Dinner with Taipan Henry Sy

Ok. Let me get the facts straight. We had dinner last night in China Palace (Mall of Asia). We had the place to ourselves. I was with Shirley and our girls (Bea, Ana and Andrea). My Mom and Dad joined us together with TinTin (my sister) and her son Nathan and her fiancé Gary. Then on the other table near us was a familiar face. A simply dressed old man sitting on his wheelchair eating together with some  family and friends. I noticed him staring in our direction while we were eating, so after I finished my meal I mustered some boldness to approach and greet him. I just introduced myself and said it was an honor meeting him. He introduced himself and smiled and I asked permission to take a picture with him which he obliged. That’s the whole story. Of course, I wanted to ask if he can be a sponsor to my daughter’s very distant future wedding. (just kidding)
Here is an example of a man who slowly built his wealth for many years. A legendary rags-to-riches taipan and a shopping mall pioneer. He is now considered the richest man in the Philippines owning over 30 malls (and counting) a top bank and a lot of real estate. Most of us know his story of humble beginnings, driven by a strong vision and stern discipline and frugality. He is a first generation millionaire (now billionaire) and has now passed the business empire to his children.

Source: Finances

Looking Rich VS Being Rich

There was a TV show in the early nineties entitled “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” hosted by Robin Leach. It featured the extravagant lifestyles of affluent athletes, business tycoons and celebrities. It shows you some of the properties of these wealthy people i.e. mansions, resort and vacation houses, private islands, huge yachts, jets, sports cars, fine jewelries, etc.. I have no objection in buying “stuff” as long as you don’t find your identity in having them. Things don’t define the man, they are merely tools to fulfill his purpose and calling in life. If you feel you that you need 7 cars/ SUVs to get you from point A to point B, it’s up to you. The question is “Can you really afford it?” (aside from “Do you really need it?”)
Many people who are high-income earners may not end up to be rich because of the high lifestyle that they maintain. They fail to accumulate any lasting wealth. They are more concerned of the image that they have and continue to buy the symbols of the rich: $$$. Even the middle class people are not spared of this financial trap. They live hyper-consumer lifestyles that they spend their money faster than they earn it. They even incur a huge amount of debt and end up paying for it their entire life.
Prov. 13:7 One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
On the other hand, in the book Millionaire Next Door, the authors Stanley and Danko, made a study of America’s decamillionaires (net worth above $10MM) and have found some interesting facts common to them.

Most of these millionaires are first generation millionaires, which means that they did not inherit their wealth but have accumulated it through saving and investing.
They live well below their means (which means that income is greater than their expenses). They budget and plan their expenses. They practice the “pay yourself” or set aside approach i.e. taking 10-15% of earnings and set aside as “untouchable” for personal spending.
They believe that financial independence is more important than displaying a high social status. In other words, they don’t care about image. Many of them don’t own flashy sports cars. They drive pick up trucks and keep them for years. Some even buy used cars. They don’t buy expensive watches or jewelries. Many of them don’t buy signature brands of clothing like Armani suits or Prada bags. They go to regular department stores to buy what they need.
They are frugal. Instead of looking for things to buy, they look for opportunities to invest their money in. They believe that the more time someone spends buying things that “look good,” the less time they spend on planning their personal finance.

These are some of the things that the authors found common among the millionaires that they surveyed.
I am not saying that we live like a pauper. We can live comfortably and moderately and at the same time be aggressive in saving and investing. You need to find your balance. I have no problem in buying signature items (I own a pair of Chuck Taylors!). Make sure it’s part of your budget which is written down.
I realize that there are no shortcuts in building wealth. We all have a chance to accumulate money and have a nice and comfortable retirement. Don’t just live for the moment. Live with the future in mind.
Do you want to look rich or be rich?

