Building People. Spreading Hope.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Training Leaders in India, Nepal and Dubai

By the time you read this, I will be on my way to the mission fields of Asia. Our goal is to train 1,500 leaders in the next few weeks. Let me share with you the situation there.

Pastor Lalit is from Orissa - one of the most violent states for Christians to live in India. It has been the epicenter of persecution, torture, and killings of Christians. But the believers there have been equally brave and courageous to stand up for their faith - even unto death.

Earlier this year, radical militants burned Bibles, demolished churches, and killed Christians. Lalit has been serving the Lord for the past five years in this hostile environment. His village is known for anti-Christian fanatics. The rebels come by droves to plunder food, money, and whatever little the villagers have in their possession.

One day, Pastor Lalit was kidnapped by these radicals. He was taken into the jungle for days. He endured starvation and severe torture. Not knowing his whereabouts, the believers in the village began to fast and pray for his safety. In answer to their prayers, his captors miraculously released Pastor Lalit. Upon his return, Lalit began to preach more fervently than before. He continued to baptize new believers openly. The news quickly spread into the rebel camp and Lalit was confronted by a terrorist. He tried to convince Lalit to stop preaching and join their group. When Lalit refused, the terrorist pulled out his sword and lifted it in the air to behead him.

The believers had been praying for their Pastor's safety. This time the angels intervened. Miraculously, the rebel's arms froze in the air. He could not bring down the sword. His arms remained hoisted for the next few days. Finally they sent for the Pastor's mother to pray for him. The believers prayed with the promise that they would leave the Christians alone. Amazingly, the rebel's arms were fully restored!

Today, Pastor Lalit continues his work fearlessly. So far, he has established six churches. Many of the former rebels now attend his church and a large number of them have given their hearts to Christ. They are also teaching adult literacy classes and providing water wells of clean drinking water for the villagers.

Please help, pray and agree with us for the training expense. Thank you for your investment in the past; I encourage you to make a sacrificial gift to help train leaders like Lalit.

Together in the Harvest!

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Sunday, September 2, 2012

Empowering Leaders in India and Nepal

I would like to introduce you to Pastor Deep. He is one of 1,500 pastors and leaders from India and Nepal that we have the opportunity to train in the month of September and October. They are in need of encouragement, prayers and support.

Pastor Deep has planted 55 churches with over 5,000 believers where only 2% of the population is Christians. Most of the areas in north India he ministers to have no electricity, clean drinking water or basic infrastructure. Thousands of idol worshippers have never heard the name of Jesus – even once! Leaders do not have Bible School training or a place of worship. These pastors endure brutal persecution – they are kidnapped, beaten, tortured, their houses and property burned down and even murdered.

Another pastor swims across rivers to reach the villages on the other side. When he comes out of the water, his body is covered with blood sucking leeches. Yet they have been able to plant 35 churches.

Like Timothy in the Bible, these leaders are hungry to learn. They baptize hundreds of new converts every week! They are establishing churches amongst the poorest of the poor. For most of these leaders, it will be their first training of any kind. They will walk for miles, travel for days and sacrifice to come to the training. Then they will go back and impact thousands. I want to give you the opportunity to invest in these leaders.

I am so fortunate to have you as a partner in our prayer and ministry. It cost only $100 to train a pastor.  I am asking God for someone to invest in the lives of 25 of these pastors; and a couple of others to invest in 10, and others to invest in 5, 2, even one of these leaders. Whatever you can do will transform thousands of lives and your investment will bear eternal fruits.

Thank you so much for all you do. Let me remind you of God’s promises to bless you when you bless the work of God. “Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matthew 6:33 NKJV). Thank you. I am praying for you.

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Sunday, August 26, 2012

How to Be Happy in an Unhappy World

People all over the world are in search of happiness. Some spend their entire lives in pursuit of happiness. But happiness is not in things or people; it is a state of your own mind. It is an attitude of your heart.

You may think you have a bad boss or a wimpy job. But what would happen if you lost your job for nine months, and then you are offered the same job? Would you be excited about going to work? I bet you would. What about your spouse? If you had to live a lonely life year after year, would you be as easily irritated with your spouse? This may sound rude, but there are many who would love to have your spouse. What about the children God has given you? I’ll tell you, I meet people on top of their career who say, "I wish I had spent more time with my kids when they are little."

If you want to live happy, the first thing you have to do is to count your blessings and see all the things you do have.

The Bible says, “The joy of the Lord is my strength.” Many people use happiness and joy as interchangeable words. But there’s a great difference between the two. Joy is one of the fruits of God’s Spirit. It comes from inside. It’s an outcome – it’s a fruit of knowing God intimately. Happiness is often related to external circumstances – that are often beyond our control. Do not pursue happiness. Pursue God, and joy will burst out of your heart and intoxicate your daily life. Once you learn to enjoy God, you’ll never be unhappy again. He will be the Source of your happiness. You will say, like King David, “In Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11).

Friend, happiness is a choice. If you make up your mind to be happy, nobody can take it away from you. Let me share a few principles that will keep you happy every day of your life.

1. Do not give away your strength. When you are happy, confident and purposeful, you are strong.  Negative things may happen to you, but you must make up your mind to stay positive. Be on the defensive to keep your joy. Do not allow well-meaning people or bad news to derail your happiness. Every morning when you get up, say to yourself, “No matter what comes my way, I choose to stay calm and enjoy this day.”

2. Think happy thoughts. It is scientifically proven that your life will follow your mind. You may get disappointed with yourself, friends may let you down, or the enemy accuses you of your past sins. Make your peace with God and learn to ignore the condemning voices. When someone makes you feel small with their words, quickly replace those thoughts with God’s opinion of you. Say to yourself, “I’m smart. I’m good looking and attractive. I’m loved. I’m accepted. People like me. I can excel at my job. God is for me, so who can be against me? I am blessed to be a blessing!”

3. Forgive quickly. You cannot control what other people say and do. But you can choose to forgive. Our heavenly father forgives us of our many sins every day. We must do the same for our family, and friends. Like cleaning the wine spill on the carpet, the faster you get rid of the offense, the easier it will be to forgive. Resist the temptation to replay the negative things people say to you. When discouraging thoughts come to your mind, immediately change the channel as you do with a TV. Lounge on the victory channel!

4. Learn to laugh. Researchers have discovered that when we smile and laugh out loud, our body releases hormones that make us feel happy and heal our diseases. The Bible says, “A merry heart does like medicine” (Proverbs 17:22). Every day find something to laugh about. First put on a smile, and your feelings of happiness will follow.

