of souls.

If you get a horrid disease or you go blind or your child becomes addicted, that’s awful. I’m sorry. But as we grieve, look to love, not fear. And then we can get up and shine our love on somebody else’s hurt, another person’s tragedy. Tell them we love them and hand over a piece of our hope. Some may push us away, but we can’t stop loving, we won’t stop hoping. We’ll march out to the sandlot to play ball, even though there’s a chance people might die. Love smiles when hope beats the tar out of fear.

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Confusion Reigns in Our 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 104,985 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

I have a new promotion. The person who is the 105,000 will win some nice prizes. We are only 15 away from the next goal . Some one, this week will be the winner. It goes very fast so 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.

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

Some incredible endorsements have come in. I will be sharing some of those in my next post tomorrow.

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With the happenings in our world today, there is mass confusion.

Every day there seems to be some kind of terrorist attack, or killings. A disgruntled worker comes back to work and shoots his fellow workers. A terrorist group attacks a resort in a foreign land.

These just happened this week.

No wonder there is so much confusion.

Why is this happening?

People have tremendous hate in their hearts. They will do what ever they can to destroy the happiness that others have. they want every one to suffer, because they think they are suffering. They want others to face confusion and hurt.

Well, It it time for all of them and ourselves as well to look in the mirror. Too many people don’t want to look in the mirror and see who they really are.

I mentioned happenings in our world above. Knowing you are a Christian, you know that you are not part of this world. You are a child of God. So the people who ARE a part of this world are those who are opposed to God.

They use God’s name to try to convince others that their killings are pleasing to God. They praise Allah and yet kill innocent people in a New York minute. They will what ever they can to spread confusion and fear.

The Prince of this world is in charge and he is a very happy dude. Everything is going according to plan for him. He is enjoying putting his victims up on his trophy wall.

How do we avoid all the tragedy, and chaos of this world?

Go back to the mirror. What do you see? Are you happy with who you are? Find out who you really are. You can come to the end of your life and never know who you are.

So many people have a theory that they need to know what something will do to help them. What can I get out life to make me happy?

People “want,” something simply because they “want” it. They don’t even talk about need. There is no need involved what so ever, just “want.”

We need to get back to the basics of reading the Bible and seeing what God “wants,” us to do. His wants lead to eternal life. We need to not just read the Bible, we need to do what it says. We need to hear the word in our churches we need to do what it says.

Seem simplistic but if all of us, today, lived that different life of obeying the Word, the world would change pretty quickly. People would understand each other more. People would reach out to help others more.

Show you love God, by listening to His Holy words.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Ouch! There is a Pebble in my Shoe!

We are still doing our promotions. 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 92,825 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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Lynn Mosher, one of our regular guest bloggers has written a post that fits our world today. Especially because of the recent elections in the United states. This is a must read for all of us.

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There’s a Rock in My Sock!

 

Ever get a pebble in your shoe or your sock and think, Now, where did that come from?

 

I’m a sock person. I wear socks a lot and, every once in a while, I find the tiniest bit of something irritating my foot. I turn my sock inside out, only to find a barely visible piece of grit. I shake out my sock and get rid of it.

 

Irritations, like pebbles, come in all sizes. We all have them at one time or another. Whether in our socks or in our spirits.

 

Usually, we struggle not with the big boulders in our life’s path but with the puny pebbles. The boulders we can generally manage. But the pebbles? They end up causing us to stumble, fall, or just be irritated.

 

They are like little stumbling blocks, little annoyances that get under our skin and in our spirit. They elicit ungracious thoughts that pop out of our heart and mouth that shouldn’t. Or to just stay hidden in our thoughts.

 

Guess who just loves to initiate those pebble attacks? The enemy. His vexations can come out of nowhere, like…

 

*someone has an opposing opinion of your beliefs and unloads a barrage of venomous words about it

*someone pulls out in front of you while driving and lets you know it’s your fault

*your kids aren’t playing nicely together

*you drop half your lunch on the floor

*the water company overcharges you

*odd habits of your spouse

 

Or maybe it’s one of these…

 

*fear of failure

*fear of not being good enough

*fear of rejection

*doubt or worry

 

Even the smallest grit can get in our spirit and irritate us.

