A place to find Hope

Category: survive the world

Everything That Can go Wrong Probably Will

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I had four days of exercise last week. At my age you would think that I was almost dead. 🙂 However, I now feel stronger, and will be doing four more days of exercise this week. We will see what happens.

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I am sharing another excerpt from my first book, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.

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Chapter 2

Everything that Can Go Wrong Probably Will

I sought the Lord, and he answered me;

 he delivered me from all my fears.

Psalm 34:4

Murphy must have been a sad soul. We all live by the laws he created for us. It seems that we blame everything that goes wrong on Murphy’s Law.

You’ve had those days. You get up in the morning and start out happy as a clam. (Not sure how happy that is.) You have some errands to do, and you begin to do them.

You run out of gas, or you have a flat tire. You forgot your grocery list. The item you thought was on sale wasn’t. There is an accident on the freeway, and you are stuck for hours.

Ever had those kinds of days? Let me tell you about mine! I had volunteered to help my son Greg out when he vacationed in Disneyland with my granddaughter Molly. I told him I would pick up his mail every day, put the garbage cans back on Tuesday, and feed Charlie the cat all week.

Everything went well Sunday through Tuesday. But on Wednesday, the worst thing happened. I lost the door key. I had it in my summer shorts when I went to shower. I took off the shorts, showered, and then put on a clean pair of shorts. I left the house and headed over to my son’s house.

Charlie was waiting for me, and already had started his purring sound to let me know he was glad to see me. I got the mail, walked up to the door and reached into my pocket to get the key. It wasn’t there. Charlie was looking up at me looking like, “Why are you taking so long to open the door?”

“Sorry Charlie,” I muttered, sounding like a tuna commercial. “I have to go back home and get the key.” He wasn’t very happy with me as I walked to my car. I felt badly.

I got home and looked everywhere for the key. It was nowhere in sight. I even dumped out the hamper where the dirty clothes were. Zilch! Notta! Ouch!

I remembered that we had a bunch of extra keys in the desk drawer that had no names on them. I dug all of them out and drove back to my son’s house. You guessed it: None of them worked!

I was desperate by this time. I thought that I might have to call a locksmith, or call my son and have him Fed Ex his keys to me.

I prayed for help from God and immediately thought of calling my wife Charlotte to see if she had any ideas. (This was my close encounter with God.) I probably sounded shook up when she answered the phone—maybe because my only words were, “Now what do I do?”

“What’s wrong?” she asked.

“I’ve lost the key to the house, and the cat food is on the inside.”

Without hesitating, she suggested, “Go to the grocery store and buy another bag of cat food and feed Charlie outside. He’s an outside cat anyway. Greg can make a new key when he gets home.”

Charlie was really mad at me when I left the second time without feeding him. I returned with a tasty tuna and salmon meal (yum). He gobbled it up and was purring again when I left.

Of course, going to the grocery store was the obvious choice. (You realize, of course, that I actually knew it all along. I was just testing Charlotte.) The important thing was that the answer came after I had prayed for help. Charlotte was the messenger, but God answered the prayer.

God can answer prayers in many ways. It can be directly, or it can be through someone else. Charlotte was my answer to prayer. She knew the easy solution I needed, but I wasn’t able to think of.

Do you call on God to help you when you have a problem, or do you panic like I did? (God has a speed dial you know.) At least, I knew I couldn’t do it on my own and turned to God for help. The calming feeling that came as soon as I finished praying was very reassuring.

It was in God’s hands, and I knew something good would happen. Charlie got fed, and I have a whole bag of cat food for future lockouts.

Don’t let obstacles stop you. Turn your problems over to God. Let Him figure out a solution. It may not come as fast as mine did, but He will work it out the way He knows is best for you.

Since I am on the subject of prayer, please don’t just call on God when there is a problem. Talk to God every day. He loves to hear from you.

I know it is hard to pray when you are at work. It is hard to pray while you are driving. But you know what? When you are driving might be the best time to pray. It is when you are likely to be tense and need a calming spirit. A guy is blowing his horn behind you. Pray seeking patience because you do not know what is going on in this man’s life. He may want to get home because his wife called and is ready to have their first baby. Wouldn’t you be honking?

Prayer should be done without ceasing. Pray each and every day. Use it to praise God. Use it to thank Him for your good health. Use it to pray for peace. Whatever is on your mind, God wants to hear from you. It should be like He is sitting in the room with you. Carry on a conversation with Him.

Do not be anxious about anything,

but in everything, by prayer and petition,

with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,

will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6–7

Further Adventures

Have you gone along in life thinking that everything is fine, only to have a day that makes you realize that the world is not always a rose garden? First of all, remember that we can’t look at everything through rose-colored glasses.