5. Bring happiness to others. No matter how bad your situation may look, there is always someone worse off than you. Instead of looking at your own lack, find two or three people to help every week. Call a friend and check on them. Endorse someone in public. Invite someone to eat a meal in your house. Encourage someone with the Word of God. Lift someone up. Grab the hand of someone and pray for them. When you help others, God will help you.

Friend, it is God’s will for you to enjoy life. Jesus said, “I have come that you may have abundant life” (John 10:10). When you practice these five principles, happiness will find you. Do not let your happiness rest in people, possession or power. Rather, put your focus on God, and His blessings will overtake you. Do not allow others to steal your joy. Think happy thoughts. Do not resent people. Forgive quickly. Lighten up. Every day, find something to laugh about.

If you want ultimate happiness, please check out our web site (http://www.buildinternational.org). Be a part of someone’s miracle. What you do for others, God will do for you. Your investment will bring hope and eternal life to someone who has never heard the name of our Lord.

Scripture says, “But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits” (Psalm 5:11).

We are praying for you. May your life be filled with joy and laughter. God bless you.

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Sunday, August 12, 2012

Spreading the Message of Hope to the Nations

I thank God every day for your strong involvement in spreading God’s message of Hope to the nations. Although our ministry is able to accomplish much, your outstanding collaboration and support cause us to reach even more people. Often I am asked, "Sandy, what makes this ministry different from others?"

Let me share briefly what is exclusive when you partner with this ministry.

Our message is to share the love of Jesus with people who have never heard His name – even once! It is in our organization’s DNA to offer help, healing, and hope through the Gospel. We do not undertake any project where we cannot freely share Christ with the people to whom we minister. The Great Commission is our first priority!

Second, our method is to empower people. We are involved in transforming communities through caring for orphans, providing clean drinking water, educating and providing vocational, leadership, and spiritual training. We seek to improve the quality of life. We do this by investing in the local people wherever we go.

Third, our means is to engage you. Our focus is the nations of the world! Jesus said, "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations" (Matthew 29:19 NAS).  God's mandate is to bring the whole world under His saving knowledge. We seek to connect you to a world that still needs to be reached and credit souls to your heavenly account.

Thank you for your continuous prayers, support and encouragement. This ministry may be the spearhead of the vision, but you are the bow that thrusts the arrow forward. As world mission program is becoming less of a priority, individually and in churches, we urge you to partner with us. When we do this, God will not only bless the nations but our own lives, also. Over the course of the last twenty six years, we have seen tens of thousands of people come to the saving knowledge of Christ. We have trained thousands of local leaders and planted hundreds of churches. This is the impact of your involvement.


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Sunday, August 5, 2012

God is Orchestrating Your Life

Years ago, we worked with a missionary family in Thimpu, Bhutan. They honored God and faithfully served in their secret house church. The husband was a well educated man of integrity and held a prominent government job. However, when the authorities found out that he was a Christian, he was transferred to a remote location. The news of his transfer shocked his family. They could not understand why God would allow them to be put in a place with no Christian friends or church. Starving for fellowship, the young family worked to establish a church. Within a year, the church was flourishing with new believers. Think about it. Just as in the book of Acts, chapter eight, the scattering of persecuted believers led to the establishment of a new church. God in His master plan wanted them to be a greater blessing to others.

At times, He will shake us out of our comfort zone to bring much needed growth and increase into our lives He does not think or do the way we expect. The Bible says, “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts" (Isaiah 55:9 NKJV). If we walk in obedience to Him, God will reward us.

Do you know how baby eagles learn to fly? The eaglets are in no hurry to leave their nursery. Mama knows they will not leave voluntarily. So she begins to stir the nest. She hovers over it and starts to flutter her powerful wings to blow all the soft feathers from the nest. Next, she starts to tear it apart with her powerful beak. Now the eaglets are exposed. Imitating the mother, they begin to flap their growing wings for their first lesson in flying. One day the mother swoops down and places one of the eaglets on her wing. Together they fly up to five thousand feet as she swoops and soars through the sky. Suddenly, she tips her wings and the eaglet slides off. The young bird somersaults and flaps its wings, plunging closer and closer to its deadly fall to the ground. Just before it hits the ground, the mother swoops down, catches it up on her giant feathery wing, and repeats the process until that little bird learns to fly.

Friend, is your life in uncontrollable disarray? Does it feel like plunging downward? I have good news for you. What looks like a setback now is actually a setup. If we could ask the eaglets about their flying class, they would probably say, “We don’t understand how our mother could be so insensitive. We are scared. We are about to die!” Isn’t this what happens to us at times? When life gets hard, we panic. But a big part of faith is trusting God even when we do not understand. You may not like the closed doors. You may not appreciate unanswered prayers. But God is orchestrating a perfect plan for your life. The uncomfortable situations in your life are there to take you to new heights. Suddenly, you get the job you were praying for; you get the financial breakthrough, the relationship works out, you get free from addiction and the child stops acting up.

A Chinese proverb says, “The gem cannot be polished without friction, nor man perfected without trial.” Between you and anything significant, there will be giants in your path. When you face your giants, you will discover things about yourself that you never knew. Do not allow your problems to take the lead – you take charge. A crisis can break you down or make you stronger. Adversity is another way to measure your greatness. If you have a dream without problems, your dream is too small.

In John 11:1-27, Jesus was on His way to Bethany where His friend Lazarus was sick. Along the way He kept getting delayed ministering to others. In spite of the urgency, Jesus was in no hurry. By the time He got there, Lazarus had not only died but had been buried for three days. This may be the situation in your lie - a dead business, a dream or a negative report of your health. No matter what is dead in your life, remember that your God is still alive! He is orchestrating your life to blossom again.

In the story, Jesus said, “This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God” (John 11:4). Likewise, God is restoring life back to the dead areas of your life so you can glorify His name. Circumstances may be difficult, but God would not allow them into your life unless He has a purpose for it. Like Lazarus, He will resurrect what seems dead in your life.  Remember that nothing happens to you; everything happens for you. Rather than questioning and getting upset, say, “Thank you Lord for working your divine plan in my life. I do not understand it, but I accept the good changes you are about to bring in to my life.”

