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Monthly Archives: June 2015

The Best Player vs. The Best Team

It was the battle of the best team in the world vs. the best player.

That’s how I would sum up the recently concluded NBA finals.

Currys-Warriors-vs-LeBrons-Cavaliers-NBA-The-Finals-2015-Wallpaper-800x450

On one corner was Lebron James. A two-time NBA Champion, four-time MVP and the first player since Bill Russell (1960 era) to appear in the NBA finals for 5 straight times. With all-stars Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love injured, he had to carry the weight of his whole team on his shoulders.

On the other side was the Golden State Warriors. They hold the NBA’s best record at 67 wins and 15 losses. Only ten teams in the history of the NBA were able to do that. Also, they were placed in the very competitive Western Conference. The top seven teams in that bracket had at least 50 wins which means any of them were capable of winning an NBA championship. In spite of the odds, they were still able to breeze through that conference with ease.

That was the story line. The best player in the world going against the best team. Can this legend, future hall of famer and possibly one of the top ten players in NBA history single handedly defeat the strongest team in the NBA right now?

Apparently not.

One of the reasons I’m writing this is because I think that this recently concluded NBA finals is a great illustration on teamwork. I wrote this down personally so that 1) I’ll not forget about its value and 2) I’ll keep on pounding its importance and benefits to my head.

team graphic

I was reminded of this quote from author and leadership expert John Maxwell:

“…one is too small a number to achieve greatness. You cannot do anything of real value alone.

I challenge you to think of one act of genuine significance in the history of humankind that was performed by a lone human being. No matter what you name, you will find that a team of people was involved. That is why former US President Lyndon Johnson said, “There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.”

LEADERS LEAD A TEAM
I think I read John Maxwell’s quote from one his leadership books. I am reminded that Leadership is not about being a great individual contributor but about making your team great.

For Lebron James, his numbers were historic. He was the first player to to average more than 35 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists per game. (35.8 ppg, 13.3 rpg, and 8.8 apg to be exact).

Lebron James

However, as historic as his finals performance were, it’s clear that one man can’t do it alone. There’s just too many bases to cover on the basketball court. Basketball still is a 5 on 5 sport the last time I checked. The only way he could have won that series is if he could have been in two places at the same time. I saw many times in the game where he got frustrated because the defense of the Cleveland Cavaliers just wasn’t good enough to stop Golden State. Lebron James can’t be everywhere. A leader has limitations no matter how good he is.

MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCES IN HANDLING A TEAM

Operations

I am currently heading operations in my vocation and the organization I’m working for. Under me are two people whom I lead. One is a facilities officer and the other a communications guy. For each person, they have their work cut out for them. I can’t imagine myself doing all the tasks they are currently doing on top of my responsibilities. I’ll die early if I even try. :))

We all have limitations. Nothing beats the value a team brings.

Event Planning

I remember a time when I was heading an event in our campus ministry last 2010. It was a small event for around 30-40 people. I lead the initiative and at that time I thought that I had to do everything myself. I had a wrong mindset before about asking for help. The reason I didn’t ask for help is because: 1) I thought that I can do everything myself and 2) I didn’t want to be a burden to anybody. Those mindsets led me to organize everything (well almost) from the powerpoint, logistics, food, program flow, being the emcee etc. By God’s grace, since it was just a small event, it was successful. However, I learned a little bit later that if I continue to go on that pace… I’ll burnout sooner or later and will limit what I can do as compared to working with a team.

A couple of months later, as I lead another event, that time around I had a team with me. It was a world of a difference knowing that you have a team with you helping out in making sure the event becomes successful. That time around we were organizing an event for 80+ people. If I went on w/ my current pace last 2010 the event would have been a disaster. Not only would the event be a disaster, but I would have also prevented opportunities for other people to grow by serving.

Fast forward a few years later, my job responsibility has now shifted. We now have students who lead the events I led before. With my current workload I just know that I will not be able to be hands on with these things anymore. Seasons do change. However, I’m glad that there are people who rise up to lead those projects. I cannot do everything alone, we need other people, we need a team.JosephI have nothing against Lebron James, in fact I rooted for him the entire series. I think the series would have been different had Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love played. Yesterday was just proof than no individual can accomplish great things apart from the help of other people. Sometimes we forget that behind every great leader who has ever stepped up and made a difference in this world whether that’s in the government, economics, sports, etc. there was a team that helped them succeed. Without a team behind these great men and women, I doubt, just like what John Maxwell said, if they would have achieve anything significant in this lifetime.

Congratulations to the Golden State Warriors. As I watched them win the last three games, I thought to myself that this is what great teamwork looks like.

Golden-State-Warriors-at-Cleveland-Cavaliers

Value People! Value Teamwork!

