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Monthly Archives: May 2015

Urgent and Important Part 2

This blog is a continuation of last week’s article: Urgent and Important. I invite you to read the previous blog first before moving on with this one. You may check out the link to last week’s blog here:

https://andrewwee05.wordpress.com/2015/05/25/urgent-and-important/

Last week, I mentioned that we can get a lot of insights on how we can manage our time well based on the verses in Ephesians 5:15-17.

Ephesians 5:15-17

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

This material was developed by our senior pastor from Victory Malate: Pastor Nixon Ng. Following are the four things that we can glean from this passage of scripture so that we can maximize the use of our time. First thing is:

1) KNOW your Priorities

Ephesians 5:17

Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Part of making the best use of our time is understanding God’s will. Having a clear understanding of God’s will in our lives helps us determine the right priorities. Determining the right priorities gives us a guide or a compass on how we can effectively use our time. If we’re clear about this then we can make quick decisions as to whether we should be doing something or not. Most of the time, the reason we feel like we can’t manage our time well or feel like we don’t have enough time is because we’re doing a lot of things. The question is: “Are those things part of our priorities?” Maybe a lot of things that’s taking up your time are just time wasters and are not part of God’s calling in your life. The key is to get rid of them. We’ll get to that in a while. But for now, you should clearly establish the right priorities in your life 🙂

get-your-priorities-straight

Do this as an activity For the next 15 minutes list down your top priorities. Make sure that this is part of God’s will for your life and make sure that you cap it at a maximum of 7 (going beyond this number maybe a little bit too much for anyone).

2) KNOW your Season

Ephesians 5:16

16 making the best use of the time,

There are two Greek words that translates to the English word: Time. The first is the word “Chronos”. This word talks about the passage of time (the ticking of the clock, days, months, years) while the other Greek word is the word: “Kairos” which talks about opportune time. The word Kairos can also be used to describe the weather and the plural of which (Kairoi) means “The times” which clearly talks about the concept of seasons.

After determining your priorities the next step is to know your season. What do I mean by that? Sometimes a lot of us have a list of priorities. We usually list them from 1-7:

1) God
2) Family
3) Work/Study
4) Discipleship
5) Ministry
6) School Organisation
7) Personal Development

The problem in viewing your priorities this way and by order is that by nature some become “more important” than others. The truth is, not all have equal weight and importance in a particular season of your life. Some of your priorities will require more attention and effort than others in particular periods of your life. One example of this is during finals week for students. During this time of the year, more of your attention, time and energy need to focus on your studies so that you can focus on doing well for your tests. Another example is if you’re part of an organization in school and heading a major project or event. There’ll be critical moments in that project or event where you’ll just have to devote more time and attention, sometimes this will even result to sleepless nights.

Again, it shouldn’t be about following your priorites in order always. It should be viewed more like a wheel where some priorities will have more weight during specific seasons and periods of our lives.

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3) KNOW where your Time goes to

Ephesians 5:15-17

Look carefully then how you walk,…

Careful means to be circumspect, to be circumspect means to look about. This basically means that we have to be aware of what’s happening around us and where our time goes.

After knowing your priorities and season, now you have to be very careful on where your time really goes. It’s one thing to know your priorities and season, it’s another thing to actually spend time on those things. You have to take stock and inventory of your time. It’s one thing to say that you’re really making time for priorities, it’s another to be ACTUALLY doing it. The Bible says that the heart is deceitful above all else… Human beings are masters at self deception. A lot of people I know says that they are busy. Well if everyone is busy then no one is busy. Get it? The question is are you really busy? Or are you just saying that and are actually wasting your time?

Take an account of where your time goes just like how a financial planner would take account of where our finances goes. Carefully do this for the next few weeks and see if you’re really making good use of your time.

time-management-skills

After you’ve done so, now categorize all your activities under these four categories: I) URGENT AND IMPORTANT, II) NOT URGENT AND IMPORTANT, III) URGENT AND NOT IMPORTANT, or IV) NOT URGENT AND NOT IMPORTANT. Where do most of your time and energy go to?

The ideal scenario is you would spend most of your time at the NOT URGENT AND IMPORTANT category. For some this will not make sense at first, because you’d think: “Shouldn’t I be spending most of my time at the URGENT AND IMPORTANT quadrant?” Yes, you should spend most of your time in this quadrant at first. However as time passes by and as you be diligent with your things to do, there’ll come a point that most of your activities will no longer fall under “URGENT”, thus you would have to focus most of your time and energy in the NOT URGENT and IMPORTANT field. Make sure that you do IMPORTANT things before it becomes URGENT. For more on this specific topic I recommend reading Stephen Covey’s best selling classic book: “7 Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Microsoft Word - Document2

4) Gain more KNOWledge and Skills

Ephesians 5:15

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise,

The word wise here means: “to be skilled.” In Ecclesiastes it says there that when there is lack of skills more work is needed but a sharpened ax will require less effort. Skills are important. We have to gain more skills and knowledge as time passes. The reason for this is as you become more skilful, it will require you lesser time to do certain things.

