Building People. Spreading Hope.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Be a Problem Solver

Yesterday I was pumping gas into my car minding my own business when a young lady approached me holding a baby in her arms. She was parked on the other side of the gas pump. Polite I went over to her side. She said, “Can you please help me put some gas into my car. My card has been denied.” Being the great man of faith that I am, my first thought was, “Oh yea, what kind of scam is this?” Immediately I heard a voice within me, “Help her!” I filled up her gas tank, told her that God loved her and we went on her own ways.

As I drove off, I couldn’t help but think how close I was to losing an opportunity to help someone. Every day I pray to God to share the Gospel with others. I’ve learnt that most people have heard about our Lord but they don’t know how He looks like. The Bible teaches that the goodness of God leads people to repentance.  

One way we all can put a smile on God’s face is by becoming a problem solver. Often we think God requires for us to do something big, sacrifice something we love or become a missionary but just the opposite is true. God simply wants us to solve little problems that come in our daily lives.

In traffic, we can prefer another person. At work, we can be reliable and do our job without complaining. We can be accommodating to our co-workers. We can keep a positive attitude when everyone is criticizing the management. We can be a little more forgiving and have a smile and song in our heart all day long. If we’re willing, God will put people in our path to solve their problems. When we are solving little problems with a good attitude, one day God will help us kill a giant and become ruler over much.

We can solve little problems at home. Instead of thinking, “Me first” we can have an attitude to serve. It’s amazing when we reach out to bless others; we inspire them to do the same. Solve little problems. Finish the “honey-do” list that’s on the fridge for months. Get the closet or the garage clean. Take the family out for a picnic. When we invest in our own family we add value to them. By solving little problems we’re saying, “You’re important to me.”

Another way we can solve problems is simply by listening to people. I counsel people on a regular basis. Bulk of the time I listen. I’ve learnt that most people know the answers to their problems. They just need to process their thoughts with someone. When we lend our listening ears, we help them figure out a way out of their situation.

Some of you reading this are thinking, “This all sounds good Sandy but who will solve my problem?” Here’s the key. When we help solve other people’s problems, God will take care of ours. Everything you do for people in the name of our Lord will be rewarded. We cannot out give God. Today, let’s reach out and help the people God brings in our path. What we do with an opportunity to help others will determine what people think about our God. Let’s be a problem solver and represent our God well.

“Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it” (Hebrews 13:2 NLT)!

What are your thoughts?

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Adversaries are there to Advance You

I know it doesn’t sound very comforting but how we look at our adversity will determine how long we remain in our pit. In life, everyone has a fair share of troubles we have to deal with. The faster we learn to magnify God in our adversity the sooner we’ll dig a hole out of our problems.

Have you ever wondered how every miracle begins with an adversity? Unless we face a problem we’re not going to see God’s deliverance. None of us wants to volunteer for pain and hardship yet it comes. This may sound strange but adversities are there to promote us.

I like to think of adversity as a test. In school or college the teacher spends endless hours trying to prepare us for the final test. He/she speaks, threatens and executes every means available to motivate us and get us to the point of our test. But on the day of test, the teacher stands by without saying a word. It’s time for the students to take the test and pass the exam. The teacher is still in the room, he/she has not left the student but he’s quite. In the same way, during our crisis, God may feel like a million mile away. However, make no mistake God is right there with you. Jesus said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

Paul and Silas have been preaching the Gospel when the Roman soldiers beat them with rods, arrested them, and threw them in prison. I love the attitude of Paul and Silas sitting in the Roman dungeon. The Scripture says in the midnight hour Paul and Silas began to pray and sing praises unto God. Wait a minute. Didn’t they just get beat up and their body torn into pieces? Weren’t their feet fastened in the stocks? They’re praying? They’re singing? Yes, Paul and Silas had the right perspective in their adversaries. They magnified God in a place of a temporary discomfort.

We must do the same thing in our adversity. You have to realize that adversaries are there to advance you. Remember a kite rises with the wind blowing against it. You too, will rise above your circumstances if you keep a right attitude. You may be facing a midnight situation in your life but don’t lose your song. When you keep an attitude of gratitude, God will send angels to deliver you. The Bible says suddenly there was a great earthquake and the prisoners were free from their chains. Shortly thereafter, the prison warden fell down trembling before Paul and Silas asking, “Sirs what must I do to be saved?”

