We have a Chance in Life With Hope

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 106, 450 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.


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. 


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.


Hope’s Chances

The British mother, straight blond hair across her eyes, couldn’t look at the TV camera. As she and her partner stood in front of the media, they released what was left of their hopes. Their infant son Charlie, born with a rare genetic condition, had suffered massive brain damage. The parents fought hard for his life, but in the end, no doctor could help him. Now Charlie would be allowed to die in peace.*

Hope’s last thin wisp disappeared like morning mist. For them, all that was left was a sky with a hole in the shape of their baby boy.

We grasp for and cling to a crazy kind of hope when a child gets a terminal illness, when the cancer comes back, when nobody leaves the light on in your personal tunnel of woe. It’s hard to keep hoping in the face of a death sentence, yet we often rise to the occasion. “I’m hoping against hope,” we say, and smile to prove it—even when we know we don’t stand a chance.

But is hope sometimes foolish, setting us up for certain disappointment?

In my journey with my adult children, hoping they’ll recover from drug and alcohol abuse, I’ve sometimes wondered how far my hope can stretch. After decades of dealing with one son’s meth addiction as well as his two brothers’ alcoholism, lately I hear myself using words like “intractable.” It sounds a little like incurable, and a whole lot like hopeless.

The first time I said this aloud, I was interviewing a man who’d recently lost his son to the opioid epidemic. I was referring to my middle son’s meth addiction, which experts claim is harder than heroin to kick. “At this point,” I said, “my son has been a meth user for more than half his life.”

The man said he was sorry to hear it, but in my mind, I was suddenly standing mere inches from a speeding train. With a racing locomotive’s hot breath on me, only a fool would give me or my son a snowball’s chance. I waited for impact.

Until I remembered.

Hope isn’t always about odds. Often, it’s a way to keep going when you’re falling apart. Mostly, it’s about love.

My son has said and done things to his family that could make your whiskers curl. He’s called his dad and me names, cursed us blue and has stolen and destroyed property. In a meth-fueled rage when he was barely out of middle school, he attacked his Marine Corps veteran father.  My son’s been through inpatient treatment at least three times and outpatient rehab even more. We’ve gone to family and personal counseling, twelve-step meetings and educational programs on his behalf. So far, recovery hasn’t really stuck.

Some days, I catch myself thinking this addiction nightmare will never end. After all, meth is very hard to beat, and studies show that addicts’ chances dry up if the user doesn’t have much to lose. My son has no job, no spouse, no kids and no home except with us. There’s no parole officer or even a driver’s license to hang over his head. If he continues to abuse drugs, he’ll eventually also give up his youthful vigor, handsome looks and even his teeth.

But I try to remember that my son is not meth. What he does isn’t right or healthy or even tolerable, but he is much more than the sum of his sins. Much more. He’s a part of me, and I cannot stop loving him, encouraging him, and yes, hoping for him.

Some would say the hope expressed by baby Charlie’s parents was not only unrealistic, but cruel. Where’s the upside of an infant who can’t breathe on his own, see, hear or swallow? If meth addiction is indeed intractable, why not throw out my son and be done with it?

The answer I always seem to find is simple—love. Nestled inside a cocoon of love—foolish or not—a fragile hope can push back at the ugliest of prognoses.  We hope because we love—our families, friends, statesmen. And my kind of love always includes a Presence bigger and more mysterious than anything I can imagine.

The circumstances may still suck. Babies may slip away to be angels, senators may succumb and addicts may never stop using. Life is beautiful and frequently terrible, as Frederick Buechner says. Hope knows this all too well but still says, “Sure, life is awful. But I love you and I’m not giving up on you.” And our hearts get lighter for a while, just knowing someone is pulling for us.

When common sense says cut loose, hope keeps me from crumbling into a soggy mess. From time to time, hope even scolds me for using words such as intractable.

The Old Testament book of Ecclesiastes—not to mention the Byrds of sixties’ rock and roll—says there is a time for everything: sowing, reaping, birth, death, you-name-it. Yet throughout scripture, we’re reassured that if we place our hope in God, we’ll never be disappointed. Even old Job, whose life was an absolute train wreck, didn’t stop hoping in God.

The parents who hoped for their terminally ill son’s cure may as well have tried to catch the wind. They gazed at his tiny face and saw more beauty than anything, even with his grave condition and a feeding tube shoved up his nose. They probably sensed Charlie didn’t have a chance, but their love for a son outweighed the sorry odds.

Their experience has shown me how small and limited I can be about my hopes for my own son. Where graphs and charts and polls show meth addiction to be like a cancer that keeps coming back, I search for the good in my son’s still beautiful wide smile.  I’ll keep my slightly crazy hopes on display, partly to keep from strangling him, mostly to keep loving him. Will he ever stop using drugs and live a clean and sober life?

“It’s a long shot,” said the man who’d lost his son to a heroin overdose. “But don’t you ever give up hope.”

“Not a chance,” I said. “Not a chance.”

*Charlie Gard passed away one month short of his first birthday. May he rest in peace.

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How Salty Are You?

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How Salty Are You?
If You Lose Your Flavor, What Will Happen to the World?

“Ye are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have
lost his savor, wherewith shall it be salted?”
(Matt. 5:13a KJV)

The Greek definition of savor actually means to become insipid, to make as a simpleton, or to act or become foolish. The word lost is not in the Greek. Salt, in Greek, also means prudent, which in English means wise, discreet, circumspect, and sensible.

If we reword it, it might say something like this, “You are the salt, the preservative, the wise quality of the earth, but if you become foolish, with what will you salt?” The Living Bible translates it this way, “You are the world’s seasoning, to make it tolerable. If you lose your flavor, what will happen to the world?”

In biblical times, salt reigned high on the importance and necessity ladder as it preserved food from spoiling, was used as an antiseptic, and was added to sacrifices.

During those days, covenants were made between individuals, between a king and his people, between two groups or nations, or between God and a man or His people. This agreement required each party to make promises which were never to be broken – ever!

If the two participants of a covenant ratified it with a meal, they used salt, which signified the custom of pledging friendship or confirming a binding compact, for when men ate together, they became friends, binding them in reconciliation and peace.

It also symbolized preservation and a perpetual obligation. Once a person joined in a salt covenant with God or another person, he risked the penalty of being cast out if he breached his loyalty to his oath.

Salt symbolized covenant’s preservation from decay and the surrender of self to the Lord, eradicating all impurities and hypocrisy. It also indicated loyalty and living a life of wholesome character and speech, giving flavor to life.

We see this in scripture, as Jesus told the disciples, “You must have the qualities of salt among yourselves and live in peace with each other,” (Mark 9:50b NLT) and as Paul wrote, “Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” (Col. 4:6 NIV)

In those ancient times, if salt lost its flavor, it became worthless as a preservative and was taken to the temple in Jerusalem. When it rained, the marble courtyard became slippery, so they spread the salt out to keep people from falling, hence the saying, “to be trampled under the feet of men.”

Salt’s properties preserve from corruption and putrefaction. As Matthew Henry said, “So Christians, by their lives and instructions, are to keep the world from entire moral corruption.”

If you are the Lord’s salt to the world? Do you have those qualities of salt within you that bring healing, preservation, and flavoring? Is your conversation full of grace and seasoned with salt? Is your saltiness fading away?

“If you lose your flavor, what will happen to the world?”
From His feet, Lynn


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“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.” Matthew 7:24

The purpose of learning truth is so that it can be used. Unused truth expires and becomes stale. When you hear truth and put it into practice, you are wise. When you hear truth and ignore its application, you are foolish. Foolish is the man who acknowledges truth outwardly but never applies it inwardly. His foundation for faithfulness is fragile, so when the winds of adversity swirl and blow, his character collapses under the crushing power.

Someone may show up for the Bible study or attend a soul-stirring retreat and hear truth but never change for the better. How can this be? This happens when people do not follow through with what they know to be right and true. There is a disconnect between their head and their heart. The discipline to stop bad habits and start new ones is rationalized away with convincing excuses. We deceive ourselves by saying, “I don’t have enough time,” “I am not spiritual enough,” “I will get around to this one day,” or “God will understand if I wait.” John described self-deception’s affect on truth: “We deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8b).

Truth and deception can never coexist. So, jettison deception, and apply truth now. If you wait, you will wander from its application. Right now is the wisest time to receive His gift of grace and to engraft it into your life. You are responsible for the truth you have received. Therefore, steward it wisely. Use it before you lose it, and become a practitioner of truth.

Lastly, apply truth in doses that can be ingested into your character. Do not be overwhelmed by multiple things in your life that need to change. Choose one thing, such as loving your spouse with abandonment and sensitivity. Paul said in Ephesians 5:25 that the husband should “give himself up” for his wife. Without saying a word, serve in secret so your spouse can experience your unselfish care and concern. Get into their world by loving them at their point of interest. It may relate to entertainment, cooking, or yard work. Whatever it may be, serve them in ways that tell them you care. At work, you have the opportunity to put the radical teaching of Jesus into practice by treating others as you want to be treated (Matthew 7:12 NASB).

Think of a colleague who let the team down and is in need of forgiveness. If you were in their shoes, you would appreciate this gift of mercy. You can put into practice the Golden Rule because you are golden now that God has graced your life. God has filled you with His grace so you can live a gracious life. Focus on building the foundation of your life and your character one brick of truth at a time. This architecture designed by the Almighty will endure. Leave a lasting legacy in your children by putting into practice what you know to be truth. The teachings of Jesus are truth. Therefore, believe and apply. Put His principles into practice, and persevere.

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Those Who Anger You Control You

“A little kingdom I possess,

Where thoughts and feelings dwell,

And very hard the task I find,

Of governing it well.”

Louisa May Alcott

Have you had time when you feel you are out of control? Do you lose your temper when things don’t go your way. You are not alone. I have been there myself. I had a short fuse at times. I thought something should be done a certain way and when it is not. the steam started flowing.,

I was that way I was for many years. Always barking out at people for something that probably was out of their control.

I have learned that the day will still pass, and the next day will still come if I am upset or not. Why waste time on something that can’t be controlled, or may not even happen?

Letting things get to you, is not only foolish, but bad for your health. High blood pressure is a common thing with high strung people. The pain and anguish builds up inside of them and there isn’t any release. It cause you to reach a level that not only causes you health problems, but your friends and family may turn their backs on you.

We certainly don’t want high blood pressure, or people avoiding us.

What can we do?

We can call on God to calm the storm. God allows the storms in our lives. He wants us to face trials and have them strengthen us. He allows them but He will help calm them. He will never let you face something that is more than you can handle, if you have turned it over to Him.

I certainly have been through some trials. I was at the end of my rope and clinging to the last thread from it. That was I realized that the thread I was clinging to was the hem of God’s robe.

He was there all the time just waiting for me to finally come to Him for help. Once I did that He picked me up out of the pits of hell, and carried me the rest of the way.

I pray that you haven’t gone so deep into the pit that you need to cry out to God for help to save you. If you are there….stop right now and kneel before God, and tell Him you can’t travel on this earth alone anymore. Tell Him you need Him to guide you from this minute on.

I know that if you do this you will find peace. Trust me, it may not be over night. You will need to completely clear all the muck and mire out of the flow of your life.

It is like a river when it floods. It is dark and murky. It takes a while for the new fresh water to clear out the murky water, but it does, and everything runs smoothly again.

Take time today to release all your pain and frustrations to God. He is just a prayer away.


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