Building People. Spreading Hope.

Saturday, March 30, 2013

God is Working

There are times in our lives when nothing seems to be working. Waiting is one of the hardest things in life. Many give up in the last leg of their race thinking nothing is going to change. It is one of the greatest lies the enemy has invented.

I have learned that God is working the most when there seems to be the least evidence! Think about a seed. It can sit in a fancy granary for years. You can apply right temperature, moisture and even the sunlight but until it is planted on the ground it produces no life. But once a seed a planted, it’s only a matter of time before life will come bursting in.

If you could ask the seed how it’s doing, it will tell you it’s not comfortable. It will tell you it is damp and dark inside. It will tell you it’s lonely down there. It will tell you that the weight of the soil is trying to snub the life out of it. It will tell you “Get me out of here!” These feelings are true but a greater power is at work. In the middle of the pain, agony and chaos - a miracle is taking place. The process of germination is taking place.

This is what happened to our Lord. The beating, torture and the crucifixion took His life but God was there – working. When all hell broke loose, God was working. It was Friday and then a silent Saturday but a glorious Sunday was coming! The waiting didn’t make God nervous. He didn’t keep asking Gabriel, “Are we there yet? Is there any movement? This has never been done before! Is He really going to come back to life? How do I know anything is happening at all? What if…” No. God was at rest, fully persuaded that the death of Jesus was a seed planted for the Salvation of mankind. Jesus was the Promised Seed. A seed always comes back with New Life!

Friend, your life may be covered with some cold, damp and dark dirt right now. You may feel the weight of life burying you down. You may be cut off from every living thing around. You may feel like life’s been snuffed out of you but know this, God IS working. The unseen world is more real than what you can see right now. Everything you see, feel or touch is subject to change in a moment. God is breathing His Life in your direction. The financial situation, the sour relationship, the wayward child, the doctor’s report or the legal situation is subject to change in the fraction of a second. Just like that little seed lying dormant suddenly you’ll see life bursting out through the weight of heaviness. First a tiny shoot then a giant tree – your life will blossom into something great and meaningful. It will be worth all the weight. Friend, you have gone through the death and the burial but here comes the resurrection - Sunday is coming!

So, wait patiently like a farmer the Bible says. Your pain, frustrations and loss have a purpose. They’re seed planted in the heart of God. He is birthing a new life. Stay faithful to God. Do what you know is right for you to do. Forgive the people who have done you wrong. God IS working. Your wait is not in vain. Your patience will produce its fruit. Don’t dig out your seed. Your new season is about to begin. Just like Jesus, you too will overcome opposition and obstacles that are standing in your way. It is in the dying of ourselves, we will inherit the eternal life of God. God IS working!

“Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds” (John 12:24 NIV).

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Friday, March 29, 2013

Good Friday

Christians worldwide observe this historic day when God died! On this day, some are stoic and then there are others who cannot fathom how God can die for us! At first glance it’s hard to imagine how a day like this is called “Good” Friday.

Can anything good come out of death? Yet, God died on the cross so that we can have life. What makes our God different from any other gods in the world is that He gave Himself voluntarily. He died not for His sins but for ours. He was our sacrifice. Anyone who believes in the message of His death and resurrection can inherit the Kingdom of God.

Imagine that! How easy it is to receive the free gift of Salvation. No matter what you have done, nothing can keep you apart from the sacrificing love of God. When we accept His free gift by acknowledging Him into our lives, we receive the life of God into our lives. We too become immortal in our spirits.

Death is man’s ultimate fear. There may be a few things dead in your life right now. May be it’s a relationship. May be your pocket book looks dead. May be you have lost a loved one. Friend, no matter what looks dead in your life, because of Christ’s death, we can have victory again. When Jesus died on the Cross all hell began to celebrate. They thought they’ve killed God. But not so fast! Like Jesus, your dead situation is just three days away from a victorious comeback. You’re on the verge of the greatest breakthrough in your life. If the curtains were to be pulled back, you’ll be amazed to see how close you are to the finishing line. You’re closer than you think. You have victory awaiting you. Don’t give up now. Don’t take your own life. God has a glorious plan for your life. Like our Lord, you too will rise from your ashes. You’ll be bigger, better and brighter than ever before!

