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Monthly Archives: September 2014

Jeepers… Creepers… Grievers! #MazeRunner #We’reBetterTogether

Get ready to run!!!

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That’s the tagline for the movie that I recently watched: The Maze Runner. I watched this movie twice, last Friday and the Friday previous to that (because the first one was free! 🙂 ).

It was a great action packed movie and I think that for the average movie goer, you wouldn’t be disappointed with your PHP 200+ pesos.

The plot of the movie goes something like this (taken from Wikipedia). Don’t worry I will not spoil you with any of the crucial parts of the film :)), I’ll just give you a short plot about the movie (taken from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Maze_Runner_(film)):

“The story follows sixteen-year-old Thomas, portrayed by O’Brien, who awakens in a rusty elevator with no memory of who he is, only to learn he’s been delivered to the middle of an intricate maze, along with a slew of other boys, who have been trying to find their way out of the ever-changing labyrinth.”

In this labyrinth, there are these creatures which are called “Grievers”.

“A Griever is a creature that lives in the Maze and comes out after dark. Its purpose is to kill the Gladers. It is described as being a bulbous, dark creature, with many appendages such as spikes, shears, and rods. A Griever can “sting” Gladers, or prick them, which causes extreme pain for up to days or weeks.”(http://mazerunner.wikia.com/wiki/Griever)

A Griever looks something like this:

Griffeur

Pretty scary right? I would also be scared if I were one of the characters in the maze. In fact, all the gladers (the characters in the story) were afraid of it because they know that if you get stuck in the maze with these things you will not be able to survive.

There’s a segment in the film where our hero: Thomas, went inside the maze as it was about to close to rescue two other characters (Minho and Alby) because they got delayed in getting back to their home base. The other character (Minho) had mixed emotions when Thomas went in with them because he was pretty sure that they were as good as dead. However, to cut the long story short, Thomas was able to manuever one of the Grievers and kill it inside the maze. It took him a while but it he survived anyway. It was close to impossible how he could have survived that ordeal.

The scene that struck me more however, was not when Thomas defeated a Griever. No, it was when a group of these gladers went in the maze for one final push to escape the labyrinth. Of course, to escape that place, they had to get pass these Grievers. In one scene, they noticed a Griever guarding the key exit that they needed pass through. Immediately, since they were so determined to get out of that place they charged with all of their might to try and get pass through that one Griever. Since they were a team that tried to attack the Griever, they had an advantage in killing the Griever.

Compared to just one person fighting a griever, a group of people fending of these things makes the world of a difference.

It struck me at that point that there’s where the power of unity comes in. Team effort makes the world of a difference when trying to address any type of challenge that may face us. That may be a group project, a basketball game, an event or discipleship. Compared to one glader trying to kill a Griever, just like Thomas in the earlier part of the film. The power of a team makes the world of a difference. The team, trying to overcome a griever, took less time and effort in defeating that creature. That’s why unity is so powerful and effective.

The good thing with the team is that they didn’t just fight the griever individually at the same time, but they fought as a unit… TOGETHER. They fought the Griever very close to one another and had their spears directed towards the Griever. This made it difficult for the creature to just come in and attack at any moment. THEY WERE BETTER TOGETHER. A team is not just enough, there must be teamwork as well, that’s where the power of unity comes in. As the old saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. 1+1 is not just equal to 2, but 3, 4, 5, 6, … and so on and so forth.

Go for unity, apply teamwork and great things will happen. Remember: WE’RE BETTER TOGETHER! 🙂

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Posted by on September 29, 2014 in Leadership

 

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A Roller Coaster Life (Musings on the life of Joseph) Part 2

Last week, I wrote part 1 of this blog about the life of Joseph (https://andrewwee05.wordpress.com/2014/09/15/a-roller-coaster-life-musings-on-the-life-of-joseph-part-1/). We ended at the part of Joseph’s life where he is now in a foreign land because his brothers sold him to slavery.

Joseph and Potiphar

The story tells us that the Midianites  sold Joseph in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials. The story continues at Genesis 39 and an interesting thing that the story tells us is that “The LORD was with Joseph so that he prospered,…”. It wasn’t the end of the line for Joseph, he had been a blessing to his master. In fact, he had been such a huge blessing to his master that God gave his master success in everything he did. This caused Joseph to find favour in his masters eyes and thereby promoted him to be his attendant. What that means is that, Potiphar put Joseph in charge of his household, and entrusted to him everything his master owned.

