We Have Many Hopes That Never Happen

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 103,000 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

We are in a new promotion. The person who is our 105,000 will wins some nice prizes. It goes very fast so 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. 

+ Update! The book has been sent to my editor this week. Now I wait and see how many red marks she will have in it. 🙂

There will be some incredible interviews with veterans in this book. Up to twenty different veterans agreed to let me ask them some very personal questions. Some answers will have you in tears.  

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Today is Easter. The most important day of the year. It is the day that Jesus rose from the dead and gave us hope.

Speaking of hope…we hope all the time. We hope for a better job. We hope for a better marriage. We hope we will pass the college test. We hope to find a job.

Hope is a good four letter word that we cling to. We need hope. We need to think everything will come out OK.

Yet, we mope and whine that nothing is going our way. We want more. We want perfection in our lives.

Now, switch your thinking and think of what they were doing to Jesus on that cross. He was near death, and yet he still said, Father forgive them, for they know not what they are doing!

He still loved the people very much. He still wanted them to be happy and prosper. He died a horrible death that the Romans never allowed to happen to their own people. It was too gruesome.

Now, back to your own needs. Are you needs so important, that you forget about what Jesus has done for you? Is your, so called, pain because you feel alone, or that God has left you?

Never, ever, forget what Easter is all about. It is about HOPE! It is about having a way to have eternal life, because of one man’s sacrifice for you.

Yes, we all would like a better life. Yes, some of our hope is selfish. We just need to take inventory of our lives, and see if our hope is in Jesus, or is it in ourselves, and us finding ways to survive in this world alone.

Heard a quote at church today, Jesus will draw near you during your doubts, but He doesn’t want to leave you there. 

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Sacrifice of Worthship

We are so  honored to be with you each day sharing hope. Our outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. We just past 94,000 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it. We have a new promotion going with prizes. The person who is our 95,000 follower will receive two nice prizes, which we will not name. (This is called a hook in writing.) The number of followers rises fast. We are averaging close to 30 new subscribers each day. So don’t hesitate! Click on the icon right after the title of this post to subscribe to be eligible for the prizes. 

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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. Look for updates here.

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Sacrifice of Worthship

“You must worship the LORD your God

and serve only Him.”

(Matt. 4:10 NLT)

What is ‘worship’? How does the Bible define it?

Combined, the Hebrew words for ‘worship’ mean to bow down to royalty or God, humbly beseech, do reverence, do obeisance, and so on. The Greek words combined mean to prostrate oneself in obeisance or reverence, honor, adore, venerate, praise, minister to God, serve, and so on.

Our English word for ‘worship’ comes from the Old English word ‘worthship.’ To worship Almighty God is to bow down in reverence to Him because He is worthy, to acknowledge His divinity, to bow in humility and obedience, to bow to His will, His plan, and His purpose by relinquishing one’s own agenda, to bow in service to Him with one’s life, to honor Him as the One True God.

Do you seek God’s face just to worship Him?

Do you seek the Lord’s Presence or His presents? Do you seek His handout or His hand?

If I asked you to answer, without thinking, what you love the most, what would be your immediate response? Your spouse, your children, your grandchildren, your house, your bank account, your investments, your career, your physical appearance, your morning Starbucks? Jesus asks you, “Do you love Me more than these others?” (John 21:15 TLB)

First place in one’s heart should be reserved for God alone, as scripture says, “What does the Lord your God require of you except to…love Him, and to worship Him with all your hearts and souls?” (Deut. 10:12a,13a TLB)

Matthew Henry said, “Those cannot worship God aright who do not worship Him alone.”

 What is a sacrifice of worship?

According to the English definition, sacrifice means, in part, an animal or possession offered to a deity especially for homage, or the surrendering of something prized for something considered to be of a higher or dearer value.

It is that which costs you something in order to obtain something greater, that which is given out of a heart of humility, love, pain, grief, suffering, lack, abundance, or obedience.

The prophet Micah asked, “What shall I bring to the LORD, the God of heaven, when I come to worship Him?” (Micah 6:6a GNB) Whatever the gift that a petitioner brought to the Lord in the ancient temple, the heart had to accompany it; otherwise, God rejected it. God said to Judah, “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me [unless they are the offering of the heart]?” (Is. 1:11 Amp)

 How lavish is your worship of the Creator’s worthship?