Friend, today I want to remind you that your adversaries are temporary. If you keep your song, God will shake up things and release you from the shackles of bondage. Not only you will be free from your adversity but like the warden, others will come to the Lord through your testimony. You may feel lonely during your test, but God is standing right next to you.

Remember this – nothing happens to you; everything happens for you. Keep a positive attitude. Keep praying, don’t lose your praise. Magnify your God and not the problem. Put others ahead of your own needs. An earthquake is coming. God is about to set you free. Listen to what the Word of God has to say.

“Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner” (I Peter 4:12-13 The Message).

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Harvest in America

Earlier this week, I was visiting with a young couple in their twenties when the man said, “I believe a revival is coming to America. My wife and I are preparing ourselves to win souls for God.” I congratulated the young couple for their desire to serve God.

I hear so many conflicting thoughts about God working in America. Many people believe that there is no hope for America. They quote social and moral decay. They claim that we’ve become a secular nation.

There may be some truth in what they’re saying but I believe there is an awakening going on in America right now. God is drawing a harvest to Himself regardless of some loud voices in our society or politics. I meet young and old everywhere whose heart is turned towards God – you’re one of them!

Let me introduce Brandon the young man I met earlier this week. As I listened to his story I was amazed how God is saving America. Brandon had been deep into occult. He was an official member of a Satanist church. Yet, God in His amazing love reached out and delivered Brandon. Now he won’t stop at anything but serve God.

Josette is another example of God’s saving grace. She had all her family in the Mormon Church. Prior to their marriage, she’d spend endless hours trying to prove Brandon wrong. But nothing is more powerful than the Holy Spirit. Long story short, after many Bible studies, Brandon was able to win her over to the Lord. Today, Josette works part time at a retail outlet but the highlight of her day is when she gets to share the Lord when the opportunity presents itself with her customers.

Friends often ask me, “Sandy, why is God not working in America as He is in China, India and Asia?” My reply, “God IS working in America. Look at you!” We have to keep our focus on what God is doing and not be distracted by the enemy. The enemy is “like” a roaring lion so he roars but Jesus is “the lion” of Judah. Our God died on the Cross to save the world and America is part of it. We must proclaim God in America.

Inside a cave Prophet Elijah felt suicidal and in despair. He had completely given up on society. But God said, I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal.” Among these was godly Obadiah. Obadiah was a high-ranking governor who served in evil King Ahab's household. He had hidden 100 prophets, and was keeping them alive with bread and water. Friend, the moral decay may stink but don’t lose your hope and your joy. God has the right people in the right place – you’re one of them. Let’s just make sure to be the salt God called us to be.

Today, I’m encouraging us to have a new vision for America. Let’s stop playing church. Let’s pray, let’s believe; let’s spread the message of Hope! Now is our time to take a stand for what we believe. We don’t have to be loud or obnoxious. Truth doesn’t need a defense. But when we lift God in our lives, homes and community uncompromisingly, Jesus has promised to draw all people to Him. There is Hope for America. But we must decide which side of the fence we belong to. If God can save a member of the Satanist church, a Mormon and you, there’s not only a revival coming… there’s a revival going on in America. Stop praying for revival and jump in the one that’s going on!

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it” (John 1:5 NLT).

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Friday, April 26, 2013

Think Big

Most people I meet want live large but they are limited in their thinking. I’ve found that the choices of our thoughts will determine the quality of our lives. When we think mediocre, limited and self-limiting thoughts, we cripple ourselves and often produce a constricting life.

Yesterday I was ministering to a friend. She is a concerned mother of her young daughter. She was not only worried about her child but she admitted that she often wonders how she’ll get a call about her daughter with some terrible news. Immediately I told her to stop! I said, “You can’t go down the spiral path of destructive thoughts. What you think about is what you’ll bring about.” A little probing revealed that her young daughter is going to be water baptized this Sunday!

Imagine! Here’s a young daughter ready to make a stand for God but her mother is playing all these negative scenarios in her mind. Given that the daughter has some bad company but her mother has limited thinking. She’s not thinking big, expecting the best from her child. What happened? She’s fallen in the trap of thinking small. She cannot see anything good beyond her daughter’s behaviors.