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Posted by on June 18, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

What is God’s will for my life Part 2

Last February 2, I wrote a blog titled: “What is God’s will for my life?” You may check out the first one at the link below:

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

In the first blog I said: “We can primarily know God’s will for our lives by reading His word.” At first this advice seemed basic but I explained that we cannot over emphasize the role the Bible plays in knowing God’s will. We said that most people are searching for God’s specific will but are not too interested in knowing God’s general will. The reason we should emphasize on knowing and prioritizing God’s general will is because: God’s more concerned in WHO we are becoming than WHAT we are becoming. That was the summary of the first blog. 🙂

In this second part, I’ll be talking about the role that godly counsel plays in knowing his will for our lives. God’s word and godly counsel are two of the most practical ways in discerning His purpose for us.

seek-godly-counsel-banner

So what does godly counsel have to play in knowing God’s will? In this blog I’ll be using the word “mentors” interchangeably for the phrase: “godly counsel.” Will a mentor help me discern most of our biggest questions in this life? Will a mentor help a student discover what course he should take in college or help guide anyone in their future career path?

The answer there, just like in the first blog, is a resounding: NO. The Bible doesn’t tell us specific answers to these questions, how much more us human beings who are flawed and sinful? Right? So what value does a mentor play in helping us know God’s will? The answer to that is they offer godly counsel based on God’s word. It goes back again to the word of God! This is how important it is. 🙂

Here’s a verse which I stumbled upon a few years ago and in my opinion gives us the benefits of godly counsel:

Psalm 37:30-31 (NLT)

The godly offer good counsel;
    they teach right from wrong.
31 They have made God’s law their own,
    so they will never slip from his path.

Three things that we can get from this passage of scripture regarding mentors and godly counsel:

1) A mentor offers good counsel

Another translation for the phrase: “good counsel” is the word “wisdom.” Wisdom can be defined as: “the quality of having experience, knowledge, and good judgment;”. I like the word experience. Mentors offer experience that prove invaluable. Here’s one passage of scripture that I heard from my first victory group leader many many times. He always emphasised this to me and all the people he’s discipling that’s why up until now it sticks:

Proverbs 15:22

Without counsel plans fail,
    but with many advisers they succeed.

Imagine being lost at night in an unknown place like a forest. You don’t know what direction to take or what path will lead you to safety. A mentor is like a person who goes ahead of you and carefully threads the dark path of that jungle. As he explores and checks out which route is safe or not, he can guide those who are following him in walking towards the right direction.

Dark_forest

For me, that’s a great illustration of what mentors helps us with. They help us not make dumb and stupid decisions which we may later regret in life. This is especially true in knowing God’s will for our lives. Our mentors/godly counsel help us in knowing and obeying God’s will for our lives especially in obeying his word.

2) A mentor knows God’s word well

Now that we know the value that a mentor brings to our lives, the next question the rises are who are these mentors? Where can we find them? What does a great mentor look like?

They key in finding godly counsel and great mentors is they should know God’s word very well. Psalm 37:31 says “they have made God’s law their own…’ I think this is one great way to know if someone can provide you with godly counsel or not. We have to see their lives if they are deeply rooted in God’s word. Again, going back to my blog last February, we cannot overemphasize the role that God’s word plays in knowing his will for our lives. Rightly so, our mentors should be able to lead us, through their experience, on what God’s word clearly says about our particular situation.

Young woman reading bible by stream in summer

Mentors/godly counsel do not presume to know everything there is to know in this world. They are humble and always relying on what God has spoken already in his word. They are guided by the Holy Spirit and quickened to give a verse that applies in the situation someone’s currently in.

Lastly,

3) A mentor helps us walk a straight path in our relationship with God

As someone is always guided by God’s word, the promise is God will make our path’s straight.

I remember a time in my life where my walk with God hit a bumpy rode at the risk of almost being derailed in my walk with Him. This was around the end of 2008. I have intentionally strayed away from my relationship with God. After making a few dumb decisions and coming to my senses I opened up to my mentor, the person who did 121 with me. I opened up my sins to him and told him what I’ve done. He rebuked and corrected me. All I could do was listen and accept his scolding. I realized that he was very much concerned in my life that’s why he confronted me like that. I was already repentant during that time however I knew that God was using that moment to reinforce the message of walking straight in his path.

walking_alone

A mentor will help us walk a straight path. They have the ability to see and check our blind spots and correct us for our own sake. The Bible clearly says that “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?” One thing we have to clearly understand and be aware of is that our hearts our deceitful. Left on our own we will stray from the right path towards God’s will for our lives. A mentor is someone who can help us avoid the wrong path that will be detrimental to our relationship with God.

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Question: Who are the mentors in your life? Who are the people helping you in your walk with God? Are you constantly looking for godly counsel especially when you’re in challenging situations?

In knowing God’s will, no man is an island. Christianity is communal faith, that’s what our Senior Pastor would always say. We cannot do this alone we always have to walk in fellowship w/ other Christians specially having mentors in our lives.

