Victory U-Belt Every Nation. Every Campus. Mon, 23 Feb 2015 02:08:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Nation. Every Campus. Victory U-Belt no Every Nation. Every Campus. Victory U-Belt Where is my True Financial Peace? Sun, 22 Feb 2015 10:10:08 +0000 financial post

Personally, November is a great month. It is the transition period to Christmas. It is also that time of the year when we have a great sermon series on what is truly essential in our lives.

Looking back over the past months, the lessons on the book of Deuteronomy in the Bible clearly stand out in regard to how we live our lives.

There are Three Critical Lessons from this book that I would like us to examine.

First, true financial peace has nothing to do with our capacities, inheritance or effort.

Second, true financial peace is allowing God to lead us.

Finally, true financial peace is about Knowing and Being.

In the movie Lucy, Morgan Freeman was a scientist who figured out that the human brain is only used up to 20 percent of its capacity. He concluded that the reason for this is that man is more concerned about HAVING than BEING.

Whether, the movie is true or not, the underlying statement says the truth about human priorities. We are concerned about having things. This does not excuse anyone – including people who follow Christ. For instance, usually, come November, people receive their bonuses. But how much of the bonus has gone into productive and long-term pursuits? The real challenge of having financial peace is the lure for material things.

A quick look at the book of Deuteronomy, we will find out that it chronicles the journey of the Israelites. The Israelites represent the modern-day journey of a Christian. The rescue from Egypt represents our rescue from the slavery of sin and death. The journey along the desert is the pruning and preparation part. While the “Promise Land” is the land of true financial peace. As Christians, we also face the same struggles of looking back at our “Egypt”. Yes, we may be slaves in our own “Egypt”, which we safely say, our “comfort zone”.

That “Egypt” can well be an old relationship, an old job, an old place or anything that holds us back from moving on – they represent our Egypt. We enjoy our Egypt because it is our own strength, our own capacities, or our own self that dictates our situation. But while Egypt may have provided for us financially or even emotionally – it is still a land of slavery.

This is the place where people, no matter how hard they try, they end up where they started. Working hard will only result to so much.

I remember meeting the man selling fish balls in our neighborhood when I was still in grade school. Today, he still sells fish balls, and that must have been 30 years later.

I asked him of any changes in his life, but he responded by saying, “I am used to this”.

I realize how much power the “poverty mentality” has robbed him of the best God has for him. But the truth is, people without Jesus Christ are tied helplessly in this mindset. For them, the solution to life is in their hands. But Deuteronomy 8:18 says:

“God has given us the ability to produce wealth”.

Without God, we will be facing unending toil while we live.

Second, Christians who look back to their Egypts are really those challenged by letting go and letting God.

When we get out of Egypt, there will be shaking and confusion at times. Taking that step to go with Christ also takes the same step in the area of finance.

In the wilderness, we tell God we want to obey you, but our heart refuses. There is that struggle. This is the reason why it took the Israelites 40 years to complete a journey that would have lasted 11 days.

The same is true with Christians today. Our struggle to be our own boss will make us run in circles in our lives. In the wilderness, we will not recognize that God is providing. We long for more and we long to have. Today, we are more concerned about the things that we do not have than the things that we do have. But the question is, “do you really need that iPhone 6 when you have a fully functioning and working Samsung Galaxy Win?”

Do you really need a new car that is worth 1.5 million pesos when your 2010 edition Toyota Vios is as reliable as it can be? Look at your cabinets – do you find things that you thought you do not have? Or do you have any clothes that you have not used for the last three months? You can actually do a garage sale friend!

The best way to recognize that God has provided is to do a cleaning of the house and realize that you actually have more than what you need.

When we do this, we are telling God – please lead me. Let me see you as the cloud that covers the hot sun at daytime and the pillar of fire at night so I can go through the difficulties of life.

Below is a picture of a flower that grew on the road. I saw this flower and took this picture as I was walking from our apartment in Osaka to the University where I was studying for my PhD. It was a tough day. I have not made significant progress and it is less than a year for my scholarship funds. I was talking to God and telling Him to just allow me and my family to go home. This scholarship thing is putting a lot of stress on me, my health and my relationship with my family. I want to go home.

In short, I was in the wilderness – I was recalling the good days of just working in the Philippines with my family, friends and comfort zone. Here we are in Japan – everything is foreign and difficult! I was crying and telling God – Hindi ko na po kaya? All of a sudden I saw this flower across my path. It seems like God was saying, “You are to bloom where you are planted! Even if the situation is tough and difficult, I will be the One to ensure your success! For it will not be your own doing but Mine.”

“You are to bloom where you are planted!"