I know people who are struggling in business or to find a job because they’ve researched all the reasons why their business will fail or they are too unfit for their dream job. This is a sad way to live. Truth is, God often meets us at the level of our expectation. When we’re thinking small, we’re limiting God and ourselves.

Let’s say you’re a realtor. Isn’t it as easy to ask for a listing of a million dollar house as it is for a 100K family home? As an insurance person, isn’t it the same work to insure a million dollars asset than a 200K one? As a parent, isn’t it as easy to believe that you child will be the next genius than to think he will end up behind bars? What’s the problem here? We’re crippling our own future by our limited thinking. The number one cause for this is our fear of failure or rejection. It’s almost sin for us to think we’ll be in national or international arena. It’s hard for us to believe that our children will find a solution to cancer. It’s hard to imagine that you’ll never have to struggle for money again. Yet, God has said, “All things are possible for them who believe.”

Today, I challenge you to think big. It will not only propel your life to another level but it will also give you influence over many. When the negative, small thoughts flood your mind, replace them with big thoughts. Don’t just have little dreams for yourself and your family, have some God-size dreams.

“I've lived long life, Cadmos, but the glory and the memory of men will always belong to the ones who follow their great visions.” – Old Ptolemy speaking of Alexander the Great

My friend, let’s attempt great things for God and expect great things from God. Let us dream big and encourage others to do the same. The greatness of God dwells in you. What we achieve in life depends on the vision we set for ourselves. You, only you determine the limits to the sky. Everything about our God is spectacularly big. Why limit ourselves? Think BIG and take corresponding actions!

“Truly, I tell all of you emphatically, the one who believes in me will also do what I'm doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I'm going to the Father” (John 14:12 ISV).

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Believe in People

Yesterday, I was having lunch with a friend when a nineteen year old young lady walked up to our table holding a box in her arms. At first I was a little taken back. Politely I asked, “What do you have in that box?” Immediately she opened it to show us a box full of sun catchers. She started to explain how it was going to benefit some kids. I stopped her and said, “I believe in you. I believe in your cause. If you wait for five minutes to finish up meeting with my friend, I’ll give you some money that’s in my car.” She waited patiently and I was able to bless her with a generous amount for her cause. Then I asked if I could pray for her and right there on the parking lot we prayed for God to bless her. She was ecstatic!

I’m sharing this with you because there is a need for us to believe in people. I find too many people are skeptical. Because of our past experiences, we often build up walls around us. This is a very small way to live – always doubting people, never having the freedom to open up. When we live with doubt we sabotage our own future. Not everyone in the world is out to get you. People who do wrong – change. That’s the power of the Gospel.

I know people from all walks of life who are living a sub-par life because they don’t trust people. They’ve had bad experiences and it has made them to close up like a sow bug. Even when we touch them with a genuine heart they curl up in a ball. You have your right to live this way but you are missing out in life!

A more freeing way to live is to believe in people. My attitude is, “I believe in you. If I’m mistaken, you have to prove me wrong.” This helps me to live an open life – unsuspicious of anyone. I’m not na├»ve but I’m not skeptical either.

As Christians, we must emulate our Master. I find Jesus believed in people everywhere He went. Even when He knew Judas was going to betray him, He believed in the man. In fact He gave him a chance to prove himself by making him the treasurer. Jesus believed in people and He believes in you.

When we believe in people, we bring out the best in them. Most people struggle in life because they think nobody believes in them. Then they stop believing in themselves. One of the best things we can do for strangers and our loves ones are to let them know that we have confidence in them. When we show our trust in people they will deliver.

Just before our Lord began His public ministry, God our Father boomed these words from heaven, “This is my beloved Son in whom I’m well pleased.” Imagine the Son of God needing to hear these words of affirmation! How much more we need to hear that someone believes in us. Today I want to challenge you to let down your guards. Give people another chance. Give them your genuine validation. You’ll be surprised how people will rise to the level of confidence when you believe in them. When you believe in people God will believe in you. In case you haven’t heard it lately, “I believe in you!” God also says the following about you:

“And a voice from heaven said, "This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased" (Matthew 3:17 NIV).