Friend, nothing in your life is a coincident. God is in total control of your life. Just as with the missionary family in Bhutan, He will use you for His Kingdom purpose. Like the mother eagle, God will help you soar to new heights.  As in the case of Lazarus, the dead things in your life will flourish again. Do not faint in your day of adversity; rather “Let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart” (Galatians 6:9 NKJV). Be strong, keep a good attitude. God is orchestrating a bright future for your life!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Reaching India Amongst Severe Persecution

I cannot thank you enough for your prayers during my recent trip to Germany. I caught up with my friend Walter Heidenreich, leader of Free Christian Youth Community (FCJG). Together we discussed reaching India's lost millions with a greater impact. Mission teams are already on their way to India and other parts of Asia. While I was in Germany, I was able to minister to hundreds of people. Many lives were touched and transformed with a passion for missions.

Lives are being changed; in the midst of brutal persecution, God is doing a great work in India.

Lamuel was born in a priestly Hindu family in India. He has been serving the Lord for the last twenty-four years. It has not been easy for him to plant churches in the state of Orissa, where persecution has been intense. In recent years, hundreds of churches has been burnt or destroyed and thousands of Christians killed. Samuel's co-worker, Pastor Mallik, was caught by religious fanatics. They threatened him, saying, "If you deny Christ, we will not harm you."  When Mallik refused to deny Jesus, they cut off one of his hands with a sword. He was screaming and covered with blood when they shouted again, "Reject Christ, and we will let you live." Pastor Mallik replied, “He has been faithful to me for thirty years; how can I deny Him now?" Instantly, the radicals decapitated his head and killed his family as well.

In spite of intense persecution, Lamuel's fearless courage has been rewarded. They have planted thirty churches, schools, and medical clinics.

We have been working with Lamuel and others like him who are serving God under heavy persecution. Your faithful gifts and donations are keeping Pastor Lamuel and his men on the battlefield. Your sacrifice is helping us to reach the world!

This summer, we will reach 30,000 people. God may not require us to make the ultimate sacrifice like Pastor Mallik, but will you ask the Lord how you and your friends can be involved? Everything you see and work for today will soon be gone. What we do for our Lord will last forever. Will you please partner with us in the Gospel? I guarantee it will be worth more than everything in this world to hear God say, "Well done, good and faithful servant. Come and share your Master's happiness." (Matthew 25:21)

Thank you for your relentless prayers, support, and encouragement. We appreciate you!

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Sunday, July 15, 2012

Your Small Action Has a Big Impact

Thomas Daigle has recently been in the news. Thirty-five years ago, Thomas and his wife, Sandra, were walking out of a bank after signing their mortgage papers when he spotted a penny in the parking lot. He picked up the coin and said to his wife, “Ah, a penny toward our mortgage.” He and his wife joked about collecting pennies to pay off the loan, and the rest is history.

Thomas says, “I’ve never saved anything other than pennies.” Over the next three decades, he rolled pennies, fifty cents at a time. His bank found out the hard way just how much work that was -- it took tellers at the bank two days to unroll the penny cases.

What started as a joke thirty-five years ago ended with Thomas paying off his last mortgage payment using 62,000 pennies.

Today, I want to talk to you about “the impact of small!”

It is human nature to rejoice over the big moments in our lives. We celebrate the birth of a child, graduation from high school, a first job, getting married, buying a new home, or the first week of retirement. While it is okay to celebrate the mountain top experiences; it is the small, everyday, mundane routine that affects the big things in life. How we handle the small things, small trials, small success, and small opportunities will determine the course of our lives in the long run.

The scripture says, “Do not despise these small beginnings, for the LORD rejoices to see the work begin…” (Zechariah 4:10, NLT). What does that mean?

It simply means to recognize the blessings God brings to our everyday life. It means to appreciate the small things that come along our path. It means to live with an attitude of gratitude every moment of our lives. When we recognize the small things God is doing in our life today, we will see how it adds up to become a big blessing in our lives.

Dame Anita Roddick was a British businesswoman who founded The Body Shop, a cosmetics company producing and retailing beauty products. She once said, “If you think you're too small to have an impact, try going to bed with a mosquito.”

You may be a stay-at-home mom and think to yourself, “All I do is change diapers, cook, clean, and then start again. When will it ever end? Is there life after chores?” Yes, it may be dull and monotonous right now, but do not forget the big impact you are making! You are raising children who will do great exploits. What you are doing as a stay-at-home mother is no less valuable than the work of a corporate executive – instead of a monthly paycheck, you get paid in life. Who knows? You may be raising the next Billy Graham, Bill Gates, or Amy Carmichael! Do not despise the small. It has a big impact! It is part of the big things to come.

Maybe you have a job and a difficult boss. You are tempted to think, “All I do is take orders from a grouchy, old boss. I am not appreciated for all the hard work I do. All I hear is what else there is for me to get done.” This may be true, but understand this, if you remain faithful at your job with a good attitude, God will pay you back. One day, you might replace your boss, run the department, or even manage the whole organization! Does that sound too good to be true? No, our God is a just God and He is a Rewarder! The key is to do your job – the small things in the best possible way you can – not unto your boss, but unto the Lord. He will promote you.

In the New Testament, there is a story of a little boy who brought five loaves and two fish to Jesus. In the eyes of man, it was too small and insignificant to notice, but God pays attention to details. Great miracles begin with a small act of faith. One little lunch from a small child fed five thousand hungry men. Then He recorded it in the Bible to inspire us for centuries to come. Friend, God pays attention to the details of your life. The scripture says, “The LORD will perfect that which concerns me.” (Psalm 138:8, KJV) That means no matter how big or small your expectations are, He will bring it to pass.

Friend, are you hurting today (body, mind, spirit, or soul)? Begin thanking God for the parts that are not hurting. Once, there were ten lepers who came to Jesus for their healing (Luke 17:12-19). The Bible says that as they went, Jesus healed them all, but only one returned to thank Him for his healing. I do not know what miracle you need today. But one way you can expedite your breakthrough is to recognize and praise God for the small blessings in your life.

Let us not underestimate the big impact of your small action. Thomas Daigle paid off his mortgage saving one penny at a time. Five thousand were fed with one small lunch. Lepers were healed when they believed God. They all started small but they all had a big ending. How we do a small thing is how we will receive a big blessing. In business, take care of your clients in the most extravagant fashion. Treat them like royalty and they will not only line up for more, they will also bring their friends and family with them. At home, let us celebrate our families; let us not take them for granted. Church leaders, let us not focus on growing a bigger congregation. Celebrate and add value to the ones who do come every week. Let us feed the sheep and they will return, bringing their lost loved ones with them.