Source: Finances

Short-term VS Long-Term

A lot of people are dreaming to be rich or may I say financially independent. But many don’t have the discipline to work and save and see their money grow. They are impatient and would like to get rich quick. They would rather enjoy life now and spend what they have rather than delay their gratification and save up for a better future. Because of the desire to get rich quick, they engage in questionable investment schemes, highly speculative stocks and even buy lotto tickets or join a game show. Unless you are a Hollywood celebrity who will earn millions of dollars after doing a movie or a business tycoon who earns thousands of dollars a day or marry a rich person or win the lottery (you may add to the list), the rest of us will have to work, save and invest for our retirement funds and other needs.
Is it possible for a person to end up with millions for retirement even if he is just a regular employee like a call center agent, sales associate, bank employee or anybody who is earning a meager income? I believe the answer is “YES!”
It starts with having the right mindset. Most people have a mindset of consumerism. They live for the present. They spend ALL their hard-earned bucks for things that do not have lasting value i.e. shoes, clothes, the latest iPhone or gadget, a new car, frequent dine-outs (date nights with wife is fine, of course!), an exotic vacation, etc.
While I can always find the justification for such expenses, the real questions are “Do I need it?” and “Do I have the budget for it?” Don’t get me wrong. I’m not leaving faith out of the equation. I am merely pointing out an irresponsible and oftentimes presumptuous approach to finances and spending.
We have to change our perspective from short-term to long-term thinking. As my friend Chinkee said, “The poor thinks daily in terms of making both ends meet. The middle class thinks in monthly terms. Whereas the rich thinks in annual cycles or even decades when it comes to investments.”
In other words, the longer the term of perspective, the better the decision-making.
When my daughter Bea was around 8 years old, we brought her to Toy Kingdom. When we entered the store, I gave her P100 and told her, “You can buy anything you want with your money (which was not much) today or you can wait another time and I’ll double your money so you can buy a better toy.” She was excited as she walked in to the huge store with millions of pesos worth of inventory. Guess what she did. She decided to use the money to buy stationeries and other small items, which did not last a day.
She saw an opportunity to buy but failed to see the other opportunity of doubling her money if she just waited. Just like her, all of us are exposed into the world where billions of products are for sale. There are so many choices to make. But instead of waiting for a better opportune time, most of us decide to go for the kill and buy what we want even if we can’t afford it. Some even spend tomorrow’s income today by buying on credit installments or mortgages. You have already committed future income payments for the item that you buy today. People want to look rich instead of really being rich. Huge difference.
Prov. 13:7 One man pretends to be rich, yet has nothing; another pretends to be poor, yet has great wealth.
Again, the longer the term of perspective, the better the decision-making.
More on this topic in my next blogs . . . .

Source: Finances

Sunday Recall (August 16, 2009)

We are on week 3 of our series Genuine. As we continue with our preaching series, we talked about another area where the merging of our faith and action can be clearly seen – in the way we use our tongue. Below is my preaching outline last Sunday:

Have you ever been a victim of a gossip or a rumor that is not true?
How does it feel?
On the contrary, have you ever said anything about a person that may be true but done with a wrong intention.

James 3:1 Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.
James 3:2 We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check.

What is the real test of maturity? Prayer, fasting, studying the Word, worship, giving?
James said if we are never at fault in what we say we are perfect!

A good gauge in measuring spiritual maturity is how one controls his tongue.
The tongue is the muscle that is the most exercised but is the least controlled.
Somebody said, “Everyone of us is carrying around a concealed weapon.” All we have to do is open our mouths and it can do damage.
Men speak 10,000 words per day while women speak 25,000 words per day.
Somebody calculated that we probably put together a 54-page book every day. And in a year, we would probably produce about 66 800-page books. This means, if you’re a normal person, you spend one fifth of your life talking.

Proverbs 10:19 – When words are many, sin is not absent, but he who holds his tongue is wise.
With our tongue we either build people up or tear them down.
When you go to a doctor, you probably remember as a child, the first thing the doctor would say is, “Let me see your tongue.” James is saying the same thing, “let me see your tongue.”

