Building People. Spreading Hope.

Thursday, February 28, 2013

This is Your Time

I have many friends that are waiting on their breakthrough right now. I know friends who are waiting for their dream job. I know some who are waiting for a relationship to blossom. And I have friends who are waiting for a financial bailout. No matter what your situation is, I believe God is saying, “This is your time!”

Friend, you may find yourself stuck, stranded and robbed of your purpose. Things may not have gone your way for a long time. God’s plans and purposes may be drowned in your hardship, loss and misery. But I’m here to remind you, “This is your time!”

A shift is coming to your life. God is breathing a new life into your dreams. His mighty Holy Spirit is blowing in your direction. You will do business in great waters again.

Listen to what God says. “Come back to the place of safety, all you prisoners who still have hope! I promise this very day that I will repay two blessings for each of your troubles” (Zechariah 9:12 NLT).

No matter what has happened in your past or how long it has been, “This is your time!” This is the year God will bring it all together. If you shake off your past disappointments, dare to trust God and work hard, He will restore the dreams and desires of your heart.

Don’t give up on God. Don’t give up on yourself or your marriage. He has the perfect job lined up for you. Your children will serve God again. You will meet the person of your dream. Your health will spring forth. You will move into your dream home. Your church will thrive and people of all nations will call you blessed.

You ask me, “Sandy, this sounds good but how?” I don’t know. But this is what Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” Mark 9:23 NKJV). Get ready. Believe. God is doing a new thing. This is your time!

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Leader in You

Accept it or not, we are all leaders in some ways. Someone is always watching us the way think, talk and do things. Many people are afraid to lead because they think they will make mistakes and they don’t want to be responsible for other people’s lives. This may look reasonable at first but when we are passive in our leadership we end up harming more people in the long run.

Today we want to discuss three keys to every successful leadership.

Lead by example. Think about the people who have influenced your life the most. Did they force you or were their ideas and actions worth following? It is said, “More is caught than taught.” This is certainly true about leadership. When we lead from the front, we create a domino effect. Whether we’re leading our family, company or church, leading by example is one of the best ways to inspire people. People do more of what you do and less of what you say.

Lead by inspiring others. President Dwight D. Eisenhower said, “Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done—because he wants to do it.” This is so true about leadership. Most people are reluctant to follow orders. A rigid regime is least attractive in gathering followers. When we take the time to inspire others, we can achieve great results.

Lead by serving others. This is what our Lord did best. He washed the disciples’ feet. He always put others first. He took our weaknesses and gave us His strength. He became poor so that we can become rich. He was bruised so that we may be healed. When we put the welfare of others ahead of us, God will bless us. When we serve others, God will put people in our path to serve us.

Let me close with a few warning about leadership. Any time you’re forced to follow a leader, run the other direction. Never succumb to guilt and manipulations. A good leader doesn’t have to have a bag of tricks to gather followers. Lead by example. Lead by inspiration. Lead by serving others. When we do these things well, others would want to follow you - willingly.

“For God called you to do good, even if it means suffering, just as Christ suffered for you. He is your example, and you must follow in his steps” (1 Peter 2:21 NLT).

Starting today, put on your leadership mantle. It looks good on you!

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Feed Your Own Monkey

I was visiting with a retired friend of mine when he shared how hard it is for him to stay quite when he perceives others are wrong. He even had to quit going to a Christian gathering because he felt their views did not reflect his own.

This is a very common behavior in people. We all like to be respected and validated for our values, especially when we have a strong conviction about something. I remember when I first joined Facebook, I’d see so many postings that I didn’t agree with. I made it my personal business to give my “correct” opinion. I was driving myself crazy by people and many of them I didn’t even know!

Later I learnt a secret. When you feel like speaking the most is the best time to be quite!

This change in my outlook has transformed my life. Now I can read or hear the most outrageous things without it affecting me. I have not walked in their shoes to understand why people are saying what they are saying. I just smile and “walk away.”

You see, every day we’re given a certain amount of energy, faith and grace by God to do what we’re here to do. When we spend all our energy to police the world, we sap our valuable energy to do what we were supposed to do.