Let me end with a few words from our Master, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!” (Matthew 25:23, NIV) Let us do the small things well, because it is often the small action that makes the big impact!


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Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What Makes a Great Nation?

Fourth of July prompted me to think about what made America a great nation and what will it take for us to keep it that way. Let’s look at some principles upon which America was built and what she must continue to uphold if we are to keep experiencing the blessing of God. This is not only a study on America; it is a catalyst for any country that wants to be great on the earth and in the eyes of God.

Biblical principles. America is the only country in the world that was established on the fundamental belief in God’s Word. It was not only founded on the belief that all men and women are created equal, but also with the desire that God’s values and principles should be taught and upheld. Proverbs 12:28 says, “Righteousness exalts a nation.” This means no matter how a country got its start, when its people embrace God’s ordinances, they will be great. This is what happened to Singapore and South Korea. Both nations were idol worshipping countries devastated by war. But they rebuilt their country on God’s principles. Now Christians comprise 30-40% of the population in these countries, and among the most prosperous in the region. Many researchers believe China’s rise as an economic powerhouse is a result of 130 million Christians in innumerable house churches.

Education. We may breathe until we are eighty or ninety years old but we stop living when we stop learning. A great country not only has an outstanding education system but it must also promote learning at every level of society and life. Creating opportunities for affordable education (without causing debt) and providing quality education will keep a country on the cutting edge. Innovation, invention, and creativity should be rewarded. Excellence should be distinguished from the average.

Business and trade. We know governments spend money, but business and trade make money. Yet we are often burdened by bureaucracy and red tape that quenches the spirit of enterprise and trade. For many years I lived in Hong Kong. It is a great place to do business and many global companies have a presence there. One reason Hong Kong is such a great place for business is that a person can apply for a business license one morning and start doing business the next! Ecclesiastes 10:19 says, “Money answers everything.” While we know this is only a partial statement, it is true that in this world, money often equates to power. If we want to become a powerful economic force, we must create an environment of business, entrepreneurship, and trade without burdening citizens with taxes, and deal with those who are greedy for gain.

Productivity. When men become lovers of pleasure and are not willing to work hard, a nation is doomed for destruction. Productivity does not necessarily mean we have to slave away our lives. In my recent trip to Germany, I was told that all businesses are closed on Sunday, but it is still the strongest economy in Europe. When we honor God with our time, He will help us achieve more in less time. Proverbs 12:24 says, “The hand of the diligent will rule but the lazy man will be put to forced labor.” When our nation owes trillions of dollars in foreign trade it shows we are consuming more than we are producing. We should engage our work force and become self-sufficient (in agriculture, energy, economy, etc.)

Justice. No country can prosper without a fair judicial system. Only God does not judge a man until the end of his days – for everybody else, there should be justice on earth. When our judgment is polluted by bribes, lobbyists, and corruption, we shoot ourselves in the foot. Before we point a finger at the world, we must look within ourselves. Justice begins at home.

Responsibility. While it is essential for a civil society to uphold the rights of the people, it is more important to teach responsibility to our fellow citizens. President John F. Kennedy said in his inaugural speech, "Ask not what your country can do for you -- ask what you can do for your country." This statement is a far cry from today’s reality when we are obsessed with our rights more than our duty and responsibility to build a great nation.

Sin and humility. Isaiah 5:20 says, “Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness.” Sin is a universal problem. As long as there are people, there will be sin. There is nothing wrong when we sin, but there is nothing right living in sin. Sinfulness is a fallen nature of humanity. The only way to deal with it is to do what is prescribed in 2 Chronicles 7:14, “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”

Benevolence and charity. No man can out give God and His people. When the poor and needy are taken care of, the city rejoices. For a country to prosper, we must help the less fortunate. But it is not productive to reward laziness, dependency, and an entitlement mentality. Charity is a choice, out of willing and compassionate hearts; it should not be coerced.

Israel. One of the easiest ways to get ahead in life is to bless Israel. Do not ask me why, but it was God’s sovereign choice to pronounce this blessing in Genesis 12:1-3. God told Abraham, “I will bless those who bless you (Israel).” The fast track to greatness for a country is found in blessing Israel and becoming its ally.

World Missions. For centuries, it has been proven and documented that when a nation is involved in world missions, it is blessed by God. Norway and New Zealand are two of the smallest countries in the world, but they are also among the greatest missionary sending nations in the world. If you have been to these countries, you know how beautiful they are! If we as Christians want to live peaceful, productive, and prosperous lives, we must think beyond ourselves and invest every resource available to reach our world. If we transmit the beacon of Hope through the Gospel, we will not have to spend billions of dollars trying to combat terrorism. When people find Hope in Christ, they will find purpose to live and make themselves great.

To build a great nation it all comes down to taking individual responsibility. The state of a country is measured by collective individuality. What we do individually will not only affect us now but it will impact our children and generations to come. God bless America.

Happy Independence Day!


