A place to find Hope

Category: trials (Page 1 of 3)

How Do We React to Someone Who Had done something Wrong to Us?

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Well…The inauguration is over and there was very little problems. That is a very good sign at the moment. However, we have to ask, “What is next?”

Such a divided nation. Split right down the middle. This causes lots of turmoil, and hardships. We have to let God be in charge, and hope He will get our country to where He wants it.

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What would you do? Coming face-to-face with someone who has caused you so much pain, how would you act? What would you decide in that moment? And maybe the more important question is to discover, is why?

We find an example of this type of situation in the Bible. The story of Joseph.

Genesis 50…

2 This is the account of Jacob and his family. When Joseph was seventeen years
old, he often tended his father’s flocks. He worked for his half brothers, the sons
of his father’s wives Bilhah and Zilpah. But Joseph reported to his father some of
the bad things his brothers were doing.
3 Jacob loved Joseph more than any of his other children because Joseph had been born to him in his old age. So one day Jacob had a special gift made for Joseph—a beautiful robe. 4 But his brothers hated Joseph because their father loved him more than the rest of them. They couldn’t say a kind word to him.

1) Joseph was sold into slavery by his own brothers, who decided to profit off of him, rather than kill him.
2) Thrown into prison, after being falsely accused of attempted rape because he refused to sleep with his master’s wife. 3) For two years, alone and forgotten in prison by the man he witnessed to. I don’t know about you, but that sounds like a rough life. For anyone, this would give them ample reasons to turn to anything but God—to give themselves over to bitterness and anger—to turn inward—to turn to self-pity—or have a legitimate cry for JUSTICE and VENGEANCE! ALL THAT TIME IN PRISON TO STEW OVER THE WRONGS THAT HAD BEEN DONE!

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Well, here is what happened next…

The brothers had come to Egypt because their families were starving and were asking for mercy. They didn’t recognize Joseph and bowed down before him seeking help. Then Joseph broke down and started weeping. He said,

3 “I am Joseph!” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still alive?” But his brothers
were speechless! They were stunned to realize that Joseph was standing there in
front of them. 4 “Please, come closer,” he said to them. So they came closer. And
he said again, “I am Joseph, your brother, whom you sold into slavery in
Egypt. 5 But don’t be upset, and don’t be angry with yourselves for selling me to
this place. It was God who sent me here ahead of you to preserve your lives. 6 This
famine that has ravaged the land for two years will last five more years, and there
will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 God has sent me ahead of you to keep
you and your families alive and to preserve many survivors. 8 So it was God who
sent me here, not you! And he is the one who made me an adviser to Pharaoh—the
manager of his entire palace and the governor of all Egypt.

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So how would you have handled this? What would you have done?

Can you forgive someone that had done so much wrong to you? Will you forget the past and open your arms to this person, or persons?

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I have to admit it would be very hard for me, but I would do it. We must think of Jesus hanging on the cross and had the complete right to be angry, bitter, and want revenge, but He said, Father, forgive them for the do not know what they are doing.

He was being killed and He ask God to forgive them!!

With that always stuck in my mind, I overcome any bitterness I may have and forgive.

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Think about this in the future. Think, what would Jesus do?

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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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Being a Senior Citizen Has Good Points and Bad Points

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It has been a rocky start to 2021 for me. I was helping my wife put some boxes up on a shelve in our storage closet. I slipped off of the ladder and feel onto the vacuum cleaner.

I thought I only had a smashed finger that will cause the nail to fall off eventually. However, I woke up the next morning with pain on my upper leg, and on the left side of my upper back. I took clothes off to checked.

I was shocked to see a huge eight inch by two inch bruise running done my leg, and then found a deep bruise on the left side of my upper back.

The pain followed closely behind. I had a very bad day. Not enough to go to the ER, and taking Tylenol seemed to keep me feeling OK.

I decided I am grounded from any type of ladder, and my wife agreed. I apparently hit her with my feet and gave her a big bruise on her arm, plus something big landed on her foot causing much pain. We both grounded ourselves. My son lives close and he can do those kind of chores for us.

