Retold: Story of the Tortoise and the Hare

Sculpture of the Tortoise and the Hare from the Aesop Fable

This is a very famous and classical story from the Aesop’s fables about the race between a tortoise and a hare. Many of you knows that the story goes somewhat like this:

One day a tortoise and a hare gets involved in a heated argument about who is faster. They eventually agreed to compete in a race. In the race, the hare very quickly takes the lead. After reaching a distance where he feels the tortoise will not be able to catch up, he stops down and took a nap. He wakes up eventually to find that the tortoise has crawled, slowly and steadily past the hare to reach the finish line first.

In the Aesop’s fables, that story would have ended there with the tortoise declared victorious. I happened to stumble upon this curious extended version which added a few very interesting twist to the otherwise boring story. This version is written with plenty of lessons we could learn from. I shall discuss the leadership lessons from this fable.

We Need a ‘Who’ more than a ‘What’

A woman pouring very expensive perfume on Jesus' head


“Why do you trouble the woman?”

I was reading my Bible and I find this incident hard to comprehend. Let’s take a look at it together. It’s in the book of Matthew, chapter 26.

10But when Jesus was aware of it, He said to them,“Why do you trouble the woman? For she has done a good work for Me. 11For you have the poor with you always, butMe you do not have always. 12For in pouring this fragrant oil on My body, she did it for My burial. 

I find it interesting that, in response to a  legitimate and sensible comment by His disciples about selling a very expensive piece of fragrance and giving them to the poor, Jesus rebuked them.

Hillsong Conference 2014 – Day 3

By the time Day 3 of Conference rolls around, a lot of people would probably have been exhausted by now.

View of main stage from our new seating position

View of main stage from our new seating position


Hillsong, thankfully, understands this well and decided to let us have a short day today so that we could go back earlier to our hotel, or our homes, or wherever we are staying to catch some much needed sleep. Well, that’s the official reason this year. The unofficial reason, which has been  a tradition in previous years, was due to the State of Origin which always happen to coincide on the same week of the Hillsong Conference. The State of Origin this year seemed to have been played earlier this year.


Regardless of the colour preference and whose team you are rooting for, there is always something to look forward to with each new day of Hillsong Conference and they tend to go above and beyond your expectations. We are being treated with double portion of leadership lessons by Bill Hybels today. I love what Pastor Bill talked about today, which is about the five critical leadership test that Jesus issued to the people he will call. Pastor Brian and Bill then sat down together where they talked about their experience and their insights into more than 30 years of leading a church.

Choreographed Dance

After the talk-show, Pastor Bill left the conference to catch the earliest next flight back to the USA. We then get treated to some of the most creative choreography and music which the team at Hillsong has prepared so well. After the beautiful dancing and singing, Pastor Brian again took to the stage where he began sharing about how strongly he believe in the church being an inclusive place rather than exclusive place. The message, titled “Two’s company but three’s a crowd”, speaks directly into the challenge many modern churches face today as these churches began losing what God really wanted to achieve through His church. Key lessons learned: “We are not called to be an enforcer of rules but imposer of grace”



"Creative Writing - For the Love of Words" Masterclass

“Creative Writing – For the Love of Words” Masterclass

If there’s any aspect that I did not enjoy from Hillsong Conference, I would say that having to choose one out of the many amazing and inspirational masterclass will be it. And today is an especially difficult one. Four out of the ten masterclasses available today were going to be on topics that I am both passionate about and also eager to learn. I eventually settled on visiting the “Creative Writing” class, which was packed with people that they have to refuse entry to several people who arrived late. I chose this class specifically because of my love for writing and I am so excited that HIllsong, for the first time, host a writing masterclass. The other reason was probably because Robert Fergusson, a pastor I deeply honor and respect, will be speaking on the topic. Key lesson learned: We are ordinary people with extraordinary potential put in there by God. We are ordinary people with ordinary pen who will be able to write extraordinary things”.

He gave us five spiritual tips for writing

Three panel of speakers


Finally, the Night Rally is closed by Louie Giglio, who is a phenomenal and very gifted speaker and preacher of the word of God. He spoke about the idea that God, in HIs sovereignty, has a brand name. That brand name is Jesus. And God is a good who honors and respects His own name. God expects us to do the same. After all, evidences are abound in the Bible about how God wants people to be careful about the use of His Name. This is why there is No Other Name under heaven that is greater than the name of JESUS.


Pastor Louie Giglio Teaching the word of God

Pastor Louie Giglio Teaching the word of God

Louie Giglio

Hillsong Conference 2014 – Day 2

Good evening!


So I am now  at Day 1 of the Hillsong Conference. Well, it’s officially Day 2, but this has been the first full day of Hillsong Conference.

Conference Timetable

There is always a lot of promising new experience and exciting action happening with each new day of Hillsong Conference. That’s also probably why people try not to miss any part of it.

We are very close to the stage.

We are very close to the stage.

Reuben Morgan

Conference starts with the Morning Rally at the Main Arena, with Pastor Brian Houston preaching about the notion of gathering under “No Other Name”.

The key takeaway lesson is that we are not just consumer of The Name, we are to be contributors of the Name.

After the morning rally,, we had a short break followed by the next session, which is called “Let’s Talk Church”, hosted by Pastor Joel A’Bell , Pastor Gary Clarke, Pastor Brian Houston and Pastor Bobbie Houston. In this session, Pastor Brian opened the session by sharing about what kind of culture that He believes in.

Talking Culture

Talking Culture


Afterwards, we are then given several choices as to what kind of Hillsong Conference that we would like to experience. I went to attend the “I Am Not Creative” masterclass where they unpack the real life struggle that they have to face everyday being part of the church’s creative team. They also shared insights into how to become a more creative person.


Jay Argaet and Carmen-Lee Myers

Jay Argaet and Carmen-Lee Myers

This is then followed by the “God, Money and Me” masterclass where the speaker is someone who’s supposedly very famous and very excited about the work for the Kingdom of God. His name’s Pat Mesiti. He claims himself to be a “Wealth Acceleration Coach” and he taught some truths that are often overlooked or ignored by Christians, and even pastors. We are supposed to change our mindset about how we use and how we view money.

Key takeaway lesson: Have a simple economic plan, where you start allocating money for God first, continued with your individual spending second, then paying the bill’s third an finally investing in yourself fourth.

Pat Mesiti

Starting from a few years ago, Hillsong began doing a “everyday is opening night” and the results have been nothing short of amazing. This year there’s no exception and it continued to be mind-blowing as previously.




Bill Hybels preached today for the first time in many years, and he gave a very simple yet deeply profound truth, talking about TIME.

Key takeaway lesson: Ask yourself the question “What would my schedule look like if God were in charge of it?”