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Worry, Anxiety and Doubt

We all have God-given dreams and desires. We start off with great expectations but when things don’t happen according to our time table, worry, anxiety and doubt start to creep in. We question if it was God. We start to weaver in our faith.

There’s nothing wrong when our mind begins to doubt and our emotions become unstable but there is nothing right remaining in this state of mind. If you’re a human being, there will be opportunities to worry, be anxious or even doubt. In times like these, it is important to remember that God’s Word and His promises are not based upon your feelings. If God has said it, He will also bring it to pass.

Recently, I ministered to an elderly couple. He had been a doctor all his life. They’ve always had enough. They came to me asking for prayer because they didn’t think they had enough to pay for their retirement. He was worried that he will outlive his money. This caused him to be depressed and unable to get out of bed. Worry is real but it’s not a sin. What is not good for us is to dwell on worry. The good news is that if you know how to worry, you know how to have faith. Faith is reverse worry! Instead of thinking, “How it will happen?” Faith will say, “I know it will happen because God said so.” The Bible says, “Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Just like the senior couple, I advise you to meditate on the promises God gave you and not set your gaze on your circumstances. Instead of tuning into the doom and gloom, tune into God’s victory channel.

Anxiety sets in when we’re thrust into a problem without a clear remedy in sight. This is what happened to the disciple on the boat. A great storm arose and their tiny boat was tossed like a rubber ducky in the ocean. It was scary and the twelve strong men were anxious that their boat was going to capsize. Caught in the moment of the great tempest, they had forgotten Jesus was in their boat – sleeping. Same condition, different approach! When you’re faced with a problem, simply make sure that Jesus is on the boat with you. And in case you’re wondering, He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you. When you grasp hold of who is on the boat with you, you can face any of life’s storms that come at you. He is not only with you; He is for you!

Many times we talk about Thomas in a negative connotation. Some have labeled him as “doubting Thomas.” We discriminate people who have doubts in the promises of God. I like to think that doubt only proves that you have a brain! But when we doubt, we allow our mind to arrest what God had promised. Faith and human understanding cannot be mixed. That is why the Bible teaches, “We must have child-like faith.” Always remember, doubt in our mind doesn’t keep Him from being God and fulfilling His promises. That is why Jesus skipped a bunch of His close disciples and touched Thomas. Friend, doubt in your heart if you have to but never doubt in your heart. God will deliver what He has promised.

Today, I speak God’s faithfulness over your life. You will not worry, you will not faint. You will give birth to the promises God placed upon your life. Be of good cheer!

“Those who hope in the LORD will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint” (Isaiah 40:31 NIV).

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Monday, April 22, 2013

How to Increase Your Productivity

Everyone works but not everybody is productive with their time at work. How we plan and spend our time at work will determine if we’re going to be successful or not. Busy-ness looks good on the paper but it doesn’t necessarily deliver the desired results.

How then can we have top notch productivity at work? What can we do to have our own job satisfaction as well as add value to the organization we work for? Let me give you seven ideas that will increase your productivity.

1. Have a daily ‘To Do List.’ Like everything else in life, if we fail to plan, we plan to fail. Having a list helps us direct our time according to the priorities of the day. Don’t try to pack your schedule with activities. Instead, plan your day/week by certain categories. Depending on your profession and job description, some of the common categories can be communication, follow up, sales call, service, meetings and so on. A list and designated time will help you to be focused on the task for the day.

2. Eliminate distraction. Attend to your most important duty first. Many things will come up during the day but stay focused on finishing one job at a time. My own strength is to be with people but I’m also easily distracted by people. At times I’ve to force myself to finish office work before I can be with people again.

3. Schedule passive tasks for the afternoon. Email, internet, social media, correspondence are important activities but they usually do not increase our productivity. Moreover, a negative email earlier during the day can easily offset your mood for the day. Attack your top priorities in the first hours of the day.

4. Meet in person or use phone to connect with people. Nothing is more personal than a face to face meeting. What you can achieve in one personal meeting can equate to ten impersonal communications. Use the phone generously. Your voice is your signature. Smile during the conversation on the phone. People on the other side can “hear” your smile and will be more at ease to assist you.

5. Reach out to your co-workers. When a colleague shows stress or a sign of distress, be available for that person. When you attend to others in spite of your busy schedule, you add value to them. You’ll be amazed what they will do for you in your time of need!