“The nurse puts a thermometer under your tongue and tells your physical temperature. James says, your tongue itself will take your spiritual temperature.” – John MacArthur
There is a direct relationship between the tongue and the heart.
Matt. 15:11 What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’”
Matt. 15:17 “Don’t you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body?
Matt. 15:18 But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’
Matt. 15:19 For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander.

IT SETS DIRECTION.
James 3:3 When we put bits into the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.
James 3:4 Or take ships as an example. Although they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are steered by a very small rudder wherever the pilot wants to go.
Last week from Aug 11-15, the USS George Washington (nuclear powered super carrier) visited the Philippines and docked at the Manila Bay. It is one impressive military ship. Its flight deck is 18,000 sqm; the height is equivalent to 24 story bldg, with 6,250 crewmembers and about18,000 meals are being served per day. But no matter how huge the ship is, it is still steered by a rudder that is much smaller in size compared to the whole ship. But the rudder is controlled by the captain whichever direction it wants the ship to go.

Prov. 18:21 The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

The verse above says that words are containers of power.
God spoke and it came to be.
I am not teaching on hyper faith i.e. “Name it, claim it.” Or “Blab it, grab it!” I may confess that words “I will be rich, I will be rich, I will be rich” but nothing will happen unless I go out and work.
But we need to realize that words have power to influence our walk. We may say statements like these:

My child is never going to change. He ‘s becoming worse.
This marriage is not going to work out. We might end up separating.
It won’t work. Even if I work hard, I still won’t have enough.

James is not talking about simply “Christianizing” our vocabulary. He is telling us to examine our speaking habits. It reveals what is in our hearts.

And then we see that these statements are becoming real in our life.

IT CAN BRING DESTRUCTION.
James 3:5 Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark.
James 3:6 The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.
James calls it “a world of evil” able to express every kind of sin – lust, hatred, malice, envy, jealousy, bitterness, greed, lies, etc.
ILLUSTRATION:

In 2007, there was a Southern California forest fire that burned over 38,000 acres resulting to injury of 3 and loss of 21 homes and 22 buildings. How did it start? A 10 yr old boy was playing with matches.

How could just a few words of gossip destroy a friendship, a marriage, a ministry, a church? Just a few words—it seems all so small and insignificant. But James says those little sparks can cause great destruction.

Slander is saying false things about another. Gossip is spreading the truth about someone’s faults or failings. Both are used to destroy the reputation of the person.

Prov. 12:18 Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
Prov. 26:22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man’s inmost parts.
How can blessings or curses coming out of the same mouth? This should not be.

In the morning worship we may use our tongue to pray, then spend the afternoon using it to rip apart our family.

IT NEEDS DEPENDENCE ON GOD.
James 3:7 All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man,
James 3:8 but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:9 With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness.
James 3:10 Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be.

Animals are being tamed but no man can tame the tongue. But it does not mean that it is untamable.

We need to depend on God to control our tongue.
Only the Spirit of God can tame a man’s tongue. In fact, God changes the heart of a man in order for the tongue to be tamed.

A NEW HEART WILL PRODUCE A NEW TONGUE.

Prov. 4:23 Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.
James has written to believers. He is reminding us that salvation does not automatically change the way we live. Discipleship and dependence on the Holy Spirit is needed.
When a Christian walks in dependence upon the Holy Spirit, he will bear the fruit of the spirit.
It is depending on God daily that keeps our body in check.
MAINPOINT: GODLY SPEECH REVEALS GENUINE FAITH.
Luke 6:45 The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.

Source: Sunday Recall

Sunday Recall (August 9, 2009)

We are in week 2 of our series GENUINE. We are talking about the kind of faith that serves as evidence of our walk with God.