It is a huge sign of old age. I can’t do many things I could ten years ago. It hurts me to tell my wife I can’t do something.

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Have you been there? Is the daily chores seem to be getting harder to do? I use to think being called a senior citizen was a good thing. Not so sure now.

I have, since my fall, come up with some thoughts on how to slow down gracefully:

Only plan things that will not need physical help.

Try to help yourself, by exercising even if it only walking. I try to do that now at least twice a week.

Do not be ashamed to ask for help. I called my son and he said he will be there when ever I need him. He is such a caring person.

Do not climb ANYWHERE. Ladders can ruin your life.

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I just started working on my third book called, Signs of Hope for Seniors: The Alligators that Chase us.

It will cover getting older with grace and dignity. The Alligators are:

Loneliness

Rejection

Death

health

Losing a loved one

And a few more I haven’t come up with yet.

I will let you know the progress I make with this.

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My second book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life, is ready to be published. I am close to choosing the right publisher.

I have worked on this book for over three years. There was much research, and many calls for interviews of soldiers.

I have found that many veterans are excited about this book and I need to get it going so they can have it.

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How are you doing? We have a new beginning, and new hope in 2021. Forget the past and move on to new challenges.

God has planned a new path for you in 2021. Be open to His calling.

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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 Must Always Remember What the Christmas Season is For

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Just two more days until Christmas. Are you ready? Did you buy all the presents you wanted?

If you did, time to stop and think about the season is really about. It is nice to get presents, but that isn’t what Christmas is about. It is nice to see loved ones, but that isn’t what Christmas is about. It is nice to donate to our favorite nonprofits this time of year, but that isn’t what Christmas is all about.

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Christmas is about a little baby being born, that changed the world. It is about Jesus Christ laying in a manger is smiling at the wise men. He is our biggest gift ever.

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Back to my poor me stories. Today one of my grandsons stopped by so we could give him his present. We all had our masks on, and talked for a few minutes and then he was gone. I hadn’t seen him in months! I will so miss all my family not being here in person, but we are doing a Zoom gathering tomorrow night. Just not the same though. I am a hugger. How can you how hug someone on a screen?

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The vaccine is finally flowing. I know it will take a while to get to me, but I saw on the news that people with my health risks will next after the first responders. That will be great.

One thing that caused my blood to rise greatly was the fact that our governor had the prisoners in the prisons of our state to get their shots before even the assisted living people. The inmates complained that they can not social distance, so the governor felt pity for them. I am a very compassionate man, but this is a real stretch.

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We must ALWAYS remember that God is with us. He is with you when you are sad, and He is with you when you are happy. Let Him guide you through this awful storm we are all facing. He wants to best for His children.

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Remember:

You are not alone.

You are not forsaken.

You are not unloved.

And above all….never, ever, give up!

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The Rush is Peaking. Don’t get Caught in the Rat Race.

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My last post I told you that I wasn’t able to get any presents for my wife. Well, I got brave and took off shopping. What I got wasn’t too romantic, but I think she will like them. She collects metal reindeer. I bought her a beautiful silver plated reindeer last year.

I went to same place where I bought last it year. I was hoping I would find something. GOD IS GOOD!! When I walked into the shop I saw it instantly. It was a matching silver plated reindeer with the head looking the other way. Perfect!

I got two other gifts I hope she likes.

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I also told you in my last post that I wasn’t going to be able to see my children in person. It would only be by Zoom.

That changed completely. On Saturday, my daughter, son-in-law and two grandchildren came to give us their gifts. They didn’t stay long.

Then yesterday, we were surprised again as my son, and daughter-in-law came by bringing gifts. They stayed a little longer, and we got lots of talking done.

THEN! Last evening my third child came knocking at our door with gifts. It was my oldest son, daughter-in-law, and two grandchildren. I couldn’t resist, I gave my youngest grandchild a huge hug.

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All that worrying I had done wasn’t needed. I found presents for my wife, and I saw all three of my children, plus four grandchildren. Doesn’t get much better than that. We will still do our Zoom gathering, but I will have a bigger smile on my face.

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How are you plans going? Do you still have Christmas shopping to do? By the way it looked out there, I think many haven’t finished yet.