Today I encourage you to “feed your own monkey.” Resist the urge to correct others unless you’re directly responsible for their actions. In fact, don’t give your opinion unless you’re asked for. We men, have to get a grip on this. We love to solve problems and quick to give advice. But let us learn to hold our thoughts. This way, we will live a more peaceful and productive life.
By the way, I was able to win my friend over. He promised to be back in the Christian gathering! ;)

“Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry” (James 1:19 NLT).

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Monday, February 25, 2013

Increase Your Productivity

Everybody wants to be happy, confident and productive. We feel better about ourselves when we feel needed and contributing to the vision. Today, I want to share a few tips that will help increase your productivity.

1. Love what you do. Albert Einstein said, “Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.” You may be stuck in a job that does not allow you to do what you really love. But if you make yourself love what you do right now and take corresponding action toward your future, God will bless your efforts and you’ll produce more.

2. Navigate your attitude. I believe life is ninety percent attitude and ten percent work. Accept the fact that you will not always enjoy everything you do. Some things you just have to get done by having a good attitude about it. You can suffer through making the cold calls or you can decide to enjoy making those calls, believing in your product, and helping others by offering your services. Attitude determines your altitude.

3. Work hard. There is no substitute for working hard. Yes, you also have to work smart. But every productive person I know works longer than minimum time required at the task. If your absence is not felt when you’re missing, let me sound an alarm. A hard working person will be successful. Let me share a word of caution to the workaholics. Don’t let your success come at the price of sacrificing your family and friends. Don’t be a stick on the mud. Get a life!

Friend, let us go out this week working hard, believing in ourselves, helping those God brings in our path. When we work “as unto the Lord,” everything will be more meaningful and you’ll produce more. You are a genius! Let the world experience you. I’m praying for your success.

“And may the Lord our God show us his approval and make our efforts successful. Yes, make our efforts successful” (Psalm 90:17 NLT)!

Change the World with the Message of Hope:


Sunday, February 24, 2013

You Are the Biggest Deal

You may not have heard his name but only two years ago, Fawad Mohammadi (14) was selling gums and souvenir maps on the streets of Kabul, Afghanistan. He has been doing this since he was five years old to support his widowed mother and six siblings. Today Mohammadi will be standing on Hollywood’s red carpet to experience his first Oscar!
Life took a dramatic turn when Mohammadi befriended Sam French, an American director who was looking for an actor in the streets of Kabul to star in his film, “Buzkashi Boys.” The rest is history. Mohammadi got a role in the movie and now it has been nominated for an Oscar! You may be thinking, “I will never have that kind of luck! Who do I know that will handpick me to show that kind of favor?” Well, don’t be so certain!

The scripture says that God’s eyes are searching the earth to find people whose heart is right before God – that’s you. Another place the Bible says you are God’s jewel. Friend, you may not think much of yourself. You may think, “I am no big deal. God is busy running the universe and He has better things to do.” Well, let me inform you that you are God’s biggest deal! He has surrounded you with favor. That means He will put you in front of highly influential people. His favor will put you five, ten and even twenty years ahead.

Friend, no matter what you are facing today God is working behind the scene to highly exalt you. His favor will bring you health, job, provision, connections and promotion. Whatever you need, God’s sudden favor will change everything. Keep a good attitude and thank God for His favor.

Today, get ready for God’s favor to overtake you. Get ready to shout for joy! “His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning” (Psalm 30:5 NAS).
Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Do Something Great for God

Since the beginning of time, God has challenged us to do something great for His cause. We are often timid to think, “I’m not qualified to do anything great.” However, just the opposite is true. God wants to empower us to do great things.

