Building People. Spreading Hope.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

You're Created for More


Even though it is God’s plan to bless us, we can hinder His plan with our limited thinking. One of the worst things you can do is to go against God’s will to bless you. Today He is planning your increase. He has more in store for you than you can ever imagine. He can do more in a split second than what you can do for yourself in a lifetime. God is a God of promotion and He is poised to help you.

Cara Wood was only 17 when she worked as a waitress at a local restaurant near Cleveland, Ohio. She was hard worker, bright, and cheerful.  One day a customer came in whose name was Bill Cruxton. Bill, a widower with no children, went to the restaurant every day for his meal. He always sat in Cara’s section and, after a while, took a liking to her. He said that if he had had any grandkids, they would have been just like her. Bill and Cara became fast friends and Cara even helped him around the house and ran errands for him.

At the age of 82, when Bill died, he made sure Cara was the only beneficiary of his half-a-million-dollar estate. Cara was able to pay off her college education and went on to make a living by investing the inheritance.

Friend, just like Cara, God has increase, promotion, and means for you that you do not know of. “May the LORD cause you to flourish, both you and your children” (Psalm 115:14 NIV). See, it is God’s plan to increase you. But you have to believe and embrace it. Just because you don’t see a way doesn’t mean that God doesn’t have a way. Simply thank God that promotion is coming, healing is coming, wealth is coming, and salvation and deliverance are coming for your family.

The 1960 Summer Olympics were held in Rome, Italy. 20-year-old Wilma Rudolph made history by winning three gold medals in track and field. People lovingly nicknamed her “The Tornado” – the fastest woman on earth. Wilma was acclaimed to fame but her life didn’t start off that way. She was born prematurely at only 4.5 pounds and the 20th of 22 siblings. At the age of four, Wilma contracted severe polio. Doctor told her parents that she would never walk again. She spent two years bedridden.

With the help of a special leg brace and a shoe Wilma learned how to walk again. At the age of 11, without her parents’ knowledge, she began to take off her leg brace and play with other children. Her passion was running. One day she caught the eye of a coach from Tennessee State University. He invited her to try out for the team. Wilma not only qualified for the team but, at just 16 years old, went on the win a bronze medal in the 1956 Olympics. Four years later, Wilma Rudolph became an international sensation by winning three gold medals!

Let’s not limit God. If anybody could have made excuses, it should have been Wilma. But she didn’t and neither should we. Wilma remained willing and open to new possibilities. Her faith was so strong that she defied medical science! Friend, you too were created for more. If you stay in faith, you will climb new heights and go on to make history!

Today, I encourage you to stir up the dreams God has put in your heart. Don’t say, “Can God?” Instead say, “God can!” Jesus said, “What is impossible with man is possible with God” (Luke 18:27). I pray and declare that your best days are still out in front of you. With God’s help, you will climb to the pinnacle of your success. God is with you and more importantly, He is for you. You are created for more!

Finding Your Purpose


Do you feel something missing in your life? Do you want to make a bigger impact in the world but you’re not sure how? Relax - you’re not alone! The older we get, the more we feel the urge to leave our mark on the world. The good news is that we can!

Mark Twin said, “The two most important days of your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” In order to live a satisfied life, we have to connect with our purpose.

Most of you have heard of Gandhi, the man who led the nation of India into independence from British rule. Did you know he started off as an ordinary person? However, Gandhi became unstoppable when he discovered his purpose.

Gandhi was born into a middle class family. As a youth, he was an introvert who suffered from low self-esteem. He struggled to make good grades and finish school. Hoping the environment would motivate him, his parents sent him to England to receive higher education. There he became a lawyer. When he returned to India, he found it hard to find clients because he was unfamiliar with the Indian legal system. Gandhi migrated to South Africa to work as a clerk and it was there that a personal experience catapulted him to discover his purpose in life.

