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What was the toughest Lordship decision you’ve ever had to make?

What was the toughest Lordship decision you’ve ever had to make?

Give God the glory with your #myVictoryStory!

Starting July 7, every Monday for the next five weeks, we will ask a question, based on the preaching topic of the week, on our Facebook page. Anyone can answer the question on their blog, or by replying in the Comments section of the question on Facebook.

This week’s question is: What was your toughest Lordship decision that turned out to be worth it?

Here’s a round-up of several of the stories shared over the course of the week:

  • Lordship Is . . . Pastor Paolo Punzalan sets the context for our Lordship discussion by discussing Victory’s core values, giving some insight into our history, and summarizing what Lordship means, using a L.O.R.D. acrostic.
  • Jesus As Lord. Pastor Ferdie Cabiling shares a blog post about the Lordship of Christ.
  • Jesus is Lord over my Love Life. Pastor Joseph Bonifacio describes what Lordship entails, sharing his love story with his wife, Carla, and what he went through when God told him it was not yet time to pursue a relationship. In the end, God gave Joe everything he’d asked for, and more.
  • When Obeying Meant Letting Go. Val Baguios III of BrokenMindset.Org discusses how his relationship with God became the top priority over other relationships, and how God honored that Lordship decision with a relationship that would change his life.
  • His Higher Ways. Karess Rubrico shares how she gave up her biggest dream to pursue God’s ways—and the rewards and benefits of that decision.
  • Passion for passion. Ganns Deen writes in GannsDeen.com about giving up his passion, his friends, and his career in one blow, to follow Christ. He was never the same.
  • Lordship? BIG WORD!. Jek Valle discusses Lordship—and shares his own testimony—in this surprisingly serious blog entry from this Christian comedian.
  • The Only B Student. Nate Punzalan writes about how Jesus matters to him more than high grades, and how he had peace despite getting lower grades than a few of his classmates.
  • The Pride and the Sea. Sofia Paderes writes in her blog, Sofiyichka, about stubbornly pursuing her ballet dream despite a horrific injury, and what happened after she finally put God, not her ballerina hopes, in control.
  • I Love You! Joy Buena writes about God’s love, and the role it plays in allowing Him to be the Lord of her life.
  • He Broke Me. Dr. Neslie Buena recounts her story of obeying and submitting to God’s will for her life.

Sandy Santi of Victory Zamboanga also recounts a testimony of Christ’s Lordship over his life and family:

I got saved in Victory Quezon City, went home to Zamboanga after graduation, and right away was connected to our Victory Zamboanga church. The church was relatively small then, so we pretty much knew everyone. We were like family. On what was to be my first day of at work, my dad had a stroke. In the hospital, Pastor Ritchie Llanto was able to share Jesus to him. My dad passed away soon after. The comfort of God and my spiritual family was what got me through that difficult time. I was still able to attend Sunday service and worshipped Jesus, even during my dad’s wake. I remembered thinking then that if God fulfilled His promise of salvation for my dad, then He will always always be true to His word—and He still is 13 years after.

Jasmin Estinozo of Victory Novaliches also shares her Victory story in her marriage with her husband, Exyl:

If I’m not mistaken, OURS was the first wedding that was held at Victory Nova.

Exyl and I were in a “live-in” setting for about four years. It was a topsy-turvy relationship. We did everything to stay together, but we found ourselves frustrated, exhausted, restless, and defeated. God’s Word indeed rings true: “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builders labor in vain.” (Psalm 127:1)

Then God’s radical love found us. We were wed on April 1, 2010. It was the day that His radical love ended our foolishness and made us wise.

This wedding was made possible by a lot of people, like our relatives, friends, and our Victory Nova family. This marriage would not be possible without our house builder—the Lord Jesus Christ. This is my Victory story.

