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“Diyos-Diyosan” is a socio-political film made with the intention to educate voters of what is happening in the political world that will be shown in theaters in Metro Manila starting May 4.

It is about those who want to lord it over all (diyos-diyosan) and about the Lord of All. Let us reminisce what happened during the EDSA People Power and after. The characters are not real, but a composite of what happens around us. We hope that this film helps us all to make the right choice for this coming election.” (Cesar Buendia)

Our choices matter and will have an effect on the future of our children

Princess Punzalan has this to say about her character in the movie:

“Estrell has a lot of hurts caused by the government. She became a rebel and an atheist. She saw that her bitterness and her decisions that were driven by it did not make her life better. In the middle of the film, she has a change of heart and becomes an advocate for the truth that gives people real and lasting freedom.
She stops relying on her own understanding and strength and starts relying on the only One who truly has the best perspective, perfect wisdom and power to really change the world.

The people we rely on will have limitations.
But only God has the real power to change this nation for the better.”

 

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One of our Victory Group leaders messaged me this morning asking how she should respond to relatives, friends, and even church members who are at odds due to differing opinions and preferences regarding the ongoing election campaign.

It has become divisive and estranging. Families end up not talking to each other, office mates argue, and friends quarrel over who they feel would be the best to lead at this season of our nation’s history.

Here are a few random thoughts I shared with her:

1. What is most important?

I am saddened by how certain people are responding and reacting to all these. The Bible says we are to “make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.” (Ephesians 4:3)

That being said, we have to keep things in proper perspective.

Long after this election is over and done with, blood relatives will still be family. Church community will still be our spiritual family. Division or breaking relationship is simply just not worth it.

Some of the candidates won’t even remember us long after the elections are over.

Values determine priorities. And when the priorities are clear, decisions are simpler. It may not necessarily be easier but it is simpler for you know what or who is most important.

2. How about social media posts?

Posting on social media is not the problem. It’s what we post and how we say things are some of the concerns. Forcing, arguing, throwing hate, mud slinging are what makes it unhealthy and problematic.

3. Can I really be sure?

We can’t be completely sure who God has chosen to be the next president, vice president, mayor, councilor, etc. Remember, even the prophet Samuel made a mistake in choosing who the next president was. He thought it was the eldest son of Jesse. David, the youngest son, was who God chose.  Man looks at the outward appearance but God looks at the heart.

But this is what I am sure of: GOD IS SOVEREIGN!

He changes times and seasons; He removes kings and sets up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise and knowledge to those who have understanding. (Daniel 2:21)

He is in charge over the affairs of men. He can even use a Pharaoh or Cyrus to fulfill His purposes. How come? Because He is in charge!

4. What should we do?

First of all, go out and vote according to who you feel God has put in your heart.
Samuel had to hear the voice of God.
We all have to go to God, pray and vote according to your conscience.

5. What else can we do?

Pray! Pray! Pray for our nation.
This election campaign has been very divisive.
To reiterate what Ephesians 4:3 said, “Make every effort to keep the unity…”
To make every effort means to do your best within your powers to maintain unity.
“A kingdom divided cannot stand.”

How do we maintain unity? We can agree to disagree agreeably.
When someone shares who they will vote, we can maintain unity by respecting their opinion and not trying to convince them to change their mind. They’ve thought long and hard and hopefully have prayed.

Agreeing to disagree agreeably means respecting their opinion even if it differs from yours.

Remember, we can win the argument but lose the relationship in the process.

To quote Pastor Dennis Isleta, here’s what he said,
“I feel restoration does not begin after the elections but even as early as now. True Christlike character ought to be shown when no one is yet winner or loser. It is easy to be Christlike after one has won, and easy to be less Christlike when one has lost. So is it true about praising God for victory or asking Him for help for the nation when defeated.”

Hope this helps us.

God bless the Philippines!

Blog Banners.001Who should I vote for?

What are the guidelines in choosing the next president, senator, congressman, mayor, and so on?

The Bible gives us principles we can draw from the different leaders and kings that have ruled in the Old Testament.

One of them is Abimelech.

Abimelech was one of the sons of Gideon. His name meant “my dad is the king.” This would already give you an idea of what kind of character he was.

Gideon was one of the judges in Israel. A judge was one whom the Lord raised as a temporary and special deliverer and rescued the Israelites from their oppressors. After Gideon and his 300 won the war against the Midianites, the people wanted to make Gideon king. His response?

“I will not rule over you, and my son will not rule over you; the Lord will rule over you.” (Judges 8:23)

Gideon was reiterating what already has been established in Deuteronomy 33:5 that the Lord Himself was their King. They weren’t a monarchy but a theocracy.

GREAT LEADERSHIP ACKNOWLEDGES WHO THE ULTIMATE LEADER IS.

All of us are under authority.
Whether you’re the head of your house, student council president, unit manager, CEO or board chairman, you have delegated authority.
God is the Supreme Authority and there’s no authority that we are able to wield apart from Him delegating it to us.

Now, since Gideon chose to not become king, guess who aspired for it? His son, Abimelech did.

Abimelech goes to his mom’s house and hires her to be his campaign manager. After which, he goes to his relatives and gets their loyalty. And then, he goes to the key leaders of his city to explain his platform. He had great execution but with bad intention.