Another important thing Christ did before hanging on the Cross is that He took thirty nine stripes on His body for our healing. We know the Bible says God wants to heal our physical ailment. But His body was ripped apart to bring healing to our body, mind, spirit and soul. God wants to heal us from our emotional and mental torment. There are people right now reading this message who need to be healed from a hurt, betrayal and bitterness. You are facing extreme situations because other people have done you wrong. You have been left behind with a death blow. Be of good cheer! By the stripes of Jesus you’re made whole. Don’t wait for another day to receive God’s love, forgiveness and healing (every part that hurts).

Good Friday is a historic day but don’t let it be just a day to remember history. Make it personal. Consider how God endured extreme torture and death in order to show His love and acceptance of you. He loves you unconditionally and He proved it by giving up His life. You’re extremely valuable to God. Whatever sickness or bondage that holds you back must give way to His power working in you. Rejoice! This is Good Friday. Christ died on the Cross so you can live! I’m praying for you my friend. Embrace the abundant life God has in store for you.

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Thursday, March 28, 2013

Win the Mind Game

Every day when we wake up, we get enlisted for the battleground of our mind. Our thoughts and choices dictate the course of our day. What we choose to do on a daily basis becomes the course of our lives. Mind game is played on the inside but its results are posted on the real world called life.

Some days we wake up feeling worthless, weak and purposeless. We think, “Nobody loves me. I’m not attractive. I’m not talented like so and so. I don’t have what it takes.” I know these are passing thoughts but that doesn’t stop them from coming. How we deal with our internal dialogue determines how life is going to turn out to be.

Winning the battlefield of the mind is not an easy task. We get bombarded with the things of the world 24/7. If we’re not careful, we can easily succumb to the wrong thoughts. At best we’ll live a compromising life. It is vital then to start our day thinking right thoughts.

Today, I want to prescribe three ways you can wind the mind game every day. First, we must feed ourselves on positive thinking. I’m not prescribing mind over matter. But I’m suggesting that we train our mind to think God-thoughts. Our God is the most positive force in the universe. When we meditate on His Word, we become powerful like Him, creating visions and images on the inside of our hearts. This is what happened to Walt Disney. He was written off by his teacher saying that he lacked creativity! May be other people have written you off. But don’t let their opinion of you keep you from fulfilling your destiny. Win the mind game by feeding on God-thought for your life.

Second, chose right company. In order to win the mind game, you have to have strong life support. I call them my “fab five” team. These are close friends in your life who will allow you to vent but help you make right choices in life. They don’t just tell you what you want to hear or what feels good but they love you enough to guide you in the right direction. These are people who love and accept you no matter what you do. They are determined to help you win the mind game in life.

Last, but not the least, talk to yourself. This may sound awkward at first but there will be times in your life when you have to talk yourself into believing the promises God gave you. Often I stand in front of a mirror and say, “Sandy Anderson, you’re the darling of the world! You can do anything through Christ who strengthens you.” Go ahead and laugh but it helps me touch thousands of lives!

Today, allow me to speak some winning thoughts over you. You’re strong and courageous. You’ve got what it takes. Your past is gone. You’re attractive. You have gifts and talents. You’re needed and waiting to be loved and cherished. Great blessings are just in front of you. You have the mind of Christ. You will win every mind game. No weapon formed against you will prosper and every tongue that rises up against you, you shall condemn. I believe in you and I’m praying for you!

“And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:7 NIV).

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Be Good to People

Whenever I’m not traveling and ministering, I attend a men’s group in my city. Wingmen have been a great place for fellowship, encouragement and accountability. They’re doing a great job helping men find their purpose and responsibility in life.

Every other week we meet at a local fast food restaurant. Typically a group of ten or so men gather together for coffee, sharing and a time of inspiration from the Word of God. It is a great ministry promoting Christ-centered, masculine relationships!

On this particular morning I saw one of our servers looking a little discouraged. Eva is a young lady working her way through college. I had met her before and gotten to know her story. When I saw her early that morning, I felt God speaking to my heart, “Do something dazzling for Eva today.” My first response was a surprise! I tried to concentrate on the meeting but the feeling wouldn’t go away. Being the great man of faith I am, I was hesitant to say anything to anybody. Finally at the end of the meeting I couldn’t resist anymore. I blathered out to the group and proposed that we do something special for Eva.