Here is the key thought. Do not let the rat race pull you down like a huge magnate. In just five days the rush will be all gone. Time to relax and smell the roses.

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2020 is a year we won’t forget. It will be on our minds for years. The thing we need to do when we get through this storm, is to thank God that we made it through the storm. Over a quarter of a million people in the United States didn’t.

There is a reason God wants to spare you. Seek that reason out through prayer.

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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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You’re Probably Asking, When Will I Get the Vaccine?

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The wonderful news is that the COVID-19 vaccine is available. The bad news is when do each of us get our shot? There is a priority list and some have a long time to wait.

I completely understand taking care of the doctors and nurses, and even the police and firefighters. I also have no problem with the assisted living people getting their shots before me.

Then what? I am a health risk with underlining health issues. I hope it isn’t too long before my name comes up.

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With the pandemic causing havoc at Christmas time, I am heart broken that I will not be able to see my children on that day. The best we can do is have a Zoom gathering, but that isn’t even close to being able to gather together. We do a lot of hugging, laughing, and opening of presents. That is all gone.

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We need to be strong and hang tough. All storms end. This storm will end. We will mark 2020 off as the year of all years in our lifetime. We need to remember that God is with us. With him on our side who can be against us?

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As I said before I am on lock down since March, because of my health issues. I haven’t been able to get out and even get my wife a present. The hurts deeply. I so want to let he know how much I love her, and ordering online is not my cup of tea. I will have to venture out and get creative.

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The COVID-19 has struck close to us. In our cul-de-sac, a married couple came down with the virus. They only live two houses away from us. Even worse is that yesterday we found it has hit one of our family. My nephew has come down with it.

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So what should we do to wait out this horrific storm?

Pray for God’s protection. Lean on Jesus to hold your hand and guide you. Be sure to continue your worship on Sundays by going online. I have a connection to my home church, and it is so reassuring to see the pastors sending out their messages of hope.

Never let the dark side overcome you! Go to the light of Jesus.

Reach out to others that you think may be suffering. You do not have to see them in person. Email them or call them.

Keep in touch with your family. Zoom has become a wonderful way to keep in touch with loved ones. Yes, it is not the same, but very important.

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May God be with you! May He protect you, and give you peace.

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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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Being a Servant to Others Can Change the World

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It is another day of sitting here in my PJ’s and typing. I guess that is one plus to being on lock down.

The vaccine is on its way. It will take a while to get down the list of people, but it is available now. Stand strong and this will all be over in the next few months.

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I learned through prayer that during this horrific time, the best we can do is be servants. Too simple, and yet the outcome is huge, if we all took this approach, what a difference there would be in this world.

What does it mean to be a servant? It doesn’t mean you are a slave for someone. It means you are reaching out and helping those around you who are hurting.

An example of this is right in my neighborhood and just two houses down from me in our cul-de-sac.

The husband and wife there have both come down with the virus. It had gotten pretty serious for the wife. She was sent to the hospital with double , Severely dehydrated, and failing kidneys.

It didn’t look good for her at all. I shared her problem with a breakfast of Christian men. There were ten of us. We all prayed for the family yesterday morning. This morning we got an update and the wife did a complete reversal. The doctors were dumbfounded. They didn’t think she would even recover. She will be coming home once she is stabilized.

Prayer is powerful!!

The men at the breakfast didn’t know who the people were, they still prayed for them. They were acting as servants for this couple.

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Where can you be a servant?

Reaching out to those around you is a great start. You neighbors may be hurting. Give them a call and see how they are doing. Some may be ill. Some may be depressed. Check with your family as well. You call may put a smile on their face and give them hope.

Go volunteer at your local food bank. There are huge lines all over this country. They will be so thankful that you have come, and will place you where they need you the most to help out.

Set up prayer groups, and find out where prayer is needed. There are hundreds of people suffering right now. Pray without ceasing. God will hear you!

Come up with your own ideas on how to serve. You will feel that you are doing God’s work, and you will be helping people that need help.

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When I think of being a servant, I can not compare my self to Jesus Christ. He came onto this earth to be a servant. Everything He did was to serve others.

