Hope’s Battleground is Upon Us

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 105,100 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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I am excited to say Linda Clare is back with her monthly guest blog. This one is her best in my opinion. As always she speaks directly from the heart and doesn’t pull any punches. 

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Hope’s Battleground

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. I Timothy 1:7 KJV

The day the doctor pronounced my mother legally blind in one eye, we both cried. That same day, a close friend, also in her mid-eighties called me, worried her only son’s fourth heart attack meant he might die before she does. I was still reeling over my own son’s recent psychotic episode—a meth-fueled outburst I’d never witnessed from him before. All the while, more mass shootings rocked the nation as gunmen took aim at innocents.

A man had shot and wounded US Congressmen during baseball practice. Whether from personal loss or mass shooting, that day we stood with our arms wrapped around one another, grieving in unison. Each fresh sorrow strained our shoulders. Spring would never come and our hearts would always be frozen, stuck in the numbness that presides over tragedy.

That day, hope got whupped by fear.

Fear like we’d never known—until. Until the Twin Towers fell. Until Dad got cancer, until the long-awaited baby died in his crib. Until. Now fear stormed our psyches, bullied optimism into the corner.

In airports, we’ve learned to be afraid of bombs in shoes—from now on we’ll glance about nervously at the stadium too. Fear will follow our days and lie down with us at night. We’ll worry our sons and daughters will die before we do and terror will stalk us if we go blind in one eye.

Life is so much scarier than in the good old days, some say. Now just going to the mailbox or heading out to ball practice might end it all.  But as the world grows more and more dangerous, we must not lose sight of life’s most dangerous thing.

Love.

Love is the most dangerous way to live. It runs into burning buildings. Real love swoops you up the day you come home and find your suicidal spouse sitting with a loaded gun. Love risks getting hurt, and doesn’t make blanket assumptions. Love hopes all things.

Love knows that if we cannot resurrect hope, our fears will surely come true.

I saw this up close and personal the night my son went berserk on a meth high—screaming obscenities, he threatened to shove a pot of boiling water off the stove and onto me. After the cops left, I went for a walk. I needed to pray.  I walked and sobbed.

I cried for my lost son, whose meth addiction has gone on so long that it seems intractable. I wept tears of rage for my failure to do as the cop admonished: kick out my two grown sons. Most of all, I cried because I was afraid. Afraid I couldn’t trust God anymore. Afraid God wasn’t there.

Over and over in scripture, my faith tells me not to be afraid. Christians are supposed to trust God, even when it makes no sense.  That day, I was terrified, not of the prospect of my son living his entire adult life as an active addict, but of something deeper. Love was excruciating. Hope had left the building.

I stumbled along, raking in gulps of air as my nose ran and my throat ached. I kept my head down in case neighbors saw me mumbling like a crazy woman.

At that moment, I feared God didn’t exist.

Living in fear instead of hope has chilling consequences. When bad stuff happens—like blindness or heart trouble or when a nut job with an automatic rifle shoots up a ball field—fear orders us to assume the future, too, is loaded with horrible events.

Fear said to me, “Don’t trust anybody. Keep your fists clenched, ready to fight. Lock the doors and sit in the dark. Don’t make eye contact with strangers, in case they’re ready to blow themselves up and take you with them. And by the way, your addicted sons are hopeless.”

Fear laughed. “There is no hope.”

My heart turned leaden. The beautiful mystery of an aspen tree’s leaves left me. Every prayer I’d ever aimed at heaven seemed stuck to one side of the sky—the way the wind pins trash against a chain link fence. What if the whole story—heaven, the God of Love, Jesus—is just a myth?

“God. You have to be there,” I said, “You have to be real. If you’re not, nothing matters.” My tears grew hot as I thought of my poor feeble-sighted mom, my worried friend, my struggling, addicted sons. How could a loving God allow so much heartache?

Fear gloated, but something else said, “Dare to love anyway.”

I sank down on the street curb; gazed up at the aspen’s shimmering leaves. I had no answers. Still, a strange sense of peace came over me as I thought about those I care for. “God, be there for them,” I finally said. “Be real to those who need love.”

Somehow I saw that hope takes its marching orders from the One who is Love. Hope says, go ahead, love your neighbor. Open your fist. Look people in the eye. Forgive them when they screw up. Be generous and compassionate and stop letting your judgments about other people splatter all over everybody. And even if you can’t quite do all of this, Hope says don’t stop trying. Keep right on loving, right on hoping.

