Core values define who we are and determine how we behave.

Different organizations and individuals have distinct core values. They are evident in their culture, language and lifestyle.

This month, we celebrate 30 years of Victory. When we started 30 years ago, there were certain core values that defined who we are and determined how we behaved. The 5 we will revisit are LORDSHIP, EVANGELISM, DISCIPLESHIP, LEADERSHIP and FAMILY.

Jesus is LORD. Lord means Master, Controller, Absolute Authority, God. He calls the shots and has the final say.

I remember when I first attended Victory in 1993, the banner on the backdrop of the stage was undeniably visible – JESUS PERIOD. It didn’t have the word period but it had the dot after Jesus. I had to write it to make it obvious.

This throwback picture below was taken in our 1998 Metro Manila Christmas Convergence.

And this was just not a nice banner. It was exemplified by our founding pastor, Steve Murrell.

He graduated from University of Mississippi with a business degree. He was supposed to take over his dad’s lustrous and flourishing multi million dollar business. At 24 years old, when he felt the call to go to the Philippines with his wife Deborah, they abandoned all ambition, acknowledged Jesus is indeed Lord, and took the plunge to go into the mission field.

What originally was supposed to be a one month long trip to Manila with 65 summer missionaries in July 1984, turned into a few months, a couple of years and now almost 3 decades.

It is easy to confess Jesus is Lord, but living it out is another thing.

This has become a model and an example for me to live by.

What does it mean for Jesus to be Lord ?

L.O.R.D. means…


“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46)

Lordship means living a life in allegiance to Him no matter what.


“Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21)

Lordship means obeying what He says no matter what others say.


“Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness.” (2 Timothy 2:19)

Lordship means turning away from sin no matter how pleasurable it may seem for the moment.


“Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” (Luke 9:23)

Lordship means dying to self no matter how we desire to do what we we think or feel is right.

He is either Lord of all or not at all.


Other blogs on Lordship here…


Because it was semestral break, we took the kids out of town.  With us were the Sy’s (Dennis, Thammie and kids), Marge, Teri and Bruce.

As a family, we often take the opportunity to take off when we can because schedules have been crazy these days.  Even our kids are now ‘busy’ – from baseball to musical theater, TFT to piano lessons.

During one of our conversations over breakfast, Thammie asked me a question, “What are your core values as a family?”

I really didn’t have a nice, carved out answer.  I guess all these years Jenn and I have operated on instincts and never really wrote down our ‘core values’.  I know many have written books these type of stuff like Patrick Lencioni who wrote a book entitled “Three Big Questions For A Frantic Family”.  I know that James Dobson have written a few books on these too.

While driving home, I thought about that question again and I began listing down guiding principles we worked with through the years as a family.

1. Love God.

If we can teach our kids to do this, then I feel we’re on the right direction.  We desire to help them develop a relationship with God.  We feel that that is the most important task we have as parents – to connect them with God.  We won’t be there for them all the time, but if they have a relationship with their Heavenly Father, then we know that they’ll be just fine.

2. Love family.

Respect. Compassion. Love for family.  I guess that’s why we invest (not spend) on family vacations though we have an old, ugly, clunky Crosswind.  Memories have been a priority for us.  We may not have a lot to leave them in terms of inheritance, but memories through times together is definitely on the top of our list.

Seeing my kids love each other and look out for each other is definitely another important one for us.

3. Love others.

Service. Empathy. We want to teach our family not to just think about themselves, which we already are are very good at.  Life is really not about us.  It’s about God and the people He loves.

4. Love learning.

With the influx of information today, the accumulation of it is no longer the key to success.  Everything is now ‘googlable’.

However, processing and filtering of information is now the name of the game.  Critical thinking has never been as critical.  If we are successful in inputing love for learning, then I feel they will accomplish what God has designed them to be and do.