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If you’re familiar with Microsoft Programs like Microsoft Excel or Microsoft Word you see that there are a lot of functions and buttons when you open it. Most people never take the time to study what those things are for and their uses. They just know Microsoft Word as a tool to write their papers while Microsoft Excel is a tool they use for computing stuff. Sometimes because they didn’t take the time to learn and enhance their skills, certain job functions require more time on their part to do. Two weeks ago I taught some of our staff certain tips and tricks when using Microsoft Excel. After they discovered about certain functions that the program can do, it left them flabbergasted. They said they didn’t know they had functions like this or like that i.e. (FREEZE PAZES, PIVOT TABLES etc.). It could have saved them an exorbitant amount of time had they trained in these program before and levelled up their skill.

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The more skilful we are, the lesser time we will need to do certain things, consequently we’ll have more time to do other things.

So there you have it. Hope this blogged helped you learn some principles in how to manage your time well. I hope and pray that the reason you’d want to manage your time well is because you want to honor God with it. 🙂

Colossians 3:23

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

Credits again to our Senior Pastor who developed this material. 🙂

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Posted by on May 30, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Urgent and Important

Many people nowadays are surprisingly interested in time management. I’ve been hearing a lot of people say lately that they feel like they’re not productive or efficient enough with their time. Some say that they think they only have very few or limited hours in a day to accomplish certain things. The questions they frequently ask are: “How do I manage my time?”, “What’s the best way I can manage time well?” or “What are the tips and tricks so that I can be more productive or efficient?”

time-management

Last Tuesday, I conducted a time management training with 20 students. The training is based mostly on the content our senior pastor made inspired from Ephesians 5.

Ephesians 5:15-17

Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

On this short verse alone, we can get a lot of insights on how we can manage our time well. The Bible is just that amazing wouldn’t you agree?!

BUT WAIT!!!!!

I will not be sharing the learnings from that training today.

Maybe next week (Kainis ba at nakakabitin?).

Before you shoot me :)), we’re going to focus on something I believe should come first before we go to the tips on how to manage our time effectively. First we have to understand and grasp the urgency and importance of our subject matter.

URGENT IMPORTANT

I believe that in order for us to manage our time well, it’s very crucial that we first grasp the urgency and importance on why we have to do it in the first place. If we understand and absorb the WHY, the HOW will be easy. So today we’ll focus on the WHY first, because once we get the WHY, the HOW will be easy. After this, then we’ll focus on how to manage our time well based on Ephesians 5 (wait for that next week).

WHY DO WE NEED TO MANAGE OUR TIME WELL?

The reason why we need to manage our time well is basically because of this: TIME IS FLEETING. We can never get it back once it is already gone.

Imagine for a second if someone were to give you this very moment a huge amount of money let’s say PHP 10,000. What will you do with it? Will you just waste it or will you carefully think about where to put the money? Will you put it to good use? For many of us, we’ll be very careful where to put such a big amount of cash. It’s funny how we treat money with such importance but sometimes with time we don’t. The thing is, we don’t realize that time is more important than money. Author and motivational speaker Jim Rohn captured it when he said this statement about time:

“”Time is more value than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.”

Philippine-1000-Peso

Author and leadership expert Tim Elmore shares in his book (Habitudes) a nice illustration of how time works (paraphrased). Imagine this:

What if someone anonyomously deposits money in your bank account every day? Each day it is the same amount: 86,400 cents which is equal to 864 pesos. That’s PHP 25,920 a month! The money is yours to spend however you wish but there’s just one catch. You have to use it or you will lose it. Any amount left by the strike of midnight will be taken away if not used. The question is: How will you spend that money every single day?

If this was true, we’d definitely think long and hard about how we would spend the money right? We may start making a list of how we will spend it. What to buy, how much to spend when and where.

Why would you take it seriously? That’s a pretty good amount of money and you don’t want to waste any by the end of the day.

I believe that’s a great illustration on how time works.

Time is both URGENT and IMPORTANT. Urgent because life is so short and time will just pass us by if we don’t spend it. Important because of its value: again, time is more valuable than money. If time is both urgent and important then logically we should it treat it the same: with URGENCY and IMPORTANCE. The only problem is we don’t treat it like that.

One of Moses’ prayer to God is this:

Psalm 90:12

So teach us to number our days
    that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Moses prays to God that he will reveal to his people how short, temporary and fleeting life is so that they will start living their time and their lives wisely. Prior to this, the Israelites were living in sin and stubbornness to God not realizing how foolish it is to live like that.

