Take Charge

Curl up your five fingers, aim, then punch with all your might. Use the force of your whole body! Come, try it on me. Hit my stomach.”

That’s how I learned how to do the “five-fold ministry”, and my teacher was none other than my dad.

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Throughout my life, my dad has taught me so many things, from riding a bike around our small compound to manoeuvring through the busy streets of Manila in a car. But what I learned most from him was about being a leader.

Here are just some other things he taught me:

You are a leader.

All my life my dad would always remind me of this. It has been ingrained in my brain throughout all these years.

That’s why, even when I was younger, I would always volunteer to be the leader of the group. It wasn’t because I was arrogant, or proud. I just had the initiative to step up, because I knew that God called me to be a leader. And cause my dad always reminded me of it.

Do not allow any guy to touch you or treat you inappropriately.

Hence the “five-fold ministry”.

He taught me to value my body, and to not let anyone mistreat me because I am God’s child. I’m also his only daughter, so go figures…

Studies first. 

Studies should always go first before my other activities, including ministry.

We would always fight about this because I’m more inclined to prioritize ministry work because it’s something I’m very passionate about. But then he would remind me of my season as a student, and my responsibility to be excellent. I’ll have more time for ministry when I graduate anyway, he said (wink wink).

Do not borrow money. 

And if it’s completely unavoidable, pay it back right away.

Instead, he taught me to be the one to lend money, and to not even expect them to pay me back at all. It is more blessed to give than to receive.

Take charge.

He would always say this to me in the morning just before dropping me off at school, instead of “take care!”

This would never fail to boost my self esteem. Especially when I was younger, I would feel as if I was just asked to be responsible for something very important. It felt good to be trusted with something.

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That is why I am the person I am today.

Thank you, dad for everything you’ve taught me. Thank you for inspiring me to take charge and step up as a leader. When I grow up, I want to be just like you 🙂

– – –

This blog post is part of Victory Philippines’ media movement to encourage its church members to revisit its core values. This week’s topic is LEADERSHIP#MyVictoryStory #radicalsince1984 #leadership
 
Read these posts for a more flavorful, different perspective on LEADERSHIP:

1. Stuff My Dad Told Me by Joe Bonifacio
2. To Lead is to Lean, Learn, Live, and Love by Carla Bonifacio
3. Lead To Leave by Paolo Punzalan
4. Raising Leaders Right In Your Home by Jen Punzalan
5. I Don’t Think So by Jekoy Valle
6. Deny Yourself by Dennis Sy
7. Failures and Beginnings by Sofia Paderes
8. WATERLINE: The marks of Leadership by Perci Paras
9. Influence by Charls de los Reyes
10. He Must Become Greater by Rinnah Ramirez

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All because of Love

Many people have invested their life in me, and I am grateful for all. Eight of them I remember well:

_MG_0364My mom, the one who has always been there for me no matter what. The love and insight that she gives me is always so different (in a really amazing way) from what I get from other people. She has always inspired me to love others by serving them, and putting them first.

Varsha, the level-headed one who gave me guidance at the time when I was just starting out on my Christian walk.

Lhorris, the one who lived a life of generosity, not just with her finances but with her time.

Ate Eva, the most persistent one who helped me get connected to LifeBox QC. (Read more about her here!)

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My very first Victory Group in LifeBox QC with Sarah

Sarah, the one who never judged me despite my many faults and quirks. She was my friend more than anything.

Ate Tere, the most down-to-earth one who welcomed me with open arms and included me in her coaching group when I felt like I didn’t belong anywhere.

Ate Lory, the one who gave the most tough love and words of wisdom during a really crazy season of my life.

Ate Acee, who was both a listening ear and a voice of reason for me. She would always point me back to God and encourage me to surrender everything to Him.

All eight of them, despite their many differences in personality, spiritual giftings, and strengths, have one thing in common: they all demonstrated God’s LOVE.

They all invested so much of their life and time in me. And for what? It’s not like I’m the most amiable person ever. In fact, I think I’m a hard person to get a long with, much less love. Yet, they all made a decision to love me in their own way.

I believe that they were able to do this because they understood the love that Jesus showed them on the cross. They all experienced that unconditional, furious, unending love of Jesus, that they could not help but overflow with that same love to others. They endured (and some are still enduring) discipling a troublesome person like me all because of LOVE.

These women inspire me to show that kind of love to others. They inspire me to continuously seek God so that I won’t strive to love, but instead overflow.

1 John 4:19
We love because He first loved us.

To these eight amazing women, thank you for loving me and reflecting the Love of Jesus to everyone around you!

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To my amazing Lord, thank You for sending Your son on the cross – the ultimate demonstration of Your love for us!

