A place to find Hope

Category: we struggle (Page 1 of 2)

There Are Times When a Path May be Rough for You.

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I had a great weekend. That is why I missed my Monday post. My family drove up to Seattle to see the Seattle Mariners play the Baltimore Orioles.

This was a special trip because the catcher for the Orioles was an Oregon State Grad. My nephew started loving the Orioles when he started with them. The catcher is only a rookie.

We got settled in and went for dinner the first night. It was a walk type trip. I asked the receptionist how far it was to the restaurant, and she said three or four bocks.

She as sooooo wrong. It was more like 8 to 10 blocks. I walk with a cane, and hadn’t walked that far in a long time. I struggled big time. I was pretty slow, and slowed everyone down. I felt very bad about that.

I had to stop once because my shoe lace had come undone. My nephew quickly got down on his knees at tied both shoes in a double knot.

From there, he held my hand and made sure I wasn’t going to fall.

Very embarrassing, but special that he would do that for me.

The game was really great. My nephew got two homerun balls during batting practice.

During the game my nephew’s favorite player got two hits. One of them a homerun.

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Have you ever had moments when you struggled, and needed someone’s help? Did you accept it, or did you refuse because it made you look bad? I know it is difficult to think you need help, but please allow those who love you to help you.

They are not doing it out of pity. They are doing it because they love you.

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Try to enjoy life no matter what is tossed at you. There will be storms. There will be disappointments. Be strong and face the adversity.

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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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God Feeds the Sparrows. He Will Feed You Too

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“One day older and deeper in debt.” Those lyrics from a country western song fits perfectly in our world today.

  1. Inflation is running wild.
  2. Gas prices are soaring.
  3. Food prices are skyrocketing.
  4. The pandemic is causing many to look for ways to pay for it.

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How can we survive in this kind of world?

The simple answer is that God even feeds the little sparrows. Don’t you think He will take care of us?

In my early days of marriage we were so poor that we had to turn the oven on to help heat the house. We were not sure we was going to make it until the next paycheck.

Somehow money kept coming in that we didn’t expect. It paid the bills, and kept us fed.

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God is there for you. He knows your problems. He knows you are struggling. Never feel you have been abandoned by God. He will never forsake you or turn hIs back on you.

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Never let the darkside convince you that all is lost. Look to the light of Jesus. Pray for protection from poverty, and worries.

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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 Do We Find Perfect Words to Describe God?

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Have you ever paused in a sentence grasping to finding the perfect word to say to someone? We all have.

The Psalmist says God is my rock. I John 1:5 says God is light.

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Even Jesus had some different names.

Jesus is the lion of Judah. Jesus is the lamb of God.

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Let me ask you fathers how you fit into the following:

  1. A good father loves his children.
  2. A good father protects his children.
  3. A good father teaches his children.
  4. A good father is a figure of strength and direction.
  5. A good father disciplines his children.

Lacking in some of those thoughts? God doesn’t. He fits them all perfectly. The above describes God.

God is all knowing:

  1. God knows when you sit down.
  2. God knows your thoughts before you say them.
  3. God is acquainted with all of you ways.
  4. God even knows what you are going to say before you say it.

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Actually it is a little nerve racking that He knows even each of the hairs on our heads. There is no place to hide. Even as Christians we are being observed by God.

We all have failed and come short of the glory of God. We know we aren’t perfect. Only Jesus was perfect.

BUT! If we are saved. We are always saved! We just need to ask for God’s forgiveness when we fail.

Pray everyday day to seek God’s strength to help you be strong each 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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Murphy Law Says, What Could Go Wrong Probably Will.

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What is there to talk about? I should say what isn’t there to talk about?

There is so much happening in our world today, it is hard to keep up.

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  1. Inflation is eating up our pocket books. Inflation has risen higher this year than since 1980.
  2. Gas prices are also eating up our pocket books. Biden is blaming it on Putin, and yet the prices were way up before the war even started.
  3. The pandemic doesn’t seem to want to go away.
  4. The war in Ukraine is devastating with hundreds of thousands of civilians dead.

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It is hard, at best, to face our world today. We need to hunker down, and depend on God to see us through this storm.

Yes, He is allowing it to happen, because He gave man free choice way back to the garden of Eden. People who just want tons of power are causing much of what is going on.

I understand how hard it is. I hear your pleas. We just need to pray, and pray without ceasing. God listens.

