Now I am Andrew

andrew-1Unknown to most, Andrew is actually my rebirth or baptized name. My birth name, which was given by my parents is Kelvin.

It was God who gave me the name “Andrew” during the period when I was due to be water baptized.

While spending time with God, I was reading the scriptures and came to the part where Jesus Christ invited Peter and Andrew to follow Him.

As I read my spirit was stirred, it felt as if Jesus was calling out to me as ‘Andrew’, “Come, follow me.” (c.f. Matthew 4:18-19)

I had an encounter with Jesus!

Although I knew He was calling me, ‘Andrew’, I hesitated to assume that He wanted to change my name. Thus, I told Him if it was His intention to change my name that He somehow confirm this to me. And boy did He!

The first confirmation

That same week at a church service, the passage that was preached was… YES you guessed correctly! It was about Andrew!

The preacher taught how Andrew was evangelistic who brought people to Jesus including his brother, Peter.

I didn’t really want to believe this as a confirmation and regarded it as a coincidence.

The second confirmation

The next following week at the church service. My younger brother joined me for the first time upon, he responded to receive Jesus Christ during the altar call.

As like most altar calls, my younger brother left his seat to approach the stage area to where the pastor was. I accompanied him. And after he prayed to receive Jesus with others as well, the pastor walked towards us and spoke to us.

He asked my brother’s name and mine. And we told him we were brothers. At that remark, the pastor shook my hand enthusiastically and affirmed me saying, “Wow! You are an ANDREW!”

Could you imagine that???

The final confirmation

If that was not convincing enough for me, God pulled another trick just for His own pleasure just to prove a point.

I have always been a huge fan of Manchester United Football Club and follow closely to their games and developments. Therefore, I know the names of every player of this team.

That following week while reading the papers on the team, I realised the name of their prolific star striker, Andy Cole had suddenly changed. And that was the name he was known as since he started his career!

Now make a guess to what name it now read? That’s right… ANDREW Cole!!!

Till today, there hasn’t been a clear explanation why Andy Cole changed his name from that time onwards. And it had to happen during that period!

What are the chances of that happening?! God truly knew how to get my attention and to convince me to accept the change of name!

My new identity in Christ

Now 15 years as Andrew, I understand and appreciate why God took all that effort to change my name.

Like how He did so for many of the biblical characters in the Bible such as Abram to Abraham, Jacob to Israel, Simon to Peter and so on, He did so to establish a new identity for that person.

The old me (Kelvin) is now no more and the new has come. Now in Christ, I am Andrew with a new mission in life ordained by God and I embrace His call.

I know for a fact the kind of person the old me called Kelvin is. And there’s nothing good in him. This new name not only reminds me that this new life that I have I now live consecrated for Him, but also to firmly anchor me in my new destiny in Christ.

I’m no longer looking back, I’ve decided to follow Jesus!

Saluting a true champion

After his team was defeated by a sensational Barcelona team during the recent European final, many expected Alex Ferguson to throw in the towel and retire.

But he did not.

Instead, this 70-year old manager has been busy getting his team ready to mount another challenge in the new season.

“You shouldn’t be afraid of a challenge. We’ve got better and better. We want to improve. Of course, next season, we must improve even more,” said Alex Ferguson after the defeat.

Indeed, champions are not those who do not fail but they’re those who do not quit.

It is safe to say that Manchester United are the champions they are today because of their manager’s winning mentality.

Alex, is one person that readily admits that he does not enjoy being second best and his team not only understands that but adopts his winning mentality.

If his 24 years at the same club and winning 12 championship titles is not convincing proof of his insatiable appetite for winning, I do not know what is.

I truly take my hat off and salute this true champion of a man.

Reaching Peak Potential

Over the weekend, Manchester United won an all important match 3-1 against Tottenham Hotspurs to keep their BPL Championship titles hopes alive.

Besides the gallant display, I was particularly impressed with red devil’s old guard, Ryan Giggs who scored two of the three goals for the home team.

Exceptional Ryan Giggs

Unnoticed by some, this 37-year-old player was playing and almost completing his 20th highly-competitive season for Manchester United.

And considering that he has won almost every coveted award or prize available (except the elusive world cup), his consistency and insatiable appetite for success is commendable.

What’s more remarkable is how Giggs has defied all odds to fully stretch and reach his peak potential as a soccer player at his age despite the average soccer player best-by-date being at 28-30 years old.

Excellence required to peak

Here’s a quote worth mentioning: “Winner never quit, and quitters never win”.

If there’s anything that can be learnt from Giggs, it would be his relentless pursuit of excellence to raise the bar of his game. That’s because it is so easy for us to lose the drive to excel after tasting a bit of success.

Likewise, it is my prayer that I’ll have this similar spirit of excellence and stay focus on the goal that God has set for me; to keep on keeping on in reaching my peak potential.

I’m believing God for more (of Him and from Him) and not settling for anything less. I simply desire to become and accomplished all that God has created and destined me for.

Making Every Point Count in a Race

It is commendable that despite having more popular votes in snap polls against John McCain, Barack Obama never rest his laurels.

He was not never waiting for chance to repeat what his former Democrat presidential nominee, Al Gore had experienced during the 2000 Presidential elections. Back then, Bush narrowly won with 271 electoral votes to Gore’s 266.

As this week’s election results showed, Obama fought hard for every vote from Americans including territories that were traditionally Republican dominated. And he managed to achieved a winning feat of 349 electoral votes against McCain’s 174.

Winning is the name of the game

Are all these hard-pressed efforts necessary?

Well think Felipe Massa, the Brazilian Ferari’s driver. Early this month, he lost the Formula One (F1) World Championship title to Lewis Hamilton by a mere one point.

That same mere one point also made Hamilton the youngest ever F1 Champion at 23 years old.

In the 1998-1999 season of the English Premier League (EPL), it was one point that gave Manchester United its most successful season as treble winners. They edged Arsenal with 79 to 78 points to end the season as EPL champions.

In all races or games, every vote or point matters; that one point might just differentiate the winner from the losers.

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize…  No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:24,27

Living all the way for the Lord

Though the chances of us being presidential nominees or sportsmen to not come by all the time, but as Christians how are we making every minute, every day and ounce of our energy count for the Lord and His will for our lives?

For when David had served God’s purpose in his own generation…

Acts 13:36

Taking our cue from both the Apostle Paul and King David, both are great examples of a Christian’s life that made sure every ounce of God’s grace upon their life was well-spent despite the adversities.

Both not only ended the race well, but from the start till the end, they did what they did with passion, excellence and purpose.

Likewise, I believe each of us need to know the race route that has been marked out for us and complete it in our own generation.

With understanding who we are in Christ- our identity; our destiny; His presence, His promises and the Holy Spirit- we can be confident of achieving all that we need to for His glory.

The Saint in this Devil

Manchester United’s latest Red Devil, Dimitar Berbatov speaks…

“And when I realise I give myself airs, the red light in my head flashes. Many times I was ashamed because of some of the things I had done….. And I am religious and I take the bible everywhere with me. There are many good pieces of advice for those like me in it.”

View the enlarged version of this article here>>>

My Doodling:

WOOHOO!!! Manchester United are the European Champions!!! After spending the entire morning watching the pulsating premier final match between Man U and Chelsea, I am walking around with panda eyes. But it was worth every loss minute of sleep =p

Watch the exciting match highlights here>>>

Being an Excellent Winner in Christ

Manchester United has done it again!

They have added a 17th Championship title to their cabinet of trophies by finishing the Barclay’s Premier League 2007/08 season with a virtuso display of hunger and team spirit.

This team begun the league slowly but leap-frogged over Arsenal to lead the table in the later stage of the season’s second-half, and eventually pipped Chelsea to secure the championship in dramatic fashion!

Playing to win the title

The Champs of BPL 2007/2008But what if the script didn’t turn out this way, and if Chelsea had snatched the championship under the nose of the Red Devils?

That would have meant all their hard work and goals scored throughout the season of nine months would amount to nothing.

The one and only objective of being in the league is to win the race for the championship title.

Without aiming and clinching the title, being in the league would be meaningless.

A winning mentality and attitude

Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:24

Similarly, we as Christians are all in a race of our faith and the goal is to accomplished our purpose and calling as His servants.

At the end of this league or to be exact, at the end of our lives on earth, would we reach our goal? Would we emerge as winners or losers?

As apostle Paul beseeches, we need to live out our faith in such as way that we aim to win. And that can never be achieved with a passive or mediocre mentality and attitude.

Winning with excellence

What distinguishes winners from losers is the hunger and spirit of excellence in achieving the goal or prize.

A spirit of excellence is created and thrusted by our hunger fueled by our love for God and the passion for the lost that needs to be touched by His love.

I think it is not uncommon to be comfortable where we are in life with what we have. We can so easily go about daily losing the aim or purpose of our lives.

Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

1 Corinthians 9:26-27

Even if we think we are doing well, that would posed a challenge to be continually motivated. Because it is easy to allow the “Rabbit and tortoise syndrome” to creep in when we think that we’re ahead of the rest.

Live excellently and be excellent

Despite winning almost all that is to win in the football world, Manchester United has never cease to evolve, improve and excel in all departments.

Hungry RooneyTheir hunger and avoidance of complacency has seen them striving to outdo not only their opponents, but also their ownself.

Likewise, with continually spiritual hunger for God and to do His will, we can also expect to see the Mighty Hand of God in our lives using us powerfully beyond our imagination.

When we are truly living out God’s purpose for our lives, that’s when we are excelling in every areas of our lives.

And just as it is fair to say that no one wants to support or be associated with a team that always loses and has no spirit to excel (which attributes to Manchester United being one of the most supported football clubs in the world), we cannot expect to win people towards Christ if we do not lead victorious, successful and excellent lives in Christ for the world to see.

Therefore, we need to live excellently and be excellent in Him with the supernatural resources we have in His promises and the power of the Holy Spirit, for Him.