 

July 11 update:

We’ve also received more Lordship stories for this week’s #myVictoryStory blog roundup! Here are a few more that we encourage you all to read and share on your social networks:

  • The Bishop and his Lord. “Lordship is acknowledging that Jesus is Lord of heaven and earth by virtue of His death and resurrection.” Pastor Manny Carlos shares his Lordship story in DoCampusMinistry.com.
  • Pastor Carlos Antonio shares his Victory story in “Absolute Surrender,” a heartfelt story of a mother’s stubborn persistence, and how God orchestrated an incredible series of events to transform one man’s life forever for the glory of the gospel.
  • The Ultimate Trophy.Yrose Lacerna writes about giving up her dreams and surrendering to God’s ultimate will.
  • Is it him or Me? Dr. Catherine Deen writes about how God challenged her to give up her relationship with a man who didn’t share her faith, and what He did after she chose to obey.
  • Lordship: The Life After. Tin Ginete shares her own unique Lordship journey. Know how God’s love proved more enduring and valuable to her than any relationship she’d ever had, and how ultimately her confidence and image rests in how God sees her.
  • A Love Problem. Em Gomez writes a thoughtful post about how Lordship is a love problem. It’s “always difficult to do something,” she says,  “when it is not done out of love.”
  • Win or Lose.“A year and a half ago I chose to run for council even if I dislike politics. It turned out to be worth it because it became an open door for me to share my faith to my org mates and slate mates.” Elle Cabiling shares her Lordship story on taking risks.
  • Out of the Shell. Ann Luna recounts how she overcame her introversion and surrendered to Christ. Now, she is enjoying fruitful relationships with people she now calls her friends.

Thanks for sharing your Victory story with us! Keep posted for next week’s question on Evangelism. Like us on Facebook for more info!

Finding New Strength

Finding New Strength

nessaNessa Gardiola, an upcoming campus missionary from Leyte, recounts her experience as typhoon Yolanda (international name Haiyan) hit the Visayas region last November 8. Here’s her story of God’s protection and provision.

I was at home with my family when typhoon Yolanda struck Leyte. There were six of us in our house in Palo, one of the Leyte towns battered by this record-breaking typhoon.

We watched in horror as the strong winds blew away our neighbors’ roofs. Seeing what was happening around us, we decided to pray together as a family, pleading for God’s protection as the monster winds howled around us.

Soon, the winds shattered the windows of our house. We sought refuge in my brother’s room, setting up a foam bed to protect us from the shards of broken glass flying in from the damaged window sills.

The aftermath of the storm left us shaken. My father, who was diabetic, had a wound on his foot. My brother also almost had an asthma attack because he couldn’t breathe well. Since there was water inside our house, there were rats and mosquitoes all around us.

Real community Despite these challenges, we were quite grateful for what we had about us. God was faithful to provide for everything that we needed—not just the physical needs, but even emotional and spiritual strength. Thankfully, we lived in a neighborhood where everyone could smile and laugh because of the unity of the people. We all shared our food and water with each other; my siblings had more than enough of what we needed. Our neighbors and other relatives extended help to us, too.

Eventually, for our safety and for my father to receive adequate medical attention, we had to relocate.

My family and I left Palo five days after Yolanda hit the area, pooling what little financial resources we had from people who blessed us. We boarded a plane to Cebu, where my family and I are now staying.

We plan to stay here maybe until next year. We’ll wait until everything goes stable in Palo, and wait until we can buy materials to rebuild our old house.

 

Moving forward Kix, one of the leaders in Victory Tacloban, went accounting for members of our church who were affected by typhoon Yolanda. He was able to visit my family and myself a few days after the storm. When he visited us, we talked about our plans in rebuilding the church, as well as rebuilding Every Nation Campus in Tacloban after classes resume.

kix_nessa
This photo was taken after Nessa was accounted for. Photo by Kix Javier.

It gives me joy to know that there were a lot of people who were concerned and praying for me. It gave me hope and a fresh perspective, knowing that my spiritual family was holding the ropes for me in prayer. I got more energized to work again and rebuild what was lost in Tacloban. I’m excited to go back to the campuses and continue encouraging and inspiring students to live lives of faith, holiness, and hope through discipleship.

It was encouraging to hear that none of the members of my discipleship group were in harm’s way during the storm. Some of them, who were students of University of the Philippines-Tacloban, have cross-enrolled to UP Diliman. I’ve connected them to Lourdes, one of the campus missionaries from EN Campus Quezon City.