If you think God only uses the qualified, think again! Jacob was a cheater, Peter had a temper, David had an affair, Noah got drunk, Jonah ran from God, Paul was a murderer, Gideon was insecure, Thomas was a doubter, Elijah was moody, Moses stuttered, Zaccheus was short, Abraham was old and Lazarus was dead. Now do you see how God can use you?
Most people want to feel equipped before God can use them. They want to have a theological degree. They want their plane ticket in hand before they can commit to go to the mission field. They want to have a family before they start volunteering. This is human and there is nothing wrong with it. But while we are waiting on God, He is saying, “I am waiting on you.”
We have many opportunities for you to serve God through Build International Ministries – both abroad and here at home. Some of you can pray, volunteer, support the office work, and others of you can go and touch people in Asia who have never heard the name of Jesus! Yet, others of you can support the work financially. No matter what we do for God, He has promised to pay us back.
Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed” (Luke 4:18 NIV). God will empower us the most when we are sharing the Gospel with the poor, helping others, showing the compassion of Jesus to those who are weak and destitute. Let’s do something great for our God!

Remember, God doesn't call the qualified; He qualifies the called!

Albert Pine said, “What we do for ourselves dies with us, what we do for others and the world remains and is immortal.”

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Friday, February 22, 2013

Keep Peace in the Family

A family is to be a place of love, joy, peace and laughter. Often we end up enduring our family instead of enjoying them. How can we get along with us each other and enjoy the family God has given us? Let me share a few keys to start enjoying your family.

1. Speak positive, uplifting words to build each other up. Words are like clothes. You can make a person look good or you can tear them down with your constant criticism. Use words to inspire not describe the situation. Say things like, “I don’t know how you make our house always look like a luxury hotel!” Or “I don’t know of a more hardworking man who provides for our family like you do!” If you have kids say, “I have the best kids in the world. You’re beautiful, smart, teachable and God-loving.” When we give sincere compliments, people live up to what we say.

2. Keep strife out of your life. The scriptures say, “It’s the little foxes that destroy the vineyard.” Watch for your pet peas. Don’t put your family through hell simply because you have personal preferences. Promote and practice the culture of respect and honor. Turn down the volume. Don’t be so easily offended and blurter out your feelings. Overlook a few shortcomings and cover for each other. Cultivate peace.

3. Touch n go. Nobody likes to be lectured at. Yet there will be times in the family when certain issues need to be addressed. Instead of making long, drawn out verbal debates, fights and defensive comments, try the sandwich method. Bread, meat, bread! When you need to confront an issue, start with some compliments, ask for a favor (the issue), and end with more compliments. Keep it short, to the point and move on. Let the Holy Spirit change people and not our verbiage of words.

Friends, we live in a stressful world. Our family and home should be a place of safety and refuge. Let’s not only protect our families from the dangers of outside world but also from each other inside our own homes. Jesus said, “A kingdom divided cannot stand.” By the way, these principles can also be practiced at work and in the marketplace to promote harmonious relationship and increase productivity.

“Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your families, your sons and your daughters, your wives and your homes” (Nehemiah 4:14 NIV).

Let’s stop fighting with each other and fight for our families together. I’m praying for you and your family.

Change the World with the Message of Hope:


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Think On Paper

Every day we are bombarded with hundreds of passing thoughts. When we write down our thoughts and ideas, we force ourselves to focus and be concise to determine what is most important. If we do not learn to separate the important from the ordinary, we will spend endless hours being busy but not produce anything significant.

Writing down on paper has benefits. For instance, you have to use your brain only once having to come up with the idea once. If we do not write things down, we waste valuable time trying to remember the genius that passed by us just hours ago!

I have a habit of making list! I write grocery list, people to thank list, prayer list, or even daily, weekly, monthly, yearly and long term goals list. I have a notepad beside my bed, in the car and these days a digital notepad in my phone. When we write down ideas that jump at us we are becoming pregnant with a vision. When we mediate and take corresponding actions about what we write on paper, we give birth to great dreams that were once a passing thought.

The Bible says, “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it. For the vision is yet for an appointed time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry” (Habakkuk 2:2-3 NKJV).

In the beginning of the year, many of us made New Year’s Resolution, we wanted to achieve this year. Today I challenge you to dig it out and put it somewhere where you can see, read and remind yourself daily, weekly and monthly. When you think on paper, others will come along side you and help you achieve your dreams!

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013


I am not talking sign language so let me explain. If you learn to read this code on each person you meet, you will experience tremendous growth and increase in the quality of your life. What is MMFI? It is the abbreviation for “Make Me Feel Important.”

