How to Reclaim Your Rights

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 104,825 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 175 away from the next goal . 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 on Monday. 

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Happy to say this is another wonderful guest blog by Taylor Wilkins, of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Taylor always hits the mail directly on the head. 

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Reclaiming your rights

Do you ever feel bad inside even when your external reality isn’t all that bad? Or how about the reversal of that– feeling good inside when everything around you is falling apart?

We have been created as complex beings! We have the ability to see, hear, touch, smell, and taste– while simultaneously experiencing internal senses such as imagination, memory, instinct, and so on. I believe the roots of all of these things are good. God created us out of his own nature when he made us. But something happened at the fall of man that twisted God’s perfect plan and spotless creation. God formed man out of clay and breathed life into him and the enemy immediately sought out to destroy it.

Unfortunately when the enemy made his first strike against humanity it was a successful one. He caused a ripple effect that echoes into our world today. It blows me away that one lie created this whole mess. It was the greatest and most strategic move in any villain has pulled off– but the story never ends with a triumphant villain! 

Where there is an evil villain an even greater hero is always near!

And like every good superhero story there has to be a damsel in distress! As Christians we are the princess awaiting the heroic prince. That’s weird for me to say as a guy, but it is difficult for me to find a more accurate depiction of what Jesus did for us. Now I could try to think of some other creative ways to explain this but I believe the best explanation comes from Colossians 2:

“And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.”

Colossians 2:13-15

Now Colossians 2 is the truth about our redemption, but one thing I know is that whenever God gives us the truth the enemy will feed us a lie to try and replaced the truth. Often times feelings begin to speak louder in my life than the story of redemption. The difficulty is when the feelings come they are real! They make me feel worthless, tired, frustrated and anxious. When Paul tells us to take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ I believe he is talking about the thoughts rethink when feelings start to overwhelm us. As Christians we have been given the kingdom of heaven. The truth is whether I’m feeling it or not God has made me royalty and his kingdom and because of that truth I have a greater hope for the future!

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


Taylor Wilkins

Greater Salem Area Director
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
(503)754-3783
“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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Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall, Who am I?

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 104,550 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 450 away from the next goal . 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 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 on Monday. 

_______________________________________________________________

Do you say your name when you are alone.? Silly question? Not really! Do you know who you are? Now that question makes more sense.

If you aren’t sure who you are, look in the mirror.

If you wonder if you have self worth, look in the mirror.

If you think other people don’t like you, look in the mirror.

If you wander why you were put on this planet, look in the mirror.

What does a mirror have to do with anything? What you see is your reflection and what other people see. Now that is OK, but here is the real reason you look in the mirror.

You are made in God’s Image!

God doesn’t make mistakes. When He creates something He says, “That is good!” He created the heavens and the earth and said that was good. He said the same thing when He created you.

You have self worth in His eyes. You are important in His eyes. You have a purpose in His eyes.

Stop looking in that mirror and be depressed, Every morning get up and run to that mirror and say “Good morning God! Thank you for creating me!” Then go out and see what plans He has for you on that 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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Rediscovering the Heart of Mercy

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 104,550 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

We are in a new promotion. The person who is our 105,000 will wins some nice prizes. We are only 450 away from our next goal . 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 recently. Now I wait and see how many red marks she will have in it. 🙂

There will be some incredible interviews with veterans in this book. Up to twenty different veterans agreed to let me ask them some very personal questions. Some answers will have you in tears.  Some are actually humorous. 

_______________________________________________________________

Glad to have back Linda Clare. She speaks from the heart, and sometime it is gut wrenching such as today’s post. Learn from a mother who has addicted children. 

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Rediscovering the Heart of Mercy

Linda S. Clare

When my son, who’s been a meth-addict most of his adult life, burst into the kitchen, the pot of water for spaghetti noodles was already at a rolling boil. He was boiling mad. Only a kitchen island lay between him and his younger and shirtless brother as they traded insults. The kitchen knives gleamed ominously in their block, as if waiting for one of the boys to snap. It was the hottest day of the year and the most violent behavior I’d ever witnessed from my meth-addicted son.

