Building People. Spreading Hope.

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 ( 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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