A place to find Hope

Tag: Jesus (Page 1 of 6)

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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Mary Did You Know?

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I sat and thought about Mary, mother of Jesus. What a task she was asked to do.

Most scholars think she was between 12-14 years old. They allowed men to have very young wives.

Mary met Joseph and they traveled together.

Suddenly, Mary was pregnant. She was only engaged and not married. I wonder what Joseph thought. “Should I quietly leave mary?” An angel came to him and said, “Fear not!” Mary will conceive the child of God.” Joseph understood, and stayed with Mary.

Mary was very scared and asked why she was chosen. Another angel came to her and told her, ” You will be the mother of God’s son. Call Him Jesus.”

So they went to Bethlehem and gave birth to Jesus. They had to stay in a dirty barn with many animals in it. Mary wrapped Jesus in swaddling clothes.

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This is where I really started wondering when I read this in the Bible. What did Mary know about this little child of hers? I found a song that covers it real well, and I am going to share it with you:

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Mary Did You Know?

Words by Mark Lowry

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would one day walk on water?

Mary, did you know your baby boy would save our sons and daughters?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy has come to make new; this child that you delivered will soon deliver you?

Mary, did you know that you baby boy will give sight to a blind man?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy would calm a storm with His hand?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?

Mary, did you know that when you kiss your little baby boy, you are kissing the face of God?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy will rule all the nations?

Mary, did you know that your baby boy was Heaven’s perfect lamb?

Mary, did you know that the sleeping child you are holding is the great, the Great I Am?

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That cleared everything up for me. Jesus is the son of God, and Mary is His mother.

Be blessed knowing that Jesus has the perfect CHRISTmas present for you. Eternal 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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Sometimes When We Try to Defend Ourselves We Get in Trouble

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I have found that I often get into more trouble when I fight back. Sometimes we are so quick to defend ourselves we don’t stop to consider how those who are attacking us are seeing things.

If what they say true, then we have to have a listening spirit not an angry spirit.

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In the Bible they tried to attack Jesus. They tried to make him angry. It didn’t work. He loved everyone, and treated them with respect. He went all they way to the cross loving people and died for us.

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Take inventory of the past where you were attacked. Was it justified? Did you react with anger yourself?

We need to stop and “Count to ten,” when we are being attacked and let it settle in first. Then, with a clear head we can react in the proper manner. I never meant to say you should NEVER fight back. If you are right and it is the right idea, make your stand, because you are on the right side.

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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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Don’t Fear Threats of Man, Rely On God For Comfort

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There are far too many threats in our country. People seem to be going crazy. A man drove his truck into a bunch of people walking in a parade. Killing five of them. WHY? He was caught and will spend the rest of his life in prison.

There are many incidents like this. It is spreading.

I am finding, and I am sure you are too, that the Christian life is not easy.

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The word Sovereign means, in complete control. God is sovereign. Why?

  1. He is the creator of all things.
  2. God makes Himself known.
  3. God decides what happens in this world.
  4. We send all of our pleas to a sovereign God.

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We need to let God use us, and we need to speak with boldness and courage. Will this get us persecuted? Yes, but it is God’s will.

We have our part to do, and God has His part.

I always talk to others about what God has done for me. I do not call them sinners, I just share my life.

One thing I have taken for granted all these years is the Holy Spirit. We all know of God and Jesus, but we forget the final part of the three. The Holy Spirit. When you are a Christian, the Holy Spirit dwells in you, and helps you through the storms. He helps you to say the right things when needed.

The Holy Spirit is God’s presence.

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Cling to the hope of God and His love for 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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We Do Not Have to Fear Anything, But God

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I am going to be on a rant today. There are so many things I do not like:

  1. I do no t like the pandemic.
  2. I d not like the bickering and shouting in congress.
  3. I do not like the so called authority figures trying to tell parents what to do with their children in school.
  4. I do not like how our government is running things.
  5. I do not like, not liking things!

I have to realize, and I have said this almost every post, GOD IS IN CHARGE!!

His answer to all of my do nots, is “I am taking care of it.”

So just how much power does God really have?…

The Stars haven’t always been there. God created them. The earth hasn’t always been there, God created it. The universe is vast, and unending. He created it.

Just think how much power it took to do all of that.

So, if you fear facing the day. If you would rather stay under the covers all day. If the fear is just too much for you. You do not have to fear anything, but God.