I started by volunteering with a $20 commitment borrowed from a friend and asked others to join me if they felt being good to Eva. Everyone was excited and pitched in. We called Eva and asked her to sit down with us for a few minutes. She was hesitant but obliged. The men in our group explained how we appreciate her service every time we’re there. Some spoke life into her and told her that she was going to do great things for our Lord. Yet others blessed her by praying for her. Then we gave her the money. Again, she was reluctant but one of us stuffed $71 in her jacket pocket. You could imagine the excitement in her eyes! We were thrilled to have made an impact upon a young person’s life that day.

I understand that we cannot always make a big impact in people. But its life’s tiny miracles added together that makes a great difference. Most of the time we’re so programmed to go about our day without thinking. We go to the grocery store but never see at the person standing behind the check-out. We pass by a maintenance worker in the office building but never say hello! We come home from work but do not take the time to kiss our loved one. We spend years living next door to a neighbor or sit in a church next to people whom we never get to know. Why is that?

It is human to feel awkward taking the first step and reach out to someone. We fear what others will think. We rationalize ourselves to be good to people. But this is a very small way to live. Today I want to encourage you to be good to people wherever you go. See the person you’re dealing with. Look into their eyes. Say a kind word. Connect someone. Put a big tip in their hand. Say a prayer for the person who is struggling. This is what our Master did. Before He healed the sick, He went about doing good to others! We’re most like God when we give of ourselves to others.

“Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you” (Luke 6:38 NIV).

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Tuesday, March 26, 2013

The Missing Puzzle is Coming

I’m not a chef but I like to cook for friends and family. The other day I had some guests from out of town. I wanted to treat them with one of my favorites – aalu-gobi! That’s potatoes and cauliflower in Indian language. I have cooked this dish hundreds of times. It is one of my sure hits. I was in a hurry as the guests were arriving sooner than anticipated.

When we sat down to eat, everything looked fine. My aalu-gobi looked as pretty as usual with chopped up red tomatoes and fresh cilantros sprinkled on top to bring out the vibrant colors. But one bite in the mouth proved something was terribly wrong. It tasted awful; in fact it didn’t taste much at all. You see in a hurry I had forgotten to add salt into my favorite dish. Quickly we passed around the salt shaker and it tasted fine again.

Life is often experienced with a missing ingredient. We may suffer a lingering sickness, lack of sleep, flat finances or a flat marriage. Joblessness haunts us at night. The thought of retirement without enough to enjoy life, drives us to become slave to our career. Misbehaving children can cause a lot of stress. No matter what situation you are facing in life, God is saying, “I will add the missing ingredient.”

My second daughter Sabrina is a very patient person. When she was about ten years old, she put together a box of puzzle with at least five hundred pieces. When she completed the puzzle, it was a beautiful picture of a white horse running on the beach with the moon rising behind the mountains. Beautiful as it looks one piece of puzzle was missing. She was very disappointed and so was I. We looked everywhere but couldn’t find the last piece. We’re both tempted to break it up and box it away. But something inside of me said, “Don’t do it. Life is often like this puzzle. Learn to enjoy the beauty of life despite the missing pieces!”

Years later, the beautiful puzzle still sits on the table where Sabrina had built it. Every time I look at the puzzle with the missing piece I’m reminded, “Enjoy life without the missing pieces. The missing puzzle is coming!”

Many times when life throws us a curve ball, we get so rattled up that we miss the bigger picture in life. A job hunt goes south. Sickness takes the life of loved one or a marriage falls apart. Life can be full of disappointments. But just because one part of your life is not what it was supposed to be doesn’t mean you cannot enjoy the rest of your life. Never let a setback hold you back from a setup.

Today, what is missing in your life? God is saying, “I’ve got the salt shaker. I’ve got the missing puzzle. Will you trust me with the missing ingredient? Will you trust me with the missing puzzle of your life?” Friend, life may not have treated you fairly but another ingredient is coming. God has the missing puzzles of your life. Don’t be discouraged. When we trust God with our WHOLE life He will make sure to make the rest of life to be the best of our life. The missing puzzles are coming back to your life!

