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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Faith Requires Refusals in Our Lives

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 90,690. 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, 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, 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.
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Lord, you are # 1, but I have some other loves in my life.

That is how many people live their lives. They are believers, but have their priorities backwards. They want to go to church. They try to live a honest and good life, but there is a big void in their hearts.

How do I know this? It is because I have been there myself. There have been times when I felt like taking on this world by myself. I felt things were going great so why take time to pray, or read the Bible.

It was like I was jumping over a cliff and expecting me to be able to fly on my own. It isn’t going to happen my friend.

I have been through too many battles of adversity the last fifteen years to think that God isn’t important. I have been on a death bed. I have been through incredible pain. I have faced the unknown when they tried to find out what was wrong with me physically.

If I hadn’t put God first in my life during these times, I am not sure I would be here typing this post tonight.

There were nights of depression. I called out to God, and he gave me peace.

There were nights that I was very afraid. God held my hand and helped me through the storm.

We must remember that God brings light into the darkness. We need to remember that we are His children. He created us in His own image.

I have learned:

  • Going through the days without God leads to a dead end.
  • Not going to church causes me to slide. I need the fellowship of my fellow Christian brothers and sisters.
  • This life on earth s temporary, but life with God is eternal.
  • That I cannot let the dark side pull me down. God is my strength, and my fortress.
  • Playing the victim is never a good thing. Living on the promises of God is a good thing.

So,  what if your healing came through tears? What if many storms come? What is the pain is overwhelming?

There is some versus from a song that I really love:

“In my hurts; in my worst moments; in my storms, you will not forsake me.”

Every time I hear those words and are actually singing them it gives me hope. It gives me peace.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

 

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I Paid Nothing but I Got Everything

For one of our promotions you have to have subscribed and have a valid email address for us to connect with, to award you your prizes. 

We are growing very fast. Thanks to all of you who have been joining us.  

We are doing another promotion with great prizes involved. We are now at  79,260 subscribers. This promotion will be a big one, because we will reach 80,000.  We will be giving away prizes for the person who is our 80,000th subscriber. That will be a milestone. This promotion will go fast. We have many new subscribers a day. So don’t wait. Subscribe today. Just click on the icon right after the title to do that.
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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. Doug sent off his mini proposal to an agent who is very interested in his concept. We will update you when we hear more.
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Some people have enough wealth to change many lives. Most of those same people spend their money on themselves. What a different world would have if we all shared something for others. We all could be a special blessing for someone during the tough holiday time when they have nothing.
What if I told you I paid nothing for the most cherished prizes in the world? What if you could get the most cherished gifts yourself without paying for them?
I am sure you know where I am going.
Here are the free gifts you don’t have to pay anything for:
God’s love.
God’s forgiveness.
God’s acceptance.
But the most special gift is salvation. Someone else paid the price for that. Jesus died on the cross so that you could have salvation for free.
So, think about this when you feel you don’t have much. Think about this when you are feeling depressed. Think about this when you get angry with God for something that has happened to you.
If you are one who is lacking support, or battling afflictions, plus personal demons, God and Jesus said the following statements many times in the Bible. It is written 365 times. One for everyday of the year. It is said many different ways but it means the same:
  • Do not fear!
  • Do not be afraid!
  • Fear not!

In my first book I had a chapter called, Worry is the Dark Room Where Negatives Develop.

It also says in the Bible that we do not gain one day by worrying. Worry drags us down like a huge magnate.

So stop giving in to fear. Stop worrying about things that may never happen. If they do, turn them over to God.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

 

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If I Fail, Should I Give up?

To  win one of our promotions you have to have subscribed and have a valid email address for us to connect with to award you your prizes.

We have started a new promotion with the same prizes involved. The person who is the 72,000th subscriber will win two prizes that will be announced after we have established a winner. We are now at 71,870 so we are rolling fast to our next winning spot. We only have 130 to go to find our next winner. That could happen in the next two days.
We hope to keep growing every day, so if you haven’t already subscribed please do now. You just click on the icon right after the title to do that. ________________________________________________________________
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. He got back from a writer’s conference recently and had some very positive meetings with some agents who are interested in taking him on as a client for his new book. He will up date you as he finds out more.
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I forgot to share with you the outcome of my college I graduated from. Oregon State University played two game since I last reported scores, and they split them. They lost to University of Michigan at Michigan by 35-7. Last week they did much better and beat San Jose State 35-21. So they are now 2-1 for the season. Tomorrow they play Stanford who upset USC last week who was # 6 in the nation. We are 15.5 point underdogs. (Got them right where we want them!) I will report on Saturday how we did.
High expectations. Is that something we do that puts too much pressure on us? If we don’t reach our goals, are we a failure? The expectations for my football team are very low. Many think it will be hard to get a 4-8 record for the year. The players heard that and they are battling hard to prove everyone wrong.
But what if the predictors are right? What if the Beavers (Mascot) come up with the predicted record? Are they failures? No! They are a group of very young men, (7th youngest team in the nation,) who are trying to achieve their own goals and work closely as a team. They sink or swim together. They don’t give up. They will come back next year a much more mature team and do even better.
How about you? Do you fear failure? Do you avoid taking risks?
Looking at the writing world, that I am in, think on these people:
  • Dr. Seuss was rejected over 20 times before his first book was published.
  • John Grissom had to sell books out of the trunk of his car to get started.
  • J.K. Rowling received 12 publishing rejections before a reluctant editor agreed to publish her, telling her to keep her day job since she has little chance making money in childrens’ books. She went on to write a series of books about Harry Potter with sales of 450 million. (So far)
  • There were 140 rejections for the “Chicken Soup for the Soul,” authors Jack Canfield and Mark Victor Hansen. They have sold over 125 million books so far.
  • For five straight years Agatha Christie was rejected. Her total sales are now over $2 Billion dollars.
There are many stories of failures in the writing world that turned out to be winners, and very successful people. They failed, but they never gave up. They went back in the trenches and fought on.
Don’t be afraid of failure. We all will fail at something in our lifetime. It is what we do when we face it that defines our character.
God has used thousands of people in the Bible that were failures. He knew they had learned from their mistakes, and considered them a valuable resource for His purposes.
Remember:
You are never alone.
You are never forsaken.
You are never unloved.
And above all….never, ever, give up!
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