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Saturday, June 30, 2012

God Has More in Store for You

I once heard a story that I would like to share with you today. This is the story of a man who saved money for years to be able to buy a boat ticket to America. Once he had saved enough, he bought his ticket and boarded the ship. Since he did not have any money left for food, he brought some cheese and crackers for his journey. Every evening at mealtime, he would look into the elegant dining room and see the other passengers enjoying their food; then he would return to his cabin and eat his cheese and crackers. The day the ship docked in the New York harbor, a steward came to him and said, "Sir, have we offended you in any way? I noticed you did not eat any of your meals in our dining room." The man answered, "Oh, no! You see, I did not have enough money for meals so I ate in my room." The steward replied, "But sir, your meals were included in the ticket!"
I am not sure if this story is true or not, but this is how many Christians live. Jesus bought and paid for abundant life (John 10:10) at Calvary. But often we are satisfied with our reservation to heaven. He has abundance of peace, joy, health, prosperity, promotion, and increase available for you now! He has your healing. God will save your family. You can expect the best for your children. Stop limiting God. He will use you in the ministry. He wants to increase the strength of your church and your ministry. He wants to give you more power and provision so you can impact your community, culture and the world.
God has more in store for you! Many people miss the opportunities God brings into their lives because they are comfortable where they are now. They have not been stretched to expect bigger and better things in life so they can help others. They refuse to adjust their small thinking and to stretch themselves to receive the great things God has for them. When a new opportunity comes along, they make every excuse possible to pass on that moment of favor. They think, “I’m not good enough. God cannot bless me like that. This is only a short-lived dream.”
Unfortunately, life is directly connected to what you believe and what you expect from God. If you want God to do great things for you, you must have great expectation in your heart. It is called faith. Do not frustrate yourself trying to figure out how it will work. Just stay open and believe in the promises of God.
Aama was a little old widow living in a village surrounded by the magnificent Himalayas.  She was a new believer.  One day, a village preacher came and talked to her about having faith in God.  He told her that through faith she can move mountains.  This caught Aama’s attention.  She had spent all her life walking down the mountain to collect water for her family.  This took her five hours every day! 
After the preacher left, Aama put her faith to work.  She closed her windows and locked her door.  Aama began to pray – she asked God to remove the mountain so that she did not have to walk down the steep Himalayan Mountain every day to fetch water. 
After praying for a while, Aama opened her eyes and cautiously cracked the window open to see if the mountains were still in her way.  To her amazement, she could still see the mountains standing bold and gigantic as ever.  Aama shook her head and said, “I knew it would not work, I knew it would not work!”
Do not be like Aama. 
Hebrews11:6 says, “Without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” For faith to work, you must absolutely believe that God will do this miracle for you.  Our total dependency on God is a prerequisite for our faith to work.
Many people think they have to live the rest of their lives with their current income, with sickness, and binding circumstances. They believe God only wants them to attend church faithfully, throw in a few dollars in the offering, and make it to heaven. This is not a bad start, but He has more in store than you can ever think or imagine. God wants to bless you so you can be a blessing to others. Do not limit God.
Ephesians 3:20 says, “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us.”
Today you may be facing some tough challenges. Maybe it is a sickness or a financial trouble. Maybe you used to be a strong Christian but now your heart has grown cold toward Jesus. You want to have a fresh new start.
Friend, I have good news for you. God wants to do a new thing in your life. But you have to do your part and start expecting more from God! Your job is not your source. God is! He can give you one idea that will change your life forever. He may give you a business, an invention, a song, a book, or even a movie to write. Do not limit God. He has more in store for you. He is not limited by your education, your social background, or your connections. God can do anything. Today let your hope rise. Let your faith grow. Allow your heart to beat with excitement again. Jesus said, “If you believe, you will see the glory of God.” He loves you deeply. He cannot wait to bless you so that through you He can bless the world. We are praying for you. Remember, God has more in store for you!


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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Mobilizing Missions in Germany to Reach Asia

I met Walter almost twenty years ago when I was ministering in Europe. Walter is the founder of HELP for all Nations and the President of the Free Christian Youth Community (FCJG) in L├╝denscheid, Germany. He had a powerful encounter with God while he was still a drug addict, and God radically changed Walter's life. His heart is burning for Jesus, revival, and missions. Walter has always gone after the young generation and he wants to see them released into their calling.

Walter is a visionary. The last time I sat down with him in the early nineties, Mongolia was just opening up to the Gospel work. I was one of the first missionaries to get in the country. When I started to share my experience with Walter, he was visibly excited. Before long, he sent thousands of young Germans to plant hundreds of churches in Mongolia.

Today, Walter is hooked on India. They have already begun a great work in northeastern India where we have been investing our resources for the last twenty-seven years. My goal in meeting with him is to mobilize more workers and resources for India. Walter has thousands of young people who are eager to do something extraordinary in the mission field. I hope to inspire them with my story and what God is doing in Asia. This will be a very strategic ministry trip. The number of unreached people in India is staggering, but I believe with the German connection, we can do more for India than we have ever done before.

Germany has one of the strongest economies in Europe. The majority of the country proclaims to be Christians, but Christianity is declining in Europe. Many of the beautiful church buildings have been converted into Moslem mosques. However, there is an uprising among German youth who want nothing but God’s best for their country and a part to play in world missions.

One of the things we are called to do at Build International is to give you a global connection. God’s heart has always been for the world. When you partner with this ministry, you are connected to God’s vision for the world. You are making a global impact! Thank you for lending us your support and taking ownership of God’s promise, “Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession.” (Psalm 2:8, NLT) Thank you for going with me to Germany through your prayers and support.

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Monday, June 11, 2012

7 Keys for Empowering Our Young People

This week I witnessed my nephew and niece, David and Isabella Anderson, graduate from their high school. Isabella graduated with honors and ranked in the top fifteen percent, while David was among the first in his engineering class! I am extremely proud of them. Isabella will study international business while David wants to become an international architect. Their parents have worked hard to instill a world vision in both of these young people. They have caught the vision to attempt great things in life.
I believe our young people are brilliant, hardworking, and have creative genius. They will do more for their generation than we can ever dream. They will create, invent, achieve, and discover things we have not even considered. But they need you! Today, I want to give you seven keys to empower your young people.
1. Give them a lofty ambition. Too many of us are settling for much less than what we were created to be. Life has robbed us of our childhood dreams. Do not make the mistake of robbing them of theirs. We may have missed it, but we cannot allow our young people to think small. Encourage them to believe they can invent, discover, lead, and own. The bigger the challenge, the higher they will perform.
Brian Littrell was the lead singer of the successful band Backstreet Boys. He was born with a heart defect. In 1998, he went through multiple surgeries to close a hole in his heart. All the odds were against him. But he had a lofty ambition. Brian said, “Shoot for the moon. Even if you miss, you'll land among the stars.”
2. Create an environment and opportunity for them. We are the product of our environment. Even God looked at our sinful world and sent Jesus to give us a vision of passion, purpose, and pride. I have seen thousands of young lives transformed by the environment created by our ministry.
I met Sanjay when he was in his early twenties. He became a Christian while attending one of our conferences in New Delhi, India. Prior to his salvation, Sanjay was living in fear and running from the authorities because he was a drug addict and a drug dealer. He went through a course in our Mission Training Center where his life was transformed. Today, Sanjay is ministering to tens of thousands.
3. Teach them more about responsibilities than rights. I have found people respond more to bragging than to nagging. If you want young people to mature, you have to say, “This is what needs to be done. This is what I expect. This is the amount of time in which to finish it.” Then you must “inspect what you expect.” Encourage them along the way, “What a great job you’re doing. I believe in you!” If you give them something to live up to, they will! Young people are crying out for someone to believe in them and to expect them to do a phenomenal job.
4. Teach them to be overcomers. Nobody became a success without some mistakes. Our mistakes may be some of the steps on the ladder of their success, but they will make their own. One of the greatest enemies of success is the fear of failure. Teach your young people to take bold steps. Teach them to think, “What if this does work out!” When they make a mistake, share your own, and tell them they can move past it, too!
5. Introduce them to your support system. As much as we want the young generation to be independent, it is much easier to build on an existing foundation. They do not have to do what God called you to do. But you have a network of friends, resources, and a support system your young people can build on. Why cause them to reinvent the wheel?
6. Expose them to the world. With the increasing threat/blessing of globalization, challenge your young people to make the world their playground. When we think of our future in the same town, state, or country we grew up, we are thinking too small. The global community will leave them a pauper unless we prepare our young people to have a global perspective.
7. Teach them to make God their partner. We can have all the success in the world, but unless our mission is connected to our Creator, our success will be mortal. When we do what we do for an eternal purpose, then we are living for a divine purpose. With God on our side, we can achieve anything!
Friend, God has given you some exceptional young people. Respect and recognize their individuality. Your job is not to make them who you are but to create an environment for them to discover who God has created them to be. Our job is to facilitate, guide, and encourage. You have had a shot at your life – now allow them to live theirs. Speak positive, affirmative words over their lives. You can never over-emphasize their values and vision. They have what it takes. They will only climb to the heights you allow them. Give them permission to excel in life. Become their mentor, consultant, role model, and friend. Do not just be satisfied with helping your own family; help, assist, and empower other young people you know. With your blessing, and God on their side, your young people will go on to achieve exceptional things. Friend, somebody believed in you long before you were a success; now it is your turn to believe in them!
Congratulations David and Isabella Anderson! I believe in you.