“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28 NAS).

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Monday, March 25, 2013

Go the Extra Mile

Julie is a realtor. She has been in business for many years. Like everyone else in the housing business, her career has ups and down. One thing Julie is known for is her consistence customer service.

Once, Julie took a phone call in her office. On the other side the customer wanted to buy an investment property worth around $80K. For most realtors, this is not a big sale. The commissions were peanuts. Julie however, has a reputation for exceptional customer service. She was enthusiastic about talking to her customer on the phone. Julie acted like she’d just won the state lottery. Regardless of her puny commission, she went out of her way to provide top class service.

Soon the sale closed and the customer was very pleased with her service. Not too long after that Julie got another phone call from the same customer. Her first thought was, “Not again!” But she composed herself quickly and was as excited on the phone as the first time. When the customer gave her the details of the property he was looking for, Julie almost fell off the chair. This time he was looking for a million plus dollars house for himself! Again, Julie went the extra mile to find the house he needed. Since then Julie has closed several million dollars houses for the same customer and his family members!

Friend, no matter what you do for work, quality and excellence should be like your two broad shoulders. How you do one thing is how others perceive you doing everything. Your zeal and enthusiasm at work should be noticeable by everyone around you. We all have met people behind the counter who are not there. They make you feel like you’re a bother to them. Don’t let that be you. No matter what you’re facing internally or outside of work, when you’re dealing with your job, put on the joy and enthusiasm. Go the extra mile. Smile often. If you really want to put a spring on your steps smile often and sing and whistle at work. Be light hearted. Show some compassion and mix it with kindness.

This is what our Master did. People bad mouthed him, beat him, persecuted him, pulled out his beard but He didn’t complain. Instead he suffered so that we might have life. Our Master taught us, if someone hits you on the cheek, offer him the other also. Is it any wonder that Jesus our Lord is the most celebrated person in history! When your attitude at work is one of service and humility, you too will gain great followers. Business may be slow for others but go the extra mile. It’s never crowded.

This week at work, pay attention to the small things. Call on a customer just to check on them. Ask your boss, “Is there anything you’d like me to do for you?” He may think you’re hung over but he will favor you! Assist a co-worker even if there’s nothing in it for you. Smile on the phone – they can hear you! Brag about your job. Remember, we don’t work for our boss, we work for our Master! Go the extra mile and you’ll separate yourself from the rest. The cream always rises to the top!

“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won't be honest with greater responsibilities” (Luke 16:10 NLT).

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Sunday, March 24, 2013

When God Died

Death is not a subject we often talk about yet it is an essential part of our lives. As we celebrate Palm Sunday, it is healthy for us to ponder on the question of death and afterlife. What is so mysterious about death can also be inspirational for life.

It is hard enough to imagine death of a loved one, or a person we love and trust. How hard is it to fathom the death of God! Yet, we know when Christ died He didn’t die out of compulsion or as a victim. Scripture says He volunteered Himself to die for us as God’s divine purpose to restore mankind to Himself. What an amazing God we have who would sacrifice His own Son to die for us so that through Him we may find life eternal! This is the God of Love.

As human beings, none of us like to volunteer to pain and suffering. Yet, pain and suffering are integral part of our lives. When we understand the purpose of pain, it becomes much more bearable to endure the suffering. That is what our Lord did. He endured excruciating pain because He had us as the prize. I don’t know about you but that makes me feel very special and makes me shout and jump for joy. Even I don’t like myself when I make mistakes but here’s God not only willing to pay for my sins but also doing it voluntarily. This is the great love that makes me loyal to Him for the rest of my life.

Today, you may be going through some pain and suffering in your life. It may be a physical, mental, emotional, and financial or a spiritual pain. Know this that God is in it. He does not inflict the pain on you but He is there to deliver you. You may not know but God has a purpose for your pain. Your tragedy has a triumph. Your test has a testimony. What makes a pain extra-ordinary from an ordinary is your attitude in going through it. Nowhere you’d find our Lord complain about the torture and agony He went through. He suffered willingly and joyfully. We too must handle pain without complaining. Peter said, “Consider it all joy when you’re going through various trials.” We don’t have to rejoice FOR the pain but we certainly can have joy IN the pain. Like Christ, we too can endure suffering keeping our eyes on the prize.