6. Take short breaks. Research shows that our brain uses up more glucose than any other physical activity. This is why taking break every 60-90 minute interval will increase your productivity drastically. Get up from your desk, eat a snack, go for a walk – do something completely different to give your brain a rest and you’ll come back performing better.

7. Involve God at your job. You’re not operating at your highest potential until you engage God at your work place. Say a quick prayer before you make that deal. Ask for wisdom when you’re stuck with a problem. Honor God and have integrity. When you partner with God, you invite His favor and He’ll cause your work to prosper.

“May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us” (Psalm 90:17 NIV).

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Loving God; Loving People

From the beginning of time, mankind has tried to reach God and failed. The Bible describes our own efforts to please God as “filthy rags.” We know we are to love God but how? What must we do to show our love and gratitude to our Lord and Savior?

In Luke 10:25-37, a lawyer posed this question to Jesus, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?” The answer was, You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind, and your neighbor as yourself” (Luke 10:27 ESV).

So how can we be certain that we love God? Let me share five sure ways to prove our love for our Master.

When we love God we recognize ownership. We belong to Him and He belongs to us. It’s a love affair. Love is not forced, it’s voluntary. When we love God, our inner attitude and our outward action shows everything we are, everything we have belongs to God. We have rights but we gladly surrender them to His purposes - willingly.

The strength of a relationship is based on its communication. Loving God shows a keen desire to hear what He has to say. When we love God, we will read His word – the Bible. Loving God also means we trust and accept the whole Truth and give our listening hearts to hear what God has to say. Loving God means we talk to Him which is called prayer. Our love for God’s Word is an indicator of our love for Him.

Another way we can measure our love for God is to obey God’s Word. We all know Christians who are very knowledgeable in the Bible but when it comes to living out His commandments, we begin to struggle. This is why many Christians have such a hard life. God’s love for us is unconditional but His blessings come with strings attached. Often you’ll read in the Bible if you do this… I will do… Let’s obey God’s Word and the blessings will follow.

We can also prove our love for God is by our appetite for the things of God. An immature person lives to advance his own gain but a Godly person will have interest in the things that matters to God. When we love Him, we love what is near and dear to His heart; for example, world evangelization.

Another key component of loving God is our love for people. John exhorts us, Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar. For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen” (I John 4:20 NIV). This is why Jesus tells the parable of the Good Samaritans. Today we live in a society where we barely ever interact with our immediate neighbors. So who is our neighbor in the 21st century? I believe the people God brings in our path every day are the neighbors God wants us to touch. When we are compassionate toward our fellowman, we’re advertising our love for God and His love for them.

Friends, let us love God and His people!

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Equality, Injustice and Our Response

For more than 3,000 years people in our world are fighting for quality and rebelling against injustice. When the Hebrew children rose up against Pharos he could hardly believe that it could be his downfall. But history repeats itself. In spite of dictators and corrupt governments it is proven that the power of the people is stronger than the people in power.

I just returned from a mission trip to India and Nepal. I always come back fired up from these trips. Nowhere can you find social injustice worse than in this region. People live in utter poverty; most of them live under a dollar a day. Children, especially girls do not have an opportunity to set foot in a school. Mothers do not have clean drinking water for their families. Young, able-bodied and smart young people are jobless because no one would hire them because they’re Christ followers. Pastors, Christian leaders and churches are often persecuted, killed and burned by the society.

In light of our Christian faith what should be our response to this grave inequality and injustice? I believe our responsibility should be same as our Master who gave us everything and told us the story of the Good Samaritan. We must get off our own comfort zone, care and share. We’re to be the salt and light to our generation and promote equality and justice. Christianity is not a passive, meek and weak faith to be trampled under but the Gospel is the power of God unto salvation. It’s a force to reckon with that has toppled strongholds and revolutionized nations. Realize it or not, you too are a part of the revolution when you became a member of God’s global family. Our brothers and sisters need your help – NOW!

Before you write me off as a fanatic, let me share why this is the best time for you to get involved in bringing hope, equality and justice to our brothers and sisters.