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Monday, May 28, 2012

Starting Late Finishing Strong

My friend Jerry is a soft spoken salesman who has worked in the insurance industry for forty-eight years. He has been very successful in his career. He has also been president of multiple organizations. He is a leader in his Jewish temple. Jerry is seventy years old but he does not look a day over sixty. When I asked him, “When are you planning to retire?” He said, “I’m not planning on it.” But what struck me most about Jerry is his enthusiasm for life.

Mark Twain once said, “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter.” Often as we grow older, we think we have lived the best of our lives. But the secret of staying young and full of vitality is to recognize our best is yet to come. Instead of sitting around talking about the “good ‘ol’ days,” we must look for fresh opportunities for God to use us.

Psalm 92:14 says, “They will still bear fruit in old age; they will stay fresh and green.” Isaiah 40:31 tells us when we put our hope in the Lord, He renews our strength; He gives us more energy and makes us vibrant and alive. Psalm 103:5 says, God “He fills my life with good things.  My youth is renewed like the eagle’s.” Remember, God wants to bless you, renew you and satisfy you with long life. Seek His ways and put your faith, hope and trust in Him and let Him renew every part of your life!

When I asked Jerry what advice he has for senior citizens, he said, “Find a purpose in your life and then get busy serving. In some way, give back to the community.” I could not agree more with Jerry.

This is what my friend Ron Paul is doing. Ron is a Vietnam veteran. He was exposed to Agent Orange – a chemical that was spread over the dense jungles of Vietnam in the intent to clear the ground. The chemical was so powerful that within days, the trees lost all their leaves, standing bare naked, clearing the ground so the soldiers could see where the Viet -Conges were hiding. Our veterans were told Agent Orange was safe but it had not been tested properly. Consequently, thousands of soldiers came back home to suffer horrible pain caused by a damaged nerve system. Ron told me some days the pain is so excruciating; he can hardly get up from bed! Twenty- five years ago, I met Ron in Hong Kong. But to this day, I have yet to hear a complaint come out of his mouth. On the contrary, he has always been funny and encouraging, and he is often helping others. Even when he describes his pain, he is careful not to blame the government or criticize the military. He has an attitude of gratitude. To top it off, Ron spends most of his days volunteering in his church, writing notes to missionaries and supporting ministries such as ours. Ron might have received some lemons in his life, but he has turned lemons into lemonade. So can you!

Do not focus on who did you wrong or how hard life has been for you. Instead, like Ron, talk about the great things you have experienced in life. Play with your kids. Be fun and witty to be around. Share your experience and knowledge with someone so they can learn from your mistakes without paying the price you paid to learn. Be a mentor.

This is what my father does. My Dad is eighty-one years old but he is always surrounded by young people. He lived a tough life. My mother died when Dad was in his twenties. We were four brothers. Knowing that he would not be able to care for us without mom, he took us to a Christian orphanage. He was allowed to visit us only a couple of times a year, but he came to visit every chance he could.

As I grew older, I went on to college and left the country to do missions work around the world. My Dad and I lost touch. Dad never harbored bitterness or resentment toward anybody. After sixteen years, I went in search of my Dad. I found him amongst the billion people in India, travelling on a train. What a reunion that was! I picked him up and announced to the packed train, “Attention, people! This is my Dad. I’m meeting him after sixteen years!” The whole compartment erupted in joy, clapping their hands. Dad and I both had tears in our eyes.

What is great about my Dad is he can always be found surrounded by young people. He listens to them, encourages them, and prays for them, and counsels them. He has never been a public figure. But he has been a mentor to hundreds of young people who have impacted millions. No matter how old you are, you can impact others too. Start now.

Do you have an unreconciled relationship with your loved one? Be like my Dad. Do not get discouraged and bitter. Do your best to keep a good attitude. You are not worthless because you made some mistakes or someone left you. Society may call you “old” but in the eyes of God, you’re “gold!” You still have more in your future than all the failure in your past. Never let failures define you. They are simply reminders not to walk that road again.

Isaiah the Prophet reminds us, “Forget about what’s happened; don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new. It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it?” (Isaiah 43:18-19, The Message) I am here to declare over you that your best days are right ahead of you. At age eighty-five, Caleb claimed his mountain.  What do you believe God for in your life right now?

Friend, do not live the rest of your life recalling regrets. Talk about your victories.  Share how you overcame life’s battles. Tell a struggling generation, that life is not perfect, but they are going to make it. Get busy serving somewhere. Be a person of inspiration. Be someone people can look up to and respect.

Long ago, a mentor told me, “Great it is to dream the dream when you stand in youth by the starry stream... but a greater thing is to fight life through, and say in the end, the dream is true.” Friend, dreams have no expiration date. You may start late, but you can finish strong!