At this point, Joseph had so much trust from his master because God was with him every step of the way. What could have possibly been the end of the line for his life, turned into something for his favour. In one moment, Joseph was probably thinking what would happen now to his life after being sold as a slave, but now he had been such a huge blessing to his boss and got promoted. Things are starting to get rosy for his life, there may have been a purpose after all why he got sold at one point. (Life Meter: 8)

Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife

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With success comes influence I would say, I think by this time Joseph would have gained attention from a lot of people for all his accomplishments. The thing about Joseph is he wasn’t only good, but he was also good looking. Because of his good looks and his influence, Potiphar’s wife started to take notice of him! Not only that, but she seduced Joseph to go to bed with him! This isn’t a unique case but has been happening all throughout history because of the lust of the flesh. The good thing with Joseph is he had wisdom and knew that going to be with his masters wife was a recipe for disaster. He had to fight every single bit of temptation to not indulge in sin. What helped Joseph is that he wanted to Honor God who had given him success in everything he did, that’s why he didn’t want to do a wicked thing like adultery because it’ll break the heart of God.

Joseph was an honorable man, he didn’t want to screw thing up! He wanted  to ensure that he doesn’t destroy his life and all the blessings that came to him.

However, since the wife of Potiphar could not get Joseph to come to bed with him she accused Joseph of seducing her. She told her husband that Joseph wanted to make a sport of her! Imagine the nerve of that girl. Tsk tsk. The sad thing is, Potiphar believed his wife, burned with anger against Joseph and sent him to prison. (Life Meter: 2)

How could have this happened? Joseph probably thought that everything was already going to be A-OK with him after his unfortunate event with his brothers. He probably thought that the reason he got sold is so that he can be successful in Egypt. Not only  that, but he lived a life of honor and didn’t indulge in sexual immorality no matter how strong the temptation was in his life. He loved God, he honoured him, but now, he’s in prison because he was wrongfully accused.

Joseph is back to square one, oops, not only square one, but square negative one. This is another low in his life. Is this the end of the line? Is it time to quit?

For some of us, we’re in a moment like this. We’ve experienced something terrible happening to our lives at a point in time but just like Joseph we’ve managed to recover. However, when you experience another terrible thing happening in your life for a second time, that’s when we start to question God, hate life, give up and don’t move forward anymore. You seem to do everything methodically and correctly, but the circumstances just didn’t go as planned, favour wasn’t in your way. Why Lord? Why?

The good thing is in Genesis 39:21 “the LORD was with him;” take note of how many times that occurred in his story to provide you with encouragement. The story doesn’t end here, there’s still life even after unfortunate circumstances hit our lives for the second time around.

We can learn a lot from the life of Joseph.

To be continued.

 
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Posted by on September 22, 2014 in Life Lessons

 

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A Roller Coaster Life (Musings on the life of Joseph) Part 1

Have you ever felt that life is unfair? Have you ever wondered why sometimes you are UP and then the very next moment you find yourself DOWN again? Bakit ganito? Why can’t it just always be UP all the time?

Lately I’ve been reading again on the story of Joseph. I believe that his story is a beautiful picture of a roller coaster life. There are two famous Josephs in the Bible in case you’re not familiar. The one is the husband of Mary; the other is the son of Jacob. The latter is the one I’m referring to. You can find his story in the book of Genesis.

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Joseph’s story is one of those stories that have a “they lived happily ever after” ending. However, upon reading his life again, I realized that his life had not been an easy one. His life was a roller coaster of events. Sometimes he was UP, a lot of times he was DOWN. If I were in his shoes I wouldn’t have known what to do. In fact I think that if I were Joseph, I would have given up given all the unfortunate events that happened to him.

So what happened? In case you haven’t read it yet, here’s are some of the things that happened to his life:

The love and favoritism of a father

Joseph grew up loved by his father Jacob, and he wasn’t only loved, he was the favorite. How many of us can relate in being the favorite? Or maybe your other siblings were the favorite. You’re the apple of your parent’s eyes when you’re the favorite. Sometimes you can get everything that you want including attention. I imagined him getting a huge chunk of the family inheritance. Everything was going smoothly for him. (JOSEPH’S LIFE METER from a scale of 1-10: 8)

The jealousy of his brothers

His brothers, however, took notice and got jealous of him. Ok na sana yung magiging buhay ni Joseph but he has to deal with the envy of his brothers. To add insult to the injury, Joseph starts to share about his dreams to them, which got them enraged. It says in Genesis 37:8 “And they hated him all the more…”. (JOSEPH’S LIFE METER LIFE METER: 7, slowly but surely going down)

The plot to kill him

Now because of all the rage inside his brothers hearts, these started to pile up so they planned to kill him. Imagine having someone in your life plot to kill you! That spells a lot of trouble.