It isn’t easy. If I could work miracles, I’d spit on the dirt like Jesus did, rub mud on Mom’s bad eye and she’d see again. I’d give my friend’s son a decent heart and I’d cure my son in his fight against meth. But even if I can’t work miracles, I won’t stop loving. Or hoping for a better tomorrow.

For a while, I let fear take over my life. I questioned the faith I live by. And Fear delighted in my weakness.

But Love answered, bringing with it hope I sorely needed. All sorts of disasters happen in life, but Love says don’t live in fear. Don’t assume the worst. With Love, we can hope for the best, trusting that we are all valued, watched over, loved.

I stood up and drew my sleeve across my wet cheeks. My tears were spent but I walked home surrounded by renewed hope in the Lover of souls.

If you get a horrid disease or you go blind or your child becomes addicted, that’s awful. I’m sorry. But as we grieve, look to love, not fear. And then we can get up and shine our love on somebody else’s hurt, another person’s tragedy. Tell them we love them and hand over a piece of our hope. Some may push us away, but we can’t stop loving, we won’t stop hoping. We’ll march out to the sandlot to play ball, even though there’s a chance people might die. Love smiles when hope beats the tar out of fear.

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Do Miracles Really Happen?

For one of our promotions you have to have subscribed and have a valid email address for us to connect with, to award you your prizes. 

We are growing very fast. Thanks to all of you who have been joining us.  

We are staring a new promotion. The next winner will be the one that gets us to 83,000. We just passed 82,000. It will go fast as we have been averaging close to 100 new subscribers a day. There are nice prizes, so don’t miss out, subscribe today. Just click on the icon right after the title to do that.

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Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, has written 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, 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. Doug sent off his mini proposal to an agent who is very interested in his concept. We will update you when we hear more.
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Have you ever been in a situation where you thought you were winning, and then disaster hits putting you into despair, only to have a miracle happen and you do win after all?
I was able to witness that last night. My alma mater, Oregon State University, was playing Utah in basketball. The game was close until the middle of the second half when Utah pulled ahead by 10 points. It didn’t look good, but the Beavers rallied and even went ahead with under a minute to go. Utah had only about 11 seconds to get the ball down court and shoot. They did get down there and a player lofted a three. It didn’t go in, but the ref said he was fouled. (Replays showed he wasn’t.)
The player from Utah made all three free throws and Utah went ahead 69-68 with only 2.2 seconds left. The Beavers only had time to dribble the ball a couple of times and cast a shot from somewhere near half court. They got the ball into Stephen Thompson, and he dribbled to half court and tried to shot, but a Utah player fouled him while shooting a three.
All the Utah player had to do was stay away from the shooter and think it was nearly impossible to make the basket. He was even a Senior. No one knows why he was near the player.
Thompson made all three of the free throws, and we went ahead 71-69 with .01 seconds left on the clock. Utah never even got the ball to mid court and we won after thinking we had lost for sure.
How about you? Had any miracles lately? You don’t think so?
How about the time you took the wrong road and found out there had been a huge accident on the road you was supposed to take right about time you would have gone through that spot?
What about the delay you had and later found out that the had been a landslide hit the road your were on ahead of you?
There are miracles all around us. Think about the 9-11 tragedy in 2001. There were dozens of stories of people that are alive today because of delays, and illnesses.
Some examples were:
  • A woman had bought new shoes and was driving to work to the Twin Towers. Her feet started hurting so she went back home to get her regular shoes. The tragedy happened while she was gone.
  • Another person stopped to get doughnuts for her office.
  • A man stopped to pick up some laundry, and they took a while to find his cloths.
  • A woman stayed home with her sick child.

There were many more similar stories like this for that day.

Miracles do happen around us we just may not be aware. God is watching over us. He directs our paths. He knows what he is doing. Trust Him and expect a miracle in your own life.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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9-11-2001 Remembered

Not sure what is happening. I sent another email to a winner from last week and never received a response. I am wondering if the readers are putting in real email addresses. To win this promotion you have to have a valid email address for us to connect with to award you your prizes.