As we reflect on the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord, let us express our utmost gratitude to His ultimate sacrifice. May be there is a certain issue in your life that you’re still hanging on to. Let the reminder of our Lord’s death be an inspiration to submit to God’s plan for your life. There’s a prize waiting on the other side but we must first die to ourselves. Paul said for us to die to our flesh daily. It is in our death we find Life!

Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23 NIV).

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Saturday, March 23, 2013

Live a Radical Life

I have a friend who used to be a F16 fighter jet pilot. He had flown critical missions over the war zones providing support and service to our country. As he was transitioning to another job, he was lamenting how he cannot find another job that is as thrilling. My immediate thought was, “Serve God.”

When you read the pages of the Gospel and the book of Acts you will find nothing less than total surrender, radical living and miracles as everyday life. When Jesus chose the disciples He didn’t call the most qualified with education, bankers or the ones with social connections to the elites. Instead, he picked the down and out of the society who would follow Him to a radical life. Nothing against the rich and famous of our society but unless we’re willing to give it all up, we’re not true disciples.

I don’t know what you do but imagine God calling you to surrender everything – your career, family, name and fame. What would you do? Will you be able to give it all up to live the radical life? Does the world have a hold on you or can you wear this world like a lose jacket that you can come out of easily?

Jesus said, unless we’re willing to forsake our mother, father, children and earthly possession, we’re not worthy to follow Him. This is a high standard that most of us are not willing to even think about. But if we’re to become the disciple of Christ, we must be willing! Nothing in our material possession should take the place of our Lord.

Sanjay grew up in a Christian family but in his teenage years, he turned away from the Truth. He got involved with drugs and riotous living. Once he was delivering drugs to another city by train when the police had surrounded him. There was no escape other than to jump off the speeding train. And he did! Except for hitting the hard ground, Sanjay kept falling and falling. Suddenly he was soaking wet. He had jumped out of the moving train to fall into a river beneath. Soon after, he came to one of our conferences and gave his heart to the Lord. He went through our discipleship training and today Sanjay is touching thousands of lives with the Gospel. That is radical living!

By now you may be thinking, “Sandy, what are you saying? Should I give up all my possession and go after the unknown?” No. I’m simply prompting you to consider what the Lord is asking you to do. Don’t spend all your life pursuing your dreams only to realize you’ve missed out on God’s plan for your life. A disciple lives to please his master. We too must live to please the Master of our lives.

A week from now, I’ll be going back to India and Nepal to help 7,000 people with the Gospel. We will train pastors and leaders. We will speak to thousands of youth and we’ll help the poor and persecuted children. Will you consider making a difference for our God with your prayers and support? We count it a privilege to represent you on the mission field winning souls to your heavenly account.

Let us live a radical life. Nothing is more exciting than living for our God.

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:16 NKJV).

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Friday, March 22, 2013

You’re Extremely Valuable

Recent news reported that a rare Chinese bowl bought at a garage sale for $3 has sold at a New York City auction for more than $2.2 million. The bowl was purchased in 2007 and sat on the family’s mantle before selling it for such astronomical price.

When I heard about this five inches, white in color ordinary looking bowl, I couldn’t help but start thinking how God looks at our value. We live in a society where old is rejected. When we reach a certain age we begin to depreciate our value. We get less traction applying for jobs. A younger, smarter and energetic person is preferred over all the years of experience, loyalty and common sense wisdom. At times this can be hard to swallow. But when we discover our value in God, we become attractive, expensive and unstoppable.

This piece of bowl fetched a great value from the auction not because it was coated with silver or gold but because of who its owner was. Research proved that the ordinary looking thousand-year-old ceramic bowl belonged to China’s Song Dynasty. The value of the bowl came from who its owners were. In the same way, your value is not wrapped up in what people say about you, what you can do or what your talents are. Your value comes from who you belong to – the Almighty God. When He created you, He breathed God-life into you. You may look ordinary on the outside but you’re a royalty through and through! Don’t live one more day thinking less of yourself.