At that point, Joseph could have gotten killed at any moment. However, God had other plans, in Genesis 37:21 it says there: “When Reuben heard this, he tried to rescue him from their hands. “Let’s not take his life,” he said.” Indeed I believe that the hand of God was in Reuben because he still has a bigger plan for Joseph’s life. (LIFE METER: 6)

Joseph’s life gets spared and gets sold instead

So his brothers did not kill Joseph, instead they just stripped him of his clothes and threw him in a cistern. Then, they saw a caravan of Ishmaelite’s coming from Gilead and thought about selling him to them, which they did. Bloodshed would have been so cruel after all and they realized that he was their own flesh and blood. So his brothers decided to sell him for twenty shekels of silver to the Ishmaelites who took Joseph to Egypt. (LIFE METER: 2)

Probably at this point Joseph didn’t understand what was going on. He was living a great life under his father Jacob, but now he was beaten up and was sold as a slave to some foreigners who took him to an unfamiliar territory.

Sometimes life hits us hard like that, it can leave you disheartened and discouraged. You wouldn’t know what to do. You don’t know if there’s still going to be hope for you in the future. You don’t know if you’re going to survive all the storms that hit you. You can just hope and pray for things to get better.

Some of us are in this kind of situation. We can relate to what happened with Joseph in this situation. But the good thing is, it didn’t end there. There’s hope.

To be continued.

 
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Posted by on September 15, 2014 in Life Lessons

 

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Book Challenge

I am accepting this challenge from my friend Perci Paras to name the top 10 books that have impacted my life.

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I am excluding the Bible here because it is in a class in itself. It cannot be possibly compared with other books that we know.

Here are the top 10 books, but I think I can’t put them in order because they made an impact in different areas of my life. Here goes:

10) I Kissed Dating Goodbye

This book helped my develop my convictions in guarding my relationship with the opposite sex. I encourage all students and  all single professionals (whose season have not yet arrived) to read this.

9) The Meaning of Marriage

Don’t let the title of the book think that this is only for married couples. This is a great book for everyone since one day we’re all going to get married (well for most). Tim Keller gives a great Biblical insight on the purpose, essence, mission etc. of marriage. I think that when people read this, they will have a realistic viewpoint of what marriage is all about and correct certain false expectations about it.

8) Who Moved my Cheese?

This is a book about change. You can read this in an hour or so! This book helped me view CHANGE differently and how to navigate through all the unexpected things that this world will bring. I wrote a blog recently about this. Check it out!

7) Living by the Book

How to read your Bible! As a new Christian I wanted to get the most out of my Bible reading experience. This book inspired me to read it more and more and more! Because of this book, I’ve meditated on the Bible and got the best out of it! This is a classic and is very reader friendly too.

6) The Life You’ve Always Wanted

A book about spiritual disciplines. I recommend this especially for those have been longer in the faith already. John Ortberg is one of my favourite authors because of his very candid yet profound writing style. This book helped me view life differently especially with the way I pace myself, my prayer life, reading the Bible and living a well balanced life. I still need to revisit this book from time to time to get better at the other spiritual disciplines.

5) The Calculus 7

I’m a Math Major, need I say more? This book helped me appreciate derivatives, integration, series and limit all the more. One of the best Calculus books, if not the best, for all college students.

4) The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People

This really has to be at the top 5. I believe my top ten will change the more I read and as the years pass, but I believe nothing can replace this on my top 5. I’ve been applying those 7 habits ever since the time I read this book and continually use them. A lot of leadership books have their roots in Stephen Covey.

The reason I put these next three books is because I did not just get a good idea from them, but because their leadership have had an influence in my life as well. They reached thousands of people with their leadership including mine. That’s why these three are very powerful to me.

3) The Lego Principle: The Power of Connecting to God and One Another

Great book about valuing relationships. God really did put it simply: Love Him, Love others. It’s simple but not easy. I learned the basic relationship principles from Pastor Joey Bonifacio: TRUST, LOVE, FORGIVENESS and COMMUNICATION. These four never fails.

