My role today is not to give you the talk but to introduce the entire series.

It’s a mini-series. There will be five messages in this series and the series is called What Matters Most.

My wife Marowe and I, we’re very busy preparing for the celebration of our 25th Wedding Anniversary. And so, there was this one day, we were chatting, and you know, we were listing down the many things we have to pay for. So, we have to pay for the venue, and okay, we had to pay for the food, catering. We had to pay for the clothes. We have to pay for the sound system. We have to pay for the photos, and we have to pay for the video, yes.

And as we were going through the list, my wife reached out to me and said, “Love, sorry. So expensive.”

And she added, “Let’s not do it anymore, this celebration. I told her, “You like, let’s just elope.”

And then I looked at her and I said, “Sweetheart,” —three words: “You’re worth it.”

Everybody, say those words: “You’re worth it.”

Life is about knowing what matters most. Life is a values game. Please understand this: How many of you want to live a fantastic life?

A life for God. A life of love. A life of dedication, commitment, and blessing.

If you want those, please understand, you’ve got to win the values game. You’ve got to know what matters most.

I repeat this: If I want to know your values, I could, if I wanted to, you know, maybe give you a piece of paper, and say, “Can you write down your values? What are you thinking are the top things that are most important to you? Can you?”

I probably might get a few answers and that might be helpful. But they might not be accurate. Because it’s so easy to fool ourself.

You want me to know how I can know your values?

All I have to do is look at your decisions.

Because your decision every day is a product of your values. All I have to do is to look at your daily decisions. Actually, if right now, you’re listening to me, and you’re having a difficult time making a very important decision in your life, my bet is, my suspicion is, you’re not clear about your values, about what is most important to you.

What’s Important to You?

Decision is all about value clarification.

I remember my mentor—his name is Joey Bonifacio. He was talking about this: How many hours do we have in a day? Just in case you don’t know, it’s 24.:)

And so, Joey was saying that every day, there is a train that passes in front of you with 24 box cars. And when a box is in front of you, appears in front of you, that box car is empty. And so, what we do, is we fill that box car.

These are decisions that we have to make. And I repeat that the decisions we have to make come from our values. And so, what do we put into that box car? When the hour is over, that box car is full and then a new box car comes and again, it’s empty. You cannot slow down the train. You cannot stop the train if you wanted to. It just keeps on moving. That’s what time is.

And my dear friend, a time will come when that train will stop on its own. Yes or no? And then we have no choice. It’s over. The end game. But while your life continues — and please inhale… and exhale… inhale, one more time… exhale… the train continues. And there will always be this new box car that comes in. And it will be empty. Every single hour, you put in what you value the most.

These box cars are magical. Why? Because what you put in the box car, over time, grows— multiplies. You put the wrong thing in, the wrong thing grows and multiplies. And it will haunt you five years from now, 19 years from now, 20 years from now.

But you try to put the good thing in that box car. That good thing will multiply. And I want to thank God that I can look at my wife who’s celebrating her birthday tomorrow (July 3)… Did I put the right , the good thing in my box cars 25 years ago? I think I did. I think we both did. And that box car is so magical that 25 years later, we’re harvesting the right thing.

A Weighing Game

My dear friends, this moment, right now, there’s an empty box car in front of you.

It’s 9:40. a.m. What are you filling that box car? It’s a decision that comes from your values — what’s important to you. And I pray that you value what God values.

I end with a Scripture verse.

It’s about values. Matthew 6:19-21:

My invitation to you is to change the word treasures with values. Let’s read again:

So, here’s how I end: Do you know that life is a values game? And it will all depend on what you put in that box car. But at the end of the day, it’s a weighing game. It’s how good you are in knowing your values. Values are about weighing scales. And my dear friends, you have a weighing scale. It’s your heart. Where your values are, there will your heart be. Your heart is your weighing scale.

Now, here’s my question: Is the weighing scale malfunctioning? And sometimes, weighing scales malfunction.

What should you do? Get it calibrated—to the heart of God. Your heart must value what God values.

Value what God values.

Please welcome Audee Villaraza.


Give honor and reverence to the Word of God today:

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet And a Light unto my path.

