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Yesterday was quite a sad day for the Filipino people. I can’t tell you how bad I also felt listening to the score cards and Pacquiao losing to Mayweather.

People asked me, “I thought Pacquiao was a Christian. If he is, then shouldn’t God give Him the victory?”

That’s a valid question and a very interesting one at that. If a person becomes a Christian, does it mean he will always enjoy victory?
You and I will have to consider Biblical examples of Moses, Abraham, David, Joseph, Josiah, Jonah, Job, Paul among many others who lived a life that pleased God but at certain times seemingly suffered defeat.

God is more interested in the process as well as in the outcome. God always works with the long term goal in mind. When going through a tough situation, we often desire for our circumstance to end or be cut short. But God doesn’t see it that way. He is the Master Craftsman who is building something beyond today. He is the Potter and we are merely the clay. The clay cannot say to the Potter, “what in the heck are you doing?” (my version of Isaiah 64:8)

What happens to us is not as important
as to how we respond to what happens to us.

 

And that is what God is after. Because if we don’t learn our lesson in the first run, we might have to go through it again so that He can make sure we get it.

I love how Manny responds after the fight. He calls for a prayer/worship service to honor God in spite of defeat.

In his words,

“Thank you for coming here, thank you also for your support last night. But you have to understand that the plans and ways of God are higher than our ways. The most important thing is, we have Jesus in our life. One day we will be with him in heaven.”

“What happened last night, that’s God’s plan because our plan is not God’s plan. God’s plan is higher than ours and we know that if we have Jesus, we have peace of mind.”

“My purpose is not boxing but to proclaim the name of the Lord in the whole world that Jesus is the name of The Lord.”

It is possible that you lose a fight and yet come out victorious. It really is a matter of perspective. In the game of life, we may not attain a single championship and yet come out as a winner.

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Skip Bayless of ESPN writes an article regarding the transformation of Manny Pacquiao.

“About three years ago he underwent a spiritual conversion — he says he accepted Christ in his life and was born again — and he’s now so on fire with his faith that, according to insiders, he reads his Bible throughout the day and shares his faith with random fans he meets. Just two Sundays ago, he gave his testimony to a packed house at the megachurch he attends just outside Los Angeles, Shepherd of the Hills Church, telling the throng how lost he once was while constantly getting drunk and cheating on his wife (who was with him that Sunday).”

More of Skip’s Article here.

But below is the interview on ESPN regarding Skip Bayless’ thoughts saying that “being saved doesn’t mean being soft.”

Photo Credit: Chris Farina/Top Rank

Yesterday’s fight was indeed a great win for Manny and the Filipino people. I am always appreciative of how it unites us as a nation. Quoting what Quest said after the fight, “Manny, I truly believe THIS IS WHAT YOU’RE MEANT TO DO. Not basketball, not politics. When you’re in the ring we’re united. When you fight, we shine.. When you win, we find hope. This is why millions of people look up to you. Its an honor, Sir!”

But what inspired me more was not the win but how he responded to Max Kellerman’s question about the much awaited Pacquiao-Mayweather fight if it’s ever going to push through. He responds with a cheerful attitude saying, “He’s going to fight me? Yes! Yes!” quoting his line from Foot Locker’s recent commercial on “Week of Greatness.”

The book of Proverbs says, “A joyful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.” (Prov. 17:22)

Thanks Manny. You make us proud. And you make us laugh.

And to all of us, I pray that as we start this week, we will continue to approach life with cheer and joy for the joy of the Lord is our strength.

Here’s the Foot Locker commercial followed by the Max Kellerman interview.

 

 

 

In this interview by Dyan Castillejo via ABS CBN, Manny and Jinky Pacquiao shares what keeps them going in spite of the devastating loss Manny suffered against Juan Manuel Marquez.

This is really inspiring.

Faith is tested both in the winning and in the losing. Manny is clearly passing this test.

Here are my favorite quotes:

“Pag dumating ang panahong matalo ka (sa isang paligsahan), buong puso mong tanggapin dahil pinasok mo yan eh.” (When the time comes you suffer defeat, accept it whole heartedly because you knew what you were getting in to.)

When asked who will he fight next…
“Wala pa… but definitely a boxer. hehe”

When Jinky was asked what she wanted for Manny (to keep playing or to retire)
“Gusto ko marinig niya si God kung anong sasabihin niya sa kanya.”
(I want him to hear from God what He wants to tell him.) 

Manny: “It’s only material things. In heaven, walang popular popular duon.”

Here’s the interview.

I’m not a boxing analyst so this is really not an evaluation of the fight.

But reading the tweets after the Pacquiao-Marquez fight has been interesting to say the least.

Some cheer Manny on saying that they still believe in him while others predict the end of his career.

The most interesting ones are those that credit his loss to his faith in God.
That one, I don’t understand.

Unfortunately, God gets the blame in the process.
People will crucify you for your faith. If I remember correctly, that’s what was done to Jesus.

But the other thought I had was this:
Faith is tested both in the winning and in the losing.

It is fun to win. No doubt about that.
Equally true is the difficulty in accepting defeat.  At least, I know I do.

But fact remains,
“It’s not what happens to you that is important but how you respond to what happens to you.”

You can win and end up losing.
Conversely, you can lose and end up winning.

(Great blog by my friend, Dennis Sy, found here by the way.)

Looks to me that Manny’s responding well which is a test of character and a test of faith. It surely is a difficult one to swallow and a tough one to accept, but this is where the rubber meets the road.

I believe Manny will surpass this test.
His identity and security is no longer in the championship belt but on the Champion Himself.

For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. (Colossians 3:3, NLT)

Much have been said, written, blogged, tweeted, Facebooked on the Pacquiao-Bradley fight.

I’m not a boxing analyst so I won’t really give my analysis regarding the fight anymore though I have some thoughts.

What I wanted to post was how interesting the interview was after the fight.

For one, Manny didn’t walk out.  More so, he stayed for the interview.  It was a real test of his character and I believe he passed the test.

But as he was asked about what he thought about the fight, his answer?

“Well, you know, people know. I respect the decision. I respect the judges. I cannot blame them. It’s part of the game.  I give thanks to the Lord… You know… I mean ah…”

Then he pauses and says,

“I did my best but I guess my best wasn’t good enough.” (Then smiles…)

Classic Pacquiao. I thought he was going to break out into a concert.

Gotta love the guy.  A class act indeed.

We’re proud of you, Manny.