I have some friends who own an insurance business. I love going to their office because they always MMFI. They have perfected the art of celebrating people. No matter how busy they are when you walk into their office, they make you feel like a celebrity.

The quality of life is often dependent upon the quality of our relationships. If you want to have a great life, learn to treat people well. Sometimes people are logical but hundred percent of the time, people are emotional. People buy into you emotionally first. That is why it is of great importance to make people feel important everywhere you go. Not because you want something from them but because you sincerely value the person you are with.

Our Lord Jesus was a master at this. He took time to make people feel important. Even a lowly sinner by the well left Jesus feeling better about herself and having her life turned around. You have heard it before but it is worth repeating. People do not care how much you know until they know how much you care.

When you make people feel important by listening to them a little longer than you like, letting them get in/out of the door first or allowing the car in the traffic to squeeze in front of you, you are unlocking the potential in others. In effect you are saying, “I value and appreciate you. You are special to me.”

Today I challenge you to go about your day making people feel important. When you treat others with love, respect and honor, God will return the same favor to you!

Remember, people are thinking, “Make Me Feel Important!”

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

How to Attract More Money?

In this world money is influence and power. Money is not everything but it touches everything important in our lives. I have never met anybody who says, “I’ve made enough money. I don’t need anymore!” So then, how can we have more money?

1. Think rich. You’ll never be rich thinking poor thoughts! More gold has been mined from the brains of man than has ever been taken out of the ground. One of the first steps in becoming rich is to determine that you want to be wealthy. Once you have a desire to be rich, you will begin to think, talk and take corresponding actions to become so. It all starts with your decision and desire to be wealthy.

2. Never make making money your goal. King Solomon – the richest man ever known on earth didn’t ask for riches. He asked for wisdom and he got riches as a bonus! If getting rich is your ultimate goal, you’re thinking too small. Money is a byproduct. Never go after money; let money follow you. Find a need and get busy serving that need – money will always find you.

3. Give money away. This may sound foolish at first but the more you give the more you will receive. It will keep you from greed. Think about a tiny seed. It holds no promise of a grand future sitting in a granary. But it has a great potential when it is planted in the ground. The process of germination takes place once it is out of your hand and planted into the ground. Money is the same way. Hoarding money stifles growth. Again, King Solomon said, “A generous man will prosper.”

4. Support Israel. The fast-track to be rich is to bless Israel. God said in Genesis 12:2, “I will bless those who bless you [Israel].” Don’t ask me why God said this but I know from experience that when you support Israel, God will prosper you – financially!

It is easy to be poor. Can God trust you with riches?

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Monday, February 18, 2013

Don’t Jump Off the Plane

Recently I was returning from one of international ministry trips to Asia. We were flying over Iceland when the announcement came through, “We’re going to have some turbulence ahead.”

We all rechecked to fasten our seat belt. Shortly after, we hit the bad weather. The plane began to shake violently. I had never experienced anything like that. Inside the plane all the lights were turned off. I pretended to be asleep but under my blanket, I clung to the arm rest of my seat as hard as I could and began to pray. I repented from my past, present and future sins. I asked for forgiveness of the sins of my neighbors. But the turbulence outlasted all my prayers. The enemy reminded me of all the flights that had broken into two in the midair. Finally, all I could say was, “Jesus! Jesus! Jesus!” The bad weather continued for over an hour. Finally the turbulence subsided and we landed safely on the grounds.

In life, sometimes we have to go through “turbulences.” It is unwelcomed and scary but in order to get to the better side, you have to wade through some bad weather. No matter what you’re facing, make up your mind not to push the eject button. Stay calm, cool and committed and in the end, you too will receive your reward.

Maybe you are in business and it’s going slow. Stay committed. Keep working on your clients. Their inaction or “no” is not the final answer. They’re simply saying, “Come back to me later when I’m able to do business with you.” Go back to your past clients and tell them about your new product. Ask them to increase their business with you. You may have invested a lot of time on a previous client and the deal fell through. Return to them with a positive attitude and you’ll be surprised that they are more than ready to do business with you now.