Second, when a bad day comes knocking at your door like it was your long-lost relative, make sure it understands that it can only stay for that day. Then boot it out at the end of the day by giving it over to God in prayer. You should never let your bad days stay longer than they should.

Something to Ponder

Isn’t it funny that we always have a direct line to God, but we sometimes think the connection is dead?

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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 directly to your inbox.

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Does it seem like the storms are coming too often? Would you rather stay in bed all day?

FEAR NOT!

God is with you 24/7. He will never forsake you. Lean on Him as your fortress. Never give in to the darkside.

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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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How can We Survive in This Not So Friendly World?

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This is a busy day for me. Just got home from have a blood test done, and later today I am off to PT.

I thought the busyness of the holidays would go away, but I guess there is no rest for the wicked

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I promised you that I would be starting a new formatt today. What I will be doing, is sharing excerpts from my first book, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.

Each post I will share another excerpt. Keep coming back to read the excerpts. Better yet….

Go to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do all future post will go directly to your inbox.

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Preface

I waited patiently for the Lord;

he turned to me and heard my cry.

He lifted me out of the slimy pit,

out of the mud and mire;

he set my feet on a rock

and gave me a firm place to stand.

Psalm 40:1–2

One of the most exciting things that can happen in your life is to have a close encounter with God. Moses had several. A burning bush started talking to him; he went to Mt. Sinai where God gave him the Ten Commandments. He raised his staff during a fierce battle to help fight off the enemy. Moses and the Israelites received manna directly from God.

Elijah had a close encounter with God when ravens brought him food while he was in the wilderness at God’s direction. Daniel met some lions that the bad guys thought would eat him. Instead God calmed the lions—and they became pets for Daniel. Everyone that met Jesus had a close encounter.

God showed His love through many close encounters in the Bible, and He can do it for you today. You may have already had a close encounter without realizing it ever happened. Did you ever turn a corner you hadn’t planned to turn and seen an old friend who would have missed otherwise? Have you ever happened on the scene of a horrible accident you would have been involved in had you been there just a second sooner? During a lightning storm, were you ever close to a strike that hit the ground? Have you ever felt alone and abandoned and cried out to God for help and then felt a real peace that you have never felt before?

You may have encountered some of these situations, or others. God is watching over you every day. He wants to protect you. He has a plan for you and me. If danger is near, He may choose to spare your life because He has a path He wants you to take to help others to know Him better.

I went through some tough times because I felt lost after I retired from teaching. I had no purpose. I tried being a salesman at several places, and even tried to run my own business as a salesman. I failed at all of them. I went into the lowest spot in my life and was ready to end my life. God saved me on March 31, 2001, after I cried out, “God I can’t take anymore of this!” I felt calmness in my heart and even the air around me seemed to cool. It was as if God were saying, “It is about time you came back to Me. I have been waiting for you to return. Let Me carry you the rest of the way.”

From that day on I kept praying to God to tell me why He had saved my life. It didn’t take Him long to point to a technical book I had been tinkering with for a few months. It was a book written for people who worked in the cash flow business that gave ideas on how to be a better salesman. Can you believe I was trying to write a book on that? Sure failure was lurking at my door—again!

I had failed at being a salesman, but God kept prompting me to look at the cash flow book very hard again. What was He trying to tell me?

Why did I keep getting the book-in-progress out? Then God finally woke me up. He wanted me to write about my own experiences with depression and share the love of God with others. As I looked at the manuscript I was working on, the titles fit perfectly into a book of encouraging others. I had been using phrases I had seen on bumper stickers to start each chapter.

            One sticker said, “Need Directions?” Another said, “My way is the highway.” Still another said, “Don’t believe everything you think.”

I had intended them to be chapter titles for teaching selling. As I looked at them, I saw what God wanted.

“Need directions?” was actually God telling us to read the Bible.

“My way is the highway” was God saying that we need to choose the right path that leads us to heaven.

“Don’t believe everything you think” was telling me that Satan can plant garbage in our minds to cause us to drift away from God.

The rest is history. I immediately dove into to writing this book. I was excited the day I started back in 2001, and I am still excited today. I started out writing a book about selling and ended up writing about getting eternal life for free. I had finally found something I could help give away free. No down payment. No monthly installments. No interest rates. Just accept the Lord into your heart and you have a free trip to heaven with its entire splendor.

As I worked on this preface, I searched my computer for the chapter titles I had used for the cash flow book to show how they had been transformed. I came across a statement on the very page I was looking at and saw something I had never seen before. I know I hadn’t typed it because it was in a different color ink. I never use any color but black in my work.

