A place to find Hope

Category: remain steadfast in our belief

Life Seems to be Very Tough and Then You Die

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I went to have a blood test today. My doctor wants to check how I am responding to a new prescription. (News at 11:00pm) ;-0

I just read an amazing book, God Comes Through the Soldier. It is the story of John Baker. He is the author and he has taken on an amazing task of sending out hundreds of care packages to our heroes in the Military. It is a huge success, and many soldiers got the lives brightened up. John is a member of my church and He loves to support our troops.

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Here is another excerpt from my first book, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.

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Life Is Tough and Then You Die

Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:5

God didn’t promise us a rose garden—besides there are thorns in a rose garden. He allows us to go through the storms. He wants us to learn from them and grow.

We question if God is still there for us when we have a crisis. Things pile up and we wonder, Where are You, God? He allows things to happen that are very hard to understand. Why would He let bad things happen to us?

The psalmist wondered the same thing. In the psalms, crying and wailing come out with a vengeance. Psalms can be also joyful and uplifting, but some of them are not joyful, and they teach us that it is OK to question God. It is OK to voice your true feelings to Him. He knows how to handle your feelings—even your anger.

Despair and anger are combined in Psalm 89:46–47:

How long, O Lord? Will you hide yourself forever?

How long will your  wrath burn like fire? …

For what futility you have created all men!

In our world today there is much despair and anger. There are gang wars, school shootings, sex abuse, battered wives, seniors getting scammed, racists and terrorists.

All of these could cause even the strongest Christian to act on that anger. You have choices. You could seek justice like a vigilante. You could forget it and let it build up inside you, or you could turn it over to God, who is the only Supreme Court Justice in heaven. He will judge those who have wronged others.

We should never stop being angry or sad about what happens in the world, but we need to turn it over to God, and let Him bring peace in your life.

            Too many people have decided that acceptance of wrong is much easier than trying to fight it. Some live in their own little world and go on as if nothing were happening around them.

I saw this in action when I was in the military. Uncle Sam had me stationed in Korea, and we were traveling through Seoul, Korea. I saw an old woman sitting and leaning against a wall. She was begging for help because she was ill and starving. No one stopped. They just kept on walking by.

All military personnel had been instructed that under no circumstances were we to get out of our vehicles—just keep going. This was because if you tried to help someone they could claim you were the one that caused the problem and then get a big settlement from the government. There were rumors of Korean parents throwing their children in front of army trucks to collect a settlement. We retraced our route on the way back to camp. By then, the woman had fallen over and was dead.

I was very angry. I felt helpless. I wasn’t allowed to help the woman, and she died because of that.

I didn’t know if I could make any difference in life. Could one person out of the billions of people on this earth make a difference?

My mother once remarked that she didn’t know why she should get out of bed anymore. She has macular degeneration (partial blindness) and has to use a walker. Her two main loves (besides my brother and me, of course!) were reading and working in the garden. Now she cannot do either of them. I could understand completely what she meant, but it hurt me deeply that she felt that way. I again felt that same helplessness because I wasn’t able to help her.

Why keep going on? The rich get richer and the poor get poorer. The weak fall by the wayside. You spend your whole life trying to have a good retirement, and the cost of living eats up all of your income. Evil seems to win—and good seems far away.

The prisoners in the holocaust had all the reasons to be depressed and to commit suicide. They didn’t do that because they kept clinging to their faith in God.

Is that the secret? By just turning our hurts, frustrations and failures over to God, we can have peace? Of course we can. God is the key. If there is no God, anything goes, but everything is meaningless.

If you stay the course, and always let God hold your hand, everything will have meaning, things will come into focus, and everything will fall into place.

As of this writing, my mother is still alive. She is 93 and lives in an assisted living home. She has trouble understanding why she has to be the way she is as far as her health. The world is coming to the stage where 100-year-old people are more common than ever. But many of them are clinging to life assisted by a machine, or they do not have a quality of life that they prefer.

We have developed many new drugs to help people live longer, but we haven’t invented ways to make them happy. We spend millions to help the poor in our country and other countries, but the number of starving children in Oregon alone is growing at an alarming rate.

We allow sexual freedom in our country go to the point that there is an AIDS epidemic. School drop-out rates are at an all-time high. Pornography can be found for free on the internet. We thought that we sent racism away in the 70s, but it is still staining our society today.

It is no wonder that we feel depression, despair and apathy. This world is not a rose garden anymore. The thorns are tearing at our skin, and leaving scars that won’t go away.