THERE is a popular Filipino saying that whenever you try to make an attempt or when you’re interested in someone, you say this in Tagalog: Da Moves.

I’ll give you a classic example of Da Moves: 

You have a crush. You ask the woman: “Miss, what’s your name?” She asks, “Why?”

You reply: “No big deal. I just want to know if your surname looks good together with my surname.”

Da Moves.

One more example: Again, you have a crush. Ask her: “Miss, are you a fan of ABS-CBN (leading broadcast network calling viewers kapamilya— family).

“Why do you ask?”

“We just want to know because we want you to be kapamilya, part of our family.

Da Moves.

One more. One last: Borrow a ballpen from your crush. Then tell her, “The ballpen doesn’t write.”

She says, “I just used the pen. It works.”

You, giving her a piece of paper: “Oh? Okay, write your phone here.”

Da Moves.

I want to thank Bro. Bo for sharing those lines with me. Those lines came from him—just kidding.

I want to acknowledge the presence of our dear friend Bro. Adrian Panganiban in the house of God today. Thank you, Bro. A for being here. We’re so blessed by your presence.

God’s Message

You’re probably wondering why I am sharing about Da Moves.

Because our big message is this:

God is waiting for your move. Da Moves.

For the next five Sundays, we’re going to be talking about five very valuable aspects of life: Faith, Family, Fitness, Finance, and Friendship.

There may be more but we believe these are five very important aspects. And this is in no way in order. But I believe this: That it’s not an accident that Faith is the first. Because Faith is, if not one, it’s the most important aspect of our life– it’s our faith in God. And so, for the next few Sundays, we’re going to talk about these five ones.

We’re going to open and take Scripture from the book of Matthew.

This is a Scripture that’s not new. Chances are, some of you have already heard this. It comes from Matthew 8:5-8:

This is a line that we always say here at the Mass. It’s a very familiar line.

We’ll break open this passage. I want you to close your eyes, put your hand over your chest and say: Jesus, speak to me. I’m wide open.

I’m listening. I pray that Your message today will set me free and will change me. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

One more time everybody:

Thy Word is a Lamp unto my feet And a Light unto my path

God is waiting for your move.

So, the question is: What is your Da Move when it comes to the Lord?

There are three ways we’re going to teach you: Three ways to move in faith— because our topic today is Faith.

How to move in faith? To learn to move in faith, first, you have to Do it afraid.

Let’s go back to Mathew 8:5:

If you’re reading this during the time of Jesus, when Matthew wrote it, chances are, you would be shocked to hear three words together in one sentence.

What are the three words?

Three Words: 1. officer 2. came 3. pleaded.

Now, why would you never see these words in one sentence during the time of Jesus?

First, because a Roman officer, back then, this guy was called Centurion (commander of a military unit). Roman officers were bosses. They had high authority.

Second, back in the day, if a Centurion needed something from you, he would not come before you. He would have you fetched so that you’d be there, available for the boss for whatever he wants from you.

Third, an officer would never plead. Usually, it’s the other way around. People would plead to the Centurion. But in this case, you see in the story that the Centurion, the Roman officer, was the one coming to Jesus and pleading to Him.

Now, if you’re going to use modern lenses, picture this for a moment: Imagine a CEO—chief executive officer– of a Forbes 500 company.

Somebody who is really powerful, somebody who’s really rich, somebody who’s really successful.

Imagine that CEO coming down from his penthouse office to the basement staff room and looking for the very first new clerk and saying, “I need you.”

That’s what it looks like: the Centurion was lowering himself before Jesus. Remember that the Romans, they were rulers of the Jewish people. They were the bosses.

Now, the question is: What would compel such a guy to lower himself and come to Jesus and plead – not even for himself but in behalf of his servant?

Anyone, answer? Lead? Faith? I’m looking for one word…

Let me give you a clue: What compels married people to stay together?

What would compel a parent to go to work every single time— to leave family behind and go abroad? It’s love, right?

Love makes you do something unpredictable. I mean, how many of you know that? That parents would go abroad to work even if they’re afraid to leave their family? Why? Because they love their family. Why is it that parents would sacrifice day and night to provide for their children? Because they love those children.