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Saturday, May 19, 2012

Native Missionaries Transforming Lives

I cannot thank you enough for the friendship and partnership we have in spreading the message of Hope through our Lord. You are a vital part of everything that happens through this ministry. My team and I pray for you and your success, every day.

 
God is doing a marvelous thing in the mission fields of Asia. It is taking place because of a combination of three things. Our God, the Native Missionaries and You! Our co-workers on the ground are winning people to the Lord, everywhere they go. God is healing, saving, and restoring people into His Kingdom. Let me share with you their impact on the mission field of Asia.

 
Rebecca started to work as a trapeze artist at the age of eleven in order to support her mother. One day she had an accident. She fell without a safety net and shattered hundreds of bones. By the miraculous healing power of God, she was saved and healed. Later, she came to our Mission Training Center.  We poured the love of God into her. Today, Rebecca leads our Life Lessons Radio teaching millions of people. 

 
David grew up in an orphanage in India. In his village, there was no college he could attend. Later, the Lord opened doors for him to go to a Bible School where he graduated with flying colors. Thirty years later, Pastor David and his men have planted hundreds of churches and thousands of lives have been transformed by his ministry.

 
Native Missionaries like Rebecca and David are like ground soldiers in a war. They endure the hardship, are beaten, persecuted, and some are killed, but they continue faithfully. They are equipped with the local language and culture. Their testimony in the local context speaks volumes to the people. Native Missionaries cost only $120-$250 a month depending on their location and the size of their family. Will you prayerfully consider partnering with one of them? Together with your family, friends, associates, or business, you can be the vital lifeline for one of these life changers. When you do, you begin to inherit their fruits in the Gospel.

 
Let me remind you how much your prayers and partnership means to us. None of what we do is possible without your love, encouragement, and support. Here is what the Word of God says about you. “A generous person will prosper; whoever refreshes others will be refreshed.” (Proverbs 11:25 NIV). We are praying for you to prosper in your body, mind, spirit, and soul!


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Saturday, May 12, 2012

7 Mother's Day Secrets

The curious angel asked, “Whatcha doin’, God, working a puzzle?”  “No,” God answered, smiling, “I’m making a family.”  The idea was interesting, and the curious angel began asking questions, “A family… sure are a lot of parts.  What are the big pieces?”  “Those are the fathers.”  “Aren’t they too large?”  “No, they have to be strong.  They work hard and bear a lot of burdens.  They’re the image of the Heavenly Father and the security for their families,” said God.

“And the pretty pieces,” the angel asked, “what are they?”  “They are the mothers,” God answered.  “They sure are pretty, but fragile, too, huh God?”  God replied, “Don’t let their looks deceive.  They are small and pretty, but most of them are stronger than men.  You see, mothers need to look pretty, but they are strong inside.  Their greatest strength is their love and their tenderness.  They love ugly men and runny-nose babies.”

“What are the little pieces?”  “They’re the children,” God answered.  “They make the families complete.  Fathers and mothers conceive the little children, but I give them a soul.” 

“I hope it works,” the angel sighed.  “It has to,” God said.  “Mothers keep the family together.”

I pray that every mother will feel loved, honored and appreciated as we celebrate “Mothers Day.”  Here are seven things every mother must know.

1.  Embrace your purpose as a mother.  “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”  Remember, you are not God’s adult; you’re His child.  God knows you and He is absolutely crazy about you.  He has called you to be a helper.  You’re chosen to raise royal men and women of God.

2. You’re beautiful; inside and out.  Surrounded with dirty laundry, messy house and runny noses it is hard to feel beautiful.  But God put true beauty inside of you.  You don’t have to perform; you ARE beautiful.  Everything God makes is first class!

3. You can forgive and forget.  I know many women who are caught in the past.  You may have been bruised, betrayed and wronged but do yourself a favor – forgive!  Until you let go of the past, God cannot open the great future ahead of you.  Focus on what’s right rather than what’s wrong.

4. Your strength comes from God.  Isaiah tells us, “Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.”  Do you feel weak, lonely and discouraged today?  Well you’re the best candidate to receive God’s strength.  The Scriptures says, “My strength is made perfect in (your) weakness.”

5. See the big picture.  When you feel your emotions rising, ask yourself; is it a 5 minute, 5 hour or 5 year problem?  Go easy on the first two and focus on the long term.  “Live like you’re dying,” as one country song goes.  If you had six months to live, what would be your perspective in life?  Would you get so easily offended?  Would you hold onto hurt, bitterness and anger?

6. Invest in yourself.  What brings you joy and pleasure?  What makes you laugh?  Sometimes you are so focused on taking care of others you forget to take care of yourself.  Stop Mom!  Take care of yourself too -- guilt free! 

7. Enjoy this moment.  Too many Moms are either stuck on yesterday or dreaming about the future.  Like children, God wants us to live in the present.  Enjoy the little footsteps you hear running towards you.  Savor on the complements your family gives you.  Have fun doing the chores that need to be done.  Remember, the season you’re in will not last forever.  What you choose to do at this moment will determine what kind of memories you’ll have to look back on. 

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Sunday, May 6, 2012

God Sees the Best in You

A water bearer in China had two large pots hung on the ends of a bamboo pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water. At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house. Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do. After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself because this crack in my side causes water to leak all the way back to your house."

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Friend, each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding. You've just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them.
I meet too many people around the world who feel God is not pleased with them. They feel weak, unloved and unworthy of God’s love and blessings. Yet, nothing is more real than God’s love, forgiveness and mercy. He doesn’t go around with a stick waiting for us to make a mistake; instead He commands angels to carry around buckets of blessings for us.

The Bibles says, “For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to give strong support to those whose heart is blameless toward him (2 Chronicles 16:9 ESV).” That means He’s scanning for our hearts and when He finds one, He dumps a load of blessing on that person to advance His Kingdom on earth.

One of the things that keeps us from being our best is the nagging, condemning voices that play like a broken record, over and over in our mind. I was just talking to a friend the other day and she said, “Sandy, I’m afraid my life is falling apart. I think I’ve made too many mistakes. I don’t want to end up in a homeless shelter.” I realize these are real fears and I don’t make light of her feelings. But I told her what I’m telling you today. God is not mad at you; He’s greatly in love with you. If you can see it from His perspective, you’ll know how much He loves you! He always has; always will.