Rebecca (21) is one of our co-workers. Her parents are denied citizenship because they’re Christians. Her family cannot get proper jobs. Her parents wake up at 3 o’ clock every morning to make snacks for the local tea shops that provide a meager earning. Rebecca’s parents cannot send her to school so we have been sponsoring her college education. She is studying to be a media journalist. Just recently, she topped her whole collage of 1,500 students. She’s well on her way to finish college this year with highest honors. Rebecca is a prime example of what can happen if we pause long enough to care, share and invest in our young people who will change our world.

One reason people have stayed disengaged in the past is due to lack of accountability. But with the invention of modern technology and cell phone in almost every hand, corruption and mishandling of resources are becoming harder to hide. Times are changing for the better and for once we have genuine advantage to make an eternal difference.

My challenge to us today is to take action. If we truly believe and obey the Great Commission our Lord left us, we must go from virtual to actual. Opportunities are endless right now to sweep a whole generation into the Kingdom but it all depends on our response. Will you open your hearts, minds and resources to a cause burning deep in our Master’s heart? I know you will because that’s how we will fulfill the enormous task of world evangelization. Join us. Let us make a difference in many others like Rebecca!

“If you help the poor, you are lending to the LORD--and he will repay you” (Proverbs 19:17 NLT)!

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Friday, April 19, 2013

Life without Strife

Strife is a silent offender that hangs around homes, marriages, businesses and even in churches. It causes all sorts of dispute, arguing and meanness. If continued, strife’s venom is a slow but a sure killer. This is why we must nip strife at the bud.

It is humbling for me to admit but I used to be a champion at producing strife. I made certain people’s lives miserable around me. If other’s had a different opinion on things that mattered to me, I would make sure to prove my opinion superior. I was full of pride and insecure in my core. Looking back, I’m ashamed of the pain I caused in people I loved and cared about. I’m still not where I need to be but thank God for the progress I’ve made in this area. Thank God for His mercy.

I’m not talking about you but I see many people struggling with strife and they don’t even realize it! When we are too focused on our own ways, we create strife. People with strong convictions or those who tend to be perfectionists can be tempted with strife easily. Not that we cannot have strong opinions and excellence but when we think ours is the only way, we fall victim of creating strife. I have identified three key areas where strife begins.

1. Insecurity. A great cause of strife is lack of self-confidence and insecurity. I used to be an extremely insecure person. I had abandonment issues from my childhood and I didn’t want to be seen vulnerable to anybody. When others pointed out my weaknesses I would be so aggressive to quench that accusation. My greatest mistakes in life stemmed from my insecurity. How I lament those days! Now I thank God daily for making me secure in Him. My identity comes from my Master. I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. What a freeing way to live!

2. Pride. When we operate in the spirit of pride, we think of ourselves better than others. Our attitude becomes superior to others. When I was operating in strife, I had this thought playing in my head, “I’ll teach you!” Pride sucks the life out of those around you and it’s a killer. Pride always belittles others but worst, it belittles you!

3. Control. A controlling spirit is from the pit of hell. God gives us freewill. When we cannot accept the way other people, think, talk and act, we’re being controlling and exerting our superiority over others. This is a very dangerous way to live. We’re quenching the growth in others and hindering them to blossom. Control breaks down communications and relationships faster than the bite of a venomous serpent.

Now that we’ve identified some of the root causes of strife, what are the remedies? Here’s the bottom line - make a personal growth plan and ask God to rid you of insecurity, pride and control. It’s not going to be overnight and it may even get worse before you get better but there is hope. I’m the living example of God’s mercy!

Low life has a high cost of maintenance. Give up the low life. Have no part in strife. When you get rid of strife, you’ll be amazed what a freeing way to live life without strife!

“It is to one's honor to avoid strife, but every fool is quick to quarrel” (Proverbs 20:3 NIV).

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Your Second Wind is Coming

Recently I was watching a boxing match on a long flight to Asia. In the ring were two young boxers dressed in red and blue jersey. The championship was pretty even but then the one on the red jersey began to thrash the opponent.

Just about the time I thought the referee was going to blow his whistle for the winner it was time for a short break. The guy on the blue jersey was panting on the ring as he sat down to catch his breath. It was a clear sign of his imminent defeat to come.