One day, Gandhi was riding in the first-class compartment of a train. However, because of his dark skin, he was forced off the coach. This experience was the turning point in Gandhi’s life. From then on, he dedicated his life to speaking and standing against discrimination and injustice. This new-found purpose eventually fueled Gandhi to lead India to her independence.

Without a vision, the people perish (Proverbs 29:11). When you discover your purpose, you become unstoppable. Purpose is the engine that drives us to our destiny. Nothing is more explosive than a person who is connected to his/her purpose. When we discover our purpose, we awaken the sleeping giant within us. 

Never let the odds in your life keep you from pursuing your purpose. The potential of an oak tree sleeps in the acorn. But when planted, it becomes a giant oak tree. Seeds of greatness reside in you. When you surrender your life to your purpose, you’re powerful.

Adversaries are there to your advantage. David was only a shepherd boy until he met Goliath. Everyone said, “Goliath is too big to fight.” David said, “Goliath is too big to miss!” Often the problems we are facing today become the pathways to our greatness. Without Goliath, David would still be known as the shepherd boy.

Be generous with the different things God gave you, passing them around so all get in on it (1 Peter 4:10 MSG).

God put in you specific gifts to match with your destiny. One way you can find your purpose is to discover your natural talents. Another way you can find your purpose is to find your passion. Often, your passion is your purpose. Lastly, serve! If you want to find your purpose, then lose your life in the service of others. Jesus said, “The greatest among you will be the servant of all.”

Friend, God has created you with a purpose. When you discover your purpose, you’ll become powerful. Lose your life in the service of others and you’ll find yourself among the greatest. I pray and declare that you’ll do great and mighty things for God. Like Gandhi, you’ll influence millions. Like David, you’ll overcome every opposition. Your later days will be greater than your beginning, and you will go on to become a world changer!

Sunday, January 1, 2017

2017: Year of Increase


Another New Year has rolled into our lives and most of us are excited about it. How we set our sails in our attitude and expectations determine what we will experience this year. I believe and declare that 2017 will be a year of increase!

No matter how much or how little we have, there must always be a hunger in us to grow bigger, better, and brighter. When we have the desire to be a better person, have more to help more, then we’ll see increase and growth in a measure we’ve not known before.

Jesus said, “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled” (Matthew 5:6 NIV).

Nothing great in life happens by default. In order to achieve success and significance, we must live by design. Every thought, word, and action justifies or cancels how we intend to live. In order to have great influence, we have to put action behind our intent. Let me share a few thoughts that are vital to making this a blockbuster year.

1. Have a positive mindset. What goes into our mind determines how we live. Eight out of the ten spies of Israel saw themselves as grasshoppers in their own mind (Numbers 13:33 NAS). As a result they never entered the Promised Land. How you see yourself is how everybody sees you. I challenge you to look in the mirror as God does. He has some out-of-this-world plan for your life. Will you agree with God? You’re a Child of the Most High. You’re intelligent, purposeful, disciplined, favored, focused, victorious, the head and not the tail. You’re above and not beneath. You have God’s can do power to propel you into your next level of success.

2. Speak what you want. Most of us are accustomed to saying what we see or have experienced in the past. Faith is to say it before you can see it. It’s not enough to have a vision of victory. You have to relentlessly call it in. Jesus taught this vital principle in Mark 11:23 – You shall have whatsoever you say. Don’t just use words to describe your situations; speak words to change your circumstances. Scripture says, let the weak say, “I am strong.” Let the poor say, “I am rich.” I know many people who are satisfied with what they need but they don’t feel confident to ask God for what they want. This is a terrible way to live. God has no problem giving you any good thing. “For the LORD God is a sun and shield: the LORD will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly” (Psalm 84:11). I encourage you to believe God for the impossible. Our extra-ordinary God loves to fulfil our extra-ordinary expectation!