What is my favorite lavish gift of worship in the Bible? It is this…

The New Testament relates several from-the-heart, sacrificial worship gifts of expensive oil given to the Lord. According to one in the book of Mark, before Jesus’ betrayal, as He reclined at the table at Simon the leper’s house, a woman broke open her beautiful, alabaster passion box, full of the extremely valuable, perfumed oil of spikenard. As she lovingly poured it upon Jesus’ head, it probably trickled down His cheeks, seeped into His beard, and gently dripped upon His shoulders, saturating His garment.

In Eastern culture, the garment of the bridegroom is saturated with rich perfumes. This woman lovingly poured out her precious possession upon the heavenly Bridegroom which permeated His garment. Almost as prophetic words, the Shulamite woman says of her beloved in the beautiful Song of Solomon, “While the king is at his table, my spikenard sends forth its fragrance.” (SOS 1:12 NKJV)

Don’t you know that throughout those long hours of His agony in the garden, during His betrayal, and in the courtyard of His judgment, and until that garment was removed, Jesus breathed in that sweet, sacrificial aroma of love poured out upon Him? Maybe this scripture echoed in His Spirit, “The odor of your ointments is fragrant, your name is like perfume poured out.” (SOS 1:3 Amp)

As some of the disciples were indignant at what they perceived as this woman’s expensive waste, Jesus defended her, “Let her alone, why must you make her feel uncomfortable?” “She has done Me a most gracious service.” (Mark 14:6a Phillips, Mark 14:6b Weymouth)

The most gracious sacrifice of worship from the heart is one that glorifies the Lord with all of one’s life. A heart that is humbled and repentant before Him will “offer up [those] spiritual sacrifices [that are] acceptable and pleasing to God through Jesus Christ,” as “a sweet-smelling sacrifice.” (1 Peter 2:5 Amp, Phil. 4:18 NLT)

Is your worship a gift of a sweet-smelling aroma of sacrifice? Do you worship and praise the Lord even when your world comes crashing down around you? When a job is lost, when the bank account is empty, when an event rips apart the family, when a spouse dies at an early age, or when a spouse’s libido finds another outlet, do you still praise the Lord?

A true, sacrificial worship gift costs us the surrender of our hearts, for we sacrifice our emotions to glorify the Lord. It costs us the surrender of our lips, for we sacrifice our praise to God when all seems lost. Whatever it costs, it must come from a loving and willing heart.

Is your worship a sacrificial gift of worthship to the Lord?

~~Blessings, Lynn~~

From His feet, Lynn

lynnmosher.com

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Time to Help Our Veterans

We are so  honored to be with you each day sharing hope. Our outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. We just past 93,800 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it. We have a new promotion going with prizes. The person who is our 95,000 follower will receive two nice prizes, which we will not name. (This is called a hook in writing.) The number of followers raises fast. We are averaging close to 30 new subscribers each day. So don’t hesitate! Click on the icon right after the title of this post to subscribe to be eligible for the prizes. 

______________________________________________________________________

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. Look for updates here.

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Something exciting happening soon.

 

This whole post is being dedicated to our men and women who have served, or are serving their country through the military.

I am a veteran myself. I know some of the pain they go through. Why am I dedicating this post to them?

22 veterans end their own lives every day! Yes, I said every day. Why? Because they are losing the battle to PTSD, depression, anxiety fear, and the many other usual suspects. Some are just tired of the pain from injuries they have had from combat.

I was deployed to Korea. I know what loneliness is. I know what depression can do to a person.

I fought depression long after I got out of the service. It got so bad that on March 21st, 2001, I was considering if I wanted to check out of this hotel called earth.

I was at the end of my rope. I had nowhere to go.

It was at the lowest point of my life that God stepped in and saved my life. He stopped me from taking my last breath, and put me to work writing and blogging.

I want to tell you a new direction I am going, and want you to be a part of it.

For months and  months I have been searching for ways to reach out to veterans to help them in some way. I have found two ways to do that:

  • I am writing a book called, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. It is nearly finished. It reaches out to those who are suffering from all the demons I mentioned above. I share my own experiences in the Military, especially in Korea, and give suggestions on how the veterans can survive in this not so friendly world. There has been lots of enthusiasm for the book. The word is spreading, and people are waiting patiently for the book.
  • I also wanted to help in other ways. I found what I was looking for through Victory for Veterans. It is a foundation that is just forming. I have been asked to be on the board for it, and I am very honored to do that. Victory for Veterans will be sending out monies to many other charities that are helping veterans. We plan to give out up to one million dollars to each charity, when we have reached our goal.