 

Irritations will boot joy and praise right out the front door. And the enemy’s laughter will be almost audible. He hates our joy and praise. He gets a kick out of upsetting us, tripping us over little things. He relishes knocking “us down with a straw…Most of us manage better in our great struggles than we do in our minor ones.” (A.B. Simpson)

 

We have a choice. If we harbor those pebbles of irritation, we do not have a clear conscience before God. Paul said, “I myself always strive to have a conscience without offense toward God and men.” (Acts 24:16 NKJV) By definition, an offense is a stumbling block.

 

However, to counteract those stumbling blocks, we can choose joy and praise, which will ring the enemy’s death-knell.

 

What do we do with those irritants? We can turn them into pearls! Yes, pearls of praise.

 

A natural pearl forms when a foreign substance slips in between the oyster’s mantle and the shell. It begins to irritate the mantle. The oyster’s natural reaction is to protect itself from a foreign substance. The man­tle covers the irritant with layers of the same substance used to create the shell. And eventually, it forms a pearl.

 

So, next time your socks get full of irritating grit and you wonder, where did that come from, turn those irritations inside out and get rid of them. Protect yourself from the enemy’s irritants by using praise. Oysterize that grit into pearls of praise!

 

The worst sound in the ears of the enemy is praise from the lips of one of God’s children. The enemy hates it. Praise gets the attention of both God and the enemy!

 

May you protect yourself from the enemy’s gritty irritants by transforming them into pearls of praise!

 

From His feet, Lynn

lynnmosher.com

 

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Heaven is For Real

Thanks to all of you who have been subscribing to our site. It has been tremendous. We just passed 64,350 subscribers. We had quite a celebration when we passed 64,000, and look forward to many more of you joining us in the future.

Why is this happening? We provide daily words of encouragement and hope. Many of you come here to find help with anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, self-doubt, hopelessness and the many other usual suspects.

Help us to keep growing by subscribing yourself if you haven’t already. You can do this by clicking on the icon right after the title to do that.

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Heaven is For Real

Today there is a lot of talk about Heaven and Hell, but what is the truth of the matter?

Is Heaven really a place of eternal bliss away from sin and death?

Is Hell really a place of eternal suffering and damnation?

For some people it is vastly unknown what happens after death. Scientist are skeptical because it cannot be studied, and with so many religions making different claims about the afterlife what can we really believe?

The subject is controversial and intriguing, it gives people hope, and causes others extreme anxiety.

What do you feel when thinking about death?

During my childhood I spent a lot of time thinking about death, and I was terrified of dying! Some nights I would sit in bed for hours because I was afraid that I might die in my sleep. I thought death would just be non-existence and an eternity of darkness. I was constantly asking questions about death, and growing up in a Christian home I was given a lot of feedback about Christ.

One of my concerns as a child was whether or not my faith in Christ was legitimate. The Bible says to love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, but I didn’t know if my love for Christ fell under all of those categories. The truth was I knew the story about Christ, but I had never physically met him. Everyone kept telling me that I needed to have a relationship with Jesus to be saved, but how do you have a relationship with someone that you can’t even see?

Deep questions for a kid, but since death can’t be avoided I decided it was in my best interest to get some answers.

My obsession with the afterlife continues to this day, but the angle has changed. I used to be driven by fear, but now I am driven by Gods overwhelming love. Having a relationship with Christ is a part of my life, and it is as real as any other relationship I have. In 1 John 4:18 is says, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.” Because Christ is in me I no longer fear the punishment of sin, but rather I long for the day that he returns.

I hope you are encouraged, and remember:

Everything in this world will someday fade away, but Love never ends.

Taylor Wilkins

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

FCA

 

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Support Taylor Wilkins, who is now a minister through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. (FCA) His dedication to young people is being a true servant of God.

You can help him reach out to young people by going to the below link and donating to his mission:

 

 

http://willvallfca.org/taylor-wilkins

 

 

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