What A SuperBowl Game!

We are so  honored to be with you each day sharing hope. Our outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. We just past 95,500 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 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 every 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. Doug just interviewed a WWII veteran. Fascinating! Look for updates here.

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It is time again for Taylor Wilkens to do his guest post. He always inspires us, and tonight he is talking about the Super Bowl.  Thank you Taylor for your insight, and wisdom.

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Super Bowl Champions 

Today is Superbowl Sunday and right now you, like most Americans, are probably getting together with a bunch of junk food to party with friends and family to watch the big game! I love the super bowl for many reasons— but the ultimate reason for me to watch is because I love good competition. After tonight one team will be crowned champion and the other will fall to second place. This level of game elevates the competition because the stakes are so high. Both of these teams have battled over the past year in the weight room, training, and competition to get to this point and now only one can be the champion. The crowning moment is hugely rewarding because of the effort put into a great victory.

Leading up to Super Bowl Sunday one thing has been ringing in my mind on a daily basis— “run in such a way as to win the prize…” It’s the summarizing verse out of 1 Corinthians 9:24-27 where Paul is encouraging the Corinthian people to walk out their faith with the highest level of excellence because at the end of this race there will be an imperishable prize for those who did not give up.  How much are you willing to fight for the prize? Super Bowl Sunday is amazing and the glory at the end of the day will be great, but temporary. All the time, energy, and effort going into only a moment of glory! I have so much respect for the coaches and athletes commitment to train and exert so much energy into becoming the best at what they do. We all have stuff in our lives that we put an exceptional amount of work into— yet at the end of all your endeavors, where will you end up? Where will your reward take you? What will be the prize of your life taken into eternity? 

“Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat down on them; nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; ‘he will lead them to springs of living water.’ And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Revelation 7:16-17

The conviction on my heart is to follow Jesus with my whole heart. I have pushed all my chips into the middle, and I have found no reward greater than eternal life in the kingdom of heaven with the God who loves me so much that he offered up His life as a sacrifice for mine. Not only did he take away my sin and guilt but he is preparing a place for me in his kingdom. 

I believe Jesus is calling you to himself today, you are the prize he has been fighting for and pursuing— you are never alone, and you are always loved.

Today this is a Sign of Hope, that no matter the circumstance you are in, or the breakthrough you need, God is near to you and He has “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” 

* New England Patriots won over Atlanta Falcons in overtime 34-28. 

 

Taylor Wilkins
twilkins@fca.org
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What if you Had a Pity Party and no one Came?

What are you looking for?

What is your future hope?

What are you dreaming about?

How often do you let the world disappoint you?

Many people wonder about the  answers to these questions.  They go to work, and put in there time. They come home, and turn on the TV, and plant themselves on the couch. Many have a dream, but they don’t think they are capable of doing it.

We all have a dream that we have been clinging to. What is your dream? Do you want to be a business owner that has a business that reaches out and helps others? How about a type of job that you can work at home and be with your children? Maybe a job that is actually fun, rewarding, and pays good.

I would guess most of you would be excited about these jobs, but what if God has other plans for you? He may want you to be a servant to others like your thought of a business that reaches out to others, but the job He as in mind is to go to another country and be a missionary.

He may have a opening in a rehab center for addicts that he thinks you would do well at.

God provides doors for us, but we don’t always open them. We may ignore His call, and choose our own path.

We all with like to have riches, and a good living, but sometimes it doesn’t deliver what it is supposed to. I have read about every wealthy people that are very sad. How could that be? They have all the money they need to buy happiness. It is because they have a void. They are missing something. They don’t have the love of God, and they a very alone because they don’t know about His loving ways.

I know there are some of you who are in hard times. You amy have lost your job. You may be behind in your house payments. You may not have any health insurance. These are hard to deal with. I feel your pain, and I pray for all those who are hurting in this respect.

So, either rich or poor what can we do to fulfill our dreams, and have some hope?

Think on this:

  • Money can only buy “things.” It can’t buy happiness.
  • It is always darkest just before the dawn of a new day.
  • Never give up! Never let Satan knock you down, and make you feel unworthy. That is just where he wants you.
  • Take God’s hand and let Him lead you through the storms of life. He feels your pain. He has felt His own pain when His only Son was dying on the cross.
  • Get up off of that couch, and look to the future. Look for the hope that God already knows you have. He has a plan for you, and with His help you can do some life changing projects for others.

Don’t let the world pull you down like a huge magnet. Life is tough enough without you allowing it to get the best of you through your pity parties.

Think of what you would really want to do and just go for it. God will help you win the race, and when you do, your whole outlook will grow tremendously.

 

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Some People Like Darkness Rather Than Light, Because They do Evil Things

Some People like darkness rather than light, because they do evil things.

How is that for an opening line?

That statement is true in many ways. It is so much easier to-do you own thing- than to try to obey God. The walk through the darkness is a much easier and wider path. The path that God wants us to be on is a much more narrow and straight path.

Can God exist with all the evil in the world?  

This is a good question. We see so much evil through-out the world. Just look at the Middle East. There have been dictators sending terror through the hearts of the people for many years. But now the people have become brave and rioting is spreading like the plague.

There is not only evil in this world, but there are afflictions that come over us and pull us down like a huge magnet. It  could be depression, fear, addictions, self-doubt, low self-esteem, anxiety, and the list goes on.

Have you been faced with oppression in your country? Do you battle any of the afflictions I mentioned above?

So, can God exist in this world with all the evil, and afflictions?

Think on this:

  • We wouldn’t have a sense of right or wrong if God didn’t exist.
  • Jesus came face to face with evil, but continued to love.
  • It is at the cross that we feel the true love in all this evil.
  • It is often when we face the worst pain that we love the most.

WE can face all evil if we believe in out LORD Jesus Christ. However, following Jesus can be challenging and rewarding at the same time.

There are so many time when we try to witness to someone about the evil in this world that we are ridiculed, and harassed. We get persecuted for telling the truth because people often don’t want to hear the true. They would have to change their ways, and their ways are an idol to them that they placed ahead of God.

The other side of the story is that it is so rewarding to follow Jesus. We will wear many crowns, for the harassment, ridicule, and persecution we have gone through on this earth.

This earth will not last, but the love of God is for eternity!

When the times come to witness to someone, don’t be a person who poses as a Christian, and then fearfully walks the other way. Stand up for God, and be strong in your convictions for Him.

How does this help with evil, and all the afflictions we face? God knows every hair on our head. He knows our hurts, our pains, and sufferings. He is there for each of us. All we have to do is call out to Him, and he will take our hand and guide us through the storm.

Yes Satan is alive and well. Yes He will do anything he can to make you think that God doesn’t care. 

Remember, Satan is just a misguided, fallen angel. God is the supreme Master of all the angels, and the universe. Which side do you think you will do better with? God or Satan?

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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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