Back in 2009, our church Victory, had a series titled: One Life to Live which was based on a book titled: One Month to Live. For me, this series is one of the best I’ve ever attended. The series helped changed my perspective and view about life. The title alone of the series speaks a lot. We only have ONE LIFE TO LIVE we have to make this life count. Ever since then, I became very very intentional as to how I’m going to spend the rest of my time here on earth. I definitely don’t want it just to go to waste. My time here on earth is my stewardship. God gave me the responsibility to manage it well so as to bring glory and honor due his name.

One life to live

Our lives are going to be summarized by a dash. This dash is going to be found in our epitaphs in the future. This is how people are going to remember us by. All of us are going to die that’s for sure the question is how are we going to spend our few, short and limited time here on earth? My hope is that you will have that sense of urgency and importance about time. My prayer is like that of Moses’ that God will teach us to number our days so that we may learn to live this life wisely.

Martin luther dash

Let’s make our lives count. Let’s maximize the time that we have for God’s honor and glory. God bless! 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 25, 2015 in Leadership

 

Which season is the best?

For the past couple of weeks I was asked the question: “Kuya, anong season mas masaya?… Singles or Youth?” After quickly thinking about it, I answered and said that one season isn’t better than the other. Both have their advantages. One of the best things about college is that it was a season for me where I had a lot of time in my hands. I was able to choose where to spend most of it. It was a time when I was able to meet new friends and build close relationships with the exorbitant time I had.

Season

Yesterday, I attended a friend’s wedding. Her name is Arra and she was our lead vocalist for our band back in college. All the members of the band was there. It was such a refreshing and fun time just recalling all our sweet memories together. The band I played in back in college is one of my best memories for that season. I’ll never regret being a part of it and spending hours of my time practicing, jamming, making music, recording and playing with them.

Weeband

Being a single professional also has its benefits, as this is a season where you’re already earning money and discovering the right career path. One of the best things of being in this season is that you don’t have to worry about doing homework on a weekend 😀 I bet that most students can’t wait to enter into this time of their lives. 😀

Single Professionals

Again, going back to the question: “Kuya, anong season mas masaya?… Singles or Youth?” It’s not really about one season being better than the other. It’s about maximizing the season you are currently in. It’s about making the most of every opportunity given to you. Once you’re done with that season you can never come back and do things over again. So don’t rush yourselves out of the season you’re in. Every season is a preparation for the next one. Ecclesiastes gives us valuable wisdom and insights regarding seasons:

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8,11

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
2
a time to be born, and a time to die;

a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
3
a time to kill, and a time to heal;

a time to break down, and a time to build up;
4
a time to weep, and a time to laugh;

a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
5
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together;

a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
6
a time to seek, and a time to lose;

a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
7
a time to tear, and a time to sew;

a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
8
a time to love, and a time to hate;

a time for war, and a time for peace.

11
He has made everything beautiful in its time…

The Bible clearly embraces this idea and concept of seasons. I think seasons are one of the tools God uses to guide us in knowing and understanding his will for our lives. Again always remember:

Embrace your season and maximize every moment, time and opportunity God has given you for this period

The Apostle Paul also emphasizes this in the book of Ephesians:

Ephesians 5:15-17
Look carefully then how you walk, not as unwise but as wise, 16 making the best use of the time, because the days are evil. 17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

He tells us in the ESV version above to “make the best use of time.” In the NIV version he tells us to “make the most out of every opportunity.” The greek word used for time here is the word “Kairos”. There are usually two greek words associated for time, one is Kairos while the other is “Chronos.” Kairos talks about the opportune time while Chronos talks about the passage of time i.e. (ticking of the clock, days, weeks, months etc.). The word Kairos can also be used to describe the Weather, thus Kairos here refers to seasons (opportune time). In essence what Paul is trying to say here is to make the best use, make the most, and maximize whatever season you’re in right now.

kairos

So if you’re a student, embrace your season as a student. Don’t let the season just pass you by. Don’t be too eager in entering the next season. Wait for it, it will come. Focus on honoring God with your studies. If you’re a single professional maximize that season. There are a lot of things you can do to advance God’s kingdom in the present day and age. Once you enter the next season there’s no more turning back. Always remember, every season is a preparation for the next.

Understand what God’s will is for you in the season you’re in (Ephesians 5:17). It’s very interesting that the author concludes that statement with an advice on how not to live our lives foolishly. In order to do that, in order to live wisely Paul exhorts us to understand and discover God’s will. Knowing God’s will and direction for your life is the best thing you can do to get the most out of your season. 🙂

If you’re interested in knowing God’s will for your life, check out this blog:

https://andrewwee05.wordpress.com/2015/02/02/what-is-gods-will-for-my-life/

God bless you as you make the most out of your season! 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Faith and Science

For the past few months, I’ve gotten really interested in a lot of nerdy science stuff. In particular, I’ve been watching youtube videos about: Quantum Theory, How Gravity Works, Brain Trainings etc.