Friend, no matter what you are facing – work related problem, a legal challenge, a financial crisis, a health issue, troubled marriage or some other relationship matter, do not jump off your plane. Tighten your seatbelt and wade through your turbulence. Beyond fear is victory!

Jesus said, “I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world" (John 16:33 NLT). Be brave. Stay committed. You’ve got what it takes. You will make it through the turbulent times. I’m praying for you and I believe in you!

Change the World with the Message of Love:

Sunday, February 17, 2013

How to Enjoy Church?

Church used to be an integral part of our lives but now it has become optional. Today allow me to share a few thoughts to jump-start your church life and enjoy it.

1. Come with an attitude of gratitude. One of the most common feedbacks I hear is “I didn’t get anything from church today.” Next time you go to church, think about your week and how God blessed you, protected you and your family, healed you, provided for you and looked after you. When we have an attitude of gratitude, we can easily find reasons to be in church and celebrated with other believers.

2. Engage in worship. Worship should not be dependent on our feelings but an act of love and devotion to God. Worship is a way we give back to God. When we express our worship to God as we do in the football stadium we’re showing our solidarity to the Almighty. The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people. When we worship God, we honor Him, we attract His presence and that brings miracles in our lives.

3. Reach out to others. Be social. Spread a little love around. Please don’t be an “undercover” Christian. Reach out to people around you. Sit somewhere other than your regular seat. Let the people have the privilege of experiencing the wonderful you! When we love God, we will love people.

A word for the church leaders! Here are three main reasons people are reluctant to go to church. They get asked for money too much. Sermons are irrelevant to their lives. They feel disconnected. I’m not saying what to preach or how to run your church but here’s a few suggestions. Preach hope, encouragement and personal empowerment in their walk with God. Occasionally teach people on giving but don’t make it a nag. Encourage members to engage with each other and promote a culture of community.

Friend, no matter what your reasons may have been in the past let’s be in church and honor God with our lives. If you go to God’s House with an attitude to give, you’ll find plenty of reasons to be in church!

Did you know Jesus went to church regularly? “On the Sabbath day he went into the synagogue, as was his custom” (Luke 4:16 NIV).

Change the World with the Message of Love:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Be Fishers of Men

Most of us have goals, plans and dreams in life. Did you know God also has a dream? When we are too focused in the pursuit of our own dreams, we tend to forget what God wants to accomplish through our lives. Whatever we amass for ourselves – career, business, homes, cars, stocks, retirement or even family and friends will pass away one day. Only what we do for God will stand for eternity.

I meet Christians everywhere who think, “I’m a sinner. I’m not qualified. I’m not trained. I don’t have any talents.” But that is not true! You see, God has not only called each and every one of us to do something great but He has promised to equip us for the job. Jesus called out to them, "Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people" (Matthew 4:19 NLT)!

God wants us to be productive for the Kingdom. Often it is hard to share the Gospel with people who have heard it so many times that they are tired of it. That should never stop us from sharing the Good News with people in our lives. But we are also called to be world Christians. That means there are millions of people in the world who have never heard the name of Jesus – once! It is our job to make sure that they do. God commanded us to evangelize the world and not just our own community.

One way you can participate in winning lost souls and making disciples every day is by partnering with one of our native missionaries in Asia. They work tirelessly to share about the Lord and make disciples for Christ. They suffer endless persecution yet they willingly lay down their lives every day. Will you prayerfully consider partnering with a missionary who will win souls for you? Nobody wants to be a pauper in heaven. I can guarantee investing on the native missionaries will make you rich in souls in heaven.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Put Up a Fight

Like it or not, life is a fight. As long as you’ll live, there will be struggles and challenges. Instead of thinking, “Why is it happening to me?” a better way to think is, “I will overcome this also.”

Life’s a lot like taking of your backyard. You can neglect it for a while but if you’re not proactive, the weeds will come out thick and fast. Interesting thing about weeds is you never have to plant a weed seed. They come persistently – uninvited. I have learnt that if we are not aggressive in our fight, the enemy will overrun our lives.