3. Enlarge your sphere of influence. We’re product of our environment. A mighty oak tree is limited within the confinement of a small pot. In the same way, you too have been endowed with great gifts and talents but for them to come to fruition, you must surround yourself with people who are bigger, better, and brighter than yourself. Enroll yourself to further your education. Attend conferences and seminars to enhance your knowledge. Meet new people. Be in places of inspiration. Who speaks into you loudest will determine how high you will rise in life.

Helen Keller said, “The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision.”

Friend, as you stand in the threshold of this New Year, set your mind on high and lofty goals and ambitions. You’re God’s dream personified on earth. God can do anything but often He is limited to our own belief, words, and actions. May I challenge you to start this year with great expectations from God? Write down your goals, dreams, and aspirations. Be liberal in your thinking of what God and you can do. Make your goals public with a specific completion date. Speak and share your vision with like-minded people who believe in you. Most of all put your trust in God. He thinks so much of you! His dream for you is greater than your own. Pay attention to the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit throughout the day. Read God’s Word daily. Most of our problems will dissolve if we do what the Bible says. Friend, I believe and declare that 2017 will be a Year of Increase. More joy. More influence. Better relationships. More finances. Better health and a life of peace, pleasure, and prosperity. I love you and I’m praying for you and your success.

“Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him” (I Corinthians 2:9 NKJV).

Be Remembered for Good: http://www.buildinternational.org

Sunday, June 26, 2016

China Mission Trip Report - Rt. Col. Leif Wilson


My short-term mission trip to China with Build International Ministries (BIM) was certainly the most spiritually significant and meaningful experience I’ve enjoyed in a number of years. Let me convey briefly how subject trip impacted and impacts my walk with the Lord and how it has changed my life.

While I am a Spirit-filled Christian, unfortunately my background and culture (my flesh) has produced a suspicious, critical, and prideful spirit toward people (even Brothers and Sister’s in the Lord) and organizations; particularly some "Christian/Non-Profit" organizations. I lead off with this because my life has been truly changed by my witness that "Build International Ministries" is a genuine "love your neighbor as yourself" Christian organization; one that can be trusted to put whatever donations they receive into building the Glorious and Triumphant Church of our Lord Jesus Christ and ministering to members in particular within the Body of Christ. After this trip, the witness to my spirit by the Holy Spirit is that Sandy and Neil Anderson are truly men of integrity and honesty with a love for the lost and hurting that puts me to shame. My life has been changed by the affirmation that there are good men and women in the ministry, that BIM is wisely proclaiming the Gospel with it’s financial resources, and that the China Church, my Brothers and Sisters in China, are genuine Christians putting the love of Christ and Service to Him FIRST place in their lives.  

The "underground and persecuted" Body of Christ in China is alive and vibrant with the Love of God and Christ AND the anointing and Power of the Holy Spirit! Unlike America with "envy and strife" caused by factions and wayward "Christian" denominations, the Body of Christ in China, with it’s hundreds of thousands of "underground" Churches, is 95% Spirit filled! And by that I mean most every Christian I met in China "had received power after that the Holy Spirit had come upon them" (Acts 1:8), was fervent in Worship, devoted and effectual in prayer (Wow; can those pastors and congregants pray), and constantly putting the love and service to others BEFORE themselves. How refreshing to see the members of the Body of Christ in China truly walking in Love and Service. 

Let me highlight several other more notable observations.  

The food was outstanding. As one who likes "different tastes" the meals were outstanding in flavor, content, and variety. 

The Hotel accommodations were more than adequate. Bathroom facilities outside the hotels however are far from Western standards. 

It’s difficult to generalize, but to me, China is a very modern country with "bullet trains" traveling 180mph, subways, cars, trucks, and buses, vast "freeways" and boulevards in the cities, and enormous apartment complexes and skyscrapers. Rural areas host multitudinous single-family homes with electricity, internal water (wells), garden plots, and "outhouse" bathroom facilities. In my opinion, very different than "third world countries" where the rural areas lack electricity, water, and septic systems.  