We’re familiar with the story of the prodigal's son in the Bible. The youngest son spends all his inheritance in unrighteous living. One day sitting in a pig pen he decides to return to his father’s house. To prepare for his first conversation, he drafts a script in his mind. The son said to him, "Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son."But the father said to his servants, "Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate." (Luke 15:21-23 NIV)

The Scripture says, “While he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him." (Luke 15:20 NIV) This is the only picture of God running in the Bible. What is He running to – a saint, a prophet, a religious man? No, no, no. God is running to a broken man who acknowledges his wrongs and decides to change. Instead of getting angry, He told his servants to bring out the royal robe, a ring and sandals. This is the greatness of our God.

No matter what we’ve done, God loves and forgives you. He knows your weakness, but He also knows your value. He sees not the way you are but the way you can be. Be confident, knowing that God sees only the best in you. He has a plan for you higher than you think. You’re His prized treasure. You’re the apple of His eyes. You cannot do anything in life to disown His love. He does not have the capacity to give up on you, so why should you give up on yourself?

Have you ever been to a little league games? There may be dozens of little boys playing in the field but your eyes are fixed on your little son. No matter how bad he does, you jump with excitement if your son barely touches the ball. Only you know what you do if your son scores! Religion teaches us otherwise, but that’s the way our Heavenly Father rejoices over us. He doesn’t keep count of our mistakes and faults. Instead, He highlights our achievements.

Friend, accept God’s unconditional love in to your life. You may have a few cracks in your pot, but you cause the beautiful flowers to bloom. You may have made a few wrong choices, but God’s mercy will give you another royal start. There’s nothing you can do to diminish your value. Stop listening to the negative voices in your mind. Lift up your head and accept His unwavering love for you.

God only sees the best in you!

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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Explosive Blessing is Coming Your Way

During my recent trip to Asia, I learned about the Chinese bamboo tree. This remarkable tree is different from most trees that grow in that region. While most trees steadily grow over a period of years, the Chinese bamboo tree does not break through the ground for the first four years. Then in the fifth year, an amazing phenomenon happens — the tree begins to grow at an astonishing rate. Over a period of five weeks, the Chinese bamboo tree can grow to a height of 80 feet. As if captured by a slow motion camera, you can practically see the tree growing before your very eyes.

Life often happens in a similar way. You can work for weeks, months, or even years on your dream with no visible signs of progress, and then all of a sudden, things take off. Your business becomes profitable beyond your wildest dreams. Your marriage becomes more vibrant and passionate than you ever thought it could be. Your passion to reach the world through Build International Ministries becomes more compelling than you have ever imagined!

 
All of this requires two things – faith and hard work. Those who tend the Chinese bamboo tree have faith that if they keep watering and fertilizing and working the ground, the tree will break through. You must have the same kind of faith in your "bamboo tree," whether it is running a successful business, walking in health, raising well-behaved children, or getting your finances in order. You must have faith that as you work hard, live healthy and exercise, train your children, invest in your spouse, or develop wise financial habits, that you will see rapid growth in the future.

 
This is what happened to Ruth. Scripture tells us that Ruth was loyal to her mother-in-law, Naomi, even after her husband had died. When Naomi wanted to return to her own country, she gave Ruth the choice to return to her kinsfolk. Ruth was loyal at heart. She decided to follow Naomi.
 When they reached Bethlehem, they did not have much more than a roof over their head. Naomi had a relative who was a wealthy man and owned a lot of land. Ruth went to the field owned by Boaz and gleaned after the reapers. It was hard labor, a hand-to-mouth struggle, for Ruth and Naomi. God saw Ruth’s faithfulness to Naomi and her willingness to work hard and serve the True and Living God of Israel. Ruth found favor in the eyes of the Lord.

 
 God sent Ruth explosive blessing. One day, Boaz went to check on his land and saw Ruth gathering after the reapers. He inquired about her and told his men to “leave handfuls of grain on purpose” for Ruth to take home (Ruth 2:16). Soon after, Boaz began to develop a liking for Ruth. Soon they were married. Think about it. One day Ruth was working in the field, and the next, she became the owner of the field!

 
Friend, this is how God wants to bless you. He knows how hard you are working to grow your “bamboo tree.” You have planted, watered, and fertilized the soil, and now is the time for explosive growth and increase of God’s grace (unmerited favor) in your life. He is orchestrating connections, divine appointments, and opportunities for explosive blessings to overtake you.

 
The scripture says, “When darkness overtakes the godly, light will come bursting in.” (Psalm 112:4) Notice it does not say God’s blessing will start to drip or faintly appear; it says His light will come bursting in. In today’s context, it will be an explosive blessing. It will not just be a small addition to what you already have, but it will set you up for the next five, ten, or even twenty years ahead!

 
When the lame beggar at the temple Beautiful approached Peter and John for some small change for lunch, he got much more than he had bargained for. (Acts 3:1-10) It was the day of God’s explosive blessing to be unleashed upon this disabled man. Peter said, “Silver and gold I do not have but in the name of Jesus, rise up and walk.” The Bible says, “Immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” He went on his merry way, “walking, leaping and praising God.” One moment he was begging for lunch money and in the next he was strong enough to go to work for himself and earn a living for his family. That is the kind of explosive blessing God has in store for you!

 
 What is it that is holding you back? God is poised to bless you with unprecedented blessing. Cast away your small thinking and begin to expect the explosive blessing. If you are asking God for what you can achieve by yourself, you are not thinking big enough. God said, “Ask of Me, and I will give you the nations for your inheritance.” (Psalm 2:8)  That is what God has done for me. In the last twenty-six years, I have ministered in over forty nations.

 
It is time for you to receive your explosive blessing.

 
Sometimes, in our doubt, we dig up our seed and plant it elsewhere, in hopes that it will grow faster in more fertile ground. This is why people change jobs every year. We also see people change churches, organizations, and even spouses in the pursuit of greener pastures. More often than not, these people are greatly disappointed when their tree does not grow any faster in the new location.

 
Do not make the mistake of getting in a hurry and pulling up your seed. Stay committed and connected. Bloom where you are planted. Remain faithful to what God has given you now. There is a tsunami of breakthrough coming that will catapult you to a place of God’s explosive blessing. Your “fifth year of growth” is here now. Like the Chinese bamboo tree, you will experience astonishing growth. Like Ruth, you will go from working in the business to owning the business!

 
You have a bamboo tree inside of you waiting to break through. Keep watering, believing, and working hard; you will be flying high before you know it.

 
An explosive blessing is coming your way. Get ready for everything to change in your life!


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