“You are to bloom where you are planted!”

True enough, two weeks after that – things started to work beyond what I can ask or think (Ephesians 3:20). I knew that I am at the home stretch of the wilderness. In short, I got my PhD degree on time – in His time.

Having gone back to Manila since 2006, I have realized that once I focused on KNOWING and BEING a Christian, God will take care of the HAVING. 

In the land of placement, God will make sure that your connection with Him is your passport to having an abundant and a fruitful life – a life of true financial peace. 

I do not deny that I still worry somehow in regard to money – but I am no longer shaken.  I have come to realize that John 6:40 is the purpose of living – this is eternal life to KNOW Jesus Christ. 

Knowing Jesus Christ has arranged my life in order.  It is not yet perfect – for perfection is not going to happen on earth, but we have the opportunity to live eternal life on earth by becoming what God wants us to be. 

Know that your financial peace is in God’s placement and in God’s placement, you will be fruitful and generous!

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Maximizing the Sunday Service Experience Sun, 08 Feb 2015 07:02:53 +0000 Filipinos generally spend their Sundays with their families.

And as part of this weekend culture, Filipinos make sure to attend church together on Sundays.

Growing in this kind of Filipino tradition, we hear something like: “come early”, “dress-up nicely”, “listen to the preacher”, “bring your Bible”, among others.

When I was young, I have done that roll-your-eyes thing at least once when I heard these so-called before-you-go-to-church-on-a-Sunday “rules” and still did when I was a teenager before I came to understand God’s love.

But when I finally surrendered my life to Jesus, I came to realize that paying attention to the Sunday preaching, bringing your Bible and coming early to church doesn’t have to be a Sunday ritual.

Instead, when you truly understand that God loves you deeply, these seeming Sunday rules become a natural by-product of our love for Him.

The following are some tips so we can better maximize what I would call our Sunday Service Experience:

11. Come to Church Early

Being punctual in your weekly time with God is a sign of respect. If we do this in our work, in our dates, in our gimmiks, then all the more we should do this for God as a sign of respect and love for how we spend our time.

22. Bring the essentials

For those who still can’t figure how to use an iPAD, you can bring a Bible, pen and a notebook instead. For the majority, that is one way to remember some of the “tweet-worthy” statements the pastor will say.

33. Be ready to socialize

More than just Sunday goers, we have to realize that the church is our spiritual family. And the service gives us an opportunity to gain new friends and establish relationships with the friends you have. This is one of the ways to grow in our relationship with God.

44. Get ready to party!

Maximize the worship experience. Don’t be afraid to put your hand up in the air and give your all to God as a sign of honor and respect!

55. Don’t surf the net or text during service

Yes, sometimes, we are guilty about this. But what’s one hour and a half in a week to worship with your church mates and listen to the word? It would be best to turn your mobile internet off and focus on God’s word. You will hear more from God when we do so.

66. Lastly, take charge of your emotions and be in an expectant disposition to be with God.

All of the things above are not rules but just suggestions on what you can do to prepare for your Sunday Service experience. When doing things for God, make sure the heart is right because the Bible says “…for the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7).

Happy Sunday!

* Illustrations by Yoan Etcubañas

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HONOR GOD | Prayer and Fasting 2015 Teaser Tue, 30 Dec 2014 09:42:26 +0000

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Leaders & Volunteers Thanksgiving Banquet 2014 | RECAP Sun, 07 Dec 2014 10:03:51 +0000

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“Together” | Leaders & Volunteers Tribute Video 2014 Sun, 07 Dec 2014 10:03:12 +0000

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Grace Changes Tue, 04 Nov 2014 07:56:01 +0000

While listening to one of my favorite worship songs, “Grace Changes Everything” from the new Radical Love album by Victory Worship, I still vividly remember the first time we sang this song at our Live Worship Night, which I should say, was an incredible experience. The lyrics are simple, yet it perfectly encapsulates Christ’s finished work on the cross.

Below is a portion of the song:

Chorus part

There’s no sin too great
There’s no pain too deep
The cross declares it is done
There’s no shame too real
That His love won’t heal
Forever the victory is won

How many of you have ever felt far away from God at some point in your life?

The Bible says sin causes the separation – all kinds of sin if you may. But the good news is God made a way through Jesus for us to be with Him (John 3:16). That’s the power of the gospel!

Sin causes our separation from God, sin causes pain and shame. Yet, God’s love is greater than all our sins. His love can heal the deepest pains of our hearts, His love can heal and make our hearts complete.

Verse 2 part

By the power of His blood
We are daughters and sons
His grace changes everything

Apart from Christ, we are considered enemies of God. Our destination was eternal death. But through the finished work of Jesus on that cross, we now have a right standing with God the Father. Now, we are children of God.

Bridge part

It is finished
It is finished
The victory is won

The very last words of Jesus on the cross was tetelestai”, which means it is finished. And this means, we are no longer slaves to sin, we are set free in Christ.

Life is a constant battle, some over addiction, others over temptation, or sickness, financial lack, relationship issues, yet, be assured of this truth: Jesus has already won the victory for us!

Just remember this: you are not fighting FOR VICTORY, but you are fighting FROM VICTORY that CHRIST accomplished on the cross.

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(Doodle Verse) “Well Done!” Wed, 15 Oct 2014 09:05:20 +0000 artwork 007

View the entire gallery here.

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Biblical Leadership Wed, 08 Oct 2014 06:09:20 +0000 Leadership Development is one of our core values as a ministry and as a movement. Where we are today would be impossible if those before us never valued raising the next generation of leaders. I remember this quote emphasizing the importance of leadership: 

“Humanity currently faces three extraordinary threats: the threat of annihilation as a result of a nuclear accident or war, the threat of a worldwide plague or ecological catastrophe, and deepening leadership crisis in most of our institutions. Unlike the possibility of plague or nuclear holocaust, the leadership crisis will probably not become the basis for a best-seller or a blockbuster movie, but in many ways it is the most urgent and dangerous of the threats we face today, if only because it is insufficiently recognized and little understood.” - Warren Bennis, founder of the Leadership Institute at the University of Southern California

Crisis of leadership is serious. It can make or break a nation. The world needs leaders who are brave enough to take on the challenge. But what makes a great leader? How do we lead people in a way that honors God? Here are some insights that could help us put leadership in the right perspective:

Leaders lead by following God’s lead.

gilbertF post

The foundation of leadership is being under God’s governance. Leaders who are conscious to follow God’s leadership in their lives rely on His wisdom and not on their wits, His heart and not their interests and lastly, His example and never their preference. As Henry Blackaby defines it, “Spiritual leadership is moving people to God’s agenda”. A good question to ask is,”what does God want me to do as I lead others?” Whether it’s leading a family, a group of classmates for a project or running a company, leaders should always be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. There is no dichotomy between organizational and spiritual leadership. We can only work powerfully when we act prayerfully.

Is everything preceded and followed-through by prayer? Or is prayer merely a last resort when things go out of hand?

Leaders lead by serving others.

At the heart of leadership is service. John Maxwell said, “people don’t care how much you know, unless they know how much you care”. Leaders easily make the common mistake of sacrificing the benefit of the people they lead in order to conform to policy. It should be the other way around. Policies and systems are crafted so we could serve people better.

Consider Joseph, who was sold as a slave yet was entitled to be an heir. For him, it was function first, before position. In his years of slavery, he served in the prison cell and was eventually called to serve an ungodly ruler, Potiphar. In his faithful service, God used him to save an entire nation from famine. Imagine what we can do when our focus is never on ourselves but on how we can serve others!

How far would you go to serve a purpose or a need other than yours? Are you willing to go the extra mile even if it is not called for?

Leaders lead 24/7.

Leadership is not about position or title, but influence. Just because it’s no longer my team, nor my responsibility, doesn’t give me an excuse to “clock out” of leadership. We are constantly influencing people everywhere we go – on the streets, under pressure and most especially, at home. It’s not about what you do but who you are. We don’t have to wait for a leadership position just to lead. By following the example of Jesus, we are influencing others wherever you are today.

What kind of influence do you bring with you? How can your life (not just your role or position) positively affect the world around you?

Leaders lead by example.

Many leaders would make others do things they wouldn’t do themselves. On the contrary, leaders should set the example. Pastor Steve once shared how his son learned to ice skate after seeing kids his age skate on their own. The same thing happened when bought Alonzo’s first bike. We wanted to show him how it’s done, and made sure he’d practice first with training wheels. But when we saw kids bike without smaller wheels, he said “I can do it, dad. If these kids can do it, I can do it too.” True enough, to our surprise, he drove his bike on his own just like those kids did.

Paul wrote about this in the book of Corinthians, “Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ”(1 Corinthians 1:11). Ultimately, people can trust our leadership knowing that we are following the example of Christ.

What kind of example are you setting to those who are following your lead?

Leadership is challenging, but fulfilling. When we see people discovering the purpose and plan of God while they are under our leadership, the joys are insurmountable.  As we respond to the call of leadership, whether it be leading the home, leading a Victory Group or an organization, my prayer is that we would be filled with God’s grace. May we be filled with wisdom and courage to make the right decisions in leading God’s people according to God’s agenda.