I never felt threatened or in physical danger in China. The "persecutions" to the China Church members, Pastors, and Support organizations is that of tight Governmental oversight and monitoring to keep Christian gatherings small (less than 50) and free from outside agitators. The Governmental oversight and monitoring is different in various parts of the country depending on local rules, leadership and personalities of pastors and officials. The primary threat to support organization members and visitors would be loss of the 10 year visa which would clearly negate outside organizations ability to support and serve the Chinese Churches. It was probably different years ago, but as a Christian visitor, I never felt or perceived any physical danger during the trip. Of course, Psalm 91 and 121 was my REAL shield and protection. 

My personal spiritual growth and recognition of the Holy Spirit’s guidance was greatly enhanced. We had the opportunity to personally minister the Word and encouragement at every one of the 12-13 Churches we visited. And, in every meeting, we had the opportunity to pray individually with any and all in attendance. The teaching opportunity required me to spend significant time early in the mornings with the Lord to get the lesson He wanted to give. And then, giving the message through an interpreter was another opportunity for growth. Sandy was of great help in evaluating our performance and the big-picture significance and value. I learned many personal lessons in the Spirit from this experience that will change my life for the better forever!  

In conclusion, I really believe it was the Lord’s perfect will for me to go with Build International Ministries to China. And, that the express purpose of the Holy Spirit’s orchestration for my attendance was for me to give personal encouragement and teaching to the Church in China. What an awesome opportunity! But, as I’m sure anyone who would undertake a similar trip would attest, the trip and associations/relationships with the Chinese pastors, worship leaders, congregants, and BIM officials in China ministered in many, many life changing ways more to me, than I ever could to them. What a wonderful blessing the whole trip was and continues to be.

Spread Your Influence: http://www.buildinternational.org

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

My Graduating Daughter

 
It’s hard to believe that you’re graduating from high school. It feels like it was yesterday when I was holding you in my arms with your curly hair always blocking your full face and couldn’t separate you from your juice bottle. Congratulations on graduating from high school. You can’t go higher than high school, right? ;)
 
As you step into the open horizon of possibilities, I want to give you some wisdom that you may need for your journey through life.
1. You’re created in God’s image. Never doubt your value. Everything about you first class! The DNA of God is within you. You belong to the royal family. You’re God’s property. Nothing you do will separate you from the love of God. God blessed you before you were born and the blessing always overrides the curse. Therefore, you cannot fail. You’re destined for greatness. You are and always will be magnificent!
2. You’re beautiful. Beauty is an inside job. The world will define and redefine beauty. Have fun trying out the latest fads and fashions. However, remember that true beauty comes from within. You’re at your sparkling best when you have a heart after God. Your character is the true measure of your charisma. External beauty will fade but the closer you get to God, the more dazzling you’ll become.
3. Build healthy relationships. Check out the boys. Enjoy the attention but protect your heart. It’s normal to be attractive to boys. You’ve had a good looking Dad so don’t go out with an ugly boy! ;) Don’t go after duds who are going nowhere. Follow a man who pursues God first and then you.
4. Speak positive, uplifting words. Go easy on sarcasm. It’s all fun at the moment but sometimes, it can cut like a knife and last for a lifetime. The same is true of kind words. Healing words mend the soul. Think of compliment as putting ornaments on a person. Death and life are in the power of your tongue.
5. Be a generous person. I still remember the day you found a “surprise” twenty-dollar bill in your pocket while we were eating at Chili’s restaurant. When we were about to walk away from our dinner table, you slipped the twenty-dollar bill on the table for the waitress saying, “I didn’t even know I had it. She probably needs it more than me!” As long as you’re generous, you’ll never lack for bread – rice in our case.
6. Look at your glass as half full. There will be times when you may feel a lot of negatives coming your way. Gratitude in those moments will guide you out of your darkness. Fact is, you’ll always have more than most. Keep your eyes on the prize and not the problem. You can get better or you can get bitter.
7. Keep yourself happy. Only you are responsible for your own happiness. Being the middle child, you have a tendency to keep everybody else happy. If you always do that, the only person who won’t be happy is you. It’s ok to have it your way once in a while.
8. Enjoy the outdoors. You cannot beat nature in the most comfortable home. When you get out of your palace, you’ll discover God’s garden. Plant trees and decorate your home with flowers – they’re God’s jewelries for our stressful lives.
9. Travel whenever you can. This is easy for you because you’ve been travelling the world since you were born. Never stop being adventurous. When you leave your home, you discover God’s world. The people you meet and the sights you see will truly make you a rich person.
10. Be spiritual but not religious. I love to see you worship but God enjoys it much more. Worship is the doorway to miracles. The Bible is your life’s compass — showing you the way. The Holy Spirit is our Helper but He will only tell you what’s in the Book. So stay familiar with it. Your prayers are a mighty weapon for tearing down spiritual strongholds. God can do more with your prayer in a split second than you can try to change a person for a lifetime. And remember, when you share Christ with others – whether by words or deed — you become a Star!
Well, I started off giving a few life-tips but now it looks more like the Ten Commandments. Let me close by making it more personal to you. Sabrina, you’re always going to be my favorite even though I’ve said the same to your brother and sister. ;) You can always come home without expecting any condemnation from me. I love you and I always will. 
Congratulations Sabrina. I’m proud of you - my high school graduate!
With You, For You!
Spread Your Influence: http://www.buildinternational.org
 