As I read it, I was sure God wanted me to read it. It said: “I love this! Let’s keep going! No catches. Just the peace in knowing that you are able to share God’s love and works to all those you have contact with, and even bless someone you don’t.”

That is exactly how it was typed. I didn’t correct any wording, or add any words to make it look more dramatic for you. It wasn’t sent to anyone but me. It was at the top of the page I was searching for. God may have placed it there way back when I first changed my direction, but I missed it then. But I found it, and it only confirms why I spent the last seven years toiling to get to the final outcome.

            God’s timing is amazing.

I had my own special close encounter with God, and He has been my refuge ever since.

This book hopefully leads you to have a close encounter with God. You may have chosen this book because it deals with the hurts in your life as well as other “afflictions” we all face. They can be crippling, and even deadly. I lived with depression, self-doubt, anxiety, hopelessness and fear of failure for many years until I turned back to God and found help through a doctor who determined I also had a chemical imbalance. Now through a close encounter with God and the right medication I am able to cope and have a productive life.

My original working title, Close Encounters of the Heavenly Kind, comes from a favorite movie of mine, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It is about a man who has visions in his head and can’t understand what is happening. So he goes on a search to find out. That is what people with the many closed walls around them are going through. They are sad, and they can’t cope. They do not know why they are that way. They, too, are searching for answers.

As the book progressed, I wanted a more “hopeful” title for it. And since it is based on sayings and signs I’ve seen and the fact I wanted the book to provide the same hope for others as I have found, I was easily persuaded that the title Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World might be a better fit. You will still find several allusions to “close encounters” throughout the book and I wanted you to know the how and why I use that term so often.

The bumper sticker idea came from my hobby of collecting them for many years. I looked at them again years later, and realized they had some meaning, and I started writing about everyday connections to them.

That is my story (so far) and I am stickin’ to it! I hope that through this book, you will also begin searching for some meaning to become stronger, and choose a path that leads you to a closer relationship with God.

Let the adventure begin.

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I shared the preface to start with to give you a feel of what is ahead from you as you travel with me through the book.

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Have you had those kind of days when you are not sure what is coming at you? You certainly are not alone.

Lean on God for help like I did. He brought me out of the muck and more, and today I am very excited for what life might have in store for me.

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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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People Are Broken, Distraced, and Weary From Life

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Satan is getting desparate, because he knows his time is short, and he wants to sabotage your efforts to serve the Lord.

The truth is, the closer we become with Jesus, the more intense our spiritual battles will be. We must be aware of Satan’s schemes.

It is God’s will that everyone will come closer to Jesus than to Satan. But Satan will do everything he can to distract you from following Him.

We need to let God establish our priorites.

Love God-Serve God

If we truly love God we will serve wherever we need to, for example:

  1. Your spouse…God has directed us to love and serve our spouses.
  2. Single? Serve your family and friends. Don’t let anybody distract you.

Knowing the truth doesn’t strengthen you, doing the truth does.

Whoever does the will of God will abide forever.

Don’t do what ever your are doing for yourself. Do it for others.

Back to Satan.. he wants you to feel awful about yourself. He wants to deceive us so we will disobey God. If he succeeds you are on his trophy wall.

To fight all of this we need God’s armor.

When we are attacked by Satan we need let the love of Jesus control us.

We don’t give into fear. We don’t look for the paths of least risistance. We follow Jesus weherever He leads us.

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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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We Struggle to Have Hope During Our Storms

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I am having a problem writing this blog, because of my growing pessimistic view is getting larger.

I told my wife about my difficulties and she looked at me and said, “You have to have hope!”

That snapped me out of it, and I am ready to give out hope:

Helping those around you spreads hope.

Often things we worry about never happen.

Prayer helps you through any storms you may have.

Everyone needs to be loved.

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I went grocery shopping today, and I was amazed of how many people refuse to wear masks. I saw a couple, and the wife had a mask on, but her husband did not.

He looked like he wanted someone to challenge him. I just felt he had that right, but he was endangering others around him and himself.

Over 90% of the new cases of COVID have not had the vaccine. That is staggering. People who refuse to get the vaccine are dying by the thousands.

The hope we need to find here is that people will see the huge amount of unvaccinated people dying and go ahead and get their shots.

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Have you had some down time in your life lately? Do you fear getting out because of the virus?

Cling to the robe of God, and He will walk you through any storm you are having. He will be with you 24/7. He is the poster child for hope.

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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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Idolatry is Causing Many to Turn Away From God

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In our world of sadness and chaos we wonder what we need to do to survive in this not so friendly world. I heard a powerful message at church yesterday about idolatry.

