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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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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Seeing Clearly in Your Spiritual Life

We have 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 91,700. 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, is writing  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. Doug Is also seeking military who would be willing to do an interview. It will be part of the book. Sharing by actual soldiers will help many others.

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Welcome back Lynn Mosher. She is a regular guest blogger. Thank you Lynn for your faithfulness to other here on Signs of Hope.

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Smeared Glasses

 

Ackk! My glasses are smeared again!

 

I reach for my specially-treated, purple cloth and wipe off the yuck. How does that stuff get there? Always amazes me that it just appears.

 

Usually, I don’t notice that my glasses are dirty, and I don’t realize I’m squinting. Sometimes, I get a headache. The change is so subtle that it’s overlooked. After removing the film and spots from my glasses, my eyes relax and I can see better.

 

As Trapper John said to Radar on M*A*S*H, “Clean your glasses and you’ll know where you are!”

 

Aren’t we like this spiritually? I know I am. Looking through spiritual lenses, I don’t realize the build up of smudges, spots, and blemishes caused by the things I say, do, see, hear, etc. Things get blurry. And get worse. It’s like gradually drawing down a blackout shade. So imperceptible that it isn’t detected. Until it is pitch black and I don’t know where I am!

 

I tolerate those tiny, subtle spots and unconsciously overlook them. I end up with a squinting spirit and instead of a headache, I develop a heartache. And the disconnect from the Lord slowly takes place.

 

Jesus died for those spots and blemishes in the lives of His Church Bride, “He gave up His life for her to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word. He did this to present her to Himself as a glorious church without a spot or wrinkle or any other blemish. Instead, she will be holy and without fault.” (Eph. 5:25b-28 NLT)

 

I need to ask the Lord to search me, to bring those things to my attention of which I may be unaware or have ignored. Praying David’s prayer would be a good start, “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Ps. 139:23-24 NLT)

 

Have you been seeing clearly lately? If not, clean your spiritual lenses and you’ll know where you are!

 

From His feet, Lynn

 

lynnmosher.com

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In My Darkness, You Are my Light!

We want to thank all the people who have been subscribing to our RSS feed on this site. It has been awesome! We just passed 24,000 subscribers. We averaged over 98 new subscribers a day for March. Why is this happening? Because we offer quality posts of encouragement daily. Many people who come here are searching for hope. We provide this.

The latest exciting news is that we have passed the 1.25 million mark in total hits for our site. That is impressive, and you are the ones that did it.

We have been on the first page of the Google Search Rankings for over two years.  As a matter of fact we are # 2 this week. Help us stay on that page by subscribing today if you haven’t already. Just click on the icon right after the title to do that.

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We would like to let you know that the book, “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World,” is now out in eBook form at all of the eBook outlets. Be sure to check it out. You can actually order it right off of this site by clicking on the Amazon icon on the right. It is only $4.99 compared to $19.99 for the hard copy in the bookstores.

This book has words of hope, not only from this site, but personal thoughts from Doug Bolton the author, and administrator of this site. You can order a book by click on “bookstore,” above.

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Lynn Mosher is back with us for another guest blog. Thank you Lynn for taking my place while I am in Florida on Vacation. (I know…name dr0pper!) This is a wonderful post that lets us know there is a light we can look for in our dark lives.

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In My Darkness, You Are My Light!

When the clouds of disappointment, heartache, and circumstances roll in to darken our day, what do we do? Whine and complain? Doubt and worry? Question God?

But what does scripture tell us? “Blessed are the people knowing the joyful sound; O Jehovah, they shall walk in the light of Your face.” (Ps. 89:15 Masoretic Text) The ‘joyful sound’ in Hebrew means an acclamation of joy or a battle-cry, especially clangor of trumpets, as an alarm, joy, jubile, loud noise, rejoicing, shout, (high, joyful) sound.

So, what can we conclude? Praise keeps us in the Light!

Therefore, would the opposite be true? Does our lack of praise cause darkness to linger? Or do we still raise our hands in praise and worship when in painful despair? Do we still fall on our knees in the presence of the Lord when in a heart-wrenching trial?

What do you do? When the stream of joy dries up and disappears, do you follow Paul’s words, “Again I say, rejoice!” (Phil. 4:4b NKJV) The one rejoicing unlocks the dam built by negative thoughts, words, and circumstances. S/he waters that dry, rock-bed and joy flows once again, for s/he “will have rivers of living water flowing from his inmost heart.” (John 7:38b Phillips)

Sing any tune, make up any words, but praise your Beloved. Praise the One Who is the Light of the world. The Light of your world.

In your darkness, He is your light! Raise your hands in praise and keep the Light on!

 

From His feet, Lynn

lynnmosher.com

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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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