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Thank God It’s Monday! (The Man Who Works)

We just finished a series in Church titled: Thank God It’s Monday. The series is about work and the title is based on the popular saying: “Thank God It’s Friday”.

tgim

We usually say “Thank God It’s Friday” because we know that for most people that’s the last day of work. We thank God it’s Friday because we can look forward to a weekend of relaxation, rest and enjoyment. ūüėÄ Who doesn’t want that right? ūüôā The sad news¬†sometimes is this:¬†The reason we look forward into the weekend so much is because we don’t enjoy our work.

Apparently a lot of people see work as a curse or a toil rather than a privilege from God.¬†That’s why they’re not that too excited when Monday comes. We did this series because we hope that people will understand that work is a blessing from God and can be enjoyed by reflecting on His character and nature.

The truth is, work is from God. We are designed to work for his glory and purpose, that should really be our ultimate goal.

Colossians 3:23
Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men,

If we get that right, I believe with all my heart that our behaviours and attitude towards work will change dramatically. Remember to always¬†have this in focus… Then everything else will follow.

Having said that, yesterday’s preaching reminded me of a blog I wrote more than three years ago. This blog is about my top 5 learnings from the book of Proverbs about work. This accounts 5 great advices that I read from that book which I know will help me get better at my craft. So without further ado. Here it is:

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WISDOM FOR THE MAN WHO WORKS – April 19, 2012

Work is an integral part of our society. We see people working all around us. In our homes, our schools, the church etc. The work that people do, produces a lot of positive results and outcomes. Whether that be our cellphone, our iPads, our shoes, our clothes, the food that we eat, the streets where we walk or the roads where we drive. All these things are a product of the combined work effort of people in society. In life, work is part of our everyday assignment. We are created to work. In fact in Genesis 2:15 it says there that:

Genesis 2:15
The LORD God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden
TO WORK IT AND TAKE CARE OF IT.

Even in the original story, God created man not only to have fellowship with him but for him to work. When God created us he already had it in his mind to give us certain responsibilities and duties in this life.

We are all intended to do¬†work, no one can escape this responsibility. So why not embrace it? ūüôā For the past month, I’ve been¬†doing my quiet time from the book of Proverbs. As I’ve read the book, there are 5 principles and truths that struck me that I know can definitely help me with my work habits. Here are the five things, five wisdom and truths that will help the MAN WHO WORKS:

1) Diligence

hard-work-to-become-good

Diligence sounds like a very nice word. When I hear the word diligence, these things come to my mind: Industriousness, Hard Work, Perseverance etc. That‚Äôs a picture of people who really excel in their work. However, this is¬†easier said than done. As nice¬†as diligence sounds, our nature as human beings is to be lazy, slack around and choose enjoyment over hard work. I‚Äôm not saying that there‚Äôs anything wrong with enjoyment it‚Äôs just that, sometimes it‚Äôs easier¬†to¬†browse Facebook & Twitter, watch sports, play games than to focus on doing the more important things: our devotions, our relationship with other people and our work. Again, there‚Äôs nothing wrong with enjoying things in life¬†however it should be put in it‚Äôs proper place. Enjoyment can sometimes be a hindrance (although we‚Äôre not aware of it at times) to prioritizing what‚Äôs important. (P.S. All the things I mentioned I am guilty of!)¬†ūüôā

The book of Proverbs says there are many benefits to being diligent:

Proverbs 10:4
Lazy hands make a man poor, but diligent hands bring wealth.

Proverbs 12:24
Diligent hands will rule, but laziness ends in slave labor.

Proverbs 13:4
The sluggard craves and gets nothing, but the desires of the diligent are fully satisfied. 

Proverbs 20:4
A sluggard does not plow in season; so at harvest time he looks but finds nothing.

Proverbs 21:25
The sluggard’s craving will be the death of him, because his hands refuse to work.

2) Prudence

Thinking_Man

What’s the difference between Diligence and Prudence? Prudence, is not a very familiar word for most people. As I googled the word “Prudence” a lot of definitions came up so I just decided to base it on what Proverbs associates it to. Prudence means this:

Giving thought to one’s ways

Why is this important? I believe that this is important because prudence has something to do with the mind. While diligence talks about hard work, prudence deals with carefully thinking about our plans and actions. That’s why the world’s top managers, team leaders, etc. aren’t just those who work hard (diligence) but those who carefully think about whatever decision they need to make. In our work, this is important, to give thought to our ways as well as being diligent. Those two should always go hand in hand.