If we could just try to use Him as an example in everything we do, miracles would happen.

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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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Remember, the Darkness Can Not Overcome the Light

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Darkness seems to be spreading through out our world. The pandemic has raised its ugly head even more.

We have enough on our plate to have to worry about getting the virus. It is Christmas time and people should be doing Christmas shopping and yet, they stay at home and do it online. It is another form of a lock down.

I have been on lock down since March. I have health issues and the virus would do me in if I got it.

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So what do we do? Should we give in to the darkness?

Of course not!! There is always light, and darkness can not overcome it.

I am referring to the light of Jesus. He is always there showing us the way through the darkness. If you fear what is ahead, Jesus said, ” Fear not for I am with you.”

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I have gone through some horrific times in my life, and every time I came out at the other end, because of the light ahead.

I also need to remember that if I reject the light, there is not alternative, but to face darkness.

Do not give in to the darkness. Look for the light.

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Yes, we face many mountains in our lives. They seem too high and mighty. However, God is mightier than any mountain. He can move them for you.

Some people make mountains out of mole hills. They over react and start saying, “The sky is falling!” Never listen to them. You know God is there for you, and with him on your side who can be against you?

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If you for some reason feel inferior to others. Stop! God created you in His own image. He made everyone equal. He doesn’t make anything that is bad. He doesn’t make mistakes.

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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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Beware The Christmas Rush Could Pull You Down.

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Well. the pandemic has hit very close to home. I live in a cull-de-sac and just three house away a neighbor has come down with the virus. Last night she got worse and they came with an ambulance to take her to the hospital.

Praying for her each day.

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I watched my church online yesterday, and as I listened to the songs, I found these encouraging thoughts.

1.I know I will never be alone.

2. We need to let the King of our heart be the wind for our sails.

3. God will never let you down.

4. Sing louder in the presence of your enemies.

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Thoughts from the service itself:

  1. Apart from God we are in darkness. Jesus is our light.
  2. In a time of hopelessness, God brings hope.
  3. God’s fullness is coming. (Jesus)
  4. The light we need to survive is Jesus.
  5. The wisdom of Jesus is forever.
  6. Reach out to Jesus in faith.

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While you watched the video you can comment on the side. The pastor asked when does Christmas really start?

Some said the day after Halloween. Others said the day after Thanksgiving. Then one said,” It shouldn’t start until Christmas Eve, and end by 5:00pm Christmas Day.

Yes, this person got a few not so friendly names like Grinch, and Scrooge.

I posted this:

“We enjoy our time with family at Thanksgiving and we are thankful. We love our fun times at Halloween and we are thankful.

BUT!! Christmas isn’t just like for family at Thanksgiving. Christmas isn’t just like laughter and trick or treats at Halloween. Christmas is a birthday party for the baby Jesus. It is a time of joy that He came into the world for us.”

That seemed to quiet the “Grinch.” I know the guy and he is is a special Christian. I think he was just joking and the people didn’t realize it.

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This is way off subject, but today is December 7th. On December 7th, 1941 Pear Harbor was bombed. Thousands lost their lives. We must never forget and honor those heroes who gave their all.

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How are you doing? Has the Christmas rush hit you? Is the rat race too fast.

Take a big breath, and realize that God just gave you that breath. Concentrate on His love. Yes, it is a hectic time. Do not let it pull you down. Cling to the robe of Jesus, and let Him lead you through the storms we face.

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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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Do We Really Need to Go to Church to be Christians?

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It’s Monday, and I am suppose to dread the thought of it, but I am retired and every day is like Saturday to me. I put in my time, and now I am enjoying every day.

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Things are still in a turmoil in our country.

The rioting has spread. The pandemic is at a all time high, and we STILL do not know who our next president will be.

It is hard, at best, to be optimistic during this time. I am stubborn and will not let the dark side put out my light of hope, who is Jesus.

He is with each of us every day, 24/7. Never wavering. Never forsaking, never turning his back on us.

That gives me tremendous comfort. When I am down and depressed, He is there to take my hand and give me hope.

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I was told by someone that they don’t go to church.