In closing, let me just reiterate: Mentors have gone this path before in trying to discover God’s will for their lives. They’ve made right decisions and wrong decisions, we can definitely benefit from that. They’ve also loaded up with God’s word so ideally they would know what verse can apply to our particular situation. Lastly, they will be there for us so that we would not swerve to the wrong direction in our walk with God.

God bless everyone and may God bring great mentors in your lives! 🙂

 
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Posted by on June 15, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

A quality that will help us in this race called LIFE Part 2

Yesterday, I participated in another 21KM run event titled: Run United. This was the third half-marathon I ever joined in my life. Run United After doing this two times already back in 2013, I thought I’ll be able to top my first two 21KM run. My first two runs were logged at: 2:37 and 2:40 hours respectively. Yesterday, however, I finished at 3:05. So what was the difference? Why did I do so poorly this time around? After much thought, I realized it all boiled down to this one word:

Perseverance

Three months ago, I wrote a blog that talked about Perseverance. You may check it out in the link below:

https://andrewwee05.wordpress.com/2015/02/23/a-quality-that-will-help-us-in-this-race-called-life/

The first blog deals more with describing what perseverance is and looking at it from a Biblical perspective. Yesterday, I experienced it first hand. After doing poorly from yesterday’s run, I learned and realized three things that can prevent us from having a persevering spirit.

1) Making Excuses

People asked me how did I do in my run? I told them the truth and said that I finished at 3:05. At the risk of sounding like a poor performer I immediately made excuses. One of the excuses I said is that I gained 10+ pounds since the last time I did this back in 2013. I reasoned that the weight difference affected my pacing. I had to jog at a slower pace. Also, after the 12KM mark, my legs started to cramp up. I immediately went to a nearby medic to have ice applied to my quads and calf muscles. I couldn’t speed up anymore because I knew my legs would give up on me. Thus, I started walking for the most part of the 2nd 10KM. Although, some of my excuses may seem legitimate I realized that in life there will always be unforeseen factors that can hinder us from reaching our goals or performing excellently. We have to be ready and prepared for uncontrollable factors that will arise. When these things come we have to adjust and do our best. For a huge part of that second half, I could still have jogged at a slower and much more steadier pace. However, the excuse of cramping up got the better of me that time.

No-excuses-460x460

What excuses have you been using lately? What do you think are the things you can do better to adjust given certain uncontrollable factors that comes? For me, I did not want the pain even though it was tolerable which leads to my second point.

2) No Pain No Gain

This is an age-old expression that is mostly used in working out, professional sports and even the military. In this life we will experience pain whether that’s physical, emotional, social or spiritual. Pain is something inevitable. The problem I see with most people is: The moment we feel pain coming, we want to back away from it as soon as possible. This is understandable as no one likes experiencing pain. However, the truth is pain is something we cannot get away from, we should just learn how to manage through it.

no-pain-no-gain 2

I realized that this is one aspect of perseverance: Going through and tolerating the pain that we will face. The moment my leg cramped up a bit I didn’t want to risk making it worse. Looking back, I realized that the pain was tolerable but was not something I was willing to go through. No Pain No Gain. The truth with this statement is, after we’ve experienced pain for a little while, our body muscles will heal and recover. After the muscle recovers, it’s now capable of bearing the same amount of pain and even go further. Pain oftentimes becomes an excuse for quitting rather than a reason for progress. What are some painful things you’ve been experiencing lately? What are some ways you think can help you manage and go through the pain you’re experiencing? I guess there’s some bit of truth to the saying: “What doesn’t kill you only makes you stronger”. Lastly, in relation to my first and second point:

3) Do Not Quit… Don’t even entertain the thought of quitting

I emphasized this on my first blog above. Now I realized that there’s a ton of difference from knowing it intellectually and actually doing it. When my legs cramped up I entertained thoughts of quitting.

“Nako nag cramps na ako. Siguro di ko nalang tatapusin yung race”, “May taxi ba diyan or any ride para ihatid nalang ako sa finish line? Di ko nalang tatapusin”

Those were some of my thoughts. I thought I was not going to be able to finish the race. Those thoughts entered my main half way through the race. Like what I mentioned in the first blog, the first thing we have to understand with perseverance is: “Perseverance is not giving up”. Quitting should not be an option and should not even be entertained. The moment the thought of giving up crosses your mind, rebuke it immediately.

do not quit

Just this morning, I was watching Game 2 of Cleveland vs. Golden State Warriors. This series would look like it’s going to be another classic. After watching a lot of great series in the past, I realized that those who battled for the championship almost had the same level of skill and talent. The thing that sets apart the champions from those who are just really talented are the ones who will want it more in the end. Champions are those who have taken out the word “Quit” out of their vocabulary. Golden State vs. Cleveland, it will go down to the team who will want it more in the end and not quit. That’s how important perseverance is. It’s the difference maker.

GS CLE

So there you have it! Three insights that I hope can help you endure and persevere with the challenges that life will bring you. Always remember: Stop Making Excuses, No Pain No Gain and Don’t Quit! A blessed week ahead of you 🙂

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Uncategorized