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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Stop the Stress, and See the Light

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 101,100 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

In our current promotion the winner will be the person who is the 100,000th subscriber will win some nice prizes. It will go very fast. This is a huge milestone for us. 

* WE HAVE A WINNER!!! At 11:54pm last night we had the 100,000th subscriber! If you subscribed at that time, email us at doug@dougbolton.com to confirm you are the winner.+

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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 details about the new book. Look for updates here.

UPDATE!!  In the final stages of having the book finished. Much of it is already sent off to my editor. The countdown begins!!

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Glad to have Dennis Booth back as our Guest blogger today. He has an unusual post on visions. We have all heard of them. He has seen one.

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Whether you believe in visions or not, whether you are a Christian or not, I am going to share something with you that I believe will talk to individuals about where they are at present and offer them hope.

Recently my wife had occasion to travel and meet up with family during which matters close to that family were discussed and which in turn provided some spirited discussion that sometimes was bordering on flared tempers.

Fair enough that happens to a lot of families but when the discussion or call it what you will is all over, in the solitude of silence and contemplation there can arise a lot of hurt, a lot of bitterness and a lot of regret.

And so this last Sunday in church I believe I received a vision (I sometimes do) and this is what I believe I saw.

It was like a Western wilderness scene in the sense that there was a lot of rocky outcrop and on the ground not uneven there were giant cacti with thorns and smaller bramble bushes.

However in the middle was a road heading into the distance through a gap in hills in front of the outcrop and cacti and through that gap there was a brightness that almost lit up the entire sky but only through that gap.

And I believe I heard this to support the vision.

Many are having divisions, quarrels, arguments, strife with those close to them and many are being drawn into these situations.

But that same many know that they want to stay out of it all because it causes them to stray away from what they know is right.

The problem is in this situation not only has there been strife to the left but it has developed into strife to the right and so one side tries to get the person over to their side but the same applies on the other side.

Yet the path/road is still there and I believe God is saying that in these situations keep your focus, your eyes on what you know is the way out….it is ahead and by staying on the path you will see light very much like the saying, “light at the end of the tunnel.”

I think too often we tend to be drawn into taking on burdens that we are not meant to carry, too often we tend to be drawn into adding to strife and argument that we never intended to happen.

We may be staying out of it all, be seen as a fence sitter but I believe God is saying come into the light through the gap, out of the wilderness and all will be well.

Dennis Booth

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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How to Stay Strong in Unfriendly Places

We are so  honored to be with you each day sharing hope. Our outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. We just past 96,825 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

WE HAVE A WINNER!! We will be notifying the winner by email, if they put in the right email address. I will also let you know about when the winner subscription happened, so you can know that it may be yours. 

We are starting a new promotion and the winner will be the person who is the 100,000 subscriber. That is a huge milestone for us. More details later. 

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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 details about the new book. Doug just interviewed a WWII veteran, for the book.  Fascinating! Look for updates here.

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Glad to have back our guest blogger Dennis Booth from Australia. His post today is tremendous for all who suffer depression in a very depressive world.

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If you are reading this you are in the category of those who wish to see Daily Signs of Hope and quite frankly in the world today without hope we would be candidates for the funny farm.

The media apparently are serving up “fake” news, an Australian Senator has almost taken the same line and we have others sending up missiles that frighten the life out of those near them and those they threaten.

But here is something to hold on to.

Century after century, year after year there have been the doomsayers who predict all sorts of evil things about to befall the world and end it.

Sure in that time there have been terrible wars, terrible plagues/epidemics etc that have wiped out untold  millions of lives and there have been disasters that have done the same.

Yet the world still exists, there are more people on this planet today and we have made giant strides in technology and medicine.

People in most Western countries are living longer.

But after all these wars, and even today with none of their scope, one thing stands out…….depression is as bad as it has ever been and it shouldn’t be that way.

Returned Service personnel who have served overseas come home with post-traumatic stress and sadly like those who came home from other wars the same way are almost shunned and what we cannot see is what they saw.

So how in the world do we overcome this plight?

For me to stay positive means I try and stay around people who are animated and happy, particularly friends of that nature.

Secondly I try to read positive information be it media, books.

Thirdly if I watch a dramatic movie I try to do so during the day or early evening but then read something light after so I do not go to bed with my mind racing full of action that could be depressing.

Fourthly I refuse to be drawn into heavy debate about situations I have no control over…to me that is a waste of my time.

Finally, I am a Christian and a strong believer and have been since I was a small child. Yes I did walk off the rails for a while but when I came back I was so glad I did and have never looked back.

When all things are failing, or falling around you just these simple words…”Help me Lord”. …are heard and you have to believe that help will come.

Dennis Booth

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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