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Don’t be discouraged. Stand strong in the promises of God and He will see you through the muck and mire.

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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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Worry is The Dark Room Where Negatives Develop in Our Lives

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I promised you an excerpt from my first book, which won a national award from the Reader’s Choice Awards. It is called, Signs of Hope: Ways to survive in a Unfriendly World.

Here it is…

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Chapter 12

Worry Is the Dark Room Where Negatives Develop

Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.

James 1:12

I had a real dream the other night, and it was a western. It had me tossing and turning until the outcome unfolded.

The wonderful thing about dreams is that no matter how terrifying they are in the beginning, they almost always turn out for the good in the end. You notice that you never quite get caught by the monster that is chasing you. Isn’t it fun when you are flying and you can see everyone below you? I just flap my arms, and I fly. (OK, I know you’re thinking, This guy is crazy!)

How about the fact that you are the hero and you always save the day? Everything is wonderful. That is how life can be if you follow God. It doesn’t pay to worry, have anxiety and be full of fear. It doesn’t pay to be full of shame. It doesn’t pay one cent to be gossiping all the time. My dream is an example of that.

The characters:

The good guys: Matthew, Mark, John

Stranger on a white horse

The bad guys: Anxiety, Gossip, Shame, Death

Matthew, Mark, John and the Stranger—the four good guys—were riding on their horses through Sin City towards the Not OK Corral. Hiding from them were Anxiety, Gossip, Shame and Death—the four bad guys. They didn’t want the good guys to find them and stop the harm they were doing. They had control of all the people in the city and they wanted to keep control. Matthew, Mark and John were riding on brown horses because that was what they rode in those days. The Stranger was riding on a white horse.

The good guys were not gunslingers; they were Bible-slingers. The good guys got down off their horses and went searching for Anxiety, Gossip, Shame and Death.

Matthew found Anxiety leering around a corner trying to see where everyone was. Anxiety had a worried look on his face. He kept looking everywhere in fear—in back of him and in front of him. He didn’t know what to do.

Anxiety (aka worry) can be caused by a doctor’s appointment that holds the results of a blood test. It can be wondering if you can pay this month’s bills. It could be from a dispute you had with your wife. Whatever the case, from stage left comes Matthew, who says to Anxiety: “Don’t worry about anything, instead pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank Him for what He has done” (taken from Philippians 4:6).

Anxiety felt like a ton of weight had been taken off his shoulders, and he left the Not OK Corral much happier. Anxiety was gone.

Mark was looking for Gossip. When he found him, Gossip was talking so fast Mark couldn’t understand him. Gossip said, “Did you see Clem at the Horse’s Breath Saloon? He said he would never take another drink, and I just saw him walk in there!”

Gossip can ruin a person’s life. Talking about someone behind their back can only spread hurt and can cause unwanted hardship.

Mark put his hand over Gossip’s mouth and said: “As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire, so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts” (Proverbs 26:21–22).

Gossip was dumbfounded and was unable to speak further. He went away with a swollen tongue and was gone. There was no more gossip.

John found Shame hiding in a closet because he was so ashamed of what he had done all his life. He didn’t want anyone to see him this way.

Shame is often the last fatal nail in the heart of a person who is hurting from something they did in the past. Turn anything you are ashamed of over to God, and He will wipe it out of His books.

John felt pity for him and said, “If you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name” (1 Peter 4:16).

Shame rose and came out of the closet. He was a different man. He felt self-worth. He felt he was loved. He wanted to learn more about God. After this, Shame was gone. There was no more shame.

Then the Stranger went right to where Death was, for He knew where everyone was, and what they were doing every second of the day.

Death was a hideous creature. He was caring a sword and had a look on his face that would melt anyone who looked into his eyes. He really was the leader of this gang. There was fire coming out of his ears, and he laughed a chilling laugh. (This is the part where I was tossing, and turning!) He said, “You may have calmed the rest of my gang, but you have no power over me. Everyone has to die, and I will wait until they come to me.”

Yes, death will happen to all of us, but if we are under God’s protective wing, we do not have to fear death. It is just a stepping stone to be with our heavenly Father. You can be assured that the angels are waiting for the moment you are ready to be with the Lord. It is like a parent anticipating a newborn. The angels will say, “Cool, here comes another one to be with us in heaven.”

The Stranger took off His cloak, and uncovered his head. It was Jesus. Jesus walked up to Death and said, “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” (1 Corinthians 15:55).