What they were fighting about, I didn’t know.

I kept my gaze on the boiling water, as my middle child threw food, shoved the toaster off the counter and ranted at his brother. We’d had trouble with fist fights before—mostly late at night when younger bro was drunk and his older sib was high—but this time was different. Meth can induce psychosis, but in the past, he’d always stopped short of attacking me. This time, if he pushed the pot of water off the burner, his brother and I would have serious burns. I prayed the knives would stay in their slots. I was petrified of my own son.

The cords of his neck bulged as he literally foamed at the mouth. We each told him to leave several times, but he wouldn’t back down as he screamed obscenities. No amount of pleading or negotiating seemed to help. My husband finally locked himself in the bathroom and called the sheriff. It was a pretty bad day.

For decades now, I’ve been astounding my friends and relatives by my repeated failures to use Tough Love effectively to drive my three grown sons to recovery. I know I can’t change their minds, and believe me, I’ve tried. Pros call me an enabler and codependent and it’s true. I can’t seem to “kick them out to the streets” so that they can hit bottom, any more than I can take my misbehaving pet to the pound. If I’m responsible for “crippling them” as one friend put it, I am guilty of lots of other no-nos too.

Part of my reasoning has always been that my addicts/alcoholics also have mental health issues, which complicates everything. But more importantly, until now their violence stayed in the realm of sibling rivalry. This time, psychosis and violence teamed up like the New Testament demon who caused that poor guy to fall into the fire. To keep calm, I tried to remember Bible verses.

Over and over again, Jesus asks us to love. To forgive seventy-times-seven. To turn the other cheek. Show mercy and we will receive mercy.  No condemnation. Love not punishment.

How do you show love, forgiveness, or mercy to someone who is psychotic? He wasn’t even making sense. He ran out as the law arrived.

The policeman who responded was courteous but emphatic. We were to toss both these guys out on their ears—today—and go to court for a restraining order in case they weren’t happy about leaving. The cop advised my husband and I to go live our lives and to let our sons go work on their problems any way they could.

I objected, citing their clear need for mental health services, next to impossible to get without a pot of money at the end of the rainbow. Social services strained beyond belief are why so many mentally ill wander the streets unless they go to jail. Self-medication is often the result of untreated mental illness. But this cop insisted the mental problems would go away if my sons got clean.

I wasn’t so sure. Questions rolled through me: What would happen to him on the street? He has little in the way of education, job skills or ways to take care of himself. But if he stayed, what about the feud with his brother? More violence? I couldn’t let that happen.

My psychotic son finally left with nothing except the clothes on his back. He needs help desperately. The system has failed him and millions like him, abandoning sick people to die a slow death from drugs, alcohol, unemployment, homelessness, hopelessness. That day, I felt pretty hopeless too.

But my stance on Tough Love also got an education. I’m pretty sure God’s plan for my life doesn’t include getting scalded by boiling water thrown by a psychotic meth addict. If he is this violent, he cannot stay. If he refuses or cannot gain access to drug treatment and mental health treatment, I can’t trust that another episode won’t happen. I am so sorry. For now, this may have to be the only love, forgiveness and mercy I can offer to him.

This side of heaven we may never know why such things happen. Evil wants to scare the love right out of me and you and anyone who tries to thwart its agenda. I have to stay safe but I won’t stop loving my sons. Or praying for their healing. I pray for wisdom yes, and courage. Courage to do the right thing, courage to stick to my decisions. Courage to keep loving my sons and my God, when a pot of boiling water or a butcher knife might be the last straw.

Today, as far as I know, my son is still alive. The situation breaks my heart but it could lead him to seek help at last. I have no optimism of my own—down here in the pits, everything seems miserable. My heart is a gaping wound.

