Tuesday, January 19, 2010

New Year has begun!

Wow, time really flies. Last few months were super busy with church work. Anyway, as the beginning of a new year, I pray that this year will be another year of surprise.

As some of you has guessed rightly, I failed to complete my target of book reading. I target to read 26 books last year, but only manage to reach 10 books by 31st of December. Well, I admit my defeat ... (mourn for 1 minute) ... okay, let's move on.

This year, I have no time to loose. My future is at stake. I am giving all I have into education. There are few deadlines I must meet, or else I am .... dead ... really dead ...

What are the deadlines? Can't let you know. Top secret. What you can know is that those deadlines is about education.

Hope you will forgive me as I have not much time into blogging. Okay, got to go already. See you next time.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Leadership Nugget

Recently i set a goal to read up to 26 books by the end of the year. It is a crazy target to achieve, with my crazy schedule and heavily demanded job. Yet, I know that I am responsible for my own life, and being an educator, I need to teach myself. To be true as an educator, to believe that the world will be better with wisdom shared, to upload the mission of a teacher, I must first be a student to develop a learning habit that will eventually lead me to the destination that I want to bring others along.

So, I decided to initiate the self-improvement training on myself, and see the result of it for myself.

So far, I have read 6 books, and starting my seventh book this week. Books that I read came from all sort of genre. I have to train my mind to understand knowledge of all genre, to see development in a more holistic way.

The seventh book that I am reading now is written by Dale Carnegie, and the title of the book is "How to Win Friends and Influence People."

The first chapter explain the first principle in relationship: Don't criticize, condemn or complain. It is human nature to protect themselves from physical and emotional harm. Therefore, when a person make a mistake, the person will put up his/her defensive barrier, and will try to justify his/her action. I call this as "Adam's nature". When Adam and Eve fall into sin in the garden of Eden, the first thing Adam did when God asked him was to justify his action by pointing the problem to Eve.

However, when we criticize or judge the person, it actually enforce the barrier. This cause the person not willing to accept his/her fault and turn away from any rebuke. Moreover, usually when we criticize, we allow our emotion to express freely without self-control, and we will end up pouring our anger, frustration, hurts and pain to the person who make the mistake. At the end of the day, not only the person did not learn the lesson, but the relationship became sour and broken.

However, this does not mean we should allow mistake to pass by and pretend nothing has happen. We need to correct the person in away that is not rude, but with love and understanding. This is where self-control is heavily required. To be able to confront the situation with a calm emotion is very difficult. It require us to put our emotion down, and think in rationally on what way can we help the person improve.

Frankly speaking, I don't think I have such capability to control my emotion when someone in my team make a mistake. Yet, I see that by continuously re-evaluate our respond in rebuking someone will help us to develop a new habit. This new habit of building another person will soon replace our bad habit of fault finding.

Lead in love and not with fear is the highest call of leadership.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Being relevant to the society

This few weeks, the word "Relevance" has been ringing in my ears. Every where I went, I found this word appear. Even in my small group, I began to share with my college members how the youth culture has developed and how far the church is away from engaging the culture.

I understand that being relevant does involve risks, and there is no fine border line between relevance and worldly. All I could see is that if we continue to reach out to the youth with our traditional method, we might eventually become another Europe, loosing the generation.

The whole cycle of postmodernism has already begun whether we like it or not. I see no point in defending the "methodology" of reaching youth, or pointing fingers on any party that does not support the idea.

As this age has begun, we have to admit the fact that youth today is different from youth 5 years ago. If we are not able to break from the traditional perspectives, we are in danger of not being relevant to the people we are trying reaching.

However, there are the group who try to be relevant till losing their own identity. They are well blend into the society, but at risk of losing the very call of being set apart for.

It is never an easy task to be spiritually set apart and culturally relevant. Yet, I see no excuse for not risking for God. I remember once my lecture in Bible school said, "if every one plays clean and don't want to get dirty, who will be the hand of God in the dark and dirty world?"

I will take the challenge to exploring further, how a Spirit-driven person should engage the society, and how God can lead us to be spiritually set apart yet culturally relevant. God please guide.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Leadership Reflection

I am going to start a series of reflection on leadership. This reflection is spring out of the last Eagles Leadership Conference that I attended in Singapore. Some of the sessions really reveal some "hard" reality of churches today. But there is at least one session that I think is not really beneficial, at least to me.

Nevertheless, no matter what, there are gems of truth hidden in each sessions.

For each reflection, I'll make it short, taking the core teaching of each session, and ask some reflective questions for us to think about. Hopefully as we continue to struggle with those hard questions, our mentality of leadership change. When our thinking change, our behavior will change as well (I am a strong believer of Cognitive-Behavior Theory).

Here is the first reflection on the first session of Eagles Leadership Conference 2009.

Topic: Loving People, Delivering Performance

Speaker: Rev. Peter Chao

Leadership is more than job delegation. It is not a dead mechanism or an autocrat imposing fear to get things done. In fact, leadership is highly emotional, and the most powerful leadership is nurture in love. Jesus Christ demonstrated the highest level of leadership, which is self-sacrifice and self-giving to all mankind. The hard question for us to struggle is:

  1. The current organization that we are leading, is it driven by love or fear? People working around us, are they working because they are compelled by love or fear of becoming jobless?
  2. What are the ways that we can promote love in our leadership scenario? How do we love the people we are leading more and more? How can we create an environment of love in our workplace?
  3. Are we willing to take the risk, to be humble enough to admit our vulnerability to the people we are leading? Can we admit our mistake and stop covering them from the people we are leading?

Monday, April 13, 2009

Day 14 - Back to Malaysia

This morning, we had a wonderful worship service in Agape. I thought there will be only a few of us coming to church because most of our members have gone back to their hometown. Yet, quite a number turn up in today service.

We have a wonderful time fellowship after the service, and Sothy brought me out for lunch. We went to a Taiwanese restaurant and have some Chinese food.

Then by 2.00pm, they send me to the airport. Everything went smoothly. But as you can guess it, the flight delay for an hour. So, I waited there from 3.00pm till 5.00pm before I step into the plane.

When reach Malaysia, the weather is not too good. Heavy rain in the airport. Anyway, by God's mercy, we landed safely. I got down and pass through the customs without any problem. In my bags were 8 mangoes and 2 back of rice.

Then finally I meet my family. Complete my mission in Cambodia and reach home safely. First thing I did was to give a nice hug to my girlfriend. Miss her so much. Then went to the Mamak stall and had a good Malaysia dinner.

I find that this trip has been a blessing to me. In one way or another, I have learned my weaknesses. I found that I am not that independent after all. In many times, I will feel fearful. I have to learn how to overcome myself for the mission that has been prepared for me.

I hope that my journey has encourage you to take part in a mission trip. It is not that difficult nor it is easy. One thing I know, you will definitely learn something new. May God bless you and have a wonderful day.

The End.