He was hungry for power and desired to get it whatever it took.

As a result, he killed his half brothers – all seventy of them. For whatever reason he had in mind, he needed to get rid of all the possible hindrances from him becoming king.

HUNGER FOR POWER CORRUPTS JUDGMENT.

As he started his campaign, his relatives spoke to the leaders of Shechem .
“So Abimelech’s uncles gave his message to all the citizens of Shechem on his behalf. And after listening to this proposal, the people of Shechem decided in favor of Abimelech because he was their relative.”(Judges 9:3, NLT)

It’s not wrong to have a relative rise in leadership. Moses and Aaron were brothers as they led Israel out of Egypt. But relationship is not the main qualification but character and competence.

Does the person have integrity? And does he have the skills to lead the city, region, province, nation?
David led God’s people well. And the Bible says that he led them “with integrity of heart and skillful hands.” (Psalm 79:72)

During the campaign, Abimelech’s relatives gave him 70 pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith. (Judges 9:4)

Campaign funds are necessary but somehow, they started using funds from evil sources. And here’s the principle:

MONEY FROM EVIL SOURCES IS RARELY USED TO HONOR GOD OR HELP OTHERS.

In choosing the next leader, it is important to know where they get their campaign funds for where they get it from is where they will be grateful towards.

With these campaign funds, Abimelech “used the silver to hire some lawless, dangerous men as his followers.” (Judges 9:4, NET)

He then goes to his father’s house and set out to kill his 70 brothers.

Be wary of men of violence.

MEN OF VIOLENCE ARE OFTEN SURROUNDED WITH MEN WHO ARE VIOLENT THEMSELVES.

But as the story goes, the very people who crowned Abimelech as king were the same people who plotted to get rid of him. The way he started his kingship was also the manner he was exiting it.

While the men of Shechem was trying to pursue him to get rid of him, he ran to a tower. As he approached the entrance, a woman dropped a millstone on his head and cracked his skull. Bad leaders and bad people attract each other, use each other and destroy each other.

But before we ask why we have bad leaders, let’s ask ourselves, “Are we a bad people?”
Are we manipulative? Are we clannish? Are we selfish in our thinking?
The leaders will come from the very people they will lead in the future. The leaders of tomorrow are already the leaders of today. Are we living in integrity? Is there a sincere love for the nation? Do we pay the right taxes? Do we still go when the traffic light’s red? Do we put the litter in our pockets or flippantly throw them on the streets?

What then is a sign of good leadership?

Jesus told us in Matthew 20:25-28:

Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. Not so with you. Instead, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave— just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

A LEADER THAT SERVES IS A LEADER WORTH FOLLOWING.

Why do the candidates have to say, “When I am elected, I will do this and that…?”
Why wait till they’re elected? What have they done now? What is their track record?

A leader is one who serves now and not when he is elected.

These are thoughts from the life of Abimelech and are by no means exhaustive.
I pray that God will give us the insight and pray through who we will write on the ballots when the time comes we go to the precincts.

But most of all, to those who follow Christ, we are called to pray for our leaders and our nation.

We are told in 2 Chronicles 7:14:

If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.

As the people of God we are called to:

1. Humble ourselves.
2. Pray.
3. Seek His face.
4. Turn from our wicked ways.

Because of this, God will hear our prayers and heal our land.

God bless the Philippines.

There’s  a lot of hype going on these days because the iPhone 5 is coming out soon.

Because of all the iGadgets, our life has never been the same – from music to movies to reading books to social networking. Steve Jobs and Apple have successfully revolutionized how we live our lives.

Or has he?

Why did he have a measure of success?
He was crazy enough to believe that he could change the world.

I remember when he was trying to get John Sculley to join his team. John Sculley was the Senior Vice President of Marketing and Operations for Pepsi Cola Company. He was trying to convince him to come on board.

Here’s what Steve told John:

Because of this, John Sculley was able to successfully apply his marketing prowess in the personal computer market.

Steve Jobs had the audacity to believe that he could change the world.

Here’s my question to the church:
How dare Steve Jobs have a greater vision than the church of Jesus?

Better yet:
How dare us allow Steve Jobs have a greater vision to change the world than God’s very people?

And iPhone or iPad will last you 3 or at most 5 years…

The Gospel of Jesus will last for eternity. It will transform a life, a family, a city and a nation.

I know it has changed mine. And I bet my life (if I were a betting man) that it is going to change this nation only if we continue to honor God and make disciples, advancing His kingdom in every sphere of society.

Steve Jobs was crazy enough to believe that he could change the world with gadgets.

Do we have the audacity to believe that the Gospel of Jesus is potent enough to change my world, your world, our world?

“Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

So… who’s crazy enough?

Heavenly Father,

Lord, you love righteousness and justice.
Thank you that You fill the earth with Your unfailing love.

Lord, You foil the plans of nations and You thwart the purposes of people.
But Your plans, O Lord, stand firm forever and the purposes of your heart through all generations.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…
We wait in hope for you, O Lord.
 You are our help and our shield.
In You, our hearts rejoice for we trust in your holy name.
May Your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in You.

Father, we commit to you our beloved nation, the Philippines.
Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We give you all honor, all praise, 
all worship for You alone deserve it.

IN JESUS’ NAME!!! AMEN!

(From Psalm 33:5, 10-11, 20-22)