But a broken heart is tender, fertile ground, where God’s mercy can take root. Mercy then picks up the shattered hope I’ve dropped and lovingly pieces it together again. Pieces me together again. Because He lives, as the old song goes, I can face tomorrow.  Yesterday, hope took quite a beating. But thanks to the toughest kind of love I’ve ever had to give, today it’s coming back strong.

 

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Time to Remember Family and Veterans

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 104,300 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

We are in a new promotion. The person who is our 105,000 will wins some nice prizes. We are only 700 away from our next goal . 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 recently. Now I wait and see how many red marks she will have in it. 🙂

There will be some incredible interviews with veterans in this book. Up to twenty different veterans agreed to let me ask them some very personal questions. Some answers will have you in tears.  Some are actually humorous. 

_______________________________________________

This weekend is Memorial Day weekend. It is a time to remember those who have gone before us and protected our country, or to remember loved ones who have passed.

There are far too many stories to share on our fallen heroes. I will share about them but first, I will share about losing our family loved ones who have passed first.

My brother and I went out to the cemetery where our mother is buried. We go out every Memorial Day to stand silently by her grave, and bring back thoughts of good times.

Our mother was a hero to us. She was a single mom, back in the forties. That wasn’t very common back then. Other relatives shunned her. She did everything she could to provide for my brother and I. When she was off she would do a second job like being a waitress. On the weekends she went to the farms to hand weed the crops.  She never had a day off in her life up until she retired.

She made sure we didn’t feel poor. I still to this day can’t figure out how she bought us a house to live in, provide food to eat, and still keep us happy. Her treat each Saturday was to give us a dime so we could walk to the Hollywood movie theater and see those serial shorts and a movie. (I was in awe when the hero in the serials looked like he was dead in the clip we saw one week, only to have him make it somehow the next.)

My mother was Wonder Woman. She never brought attention herself. She always put us first in her life. I miss her dearly, but I know God has a special place for her in His mansion.

The war combat heroes are many. My book I am writing called, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and out of the Trenches of Life,” is full of heroes. I have written about many who talked to me on the phone and shared their story.

I have shared my experiences while deployed to Korea. I speak out against soldiers giving in to PTSD. I cry for those who are maimed and in wheelchairs. I share thoughts on how to survive in this not so friendly world.

One of the heroes I talked to I met accidently. I decided to stop a t Carl’s (Hardy’s) fast food. I got my meal and was walking towards my seat. I walked by a man that was obviously a Vietnam veteran and a Marine since he wore a hat that said so. I thanked him for his service, and eat my meal.

I watched him. He was in pain. He had a cane. He was bent over. He was younger than I was. He got up to throw his trash away, and I saw legs that couldn’t hold him up too well. He had a heavy limp. As he walked by me, I asked him if he would like to sit and talk with me for a few minutes. He had that look like no way man, but when I told him I was a veteran as well, he sat down.

I started asking him questions knowing I had to walk a thin line so I didn’t intrude into area he didn’t want to talk about.

Her is how the conversation went.

Me: Where and when did you serve?

Marine: I was on a helicopter ship off the coast of Vietnam.

Me: What did the helicopters do?

Marine: They sent supplies to troops; Carried troops from one battle station to another; sent food to the villages for the food who were starving.

Me: What was the worst moment you had while stationed there?

Marine: My very best friend was a helicopter flyer, and one mission his helicopter had a problem;  went off the end of the ship down into the water. He and another Marine were trapped in the helicopter and it went to the bottom of the ocean. The water was to deep to try to recover their bodies.

Me: So Sorry my friend. Were there any other bad moments for you?

Marine: When  we came home on the planes the people lined the terminal and called us names, and had signs that called us murders and other things.

I have more from this hero, but you will have to buy the book to read the rest of his story, (This is called a hook!) and many other from WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, and Afghanistan

I want to thank all over our veterans and current military, for their dedication and service to their country. God bless each and everyone of you.

For those who have lost a loved one, like family, I feel your pain. I have been there. God is our strength, and our fortress. He will see us through the storms we face.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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