Another thing that got me thinking is how the bowl sat on the mantle collecting dust year after year. Many had come and gone in that living room but nobody paid much attention to this valuable item. If God has a mantle your eight by eleven is sitting prominently on it. Your life may not have gotten much traction in recent years but God has just the right time and the right person to walk into your life and celebrate you like never before. You dream person will waltz into your life. An Ace customer will take the business to the next level. Long term sickness will be healed. A wayward child will come home. The more time has passed between you and your situation the more dramatic your miracle will be.

One thing we need to do in our time of need is to reach out to others. Keep an outward focus. Speak life, dreams and visions into people God brings into your life. Say something big over their life. People will rise or fall to the value we attach in them. We have a God-given responsibility to lift the fallen. Treat them with utmost love, respect and honor. When we value others, God will make sure to add value to our lives. He will bring the right appraiser, the right evaluation and the backing of your character that will thrust you in the forefront of things fetching great value.

At times, we all feel a little down and discouraged. Remember, God says you’re priceless. The devil will say that you’re worthless. What you think of yourself will determine your ultimate value.

“God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8 NIV).

Imagine God dying for you! You’re worth more than all the diamonds in the world.

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Thursday, March 21, 2013

God Hears You

How many times we pray and we feel like it didn’t go past the ceiling? We frustrate ourselves thinking God doesn’t hear us. He doesn’t care. We think, “If God heard my prayer why are we in this mess?”

We’re only human to feel this way when we’re going through life’s challenges. Maybe it is a child who is acting up. Maybe it’s a marital challenge or a financial one. Business may be slow. Relationships are screwed up. Sometimes it’s a legal battle or a lingering disease. Some of my friends are praying for jobs and still have none. It is no surprise that at times we feel like a million miles away from God. But the truth is God is always with us. He has promised never to leave or forsake us.

God hears your prayers. In the book of Daniel, you’ll read about his prayer to God. It was weeks before Daniel saw the answer to his prayers. The Bible gives us insight about prayer. It’s not God who is holding back your blessing but the enemy fights to stop the blessings God sends in our lives. The answer may not come at the time you expect but God heard your prayer the very first time you prayed. His ears are attentive to you.

The mistake we make often is to start pestering God when we do not get our prayers answered in the time we expect. A better attitude would be to know that God has heard our prayers and start thanking Him for it as if we’ve already received it. From the moment you prayed until the time you see the manifestation of your prayer is called the trial of your faith. We need to pass the test day in and day out.

Regardless of what you see in the natural - rest in peace. God is working. Everything you see is subject to change in an instant. The unseen world is more real than what you see in the natural. You have God’s attention. You’re the apple of His eyes. He knows what you need and how to get it to you. Instead of pestering, why don’t you start praising Him?

In the Bible, Hannah didn’t have a child for many years. Her husband loved her more than his other wife but still no child. Hannah was bitter and resentful, full of remorse. One day she went to the house of God and poured out her heart. Eli the man of God was so touched by her sorrows that he pronounced a blessing of a son for Hannah. This made Hannah smile and she worshipped God. Not long after that Hannah delivered Samuel who became a great prophet.

Friend, today I’m pronouncing a blessing over your life. God has already approved you and given you permission to succeed. Don’t waste one more day nagging; instead spend all of your time bragging on God. He has heard your prayers. The answer is on its way! Receive and thank God for it by faith!

“For the LORD hears the cries of the needy; he does not despise his imprisoned people” (Psalm 69:33 NLT).

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Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Dealing with Conflict at Work

People come to work with baggage. Lack of sleep, heavy traffic, a sick child at home or a fight with a spouse can cause people to be tense coming to work. If we’re not intentional, we drag our sour attitude to work and make everybody miserable.  

When we are dishing out poison, the issue is never the issue. On the surface someone can lose fuse over something small but most of the time it’s a deeper issue that troubles them. Today I want to discuss a few keys dealing with conflict at work.

If it’s a onetime offense let it go. Nobody likes to deal with conflict, especially men! I know it comes as a surprise to many but we’d rather ignore or pretend there’s a problem than to deal with it. Before you make a confrontation, consider letting it go. Most problems have a way of working themselves out. Confrontation can only cause a new set of problems that you may not want to deal with.