Death spun around in pain and, weaker but still standing, turned back toward Jesus.

Jesus said, talking to God: “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me” (from Psalm 23:4).

Death began to wither and fell to the ground. He had no more power over people any longer.

So there was no more anxiety, no more gossip, no more being ashamed, and most importantly, no more death.

God is the final power. He controls all things. We can stop worrying about anything. Worrying and fear does not gain us one more minute in a day—and it saps our strength. Turn your anxiety, gossiping, shame and the fear of death over to Him, and He will send them on their way.

The four horsemen got on their horses and headed to the next town to see what gangs might have settled there. As they rode into the sunset, they all sang praises to God and worshipped Him.

That’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

To those who by persistence in doing good seek glory,

honor and immortality, he will give eternal life.

Romans 2:7

Further Adventures

Have you had one of those bad guys come into your life? Have you been faced with anxiety? Has someone said something about you to someone else that wasn’t true? Do you live in shame for past sins that you cannot get out of your mind? Have you lost a loved one? Always remember that God is always there. He knows what your anxiety is. He knows about the gossip that has been spread about you. He wants you to throw away your shame, like it was a broken toy.

And remember that death has no power if your loved one was a Christian. God is the final Word. He controls everything. Lean on Him through whatever trial you are going through. You will have some storms come into your life, but God is there to help calm them for you.

Something to Ponder

Isn’t it funny how we believe what the newspapers say, but question what the Bible says?

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There will more in the future. Keep coming back to check them out. Better yet… God to the top of this page and click on “Subscribe.” When you do all future posts will come directly to your inbox.

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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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Signs of Hope is Needed for Life, Military, and Seniors.

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I am very tired today so my spellcheck better work. 🙂

I am getting to the age where every new day is a blessing. I am almost through with my second book, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life.

It is a book for the veterans who are struggling with life. It covers PTSD, TBI, Depression, anxiety, etc. It also shares live for me while I was in the military. Some funny and not so funny stories there.

Go to…www.dougbolton.com to find out more about the book.

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My next book will be called, Signs of Hope for Seniors: The Alligators that Chase us. I am an expert on that since I am 82 years old and counting.

It will talk about aging, of course, but also about loneliness, health issues, depression, lack of memory, being sent to assisted living, and many more of the usual suspects for seniors.

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Also…stay tuned here for excerpts from my first book, which won and national award, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in an Unfriendly World.

It is perfect timing for the way that our world is today. It speaks about being strong when the storms of life try to overcome us. It shares ways to stand up to the rush of daily problems.

I will share my first excerpt in my next post on Monday. So keep coming back to check them out. 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.

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How is it going for you today? Too overwhelming? Too much sorrow and not much joy?

FEAR NOT!!

God is in charge !!! He knows what your hurts are. He know what causes you pain. He knows every single hair on your head. Turn to Him during your storms of life. Pray for His protection. Ask Him to hold your hand and guide you down the right paths.

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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 Days of Gas for 25 Cents? Inflation Took Care of That

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Another day, another dollar. That is a phrase I heard lot as a kid. In the 1940’s things were scarce including money. One dollar was a lot back then.

Now days, if you don’t thousands of dollars a month, you are in poverty. It is called inflation.

I remember gas being 25 cents a gallon. .05 cents for a package of gum, and $2.99 for a carton of cigarettes.

We survived by having uncles that had farms and they shared the crops with us. I ate every kind of dish that you can make potatoes out of. Tomatoes were plentiful, so we canned them. Peaches the same way. We all went together to have Beef packaged for all of us.

I made money for school clothes by working on my uncle’s farm every summer.

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Of course it isn’t close to being that hard these days.

I want you to know I had a very happy childhood. I knew what family was. We would all gather together often. That meant a lot to me. The lov overflowed during those times.

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Did you have a good or bad childhood? Was it hard for you? I hope way back then you realized you were loved deeply by God. He was with you during all of your storms. He was just a prayer away.

That is what got me through some tough years in my early life. I accepted to Lord when I was fifteen years old through the Young Life meetings.

I faced the world in a whole different way after that time. I was at peace with my living conditions.

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Today is the first day of the rest of your life. If you have felt abandoned, and are struggling. Struggle no more. Pray to God, and also ask Jesus into you heart. Those two things will see you through many storms 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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Depression Can Lead to a Very Dreadful Life

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Some people seem to take God for granted. They go through life blindly thinking they can take on the world alone. Dr. Phil would say, “How is that working for you?”