As long as we believe in God and Jesus, nothing will be able to separate us from the love of God. (Romans 8:38-39.)

Stand strong and never give into the dark side.

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Remember:

You are never alone.

You are never fosaken.

You are never unloved.

And above all…never, everm give up!

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Storms Are Not Optional, But Inevitable.

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Got my booster shot! Now I can take on the world. (Not really!)

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There are some alarming things happening in our world right now.

An article I read stated that Presidnet Biden is a scapegoat. He is making all the mistakes and taking all the blame. This is what the rest of the democrats want. This is an opinion article, but I am not sure if this isn’t really happening.

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China and Russia and teaming together to do military exercises. Doesn’t sound too good to me.

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I always say this, and I have to repeat it: GOD IS IN CHARGE!

We have many bad things happening in our world, but He knows it and is dealing with it in His own way.

I will not fear. I will not panic. I will depend on God to protect me.

How do you feel about all of this? Is it getting too scary for you? We also have the pnademic in our lives. What can we do with all of this piling up on us?

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  1. Do not panic. God will deal with it.
  2. Pray without ceasing.
  3. Much of what we worry about never happens. Turn the rest over to God.

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Here is a prayer that I sent up to God yesterday:

Father, I know that storms are not optional, but inevitable. And I know that you use the trials to transform me into the person you have deigsned me to be. Let me rejoice when I face trials and struggless and trust that you have a reason. Form my character through the fire. Make me look more like Jesus. Let me face each trial with expanding faith. Let me bring your glory as I tell of your faithfulness to me. Let me encourage others in their struggles as well.

In Jesus’s name, amen.

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I have been reminding you that I am almost finished with my second book called, Signs of Hope for the Military: In and Out of the Trenches of Life. You can see excerpts of it on my author site at: www.dougbolton.com.

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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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Temptation isn’t a Sin, It’s an Opportunity to do Right

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I was reading in the Bible about the temptatons that Jesus faced with Satan. It was for forty days and nights. I can’t imagine that!

Jesus was hit by the Trifect: alone, tired and hungry.

Satan is the most prolific liar ever. Replace his lies with the truth of God’s Word.

Jesus has taken care of all of our sins in one moment. The moment He died on the cross.

Jesus succeeds where we fail, but on our own we will fail where Jesus has already succeeded.

As we wait for the return of Jesus, Satan can have minor victories in our lives, but he will not have the ultimante victory.

Remember: Our soul needs fuel. You can either learn from the Word, or from the world.

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Never let Satan put you up on his wall like a trophy. Fight the darkside with all your heart and pray for God’s help to do it.

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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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Time for Prayer Warriors to Pray Without Ceasing

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It is time for prayer warriors to step up to the plate and hit a home run.

We can’t let the world control us. That is exactly what has been happening in the last few months. The government is dictating to us as to what we should do. That is called Socialism.

It has me boiling. I am not one to complain too much, but my rights are disappearing.

We need to stand and be recognized. Many feel the same way, but they just go with the flow hoping things will somehow get better.

We need to be strong and pray to God for help. He knows what is going on, and He wants His children to cry out to Him. He does answer prayer so we need to send our petitions to him and seek help.

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How are you dealing with the situation in our world? Does everything seem fine to you, or can you see the darkness coming. Come towards the light of Jesus, and leave the darkness.

As a group if we all send fervent prayers, God will listen and answer our prayers.

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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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It is Hard to be Positive in This Not so Friendly World

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More updates from Afghanistan.

Horrible reports are coming in. The most aggreges one is that a woman who was cooking for the Taliban was burned alive because she didn’t cook the way they wanted her to.

Many more horrible stories coming in I will not share, because of the graphic scenes it may cause.


I try to think on as many positives things as I can. I think we need to lighten up the dark side a little.

I had to miss two weeks of church while on vacation, last week. It was very hard to do that. I need to keep hearing about the good things God is doing for us.

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Here are some good things God does for us.

  1. He loves us unconditionally.
  2. He protects us from the dark side.
  3. His Son died so that we may have eternal life.
  4. When storms come, He is there holding our hand and helping us through them.

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Have you had some storms come into your life? has it been a rough road for you?

FEAR NOT! The shortest verse in the Bible comes from Jesus Himself. He is there with us 24/7.

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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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