What is the faith that God honors?  If the Bible says that without faith, it is impossible to please God, then what kind of faith is it that pleases God?
James 2:14 What good is it, my brothers, if a man claims to have faith but has no deeds? Can such faith save him?
James 2:15 Suppose a brother or sister is without clothes and daily food.
James 2:16 If one of you says to him, “Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed,” but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?
James 2:17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.
James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

James, the brother of Jesus wrote it for the Jewish believers scattered in the Gentile nations; written to expose hypocritical teachings and to teach Christian behavior.

The reformer Martin Luther had a problem with the Book of James.
–       He discovered God’s grace in the book of Romans “The just shall live by faith.” That justification is a gift of God and nobody is good enough to deserve the favor of God and the good works in not necessary for a person to get saved.
–       James insists that faith alone is not sufficient but that it must result in changed behavior.
–       He began to question if James should be part of the NT. He even suggested that the epistle might be a forgery and relegated it as part of the appendix in his bible but later accepted its canonicity.
–       But there were no inconsistencies with James. It lies in the emphasis.
–       Salvation is by God’s grace through faith and can’t be earned.
Eph. 2:8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
Eph. 2:9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
But notice the next verse.
Eph. 2:10 For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
The reality of someone’s profession of faith will be demonstrated by their actions.

Paul’s focus is on salvation by faith alone in Jesus – for new believers.
James’ focus is on the evidence of salvation or service – for Christians already. What happens after you get saved.
If salvation is likened to a tree, then both Paul and James would agree, that the ROOT of the tree is faith alone, but the FRUIT of the tree is good works.

“How we live” will determine what kind of faith do we have?
James illustrates 3 kinds of faith people have.
1. DEAD FAITH
James 2:18 But someone will say, “You have faith; I have deeds.” Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do.
James 2:17 – In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

Faith should be alive and not dead.
If faith is dead then it is not real faith.

James questions the genuineness of the believers’ faith without evidence of good works.
Dead faith is when you say you trust God and believe in Him and yet you do nothing to put your faith into work.

ILL: James illustrates one who sees a brother/sister in need and yet does nothing to help.
2. HEAD FAITH
James 2:19 – You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that — and shudder.

Intellectual assent is agreeing on our head but not translating on how we live.
Agreeing on with a set of Christian teaching is incomplete.
Your may have the right theology but even the demons have a right theology. They believe in one God; they believe in the Trinity, in the deity of Christ, that he died for the sins of the world; and yet they are not saved.
Many people will miss heaven by 18 inches. It is the distance between your head to your heart. Unless your faith goes from your head to your heart and eventually change your life then that faith is a useless faith.

“Issue in the church today.  Churches are filled with people on Sunday who have no intention of doing anything for God during the week.  They sit back and listen to the sermon, but they rarely take it and apply it to their lives.” – Daniel Owens
3. GENUINE SAVING FAITH
James 2:21 Was not our ancestor Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?
James 2:22 You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did.
James 2:24 You see that a person is justified by what he does and not by faith alone.
James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.

It was faith and action working together.

Every step (action) is a step of faith.
Active obedience demonstrates that our faith is genuine.
First Justification by God – brings salvation
Second justification by people around us- evidence of our faith and salvation
v. 18 – I will show you my faith by what I do
“show” Greek “deiknuo” which means expose to the eyes
Expose your good works to the world around you so that they may see your faith is genuine.
MAINPOINT: LIVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE.  

If we live what we believe, people will believe who we live for.
Matt. 5:16 In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.
Are you heavenly minded but not earthly good?
Are people convinced that you are a Christian because of what they see lived out in your life?
May the life that we live be consistent with the faith that we profess.
Next week, we’ll talk about the power of the tongue.

