Stop the Stress, and See the Light

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 101,100 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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Glad to have Dennis Booth back as our Guest blogger today. He has an unusual post on visions. We have all heard of them. He has seen one.

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Whether you believe in visions or not, whether you are a Christian or not, I am going to share something with you that I believe will talk to individuals about where they are at present and offer them hope.

Recently my wife had occasion to travel and meet up with family during which matters close to that family were discussed and which in turn provided some spirited discussion that sometimes was bordering on flared tempers.

Fair enough that happens to a lot of families but when the discussion or call it what you will is all over, in the solitude of silence and contemplation there can arise a lot of hurt, a lot of bitterness and a lot of regret.

And so this last Sunday in church I believe I received a vision (I sometimes do) and this is what I believe I saw.

It was like a Western wilderness scene in the sense that there was a lot of rocky outcrop and on the ground not uneven there were giant cacti with thorns and smaller bramble bushes.

However in the middle was a road heading into the distance through a gap in hills in front of the outcrop and cacti and through that gap there was a brightness that almost lit up the entire sky but only through that gap.

And I believe I heard this to support the vision.

Many are having divisions, quarrels, arguments, strife with those close to them and many are being drawn into these situations.

But that same many know that they want to stay out of it all because it causes them to stray away from what they know is right.

The problem is in this situation not only has there been strife to the left but it has developed into strife to the right and so one side tries to get the person over to their side but the same applies on the other side.

Yet the path/road is still there and I believe God is saying that in these situations keep your focus, your eyes on what you know is the way out….it is ahead and by staying on the path you will see light very much like the saying, “light at the end of the tunnel.”

I think too often we tend to be drawn into taking on burdens that we are not meant to carry, too often we tend to be drawn into adding to strife and argument that we never intended to happen.

We may be staying out of it all, be seen as a fence sitter but I believe God is saying come into the light through the gap, out of the wilderness and all will be well.

Dennis Booth

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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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Create the Beauty in your Life

This week we are blessed to have Damon Eddy, as our guest blogger, he the founder of  PLAY YOUR PART WELL…… May you be blessed by his post as I was

Create the Beauty in Your Life

I heard a great story today. It told about a gardener who created and incredible rock garden that was once filled with weeds, trash, and neglect. However, out of that not so pleasant site he created a beautiful garden that became so popular people would come from all over the country to tour the garden. One day there was this man who did not want the gardener to get all the credit for the garden so at the end of his tour he went up to the gardener and said, ” What a beautiful garden you and God have created.” The garden knowing what the man meant responded, “Yes, I cannot take all the credit. Without the soil, the sun, the seed, the rain, and the seasons all this would not be possible. However, you should have seen the garden when just God had it.”

What I get from this story is that God gives us everything we need to create that beauty in our lives. However, it takes a decision (actions) on our part if we want to make that beauty a reality. We cannot sit back and do nothing. We take steps daily to take advantage of all that God has and continues to bless us with. We cannot neglect and let the weeds infiltrate our lives. We cannot sit back and expect to be blessed at the same time. Many of us have certain dreams or goals that we want to accomplish. However, how many of us actually accomplish them or at best go after them. All of us have the power (with God’s guidance) to direct our lives better than we do. Many of the decisions we need to make that will take us down a road to more fulfillment are easy to identify. Often we know the decisions that will lead us down the path we wish to go.  The path that will keep us steadily moving in the direction we desire.  However, although easy to know they are often easy not to do.

So, why then do some people seen to be better disciplined than other’s therefore experiencing more beauty in their life?  Although there is more than one reason let’s just explore one for now. Think about this. . . . God created the wind that blows the same for all of us. We all are constantly tossed around in the sea of life. No matter where you are or where you come from the waves and the wind of life blow trying to  beat us down daily in our lives. Those struggles may be our relationships, our jobs, our addictions, health. . . . . you name it, life can be challenging.  The question then becomes if you have your sail set? What course are you on? Many have their sail set towards disaster or wrong decisions (less beauty). Many do not even have their sails set at all and are constantly getting tossed and beaten by life (even less beauty, disaster). It is those who have that course set, their sail up, with a solid relationship with their Savior, that understand no matter how hard the wind may blow it doesn’t matter. Their sites are set on that distant destination they know they will reach. They know where they are going.  There is hope (faith).  Their sites are set on their Heavenly Father who is the captain of their ship. 

With that said, do you have your sail set?  Do you clearly see your destination?  What you want to become?  What you want to experience? What your relationships look like?  You see, it is hard to find beauty often in your life when you don’t even know what beauty looks like for your life.  Define it. . . and then go after it.  Pull the weeds and create that beauty in your life taking advantage of all the blessing God has given you.

                                                                       

 PLAY YOUR PART WELL –  is a ministry founded by Damon Eddy to empower men to play their part well by taking daily action to shine for Christ.  “In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” Mt 5:16 This is the vision because it is what we want to see happen- men taking action for God

http://playyourpartwell.com  encouraging men to live the life God would want them to live through weekly authentic videos engaging men to play their part well in the journey we call life.