If it’s a regular irritation, bring it up. Spending eight hours a day, five days a week is a lot of time trying to avoid a boss or a co-worker. Instead of living in denial, make the problem visible. Ask to go out of your workplace into a public restaurant (that way nobody gets to shout) for coffee or lunch to hash things out. Try diplomacy and find a win-win solution. Nobody wants to be proven wrong. Say something like, “I know you didn’t mean to do this…” or “I’m sure you had some great idea behind this decision but help me understand why…” Seek to understand first before you seek to be understood.

Do not correct or vent in front of others or in social media. It’s one thing to say something in the passing to but it’s dangerous to keep going on about it. Everybody has a momentary frustration but don’t make it the chorus for the day. The Bible teaches us to first go to the offender alone. Don’t try to recruit others to take your side when you haven’t even talked your offender.

Forgive quickly. Once I was really upset at a co-worker and I let her have it. I renounced my Christianity for five minutes and shredded the person to pieces! Then I stomped into my boss’s office and chewed him up for allowing a jerk like my co-worker to work with us. I called choice names and shook my fist in front of him. My boss was dumbfounded! I was the number one producer. I never behaved liked that. Honestly, I had issues outside work. I was projecting. I was the jerk. Fifteen minutes later the Holy Spirit had me ask for forgiveness from both of them. It was embarrassing but I did it. Forgive quickly and be quick to ask for forgiveness.

Give the same grace you need. Whatever we sow we will reap. Today you may be an employee, tomorrow God will put you in-charge of the whole company. How you treat others today is how others will pay you back tomorrow. We all have weaknesses. Let’s not seek revenge. Let’s show grace and mercy so that the same will come back to us, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over.

Conflict won’t kill you but it saps the joy and energy of today!

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves” (Philippians 2:3 NIV).

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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

God Wants to Prosper You

I grew up surrounded by poverty and lack. We didn’t have enough food. We rubbed two bricks together to make brick dust and cleaned our teeth with fingers. I didn’t wear shoes until I was twelve years old. I grew up thinking and living in poverty.
The first church I went to taught us more of the same. Poverty was glorified as if God loved the poor and He sent all rich people to hell. As I took off my denominational glasses and began to study the Word of God, I found the Bible promises blessings and prosperity to all who believe. After twenty seven years, I can testify that God has used us to help tens of thousands distributing millions of dollars.
The first thing I had to change in my view of prosperity was my thinking. I literally had to be delivered from the poverty mindset. Our greatest treasure on earth should be our relationship with our Lord. But nowhere in the Bible God teaches us to be poor. Instead, God promises us abundance in every area of our lives – health, wealth, peace, relationships, work and influence.
Jesus met a young man who wanted to follow Him. Jesus was intrigued by this young man and began to give him certain criteria to follow the Kingdom of God. The young man proudly announced that he had kept the commandments and how he was worthy to follow the Master. The next thing Jesus prescribed has been misquoted and misused by centuries. Jesus said to the young man, “Sell everything you have and give it to the poor.” Of course, this young man’s problem was greed and he walked away from Jesus.
Most people I know do not have the greed problem. They’re misinformed. God wants to bless you. He wants to put great volume of resources in your hands. He wants to bless you and here’s why – He wants to make you a blessing!
My friend Glenn is a retired engineer in AZ. He still works for the city and he supports dozens of missionaries and ministries like ours with the money he makes. Friend, when we seek blessings for ourselves, we’re thinking too small. God knows your need for food, clothes and shelter. The reason God really wants to prosper you is to make you a conduit. I’ve never seen a water hose disbursing water not get wet itself! Money is a neutral tool. When you refuse to be blessed or asking just enough for yourself, you’re depriving thousands who God wants to bless through you.
Today I’m praying for your financial success. From this day onward, don’t beg, plead or try to convince God about your need for money. Instead, give him a list of people and projects you want to bless. When you think of blessing others, He will bless you. God takes pleasure in the prosperity of His children. It is God who gives you power to gain wealth. Have a vision for prosperity. Change your inner attitude. Not only your family is depending on you to step up to the plate for financial prosperity but the world waits to hear Gospel that takes great resources. Will you break free from poverty mindset and embrace God’s prosperity today? I know you will. God wants to prosper you!
“Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2 NAS).
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Monday, March 18, 2013

No is Part of Your Yes

Many of us get discouraged when we hear or experiencing a negative result to a positive expectation. Every one of us is subject to “no” in spite of the best of our expectation. How we handle our “no” will determine how fast we’ll meet our yes!