I was like that once. I didn’t even go to church. There were sports on Sundays I didn’t want to miss.

I got a wake up call from God in 2001. It was March 31st to be exact. I was sitting in my Ford Explorer in a high school parking lot, ready to end my life. I had been struggling with depression, and it was overcoming me.

I finally cried out, God! I can’t take this anymore! There was a sudden calmness around me. I relaxed and ponder what had just happened.

It was like God was saying, “It’s about time you came back to me. Now let me lead you the rest of the way.”

My life changed that day. That day was the first day of the rest of my life.

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I have learned a lot since then.

  1. God is the Father of the fatherless. I was without a father because of divorce. I felt alone and my self image was shot.
  2. God is the defender of widows. There is nothing worse than to lose a loved one. God is there to comfort you during those times.
  3. God senses the loneliness in families. Seems odd to think you are lonely in your own home, but it can happen and is devastating.

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Another thing I learned is that a is my job is to be a leader in my home. Not a dictator that rules the nest with anger. Satan would love for men to claim authority over their family. This only leads to turmoil and sadness.

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Take an inventory of your choices in life. Do you need an overhaul? Is happiness a word you do not understand?

Turn to God. He loves you. He made you in His own image. That means you are His child.

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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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He Who Angers You Will Control You

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I had a week with heavy exercise. It has paid off. I lost a few pounds this week, and my legs feel stronger. I still have another day of exercise today. Then I will crash for the weekend.

I am sharing another excerpt today from my first book, Signs of Hope: Ways to Survive in and Unfriendly World. It received a national award.

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Chapter 3

He Who Angers You Controls You

But I tell you that anyone who is angry with his brother

will be subject to judgment. Again, anyone who says to his brother,

“Raca” [a term of contempt], is answerable to the Sanhedrin

[body of authorities]. But anyone who says,

“You fool!” will be in danger of the fire of hell.

Matthew 5:22

I have “a short fuse.” I can be easily offended and strike back with anger. As the years have gone by I realize that anger doesn’t solve anything. It only raises my blood pressure, and allows the other person to win. They get what they want. They got me frustrated and not thinking clearly.

I have finally gotten smarter and have learned to control my feelings to the point where I still may be upset about what has happened, but I don’t let it cause me to verbally strike out toward the other person. I don’t “count to ten.” I turn to God to give me strength to overcome my own feelings and think about the consequences for me if I fail in my quest to help others with their anger. I also ask God to help me have a calm spirit, and an understanding heart. I’m not being a good example to my children—or anyone else—if I don’t.

The following story makes the point about anger very clearly. Got a hammer?

There was a little boy with a bad temper. His father gave him a bag of nails and told him to hammer a nail into the back fence every time he lost control. The first day the boy drove 37 nails into the fence. Then he gradually discovered it was easier to hold his temper than to drive those nails into the fence.

Finally, the day came when the boy didn’t lose his temper at all. His father suggested that the boy now pull out one nail for each day that he was able to hold his temper.

The days passed and the young boy was finally able to tell his father that all the nails were gone. The father led his son to the fence. “You have done well, but look at the holes in the fence,” he said. “When you say things in anger, they leave a scar just like the nail holes. You can put a knife in a person and draw it out. It won’t matter how many times you say ‘I’m sorry,’ the wound is still there. A verbal wound is as bad as a physical one.”

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him.

Psalm 37:7

A fool shows his annoyance [temper] at once,

but a prudent man overlooks an insult.

Proverbs 12:16

In your anger do not sin:

Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry.

Ephesians 4:26

Further Adventures

How do you deal with anger? Do you have loved ones who can’t control their feelings some times? I have been a victim of losing my temper sometimes. I can’t put a bunch of nails in my fence out of anger because Charlotte would want me be put in a safe place so I wouldn’t be harmful to anyone—or the fence—again.

But think about this story each time you get angry. Tell it to your loved ones when they get upset. This is an easy story to remember. It is very short, but its impact could be tremendous.

Something to Ponder

Isn’t it funny that when we say kind words to someone they say kind words back?

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Come back often to see another excerpt. 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.

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So how is your time on this earth going? Have you had a heated exchange with someone? Do you feel badly?

FEAR NOT!!

God is there with you and He will guide you on to how to reconcile with that person. To ask for forgiveness, or to forgive does wonders.

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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.

Everything That Can go Wrong Probably Will

+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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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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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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