We All Need a Heart Transplant!

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 100,070 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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Do you remember “Leave it to Beaver? (It was a family show on TV back in the 50’s) I loved that show. A family crises, but resolved by the end of the show. You moved on and all was well.

We have really changed since then don’t you think? Massive amount of divorces. Suicide rates are rising fast. Many children only have one parent.

I could say a  lot  more, but it hurts too much to even type the words.

What has happened? Why such a different world?

We fight each other! We attack, and try to make others look bad so we can look better.

We need to understand this:

Our battle are not against people, but with the forces of evil.

 The bottom line is that we all need a heart transplant. Our hearts have become corrupted. We have allowed the world to overcome us.

Friends, We are not part of this world if we truly believe. 

I understand how hard it is to try to stay out of the muck and more of life. I have been to the bottom of the pits struggling to stay alive.

Here  is what I have learned:

  1. We need to put on the armor of God. The armor is really the character and faith that you have.
  2.  We need to talk to others with gentleness and respect. What a difference this would make.
  3. Suffering for what right is hard, at best, but it is right with God.
  4. We should never be shaken or frightened. Be bold in your faith.

It is hard to catch your breath in this day and age. We are in what they call the rat race. Well, even rats rest.

We need to go back to the basic of the Bible and live by them.  The United States has been walking down the wrong path for the last eight years. Hopefully it will turn the corner and walk a new path now.

Stay the course! Talk the talk, and walk the walk. Never waver. Never give in to this world. Walk the path of righteousness, with God.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

 

 

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Walking an Unknown Path Can be Scary

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 99,000 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 100,000 subscriber will win some nice prizes. We are down to the last 1,000. It will go very fast. This is a huge milestone for us. 

______________________________________________________________________

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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I have walked a straight and narrow path the last few years. It has been very hard. Every bend in the path causes me to wonder what is around that bend ahead of me. I have often prayed about it, and God seems to be telling me, walk by faith!

It is easy to say OK, Lord, but in truth it is very hard sometimes. The unknown is often scary. I learned that during my time in the military. There were many bends in our paths, and I had no idea what was around that next bend for me.

Faith is what we cling to. Faith is what keeps us going. Faith carries us over the walls that block us.

I weighed in this morning like I do every morning. It is required by my cardiologist. If I am up two pounds overnight, I have to increase my “water pills,” to a whole one instead of a half. It is usually because fluids are building up around my heart. Not a good thing.

So, I weighed and I swore it said, ONLY ONE PERSON ON THE SCALES AT ONE TIME!

I was up 1.6 pounds. Not enough to increase meds, but degrading just the same.

Losing weight, or maintaining it, is a full time job. It is a job no one really gets excited about doing.

I look at like its my life. I need to do inventory everyday to see where I am at. I need to correct some things if it looks like I have faltered a little.

Do I love weighing in every day? I think you already know the answer to that. However, if I don’t I will be paying serious consequences that could even lead to my death.

The same goes for my daily life. I need to check my path constantly. I need to adjust my thinking; my attitude; my outlook on life, and I have to do it often.

With the world we live in now, it can be very easy to give up and go with the flow. It would be easy to not fight the dark side.

Don’t allow this to happen. You also need to take inventory of your life, EVERY DAY!

Stop the creeping vines that are wrapping around your legs, and be strong. Let God be your guide. Lean on His strength.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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There Are Threads of Hope if You Look

Threads of Hope

Linda S. Clare

“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’” –II Corinthians 12:9 NIV

 

I’m acquainted with a wonderful mother who recently posted on Facebook that she’d goofed, big time. A devout Christian, she’d mistakenly outlined her son’s latest substance abuse crisis in a public rather than a private forum, embarrassing all involved. In her apology, she begged those who’d read the post to forget, it or at least refrain from discussing it. I never saw the post in question, but I sensed her humiliation at exposing her not-so-perfect life. This mother’s pain was palpable and familiar. Although I wept with her, it’s shown me again why the strongest hope is often made of the worst weakness.

I know how it feels to show your strong side to the world while some calamity threatens to swallow you whole. For those of us with addiction or mental health issues—our own or those of loved ones—we not only ignore the elephant in the room, we tell ourselves that elephants are overrated. We say, “Stand back! I got this,” even if we’re marching into battle feeling very alone. In our culture, admitting weakness often gets you punched in the nose.

Sometimes God gives us super human strength. That’s grace in action. Other times, we go it alone. We pray for protection, for healing, for blessing even as we present our “game face” to the world. We “battle” cancer, as if willpower can beat the big “C.” We present the perfect picture, even when we’re falling apart.

The poor mom who posted the private info must have worried about looking weak. She’d placed her family in the cross hairs of a judgmental society, inviting strangers to shame, blame or even claim her faith was insufficient. I don’t blame her—it’s happened to me.

I once worked in a Christian bookstore, restocking everything from Bibles to greeting cards. I was grateful for the job—in addition to supporting our family, my left arm’s lifelong paralysis from childhood polio made some simple tasks a little trickier for me. OK, a lot trickier. Still, I never called attention to my disability and always wore an “I got this” face to customers.

One day two women came into the bookstore, where I was straightening greeting cards. After I asked if I could help them find something, one woman leaned closer. She whispered, “God would heal your arm—if you had more faith.” The women left the store while I stood there, waiting for my head to explode.

Later in the breakroom, I cried hot tears of anger and confusion. I railed at God. On the job, I’d never asked for any special treatment. At work, my daily attitude was “I got this.” I had no idea how to make my faith the size it needed to be.

I never saw those women again. But for years after, I couldn’t give myself a break. Then I developed the late effects of polio. Pain and fatigue dogged me, yet I kept overworking my sore muscles. When family members developed substance abuse and mental health problems, I was as determined as that mother on Facebook to show the world how strong I was.

Then one night I dreamed of an abyss, with a single gossamer thread stretched taut across it. The hole was the blackest black, a velvet chasm of despair, while the thread glimmered in the low light. My thread of hope was so fragile, so bare, it would surely break under the weight of the disasters in my life.

Too terrified to say, “I got this,” I stood at the far end of this yawning chasm. I was naked and afraid, all right. Tattered hope stretched out before me but the thread slipped my grasp. The black hole snapped its jaws.

I know better than to put a lot of energy into interpreting dreams. Yet in this one, a hand suddenly appeared, a hand of light and pure love, if that’s possible. Discouraged by broken hope, I stood before this Love-light.

Darkness sneered at me. Fool—all is lost. For proof, just look at your addicted family members or that withered arm. Why bother to hope at all?

I understood that some hard things might never be healed this side of heaven. Why God allows suffering on earth is an age-old mystery. Darkness again whispered, “Abandon hope.” In that moment, I had to choose either my own strength or God’s weakness. The outstretched hand waited.

I chose weakness.

As feeble as I was, I reached for that hand of Light. Something—Someone—transported my failing body across the canyon, fortifying hope as it went. I had the sense I was being carried through the pain and mistakes and dumb moves of my life—and I need not claim any strength of my own.

When I awoke, nothing had changed. My body still ached. My family’s battles with substance abuse and diseases and mental health were as real as they’d ever been. The mother from Facebook no doubt still agonizes over her precious son, and if I were still working at the bookstore, those same women might still scold me for the smallness of my faith.

But everything had changed. Despair can wear hope thin, but God’s grace gives hope its strength—power perfected in weakness. To get past life’s pain, I must stand at the chasm’s edge every day. Learn to let go of the “I got this” mentality that keeps me from recognizing God when He offers me His hand. Threads of hope get stronger as Jesus carries me through, and as I lay aside my strength, He gently allows weakness to prevail.

The trials you face may be far bigger than mine. Maybe you’re much better at surrendering to God than I’ve ever been. But real strength is perfected in weakness. If you need a thread of hope today, put your hand in His hand and He will carry you through. “Trust Me,” He says, “I got this.”

 

Linda Clare

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Being a Good Leader Brings on Hope

We have a new winner in our promotion adventure. The person will be notified, and receive the prizes. We move on to yet 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 90,650. 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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It is great to have Taylor Wilkins back as a guest blogger. He is a staff member of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. His post today concentrates on the importance of all of us being good leaders and the changes it would cause.

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Extending your Reach
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
This is a quote by John C. Maxwell one of the greatest authors on the topic of leadership that the world has ever known. I admire his work as an author, both from the content as well as the sincerity of heart behind his writing. Every time I have listened to John Maxwell speak I can’t help but think of the similarity between King Solomon, the writer of the old testament books of wisdom; Proverbs, Ecclesiastes and Song of Solomon.
I love growing in my ability to lead because the entire heartbeat of good leadership is outward focused. My passion it to change my community for the good. I want to see people flourishing in life, especially the people who are in my sphere of influence. If it’s in my power to pull someone out of a pit, I want to do it! I believe most people actually have that same desire in life, but for some reason it seems like those who actually walk out that lifestyle are few and far in between.
This is where I believe John Maxwell’s quote is so incredibly powerful.
“A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way, and shows the way.”
Changing the world doesn’t happen by accident. It is always an intentional act of love that impacts the world for good, but before you can be intentional you must know the way. King Solomon says in Proverbs that “for lack of vision the people parish.” Without a vision you are destined to parish. You become a wanderer, moving aimlessly through life, you lose your passion for life, and your drive continues to dwindle until you feel you have nothing left. This is one of the gateways to depression, and sometimes the only way out of depression is to get vision for your life, and grab on to something worth living for.
Vision alone doesn’t change the world. It is the people who follow through on their vision that take the first step into the frontier of actually changing the world. When a man or women build up the courage to act on the God given visions of the heart, God is always near! In another Proverb King Solomon writes that “a man plans his ways but the Lord guides and directs his steps.” Taking a step of faith comes from a heart surrendered to  the Lord. When you get to this place then good things are bound to happen, but there is still one final step to get to the place of true magic.
In order to make the greatest impact on the world through your God given vision you must invite others to join you. You must invite people to be a part of your vision. This is why Jesus invited the 12 disciples to follow him before setting out to change the world forever. Jesus demonstrated the walk of a true leader. Jesus set out with vision, he walked out his vision with purest love, and he trained others to do the same.
I believe when great leaders are around, there is always hope! Don’t be afraid, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.
Today this is a Sign of Hope, that no matter the circumstance you are in, or the breakthrough you need, God is for you and He has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Never give up hope!

Taylor Wilkins

Fellowship of Christian Athletes.

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