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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Decisions We Make Affects Others

We have a winner! We past 83,000. The winner was notified, and we will start a new promotion. The next winner will be the person who is our 86,000th subscriber. As you found out here, it goes very fast. We average over 50 new subscribers a day. We just passed 85,260.

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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Choices. Do we really have them? If there is a tough situation do we just say, “Well, I didn’t have any other choice, I had to do it.”

I have pondered that question many times in my lifetime. There have been many decisions where I have had to think, “Do I really have a choice?
There answer is yes, we always have a choice. We always have a path to take. We always have alternatives.

I can think of many scenarios where this could happen.

The most glaring one is abortion. I am not here to condemn those who chose to end a babies life. I am here to let them know that they had other choices. So many use the reasoning that they didn’t want to have a child.

Then the choices were:

  • Don’t have sex.
  • At least take the child to full term and let it go for adoption.
  • Use proper protection during sex.
  • Have an abortion.

Which one of the above choices has the most dramatic affect on you and others? You know the answer.

Another example:

You are told you have to deliberately tell a lie about a fellow worker to help yourself get ahead at your work place. You decide, “I have no other choice. I need the raise for my family.”

But you do have choices:

  • Stay where you are and earn your raise.
  • Work harder to learn the things you need to be successful.
  • Look for other work that gives you more money and less stress.
  • Lie.

Again, you can see which one causes the most affect on you and others.

I could go on with many other situations, but I think you pretty much know yourself about decisions.

I spoke to my granddaughter one time when she was deciding if she wanted to even finish high school.

She said, “I don’t really like school and I am thinking  about dropping out.” I told her that is a decision she had to make, but realize that every time she made a decision it affects everyone around her.

She hadn’t thought of that, and went on to finish high school. We all celebrated together, and she was a very happy girl for the decision she made.

Yes, we all have choices. We all can look at each situation and come up with the best alternative. We just need to remember the consequences of each decision we make and how it affects others. The most important thing we can do is read God’s word and seek help on making decisions there.

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 We Trust God, We Persevere

We have a winner! We past 83,000. The winner was notified, and we will start a new promotion. The next winner will be the person who is our 86,000th subscriber. As you found out here, it goes fast. We average over 50 new subscribers a day. We are now at 83,725.

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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We welcome back Jeannie Pallett. who a regular guest writing. Here post today will give you comfort and peace.

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Marching Forth
Life comes at us hard and fast and it takes us by surprise all too often.  We need to live prepared for whatever comes our way and one way we can be prepared is to practise leaning into Jesus.
When we ‘acknowledge’ the Lord in all our ways, we are really pressing into intimacy with Him as we develop a deep relationship with Him.  It is our choice to press into Him, our choice to choose union with Jesus over the calling of our flesh and soulful ways.
I have been learning that this acknowledging is tied into loving the Lord my God  with all my heart, soul, mind and strength.  When I choose Him as my first love, He directs my steps into the path that is right for me.  Marching forth with confidence with peace and joy filling my heart is a consequence of loving God. Joy and peace are qualities we long to have in these fast and busy days.
Trusting God is such a precious gift we have been given and I pray that each one of us would learn to listen for HIs voice and to remember what His voice sounds like so we can learn to listen with expectancy to hear.
Listening with expectancy to hear will change our walk with Him.  We are opening the door for deeper relationship with Him, expecting Him to show up.  His heart must burst as He sees us waiting on Him and for Him, leaning our ears to His heart and wanting to learn His way of doing and being.  We need to be prepared for change!  He isn’t going to let us stay the same and once we have entered into a deeper relationship with Him, one that brings us to the place of union with Him, people are going to see the glory of His life within ours.
I believe in this day and age we want to live our lives knowing we can march forth with confidence and triumph.  Our God is going before us leading the way and preparing the path for us to walk.  When we listen and obey, we will march forth with peace and joy crowning our hearts.
We are a quarter of the way into a new year!  May each of us be faithful to keep our hand on the plow and continue to do what God has called to. To love Him first and to be obedient to His call upon our hearts.  That will look differently for each of us but obedience is the same no matter what.  It is of utmost importance to our Father and I hope we can live out the days of our lives listening with the intent to obey.
We have been beckoned into the presence of the King.  May we live in His royal presence.
Marching forth with peace and joy into the days He has prepared for me.
Jeannie Pallett
 
 
 
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I Said What?

We have a winner! We past 83,000. The winner will be notified, and we will start a new promotion. The next winner will be the person who is our 86,000th subscriber. As you found out here, it goes fast. We average over 50 new subscribers a day. We are now at 83,525.

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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I often have problems with choosing the right words. Should it be there, their, or they’re? Could it be too, to or two?

I had a embarrassing mistake in yesterdays post I got bear, and bare mixed up in the heading of all places! It should have been bear, and I put bare. I corrected it today, but it was posted for twelve hours with the wrong word.

Have you ever done something and later found out that it was a mistake? Did you not know about it until much later, and much damage had been done?

We all face this kind of dilemma. We say something that is wrong, and once it is out of the mouth, it can’t be taken back. We write something that can’t be erased.

I have thought about this and I am trying hard to check my brain before I let words come out. I try to re-read my posts several times to make sure I won’t make the mistake I did yesterday.

As much as we try we still step on toes. We still miss write words, and we face the consequences later.

I have come up with some thoughts on this:

  • Pray before you speak.
  • Think about what you want to say ahead of time.
  • Re-read everything you write several times.
  • If you are angry, do not speak at all. Have a cooling off period.

We have enough trials and storms in our lives with out us causing some ourselves. Think positive thoughts. Let God control your tongue, (and writing.)

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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