A Soldier’s Fearful Battle to Survive

++++I am very excited to announce we have a new guest blogger. Michael Thorin is joining us each month on the third Sunday of each month. He has some inspiring thoughts and ideas to share. His first post is about PTSD, and how he found his way out of the fog of this world. 

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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 106,000 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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“Where Were You? Where Are You? Where Are You Going?”

This will be written from my perspective on how I chose to cope with PTSD, and how my decisions brought me from a wrecked marriage, anger and depression to a life full of love, joy, and comfort.

Where Was I?

First off, I served 3 months in Afghanistan as a medic for OEF, and then a year and a half in Iraq as a scout. I was assigned to a gun truck platoon performing convoy security and route recon operations on the most dangerous roads in Iraq.

This time was spent dodging bullets, getting hit by IED’s, and essentially being targeted over 90% of the time. I saw things and did things that had no effect on me at the time. I was simply numb to what was going on around me. I had become callous as my family was back home growing more and more emotional, while I lost my emotions to a darkness to the fog of war, and its’ effect on my body, mind and soul.

Where Am I?

Yesterday I was preparing a devotional, and I was hit with a wave of emotions. The devotional is simply related to the effects of PTSD, and how the VA approaches its treatment of PTSD. My wife had forced me to receive treatment in 2014, or she was taking the kids and leaving me.

Something snapped. Since I had gotten home at the end of 2006, I was miserable. Worse, I made my wife and daughters lives painful and miserable as well. I received treatment and still could not get rid of the nightmares, insomnia, anxiety, lack of trust, and my inability to feel any semblance of emotion. I was essentially a zombie with an attitude and a short fuse.

I was broken.

During my time of PTSD counselling, I found one thing very interesting; the counselors could provide self-help techniques for me, but they could not offer me what I needed: redemption and forgiveness.

What I found interesting was that all of the techniques could bring you back from the bad, but could never help you resolve the bad. While I was receiving tips, I was not receiving forgiveness, and this is what I believe to be the root of the problem.

One of my biggest problems was my inability to feel emotions for what I had been through. I thought I should feel guilty, but I didn’t. I thought I should be upset, but I wasn’t.

What kind of a person was I? Where are my emotions and why does nothing in my family concern me?

I was no longer worthy of my family’s love, and I was determined to drive everything I loved away from me, because no one could understand what I was going through. I began having fits of rage and anger.

I needed forgiveness, pure and simple. I needed to know I was still worth something, and that I wasn’t too far gone to become human again. The only way I could feel forgiven was to seek forgiveness from a higher power. The second person I needed forgiveness from was myself, and then my family. I needed to right my wrongs there and then, or I would not be able to go on with my future in peace.

My choice was relying on my Christian faith and realizing that I was worth so much that Christ had hung on the cross, beaten and torn, for me. I was worth forgiveness, and I believe I cried for an hour when that finally hit me.

Where Am I Going?

While I was fumbling through some pictures to prepare the devotional on PTSD I spoke about earlier, I found one that made me stop and thank God for the miracles he worked, and how blessed I was to have not taken the “easy” way out and gave myself a chance at life, a chance to be as close to normal as possible, and that was the answer.

I was no longer beyond saving. I was no longer worthless. I was no longer the guy that could not rectify what he had seen and done with what he was “supposed” to be. I was finally human again, and not an emotionless robot.

This picture made me realize the importance of forgiveness and redemption; they are invaluable tools in the fight against PTSD and veteran suicides.

I hung in and persevered through my faith, and continue to grow and see miracles and blessings in my life, and the lives of those I care about and love. Had I given up, I would have never experienced the miracles of seeing my daughters grow, and then give us two beautiful grandchildren.

My miracle is that I am still here to enjoy my family, and had I given up in the dark days, I would have never been around to see the brilliance of these good days. As I sit here writing this blog I can’t help but shudder at the thought of my never getting a chance to see these two miracles.

Asking for forgiveness is not that hard, accepting that we have received forgiveness is another matter. I found that my comfort in Christ was the only reason I can write this blog. It is simply a miracle. Reach out and find forgiveness, and you should also forgive yourself. It makes life work, or at least it has not failed me yet.

Where do you want to go with your future, and who will you rely on to get there?

“For I know the plans I have for you”, declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11

“Nothing in the world is worth having or worth doing unless it means effort, pain, difficulty… I have never in my life envied a human being who led an easy life. I have envied a great many people who led difficult lives and led them well.”

Theodore Roosevelt

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Michael Thorin

Fultonale, Alabama

 

 

 

 

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Some of Our Routines Are Not Healthy

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Depression and a cry for redemption

Have you ever sat down in a position that seemed to be pretty comfortable at the time, but after a while realize the circulation in your legs is being cut off?

This usually happens to me when I doze off in my grandparents rocking chair. Often times I fall asleep and wake up an hour later with a tingling sensation in my legs. Once it gets to the point of complete numbness in my legs I find the mental fight is significantly more difficult than if I would have stood up at the point when the tingling began.

Sometimes the same thing happens in life– you get into a routine, and notice early on that some parts of your routine are not healthy practices. In the beginning you grow aware of the unhealthy habits and might even say to yourself; “I need to fix this.” then a few years go by and nothing about your habit has changed, and although the bad habit used to be a tingling problem, it becomes complete numbness.

Today I had coffee with a good friend of mine and during our conversation we discussed the pain of spiritual deadness. This friend shared how over the past few years he has become stagnant in his relationship with Christ, and wishes that things could go back to how they used to be. He talked about how their was a point a few years ago that he was really into church but stopped going because scheduling conflicts came up with work.

