Hope is Still Alive if You embrace it

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 97,800 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

We are starting a new promotion and the winner will be the person who is the 100,000 subscriber will win some nice prizes. That is a huge milestone for us. More details later. 

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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. Doug just interviewed a WWII veteran, for the book.  Fascinating! Look for updates here.

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Welcome back Linda Clare who has another inspiring post for us all. Linda has been through the gauntlet of life, and she shares her experiences to help us grow, and be stronger.

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Hope’s White Teeth

This past week, I’ve been in a heated battle, trying to hold onto my tattered hope—the same radical hope I proclaimed joyously only a few days before. But life is like that, isn’t it? You swell with victory after you’ve run the gauntlet and emerged riding high on God’s shoulder. But then, stuff hits the fan from every direction. Again. How do you stay fixed on hope? Through your fears? Through your tears? When every verse feels hollow and every moment explodes with grief, with loneliness, with numbing terror?

These last few days have reminded me that keeping hope alive is hard work.

I’ve already told you about the addiction and mental illness my three adult sons battle. The nightmare of their substance abuse and mental problems has kept me awake during verbal and physical fights, broken or stolen property and even a suicide attempt. But a couple months ago, one of these sons confessed that he, “couldn’t do this anymore.” He was worried about his looks. Would I help him get his teeth whitened? As with many addicts or alcoholics, he hadn’t seen a dentist in years. I said, “Maybe we should get you in for a checkup so we’ll know if you’ll still have teeth to whiten.”

The conversation was like opening a window in a very stuffy room. Suddenly he was willing to change, if only to keep his smile bright. I didn’t care. In my mind, I turned to Jesus and said, “Wow, thanks for carrying us both to this place.”

My son and I agreed to a plan. Thanks to severe anxiety and panic disorder as well as agoraphobia, he doesn’t do well in group settings like AA or treatment. His dad and I would be his support as he took the hard road to sobriety. As he took his first steps, my hope for his recovery grew strong deep roots and began to bud after what seemed like an eternity of winters.

My radical hope in God probably made my own smile brighter. That same week, I counseled another mom in the depths of grief surrounding her son’s drug use and mental issues, and I felt guilty that finally—finally—my own hopes had begun to crawl out of the pit. My friend tearfully related the things only another mother can understand—how they tried toughness to keep him on the straight and narrow but ultimately, they lost control. How they’d driven nine hours to rescue him after he called home, sounding as though he’d lost touch with reality. How her and her husband’s resolve for tough love meant that if he was using, he couldn’t sleep in their house—but that she’d take extra blankets out to his car, where he spent the night.

I cried as she sobbed into my shoulder. Whispered, “Jesus is carrying us all.” Meant it, too. But at that moment hope didn’t ride into Jerusalem on the back of a donkey. Hope, even radical hope, was scourged and beaten and dragged through the streets with a heavy cross on its back. Hope was about to be nailed and die, and it wouldn’t matter who spoke encouragement to this weeping mother. Her grief and fear were like the sudden darkness of Saturday, as Jesus breathed his last. All I could do was cry with her and cling to the truth that God loves her and her son and me and my son. Before we parted, my friend asked if her mascara had run and said, “Don’t worry. I’ll be OK.”

I went home from that meeting feeling guilty. My son was standing up for his life and starting down the perilous sober road. She didn’t even know where her son was at. My other two sons still needed the same deliverance, but having even one glimmer of possible success made me more grateful for God’s mercy toward my son. I prayed for the same grace to visit the other mom and my other boys before praising God for my son’s courageous progress. Whenever I thought of my son’s determination to be drug and alcohol free, my face light up like Sunday morning.

Except that in life we seem to go from Sunday back to Friday and through the cycle over and over. The next evening, my son’s outlook had changed once again. He came to me, begging for one more drink. He called it his “sweet nectar.” A chill ran down my neck and my hopes took a giant step back.

The sturdy optimism about my son that I’d shared with my friend only a day earlier now crumbled into a swirling sinkhole of broken pieces. Hope had no real footing, even as Jesus stood by and let me cry into his shoulder. I was still certain of God’s radical hope in Jesus but less sure that I was ever going to make it out of the valley of the shadow of death. All I could think of was that the table was prepared for me—cup running over and everything—but that it wasn’t yet time to lay down that armor of God. Saturday was back and meaner than ever. I admit that I was ready to chuck hope into the lake for good.

I sobbed and asked if the darned cup of my loved ones’ addictions and mental issues could please pass from me—pretty please?—but Jesus didn’t say much, just held me closer and breathed love and life into my soul. In that moment I understood more about the mystery that is a loving God, as Saturday gave way to Sunday. Again.

This radical hope is hard work all right, and sometimes it’s all you can do to hold on as Jesus does the heavy lifting when life is awful. But I think God asks nothing more from us than to keep our eyes on Him when we’re too numb or hurt or grief-stricken to do much radical hoping. Those are the times when I have to believe He will catch me as I fall, just as angels keep us from dashing our feet against stones. That His grace really is sufficient even if it doesn’t feel nearly enough. That God is not required to take the thorn from our sides.

The next day, my son apologized. Was eager to get back on track. Eager to get his teeth looking brilliant again. He sounded more like the courageous son and less like the defeated son jonesing for a drink. Hope took another baby step. “I guess I’ll have ups and downs,” he said.

“You all right?” I tried not to sound too eager.

“Don’t worry. I’ll be OK.”

I cautiously hope for him, while remembering all those whose grief is pure and raw and deep. Sometimes, OK is the best you can be.

Linda Clare

 

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How do I Leave a Good Legacy?

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 97,700 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

We are starting a new promotion and the winner will be the person who is the 100,000 subscriber will win some nice prizes. That is a huge milestone for us. More details later. 

______________________________________________________________________

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. Doug just interviewed a WWII veteran, for the book.  Fascinating! Look for updates here.

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Do you know someone who you feel will leave a tremendous legacy for what they have done, or are now doing?

How are they different than you? What can you do to leave a legacy you will be proud of?

We see others getting blessings, and awards.  They receive them with great humbleness, and dignity.

So, how you are feeling when you see them receiving the awards? Are you envious? Do you resent them getting an award and not you?

Envy is the resentment of the blessing of someone else, and somehow diminishes your own self-worth.

Envy is destruction of your legacy.

One of the ultimate showing of humbleness, and integrity was David. Saul eventually hated David, because he was so loved by the people even more than he was.  David had to go into hiding because Saul was wanting to kill him.

Then Saul died. You know what David did? He wept. He cried for days. He felt like he had lost a father even though Saul wanted him dead.

He wasn’t envious of Saul when he was in power. He was a loyal warrior. He was one of the top generals of the warriors who fought for Saul. His legacy still lives today over 2,000 years later.

How can we get rid of any envy in our lives?

  • Concentrate on God. Put Him first in your life. Learn about Him in the Bible and study how others there built up their own legacy.
  • Consider others above yourself. Yes, this one can be hard. But when you do this consistently people will look up to you as a leader.
  • Rejoice in the victories of others. Again, this can be hard. It may be someone at work who is getting a promotion you may have felt should have been yours.
  • Be content with God made you to be, and what He will do for you later.

These four things will completely change your life. If you do each of these you will be building a legacy that will grow and show others how to also build their own legacy.

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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How to Stay Strong in Unfriendly Places

We are so  honored to be with you each day sharing hope. Our outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. We just past 96,825 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

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. 

We are starting a new promotion and the winner will be the person who is the 100,000 subscriber. That is a huge milestone for us. More details later. 

______________________________________________________________________

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. Doug just interviewed a WWII veteran, for the book.  Fascinating! Look for updates here.

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Glad to have back our guest blogger Dennis Booth from Australia. His post today is tremendous for all who suffer depression in a very depressive world.

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If you are reading this you are in the category of those who wish to see Daily Signs of Hope and quite frankly in the world today without hope we would be candidates for the funny farm.

The media apparently are serving up “fake” news, an Australian Senator has almost taken the same line and we have others sending up missiles that frighten the life out of those near them and those they threaten.

But here is something to hold on to.

Century after century, year after year there have been the doomsayers who predict all sorts of evil things about to befall the world and end it.

Sure in that time there have been terrible wars, terrible plagues/epidemics etc that have wiped out untold  millions of lives and there have been disasters that have done the same.