We have started a new promotion with the same prizes involved. The person who is the 72,000th subscriber will win two prizes that will be announced after we have established a winner. We are now at 71,425, so we are rolling fast to our next winning spot.
We hope to keep growing every day, so if you haven’t already subscribed please do now. You just click on the icon right after the title to do that. _________________________________________________________________
Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, has written a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It will be reaching out the many soldiers and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, 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. He just got back from a writer’s conference and had some very positive meetings with some agents who are interested in taking him on as a client for his new book. He will up date you as he finds out more.
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Yesterday was 9-11-2015. Fourteen years on that day we saw a horrific scene on television, of the Twin Towers crashing to the ground, with thousands of people inside them.
We should never forget. We should always remember those who died in that tragedy. They left behind families and friends.
Our world is crumbling under the weight of terrorism, dictatorships, and individuals going on rampages, and killing each other on the streets.
I have more than one person recently tell me that the end times are near. Indeed they are, but we shouldn’t  go live in a cave and wait for it to happen. We should be out there trying to convince as many people as we can about following God before it is too late.
I know, it is very hard to walk up to someone and try to tell them they are going to Hell if they don’t straighten up. As a matter of fact, don’t do that. Your success rate will be close to zero. I have some suggestion on how to “witness,” to others:
  • Sit down and share with them how God changed your life. Don’t direct your guilty words onto the other person.
  • Share some incidents where God answered prayer for you.
  • Let them know how hard it would be for you if you didn’t have God in your life.
  • Talk about God has helped you overcome many storms in your life.
  • Ask them if they are happy on the path they are going. If not what would they like their path to be like, and share how they can get on that path.

No direct accusations. No brow beating. Just a conversation sharing how they can help themselves, to have a better everlasting life.

What if they aren’t interested?

Then you have done all you can do, but believe that a seed has been planted, and it won’t go away. It will then be up to that person to let it grow or reject it.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

 

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God’s Timing is Perfect

We tried to give away some prizes a few weeks ago, but the winner never returned our email after we told them they had won. They had won because they were the 70,000 subscriber. What we will now do is give those same prizes to the person who is the 71,000 subscriber.
+ We have reached the 71,000th subscriber. We are now waiting to hear back from the winner. If they do not reply, or we don’t hear from them in the next two days, we will start a new promotion on Monday of next week, so stand by.
We hope to keep growing every day, so if you haven’t already subscribed please do now. You just click on the icon right after the title to do that. _________________________________________________________________
Doug Bolton, the founder of Signs of Hope, has written a new book, “Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.” It will be reaching out the many soldiers and veterans who may be battling anxiety, fear, depression, addictions, rejections, 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. He just got back from a writer’s conference and had some very positive meetings with some agents who are interested in taking him on as a client for his new book. He will up date you as he finds out more.
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Have you ever had a moment when you thought something wasn’t going to happen and then it did by the grace of God?
I have a few times when God showed me He was there, and would always be by my side.
One time I was sitting in my Ford Explorer and deciding if I wanted to check out of this hotel called earth. I was at the end of my rope, and I was crying my eyes out. I was out of control. I had recently retired from teaching. I had found a job working retail, but I felt empty. I felt unfulfilled. I was heading to a moment of either life or death.
While I was still sitting in my rig, I  finally cried out to God, ” I can’t take this anymore!” It was at that moment I felt His presence. The air seem to be fresher. It became quiet all around me. God was there. It was as if He was saying, “It’s about time you came to Me. Now Let Me carry you the rest of the way.” I calmed down; went home and started writing my first book, “Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.” It was soon published, and it is helping many people who are crying out to God for help like I did.
Another time when God came through at the last minute, was when my dad was on his death bed in the hospital, and I was trying to come up with the right words to ask him if he was a Christian. I went out into the hall to pray, and coming down the hallway was the Pastor that married my wife and I. He just happened to be at the hospital to see someone else. He went into the room and sat with my dad. He then told me he was sure my dad was a Christian. My dad died the next day.
I prayed for God to help me with words to say, and the Pastor of my church just happened to be coming down the hall on the right floor and at the right time? Coincidence, I don’t think so. God was working His grace again.
How about you? Has God shown Himself to you in an unusual way? Did you turn on the wrong street only to find on the news that there was a huge accident on that street you should have been on just about the time you would have driven through there?
There are hundreds of stories from the tragedy of 9-11. 9-11-2001 was the day that the Twin Towers in New York City, came down after planes hit them. Thousands of people died, but there many more that are alive today, because of incidents where they were late to work, sick, or at a meeting somewhere else.
One special story for 9-11 was the lady who had bought new shoes and on the way to work she realized they were hurting her feet. She turned around and went back home to get her old ones. She ended up being about a half hour late to work, and all she saw was dust and huge fires where her office used to be.  Many people didn’t die that day,  because God had other plans for them.
Never think God is not watching, or doesn’t care. He is there for anyone who believes, and asks Him for help. He even helps those who aren’t expecting it. Have faith in Him, and He will help you through His grace.
Remember:
You are never alone.
You are never forsaken.
You are never unloved.
And above all…never, ever, give up!
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