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(Storyboard) Leader’s Convergence: God’s Not Dead Tue, 07 Oct 2014 10:27:26 +0000 Not all stories are told by words alone.

Storyboard is our attempt to tell a story in 7 pictures. Can you describe ‘the story’ of this month’s Leaders Convergence?





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Since 1984 Sun, 05 Oct 2014 08:05:58 +0000 Since throwbacks are popular nowadays, allow me to paint a picture of 1984 in your mind. What’s so special about that year anyway?

1984 was the year when…

Apple launched the first Macintosh personal computer.
“Time After Time”, “When Doves Cry” and “Footloose” topped the music charts.
Ghostbusters became a top-grossing film.
Manila’s LRT Line 1 began operating.
Aga Muhlach was one of the country’s newest heartthrobs.

But that same year was also a chaotic time in the Philippines.
Activism was part of the daily scene, especially in Manila. People fearlessly fought for what they believed in. Rallies were held left and right. Tear gas and pillbox were throws by rallyists as they cry out for a change in government.

But while everyone else was fighting for political change 30 years ago, a particular group of students had a different battle cry: “Honor God and make disciples”.

Victory was “born” in 1984 at the heart of the University Belt.

Sixty-five American students went to Manila to share the Gospel to Filipino students in the at the height of student activism and political unrest. Little did they know that their mission trip will ignite a radical movement that will sweep through the nation, one soul at a time.

Manny Muleta in 1984

with Manny Muleta and his wife, Joy Muleta A student who was reached out during that time was Manny Muleta. Manny was an undergraduate student at the Technological Institute of the Philippines (TIP) when he experienced a turning point in his life.

It was through a “mime show” that Manny encountered Jesus. During those days, mime performances were used by people from Victory to engage students.

It was an attraction to the youth of that time. Students, together with the American missionaries, performed 15-minute mime shows at the streets of University Belt around 5 p.m. By the end of the skit, an “open-air” preaching will be done by a student or missionary.

Those who stood by to watch the performance and listen to the preaching were invited to a “rock and roll seminar” at Tandem Cinema’s basement. The “rock and roll seminar” was like a youth service. It was held every night on the month of July 1984.

On July 16, 1984, Manny was one of the students who came to watch the mime show. He heard the Gospel and received Jesus as his Lord and Savior that day. The next day, July 17, Manny joined the mime group and proclaimed the Gospel on the streets!

When I asked why he was suddenly bold enough to do it during that time, Manny replied, “There was no shame. Hindi kami nahihiya. We were radically transformed by God. Because of what he did in our lives, we were willing to do anything to please Him.”

Before Manny came to know Jesus, he was a sick drug addict who didn’t have a sense of direction in life. Jesus offered him hope, purpose, health, love, salvation, and many more. Jesus radically changed his life, hence, he responded radically as well.

According to Manny, he had a strong desire to share his encounter with Jesus so that others can experience it too. He was ready to forsake everything to make the Gospel known to others. He had no other explanation for this kind of response. It was the radical work of Jesus alone that compelled students like him to do extraordinary things.

Manny Muleta in 2014

Thirty years later, God’s love is still driving Manny to do radical feats. Manny is currently a pastor at Victory Fort. Although he is no longer a student, he is still proclaiming the Gospel to many people in different ways.

A few years ago, Manny spearheaded a ministry for taxi drivers. He started to share the Gospel with just one taxi driver. Now, there are over one hundred taxi drivers who participate in the ministry that Manny pioneered.

Manny’s love for God and people is also evident in the life of his son, Mark Muleta. Mark is currently a college student. In 2011, he was able to speak to four thousand students at the Ignite conference. Recently, Mark preached in five services on one Sunday at Victory Fort. It’s amazing how Manny was able to pass on the radical spirit to his son. He admitted that he is now concerned with teaching the next generation to be radical for Jesus.

Picture of Mark Muleta preaching at Ignite 2011

Picture of Mark Muleta preaching at Ignite 2011

Living Radically

Manny Muleta’s life shows that being radical is the apt response when we truly understand what Jesus did for us. A person who was transformed by God cannot help but express gratitude by giving up everything for Him.

His life also tells us that being radical isn’t a one time thing. It’s a lifestyle. Manny boldly proclaimed the name of Jesus through mime performances back in 1984. Now, he declares God’s Word by preaching every Sunday.

The methods for engaging people and sharing the Gospel may change, but the Spirit behind it remains the same. Before, they had “rock and roll seminars”, now, we have youth services. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit who moved mightily in 1984 is the same Spirit who is ready to empower us today.

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