Love Matters

Love makes us do unpredictable matters.

No wonder, my very good friend Kenny Rankin, American singer-writer, said:

It’s not how many summer times we have to give to fall The early morning smiles we tearfully recall …

Source: LyricFind. Songwriters: Alan Bergman / Dave Grusin / Marilyn Bergman.

What Matters Most lyrics © Capitol CMG Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Universal Music Publishing Group

What matters most is that we loved at all. Why do we love? Why do we love, really? Because of the two greatest commandments of Jesus. First: Love God with all your heart, with all your mind, with all your soul. And the second greatest commandment is: Love one another as I have loved you.

What is the verb in that? Love.

That’s why we love. I truly believe this: That at the end of our life, when we’re long gone, you know what our legacy will be? Our life will not be defined by how many accomplishments we gathered and awards we received. Our life will be defined by how much affection we had given.

That’s what people will remember the most. How much you loved them.

It’s love. That’s the reason this Centurion did what he did. It’s because his love for his servant was greater than his pride, his ego.

It’s love. That’s also the reason you as parents, you as children of God, do what you do—because your love for that person and that situation is greater than your fear, greater than your security. So, you know that when your love is greater than anything, you can do things afraid.

Do it afraid. That’s the first move in faith.

Why is it that you serve here at The Feast week after week, after week? It’s because of love.

To move in faith, you have to acknowledge the authority of Jesus. Let me read it to you. In Verse 9, the Centurion says to Jesus:

I know that You can do this, Jesus because I am under authority of my superior officers and I have authority over my soldiers. I only need to say, “Go,” and they go. Or, “Come,” and they come. And if I say to my slaves, “Do this,” they do it.

This soldier, he’s a Roman officer, remember? He’s a boss. He has authority.

But he also acknowledges that he’s also under authority. He has superiors but he also has subordinates.

I remember a beautiful quote by American author Joyce Myer:

You know who is the most dangerous person in the world is?

The scariest person in the world is a person who never listens. A person who does not think, “I should report to this person because I’m the boss.”

Persons who think they’re the greatest, they’re the smartest, they are very dangerous. Because they never listen. They think they have the full authority. What’s happening here is the Centurion is teaching us a lesson in humility.

He’s saying “I’m a leader, I’m in authority– but hey, I’m also under authority.

I also have bosses.”

And you know, I’ve met some people who have the heart of this Centurion. We have an OB-GYNE—obstetrician-gynecologist—my tita, my aunt. She’s the OB-GYNE of our family for as long as I can remember. She delivered most of my cousins. She delivered my two kids. She has decades and decades of experience.

But you know, one time, she told me, “Auds, I’d studied medicine for as long as I can remember but now there is a point in my practice that I cannot not explain how things work. Where my skills as a doctor ends, that’s when the grace of God begins.”

That’s amazing. She acknowledges that there’s a higher authority above her.

Strong Relationship with Jesus

When He heard what the Centurion said, Jesus said this:

I wonder if Jesus would look into this crowd – whether you’re here, or online—He would say, “I have not seen faith like this person’s faith– in all of Parañaque, in all of

Bicutan, in all of Cebu, in all of Davao, in all of Metro Manila.”

You want to have that kind of faith that Jesus would say about you, “I have not seen faith like this anywhere.”

That’s what He was saying about the Centurion and He added:

You know, this tells me one thing: This is a message that says that Heaven is not a place just for people who attend Mass every day. Heaven is not a place for those who pray the Rosary regularly. You’d be surprised that maybewhen we get to Heaven, we’ll see people there who had never attended a spiritual community.

Jesus was saying that many Gentiles—pagans, non-believers– will come from the East and West – people who had never even heard of Him. But they have faith stronger than our faith.

So, what is the lesson here? The lesson is that our faith should be so strong that even if our practices are not as strong, our relationship with Jesus would be the strongest.

Here’s the third way to move in faith: Trust that Jesus, God, has already handled it. Trust that whatever you’re going through, God has already handled.