Proverbs 14:8
The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.

Proverbs 14:15
A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.

Proverbs 22:3
A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

3) Trusting in one’s ways

This next that I’m going to talk about,¬†most of us¬†know this to be true even¬†though we have a hard time admitting it¬†to ourselves. It’s about TRUSTING in our own ways and wisdom.¬†I think the reason why we may not agree on these truths is because of our pride. We think we always have the best ideas, we think our solutions are always the right answer. Proverbs says that “There is a way that seems right to man (us)”, the operative word¬†there is ‚Äúseems‚ÄĚ “but in the end it leads to death”. I always have to remind myself of this truth because I know that left on my own I will always trust and go with my instincts. If we are just honest with ourselves we know that historically speaking, our ideas and solutions weren’t always the best.

Proverbs 28:26
He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

Proverbs 14:12
There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death.

This learning actually leads to the next point.

4) Planning and Seeking advice

advice 2

If you have something that you want to accomplish. If you have a God-given dream or vision that he has really birthed in your heart to accomplish. If you‚Äôre so convinced to do something and would want to do anything to achieve victory then Proverbs is consistent in it‚Äôs admonition to everyone of us:¬†Seek Advice. Andy Stanley said that it is not a coincidence that the wisest king in the Bible wrote more about seeking advice and counsel more than any other person in the Bible. That‚Äôs the secret to his wisdom and we can have that type of wisdom as well if we seek advice. There are times wherein I have questions that I have a difficult time comprehending but because I seek advice and get counsel from someone who’s an expert then Boom!¬†clarity instantly comes because of that person’s advice. Admittedly I don‚Äôt do this as¬†often. I know that I have to change and always ask people for advice if I want to grow wiser. So seek advice as much as you can! The sooner the better.¬†ūüôā

Proverbs 15:22
Plans fail for lack of counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.

Proverbs 20:18
Make plans by seeking advice; if you wage war, obtain guidance.

5) Wisdom > Wealth and Riches

Wisdom

Managing our finances is one of the biggest challenge we’ll ever face in this life. Thus, a lot of people, because they get so worried and concerned about money try to chase after it. People think that as long as we have tons and tons of money then we’ll be ok.

After reading the book of Proverbs, I realized that having wisdom is more beneficial¬†than having wealth. A person can store up money for himself but the book of proverbs exhorts that acquiring and gaining wisdom is way way better than that. Why is that so? I believe for the simple reason that when you have wisdom, generating wealth is an easy task. You see great minds like Steve Jobs who lost his position in Apple in his earlier years only to be able to start his own company regain his position there. Why? Because of wisdom. You may have a lot of money, but I would go for wisdom any day of the week. The book of Proverbs says that it is more valuable, profitable and better. So choose gaining¬†wisdom over riches anytime!¬†ūüôā

Proverbs 16:16
How much better to get wisdom than gold, to choose understanding rather than silver!

Proverbs 3:13-15
Blessed is the man who finds wisdom, the man who gains understanding, for she is more profitable than silver and yields better returns than gold. She is more precious than rubies; nothing you desire can compare with her.

So that’s my top 5 most important learnings from the book of proverbs that concerns work. Hope this helps inspire you be more efficient and effective at work. God bless you and Thank God It’s Monday! ūüôā

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Posted by on July 20, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Break the Silence! What’s your Acts 8:5 story?

Last week, Coach Perci invited me to preach at our Youth Services in Victory Malate after a long time. It felt great preaching there¬†to the students after such a long time. ūüôā

Break the Silence Cover

It was the last part of our series titled: Break the Silence which is¬†a series about evangelism. Our objective for that series is to inspire our students to proactively share the message of the gospel NO MATTER WHAT, to NO MATTER WHO and NO MATTER WHERE.¬†Unfortunately, classes got suspended last Thursday and Friday so we decided to conduct only one service that day (4PM Friday). A total of 145 students came and heard the word. We usually average at around 400 + students this time of the year¬†so I decided to write my message in a blog format for those¬†255+ students who weren’t able to go ūüôā

The last part of the series focuses on preaching the gospel NO MATTER WHERE. In last Friday’s message we focused on the story of Philip from the book of Acts, specifically in Acts 8:4-8. It says there:

Acts 8:4-8 (ESV)
Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went. 5 Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. 6 When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. 7 For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was great joy in that city.