Let me make something very clear: God will take the world as you see it today and make it into the world He wants. I’ve read the end of the book—and we win. The end is all set, and it is up to us to believe it.

So—can you make an impact on the world? You are just one grain of sand on the beach. Can you make a difference? God thinks you can. He made you with a purpose in mind. Yes, I said you. As you read this book, God has a plan for you. God just needs you to ask Him what it is. You can make a difference for others in this tough world.

I used the Psalms as an example of despair and anger. Now let the psalmist soothe you and let you know God is there for you and will carry your burdens for you.

Trouble and distress have come upon me,

but your commands are my delight.

Psalm 119:143

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you.

He will never let the righteous fall.

Psalm 55:22

Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge;

no one cares for my life. I cry to you, O Lord; I say,

“You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.

Listen to my cry, for I am in desperate need: rescue me

from those who pursue me, for they are too strong for me.”

Psalm 142:4–6

(Think of the Korean woman dying on the street.)

When I said, “My foot is slipping,” your love, O Lord, supported me.

When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.

Psalm 94:18–19

(This should be our prayer any time we are depressed or sad.

We can read it to God and let Him comfort us.)

Further Adventures

There are times when you feel so low that you are not sure you can make it through the day. Use this time to pray. Sit quietly with God and share your deepest feelings. Do not hide anything. (God knows even your inner thoughts.) Let Him know that you need to lean on Him completely right now, and He will pick you up and carry you the rest of the way.

Something to Ponder

Isn’t it funny that God knows our every move, but we go on like He is not watching us?

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Have you lost a loved one? Does it seem like everything is happening to you at once?

FEAR NOT!

God is just a prayer aways. He loves to listen to your pleas. Tell Him about your sorrows and ask Him to find you comfort.

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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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Are You Tired of Going Round and Round in This World?

+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

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It has been a quiet day today. (Sure need those from time to time.) I just finished my post at www.dougbolton.com. Go there to see my latest excerpt from my upcoming book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

If you or anyone you know are military. This is the site for you.

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Here is another excerpt from my first book, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in This Unfriendly World.

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Chapter 1

Stop the World and Let Me Off. I’m Tired of Going ’Round and ’Round

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18

I was out of control. The sobbing filled my eyes with tears. I couldn’t see the road ahead of me as I drove my Explorer.

Everything seemed to be going wrong in my life. I had quit two jobs because of guilt. I even failed at running my own business. I quit the two jobs because I had to sell something to customers and I had a hard time trying to force people to buy something they may not really need.

The business that failed was a cash flow venture that helped businesses have a better flow of money while they waited for their accounts receivables to come in. I left that venture because I again had to convince people to take part in something they may not have needed.

Depression, self doubt, fear, anxiety, and even hopelessness, overcame me until I was in the pit of despair. I was a happily married man with three children and several grandchildren. I had a wonderful 25-year teaching career. Why was I feeling so low? Why did I feel so unloved?

All I wanted to do was to stop the madness and check out of this wretched hotel called Earth! I pulled my SUV into a high school parking lot in a secluded area. I was ready to commit suicide. The date was March 31, 2001. The next day was April Fools Day. A very fitting time to have your life end, don’t you think?

I did have the common sense to call my wife Charlotte. She came quickly to where I was. She calmed me down enough to where I thought I could drive myself home. After she left, I sat there behind the steering wheel still crying, and then I yelled, “God, I can’t take this anymore!”

In a flash, there was calmness in me. It even felt different in the vehicle. The air was fresher and cooler. It was as if God were saying, “It’s about time you came back to Me. I have been waiting for you. Let Me carry you the rest of the way.”

My life changed that day. I gave my life back to God.

I had been a Christian since I was about 16. But I was the poster child for a lukewarm Christian.

Yes, I went to church and made sure my children went also, but I wouldn’t say I was a perfect example for them. I rose up in my church to where I was the Sunday school superintendent and on the important Pastor-Parish Relations Committee, but in my heart I didn’t put God first.

On Sundays, I stayed home if there was a good football game on. You didn’t have to go to church every Sunday, did you? God let me know I did. He also let me know of a new direction for me to go.

Why had I allowed myself to fall to such a low spot? Why had I drifted so far away from God?

The answer my friend is I was in a battle with many afflictions like self-doubt, anxiety, etc. Those aren’t fancy medical terms like cardiovascular disease or leukemia, but they are just as deadly. These demons of the mind can control your life to the point where you are not functional. It can cause you to hide from the world and let your life go on unnoticed until you die. It can push you to ending your own life.