Source: Faith

A Yellow Day

I know that hundreds of blogs were already written about our beloved late President Cory Aquino but I can’t help but write something to honor a woman whose unswerving devotion to God and love for country is something that we can emulate.
Today, hundreds of thousands of Filipinos paid tribute to a great President, the nation’s 11th Commander-in-chief, an icon of democracy, a peace advocate, a wife of an assassinated hero and a loving mother. There are yellow ribbons everywhere. The color yellow became a national symbol for peace and democracy. From the funeral mass held at the Manila Cathedral to the procession that led to her final resting place in Manila Memorial Park Paranaque, one can’t help but notice the gratitude and devotion of the people to their well-loved president.
I was 18 years old in February 1986 when we marched along EDSA and eventually saw a nation transform from dictatorship to democracy through peaceful means. The whole world was amazed on how a people can achieve such a feat. I remember flashing the “L” sign with my hands (which during that time means “laban” or fight and not the modern popular symbol among the youth which is “loser”).
President Cory helped unite the Filipinos and led the country with her integrity and strength of character. She faced a lot of challenges as the president but overcame. She was unprepared for a world of politics because she was content to serve as a housewife and mother.  After turning over the leadership to her successor Pres. Ramos, she continued to serve the nation as a civilian protecting democracy.
Thank you for your example of humble and gracious leadership. I saw in her that leading is not all about intelligence and eloquence but moral ascendancy and strength of character. She’s not a perfect leader but she had a heart to serve the people. In her agenda and decisions as president, the Filipino is #1.
Thank you for sparking in my heart a deeper love for this nation. May it not just be a matter of talk. But may each one contribute towards nation building even if he thinks that what he can give may seem insignificant.
Thank you for laying down a foundation where the future generations can build on. May our children and children’s children see the fulfillment of the dreams and vision that you and Ninoy had for the Philippines.
Goodbye and thank you, beloved President.

Source: Uncategorized

Sunday Recall (August 2, 2009)

We started a new series entitled Genuine. It’s a study on the book of James.
Series handle: Is Your Faith Real?

Why diamond? There are different facets of a diamond.
– A diamond is a precious stone that is the hardest naturally formed substance made of carbon.
5Cs of a diamond– carat, color, cut, clarity, certification
– Our faith will be tested like a diamond.
-We’ll study the different facets of faith.
Genuine faith will inevitably produce goods deeds.
Have you ever bought a fake product like a fake watch, bag or shoes?
Over a decade ago, I bought a fake Rolex watch in Greenhills. Costs about P1,000. Looks like the original but tarnished after a month. Better to buy an original Timex than a fake Rolex.
Why do people buy fake items?
–        Maybe because they were deceived into buying it.
–        Or maybe they don’t want to pay the price for the original (which is normally more expensive).
Some people can immediately tell what’s real and what’s fake.
A bank teller can easily detect fake bills. Because they are so used to what is real so that when the fake comes along, they can distinguish it from the real ones.
How do we know if a person has genuine faith or not?
We are not to judge others. It is the Word of God judging us.
The standard is the Word of God.
James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
James 1:23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror
James 1:24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
James 1:25 But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

THE WORD SAVES
James 1:21 Therefore, get rid of all moral filth and the evil that is so prevalent and humbly accept the word planted in you, which can save you.
–        We need the Word to overcome the world’s ways.
–        The Word sanctifies us and sets you apart from the world.
–        When you have no Word, you notice that you are easily tempted.
Rom. 10:17 Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ.
–        God’s Word increases our faith.
–        Like vitamin C. The more Word you put in you, the more victory you have over temptation.
Eph. 5:26 to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word,

Psalms 119:9 How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word.

James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
–       It is not how much of the Word you know but how much of the Word you do.
–       If you continue living in sin even if you go to church regularly, you are deceiving yourself.
THE WORD GIVES FREEDOM.
James 1:25a But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom,
–        Many people are trapped in a cycle of sin such as drug addiction, gambling (lotto ,casino ,mahjong), pornography (internet or video), immorality (adultery, fornication, homosexuality), drunkenness, greed, lying, stealing (borrowing without returning), laziness and others.
–        And you shall know the truth and the truth shall set you free.

Psa. 119:45 I will walk about in freedom, for I have sought out your precepts.