Conflict, disappointment and trouble come uninvited. If you are not proactive, it will soon permeate your life. Today, I want to encourage you to stay on guard prepared for the battle [with the enemy]. Have bulldog tenacity. Say to yourself, “I’m going to win this battle. I will not cower, I will not go retrieve. I will fight till then end.” Your attitude about your situation will determine the outcome of your fight. If you’re a Christian, remember this – you’re fighting from the position of victory. Our God has already won the war for us. The Bible says, The Lord your God who goes before you will Himself fight on your behalf, just as He did for you in Egypt before your eyes (Deuteronomy 1:30 NASB).

Let me share a quote from one of my mentors whose passion was to see the unreached people reached with the Gospel of Christ:

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,
Fight, fight, fight…
And say at the end,
The dream is true. ~ Late Pastor John Osteen

“The kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it” (Matthew 11:12 NIV).

Change the World with the Message of Love:

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Love Extravagantly

Happy Valentine to you! Love is the most powerful and basic need in every human being. If you have not heard it lately, you’re loved.

Those of you have a valentine to celebrate with make the most of it. You can never tell your loved one how much you love, cherish and care for that special person. Men it is okay to express in words how you feel about your love. If you feel inadequate saying the words, get a meaningful card for your valentine. Pay attention to the words, that’s what she’ll read over and over. Ladies, today is a good day to pay a tribute to your man’s hard work, faithfulness and commitment to the relationship. Men like to be admired. Pump his ego!

For the ladies of the Lonely Heart’s Club: You are beautiful! There is nothing wrong with you. You are more desirable than rubies. It doesn’t matter who rejected you. He didn’t know you enough to recognize your real value but God does. You’re the apple of His eyes. Don’t despair. Keep a good attitude like Ruth. If you stay busy, keep doing your best in what’s in front of you, your Boaz will show up. Like Ruth, you’ll go from working in the field to owning the field; married to a rich man. Did I say rich?

For the gentlemen of the Lonely Heart’s Club: You’ve got what it takes. He knows how it feels to be single! Honoring God when you’re single will attract God’s favor and bring you love. Don’t be in a hurry. But don’t hesitate to be proactive. Miss America is not going to come knocking on your door – you’ll have to find her. Remember, Jacob in the Bible? He worked seven years for free for the love of his life – Rachel. A man with a job is attractive! A man who loves and honors God with his life is irresistible!!

No matter who you are today you must know that God loves you so much that He gave His only Son to die for you (John 3:16). You’re God’s fatal attraction! Nothing you have done can alienate you from the Father heart of God. You’re loved, cherished and celebrated. You are Beautiful and Needed. I love you and praying for you today!

Change the World with the Message of Love:

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Love is a Decision

We’re talking about love, leading up to the Valentine’s Day in America. Media and everywhere you go are trying to define what love is. One thing I can tell you for sure: Love is not a feeling; it’s a decision.

Feelings are fickle. They are like the waves in the sea, they come and go in a whim but true love is a commitment. Love is like any communication, if you don’t send it out, you will not get a return. You’ll have many opportunities to get out of a relationship if you don’t make continual decision to stay in love.

Love is something that grows from your decisions and actions. Often our wedding vows include, “for better or for worse.” Most of us are willing to stick together when the times are good but when we hit a few bumps we’re too quick to check out. No relationship can be fun, enjoyable and peaceful at all times. A healthy relationship requires continually making choices to strengthen the bond.

Practice making a decision to love and then following that decision up with loving actions and admiration. Let go of the little things. Give without strings attached. Try to see look at things from his/her perspective. Don’t play the blame game. Agree to disagree. Find a win-win solution to problems. Forgive quickly. Laugh together and often. Set goals and work on your future together.

Love always looks for the best, never looks back, but keeps going to the end (1 Corinthians 13). Loving someone is giving them the power to hurt you, but trusting them not to.

Love is not a feeling, love is a decision followed by action.

Change the World with the Message of Love:

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Love and Marriage

I know this is a very broad subject but I believe there are four elements necessary for every successful marriage. Tell me if you agree with me or not!

1. Communication. Any good marriage must start with great communication. You have to express the good, bad and the ugly but how, when and what you say makes all the difference. A loving marital relationship should be safe and trustworthy. Women want to talk and men want to go to their caves. Neither is wrong and both should be allowed space to have it their way with a balance. Become a student of communication. It will make a bad marriage good and a good marriage extra-ordinary.