Context and Background

To give you a context and background of the passage of scripture above. It says in verse 4 that the people had been “scattered”.¬†The question is, why were they scattered in the first place? What caused that event to take place?¬†The answer lies in Acts 8:1:

…On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered¬†throughout Judea and Samaria.

5.13-persecution

The people were scattered because a great persecution broke out against the church. Apparently there was this guy named Saul who was trying to destroy the church back then. He went from house to house and dragged the Christians to prison.

Saul_Persecuting_Christians_001

It was a scary time to be in the church back then.¬†I’d imagine the people trying to get away from Jerusalem as far as they can in fear of Saul catching up to them. In my mind, the next logical thing to do would be to just hide and live a quiet and peaceful life for fear of what may happen. Verse 4, however, tells us a different story. It says here that:

Acts 8:4
Those who had been scattered preached the word wherever they went.

While I was reading this verse and preparing for my message. I was amazed at the fact that even though the¬†Christians were forced to¬†scatter because of the great persecution, they were still preaching the word wherever they went.¬†They didn’t let this terrible event stop them from preaching the message of the gospel. It inspires me to think that there were these kinds of people who didn’t let their circumstances stop them from preaching the gospel.¬†From their story I realized that “Every season is always the RIGHT SEASON¬†to preach the gospel.”

In and Out of Season

We shouldn’t¬†let our present circumstances hinder us from preaching and sharing the gospel wherever. This is a¬†message that all people needs to hear and receive. The reason we ought to share the gospel is because the gospel is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes (Romans 1:16). There’s no more important message out there that people need to hear. Their eternal lives are at stake.¬†Also since the gospel is the power of God, we will see people’s lives changed by it.¬†This is precisely what happened to the places were the early Christians were scattered:

Acts 8:5-8
Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there. And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. 8 So there was much joy in that city.

In verses 5-8 we see the story of Philip as he went down and proclaimed the message of the gospel in Samaria. The results were astonishing: 1) Signs and Wonders followed him, 2) Unclean spirits came out of many who had them, 3) People got healed and 4) A great joy came to that city.

Philip, because of his obedience to preach the gospel resulted to the revival in Samaria. This happened because of his initial obedience to go wherever God had called him from Acts 8:5.

Acts 8:5
Philip went down to a city in Samaria and proclaimed the Messiah there.

sent_to_proclaim-_Jesus

Philip was just one of the people who got¬†scattered because of the persecution. God had a unique calling for each person who were scattered. The same can be said of you as well. Where do you think is he calling you to preach the gospel? Where’s your season right now? Where is God placing you? This is your Acts 8:5 story. This is not just Philip’s story. This is also your own personal story of how God will use you in a place to preach the gospel so that transformation can happen in that place.

How about you? What’s your Acts 8:5 story going to be? Where’s do you think God’s¬†calling you in this season? Fill in the blanks below with your name and the place where God’s calling you to make an impact.

Acts 8:5

____<Your Name>_______¬†went down to _____<The Place Where God’s Calling You>______

…and proclaimed the Messiah there.

 
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Posted by on July 13, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

Anybody can be a leader (Leadership lessons from a reluctant leader)

Leadership. A lot of people say that this one word is the difference maker. Whether you are running an organization, a project, an event, the military or a whole country this is THE ONE intangible element that will effect positive change.

Leadership

This blog recounts my personal¬†journey: a person who’s a natural born introvert transformed to a student of leadership. Now I know for sure that I am not the best leader out there but ever since God placed a call in my life to preach the gospel and make disciples I’ve intentionally tried to learn and get better with this area called leadership. I was not a natural “born” leader. I was¬†more inclined¬†to be a follower for the first 20+ years of my life.

The fact of the matter is I¬†didn’t want to be a leader. I knew I wasn’t good at it. However there came a time where¬†I just knew in my heart that God had called me into this realm. To give you a picture of who I was before I became a leader, here are some facts about my life when I was younger:

1) My main areas of interests are¬†Mathematics, Music, and Finances. I’d consider these fields as areas where leadership isn’t that important.

MATHEMATICS

2) I’m a person who can stay at home for days all by myself¬†without interacting w/ people. I can sleep, eat and surf the internet without feeling the need to go talk with people. Sleep Me
Because of my background, interests and wiring I continually find myself trying to unlearn things and habits which I have so gotten used to. I just know for a fact that some of these mindsets of mine had to be renewed if I wanted to continue on growing¬†in my leadership skills. Nevertheless, I am thankful to God and his grace because I¬†have seen a significant improvement in my leadership skills ever since then. The reason I’m writing this blog is because I want to inspire three specific groups of people:

  • The first group are those people who’ve just recently developed an interest in this area called LEADERSHIP and don’t know have any idea¬†where to start.

Where to Start

  • The second group of people are those who think that they don’t have what it takes to be a leader. Let me tell you that I was in that position before. Anyone can be a leader, this is what I believe in. If I became a leader, I’m sure that you can be a leader as well. Even better! ūüôā

lack-of-confidence1

  • The last group of people I want to talk to are those whom I know God’s calling to be a leader, step up and initiate change. Don’t back out of the challenge even though you know that it’s going to have a lot of difficulties. We need more leaders in this world to effect positive change. I encourage you to step up and rise to the call of God’s leadership in your life.

1345360582_9717_375
If you identify with any of the three people groups I mentioned above then I believe that it’s not an accident that you’re reading this blog. If somehow, after reading the things I wrote above and it resonates with you quite well. I can relate with you perfectly. If you feel something rising¬†up in your spirit or a chill in your spine as you read about this topic. I believe that God has called you for such a time like this. I pray that you’d accept this mission and role that God has sovereignly placed in your life because of this:¬†The world needs more leaders. Leaders who are servants, selfless¬†and agents of positive change.

ServantLeaders

I believe that we are at a critical point in time where the need for leaders is at an all time high. Time is of the essence and the number of leaders responding to this call will have a profound impact on the change we’ll see happening in our nation and the world. So if that’s you. You identify with any of the three groups I mentioned above. Pray to God about it. Ask him specifically to give you courage to take on this challenge that will change your life forever. If you have fears know that some of the greatest leaders in history were also afraid at one point in their lives. However, they did not let their fears dictate the outcome of their decisions. They stuck to doing what is right in the eyes of God. You’re in good company:

Moses was insecure and unsure of himself:

Exodus 3:11
But Moses said to God, ‚ÄúWho am I¬†that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?‚ÄĚ

Jeremiah thought that he was too young and had communication problems:

Jeremiah 1:6
‚ÄúAlas, Sovereign¬†Lord,‚ÄĚ I said, ‚ÄúI do not know how to speak;¬†I am too young.‚ÄĚ

David’s Father did not believe in him and his skills:

1 Samuel 16:10-11
Jesse had seven of his sons pass before Samuel, but Samuel said to him, ‚ÄúThe¬†Lord¬†has not chosen these.‚Ä̬†11¬†So he asked Jesse, ‚ÄúAre these all¬†the sons you have?‚Ä̬†‚ÄúThere is still the youngest,‚ÄĚ Jesse answered. ‚ÄúHe is tending the sheep.‚ÄĚ…

We’re in good company. You see, because it will not be about our own strength or ability. If that’s the standard then I would have quit on this leadership journey years ago. But No. It’s all about God’s¬†character and his strength. The reasons we’re being called is so that he can display his power in our lives and through us.

1 Corinthians 1:27 But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong;

If God’s calling you to lead I hope that you’d accept his call in your life willingly out of obedience to him. Here’s a secret I want you to know. In the end we’re already successful if we’d obey him every step of the way because the victory is already won at the cross 2,000 years ago. It’s not going to be by our own efforts but ultimately by his finished work. The question is will we say yes to his invitation and privilege of leading others for positive change? I hope so. Remember the victory is already won. We just have to trust in him that through our own set of weaknesses, God will display his power and strength in every and any leadership challenge that we face in the future.

God bless you leader and world changer. ūüôā

 
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Posted by on July 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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, ‚ÄúThere are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.‚ÄĚ

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‚Äôs 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‚Äôs more concerned in WHO we¬†are becoming than WHAT we¬†are becoming.¬†That was the summary of the first blog. ūüôā

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. ūüôā

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.

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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! ūüôā

 
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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 ūüôā

 
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Posted by on June 8, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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¬†ūüôā

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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.

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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.”

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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. ūüôā

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. ūüôā

 
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Posted by on May 30, 2015 in Uncategorized