Let me read to you how this story closes. It ends this way, in Verse 13:

When I was reading this story, somehow it did not make sense to me for Jesus to simply tell the Centurion, “Go home.”

I mean, for every non-believer, one thing that you would do is that you wouldn’t want to go home if there’s a problem at home. If somebody a home needs to be healed, you’re going to look for a doctor. You’re going to look for a hospital. You’re going to take matters into your own hands.

And yet Jesus said something so strange. He said, “Go back home.”

Nina’s Story

May I share with you one last story, before we close…

I’m going to be sharing a story on behalf of somebody because she’s unable to share her story. This is a story of my friend—her name is Nina Siglos. Some of you might know her.

Nina, when I met her, she was only 19 years old. At her tender age of 16, Nina was, like young people, she had dreams, she had hopes, she had plans. And she was a young bright student. But then, something would happen in her life that would shift her plans and would derail her priorities. Because she would go to the doctor to seek for counsel, and some procedures, because her menstrual cycle was irregular.

So, they did a full body check-up on her. And little did she know that that day she went for a brief visit to the hospital would turn into one of the most devastating days of her life. Because when they were doing the MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging) they discover not the cause of her irregular menstrual cycle. But they discoveredthat in the center of her brain, there was tumor. It was called microadenoma.

So, just like any person would do, she sought a second opinion and the second opinion, the same thing. And then she sought another opinion, and then another, and then another, and then another—until five doctors later, they would say the same thing: that Nina has tumor right in the center of her brain.

And the scariest part about it is that if it would be left untreated, the tumor would lead to blindness and other life- threatening illnesses.

So, imagine: a young girl, by the age of 16, finding out about the sickness.

And it changed her entire life.

But you know, something happened. Right about that time, she had a grandmother who was a faithful attendee of The Feast. She would come every Sunday– we were having The Feast still at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC). And she brought Nina to he Feast. Little did Nina know that would change her life because the message when she stepped into The Feast she felt was speaking directly to her.

The Feast Miracle

How many of you can agree with me when I say that the first time you attended The Feast, or maybe when you attended The Feast at one point, and you felt like the preacher or the priest was talking to you directly?

Yeah. That’s all of us, right?

And that’s what Nina felt like. Because the message at that time, she still remembers: it was just when you did not know it, God would heal you. Something of that sort. That just when you least expect it, God is going to bless you.

That was the message.

And so, Nina did not want to leave The Feast without being prayed over by the preacher. So, she waited. The problem was, the preacher, he’s known to disappear from time to time after the service. But because she waited and she waited, by some miracle, she saw the preacher and the preacher prayed for her.

How do I know this? Because I was that preacher.

You know, after that incident, everything changed for Nina. She felt the love of the Lord, the embrace of the Lord, and she started really building a relationship with Him. She started reading the Bible, and continued reading every day. She just started leaning in on the Lord, and she did that more and more. And at some point, during the entire year of trial for Nina, she somehow surrendered to the Lord.

And she deliberately said, “Lord, I know that You’re in charge. I know that You have already handled this.

So, Your will be done over my life.”

And she just gave it to the Lord. She gave it to the Lord. So, what did Nina do? She started living her life again. She started studying diligently. She started praying even more.

She started worshipping. It became a lifestyle to her.

But you know, a year after, the scariest happened to Nina. She was going for her third MRI, and she was in the clinic. Usually, the MRI would last for just a couple of minutes, 30 minutes, a little over an hour. But for some reason, during this time, they made her wait—she and her mom—for two hours.

So, by this time, she was getting worried: “Why in the world they make me wait—if it wasn’t bad news?”

Nina’s Good News

Finally, the rad tech (radiologic technologist) came in. The rad tech talked to the mom. The mom just had this look of confusion as he was explaining …

And then the mom turned to Nina and said, “They could not see your tumor.”

“Oh, my God,” Nina gasped. “Huh, what happened?”

She panicked.

And you know, the doctor came in and started explaining, “You know, I do not know what happened. But whatever it is that you’re doing, continue to do that.”

And then, in Nina’s heart, she knew exactly what the doctor was saying: Continue praying. Continue worshipping. Continue surrendering.