Saturday, May 7, 2016

A Tribute To My Dad



This is how I’d like to introduce and remember my father for the rest of my life. I spent a day and a half and had a wonderful visit with him on our recent mission trip to India. Even though he was getting frail, he lived a fully functional life. On April 9, 2016, I got the dreaded call from my eldest brother, Pat. Our father had taken his last breath on earth and his first in heaven! My Dad had been promoted to glory. 

His life was filled with highs and lows. My father was born in the early thirties to a poor family in a village in India. In order to support his family, he had to drop out of school in seventh grade. He was around twenty-years-old when he married my mother who was about sixteen years of age. Life was a short-lived bliss and they had four boys. Suddenly, when I was one, my mother passed away. Dad loved mom and almost always had tears in his eyes while talking about her for the rest of his life.

He didn’t surrender to struggles. Shell-shocked, dad took up on an offer by a Methodist orphanage to send his four boys there. The earliest memory I have of my father is that he came to visit us on the limited days parents were allowed to meet. He couldn’t give us much but even a pack of cookies was received with great joy. Sitting on his lap and hugs were a rare treat but they were greatly appreciated and anticipated. 

He was a gentleman. After graduating from high school, my brothers and I were in search of our identity. I was fresh out of college and I had just moved to Nepal along with my two brothers, Neil and Guine. My father had made the treacherous journey to come with a village friend to meet us. We were young and dumb — who put him back on the bus the next day. We were so focused on our lives that we didn’t appreciate his visit. He obliged and traveled back to India. Dad never resented it. I never saw him getting mad at anybody.

He was a small town man with a big world view. Even in his advance years, he read the newspaper front to back. Once, we relocated him from the village to New Delhi — the big, capital city of India. He missed his social connections in the village so after about three months we moved him back to his native village. In the years to come, Dad traveled the world to spend time with us but he always went back to the village.

He loved construction. My father was a visionary. Whether it was to build our brick house (in place of the mud house), the local church (biggest building in his village), or anybody else’s building project — he loved to direct and supervise construction.

He was a leader in his community. Poorly educated but highly gifted in his talent to connect with people. When he was able, he would walk to the market every day. There he chatted with the people and enquired about their well-being while sipping on a cup of tea. Whenever he had money, he’d help those in need. He was loved and well respected by his community.

He was a man of prayer. My father didn’t say a lot but he made it up in prayers. He didn’t pray in public but often he would wake up between 3 and 5AM and pray to God to use his four boys for His purpose. Sitting in a mud house under a thatched roof, it didn’t seem possible but he didn’t consider what he saw in the natural. I say this to the glory of God, thirty years later all four of his boys are serving the Lord. Together, we’ve traveled to more than 150 countries and preached to millions of people. Over thirty of our extended family members are serving the Lord because of the answer to my Dad’s prayers. 

Friend, if you have a living parent, don’t take them for granted. Give them a call. Celebrate their lives while they’re still with you. Let them know how much you appreciate them. Put it on your schedule to spend time with them or else you’ll never find time for it. In the Ten Commandments, there’s only one that comes with a promise in return – "Honor your father and mother. Then you will live a long, full life in the land the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus20:12 NLT). Friends, let us love, respect, and honor our parents. They’re the reason, we’re here.
I love and miss you, Dad!


Sunday, March 13, 2016

God Wants to Bless You

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever" (Psalm 23:6 ESV).

Today many people are confused about God’s plan for their lives. When life gets tough, we feel a million miles away from God and we tend to think that He’s forgotten us. However, just the opposite is true. God is closest to you when you’re going through your worst!

If we want to live a life of peace, pleasure, and prosperity, we have to change the way we view our Heavenly Father. Many of us have a distorted view of God because we were taught differently or our earthly fathers were very little like our Heavenly Father. No matter what your view has been in the past, you must know that God wants to bless you because you’re His child!

The one and only plan God has for you is to give you life and abundance.

Jesus said, "The thief's purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life" (John 10:10 NLT). The enemy is the thief. Unfortunately, too many Christians get God and devil mixed up in their roles. They go through a trial and blame God for their troubles. A sickness keeps lingering on and we think God is trying to teach us something with this sickness.

Friend, God is good all the way. Until we believe and accept it, we’ll never rise to our full potential. God doesn’t have the capacity to do evil. By nature, He can only do good.

Proverbs 10:22 says, "The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it." God is our closest ally for a good life. He wants us to be happy, content, fulfilled, and satisfied. He wants us to be healthy and prosperous in our body, mind, and soul.

One reason people miss out on God’s blessings is because their mouth doesn’t line up with their heart. When they read a message like this their faith rises but as soon as they face opposition, they begin to spill out all the negative things. We say things like — I’m broke. I’ll never get well. I’m going to be stuck in this job forever.

Here’s the key. You’ll never have what you constantly complain about.

If you want to be blessed, you have to agree with God and call yourself blessed. If you want health, say, "I’m strong and healthy." When you lack, say, "I’m rich." When we agree with God, we set a powerful force in motion. Angels begin to deliver the goods that belong to us.

When you are blessed, it is important to realize that you didn’t get here on your own. The scripture says, "Remember the LORD your God. He is the one who gives you power to be successful" (Deuteronomy 8:18 NLT). The purpose of blessing is to be a blessing. God has already blessed us with much. If you have a family, you’re blessed. If you’re healthy, you’re blessed. If you have work, you’re blessed. And don’t forget all that God has saved and delivered you from. The spiritual blessings are unlimited in Jesus Christ.

Friend, God is the father and you’re His child. God has blessed you and the blessing always overrides the curse. Change your image of God. Speak words according to God’s Word and always be a blessing to those whom God brings in your path. If you do these basics, I pray and declare that God’s blessings will overtake you like never before.

Every day, make this confession with me: I’m blessed and highly favored. I’m blessed coming in; I’m blessed going out. I’m blessed when I’m in the city; I’m blessed when I’m in the country. I’m the head and not the tail. I’ll lend and not borrow. Great shall be my peace and my children will be mighty in the land. I’m blessed to be a blessing to the world! Friend, if you believe and agree with God every day, you’ll go to new victories you’ve never imagined.

Spread Your Influence: http://www.buildinternational.org