 

God’s faithfulness endures God’s purposes for my life have never been this clear to me. When He spared my family and provided for us during those times, I was quite sure that God willed it so I can be a blessing to others. I was holding on to Him and His plans for my life as the typhoon raged.

When my family and I survived the worst, I was so excited to share my story because I know that there is a lot to be done and that God will use our city even more to impact lives not only in the region but all over the world.

I’m grateful for His faithfulness. I’m also thankful for each one of you who have prayed and given in every way.

Please continue praying for the Visayas—for everyone’s safety and good health, and for the relief efforts that are ongoing in the area.

I have hope that God has great plans for our nation. I’m looking forward to all that He will do, and will continue to do, through and for each of us.

Modest is Hottest!

Modest is Hottest!

Young women from different Every Nation Campus centers took part in their “Modest is Hottest” event held at the Victory Quezon City center.

Jaime Jamgochian, a singer-songwriter from our Every Nation church in Nashville, spent the evening sharing about modesty, purity, and most importantly, about women’s identity in Christ. More than sharing do’s and don’ts to the ladies in the audience, Jaime imparted a message on honoring God and living a life that pleases Him, through our words, actions, and clothing.

Here’s a testimony from Coleen Santos, a high school student from St. Paul College-Pasig. May you be inspired and encouraged!

Today’s fashion has been influencing teenagers greatly on how they dress. I’m aware of that all too well, being in an exclusive all-girls school and having a great number of girl friends. Whenever my friends and I would talk about what we’re going to wear for a particular event, we would really take time to plan outfits that would be “fabulous.” A mindset that I used to have whenever dressing myself was ‘We don’t dress for boys, we dress for ourselves’. While that may seem harmless, still there is an underlying ill motive for such behavior.

A few days back, I attended a seminar called Modest is Hottest and it was then and there that my long-time perception about dressing up was reset. My eyes were opened concerning how we should dress and carry ourselves. Singer Jaime Jamgochian spoke of our identity in Christ. The Bible tells us that God tells us that He created us and we are important to Him. We are also reassured us that we are priceless and precious in His eyes, that He sees us as beautiful no matter what the world may say. I sat in that seminar in awe of the love and acceptance God gave me.

Two reasons why we should dress modestly are to honor God and help the brothas out! Now that I understand what Jesus did on the cross, what else could I ask for now that He has set me free? The Bible encourages us to live in order to please God. Now that we have a relationship with Jesus, do we consider Him in every step we make? Since we surrendered everything to Jesus, doesn’t that include our closets, too? I realized that double-checking what I will wear won’t hurt. Will a low neckline and short shorts reflect the pure life God called me to have? Will my brothers see the joy and love Jesus instilled in my heart rather than the skin or the price tag on them?

Though it is challenging to put pieces of clothing together without being immodest, Jaime didn’t leave us empty-handed. She gave us Fab Five Fashion tips which helped us how to dress modestly and yet remain fashionable. Her helpful hints allowed us to double check the reasons why we should dress modestly. We can dress modestly all throughout and still reflect God’s love with our eyes, which can show our love and concern to people we interact with.

Of all the things Jaime discussed, I think what’s most important is we see ourselves as how Jesus sees us. The more we know of Him, the more we know ourselves in Him and it will just be amazing if all the beautiful ladies out there know that. In line with this, I’d like to join the movement by applying what I learned from this seminar. Not only will I set an example by dressing modestly, but I will share it with my Victory group, friends, and with my classmates as well.

Faith in the Impossible

Faith in the Impossible

Mark Gonzaga dreamt of finishing his university education and securing a future. He was able to surpass the odds and increase his faith in God in the process. Read more to know how God moved mightily in Mark’s situation.

Mark (right) is one of Real LIFE Foundation's scholars.
Mark (right) is one of Real LIFE Foundation’s scholars.

Before being part of the Real LIFE Foundation, I was struggling with my finances. Income was scarce in my family.  I had to drop out of college to be able to provide for my needs, and work as a call center agent.

I had a burning desire to finish my studies. By faith, I decided to pool all my savings from my income and enroll in the upcoming semester.

My mother, who had just received a job abroad, was excited for me and promised to support me all the way until I graduated. I had my hopes up and was looking forward to my future.

A few months into the semester, the bad news came: my mother got very sick. Because she was in the hospital often, most of her finances would go towards her treatment. She could no longer support me as I hoped.

It was a season where I walked with God. I also did a lot of walking—from school to my house, even to church. It was a time where I could eat only once a day. It was a very, very difficult time. Yet God would unexpectedly provide for my needs.

I am thankful that He did not only provide financially, but also people who stood with me and encouraged me. Jay, my Victory group leader, told me something I can never forget:  “Even if the mountain doesn’t move, climb over it. God will give you the strength like a deer to walk over the mountain.”

God answered my prayer for finishing my education when I became a Real LIFE scholar. That semester, I was so thankful to be part of their Adopt-a-Scholar program. Almost simultaneously, I was also elected as the school’s student council president.

Speaking before the student council in Arellano University Pasig
Speaking before the student council in Arellano University Pasig

Real LIFE did not just give me an opportunity to graduate—it helped me push for excellence. It made me realize that everything I did was to honor God. I was taught that everything we do is a dedication to Him. In everything that I do, I want to please and glorify God.

Being under Real LIFE, I was taught leadership, integrity, and excellence. But faith is what separates us from the rest. Faith is what holds all these values together. We need faith in order to live lives of leadership, integrity, and excellence. Now, I am thankful to be able to serve God and His people wherever He calls me to be.

Making a difference in his campus---and beyond
Making a difference in his campus—and beyond

 

In April 2012, Mark Gonzaga graduated from Arellano University in Pasig, with a degree in  Financial Management. He helps disciple LIFE groups in his alma mater, as well as students from Victory Ortigas.

Going Into all the World

Going Into all the World

Young as you are, you can make a difference! Sarah Bulahan started in church when she was six years old. Now, she boldly shares the gospel to her classmates and friends. Truly, age doesn’t matter when we make disciples. Read more on her testimony here.

 

I first received Jesus as my Lord and Savior when I was six years old. I’ve been attending Victory KIDS for three years and one Sunday, we were singing the song “Heart of Worship.” I realized right then and there that my life was all about Jesus—nothing else. From then on, my life was forever changed.

Growing up in church, I’ve been discipled by different people. One of them, Janelle, taught me how to love God’s Word and pant for it like water. She showed me how important it was to have a relationship with Jesus.

I decided to share the gospel to my classmates and friends because of how God revealed Himself to me. There’s just no other way to respond. When He reveals how great He is, there’s just no containing Him. Once He fills your heart, there’s just nothing else to speak of.

Who says discipleship can’t be fun?

Some of my classmates and friends readily received the gospel; some didn’t. I even had to repeat chapter 1 of ONE 2 ONE five times before taking a break. God really reminded me that it’s not about me or the way I speak or how I live, but it’s really about Him and how He can just reveal Himself to His people.

One time, one of the girls I was doing ONE 2 ONE with disappeared. I couldn’t contact her at all. I had my time of crying to God, “Where did she go? Did I waste my time on her? What happens now?” It’s really moments like that that God humbles me and reminds me that my time isn’t my time but His. And that I am NOT the savior and I will never be the savior. God comforts me and tells me to trust and pray and to remember everything I was taught. She came back six months later and right now she can’t stop inviting her classmates and friends even if they live so far away. It’s crazy how God’s timing is perfect. I’ve learned to trust His control AND His character.

Discipleship is relationship! Sarah (center) and her Victory group having a picnic in UP Diliman

Don’t look for someone else to share the gospel to the people around you. If God wanted someone else, then He would have spoken to someone else.

God is not far away. He lives in YOU. I don’t know about you, but that just makes me feel so powerful and confident in Christ!

 

 

Sarah Bulahan is a college student at the University of the Philippines – Diliman taking up BS HRIM. She also volunteers at the Music Ministry of Victory Quezon City.