Michael Jordan is arguably the best basketball player to ever play the game. While talking about his success he said, I've missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times, I've been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.
Before you start your day, remind yourself to stay expecting for the big brakes. No matter what you face during the day, keep a hopeful attitude. You will only rise to the level of your expectation. Every time you hear a no, say to yourself, “I’m one more no closer to my yes!”

Once, Jesus was passing by blind Bartimaeus sitting beside the road. When Bartimaeus heard that Jesus was passing by he began to shout, “Jesus, have mercy on me.” The disciples were irritated and told him to shut up. Hearing that, faith rose higher in Bartimaeus and he began to shout even louder, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me.” This time, hearing his cry of faith, Jesus stopped in his track. Bartimaeus was brought to Jesus and he was healed instantly. (Mark 10:46-52)

I’m not suggesting that we become obnoxious and push our agenda to people who have said no. But don’t make the mistake of shutting down and taking it personally when you hear a no. Don’t blame yourself. Don’t over analyze yourself. Don’t shrink back and stop reaching out. There are many reasons why people say and most of the time it has nothing to do with you or your presentation. When you hear a no, it doesn't necessarily mean this person will never say yes. Back off but keep the conversation going. Keep adding value to your potential client. Build relationship and approach again at an opportune time.

This week, as you go about your business, remember God has already approved you! He has people in line who are ready to hear your message right now. If you remain faithful to plant your seeds today, going past your “nos,” two, three or four months from now, the same people will be ready to do business with you. Next time you hear a no, say to yourself, “Thank you Lord, I’m one more no closer to my destiny.” You’ll be amazed at the future God has in store for you! I’m praying for you and I believe in you.

Say yes to no!

“You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy” Psalm 30:11 (NIV).

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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Honor God

Our lives can be so routine. We work all week, enjoy the weekend, go to church on Sunday and start over on Monday. There is nothing wrong with a scheduled life. But in the midst of all this we can be intentional about honoring God.

So how can we honor God?
First and foremost, we can honor God by having no other idols before Him. That means idols of work, family, entertainment, name and fame, personal ambition must come after Him. Honoring God means we love, respect and obey His instructions. We can honor God by having a daily relationship with Him.

Honoring God means we honor the people that God put in our lives. Often we take our families for granted. We give our best to the world and give the leftovers to our families. This does not please God. Invest in your family. Worship and learn about God together as a family. Every time you take your family to church, you honor God.

Another way you can honor God is by sharing your resources. The Bible says, Pure and genuine religion in the sight of God the Father means caring for orphans and widows in their distress and refusing to let the world corrupt you” (James 1:27 NLT). When we care for God’s other children, we are honoring Him.

We spend a great deal of time at work. Therefore, it is imperative that we learn to honor God at work. How does that look like? Let’s start by showing up to work on time. Go to work with a positive attitude and with enthusiasm. No matter what your job is, do it with excellence as unto the Lord. Do not compromise. Do not join the office gossip. Do not talk against the organization that’s paying your bills. Serve and treat all people with respect. When we do this, we’re honoring God.

Another good way to honor God is to grow daily. Give up the low life. When we give up bad habits and practices that bind us, we honor God. If we love God, we will try to please Him in ALL our ways.
You may be asking, “Sandy, what happens when I honor God?” Listen to what God’s Word says. Now it shall come to pass, if you diligently obey the voice of the Lord your God, to observe carefully all His commandments which I command you today, that the Lord your God will set you high above all nations of the earth. And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, because you obey the voice of the Lord your God: “Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the country. “Blessed shall be the fruit of your body, the produce of your ground and the increase of your herds, the increase of your cattle and the offspring of your flocks. “Blessed shall be your basket and your kneading bowl. “Blessed shall you be when you come in, and blessed shall you be when you go out (Deuteronomy 28:1-14 NKJV).

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