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. 

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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. 🙂

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. 

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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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What Does the Human Heart Crave?

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 100,030 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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The human heart craves…

 

…peace

…a Savior

…forgiveness

 

…strength to cope

…a leader to follow

…shelter in the storm

 

…security for the day

…protection from evil

…joy in spite of turmoil

 

…provision for all needs

…power to fight the enemy

…recognition of achievement

 

…fulfillment for its emptiness

…to be loved, unconditionally

…safety from all that would harm

 

…soothing for the frustrations of life

…to be accepted, without reservation

…refreshment in those parched times

 

…courage to step out when fainthearted

…tenderness when the world is unlovely

…confidence and calm when fear attacks

 

…to be understood, without condemnation

…the right spouse, job, school, friendships

…comfort in times of stress, grief, and affliction

 

…a guidance counselor to find the designed path

…encouragement for those days filled with woes

…to be welcomed Home into the Everlasting Arms

 

…an intimate relationship with the Love of the universe!

 

And yes, there are times when the human heart is contrary and desires the wrong things, seeking in confusion. A right heart craves to beat in perfect harmony with the Heartbeat of the Beloved.

 

Crave the Love that is offered in that intimate relationship. Crave that oneness. Crave the Love that is above all others. Crave the Love that loves you beyond belief.

 

Don’t feel like it? I hear some souls sinking. But I don’t feel loved.

 

Perhaps you’ve been grieving over some loss in your life. Perhaps you’ve been wrongfully accused of something or hurt in some way. Perhaps you’re feeling very discouraged right now. Perhaps you have negative feelings about yourself or negative thoughts bombarding your mind.

 

Perhaps…well, whatever your perhaps may be, your heart is wounded. Your eyes spill over with stress-induced tears from a broken heart.

 

Well, I’m here to tell you that feelings change but the truth of God’s love does not. The truth is…God loves you with a love that can still any storm, win any battle, override any tension or discomfort, soothe any pain, comfort any hurt, calm any fear, encourage any heartache, and will always uphold you and share peace and joy with you.

 

You, the one He loves truly. You, the one for whom He died. You, the one to whom He yearns to be close. You, the Lord’s espoused, His intended, His precious companion for all eternity. You are His precious heart’s desire.

 

He rejoices over you with mirth and pleasure. He spins around in excitement over you with shouts of joy and songs of praise! (Zeph. 3:17)

 

This is the Love your heart is craving!

 

“We know how much God loves us, and we have put our trust in his love. God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect.” (1 John 4:16-17a NLT)

 

No matter what circumstance is swirling around you, you are loved and you will be okay. If your life is falling apart right now, you’ll be okay. Even if all looks dark and dreary, you’ll be okay.

 

Let me encourage you… YOU. ARE. LOVED. Each. And. EVERY. Day. No matter what!

 

The only one you truly need to make you feel loved is the Lord. He will never leave you, nor abandon you. And that, my sweet friend, should fill your love tank to overflowing!

 

May your craving be filled with that special, tender fulfilling Love!

 

Blessings, Lynn

 

lynnmosher.com

 

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If you Think you are perfect, Try Walking on Water

Satan’s Lie: You are a sinner because you sin. God’s truth: You are a saint. (One declared righteous by God) who sins.

That’s right…. Christians sin. The difference in a true sinner and a Christian who sins, is that the sinner doesn’t care or doesn’t want to ask for forgiveness for what he did wrong.

Remember as a Christian:

  • You are accepted… You are God’s Child. You are His friend. You are justified. You and the Lord are one. You are a member of His body. You are adopted. You have connection with God though the Holy Spirit.
  • You are a secure person… You are free from condemnation. You know that everything worked for good. You are never separated from God. I am a part of Heaven. I have help in time of need. Satan can’t touch me.
  • I am important… I am the salt of the earth. I am the light of the earth. I am a branch of the vine, I am appointed to bear fruit. I am a personal witness for Christ. I am the temple of God. I am seated with Christ. I am God’s special workmanship. I am confident through God. I can do all things thru Christ who gives me strength.

Think of what God has done for you. Don’t think of what people think and say about you. Works get you nothing.