My goodness, you know, today Nina is a healthy, happy young girl. .

Above, photo op with Nina and her mom.

Nina is not here. For as long as she can remember, her dream was to be part of Camp Calye (annual summer youth camp of the Light of Jesus Youth Missions). But she could not join because she was sick.

Today, the reason Nina is not here is, this weekend, she is officially a camper in Camp Calye.

God is good.

And I talked with her just recently and I asked her, “How do you know it was Jesus who healed you?”

She said, “I know…”

Because she received the good news on her third MRI. Just like Jesus was resurrected on the third day, Nina’s good news was that she was raised to life on the her third MRI.

God is good.

Going back to the story…It makes sense… Jesus said, “Go back home.”

Go back home. What is that message? If I paraphrase that, it simply means this: If you’re carrying a burden so heavy, right now, and you feel like you want to be in charge, you want to be in control, and you want to hand le it, the message

of the Lord for you today is Go back home. Trust me. Let me do it because I’ve handled it already.

Nina’s story is just one of many miracle stories that we know of. I’m sure that you have your own miracle story that you carry with you. But let me go back to the very first point that I started with. Da Moves. The moves.

Sadly, there are a lot of people who do not have the confidence to move.

Because they feel like they’re insecure. Or they’re unsure.

People who are unsure because they don’t have the courage, so they don’t make the first move. But I want you to know that when it comes to the Lord, you don’t actually have to make the first move. Because God did it already. God made the first move.

Romans 5:8 says:

God showed great love for all of us by sending Christ. What was the move of God? God’s move was to send Jesus. That was the move. It was a checkmate move for the Devil: Jesus Christ to be our Lord and our Savior.

So, my question for you today is this: What’s your next move?

Now that God sent Jesus Christ as our Lord and Savior, what’s your next move? Will you believe that Jesus Christ came into this world to die for you?

What’s your move?

Will you proclaim that Jesus is Sovereign over every dominion in this world? What’s your move?

Will you proclaim that Jesus will be your King, your Friend, your Redeemer? What’s your move?

Because the next move is on you. It’s not on God. God already moved Now it’s your move. What is your move?

If your move today is to proclaim: “Yes Lord, I will have life with You and I will believe in You in spite of all the impossible things that I see before me, I will believe that You are Sovereign. I believe that you are the Name above every other Name. And by Your Name every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that You are Lord.”

What Is Your Move, My Friend?

My move is this.

What’s your move? You want to do the same move? Come on.

The next move is up to you. It’s not up to God. It’s up to you. Will you receive Jesus Christ in your life? Will you believe I faith that He can do the impossible?

What’s your move?

Today, we’re going to worship Jesus and we’re going to declare that He is Lord and He is Savior.

In the Presence of our Almighty Father: Lord, I pray for people who are in this place, here in Aliw Theater, people who are watching online People who will watch this later on, this week, this month. I pray for their faith. For people who have unbelief because of a faith crisis that they went through they do not believe that You can do the impossible. I pray You show Your Face and that they would have a personal encounter with You .

We pray that our faith would rise every time there’s a crisis. We pray that our belief in You will be first and foremost because we believe in You Jesus.

We believe in the impossible because You are a mountain mover.

You are a miracle worker. You are our Lord. In Jesus’ Name we pray. Amen.

The story of Nina is just one miracle story that I shared with you. But I also believe that you yourself, you’re a walking miracle because you’ve witnessed the miracle of God.

Two doctors told my wife and me that we would never ever have kids.

We were given only 5 percent chance to have children.

But you know what? I stand in front of you with two miracles in our life.

We’ve got two children. Because of the miracle of God.

Now, what is the miracle that God showed you? Maybe you were struggling in your finances, and you are buried in debt. But because of the grace of God, now you’re financially free. Or maybe there are some of you here who have relationships that were broken but because of the grace of God, now you are in a

much better place. What is a miracle story that God gave you? I want you to think about that.

And as you sing the next few lines, I want you to unleash your faith to Jesus today because you have witnessed the saving power of Jesus. You believe.

You believe. You believe.

Published by THE FEAST (July 9, 2023)


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