Success and Young People (Part 2)

I wanted to blog twice yesterday but I failed miserably! So much for keeping promises! :-( As I mentioned in my previous blog, I wanted to honor some pretty awesome people.

1) The teens from the Jesus Loves the Little Children orphanage




Since the start of the year, I’ve been heading over to Pasig City proper to meet with 10 to 15 of these teenagers (they range from 13 to 20 years old) to do some training sessions, but every time we end our sessions and I head home, I feel like I’m the one who was enormously blessed by them. The first time Camille came with me, she said, “You can tell that these kids are real leaders.” I know what she means. I am always humbled by the way they listen and the way they talk and ask questions. They would sit with us from 6 to 9 pm, focused all the way. I am blessed with the insights and experiences they share with us. There were two instances that I’ll never forget, the times I was asked these questions:

Continue reading

Success and Young People (Part 1)

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” -1 Timothy 4:12

As we talk about making every moment count, my thoughts turn to the young people of today. I have a heart for high school and college students…I love talking to them, hearing about their thoughts, dreams, and burdens.

When I was a student, I was insecure and perpetually lost. I didn’t know what I wanted to do, although most of the time, I pretended like I knew. :-D We all talked about how we just wanted to make a difference in the world, but we all felt like our lives back then were just about preparing to make a difference. What I’ve learned throughout the years is that you can already do awesome things and make a difference TODAY, no matter how young you are. The sad part is that not every kid knows that. Or some may have heard it, but they don’t believe it.

There’s a John Maxwell quote that I almost always bring up when I do youth trainings:

“Success is knowing your purpose, growing to your maximum potential, and sowing seeds that benefit others.”

I always ask the students, “Do you believe that you can call yourself successful today?” Half of them say no, half of them say yes jokingly. I love Maxwell’s definition because it says that all of us have the potential to be successful everyday. He stresses that success relates to a journey, not a destination. Too often, people equate success with achievements, awards, financial status, marital status, etc. When we peg it that way, it often feels like we’re chasing after the wind. “Meaningless!” King Solomon says. When we get to where we think we wanted to go, there’s always more to chase after. It gets tiring and we end up investing so much in those “somedays” that never seem to come.

Maxwell breaks it down nicely. I like how he defines success with these 3 things:

Continue reading

The Languages of Love

I can imagine most of you have heard of Dr. Gary Chapman’s book, The Five Love Languages. But just in case you haven’t heard about it, the premise is simple: Chapman says that there are five distinct languages that people use to express love: WORDS OF AFFIRMATION • QUALITY TIME • RECEIVING GIFTS • ACTS OF SERVICE • PHYSICAL TOUCH (for more info on the Love Languages and the books, go this page).

I really enjoy reading Dr. Chapman’s books. I’ve read the Five Love Languages for Singles, Five Love Languages of Children (while I may not have my own children yet, I wanted to learn how to adjust to my nephews), The Five Languages of Apology, and The Love Languages of God.

lovelangbk B-290_300 BP467 51s+Y4DimEL 41HN12YVHGL

My love languages have slightly changed since the first time I came across the books (By the way, if you don’t know what your primary and secondary love languages are, take the test here.) I took the test again today, and here’s what came out:

Words of Affirmation: 9
Physical Touch: 9
Quality Time: 9
Acts of Service: 2
Receiving Gifts: 1

To my surprise, quality time went up on my list (I think it’s because I now have more time to give) and now, physical touch ranks on the same level as words of affirmation (which has always been my primary language). I guess it’s because I’m a hugger. I used to not hug people as much because I was shy. Yup, I was even shy when it came to hugging members of my family! But in the past couple of years, I learned to give more hugs out freely…as long as it’s in the proper and appropriate context, haha! When it comes to my nephews, though…I hug ’em every chance I get!

I remember several insights that I picked up when I read the book:

Continue reading

Living an “Out of Control” Life

WOW, WHAT A NIGHT. We just had the first Thursday session of our One Life to Live seminar series and it was just…WOW! God is so good. We had lots of fun–the people were so ‘game’, Pastor Paolo‘s message was great, and we were blessed by Alexis Edralin’s testimony. Rob Johnson and I had the honor of hosting the event and I tell you…God has a sense of humor, and He really loves a good laugh. :-D

Rob and I are not hosts. We’ve never hosted before (at least Rob claims he never did!). Okay, on second thought, I take it back. I hosted my first Kids Church session a month ago, but that’s it, and that was a whole different ballgame. So when Rob and I met up a couple of hours before the seminar started to “get our act together”, we must’ve burst into laughter several times. Then we’d shake our heads, and sigh. Then try again. Then laugh some more.


Did I mention that I’m supposed to be a professional trainer and motivational speaker?

Someone once asked me if I enjoyed public speaking, and I laughed. The truth is, unlike most public speakers who get a thrill out of being on stage, I am PETRIFIED of public speaking. Right before I do a speech or a talk, I feel my heart palpitate. I KID YOU NOT. Some people might think I’m just doing that false humility thing BUT PLEASE PLEASE TRUST ME I really really am PETRIFIED!  And yet…I do it anyway!

Over the last 9 months since I’ve left a full-time job to pursue the vision of becoming a teacher, I’ve been doing talks here and there, sometimes in front of 3 people, one time in front of 3,000. I do all sorts of talks geared towards the youth…I do career talks, leadership talks, talks for True Love Waits, etc. Whenever I get an invitation, I pray about it, and if I feel I’m being led by God to go, I go.

I feel that at this point you might be either rolling your eyes in disbelief OR scratching your heads, confused and wondering why on earth I keep doing it and how I get away with doing it if I’m really as nervous as I say I am.