I am very excited for what this new nonprofit will be able to do. It will help those military who can’t find help anywhere else. It will help them get the much needed aide they so deserve. The slogan for our cause is: They fought for our freedom, now let’s fight for theirs. 

Some gave their all. Others will have lifelong pain from the wounds they have had to live with for us.

I am going to ask you to do one simple thing right now. I am not going to ask for money. I am not going to try to convince you of anything, but I am requesting that all 94,000 of my subscribers, right now, go to Twitter and follow @victoryvets. It is our page to get people introduced to our dream. No push for money. No trying to make you feel bad, and rush to the aide of our veterans. (Right now.) Just follow the page and stand by. We will be letting out more information out as we grow, and start to reach our veterans in any way we can.

If you are a veteran. Hope is on the way. Thank you for serving your country. Thank you for the sacrifice you have made to protect us and….

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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Is There Such a Thing as Radical Hope

We are so  honored to be with you each day sharing hope. Our outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. We just past 93,225 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it. We have a new promotion going with prizes. The person who is our 95,000 follower will receive two nice prizes, which we will not name. ( This is called a hook in writing.) The number of followers rises fast. We are averaging close to 40 new subscribers each day. So don’t hesitate! Click on the icon right after the title of this post to subscribe.

______________________________________________________________________

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. Look for updates here.

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I ma very proud to have our guest writer for today. Linda Clare doesn’t not pull any punches. She speaks from her heart about very difficult subjects. Please read today’s post and find hope.

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Cultivating Radical Hope

“Then Peter came to Jesus and asked, “Lord, how many times shall I forgive my brother or sister who sins against me? Up to seven times?” Jesus answered, “I tell you, not seven times, but seventy-seven times.” –Matthew 18:21-22 NIV

 

We who love those with addictions and/or mental health issues might all agree that the whole situation just sucks, big time. In my story, and I suspect in yours, there’s plenty of victimhood to go around. I’ve sat in twelve-step meetings and cried alongside moms and dads, wives and husbands, grandmas and granddads as we poured out the hurt and frustrations or compared war stories. Like I said, this whole situation reeks.

After all, nobody in her right mind wants to swap lives with us. Honestly, nobody—except maybe in one of those meetings—even wants to hear about our messy, chaotic lives. How can anyone cultivate hope in the midst of such suckiness?

My answer might shock you: Without radical hope, we’re all doomed. And we have to cultivate this kind of hope—it’s not going to come sit on the doorstep like a neighbor’s surplus zucchini.

Radical hope requires me to forgive those who persecute me. Like the grown child who asks me for money, when I fear too much of his income already goes for beer, pot or what-have-you. The one who begs me for a ride home after I warned him not to go in the first place. Radical hope insists that I see the face of Christ in those who are so totally unworthy because of their addiction, their behavior, the seeming self-centeredness and constant mishaps. I’m supposed to see Jesus in the midst of total unworthiness? Tall order.

But we Christians know all about unworthiness. Throughout the Bible, we read a lot about shortcomings, mistakes and even evil. Fair enough. We’ve all sinned and come short of the glory of God. But though our sins are as scarlet, God can also wash us white as snow. Which should we dwell on when it comes to our addicted/mentally ill loved ones?

I’ve worshiped on both sides of the unworthy sinner v. forgiven child of God question and I freely admit to possessing a natural bent toward criticism and judgment. I hope God wasn’t paying too much attention to me on the recent evening when my youngest son Joel went to a friend’s house to help him sort through a pile of boxes that was sitting in the guy’s yard. An hour later, Joel called me to say he was stranded on the side of the road on the opposite end of town. Could I drive over and pick him up? His so-called friend had unceremoniously ordered him to leave after Joel tried to give his friend a bit of advice about getting rid of some of the boxed stuff.

I’d already done several similar “love missions” throughout that day—another cross-town trip for Micah who was ill and needed help getting his son to his place, scurrying to make supper, and other things I can’t remember. Joel’s request was the proverbial last straw and I let everyone have it. My husband says I’m cute when I curse, but I guess I was pretty tired and frustrated. I let my gaze wander from our Lord—who is the Prince of Peace—and instead reacted in a very human and I’ve-had-it way. Joel just happened to be in the line of fire. Fail.