Satan wants us to think our behavior tells us what to believe about ourselves. God says, our belief about ourselves determines our behavior.

Yes, we are not perfect. You aren’t even close. You are tempted everyday, and often fail. Jesus was tempted many times and did not fail. He was the only perfect man on earth.

Stand strong in knowing that we are forgiven each time we fail. We are like prodigal children to God. We are welcomed back anytime we call out to Him. I know that from experience, and I hope you will to.

Turn all that guilt over to God, and start having confidence that you are now walking the right path, and will let your light shine to help others that need to come out of the pits of despair.

If you feel all is lost and you are reaching the end of your rope, you will find that you are holding the hem of God’s garment.

We find that sin is a deliberate separation from God. We choose to sin. It is human nature . We all have our one hidden sin we have difficulty giving up. We have to move that immovable stronghold within us to truly be close to God. His only son Jesus tells us, “Come to me!”  He is invincible, unquenchable, and never tires. He is waiting for us to give the key to our hearts and let Him in.

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A Love Letter from God

Our Guest blogger tonight is Price Futrell, a person I have come to known as a friend. He does not mean to be disrespectful or show irreverence to God by the format of his post. This is just a letter he imagined God had written to Him. Its message is to all of us. Please read it in the intent and love it was written

To All of You:

Hey, this is God. You know, I Am. I’ve been watching some of you have tremendous difficulties lately and the advice you’re getting is so way off base that I decided to send you this note. I hope you will pay attention because this is important.

First of all I got all of this started. Yes, it was Me behind all the creation stuff you’re reading about. No, of course you weren’t evolved from something else. Quit arguing about things that I didn’t say…besides you’re missing the point and causing all sorts of confusion. The main idea here is that I did it. There was a beginning and try as you might you’re never going to figure out how I created something from nothing. You’re not Me.

Second point is that I LOVE YOU. Yes, I know you’re all messed up. I made you that way. I gave you all these emotional, physical, mental and spiritual attributes so that you could relate to me knowing that you’d have trouble at times. So what? The main point here is that I LOVE YOU just as you are. Remember that I said, “It was Good.” I meant it.

I originally started out trying to have a one-on-one relationship with you and that didn’t work out so well. See, my other creation, Angels, have the same ability to make their own decisions as you do and some of them messed up big time. Even my best and most stunning Angel let pride get in the way and he caused nearly a third of all my angels to “get the boot.” Can you imagine being in My presence and still making a choice to defy Me? Free Will is a responsibility that very few can handle on their own. Anyway, you’ve read the story, Adam and Eve listened to this one Angel and they messed up and I had to remove them from my presence just like I did with the Angels. It was a tough decision but thankfully for you I had a plan.

Next thing I did was give you some rules and regulations because ya’ll were just acting a fool and needed some serious direction. I knew you couldn’t live up to my standards but you needed something to give you direction and besides I used the Law to direct you toward my biggest surprise which was to come…My Son.

Yes, Jesus is my son. He is my only son. I sent Him to reconcile you back to me since you obviously couldn’t do it on your own. I know some of you have a hard time with the virgin birth but if I could create your whole universe from nothing I really don’t see why you can’t just accept it. Anyway, you didn’t kill Him….l did. It was my idea. He did it willingly because He loves you too!! We’re the same He and I. When He died He released you from having to live up to all the rules and regulations of the Law. Now this is where it gets a little tricky so listen up. You are saved by Grace through Faith and you did absolutely NOTHING to earn it. Get that? Do you really? Grace means you didn’t earn it.

You CAN’T EARN it !! I did it for you. All you have to do is believe and have Faith in my son, Jesus. And you can’t do that either unless I, through My Spirit allow it. It’s all about Me. I need nothing from anybody including you to be Me. You need Me. I designed it that way. I saw you messing up the whole deal so I stepped in and provided a way for you to be reconciled to me and I handled all the details so you COULDN’T mess it up. You should be glad.