The LEGO Principle.final front cover

2) Wiki Church: Making Discipleship Engaging, Empowering and Viral

Discipleship changed my life, it can change your as well! However, this book are for those who are already discipled. I encourage you, especially if you’re reading this to read this so that you will be inspired to make disciples and be the difference our society longs for. Discipleship can change the world! Jesus himself said to GO and MAKE DISCIPLES. This book simplifies discipleship and makes it exciting.

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1) 100 Years From Now: Sustaining a Movement for Generations

This book talks about the core values of our Every Nation Church all summed up in one phrase: Honor God and Make Disciples.

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I really wrote around 20 books but I cannot put them all here because I’ll break the rule of the challenge. I’ll just write them here just like any other top 10 blog would do. HEHE:

Others that did not make the top 10 but still made an impact in my life are:

How to Win Friends and Influence People, Courageous Leadership, Habitudes, 5 Dysfunctions of a Team, Case for Christ, Next Generation Leader, Communicating for a Change, Christ-Centered Preaching, The Principle of the Path.

Share yours! I nominate LifeBox Malate to post their top ten blogs and all Victory Group Leaders in LifeBox Malate. 🙂

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2014 in Leadership, Personal

 

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Expect the Unexpected

“Expect the Unexpected” is a quote that sounds confusing at first glance. When you “Expect” you are in a position of anticipation; you’re looking forward to something happening, maybe that’s an event, a person or a promise. However, in the second part of that phrase the thing you’re supposed to expect is “the Unexpected” which is something that is difficult to expect because “Unexpected” things are not the things we usually “Expect”!

However, even though the phrase seems ironic, there is some truth to that phrase and can actually help us navigate through some of the unexpected things life will bring.

As I’ve reminisced my journey for the past 4 years, I realized that things don’t exactly come out as the way we planned it. There will always be unexpected things that will happen in our lives. I remember one instance where I thought I would only enter training for full-time ministry during the latter part of 2012, but then my plans changed and I started training early 2012. Also, when I was already fully deployed in my role, I thought I’d be in that position for a couple of years of more. Suddenly, during the middle part of 2013, our Youth Pastor had to leave for the U.S. and therefore I was assigned to take over his role as OIC.

In life there will be so many unexpected things that will come our way! I just realized that a few days ago and was reminded that this will always be the case. Two weeks ago, I said in one of my messages to our youth ministry that we live in an unpredictable, unstable and constantly changing world! That’s just the kind of world that we live in and I think that will always be the case.

So how should we face life, knowing that there will always be unexpected things that will happen. Here are a few of my thoughts:

1) Put our FAITH in God
In the same message that I shared a few weeks ago. I said that we should put our FAITH in God. When I say faith, that talks about what we believe in and where we should put our trust. In an unpredictable, unstable, and constantly changing world it’s just logical that we put our faith in God because he will never change and we can trust everything that he said in his word.

2) TRUST in God’s plans
A follow-up to my point in number 1 is to TRUST in God’s plans. I am always reminded by this verse in Proverbs which is one of my life verses:

Many are the plans in a man’s heart but it is the Lord’s purposes that will prevail (Proverbs 19:22)

We plan, we expect things, we want things to go our way. It’s not bad to plan, it’s good actually! It helps us maximize our time and make sure that we’re productive. However, our plans become a problem when we get attached to it too much that when things don’t start to go our way it leaves us frustrated.

We have so many plans in life, but not all of our plans will go according to our way. That’s a fact. God’s will, will always prevail. Let’s trust Him 100%! We can still plan but let’s not hold on to them too tightly and just let God!

3) Adapt to CHANGE
I recently read a book titled: “Who Moved my Cheese?” A best-selling management book that talks about CHANGE. This book has somehow influenced me in adapting to life’s changes. I realized that the reason I can quickly adapt to change is because of the principles that I learned from this book. It’s a very short book about a parable of four mice and their search for cheese and the main learnings there are as follows:

CHANGE HAPPENS
ANTICIPATE CHANGE
MONITOR CHANGE
ADAPT TO CHANGE QUICKLY
CHANGE
ENJOY CHANGE!
BE READ TO CHANGE QUICKLY AND ENJOY IT AGAIN & AGAIN

WhoMovedMyCheeseCover

So there you have it! Let’s expect the unexpected! But most importantly let’s put our FAITH in God because he is a God who will never change and amidst all the changes that’s happening in our lives he will continue to stay with us FOREVER.

 
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Posted by on September 1, 2014 in Leadership, Life Lessons