– – –

This blog post is part of Victory Philippines’ media movement to encourage its church members to revisit its core values. This week’s topic is DISCIPLESHIP#MyVictoryStory #radicalsince1984 #discipleship
 
Read these posts for a more flavorful, different perspective on DISCIPLESHIP:
  1. Discipleship Works by Perci Paras
  2. #DFF by Jekoy Valle
  3. unfading by Sofia Paderes
  4. My Discipleship Notes by Emmanuel Gomez
  5. Spiritual Heroes, Part 1 by Joseph Bonifacio
  6. I strip for Discipleship by Ganns Deen
  7. More Caught than Taught by Paolo Punzalan
  8. You Are Never Meant To Do It Alone by Fiona Alvero
  9. On Discipleship by Carla Bonifacio
  10. The Defining Minute of my Manhood by Dennis Sy

Win or lose

“Feb 2, 2013. Saturday, 1:43am

I never thought I’d say this… but … I’m running for Journalism representative in the Student Council of the College of Mass Communication.”

My campaign poster

My campaign poster

Running for student council was never part of my plan. In fact, I always did my best to avoid being asked to run. I was never into politics as a kid. I hated the fact that people would start hating you just because you wanted to serve them and you chose a particular party to run with. I hated the fake smiles and the unnecessary hand shakes. It was such a hassle to go from room to room trying to prove yourself to people.

The truth was, I was afraid to step out of my comfort zone. I was serving in church as a member of the music team. In fact, I was one of the worship leaders. I was consistent in my Victory Group and Youth Service attendance. I was a good Christian! What more could God want from me?

I was such a good Christian that I decided to pray (what I thought was) a noble prayer, just to show God how much I loved Him:

Lord, I want to be a light for you. Bring me to a place where I have nothing else to hold on to but You.

Be careful what you pray for. Less than a month after I prayed that prayer, I found myself at a cross road.

“Elle, we want you on our team,” the candidate for Chairperson told me. In the college, she was the person that I looked up to the most. And here she was asking me to run with her.

I had already made up my mind to say “no” even before the conversation began. But after a while I started feeling something heavy in my heart. What was it? Why was I feeling it? I told her to give me an hour to make my decision.

“God ano ‘to?” I said the moment I found an empty bench in the area. “You know I dislike politics! Why are they asking me to run? I am the least qualified!”

“I called you to be a light in Maskom remember?” was His immediate response.

“But I don’t want to be a light there. Hassle!!! I’m doing well naman in my classes, and being nice to my classmates. Isn’t that enough?”

Getting tired of arguing with God, I called my dad. I told him about the situation I was in and asked him for his opinion. For some reason I already knew what he was going to say.

“You know, Elle, you have a short window of time to make an impact in your college,” he said over the phone. “You’re not going to be there forever. Like Esther, who knows but that you have been asked to run for such a time as this?”

My dad always says that when Pastor Steve asked him to go into full time ministry he heard God, but He sounded like Pastor Steve. Well this time, I heard God but He sounded like my dad.

I knew that the decision was already made. I had no choice but to surrender.

“Lord means master, the one who calls the shots, the one who makes the decisions.” – ch. 2 Lordship, One2One

I found myself saying ‘yes’ to the most difficult commitment I have ever made in my life.

“I’m saying yes, out of obedience to God” I told them an hour later. “I just want you to know that. And since I’m on board, I’m gonna give my all. I want to win.”

With my slate mates

With my slate mates

Early the next morning, I wrote on my journal:

“I really have nothing to hold on to but you. I am so scared right now. But I know that you have gone before me. I surrender to Your will, God.”

That month was the most exhausting, most difficult, and most nerve-racking month ever. I cried out to God (literally) every night to sustain me. Even if I had submitted to His Lordship, I still faced enormous amounts of stress and frustrations. Yet I was at peace. I knew that I was right in the center of His will.

 2 Timothy 4:17
“But the LORD stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth.”

I was in faith that at the end of the elections, that was what I would be proclaiming. Whether I won or lost, I had the victory through Jesus.

My partner, Hannah Palima, and I during our Miting de Avance

My partner, Hannah Palima, and I during our Miting de Avance

Throughout the campaign season, I got to share my faith to my slate mates. Whenever we went room to room, we would pray first and I was usually asked to lead the prayer. I knew that I was being watched, not just by the other party, or by my college mates, but also my slate mates. I knew that every moment was an opportunity to show God’s love to them and to many others.

On the evening February 28, 2013, the results of the elections came out.

I lost by 20 votes. 

Our party had won a majority of the positions in council, though. And so even if I didn’t win, my party’s win was my win as well.

During our speeches that night, one of my slate mates said, “You know Elle, I really believe that God put you here for a purpose even if you didn’t win.”

I agreed with her with all my heart.

With a couple of my org mates after the Miting de Avance

With a couple of my org mates after the Miting de Avance

This blog post is part of Victory Philippines’ media movement to encourage its church members to revisit its core values. This week’s topic is lordship. #MyVictoryStory
 
Read these posts for a more flavorful, different perspective on lordship.
 
1. Jesus is Lord Over My Love Life by Joe Bonifacio
2. Lord and Lordship by Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio
3. One Tough Decision by Dennis Sy
4. His Ways Are Higher by Karess Rubrico
5. Passion for Passion by Ganns Deen
6. Lordship? Big Word! by Jek Valle
7. The Only B Student by Nate Punzalan
8. When Obeying Meant Simply Letting Go by Val Baguios III