2. Friendship. Even a boss finds it hard to fire a friend! When you take the time to develop friendship in your marriage, you’re investing in your own future. Friendship is to like and accept someone just the way he/she is. It means not to take the other person for granted. And friendship means to be loyal among many other things. Cultivate friendship in your marriage and you’ll never get tired of each other!

3. Affection. We all know women long for affection. But did you know researchers are finding out that men crave affection as much as women? Non-sexual affection and touch communicate a very powerful bond in a marriage. Practice affection with your clothes on; it will do magic when you’re without.

4. Intimacy. Intimacy in marriage is not only for fun, pleasure and pro-creation but it literally brings two people together and makes them one. The scripture says that the marriage bed is undefiled. But it should also be done with mutual respect. It should never be used to manipulate. God invented intimacy. Don’t be afraid to explore.

One last word about love and marriage: focus on what your partner does have and overlook what he/she doesn’t have. Don’t sacrifice the 80% for the sake of 20! “Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh” (Genesis 2:24 ESV).

Change the World with the Message of Love:

Monday, February 11, 2013

Love Doesn’t Force Itself on Others

Oh, how we spend endless hours trying to change the person we love! Problem is no two human beings are supposed to be the same. God made each and every one of us unique and one of a kind. There is no other person who is like you, not even the person you love the most.

It is interesting in a relationship when we become critical and cynical about the qualities that made us fall in love in the first place. Human nature tends to seek in others we find deficit in ourselves. That’s why opposite attracts. Problem starts when we try to make our object of love to be just like us. Unfortunately, most of us are resistant to change. We’re like rolly polly or sow bug. The moment someone tries to change us, we curl up in a ball! We like being who we are. While we should try to please our loved ones we should not have to abandon our individuality.

In a healthy relationship, couples should try to find some common grounds to build a united foundation without sacrificing who they are. Just because you love someone doesn’t mean you have to become Siamese Twins. Enjoy being who you are and allow the person you love to be who they are. Instead of resisting, celebrate diversity.

The only time we should try to be like someone else is when we follow our Lord. He is not hard to follow because He always has our best interest at heart. He laid down His life in willing sacrifice so we might inherit eternal life. When we love like the way Jesus did, we never have to worry about trying to change the people we love. When you love, serve and give of yourself, you’ll always have plenty of people wanting to be like you because God in you is attractive!

Let us not try to change anybody. Instead let us inspire others to become more like our Savior. Be the change you want others to be!

Change the World with the Message of Love:

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Love is kind

It is amazing how two people who profess to love each other could fight bitterly but when the phone rings we get all sober in an instance. We reply, “Hi pastor or friend, it’s so good to hear from you!” I’m sure you don’t know what I’m talking about but I’ve done this many times. Why is that?

Two reasons! Lack of respect and taking the person we love for granted. When you love someone, you have to have boundaries. You never want to cross certain lines that will hurt your loved one. A bitter word is like a burn. You can say it only once but it can sting for months. That’s why we cannot just say what we think we have to measure the consequences. A good principle to live by is this, “If you cannot say something good, don’t say anything at all.” We have to show restraint and be kind.

Love is kind. Often we go out of our way to help a stranger but we’re reluctant to put away the dirty sock or play with little Johnny. Love means we offer our act of service without being nagged to do. You have to get out of your comfort zone and constantly find a way to please the person we love in a healthy way. No man has ever been honored for what he taken but what he gives!

Love is kind. That simply means you just want to be good to the person you love – consistently! Often we wait for the big day or event to express our love to someone. A better way to show love is to do something small for the person you love on a daily basis – as a lifestyle. Say how much you love them or give a compliment. Write a few words of appreciation and encouragement in a beautiful card. Do a random act of service. Give a meaningful gift. Care enough to listen – without offering a solution to “fix it.”

"God is love" (1 John 4:8 NIV). When we say we love God, in essence we're saying to the people we love, "I love you - unconditionally!" Be kind. Let kindness begin at home! I’m praying for you.

Change the world with the message of Love: