What does it take to become an Achiever?

In statistics, normal distribution is an important phenomena applied to many real-life situations in the field of natural and social sciences. The feature of the normal distribution is that it is symmetrical in shape about its mean, which is well-known as a “bell curve.”

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The peak in the bell curve represents the mean (average) of the population, but in simple terms it is the highest number of occurrences of values, which is the mode. The important thing we have to notice is that the curve is concentrated in the center and decreases on either side. This is significant in that the data has less tendency to produce extreme values, called “outliers,” as compared to the values fall under the peak in the middle. Most individuals in a population fall under this region of the bell curve and standard deviation lets scientists estimate the extent of the deviation from the mean. In a normally distributed curve, there is a relationship between the population mean (µ) and the standard deviation as follow;

  • 34.13% of the area under the curve is contained between the mean and a score that is equal to µ + 1σ.
  • 13.59% of the area is contained between a score equal to µ + 1σ and a score of µ + 2σ.
  • 2.15% of the area is contained between scores of µ + 2σ and µ + 3σ.
  • 0.13% of the area exists beyond µ + 3σ.

If you add up all these values above, this accounts for 50% of the area and another 50% accounts for the area that is in opposite side of the bell curve (since it’s symmetrical in shape). The term “outlier” is a phenomena that is numerically distant from the mean and it is believed to occur due to either of measurement error or experiment error.

However, the outliers are those who succeed in the real world and one may think that only a few selected individuals can succeed in their fields while rests fall under the “peak” of the bell curve. However, the Bible says nothing is impossible when we do all to the glory of God. Let’s look at some verses from the Bible.

1 Corinthians 10:31: Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

Mark 9:23: Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

Philippians 4:13: I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

Philippians 2:13: For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

1 Corinthians 10:13: There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

Believe that you can succeed your life with the power of prayer! If you do everything in your life for the glory of God, He will show you the path and also make a way to escape if you may not be able to bear it.

T.S.

References:

http://www.concordspedpac.org/Bell-curve-ss.htm

Grace for grace

In a recent New York Times Opinionator column, Tim Kreider, an author, talks about an intricate issue of human relationships. He discloses the darker reality of how we are thought by other people in a rather negative light, against our existential desire to be loved unconditionally.

 An incident happened to Kreider when he received an accidental email which was meant to be traded between his friend and his co worker and it contained some gossips about him. At first, he was shocked to find that someone was gossiping about him behind his back. Then he felt hurt at seeing his friend’s unsympathetic behavior towards him. Finally, this incident led him to realize how little room we occupy in other people’s hearts and that everyone else does not always view us in the forgiving light that we wish they would do.

We all hope to be understood and be accepted by others, sometimes without a condition. But when it comes to understanding and accepting others, our brains start to pick all the reasons why we cannot understand and accept them. Yet simultaneously we count on them to understand our anger.

Kreider in his article explains that unconditional love is to love someone despite their infuriating flaws and unforgivable absurdity. Many of us, including myself, demand this act of benevolence from others but when it comes to giving it, we find it the most difficult thing to do. I often see myself stuck between wanting for forgiveness and being reluctant to giving it.

Socrates has left with us his legendary quote “Know Thyself” and this asks us to turn a table around and  see ourselves objectively.Would you be able to forgive all the flaws and the absurdities of your own character and love

During one of the TAC meetings, a question was asked about the objectivity of knowing ourselves. Is what I know about myself an objective truth? Or is what others say about me an objective truth? The discussion led to a conclusion that the only objective way to know about ourselves is through the Bible.

The Bible tells us that we are all sinners. We are all sinners and that we need to repent and ask for forgiveness. Without realizing all the infuriating flaws and absurdities of ourselves, we can never grasp the meaning and the value of an unconditional love.

The one and the only person who has given us  true unconditional love is Jesus Christ. He has sacrificed and died for us despite of all our flaws and sins. He loved us and gave His life to save us. His love is grace for grace which we have not deserved. In His unconditional love, let us strive to forgive and love.

K.P.

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Read Kreider’s article here: http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/06/15/i-know-what-you-think-of-me/?smid=fb-nytimes&WT.z_sma=OP_IKW_20130618

Limitations of the Court

scales-of-justice

Lawyers will often try to explain to their clients that there are limitations to the relief they can get at law. Many laymen file petitions, hoping that for whatever inequity that have suffered, the Court will offer a complete relief of their burden even though the legal system just cannot offer the remedy sought. There are stories after stories of clients demanding lawyers to file a complaint that will probably be a futile attempt at what clients like to call “justice”.

Further yet, even when there is a relief at law, there are obvious limitations to what the Court can offer. Before discussing limitations, it is important to note that the Court system can do two things, very broadly speaking that is. First, the Court can act upon what has already happened. By doing so, it might either reward or punish a certain party for past actions. The Court may order damages or specific performance to compensate equity. The second thing the Court can do is stop or initiate future actions. The Court may order an Order of Protection, for example, to prevent a certain person from intruding on the petitioner’s premises. The Court can also incarcerate someone and forcibly prevent the criminal from committing further offenses.

However, the Court is limited to one thing. It cannot necessarily change an individual. It cannot make you whole from a broken marriage. Not necessarily, at least. The Court cannot change an individual to awaken them to their senses by incarcerating them. It may however, happen on the account of the individual’s own enlightenment. It is limited in that it can control a person’s actions, but as for what is within and without, the Court plays a truly limited role.

As Christians, the Word of God moves us. The Word is like a seed that plants into our hearts and from there the seeds sprout into leaves. Our hearts and minds become gardens of Christ, as by the daily dose of prayer and the Word, they are watered in the Holy Spirit. It is not a rare sight to see the unbelievable rebirth of a sinner shackled by death to his salvation by the Blood of Jesus. Like a man born again from the womb of his mother, a Christian is born again and again in Christ. Every time a sinner repents, you see regrowth and renewal in him.

The Word does not simply control our actions, though the Command of God is beyond prevalent in the entire Bible. Though an awaken individual may go to jail and come out as a “new” man, it is by the words of experienced judges who often say, “oh no, you’ll see that man again, in Court, very soon.” They simply say, “they do not learn”.

People all make mistakes. I cannot for a second doubt that all judges are great sinners themselves. Yet, people with ongoing and endless criminal counts, are almost residences of the Court or the jail. You clearly see, this is no mistake. Criminality to such degree in the all too many counts show that their actions are not mistakes. They are habits they cannot break.

There are weepers and moaners. There are the proud ones and the shouters. Sadly, too often than not, one cannot possible trust all that they “promise” before the judge. “Judge, thank you. I will never disappoint you again.” These words go in one ear and come out the next, as the same faces reappear year after year.

I often sit and see this frustrating cycle of sinful habit. Break it, I say! But how do they begin? Where do they begin? What if their entire lives were constructed by sin because their parents too, did not know any better? They may return home today with a legal remedy that they are happy of. But, will that change them from where they are now?

There seems to be two worlds facing each other in Court. There is the judge with authority, with wisdom and knowledge of the law. Then, there is the inferior one who stands before the bench, waiting for an invisible hand to force them to do something. I sit there in between the two worlds and feel stricken with grief.

How limited the legal remedies are! People fight and say “I’ll see you in Court!” as though, justice would be served and all would be well. But, what of the true offenders who have violated the law? What of the offenders who come back every now and then, and who cannot break away from their problem-infested lives?

I do not not for a second think it unnecessary for the Courts to exist. The relief that the parties gain through trial or hearings can amount to more than I can possibly imagine. Yet, when we downsize and look through a microscope into the individuals lives, it pains me that some do not know there is complete relief in Christ. 

Perhaps it is because I know that from death, Christ saves me day to day. Though we are all sinners, the Word breaks us into pieces day to day. The Word is like a mirror. It shows us our dirt, our conceit, our pride, and our crime. By seeing that reflection, we know the grace we have received! And though we can never stop sinning, at least we are given the blessing to know what we have done wrong, how to undo that wrong, and how to begin walking the right path.

Think what blessings you have that even today, this very moment, you can see your true reflection by His Word. Be thankful that this moment, when you kneel before His grace, you can be born again. Remember, nothing in this world can give to you exactly what you need. It is only Jesus Christ that gives complete relief.

What temperament are you?

It is often said that a person can be categorized into one of four different temperaments: sanguine, choleric, melancholy, phlegmatic. This is interesting because it gives us an objective, studied perspective on ourselves, allowing us to be aware of advantages in belonging to a certain temperament as well as disadvantages. Surprisingly, even some of the greatest characters in the Holy Bible can be categorized into one of these four temperaments. For a more detailed study on the topic, it’s best to take a look at this article:

http://www.faithabraham.com/Personality%20Identifier.pdf.

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The four temperaments are as follows:

1.      Sanguine

Sanguine is the most emotionally-swayed type out of all. The person with this temperament likes to have fun above everything, and relishes at being the center of attention. This is not to say that they simply seek attention, for they also tend to be genuine human beings that speak what’s on their mind without any filters. This can come across as warm and sincere, but it is definitely necessary for people with sanguine disposition to think before they speak. To give a list of adjectives, a person with a sanguine temperament is “affectionate, loving, cheerful, optimistic, hopeful, and confident.”

However, often times such people mislead the conversation by talking too much about themselves or turning the focus on them. They tend to be easily distracted by things that are going on around them, so they are not much reliable at times. They tend to forget and get tired of things easily, because they value fun above all.

Example: Apostle Peter.

Apostle Peter was said to have a sanguine temperament. It is easy to witness Apostle Peter acting impulsively and straight out of his emotional epiphanies. For example, in John 18:10, Peter drew his sword and “slashed off the right ear of Malchus, the high priest’s slave.” This was when Jesus was betrayed by one of his own disciples, Judas Iscariot, and just before being captured under the order of the high priests. Peter’s action greatly disturbed Jesus, who then proceeded to scold him and reattach the ear back into the servant.

2.      Choleric

People with Choleric temperament seek authority and dominance in everything they do, especially in a group setting. They are goal-oriented people that bypass anything they perceive to have trivial effect on their goal. They are quick in assessing what needs to be done to achieve their goals, and work fast and hard to attain them. They are fast problem solvers, not swaying this way or that and obsessing over every little detail. They rarely change their stance once they’ve made up their minds, and are very responsible. They are born leaders capable of pulling others into their direction.

They are not at all sensitive to others’ opinions for they are not the type to be influenced by them. They are very pragmatic in their approach to everything, so they are inapt at being a caring, consoling friend. They are quick tempered, and are aggravated easily.

Example: Apostle Paul.

Apostle Paul seemed to have a choleric temperament. Studying under an acclaimed Jewish Law teacher named Gamaliel, he was a zealous student of Judaism. His fierce devotion to the religion had him initially leading a campaign against Christians, one of which was stoning the deacon Stephen to death. It was only after meeting Jesus Christ that he became a changed man, turning his fierce loyalty towards Jesus and spending the remainder of his life evangelizing and establishing connections with other Christians in other parts of the world.

3.      Melancholy

These people tend to be quiet and reserved. They tend to be introverts, preferring to have a deep conversation with one person over having cocktail conversations with many. They are keenly sensitive to what others may say about them, and may brood over something that Sanguines would laugh-by as jokes. They are studious people that value inner qualities over external beauty. Often times people with melancholic personality are gifted with intelligence, and are attributed with adjectives such as “moody, depressed,” and “gloomy.” They have few but loyal friends, and tend to be altruistic to the point of being self-sacrificial.

Example: Moses and Apostle Thomas.

4.      Phlegmatic

Phlegmatic people want peace and therefore evade from any potential conflict or trouble. They are usually well-rested and calm, and are easy to befriend. As they hate conflict, they tend to blend-in well with whoever they’re with. They are introverts, and aren’t willing to act unless prompted to. They are neat and easy-going without much deep brooding in their mind, like the Melancholys. They would rather be passive observers than intense corroborators. As they are social chameleons, it is sometimes difficult to know what’s really on their mind.

Example: Abraham.

In her article on the temperaments, Dr. Faith Abraham discusses the concept of spirit controlled temperaments and shows us the trajectory of transformation each Bible figures mentioned here have gone through. By the grace of God, each temperament has gained further strengths that were once weaknesses. Under the influence of the Holy Spirit, Sanguines will develop self-discipline that they normally lack; Choleric will become loving, peaceful, gentle, and caring; the Melancholys will replace their gloominess with joy, peace, and meekness; and Phlegmatics will become more involved and motivated to act instead of being indifferent and fearful of confrontations.

Humility: Apostle Peter no longer sought to attract crowds when he performed God’s miracles (Acts 9:36-42).

Faith: Apostle Paul no longer trusted his ego, instead entirely on Christ (Phillipians 4: 13)

Meekness: Moses was said to be “very meek, above all the men which were upon the face of the earth.” (Numbers 12:3) *Note that this is after God called Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt and towards the promised land of Canaan.

Courage: Abraham saves his nephew Lot from the invasion of an alliance of provincial kings (Genesis 14).

It is inspiring to know that despite our potential short comings based on what our temperaments are, the Holy Spirit will further complete us into finer human beings to be used for God’s glory. We should all be grateful for whatever temperaments we possess and hope to be used accordingly for God’s purpose.

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. –Galatians 5:22-23

What temperament are you?

A.K.

Sources:

http://www.faithabraham.com/Personality%20Identifier.pdf

http://voices.yahoo.com/transforming-temperament-biblical-example-of-720833.html?cat=34

http://voices.yahoo.com/transforming-temperament-biblical-example-of-720841.html?cat=6

http://voices.yahoo.com/transforming-temperament-biblical-example-of-720857.html

http://voices.yahoo.com/transforming-temperament-biblical-example-of-720867.html?cat=34