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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God Hears Our Pleas

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 90,745. 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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I am opening my post today with a plea from one of our readers. There is a strong Christian who is battling cancer and needs our help immediately.

I have put in their plea right here as written. Please take a few minutes to pray for this man and his family. Prayer works wonders.

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Comment:
This is my cousin , Todd Kimsey, and this is his wife’s post. I can tell you he is a man of God, and huge bundle of boundless hope, love and kindness. Cancer was discovered merely by accident while he was visiting his Mom, ( my Aunt Linda,, and it was stage 4 abdominal cancer. He took stem cell therapy, endured cheno and radiation and was my biggest hero second only to God. A living breathing walking testimony to God’s love and graciousness. Please , I am new to this group, but I am begging. Todd has so much more of his life’s journey to complete and to draw more closer to God. Thank you n advance for any consideration and God bless each of you. Sincerely, Mary Ann Grant- Scott

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PRAYER WARRIORS! We need you now more than ever. Todd Kimsey has been in the hospital for 25 days. Things seemed to be looking up when he took a very sudden turn for the worse. His condition is critical and we just need all of the prayers we can get. Please share with your church, families, friends anywhere! We need as many voices lifting him up to God and praying for his recovery and that he will pull through yet again. Thank you all…we love you and appreciate all that you’ve done for Todd and the Kimsey family.

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This is what Signs of Hope is all about. We reach out to others, and hear their pleas as well. I encourage all readers to make comments when ever you need prayer or just want to comment on one of our posts. Please pray for Todd that God will touch him and heal him.

We all will face adversity like Todd is going through right now. There will be huge raging storms. But always remember that God is there to calm them. He will hold your hand and walk you through the darkness.

Remember:

You are not alone.

You are not forsaken.

You are not unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up! 

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Hope is Not Just a Four Letter Word

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 88,800.  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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The dreaded unknown is known. The stress and worry have vanished. I now know that I am going to be OK with proper treatment.

If you have been following this blog you will have walked a rocky path with me. Three months ago, I had a possibility of cancer. A type of cancer that only allows you 3-5 more years of life.

The waiting to find out was beyond description. The tests took for ever. The doctor appointments were too far apart. Waiting, waiting, and more waiting!

My final doctor’s appointment was with an Oncologist. He would be the one to tell me about the cancer. He is the best in my home state in his field. He also is running for governor BTW. His name is Bud Pierce. If you live in Oregon, vote for him and you are voting for a long needed change.

Dr. Pierce came into the room, and sat down. He looked through all the tests previous doctors had taken. He took a pause, (that seemed to last for ever) and said, “You do not have cancer! You are cancer free!”

I was able to breath again. I had feared the worst, and got the best.

So, what I do have is an infection of the spine. It isn’t fun to say the least. Very painful and will drag on for months. I have to go in every day and have antibiotics put in me through an IV. This will be at least six weeks.

This will be my last whining for a while on my personal afflictions. I will have an update from time to time, but now I want to talk about you.

I know there are many of you who have gotten the worst news. I know there are some of you who are struggling in the muck and mire of life.

This world had become a not so friendly place. Rioting, shootings, protests, more homeless than ever.

In the United States there we have the presidential elections coming up, and no one really likes either candidate. Our country is divided in half. We stand on the other side of our fences and scream at each other.

In your own world, I hope you are doing OK. I hope you have stayed on the right path. I pray that you are standing strong, and are able to the weather the storms that come you way.

I have been in the muck and mire. I have cheated death more than once. Because of this, I am able to reach out to all of you who come here for hope. The word hope is not a four letter word that you scream at someone. It is a word you share with them and help them on their journey.

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 See Hope Ahead in My Path

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 88,650.  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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What a stressful last few days. I have been going through loads of testing. IV’S jammed in my arms everyday, to get me treatment. Meeting with doctors to try to find a diagnosis so they can properly treat me.

I meet with my Infectious Disease doctor today, and should have some answers.

The menu of possibilities I first faced way back in April were:

Fractured spine at the T-5 vertebrae

Infection moving doing the spine.

Cancer.

As of this morning two have been eliminated, and the big rushing sound you  hear is me finally able to be able release my breath because of the unknown.

No fracture

No cancer.

However it is  very serious infection that we just started to attack. It had grown from the T-5 Vertebrae to the T-6 vertebrae. It was like that Geico commercial where you see a green blob climbing up the leg of the technician. My is coming down from the top.

I have to go in every day, even on the weekends for thirty days, and have antibiotics put in me to try to control the infection. I may have to have another year of oral antibiotics. I think they have found it in time, and I will be back amongst the living soon.

I can relate to all of you have gone through pain. The pain from the infection was beyond words. I couldn’t move. I couldn’t breath. I was bedridden for weeks. I was ready to accept my fate and started looking forward to being with my Lord.

BUT!

God is not done with me yet. He has plans for me. He still has a path He wants me to walk.

I have been writing a book to reach out to my brothers and sisters in the military. I thought that wouldn’t happen. Now it will. I am near the end of the manuscript. Keep tabs on the progress in the lead-ins above.

This is probably the most compelling post I have every written about NEVER GIVING UP!

This example should keep you going forward, no matter what your age is. Remember the age of Abraham. Remember how young David was. Age is not a factor to God He has plans for all of us.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And never, ever, give up!

 

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