Yet the world still exists, there are more people on this planet today and we have made giant strides in technology and medicine.

People in most Western countries are living longer.

But after all these wars, and even today with none of their scope, one thing stands out…….depression is as bad as it has ever been and it shouldn’t be that way.

Returned Service personnel who have served overseas come home with post-traumatic stress and sadly like those who came home from other wars the same way are almost shunned and what we cannot see is what they saw.

So how in the world do we overcome this plight?

For me to stay positive means I try and stay around people who are animated and happy, particularly friends of that nature.

Secondly I try to read positive information be it media, books.

Thirdly if I watch a dramatic movie I try to do so during the day or early evening but then read something light after so I do not go to bed with my mind racing full of action that could be depressing.

Fourthly I refuse to be drawn into heavy debate about situations I have no control over…to me that is a waste of my time.

Finally, I am a Christian and a strong believer and have been since I was a small child. Yes I did walk off the rails for a while but when I came back I was so glad I did and have never looked back.

When all things are failing, or falling around you just these simple words…”Help me Lord”. …are heard and you have to believe that help will come.

Dennis Booth

Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never forsaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, ever, give up!

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What if You Didn’t Believe? Then What?

We are so  honored to be with you each day sharing hope. Our outreach has grown at a tremendous pace. We just past 95,775 in followers. That’s because people are searching for hope and we provide it.

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. 

We are starting a new promotion and the winner will be the person who is the 100,000 subscriber. That is a huge milestone for us. More details later. 

______________________________________________________________________

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. Doug just interviewed a WWII veteran, for the book.  Fascinating! Look for updates here.

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Welcome Back Lynn Mosher as our monthly guest blogger. She always give is pause to ponder. Tonight is not different. 

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I Had Fainted Unless…

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see

the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

(Ps. 27:13 KJV)

Here we go a-pondering! I love to do this. If you’re a fairly new reader, you’ll soon find out that I love to take apart a verse of scripture…by its definitions. New and deeper meanings are sometimes discovered. Let’s see what we can dig out of this one.

*The above verse in other versions:

NKJV: “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

New Living Version: “I would have been without hope if I had not believed that I would see the loving-kindness of the Lord in the land of the living.”

The thing is, “I had fainted,” “I would have lost heart,” or “I would have been without hope” are not in the original. The translators added those words.

In the original Hebrew of the Masoretic Text, it literally says, “Unless I had believed to see the goodness of Jehovah in the land of the living.” It breaks off abruptly, as if he had said, “Oh, had I not believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living!” We are left to imagine what would have happened had he not believed.

Because of the efforts of his numerous and formidable enemies, David knew his only support and deliverance was God. He believed he would see His goodness. And he did.

*Definitions:

The Hebrew word for unless means if not, except, had not, or were it not that.

Believed means to build up or support, to be firm or faithful, to trust, to be true, to uphold, to nourish, to be established, confirm, enduring, etc.

The word for goodness means beauty, gladness, welfare, prosperity, joy, fairness, etc.

*Rewording

Lynn’s Version might say, “Oh, had I not I believed, trusted, and endured to see God’s beauty, welfare, prosperity, and joy!” If we do not believe, how do we see the evidence of God’s goodness?

Doesn’t that remind you of Hebrews 11:1? “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not being seen.” (The Received Greek Text)

*Application/encouragement:

Because David sought the Lord and believed in His goodness, he said in an earlier verse, “For in the time of trouble He shall hide me in His pavilion; in the secret place of His tabernacle He shall hide me; He shall set me high upon a rock.” (Ps. 27:5 NKJV)

David went on to say in verse 14, “Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord!” (NKJV)

David’s main message of the whole psalm is wait, hope, and trust in the Lord. So, when you are in the midst of any trouble, always believe and have courage as you wait for the Lord to act on your behalf.

Be encouraged that, in your waiting, the Lord will strengthen you and will hide you in His secret place.

If I had not believed in God’s goodness and His working, deliverance, and love and waited for Him in my life and circumstances, I wonder what would have happened to me? Oh, I shudder even to think about it!

What would have happened to you if you had not believed to see the goodness of God in some trial or circumstance? What will happen in the future if you don’t believe?

From His feet, Lynn

lynnmosher.com

 

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