Yesterday, I had the great honor of witnessing the amazing grace and blessing of God in some truly inspiring and remarkable people of the Lord. My VG sisters Maan and I – along with some new friends from Victory Galleria/Fort, Rovy, Olive and Eman – went to the CCF’s psaking new building in Tiendesitas to catch Nick Vujicic’s “Unstoppable: Live in Manila” tour. The place was jam-packed, and when the Victory Music Team led the worship, wow! Pulsating was the first word that came to mind. 🙂
Hosted by Victory peeps, Juddah Paolo and Rica Peralejo-Bonifacio, the event is part of Nick’s Life Without Limbs World Outreach program, where he aims to preach the Gospel and touch lives in . For a brief intro about Nick, see my post That Unstoppable Man.
The hosts also shared a bit about how they started walking with God, and Rica’s testimony is one of my faves. She and her husband preached in Victory LB some months back and I only caught the podcast, but I could really relate on how she lived her life before and was changed by Jesus. God is indeed a God who restores us. If you want to listen to it, click here.
Before Nick, two speakers took the stage. First was Randell Tiongson, who shared his 20-plus years of experience in the financial industry, and how the Lord is indeed concerned about our finances! I didn’t know that money is actually the most talked about topic in the Bible, with more verses about it than faith. Sixteen out of the 38 parables that Jesus preached tackled the topic of money and possessions. Wow! I liked when he said that finances is actually more of a spiritual decision more than anything else. How we handle the smaller stuff determines our behavior on the bigger stuff. Says in Luke 16:10, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”
Next was Pastor Steve Ruetschle. We all chuckled when he said Nick was one of his inspiration, and how glad he was he found a fellow whose last name is harder to pronounce than his. Ptr. Steve is the senior pastor of Union Manila Church. Few years ago, he met a terrible motorcycle accident that left him paralyzed from the shoulders down and had doctors predicting he had less than 10% of regaining any mobility, and less than one percent of ever walking again. But there he was on stage, very animated, walking around and thanking the Lord not for his own faith, but because the Lord healed him due to his friends’ unstoppable faith. He related the story of the paralytic who was healed by Jesus because his friends never stopped at anything (to the extent of digging a hole on a roof so he may reach Jesus) to help their friend. Now, those are what I call real friends! Steve said, “We are all paralyzed at some point in our lives, and we all need healing – Jesus.” Know more about Steve and his amazing journey of faith here.
Finally, Nick took the stage. And I say took, he certainly did! His presence filled the room, but more than that, his message filled each and every one of us seated in the cavernous worship hall. In the hour-and-a-half he spoke, moving confidently yet passionately ever so constantly on the table (sometimes we’d be like eeek, he might fall!), he was able to talk about his story, his mission, the unstoppable work of God in his life and loved ones, and ultimately, God’s plan and purpose for all those who believe and submit their lives to Him. He peppered his talk with humor, personal anecdotes, Scripture verses and challanges to the captivated audience. I wasn’t able to get a good pic of him, so just in case you don’t know him, I DL’d a photo for you.
I had a lot of take-aways from his talk. I am again reminded of these verses and how I have been remiss in truly bringing these to life lately, how I have been insisting on my own strength, my own will, over God’s, whose own plans and timing are greater than mine.
Ecclesiastes 3:1, 3-4: “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven. A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up. A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.”
Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
To end, let me just relate one story Nick told that really hit home.
There was this man who lived life as he likes it. He didn’t need no faith or God. He was the man. So one night, he was alone at home, when he heard a loud banging on the door. He went to open it and in came charging a huge guy. The intruder beat him up so bad, threw him against the wall several times, went around the house trashing it, and before leaving, threatened the man, “I’ll be back soon!” He was Satan.
Soon after, there was a gentle knock and another guy came in the man’s house. “Hi,” said the peaceful, bearded guy. “I’m Jesus.” He came in the man’s house, took care of him, healed his wounds and brought his strength back.
“Wow, thanks!” The man of the house said. Now that he was up and about again, he told Jesus, “Hey you know what, I’m really happy yo helped me and all, but I don’t think we should be hanging around together so much. Tell you what. I got a guest room upstairs, you can stay there in the meantime, and when I need you, I’ll just call you, ayt?”
Jesus, wanting to spend time with the man, agreed. “Okay, I’ll take whatever time you can give me.” So he went upstairs into the guest room.
So the man, went on again, living life as he likes. “That dude Jesus was cool,” he thought, “But I’m the man.”
One day, there was another knock on the door.
“It’s the devil again!” said the man. “Alright, no biggie, I accepted Jesus already, I can do this. I can beat Satan now!”
The man, confident on his own renewed strength, went to the door and answered it. The devil went charging at him again, beat him up real good, punched and threw him on the wall again, then went trashing the whole house again – except for the room where Jesus was. Then, before leaving the bleeding, wounded man, he promised, “You know I’ll be back again!”
The man crawled to Jesus’ room and wailed, “Hey, where were you? I called you, I needed you! Why didn’t you come for me?”
Jesus replied, “Well you had me locked in the guest room. If you had let me free roam of your whole house, I would’ve been able to save you.”
The man threw up his hand and kneeled before Him. “I surrender. Here is the key to my entire house. Take it; take my everything.” So Jesus did. He restored the man’s health and from then on they sat together, never leaving each others’ side.
One night, there was again the thundering knock on the door. The man knew it was the devil. He moved as if to open the door but Jesus stopped him. “Sit tight, bro; I got this.”
And the man was like smiling and saying, “Jesus in the house yo!”
The Lord went to answer the door, opened it and came face to face with Satan.
“Yes?” Jesus asked.
Satan was taken aback by surprise. He peeked into the house, saw the man behind Jesus and then looked at Jesus again.
“Oh, sorry,” Satan said in a meek voice. “I got the wrong house.”
The devil’s got nothing on us if Jesus has the keys to our entire life. We can have unstoppable faith because we have an unstoppable God.