Radical hope is hard and I fail far more often than I’d like. I so get the fury we feel when our love (and sage advice) are not only not reciprocated but tossed back into our faces. Righteous Indignation R Us. As soon as I calmed down (and rested), I apologized for my tantrum. And confessed my bad behavior to God, determined to do better. As humans, we’re bound to react to pain, and maybe even lose our cool for a time. But then we must give our hope garden some loving care before it wilts.

For me, radical hope starts out the same way I process pain. Doesn’t matter if I stub my toe or if one of my sons is three sheets at two in the afternoon. The cycle seems about the same: First, I get mad. (What’s your favorite epithet for a table leg that jumps out and grabs your toe?) Then I get sad. I’m not a crier, but you know that thing that happens in your gut when the vagus nerve contracts suddenly? Feels like a gut punch—unmph. Next, Mom McFixer tries to rescue or fix the problem. Finally, completely exhausted, I stop spinning my wheels, bandage my poor toe, and get my eyes back on Jesus.

Sometimes this works better than other times. I’m no better than you or anybody at this stuff. But lately, Jesus has been tugging me to see beyond the hurt. And in forgiveness, I can often glimpse the person God sees, instead of that drunk or druggie or mentally ill person.

Radical hope insists that my loved one (and yours) are more than the last bad thing they did.

Despite all the heartache, broken promises and financial stress, our family members are our loved ones. I want to see the good in each of them, and some days it’s nearly impossible. But in pursuing this radical hope, I believe I’m getting closer to seeing myself and others the way Jesus might view us, the imperfect yet beloved.

And although it’s about as easy as herding cats, seeing Christ in those who at times seem so unworthy to us creates fertile ground for a miracle.

My favorite uncle once gave me invaluable advice concerning our kids and their substance abuse problems. He said, “You didn’t create it (the alcoholic or addict) and you can’t fix it.” At first this news was a total bummer. At that point I was convinced I could fix just about anything and anyone. There had to be some program or system, some prayer or anointing I hadn’t yet tried that would make them well. If it hadn’t been so serious, I might have laughed. I was Super Mom, after all.

But the more I soaked up my uncle’s idea, the more I understood. It isn’t up to me to make them quit using, drinking or what-have-you. I’m forced to turn them over to God for fixing. God loves them more than I ever can, and He will never let them go.

For a while, I checked every few minutes to see if that miracle was on its way. In my head’s version of a miracle, my kids would announce their decisions to enter treatment or start taking appropriate psychiatric meds or get a better job or go back to college. While I’m still waiting for any of those things to happen, a miracle has begun to blossom.

In me.

As I learn to celebrate the good in my kids and everybody else, forgive them as Jesus does and cheer them when they pursue wholesome activities, hope has been reborn in a way that’s potent and, yes, radical. Radical hope doesn’t give up on anybody, looks for tender green sprigs hidden among the tares of sin and embraces the dangerous love of God.

I say dangerous, because God’s love and radical hope don’t come without cost. As Jesus presented Himself as a sacrifice, radical hope forces me to love despite the real possibility of the searing pain that comes with vulnerability and rejection. Disappointments, late night arguments, bail bondsmen and worse may await me and all those who dare to hope this way.

Say yes to radical hope and yes, it’s possible that your worst fears may materialize. I pray your loved ones choose life—but you didn’t create their problems and you can’t fix them any more than I can. Terrifying, isn’t it?

I know all this and yet I’m more hopeful than ever. Seeing my addicted and/or mentally ill grown kids as Jesus sees all of us—as more than our last mistake or bad decision, more than our last trip to Righteous Indignation R Us, more than the last binge or lost job—is what breathes life into hope.

Radical hope is the power of Love to turn giving up into giving and yes, forgiving. The best we can do is keep loving them in the face of heartbreak; to convince ourselves and them that they are more than the last bad thing they’ve done. So much more.

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Follow Linda’s writing tips and Miss Crankypants at http://lindasclare.com 
 
  A Sky without Stars
The Fence My Father Built
 
   

Linda S. Clare is the author or coauthor of six books, including Lost Boys and the Moms Who Love Them with Melody Carlson and Heather Kopp, Making Peace with a Dangerous God with Kristen Johnson Ingram. Her most recent novel is A Sky without Stars from Abingdon Press. She lives in the Northwest with her family, three wayward cats and an adorable lop-eared bunny. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook or visit her website: http://Lindasclare.com.

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