The last round began with a roaring thunder of applause. The winner apparent began with some severe blows to the blue guy. It was inevitable the victory belonged to the superior. Just about this time something snapped! The blue guy caught his second wind and he came back with a vengeance. Within seconds he had knocked out his opponent and won the trophy.

Second wind is a phenomenon in long distance running, as well as boxing and some other sports, whereby an athlete who is too out of breath and tired to continue suddenly finds the strength to press on at top performance with less exertion. Scientists believe the second wind to be a result of the body finding the proper balance of oxygen to counteract the buildup of lactic acid in the muscles.

As I watched the thriller come to a surprising climax, I could not help but think of our Christian life. Often, we are tossed to and fro by the enemy and it looks like we’re going to get squished in the hand of the evil one. We lose focus, feel disoriented and our lives spinning out of control. We do not have a clue how to get out of the mess we are in. This is when God steps in! He says, “Enough is enough.” He sends us the second Wind of the Holy Spirit to intervene in our situation.

May be today you are in life’s ring of knock out fight. You’ve taken some hard blows, you’re tired and weary. You are bewildered and wondering where is God. You can barely stand on your two feet. The attacks have been severe and too frequent against you. I feel inspired to say, “Take heart. Be courageous. A second wind is coming.” What was against you will suddenly be on your favor. The opposition will switch side. There will be a shift caused by God’s mighty power. What you thought was impossible will be achieved with an ease. You will go from minus to plus. The odds that were stacked against you will now be in your favor.

What must you do to turn the onslaught of attack against you? You must stay in the game. You must not give up. You’ve come too far to go back. You’ve got what it takes. Keep fighting. Keep standing. Keep throwing those punches. You’re not finished yet. A second wind is coming. The Holy Spirit our Helper has been unleashed to assist you. You and God are a majority. You will overcome every disappointment, defeat and obstacles. You will come out of this battle wearing the victor’s crown celebrated by thousands of angels who are cheering you on. I’m praying for you!

“Fight the good fight for the true faith. Hold tightly to the eternal life to which God has called you, which you have confessed so well before many witnesses” (I Timothy 6:12 NLT).

Change the World with the Message of Hope:

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

No More Delays

One of life’s challenges is to overcome delays yet it is one of the most common problems we’re faced with every day. How we deal with delays in our lives will determine how fast our situation will change for the better.

This was a problem the children of Israel had to face in the wilderness. God had promised them a land flowing with milk and honey. He had delivered them from four hundred years of slavery but somehow God’s people lost hope in what God had promised them. God didn’t leave them; in fact the Bible says, God was with them and He was leading them. Yet, God’s people got discouraged because of the delay.

This is what happens to many of us. We start off with great expectations. We are sure of His promises and provisions. But somewhere down the road we lose our passion and excitement for life because our promises have been delayed. Discouragement and disappointment set in and we lose sight of the dream that God put in our hearts.

The children of Israel went around the same mountain for forty years! A whole generation of people had to perish in the wilderness before God could bring them to their Promised Land. Don’t let this be you. You may not see it, you may not understand it but God is working on your behalf right now. If you pass the discouragement test, you’ll receive your Promised Land. There will be no more delays. Make up your mind to wear time out. When you have an “I won’t quit attitude” and your confidence set on God, He will reward you. You may doubt in your mind but never doubt in your heart. God’s promises are yes and amen.

Like the children of Israel, you’re right next to your Promised Land. This is your due season. God’s wind of favor is blowing in your direction. No matter how long it has been now is the time to believe more than ever. God is shifting things. He is putting people in place. He is orchestrating the realization of your promised dream. If you can see it and thank God for it, there will be no more delays.

The Scripture says, “Lift up your heads…and the King of Glory shall come in” (Psalm 24:9 NKJV). If you want God to intervene your situation, you have to lift up your head to God. When you acknowledge God in the midst of your fierce trial, He will make sure to send His glory or favor to intercept what belongs to you. He is sending you health, healing, peace, joy and favor. On the other side of discouragement are promotion, provision, influence and victory that have your name written on them. Lift up your heads to God and let His glory come in.

Let no feeling of discouragement prey upon you, and in the end you are sure to succeed. ~ Abraham Lincoln

Rejoice! Lift up your heads. There will be no more delays.

Change the World with the Message of Hope: