Building People. Spreading Hope.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The Gospel Has No Power Until...

In our busy schedule, pursuits of life and responsibilities, it is easy to forget there is a world out there waiting to hear the Good News for the first time. As professing Christians, we’re commanded to spread the Gospel beyond our families, communities and the four walls of our churches. Because the Gospel has no power until it is shared.

Before Jesus returned to heaven, he left us with one command, "Go into all the world and preach the Gospel," so that He can return. But statistically, world missions is the one thing Christians have neglected the most. We've built cathedrals and more beautiful buildings on larger acreage. We've broadcasted the Message to the same people 24/7. We've built auditoriums and gymnasiums so our young people can be protected from worldly influences. None of this is wrong in itself. But alas, how we got our priorities wrong!

When you think of return on investment (ROI), the mission field in Asia has the best ROI. This month, one piece of Gospel tract saved a whole family in India. A sick cow’s being healed turned another family to follow Christ. Pastor Nayak was murdered in Orissa, India—he paid the ultimate price to bring the Gospel to people who have never heard His name—once! This month, two Indonesian churches were burned down to the ground; but the believers continue to meet.

Friend, when you partner with us, you join hands with workers in Asia who are winning souls for Jesus every day. Regardless of hardship, persecution and even death, missionary workers are reaching the most unreached. They are healing the sick, baptizing and discipling new souls to Christ and planting them in local churches. I encourage you to team up with our ministry. Your partnership will credit souls to your name, strengthen the Asian workers and expand the Kingdom of God on earth.

We are praying for you: “My beloved is to be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord.” 1 Cor. 15:58.

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Sunday, September 18, 2011

#1 Skill of a Successful Person

Communication. The degree of success a person will achieve depends on the skill he/she has to communicate.

Just the other day a friend told me, “Don’t send me text messages on the phone.  I prefer you call.”  I took a note of that.  I have another friend, who says, “Any time you want to ‘talk’ to me, just send me an email.”  People are different.  Not everybody likes to communicate the same way.   Here are the top tips in a nutshell for you.

General guidelines for Communication

1.  Take genuine interest in the person you’re talking to.  Ask people about themselves and they’ll talk for hours.
2.  Make eye contact.  It is the window to a person’s heart.
3.  Master the art of listening.
4.  Use body language.  Researchers say 70% of what you communicate is in the body language.
5.  Ask the other person’s opinion on the subject.
6.  Speak in short intervals.  Do not monopolize the conversation.
7.  Be enthusiastic when you speak or listen to some- one.  Lean forward.
8.  Be curious and show empathy.
9.  Express your sense of humor and laugh at theirs (even if you’ve heard it before.)
10.  Shut up.   Harness the will to remain silent after you’ve asked a question.

Communicating by phone

1. Prepare before you call.
2. Smile and say something positive.  It puts the person on the other side at ease.
3. Get personal.  Give your name and ask for his/hers.
4. If you’re making the call ask permission, “Do you have a minute or five to talk?”
5. Know and state the purpose of the call.  “…the reason I’m calling is …”
6. If you’re receiving the call, first, listen.
7. Agree as much as possible.  Never argue.
8. Ask questions.  Understand before you seek to be understood.
9. End conversation on an “up” note.
10. Speak clearly, slowly and repeat your phone number if you leave a voice mail.

Communicating by Email/Letters

1. Make the email subject line clear and interesting. Otherwise it may not get read.
2. Stick to the topic.  Multiple themes and requests get ignored.  Better to send multiple emails.
3.Reply to personal emails.  It confirms to the sender that you’ve received it and eliminate misunderstanding.
4. Keep your inbox clean.  Reply, forward or delete message immediately.
5. Include the previous message when replying to questions for clarity.
6. Don’t send BCC email to people in CC.
7. Do not send email when you can communicate orally.
8. Ask for permission before putting them on mass mail list, and offer a way to “unsubscribe.”
9.  If you are writing to a larger audience, pick one person you know and write to that person.
10. Add signature with your name and contact information.
Keep communicating!

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Saturday, September 10, 2011

What You Do Comes Back to You

Andrew Valdez was born in New Mexico but migrated to Salt Lake City, Utah. Losing his father at a young age forced Andrew to work on the street as a shoe-shiner. At the age of eight, he began selling newspapers on the corner of Main Street and 200 South in Salt Lake City. One day when Valdez was 10 years old, he met a man named Jack Keller. Pretty soon, Jack became his regular newspaper customer. As the relationship developed between them, Keller took Valdez under his wings and introduced him to the world of tennis and folks at the country club. Valdez excelled in tennis but he couldn’t help but notice that the finest clothed people at the country club were lawyers. So he decided to become a lawyer. Consequently with the help of Keller’s mentoring, Valdez entered Law School at the University of Utah and went on to become a successful lawyer.
Over the years they lost track of each other. Forty years later, everything came full circle when Andy, found Jack Keller begging in front of a store. He was filthy and suffering from dementia. Immediately, Andy got Jack off the streets and provided Jack care and dignity for the remainder of his life. Today, Judge Andrew Valdez deals with troubled kids, giving help and setting a role model for them to become contributing members in society. Judge Valdez’s story reminds us that with the help and love of another, anyone can achieve anything in life. It is also a reminder to each of us of where we came from and who helped us along the way. No matter who we are, what color our skin or what our country of origin is, there are far more similarities than differences between us.
Being a minister, working in the non-profit sector, I have found God will bring people into your lives that are directly linked to your own destiny. These people are not necessarily to help you but you are to help them. Your success lies at their success. It means, you may have to open doors for them. It involves you introducing them to someone you know. The more efficiently and willingly you help them, the faster and higher you’re going to go. Pushing them up will automatically bring you to a higher level. Over the course of my life, I’ve had hundreds of people pushing me up. In return, I’ve dedicated my life to those who have no voice and lack opportunities.
You may say, "Sandy, I have no one to help me!" But you do. None of us got here on our own. Someone made a positive deposit in your life. Had it not been for that person, you wouldn’t be here today. Best of all, the Creator of the universe, God Almighty is not only with you, but He also is for you. Jesus said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." Hebrews 13:5.
Once, the Israelites were fighting a battle with the Amalekites. Moses the leader had a deal with God. As long as Moses held his rod and arms up in the air, the Israelites prevailed. But when his hands came down, the enemy had the advantage. Assessing the situation, Aaron, Moses’ brother, and Hur came to help and held up the heavy arms of Moses. Amazingly, this one small act by two small players brought about a great victory for the Israelites. (Exodus 15:8-13).
This is what happens when you push people up. You may think your contribution is insignificant; but in the long run, it’s the little things that turn people into great beings.
I remember when I was in grade school; boys and girls alike, had to learn sewing. Being a boy, it didn’t come easy for me in my class. But we had a teacher called Ms. Grape who I found favor with. In every sewing class, she stood by me and helped me finish my sewing project. She told me that I could do it and showed me how. She invested extra time on me teaching me to sew. Years later, I not only learned how to sow; but I can clearly remember the kindness Ms. Grape showed me. I couldn’t repay her then but now she is made famous by your reading about her kindness.
Friend, look for ways to be good to people. You may not be able to give a job to someone; but like Jack Keller, you can buy “newspaper” from somebody who needs that income. You may not be able to fight a war; but like Aaron and Hur, you can encourage someone who is going through a rough time. You may not be able to send someone to college; but like my teacher Ms. Grape, you can teach something practical to someone you know.
You don’t necessarily have to do anything big – buy someone a lunch. Give a ride to someone; take them to church. Bake a cake for your elderly neighbor. If you meet a stranger, introduce them to someone you know who can help them. Like Jack Keller, mentor someone. Speak well of somebody when others are speaking down on that person. Friend, when you’re good to people, you’ll store up rewards for yourself. One day those rewards, gathering up in clouds will get so thick and heavy that it will begin to rain down on your life. It will refresh you when you need it the most, when going through your worst. Friend, God wants to be good to you; but first, you must plant a few seeds. The scripture says, “You will always harvest what you plant." I am praying for you!
If you’re looking for ways to help someone, please take the time to visit our website ( There are many ways you can push people up, costing you hardly anything. Remember, in this beautiful thing called life, no one makes it alone. Somebody is waiting for you to be their miracle!
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Saturday, September 3, 2011

What to Do in Tough Times

Last summer, outside our post office, I noticed a tiny plant squeezing through the crack in the parking lot. I was taken back at the ability of that little plant to force through the cement. Every time we'd visit the post office my kids would run to see it and say, "Look Dad, the plant is still here!" Everyday hundreds of cars would spew the plant with fume and exhaust. But every time we'd pass by that plant we'd see growth and increase in spite of tremendous opposition.

One day the Holy Spirit said to me, "Like the little seed, I've put everything inside you to blossom, prosper and bear fruit. Don't let the negative circumstances of your life squeeze the seed of the Word of God from your life."

If you’re facing some challenges today, let me remind you that the Almighty God has a wonderful plan for your life. He breathed His LIFE inside of you. He put a stamp of approval on you. Seeds of greatness are in you. His dynamite Spirit lives inside of you. Just like the little seed in the concrete, you too, can break forth in a difficult situation.

I encourage you to see yourself as a conqueror. Life will throw some curves at you but like that little plant in the smog and concrete, you too can prosper. You can blossom where you are planted.

I want to share a few tips that will help you to excel if you’re facing a famine this year.

1. Sanctify yourself. Before God can release us to a new level of victory He wants a new level of spiritual cleansing and maturity from us. Before crossing river Jordan and entering in to the promised land, Joshua told the Israelites, "Sanctify yourselves." (Joshua 3:5). Friend, God is never the problem. We are. Let us make sure we stand before God clean!

2. Pursue significance. Success is what you think you have achieved. Being significant is when other people reap the benefit of your accomplishment long after you're gone. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, "Everyone has the power of greatness. Not for fame, but for greatness. Because greatness is deter- mined by service." Remember, you can spend your time, resources and energy to benefit yourself. Or you can live unselfishly and make an eternal difference in your family, community and country.

3. Put on a new attitude. You cannot be significant with a poor, defeated, can't do it attitude. If you want to rise to the next level, you have to put on a "can do" attitude. Remember the ten spies? Only two out of twelve entered the promised land. Why? They said, "We were like grasshoppers in our own sight." (Numbers 13:33). Friend, you are bought with a price, cleansed with the precious blood of Jesus. Your sins are forgiven and your iniquities have be blotted out. How you see yourself will determine where you'll go with your life.

4. Speak how you want things to be. Your life will follow your mouth. When we're going through a rough patch we're tempted to magnify our problem. We're quick to pick up the phone and announce our problems to the world. We become doubtful and loose hope. I challenge you this year to speak the Word of God into and over your situation.

5. Get involved in world missions. Every miracle Jesus did was associated with reaching the lost. If you want God's abundant favor in your life, get involved in saving souls for Christ in foreign lands. There are millions of people who have never heard the name of Jesus - once! Do something about it. We can help!

Remember Charles Dickens', "It was the best of times and the worst of times?" Your thoughts, words and attitude will determine how this year turns out for you. God's plan is to give you double for all your trouble. Isaiah 61:7.

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