I must say that I got really hooked on these things. The thought of being able to understand and explain how things works captures my imagination. Some of my colleagues who saw me watching these stuff gave me a “I can’t believe you’re really watching those things” look. :))

Some of the things I learned for the past few months are the following:

1) Gravity

I learned that gravity is not just some mysterious invisible force that “pulls” objects together. The force of gravity is the effect of bent space.

Gravity and Einstein

Ever since I was little, we thought that gravity is a mysterious force that pulls us towards other objects (especially super massive ones). However, scientists, even Isaac Newton who discovered the equation for the force between two objects, were stumped as to how gravity really worked. For many years, they weren’t able to explain the essence of it. It was not until Albert Einstein fundamentally explained it in the early 1900’s. To know more about this concept click on the link below for the explanation how gravity works (also includes the life and legacy of Albert Einstein):

2) Quantum Theory

The laws of quantum mechanics are “SPOOKY” or “WEIRD” and does not follow the regular laws of classical mechanics.

Quantum Theory

I’m used to the idea that atoms resemble a mini solar system according to images I saw when I was young. However, this is not true. The laws governing electrons, protons, neutrons and other subatomic particles are totally different from the laws of super massive objects like the sun and planets.

Electrons can be in two places at the same time, “looking” at an electron affects it’s behavior, determining the location of an electron depends on probabilities. There’s also such a thing as quantum entanglement where the behavior of a certain particle can have an effect on another particle even if it’s light years away. Einstein called this “Spooky action at a distance”.

Quantum Theory hugely affects the way our world works today. To learn more about this click on the link below:

3) Brain Training

Brain training is a relatively new field which doesn’t have a lot of conclusive evidences yet. The goal of this science is to discover if there can be a method wherein we can “train” the brain in such a way that it’ll make us smarter.

Lumosity

I recently watched a documentary about this and mentions that we know so little about the field of Neuro Science. It’s like comparing us looking at the entire ocean. That’s how little we know about this field and are still researching more and more about it.


What I observed

These advancements in science are just utterly amazing! It gives us an understanding of how the world works and have helped our world function better like never before in the history of time. However, after watching, learning and being interested in all these things for the past few weeks and months, I learned that we still know very little about how the universe works.

As much as we’ve seen great amounts of progress in the field of science ever since the 16th century. If you compare what we know to everything we can possibly know about the universe, we’re still light years away from that.

New discoveries in Science only lead us to an infinite regress of questions and mysteries that still needs to be answered.

Because of this, I realized how great and amazing our God is. Science and Technology shouldn’t go against God. Science should actually make us marvel at the greatness of God. Seeing how gravity works, observing quantum mechanics and investigating the brain left me bask at God’s glory and power. The Bible tells us that it is God who made the heavens and the earth by the breath of his mouth. In Jeremiah it’s clearly seen how he’s pretty much involved in forming us ever since we were in our mother’s womb.

Psalm 33:6
By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host.

Jeremiah 1:5
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you;…

There’s just to many things left unsolved in science. After learning about these things, human beings can’t really brag and say that God is no longer needed. I think that’s just pride and boasting, there’s still so many things that are left unsolved which our finite minds cannot fully comprehend.

The Need for Faith

At the end of the day scientists also use faith. Faith is believing what you hope for and being certain of things you DO NOT SEE. There are still a lot of things scientists CANNOT SEE or don’t have any experimental evidences about. At the end of the day, they also resort to faith. Scientists can never fully brag that they’ve figured out everything, at the end of the day faith is still essential for them.

In Physics there’s this emerging field called String Theory. It tells us that even smaller than subatomic particles are string like figures that makes up electrons, quarks, leptons and the like. I learned that String Theory is still purely theoretical and haven’t been experimentally proven yet. Scientists who spent years studying String Theory still resort to faith that hopefully all of their theories and research are true. FAITH is still needed and will always be needed in Science.

StringTheory_shutterstock_24627319

Again, I really appreciate the sciences. I think it’s understanding how God elegantly designed the universe. Science does not need to contradict his existence. They go hand in hand. My hope and prayer is that even as we progress and move forward to the 21st century, all new development and discoveries in the field of Physics and other sciences will continue to leave us amazed in God’s creation. It says in Colossians:

Colossians 1:17
For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. 17 And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.

Every single thing that was created in the universe was made for the purpose of bring glory and honor to his name. To God be the glory even in Science and Technology. 🙂

 
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Posted by on May 11, 2015 in Numbers