Now that you are saved…and I mean saved as in you aren’t going to become un-saved. Nothing is going to separate you from me. Quit worrying about that. Like whom do you think would take something from me that I didn’t want taken? Exactly. Now that doesn’t mean you’re perfect and complete in case you haven’t noticed. I know some of you THINK you’ve got it together but I’m telling you that you don’t. You’re as messed up as anybody else. But, here again, I have a plan. I’m going to work on you and make you more like my Son. It’s called Sanctification in most of your translations of my Word. What it means in layman’s terms is that you are a work in progress and you will be until I get through with you.

See I know all about you. I know what you think. I see what you do when nobody else is looking. I hear you mumble things you wouldn’t want repeated. I know more than anybody else how messed up you are and guess what….I LOVE YOU ANYWAY!! Quit worrying about not being perfect. You’ll never get there. Why beat yourself up for not being able to do something that I created you NOT to be able to do? You’re fighting against Me.

What you need to do is FOCUS ON ME. The rules and regulations, the Law if you will, is no longer valid for you. Faith is the only thing that matters. Yeah, you need to do the good stuff and lay off the bad stuff but I’m going to help you do that if you’ll stay focused on me. I am giving you My Spirit to create a new Mind, Will and Emotion for you. Listen to Him. Allow Him to lead you and just do what I help you do. You won’t have to do anything at all by yourself. I’m always there for you. I parked myself in you for that very reason. Get it!!

Now some of you have gone back to trying to do it on your own. Why? Didn’t I just explain to you that you didn’t earn anything, that it was a free gift? Then why would you now go back to a bunch of rules and regulations to live by when all that is going to do is condemn you? There is no condemnation for those of you who live by faith in Jesus. Why would you choose condemnation over freedom? The whole shame and condemnation thing isn’t from Me. Remember that bad Angel I talked about earlier….it’s him. I allow it because I want you to see the difference between light and darkness but wake up and smell the coffee…I don’t condemn you, I LOVE YOU so quit trying to measure up when I created you not to be able to. It’s not and never will be about you doing all the right things. It’s about Me loving you more than you will ever deserve. Do I like it or condone it when you get off track?

Seriously, do you have to ask that question? Of course I don’t like it. But rather than beat yourself up because you didn’t measure up why don’t you just come to me and confess it and I’ll help you deal with it. By the way, the confession part is for you…I already know, right. You are going to be messing up your entire life. I know that. But, what I want to do is teach you through the process so that you can help somebody else. That brotherly love thing I talk about…I’m serious about it. Love each other like I love you. It’s easier to do than you think.

 So, here’s My point…….If anybody tells you anything different than this, just ignore them.

1. I Love YOU. You aren’t perfect, never will be. I knew that before I formed you in your mother’s womb. It was by design that you aren’t able to be perfect. I never intended you to be perfect. I intended for you to need me and my son Jesus. If you could do it on your own then Jesus died in vain. That didn’t happen.

2. There is NOTHING that can separate you from Me. I’m bigger than your sin. I want you with me so I’m going to help you get here. I live inside of you and will help you with everything that you ask.

3. Don’t feel ashamed and condemned. If you do, speak out against that in My Name. It isn’t from me.

4. Focus on ME not the rules and regulations. I am Life, the Law is death.

5. Love your neighbor like I love you. Be an Encourager. I like that.

6. Trust in me. I know what I’m doing. You don’t. Walk by Faith not by Sight.

7. Live your life with Joy and Excitement. I am YOUR God. I Am For YOU. I am greater than any challenge you will face. I have a plan for your life and I intend on seeing in through to completion. I open doors when you least expect it. I am a Good and Loving Spirit and I love you with all my heart. You do not have the capacity to even grasp all the wonderful things I have in store for you.

8. Read My Book. I’ll speak to you through it. It’s unique literature. It’s alive because it’s from Me.

9. Talk to Me. Anytime. I’m always available. Besides, I know what you want or need before you even ask but it’s good that YOU KNOW that you need Me. Actually I’d rather speak to you when you’re fully awake so don’t think you HAVE to get up at 5:30 in the morning. I didn’t make that rule.

10. Open your eyes to opportunities that I place in your path. Open your ears to the encouragement I’m giving you. Walk with anticipation and expectation that I AM.

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