Reach Out to the Down Trodden

We are so  honored to be with you each day sharing hope. Our outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. We just past 95,560 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

We have a promotion going with prizes. The person who was our 95,000 follower will receive two nice prizes, which we will not name. (This is called a hook in writing.)

WE HAVE A WINNER!! We will be notifying the winner by email, if they put in the right email address. I will also let you know about when the winner subscription happened, so you can know that it may be yours. 

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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. Doug just interviewed a WWII veteran, for the book.  Fascinating! Look for updates here.

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It has been a few days since I last posted. Nothing wrong, just busier than a cat on a hot tin roof.

There are times when the world tests our souls. Too many ailments, too many bills, too many frustrations.

Day after day we trudge down our appointed path of life, which has many valleys and high mountains. It is fine when we are in the valleys of life, but OH those mountains.

Up and down; up and down. It is like a rollercoaster ride that never ends.

This leads to stress, depression, anxiety, self-doubt, hopelessness, and many other walls.

I have been on that roller coaster. I have been on a ride that has kept me reeling, and spinning. It is not fun at all. It is hard, at best, to be in a positive mood during these times.

But in a positive mood I am!! I have made a decision that all adversity happens. All storms come.

With that in mind, I try to live my life reaching out to others to help them through the storms that they face.

  • I look for a reason to go somewhere that happens to have some down trodden people. Like hospitals, nursing homes, etc.
  • While there I keep a big smile on my face, and guess what, almost every time I get a return smile. Some of those faces had never wrinkled up a smile in months.
  • I sit and talk to them. Actually, I sit and Listen to them. It seems like no one has taken time to stop and talk to them in months. They really unload, and I am so honored to be there to let them do it.
  • It is wise to usually bring something to give them. Just a simple card, one rose, a small gift card, or even just a hug.
  • God will always smile as He is looking down on your doing all of this.

It is amazing how helping others helps you as well. Smiles get returned. Hugs are mutual. Seeing one excited and happy again….PRICELESS!

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

 

 

 

 

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Where is Hope in All of the Tragedy in the World?

I shared with you in a previous post, about helping the Women’s Assistance League in Salem, Oregon with their Operation School Bell.

It is a wonderful program where underprivileged children can come into J.C. Penny, and “buy,” clothes,  up to $144.00 worth. They don’t pay a dime, and have nice new clothes to wear for the rest of the school year.

I just finished doing the last one for the year. I am very tired, but it was very rewarding.

I had some special moments tonight. I had one boy who was about 13 years old, ask me to help him add up the prices, and pick out clothes. We had a great time. We got some very essential clothes like socks and shoes, and then got a few “cool,” T-shirts, and sweat shirts.

Whe we ere done, we added up his total, and it was $142.79. He was only $1.21 under the limit. He was very proud of that.

But then the special thing happened. He let me hug him, and the smile on his face was priceless. He felt more joy tonight then he probably has in a long time. He started to walk away  and then came back  and shook my hand. He said, “Thank you so much for spending some time with me shopping.”

Why did I take several paragraphs just to tell you about this one boy? Because he is just one boy of more then 800 boys and girls in Salem, that are below the poverty line.

That is just for my home town. It is so sad to see the trend that is happening in the younger generations. Living with less, and not being able to have the extra things we all take for granted.

This evening let me learn about being thankful for the little things.

One of the boys that was shopping, reminded me so much of myself when I was that age. He had the same type of haircut I had back then.

I can honestly tell you that my family would have qualified for this charity program if they would have had it when I was their age. My brother and I didn’t want to have special help so we both found jobs when we were teenagers. I worked on my uncle’s farm, and my brother had a paper route.

We earned enough to pay for all our own school clothes, and help our single parent mom pay some of the bills. We were a very close family even though here wasn’t a dad in the group. My mother was a brave and caring mom. She worked as a office manager for only $1.35 an hour, but she kept a roof over our head, and we had food to eat on the table.

I agree that there were times where I had to eat a mayo sandwich with sugar on it for dinner, and we had potato soup almost every night, because my uncle  grew potatoes on his farm.

We didn’t go hungry, and had fun during our younger years.

We didn’t have Nintendo, cell phones, TV, or other fancy electronics, but we did have roller skates and bikes.

We also had one ping pong table in the whole neighborhood, and had tournaments every weekend. I got pretty good at it by the end of my high school days.

Yes, on paper we would be considered poor, but we didn’t know we were. We were very  happy and enjoyed our lives back then.

What about today? We have many people that are homeless; living in their cars. There are soup kitchens being swamped with people looking for something to eat. Children are on special free lunch programs, because there is no money to pay for them.

This blog talks about hope. Where is there hope in all of this tragedy?

Our hope is on the cross. Jesus knew what poverty was. He never owned his own  home, He only ate if someone provided some food for him. He slept under a tree many times.

He knows what we have to go through. He knows the hunger pangs we feel. 

He knows about prejudice, hatred, disappointments, physical and mental abuse.