THE WORD GIVES BLESSING.
James 1:25b and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.
Josh. 1:8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful.
MAINPOINT: FAITH IS PROVEN BY OUR RESPONSE TO THE WORD.

When we spend time reading the bible, we will have an encounter with the Living Word.
John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
That’s why we need to spend  time with the Word and apply what we have read. Only then can we see change in our lives by the power of the Holy Spirit.
REVELATION + APPLICATION = TRANSFORMATION
As I read the Word, I ask myself the following questions (C.A.P.E.S.):
C- Is there a COMMAND to obey?
A- Is there an ATTITUDE to change?
P- Is there a PROMISE to claim?
E- Is there an EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW?
S- Is there a SIN to confess?
This makes me conscious of what I need to do with the Word that I just read.
More on James next week! See you in our weekend services.

Source: Church

Magic Eye or Mirror

Do you remember the time when you saw one of those Magic Eye posters, those that have a 3D image hidden in an abstract geometric pattern?  When they first came out, I remember seeing a group of people standing around these unusual paintings. They told me that if I stare long enough, there will be an image that will pop out of the picture. It took awhile before I got the technique. At first, I tried looking near then slowly move far. Or even tried crossing my eyes. And then voila! An image appears.

What 3D object do you see in the picture?
Many people think that God’s Word is like an optical illusion that if they stare at the Word long enough then a revelation will pop out that will change their life forever. Its not the revelation that changes our lives. It’s the application of the Word through the power of the Holy Spirit that  changes our lives.
In contrast, the Word is more like a mirror that reflects who we really are. It tells us who we are and who we are not.
The Word reveals who we are in light of who God is. He sets the standard for our life.
And once we find out, we are to do something about the Word. Don’t just read or listen to the Word. Let’s do it!
James 1:23 Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror
James 1:24 and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.
How do you view the Word – Magic eye or mirror?

Source: Faith

Bishops of Victory

Last weekend was really awesome! It was a busy schedule because of the celebration of Victory@25 in Araneta, then on July 25 (Saturday) it was the ordination of the Pastor Manny Carlos and Pastor Juray Mora as bishops and the induction of the pastors into VMA (Victory Ministers Association). A Victory first.
We may not be used to the term bishop (since we only hear it in the Catholic church) but it is really a biblical term. Bishop comes from the Greek word “episkopos” which means overseer.
1Pet. 5:1 To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder, a witness of Christ’s sufferings and one who also will share in the glory to be revealed:
1Pet. 5:2 Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers—not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve;
1Pet. 5:3 not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.

In other words, Pastor Manny and Pastor Juray are overseeing Victory  pastors and churches. I am so honored to have known these men for many years and how they conducted themselves in the ministry and how they raised their families. They are worthy of double honor. Congratulations!

Inset: Alabang pastors with Bishop Manny Carlos and Bishop Juray Mora.

Source: Church

Happy Birthday to My Dearest Shirley

I took Shirley and the kids to a simple dinner celebration in Bellevue Alabang. We had a great family time together. Many times, it’s the simple celebration that brings those special bonding moments.
To my beautiful wife Shirley who celebrated her birthday today:

You are God’s greatest gift to me and our children. You continued to inspire and encourage me in our 19 years of marriage. We have been through a lot as a family. We had times of laughter and times of weeping; times of abundance and times of lack; times of sickness and times of health; times of blessings and times of testing; finding new friends and some even falling out; success or even failure. But whatever we have gone through in life, you stood here by my side. You help bring focus in my life, family and ministry.
Thank you for being a great wife, a loving mom, a loyal friend, a partner in ministry. I have truly received a beautiful favor from God through you.
Prov. 18:22 He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD.
A short acronym that describes her:
S- supportive, strength of character
H- opeful, happy
I-  nner beauty
R- espectful
L- oyal and loving
E- ncourager
Y- outhful
Happy birthday! I love you so much! Looking forward to the many more years that we will spend together.

Source: Family