When we think of it, many of the dictators of this world live off of idolatry.

Think about the Taliban in Afghanistan. They have only one thing on their minds, and that is people worship them or they die.

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The Bible has a story about a city that turned to idols instead of God. God punished them by destroying the whole city. There was nothing left there but dried bones.

The people who lived through this cried for help, and God said they need to repent to receive His grace.

Here is a definition of idolatry:

It takes place when we exchange God’s self revelations and replace them with our own ideas of who we think God is or should be.

The essence of idolatry is thinking thoughts about God that is unworthy of Him.

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Have our bones dried up because we worship idols like, cell phones, TV, our new car, or boat?

Take inventory of your live and see if you have placed something in front of God that you idolize.

Some thoughts:

God can be trusted.

God’s promises are sure.

God loves you just the way you are.

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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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In a Hopeless World We Find Hope in God

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So much sadness in our country right now. Thirteen young soldiers died on Thursday, and it could have been avoided.

It grieves as much as losing on of my own family, since I m a veteran.

What hope do we have when all of this is going on?

First a definition of the word hope;

“The anticipation of a future that is better than the present.”

Hope is my main thrusted on this site. I try to share hope in every one of my posts.

Cutting to the chase…

It is God’s past faithfulness that motivates hope for the future.

Reminder… Without God it is hopeless. I couldn’t survive without Him.

Remember that God walks us through the darkness in our lives. He hears our soft cries for help.

Laminations 3: 24 says… “The Lord is my portion,” says my soul, “Therefore I have hope in him.”

There is another verse in Laminations that describes God:

Steadfastness

He has mercies

He is faithful

His love never ceases.

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If you are feeling hopelessness creeping into your life, cling to God’s robe and seek His protection. He listens to you.

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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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Top Five Ways to Survive in a Not so Friendly World

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I had my usual Physical therapy today. Went pretty smoothly. Getting stronger each visit.

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The governor of my state of Oregon announced today that we are going back to mandating masks for indoor events. The new Delta virus is causing havoc everywhere. We are back to where we were over a year ago.

Here are some scary statistics. Two of the biggest cities in our nation have had a tremendous increase of deaths from the virus. In one of the cities 95% of the deaths were not vaccinated. In the other city it was 94%. Pretty clear facts that shows everyone needs to get their shots now.

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I don’t know about you, but I am struggling with all the turmoil that is going on all around us. Fake news, rioting, racism, lying by politicians, bad decisions by congress, and a president that doesn’t even know how many people live in our country.

I sat down and tried to figure out how I could face all of this mess. Here is what I came up with:

  1. Time to wear blinders like horses do. Only look straight ahead to the future.
  2. Only believe facts. not fairy tales.
  3. Do not blame people around you for problems, look in the mirror.
  4. Reach out to help those who are confused and depressed.
  5. Rely on your family and friends to see you through the storms.

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If you are overcome with all the turmoil. Make you own list of survival ideas. Live by them every day.

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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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What Can We Do to Survive the World we Live in?

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“Another day, another dollar.” That was the saying when I was a kid. Many people only made a dollar a day. Now you can hardly survive when you are making $15.00 an hour. Times change and so does the cost of living.

I missed my post on Wednesday. My apologizes. Just a bad hair day for me. I actually am felling better today. A new med is helping me a great deal with my shortness of breath.

To be able to breath better has changed not only my health, but my mental state.

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I have thought of many things that are important to me:

  1. Being with family.
  2. Having coffee with some buddies.
  3. Writing emails to those who need company.
  4. Fishing with my boys.
  5. Enjoying each day God has given me.
  6. Spending time with my bride.
  7. Sitting on my deck listening and seeing the birds.
  8. Going on walks.
  9. Reading.
  10. Reaching out to help others.

I bet you could have a list that is even longer than mine, and it will make more sense to you. Try it.

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I keep seeing how our country is going quickly in the wrong direction. Inflation is out of control. Gas prices are soaring. The pandemic is coming back in full force. People are angry and pushing back.

I wonder what we can do to survive this bad trend:

  1. Remember, God is in charge.
  2. All things work for the good of those who believe in God.
  3. God will never give you something that is too hard to handle. It is not Him doing it if it happens.
  4. Never feel you are unworthy of love. That is one of the most disheartening things that happen to us.
  5. Take each day, one at a time.

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How are you doing through the turmoil we are facing these days? Is it hard to get up in the morning to face the world?

God loves you! He made you in His own image. He wants the best for you. Lean on Him through prayer and He will guide you through the muck and mire of life.

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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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