We have a Chance in Life With Hope

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 106, 450 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 105,000 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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Hope’s Chances

The British mother, straight blond hair across her eyes, couldn’t look at the TV camera. As she and her partner stood in front of the media, they released what was left of their hopes. Their infant son Charlie, born with a rare genetic condition, had suffered massive brain damage. The parents fought hard for his life, but in the end, no doctor could help him. Now Charlie would be allowed to die in peace.*

Hope’s last thin wisp disappeared like morning mist. For them, all that was left was a sky with a hole in the shape of their baby boy.

We grasp for and cling to a crazy kind of hope when a child gets a terminal illness, when the cancer comes back, when nobody leaves the light on in your personal tunnel of woe. It’s hard to keep hoping in the face of a death sentence, yet we often rise to the occasion. “I’m hoping against hope,” we say, and smile to prove it—even when we know we don’t stand a chance.

But is hope sometimes foolish, setting us up for certain disappointment?

In my journey with my adult children, hoping they’ll recover from drug and alcohol abuse, I’ve sometimes wondered how far my hope can stretch. After decades of dealing with one son’s meth addiction as well as his two brothers’ alcoholism, lately I hear myself using words like “intractable.” It sounds a little like incurable, and a whole lot like hopeless.

The first time I said this aloud, I was interviewing a man who’d recently lost his son to the opioid epidemic. I was referring to my middle son’s meth addiction, which experts claim is harder than heroin to kick. “At this point,” I said, “my son has been a meth user for more than half his life.”

The man said he was sorry to hear it, but in my mind, I was suddenly standing mere inches from a speeding train. With a racing locomotive’s hot breath on me, only a fool would give me or my son a snowball’s chance. I waited for impact.

Until I remembered.

Hope isn’t always about odds. Often, it’s a way to keep going when you’re falling apart. Mostly, it’s about love.

My son has said and done things to his family that could make your whiskers curl. He’s called his dad and me names, cursed us blue and has stolen and destroyed property. In a meth-fueled rage when he was barely out of middle school, he attacked his Marine Corps veteran father.  My son’s been through inpatient treatment at least three times and outpatient rehab even more. We’ve gone to family and personal counseling, twelve-step meetings and educational programs on his behalf. So far, recovery hasn’t really stuck.

Some days, I catch myself thinking this addiction nightmare will never end. After all, meth is very hard to beat, and studies show that addicts’ chances dry up if the user doesn’t have much to lose. My son has no job, no spouse, no kids and no home except with us. There’s no parole officer or even a driver’s license to hang over his head. If he continues to abuse drugs, he’ll eventually also give up his youthful vigor, handsome looks and even his teeth.

But I try to remember that my son is not meth. What he does isn’t right or healthy or even tolerable, but he is much more than the sum of his sins. Much more. He’s a part of me, and I cannot stop loving him, encouraging him, and yes, hoping for him.

Some would say the hope expressed by baby Charlie’s parents was not only unrealistic, but cruel. Where’s the upside of an infant who can’t breathe on his own, see, hear or swallow? If meth addiction is indeed intractable, why not throw out my son and be done with it?

The answer I always seem to find is simple—love. Nestled inside a cocoon of love—foolish or not—a fragile hope can push back at the ugliest of prognoses.  We hope because we love—our families, friends, statesmen. And my kind of love always includes a Presence bigger and more mysterious than anything I can imagine.

The circumstances may still suck. Babies may slip away to be angels, senators may succumb and addicts may never stop using. Life is beautiful and frequently terrible, as Frederick Buechner says. Hope knows this all too well but still says, “Sure, life is awful. But I love you and I’m not giving up on you.” And our hearts get lighter for a while, just knowing someone is pulling for us.

When common sense says cut loose, hope keeps me from crumbling into a soggy mess. From time to time, hope even scolds me for using words such as intractable.

The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes—not to mention the Byrds of sixties’ rock and roll—says there is a time for everything: sowing, reaping, birth, death, you-name-it. Yet throughout scripture, we’re reassured that if we place our hope in God, we’ll never be disappointed. Even old Job, whose life was an absolute train wreck, didn’t stop hoping in God.

The parents who hoped for their terminally ill son’s cure may as well have tried to catch the wind. They gazed at his tiny face and saw more beauty than anything, even with his grave condition and a feeding tube shoved up his nose. They probably sensed Charlie didn’t have a chance, but their love for a son outweighed the sorry odds.

Their experience has shown me how small and limited I can be about my hopes for my own son. Where graphs and charts and polls show meth addiction to be like a cancer that keeps coming back, I search for the good in my son’s still beautiful wide smile.  I’ll keep my slightly crazy hopes on display, partly to keep from strangling him, mostly to keep loving him. Will he ever stop using drugs and live a clean and sober life?

“It’s a long shot,” said the man who’d lost his son to a heroin overdose. “But don’t you ever give up hope.”

“Not a chance,” I said. “Not a chance.”

*Charlie Gard passed away one month short of his first birthday. May he rest in peace.

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Children Are Precious Gifts from God

We have a winner! We past 86,000. The winner was notified, and we have 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 86,750.

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, 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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“Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sun set, quickly go the days.”

The lyrics from a song I know really wakes me up to how quickly time flies on me.