I asked why? They said they are a Christian, but don’t feel they need to meet every week with other Christians. They feel they can make it on their own.

Dr. Phil might ask, “How is that working for you?”

I can not separate myself from the church. Right now I can only be at church through an online set-up, But I am refreshed and ready to take on another week.

Just being there, hearing the songs, and listening to my pastor reassuring me, makes the whole world different to me.

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Another thing I have been doing is talking to God every day.

I thank His Son for dying for me on the cross, and then I got through my list of family and friends I pray for. I even pray for our national and local governments.

I do this every day. I love my family and friends, and I love my country. I seek God’s wisdom to guide us all through the storms.

Things don’t seem to be going the way we would like it, but God is in charge and He never makes mistakes.

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How are you doing?

Is there a lot of turmoil in your life as well? Do you wonder what is going to happen to you in the future?

There is millions of people with you in the same boat. Many are clinging on for dear life. Some are ready to give up. The suicide rate is sky rocketing during these times.

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Don’t let the world dictate to you what you should fear. Jesus said, “Fear not.” He will be there for you during the good times and the bad times.

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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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Be Strong and Don’t Go Through Life Alone

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Have you ever felt alone? I mean like you ae stranded on an island by yourself?

I have some times that has happened to me:

  1. When I was eighteen, I enlisted into the military. I had never been out of my home state. In basic I had two buddies that I had enlisted with and they gave me comfort. But then we were trained and all three of us were deployed to Korea. Still OK until we got there and found out that we were being sent to three different bases. I then learned what loneliness was. It was just me and a whole company of guys I had never met before. Then the alone feeling was overpowering. This eighteen year kid was in a foreign land, and didn’t know anyone. I felt lost. I felt I wanted to be back home with my family.
  2. Much later in my life I felt alone again. It was overwhelming. I couldn’t even tell my wife why I felt alone. It kept growing on me until I was ready to give up. I was driving my Ford Explorer one day, and it all came up all at once. I began sobbing. I couldn’t see where I was going. I turned into a high school parking lot and drove way in the back of it where no one could see. I had actually considered checking of this hotel called earth. That is when I yelled, “God I can’t take this any more!” Then I felt different. I felt the fear got away. I felt fresh air. It seemed like coming out of a coma. It was like God was saying, “It’s about time you came back to me. Now let me carry you the rest of the way.”

There are other times I have felt alone, but each time now I remember one thing...I AM NOT ALONE! God is with me every step of the way. I could tell you what happened after each time I felt alone. I even wrote an award winning book about it called, Signs of Hope, Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.

There are only one place to get the book if you want it. It is close to a second printing, and there are only about ten copies left. I have those ten copies, and you can only get one by going to www.dougbolton.com and click on books. This way you get an autographed copy directly from me.

I digress.

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Being alone and isolated is our enemy.

We feel we can take on the world on our own. As a result, we distance ourselves from those who know us the best, We come incased in ourselves to push away others.

Remember this… Living the Christian life is not a “me,” thing, it is a “we” thing.

We need someone in our life to hold us accountable. We need a mentor to keep us on the right path.

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In my case it is my own son Greg.

He has grown up to be a real Godly leader. I turn to him whenever I feel sad, depressed, or even alone. He is a no nonsense guy who tells it like it is, and that is exactly what I need.

We have to realize that we can not live for Christ if we are not connected. My son keeps me connected.

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Before you chose your mentor You have to expect the following things to happen:

  1. Transparency: You must be willing to be see as you really are. Many of us of afraid to let anyone knw how we are deep down. We are afraid of rejection.
  2. Choice: You must be willing to change. No one can force you into anything.
  3. Confidentially: Everything you share never goes any further than the two of you.
  4. Commitment: Both of you must agree to a higher standard. The person across the table from you must have a deep desire to see you succeed.
  5. Confrontation: You can’t go easy on each other. Accountability requires confronting the reality of the truth. Face the truth and accept the challenge.
  6. Compass: This is is most important thought. The Word of God must serve as your compass to guide you the rest of your life.

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“Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.” proverbs 27:17

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So if you feel isolated, find someone to help you. You need them to have a sounding board for you. 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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