He could have avoided all of that. He was/is God. Yet He allowed man to beat Him, and nail Him to that cross to die for you and me.

He knows our pain, so we should always find hope on the cross. It represents our salvation, and eternal life.  

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God Shows us Many Things if we Look for Them

We all Walk a Path Designed by God

I was gone all day to Detroit, Oregon. The is a reservoir there called, Detroit Lake. We went up there to be with family. We did some fishing, swimming, much eating, and laughing.

The weather was perfect. In the low 80’s and not a cloud in the sky. I brought my boat. We gave family member rides on the lake, and did some fishing besides. The fishing wasn’t all that good, but the boating was fantastic. The lake was calm, and we took turn letting different members ride, and sight see.

This probably isn’t too inspiring for you, but I am getting there.

As I was in the boat, I looked around and saw:

  • A mother was holding a child and the look on her face as she looked down at her child was priceless. Love was oozing out all over.
  • A father was showing his son how to fish, and while he was doing that they hooked a fish. I couldn’t tell who was more excited, the boy or the day.
  • A man that was in a wheel chair was putting his fishing gear in the back of his pick-up, and had a big smile on his face. He was greeting everyone as they walked by.
  • Several Osprey birds were flying over our heads looking for fish that were near the top of the water to catch. I think they did better than we did.
  • My nephew caught his very first fish, and he squealed with delight, as he landed it. He was jumping in the water’s edge and about ready to do a somersault. He is only four.
  • There was a full moon tonight, and the lake was aglow with the glistening of the moon streaking across it like a path of silver stretching through the middle.
  • Mars was very bright in the sky, and was a beacon showing me the way as I drove home.

What do each of these things mean?

  1. The mother is an example of God looking down on His own children, and showing how much He loves them.
  2. The father and the son fishing, shows us that spending time with our loved ones is far more important than climbing the ladder of success. Besides that ladder seems to be greased, and it is way to easy to slide back down again. Your child will never look at you and think you are a failure. They will love you no matter how successful you are.
  3. The man in the wheel chair shows us that no matter what adversity comes our way, we are to be joyful, and strong. We need to show others our strength through our trails, and this will in turn help them through theirs.
  4. The Osprey is a symbol of the heights we can achieve, and when we reach those heights we can see many opportunities below us that we can use to help others.
  5. My nephew catching his first fish is about using our talents we didn’t know we had before. We don’t know we have  certain talents unless we try them. When we try and become very good at a skill, we will be overjoyed that we are serving God, and doing something we are good at as well.
  6. The moon shining on the lake and showing the way, is like the path we must walk to serve God. The path may be narrow, but it is lit with God’s love, and the strength of the armor He provides for us.
  7. Mars shining in the sky this time of year, reminds us of the mighty God who created the heavens and the earth. All of its splendor we see has been touch by his glorious hand.

I saw many wonderful things today, and each of them reminded me of what God can do for us and through us. Think of that each day as you  look around like I did.

 

 

 

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Stop Wallowing in the Pits of Despair

God Never Makes Mistakes

Repeat after me:

I am not a mistake. I am part of God’s plan. He created me and I am valued, precious, and priceless to Him. He already knows who made me to be. I am unique. There is no one like me. There never was and never will be.

God has a purpose for me that is unique as well. God has big plans for me in my life.

God NEVER makes mistakes!

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Now I could leave this as the post for tonight. There isn’t much more that needs to be said.

Read the statement again. What parts or parts are you having trouble with? Do you feel that God is too distant and doesn’t really value you? Do you feel you aren’t part of God’s plan? Do you wonder what He has in store for you? Are you asking what your purpose is?

You certainly aren’t alone. There are over 19 million documented people in just the United States that are struggling with afflictions like, self-doubt, anxiety, fear, hopelessness, depression, and the many other usual suspect. Do you fit into one of those titles?

I think I have had almost all of those labels at one time or another in my life. I didn’t know which one to concentrate on so I just did them all. 🙂

So what do we do about this? Why do we allow Satan to put chains on us, and drag us down like a huge magnate?

I assume you were drowning in the muck and mire just like I was, and wondered if you were going down for the last and final time.

Well, we need to stop wallowing in the pits of despair, and stop having the pity parties.

God does love us. God does care. God wants us to have joy and peace.

How do we achieve that?

It is called faith. Believe with all you heart that God has a plan for you and all the garbage that is going on around you has a meaning, and purpose.

I realize that that is a very hard concept to grasp. It is hard to think that God would let us suffer. I can truly attest that I am very thankful for all the trials, and heartaches that came my way. I went through six major surgeries, and sat in my Explorer one day ready to check out of this hotel called earth.

Amazingly it was at that moment that I felt the closest to God in my whole life. It was like He was waiting for me to go to the end of my rope clinging to a thread, and then realize that the thread was the hem of His robe.

I cried out to Him, and He answered. I gave all my pain and anguish to Him on the spot, and the relief was wonderful.

God is there. God will let the storms come, but He will be there to help you through them. All you have to do is ask. Give your pain to Him and let Him carry the burden.

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