I look at my three children and remember when each of them were born;

  • My eldest child really caused a stir in my life. I was so young and didn’t really think much about what was happening until the day my wide said, “We had to go to the hospital.” Then it started whirling in my brain that my whole world was changing in the next few hours. I became very nervous, during the time I was in the waiting room. (They didn’t let you in with your wife back then.) I was sitting on a couch and another expecting dad was sitting next to me. He said, “First kid huh?” I asked how he knew that. He said, “Your magazine is upside down.’ A few minutes later, while I was filling my cup with water at a sink, and nurse came up to me and said, “Its a boy.” I let the water over flow the cup and run everywhere.
  • My second child was much more serious. He was born many months too soon. He only weighed 3.5oz when he was born. You could see all the veins in his body. We weren’t allowed to hold him, We just looked at him in an “Incubator.” My wife was very distraught. She wanted to hold her new baby and they wouldn’t let her. Then we were told that there was a virus flowing through the nursery, and our son had it. They said he may not make it through the night. He dropped down to 2.6oz. We expected the worst, but we prayed to God for His hand to touch our son and let him live. He did live, and my son just retired as a Colonial in the Army.
  • My third child was the girl we always wanted. She was in a big hurry to come out and greet us. I just got my wife to the hospital and started to sit down in the waiting room when  nurse came out to let me know she was here. A special day, because it was Father’s Day. My little girl came early enough to be my Father’s Day present.

I bet you have many of the same kind of stories for when your children, came into this world.

The thing we need to cling to is that each of these gifts from God are very important. Each of these bundles of joy are part of you. You helped them get into this world, and should love them and take care of them like we all as parents should do.

If you think this may by an anti abortion push, then I am sorry. I am so glad we didn’t even think of that for each of our children. I am so glad of how each of them turned out. They are very successful in each of their new worlds. They also had children, and the family continues on like it always should.

Think about where you are going. What are you thinking? If you don’t want children, don’t have any. If you have one “accidently,” and don’t want it, there are thousands of people who are waiting to adopt a child.

If you do want the child, teach him/her the right paths to take and let God guide them with you.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

 

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The Wind Always in your Face? Turn Around! Go Towards God

“For I know the plans I have for you.”  declares the LORD. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. “

Jeremiah 29:11

This verse is painted on on the living room wall of my niece’s home. I just left there this evening.

There is a story behind why my niece and her husband put that verse on the wall.

They gave birth to little Cooper two years ago, but the doctors said that there were several birth defects involved with this child. First of all, they didn’t think he would be born alive because he had a defective heart, and maybe brain damage. He also had deformed feet called, “club feet.”

The family was devastated, and we all gathered at the hospital to be with our niece in case Cooper died.

The little guy made it through the birth, and the doctors said there was already some kind of miracle, because would the saw in his brain damage had disappeared over night.

He still was very ill with a heart that was defective in one of the valves. They felt this would kill him within the first twenty-four hours.

Little Cooper made it through the first twenty-four hours. The doctors said he would need open heart surgery as soon as possible. So before Copper was even a month old they performed open heart surgery on him. The next few hours was critical.

A complication came up where they couldn’t even close up the wound on Cooper’s chest because the heart had swollen up so much they couldn’t sew up he chest. So he laid in the intensive care for days with his heart laying open.

Then God began to perform another miracle. Little Cooper began to heal. The doctors were finally able to close his wounds, and he started gaining strength.

So tonight, two years later,  Copper was spinning around with glee, getting dizzy on purpose, and falling to ground with loud giggles. He is the toughest little man I have ever seen.

He is not out of the woods yet. He has had to have several surgeries for his clubbed feet, and will eventually need further work on his heart, but for now he is a beautiful blond haired, blue eyed angel.

We all recalled tonight the memories of when we thought we were going to lose him, and how full of energy and love that he has now. Thank you dear God!!

God has a plan for everyone of us. He wants us to prosper, and doesn’t want to harm us. He also has plans to give us hope and a future.

Never give up even if the darkness seems to be all around you.

Think on this:

  • It is always darkest just before the dawn.
  • The light at the end of the tunnel is Jesus showing us the way.
  • God is taller, wider, stronger than any wall that you may face.
  • If the wind seems to always be in your face, turn around and go towards God.

Don’t let Satan take control of your life. Stand up to him, and let God be your shield. Satan is just a poor misguided angel, and God is the supreme God over all the angels and the universe.

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The People Walking in Darkness Have Seen a Great Light

As the winter comes we are faced with shorter days of light and longer time of darkness. This is a difficult time for all of us. I know that I struggle more when it is dark and gloomy outside during the day. As I am typing this, it is pouring down rain, and very dark.

God talks about the darkness in Isaiah.

Isaiah 9:2 “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death (land of darkness) a light has dawned.”

The people of Israel had wandered away from God, and he had allowed the Assyrians to attack them and plunder them. Isaiah is letting the, know there is hope, and it come from the light. He is referring to the coming of Christ.

A yoke that is used to be put on oxen is a very heavy load for the animal to have hanging around its neck. It is needed so that the animal can pull big wagons that are behind them.

Think of this yoke around your own neck. Feel the weight. Know the burden that comes with it.

Isaiah tells the people that the yoke that burdens them the bar across their shoulders has been shattered. (Isaiah 9:4)

This can happen to you and me as well. We all have carried our own yokes, and have had the burden of it barring down onto our shoulders.

Isaiah’s answer is found in Isaiah 9:6: “For to us a child is born, and he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.”

This is hundreds of years before the birth of Jesus, but it is telling us of the fact of his birth.

Jesus is there to break the yoke that has you torn down. He will lift you up and carry you the rest of the way.

What do you need to do to have this happen? It is very simple. There are no tests to pass. It isn’t even pass/fail. It is just a phrase like; “Jesus, I have sinned and I ask for forgiveness. I want you in my heart.” End of conversation! You don’t need to rant and rave. Just open your heart and mind to Him, and He will put His loving arms around you, and chase all the darkness away.

He is the light that can never be put out. The darkness (Satan) is afraid of Him.

Stop having that yoke around your neck. Come out of the darkness. Turn your worries over the Jesus, and find peace and joy.  

 

 

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