This book is for those who want to discuss all the enemies of man like self-doubt, fear of failure, divorce, death in the family, and many others. I want to share with you how God used me to write this book, and how He pulled me out of the muck and mire.

The walls we put up in life can be caused by a loss of a loved one or extreme trauma. We can put them up because of sexual abuse, inappropriate or unclear expectations, divorce, poverty, violence in the family, family addiction or environment.

Do you often feel like you don’t want to go to work? Are there times when you feel like you would rather stay in bed and not face the world? Have you fallen into the pit of despair without even knowing why you did? Have you ever felt lost—and alone?

You are not alone! Close to 19 million American adults, or about 9.5% of the U.S. population age 18 and older, suffer from some kind of handicapping mental disorder in a given year.1

Now that I have totally broken you down—there is hope! There are treatments that can help you. See your doctor to find what treatment is best for you. Then go to where there is eternal treatment, and that is through your loving heavenly Father.

The first part of this book talks about putting on God’s armor and fighting against the many mental afflictions. This information is from the horse’s mouth. That would be me. I have gone through many battles of my own. I have felt lost, and I thought that there was nowhere to go. I lived that way for many years. I existed from day to day, struggling with my emotions. I found out that I didn’t need to go through the torture. I had places I could go for help. I found out what they were, and I invite you to find out too.

            Bare with me! There is a happy ending.

“I have seen his ways, but I will heal him; I will guide him and restore comfort to him, creating praise on the lips of the mourners in Israel. Peace, peace, to those far and near,” says the Lord. “And I will heal them.”

Isaiah 57:18–19

Further Adventures

You know how easy it is to let your emotions take over in your life. You’ve been there. It is too easy to let the little things grow from molehills to mountains. When each trial comes up, try to put it into perspective. Is it something that is going to be life-changing? Is it something you can’t handle yourself?

You could tell in this chapter that I couldn’t handle what was happening to me, and what happened next? I felt God was changing me.

Stop in the middle of your grief and say, “Why am I so out of control? What can I do to stop this madness?” The answer was easy for me. I ran to God like a long lost prodigal son, and He opened His arms and took me back in like any father would do with his own son. You should do the same: Run to God and let Him carry you the rest of the way through your life like He is doing for me.

Something to Ponder

Isn’t it funny how we let the smallest winds grow into a full-blown storm?

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I will be sharing more excerpts in the future so keep coming back. Better yet..go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox. You will glad you did.

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Battling the darkside? Things seem too scary for you right now?

FEAR NOT!

GOD IS IN CHARGE!!

He will not let you be tempted any more than you can handle. Lean on Him to be your fortress, and protector.

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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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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

Storms Come Storms Go, But God is There for You

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We got hit by a surprise snow storm that lasted three days. We were in lockdown. 7 inches of snow isn’t much,but there are far too many people who don’t know how to drive in snow.

I got a lot done around the house, so I wasn’t too upset. What did happen however, was that I couldn’t go anywhere, because my wife needed to drive my four wheel drive vehicle.

I had too much free time, so a I read. Best thing that could have happen to me. I love to read, and it was very soothing.

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Have you had sudden storms in your life? Car broke down. Your child is sick. The end of your money came before before the end of the month. The pandemic has hit your friends and family.

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What we all need to do is pray. Pray for God’s intervention. He knows our needs and all we have to do is ask. Why should we have to ask? I see it as God is our heavenly Father and wouldn’t you ask you earthly father for help if you needed it?Of course we would.

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There will be storms ahead, and we need to be strong and face them with God’s help. Never give in to the darkside. Be strong.

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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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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

How Do We Battle the Forces of Evil in Our World?

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How do we battle the forces of evil in our world? What can we do to fight back?

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Things I have learned the way to battle in this not so friendly world:

  1. We have to have the right relationship with God.
  2. We have to have the right thinking.
  3. We have to have the right moral behavior for God’s glory.
  4. We need the kind of belief that leads to the right behavior.
  5. We need to keep ourselves in the love of God.
  6. We need to remain under the influence of God’s love through obedience.
  7. We need to remain steadfast through all of this.

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That is my list. What would your list be like? Do you want to have God on your side helping you, or do you think like many people do? They think they can face the world alone.

That would be very difficult if not impossible. In my opinion life without God is a dead end.

Think about what you are doing. Is it the right thing? Do you wish you didn’t have so many storms in your life? God is the answer. He will be with you during the storms. He will guide you in your life, and make it better.

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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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+If you like what you see, please subscribe at the top of this page where it says, “subscribe.” When you do, all future posts will come directly to your inbox. Also, if you know some else who could benefit from this site, please let them know.

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