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Success is not a Shadow

Have you ever watched a dog chase its shadow? It can be a comical sight. Mistaking the shadow for something concrete and catchable, the dog yaps at it and tries to chase it down. Time after time, the dog dramatically pounces on the shadow, expecting to pin it to the ground. Yet, no matter how hard the dog tries, the shadow always eludes its grasp.

We laugh at the silliness of a dog’s futile attempt to catch a shadow, but it’s not nearly as funny to watch a person try the same routine. Unfortunately, that’s just what many leaders do in life. They chase after a shadow of success, not realizing that what they’re pursuing lacks depth and substance. They’re running after an illusion of success rather than tracking down the real thing.

I’ve found that there are two core fallacies that cause us to have a shadowy view of success. Let’s take a moment to look at each one in greater detail.

Fallacy #1: We see success as a place instead of a process.

Most people have destination disease. They see success as a far-off place where they hopefully will end up in the future. In the meanwhile, they float through life without a sense of urgency. Lacking a plan to get where they want to go and eschewing the hard work needed to get there, people with destination disease rarely arrive at their vision of success.

People with a proper understanding of success know that it is determined by their daily agenda. They’re aware that success has two main ingredients: decisions and discipline. Decisions pave the way to goal-setting while discipline fuels goal-getting. The two traits cannot be separated; one is worthless with out the other.

Good Decisions – Daily Discipline = A Plan without a Payoff
Daily Discipline – Good Decisions = Regimentation without Reward 
Good Decisions + Daily Discipline = A Masterpiece of Potential

Successful people know where they want to go. They don’t drift; they drive. Along the way, they pay the price of daily discipline in order to achieve their goals.

Fallacy #2: We measure success by the magnitude of our accomplishments rather than by the richness of our relationships.

Many people envision success as attaining a powerful position, commanding a high salary, or obtaining luxurious possessions. None of these goals are inherently wrong. However, distortion comes when, in striving for “success,” leaders elevate getting above giving. Rather than connecting with and serving their teammates, they slip into self-absorption and start to treat their followers like pawns.

People who live solely for themselves end up by themselves-alone and disconnected. Albert Einstein hit the mark when he said, “Only a life lived for others is worth living.” An unselfish life of service never ceases to be filled with the pleasant company of friends and loved ones. If you desire true success, then put a high value on people, make the effort to form relationships, and invest in those relationships regularly.

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Your Spouse can be Your Special Place of Refuge

 

I Am Not the Enemy

 

The husband should fulfill his marital duty to his wife, and likewise, the wife to her husband.

1 Corinthians 7:3

 

In our daily lives we go about trying to just make it through the day. And we spend much of our time worrying about tomorrow. We do not know where to turn for comfort.

I learned through my own troubled times that I have one place I can always turn besides prayer and meditating on God. It is someplace (someone) right in my home. My wife. I’ve learned that a spouse should be your special place of refuge.

And I’ve learned that my wife Charlotte is not the enemy. There were times when I wondered about this, and struck back. Through counseling, I realized that she is my strength—and my friend. In the past I always tried to blame her for many of my problems. If I was depressed, it was her fault. If I failed at something, it was her fault.

Our personal counselor made us think and really look at each other. Each of us had to decide if the other really was on our side. Or was my spouse the enemy? This, of course, was an easy choice. Charlotte was not the enemy. She wants the best for me, and I want the best for her. So why do we spend so much time blaming our spouses for our problems?

They are the ones we should be going to for help with our problems. If there is an unresolved issue that has come between the two of you, sitting in silence only fuels the problem.

We need to consider the feelings of our spouses, and stop putting ourselves ahead of them. We need to clean up our inner feelings before we can attempt to help others. If we do this and really try to stick with that formula, the regret we feel should be because we haven’t done what we feel we should have done to uplift our spouses.

Think of your spouse as your sounding board, your place of refuge. You need to consider your spouse a place for you to share hurt, and a place where you can feel free to “unload,” without judgment or punishment.

Talk to your spouse and let him or her know that you do not think of them as your enemy, and also let them know that you are on their side and want to help them in any way as they go through their daily lives.

Your heavenly Father is, of course, not your enemy. Neither is your spouse, who is your earthly companion that you should always feel free to share your hurts with—just like you would with God.

 

Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.

1 Peter 3:7

 

However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.

Ephesians 5:33

 

Further adventures

Sit down and list the good things you know about your spouse. Now write the things that you consider bad things. Look at each of them, and then throw the bad things in the garbage. Keep the good things and concentrate on them. There is a saying, “Write your hurts in the sand and your happiness in cement.” This way your hurts will wash away, and you can always see your happiness. This is the step toward a happier marriage. Don’t keep score of the bad feelings. Only count the good.

 

Something to ponder

Wouldn’t it be funny if Adam said to Eve, “Watch it; I have plenty of ribs where you came from”?

* Excerpt from: Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World

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