Everyone of us has to make decisions on a daily basis– What will I eat? What will I wear? Who will I hang out with? Will I follow God?
Ultimately the choices we make on a daily basis are the things that define who we are as people.

At the end of my coffee meeting this morning we came to the conclusion that only two things really matter.

1- Love God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength.
2- Love the people around you.

Life can be many things, but without love, life just becomes a tingling pain that eventually turns into numbness. Although growing numb can sometimes come quickly, their is always hope in the love of Christ.

I hope you are encouraged, and remember:

Everything in this world will someday fade away, but Love never ends.

Taylor Wilkins
Fellowship of Christian Athletes
Area Representative Salem Oregon

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Support Taylor Wilkins, who is now a minister through the Fellowship of Christian Athletes. (FCA) His dedication to young people is being a true servant of God.

You can help him reach out to young people by going to the below link and donating to his mission:

 

 

http://willvallfca.org/taylor-wilkins

 

 

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Seeking Christ During Darkest Trials

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Why is this happening? We provide daily quality words of encouragement and hope to those suffering with anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, hopelessness, self-doubt, and the many other usual suspects.

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Seeking Christ during the darkest trials

You may have read this before– “If God is for us who can be against us?”

It is a phrase often used in Christian circles and is quoted many times throughout the bible. It is a great question to keep close to your heart, though for many of us if we respond honestly to this question during the darkest times, it wouldn’t be whether or not God is able to be protect us, but rather we ask the question; “why would God allow this?”

All of us go through trials when we feel like God is nowhere to be found. It may be the world is weighing down on you with immense pressure, and you can’t help but feel depressed. It is possible that you are mourning a loved one, maybe you are fighting cancer, dealing with a life threatening disease, or even dealing with an unwanted divorce. These are real life problems we all have to deal with on a daily basis and they remind us that we are all desperately in need of a place to find hope.

This morning God reminded me of the beautiful hope He gives us when we are sick and brokenhearted. Jesus did not come to earth and die for the people who have it all together, he came to save those who need saving. In Luke 5:31-32 Jesus says; “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.”

The testimony of God’s elect ought not to be a story about how sad our earthly lives are. Although persecution, pain, sickness and death will come to all of us in this fallen world, that is not the final word for the believer. A true testimony is about the redemption and hope you have through the divine grace of Jesus Christ. It means in the midst of suffering you find peace in Jesus Christ. God is always willing to fill you with His love. All He asks us to do is seek Him. During trials when we break down, seek Him in prayer and begin listening for that still small voice, I believe we can all hear those final words Jesus Christ spoke from the cross in John 19:30, “It is finished.”

Taylor Wilkins

Fellowship of Christian Athletes

Taylor Wilkins earned his BS degree in Human Performance at Corban University, including a minor in Biblical Studies and certification with American Center of Sports Medicine (ACSM). Currently Taylor is a representative for the Fellowship of Christian Athletes in Salem, Oregon serving local coaches and athletic teams. He and his wife Melissa also serve as part time youth directors at Fruitland Community Church.

+ You can support Taylor as he goes into the high schools and reaches out to young people who are seeking hope. Just click on the link below to read more about his mission and donate to his cause.

http://willvallfca.org/taylor-wilkins

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Redemption: Priceless?

* We want to thank Lynn Mosher for being our guest blogger tonight. She is a frequent blogger that has a lot of inspiring thoughts and insights. Thank you Lynn for your time, and for giving us some hope in this Easter season.

 

Redemption: Priceless?

“…you were not redeemed with corruptible things…

But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ.”

(1 Peter 1:18a NKJV, 1 Peter 1:19a Amp)

I love some of those commercials that list the price of something and, at the end, list something that is priceless.

That’s our redemption: priceless! Priceless…only in the sense that we could never repay Christ for the redemption we have received.

But for Him: a very costly price.

Jesus Christ willingly gave up His earthly life to die an unbelievably excruciating death on a cross. Is there a greater sacrifice? The disciple John wrote, “There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13 NLT)

You are that special friend of Jesus; you are worth every drop of blood that He shed and paid for you. If you have accepted His precious offer, you are the Bride of Christ, the Beloved Bridegroom.

Jesus paid the asking price for His Bride, “a single sacrifice for our sins [that shall avail] for all time,” (Heb. 10:12a Amp) “who gave Himself a ransom on behalf of all.” (1 Tim. 2:6 NKJV)

The Greek word for ransom, in the above verse, is used only this once in the Bible and means the redemption price of a slave or captive, that which is offered in exchange for another.

In that exchange, Christ suffered death in our stead that we might walk in newness of His risen Life. Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 NKJV)

Redeeming us from our sins and ultimate spiritual death, Christ became our Kinsman-Redeemer, for He “purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us.” (Gal. 3:13 Amp)

The Greek meaning of the word used here for redeem, I think, beautifully describes what Christ did for us. It means to ransom, to rescue one from loss to improve opportunity, to purchase one for his freedom from another’s power by paying a price to recover him, or to buy up for one’s self or own use.

He exchanged His life for yours. He redeemed your life to improve it, to give you abundant Life. He redeemed you from the enemy’s power, redeemed you from a life of drudgery, from servitude to sin, from eternal loss, as He said, “So that anyone who believes in Me will have eternal life.” (John 3:15 TLB)

Great agony and heartache were the price of your redemption. Truly you are not your own. You were bought with a price.

May you know that Eternal Life that surges through your precious, blood-bought soul. And may the Lord reveal to you His presence in some special way this Easter season.

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

http://lynnmosher.blogspot.com
http://twitter.com/lynnmosher
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http://www.linkedin.com/pub/lynn-mosher/11/146/206

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