Hold on…I’m getting there…

Continue reading

Working hard vs. working smart

Tristan, with his frustrated look!

Tristan, with his bored look!

Yesterday, over breakfast, one of my nephews was throwing a tantrum. He was frustrated because he couldn’t watch TV before going to school (he’s 6 years old, by the way). One of the rules given to him was that he couldn’t watch TV on a school day. He was complaining about having nothing to do, because all his toys are stored in a cabinet and he didn’t have any new books to read.

This was all happening before my first cup of coffee and before I even had the chance to open my Bible, so I was beginning to feel my head cave in. After a deep breath, I said, “Okay, I have something for you to do. Why don’t you get a piece of paper and a pen, and write down 5 things that you want to learn? Then let’s see if we can find a way for you to learn them when you have spare time so you won’t be bored, okay?”

He must’ve been REALLY bored, because he jumped at this idea, and after 5 minutes, he handed me a paper.

Me: “Okay, can you read to me what you wrote?”
Tristan: “Okay, number 1. I want to learn how to cook. Remember, I helped you when we made brownies?”
Me: “Yes, I remember, and you were really good at it. Okay, we’ll do more of that. What’s next?”
Tristan: “I put…I want to learn SINGING…and DANCING!”
Me: “Singing and dancing? Really?!”
Tristan: “Yes! Diba…I’m good at it when we play Rockband?”

He had a point. He’s quite the rock star. :-D

Me: “Okay, that’s 3 things already. What are the last 2?”
Tristan: “I want to learn how to read…”
Me: “You can read really well already…but I guess you want to read more?”
Tristan: “Yes…and the last one is…I want to learn how to work hard!”


Here’s the thing…I’m not completely against the idea of working hard, but in this generation, the term “working hard” has taken on a whole new meaning! Maybe a couple of decades ago, “working hard” meant being industrious, but today, lots of people don’t have time to rest, pursue hobbies, learn new things, and build relationships, because they’re busy “working hard!” So this is what I said…

Continue reading

Stopping the somedays!

Hi, I’m Liz, and I’m a someday-holic.

Okay, so it may not be a real disease, but it may as well be one!

Some signs and symptoms:

1. Constant procrastination
2. Occasional depression
3. Chronic wishful thinking
4. Excessive daydreaming


Ever since I learned how to mind map (thank you to my mind mapping mentor, Eric Villarama!), I constantly make maps of my life that I leave in the pages of my journal. I do these maps to keep myself in check. It helps me remember all the areas in my life that I need to invest in, because sometimes we tend to pour too much time (or money!) in one area while ignoring the rest. It also helps me check if I’m growing. I want to grow!

My life maps usually cover the 4 or 5 areas of my life: personal (my hobbies, interests, personal disciplines, etc.), spiritual (quiet time, discipleship, ministry, etc.), financial (tithing, bills, storehouse, etc.–this year I placed the financial area under ‘personal’ for the lack of paper space, haha), relational (my family & friends), and vocational/educational (work, volunteer work, things I want to learn, etc.). I keep needing to make maps every so often, because sometimes God asks me to let go of some things and focus on others, and as such, I must revise. Here are some examples of how my maps have evolved:



I’m not yet done with the 2009 map, because I’m still trying to figure out what I need to put in the vocational/educational area. Because there are a lot of things I need and want to do and learn, and this year, I know that it’s time for me to buckle down and do ’em! No more stalling!

In my case, I found that the someday-holism kicks in when these following situations happen, and here are some insights I’ve learned that help me deal with them:

Continue reading

Best books I read in 2008

This year, I’m so grateful that God gave me more time to read, and He also kept providing for me so that I can keep reading new books (hooray!) :) I’ve been blessed by what I’ve read in these books, so I decided to share a list of some of the books that I really enjoyed this year. Here they are in no particular order:



Why it’s on my list: I was reading this during Prayer & Fasting this year. It was the best book for me to read at the start of the year, and it really got me all excited for 2008. I remember that I prayed that I really want to become a woman after God’s own heart!
Notable quote: “God is responsible for presenting the opportunities but we are responsible for cooperating with His efforts to prepare us.”



Why it’s on my list: Hmmm. It’s been a while since I read this (it was the 2nd book I read this year), but I remember it being a really good book! Lots of notable quotes.
Notable quote: “Life is tough enough as it is. It’s even tougher when we’re heading in the wrong direction.”


25 WAYS TO WIN WITH PEOPLE by John Maxwell and Les Parrott

Why it’s on my list: It’s the first John Maxwell book I ever read, and I’m glad I read it or else I probably wouldn’t be where I am today (i.e. being certified as a Maxwell trainer). It’s an excellent book for those who want to improve their relational skills.
Notable quotes:
“It takes quantity time to find quality time.”
“Be kind…everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”



Why it’s on my list: I read this on the plane ride back from the US early this year. I was traveling by myself and was going through a trying season, and I was hit really hard by this book. It’s a great book to read for those who feel like they need to have a relationship (or a better relationship) with Jesus.
Notable quote: “You’re bored, Nick. You were made for more than this. You’re worried about God stealing your fun, but you’ve got it backward. You’re like a kid who doesn’t want to leave for Disney World because he’s having fun making mud pies by the curb. He doesn’t realize that what’s being offered is so much better.”



Why it’s on my list: It totally changed my perspective on success. I quote Maxwell on this all the time.
Notable quote: “Success is knowing your purpose in life, growing to reach your maximum potential, and sowing seeds to benefit others.”

Continue reading