Honestly speaking. "Is your business running your life?" - BCBP

bcbp capitolMANILA - This morning I attended the 1st Anniversary Breakfast of the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen & Professionals (BCBP) Capitol Hills at the Albergus Restaurant along Capitol Drive in Old Balara, Diliman, Quezon City. Before I left home, my wife was asking me why I should attend the breakfast, and I told her this was a meeting of the BCBP, and did she know that "Honesty" was their slogan? Highly unusual.

Be honest.
Even if others are not.
Even if others will not.
Even if others cannot.

Thoroughly Christian. Thoroughly non-conformist. Jesus Christ was thoroughly non-conformist, wasn't he? He preached Love, didn't he? We might borrow from the BCBP and say Christ preached Love this way, always remembering that Love is a proactive verb, not a reactive noun:

Even if others do not.
Even if others will not.
Even if others cannot.

Capital Love.

BCBP Capitol Hills is an Outreach of BCBP Quezon City. Today, the BCBP has 56 full Chapters, 8 Chapters-in-Training, and 49 Outreaches all over the Philippines and 2 in California, USA.

The BCBP as a whole is thoroughly a Roman Catholic renewal movement. It is duly and fully recognized by all the dioceses where it operates. Boy Alina as emcee was explaining this morning that they make sure that they obtain the approval of the Bishop first before they try to form a group.

BCBP is registered with Securities and Exchange Commission as a non-stock, non-profit corporation. Since the group is that of businessmen, it operates with a corporate Vision: "Bringing Christ into the marketplace and winning the marketplace for Christ." The Mission is this:

We are a community of business people and professionals committed to living out Christian values and being change agents in the marketplace. We accomplish this through a process of on-going personal conversion, a commitment to professional excellence, community and nation-building, practice of justice and integrity, and responsible care for all entrusted to us.

I was a first-timer. I attended the breakfast as a guest of dear friend Jerry A Quibilan, an Associate Member of the BCBP QC. My attendance was primarily as a journalist to be able to write about this Catholic group that has gone beyond your usual Catholic renewal community that also forms chapters elsewhere in the country. The BCBP's target range is the marketplace, where it hopes to hit bull's-eyes when it comes to Christian business transactions.

This is a group with the unusual pledge of the "practice of justice and integrity, and responsible care for all entrusted to (them)." These businessmen are thinking outside the box of economics and integrating into their systems justice, integrity, and responsible care.

The BCBP also has uncommon Core Values: Love for God, Love for Community, Love of Country, and Commitment to the Lord's Work.

They do have a website: bcbp-phil.com, but I got this from the brochure, about the Brotherhood Breakfast:

The Brotherhood Breakfast is unique to the BCBP. There is no other organization that is known to have instituted a breakfast that has changed the lives of so many businessmen and professionals. The BCBP has the singular distinction of having introduced and sustained the breakfast system to bring the Gospel of Christ so effectively to the marketplace. From this concept of a "Christian Breakfast" evolved a potent renewal organization, the Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen & Professionals.

They sang a lot of songs, and I didn't know any! I'm an old member of the Bukás Loób sa Díyos Covenant Community, a Catholic charismatic group, and they weren't singing any old songs, so I couldn't sing along with them. I was thinking that they shouldn't forget the old.

The sharers in this breakfast were husband and wife Jun & Nancy Saret of BCBP Bulacan. Jun is a Vice President and Chief Innovations Officer of Pascual Laboratories. Jun was saying his family before Nancy had been met with heavy trials in business. Then his brother Jerry suddenly died. Then his mother.

Then they joined the BCBP and their brothers and sisters in Christ multiplied.

They met at Pascual Laboratories. When Jun was courting Nancy, he wrote a love note among those that Nancy remembered to share: "Every time I pray for you, I pray with joy." Philippians 1: 4. Actually, the original reads, "Every time I pray for you all, I pray with joy." Jun was quoting the Bible for love's purpose, there was no problem with that. The problem was that, as Nancy recalled, she was having a hard time telling whether Jun was courting her or just trying to inspire her with Bible quotations!

But love conquers all, including doubts. They have a special child, and the first knowledge of that is one of the most difficult things to accept by a parent. But, "Love assumes the best," Jun & Nancy asked the breakfasters to repeat after them, inspired by 1 Corinthians 13: 7. The earliest source of "Love assumes the best" that Frank H can find of that quotation is J Herbert Hester, pastor of the First Baptist Church of Tullahoma, Tennessee (Fall 2001, uu.edu).

"Nothing," Jun said, "could be compared with the joy when I surrendered my life to God." Frank H knows that if you have not done that yourself, it is the most difficult thing to do because of human pride. But once you've done it, the cloud is lifted from your life and there is a radiance to it, the sun is always shining.

Jun made mention of the 42-hectare organic farm of Pascual Laboratories in Santa Rosa, Nueva Ecija: Leonie Agri Corp, of which he is President. The LAC farm, as it is referred to, does not use farm chemicals. It is certified organic, which is responsible care for all entrusted to it.

But at first, "I was complaining to God," Jun said. Because at the beginning the LAC farm was "lupang isinumpa" (land under a curse) as the locals referred to it, dry and unfertile. The company had labor problems, and it was unprofitable. With Chronicles 31:21, Jun said, "I offered to God those responsibilities… So we relied on God."

Chronicles 31: 21 says, "And every work that he undertook in the service of the house of God, and in accordance with the law and the commandments, to seek his God, he did with all his heart; and he prospered" (New Revised Standard Version). And the LAC farm prospered and continue to prosper as even the optimists could not have imagined.

Then Jun and Nancy asked the breakfasters to repeat after them, "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord."

Is your business ruining your life? God should be running your house and your business.

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