Tag Archives: One Life to Live

Should you go on a faith journey?

What does a “faith journey” look like? One can say that our entire lives can be called faith journeys, but for this blog post, I’m talking about real journeys, real trips–the ones that involve some geographical distance and usually a mode of transportation. But faith journeys are not your ordinary trips. Here’s how I define it:

A faith journey:

  • starts when you step out of your comfort zone
  • involves going down a path you’ve never gone before
  • has no promised results
  • has no definite road map
  • requires you to trust, rely, and get direction from God

My faith journey took place between April and July. I will tell you this:

  • I went to the US without knowing where exactly I would be going and when I needed to go
  • My plans changed as the days went by
  • It did not turn out the way I expected
  • There were a lot of surprising (not necessarily pleasant) adventures along the way
  • My faith was stretched
  • My character was tested and shaped
  • I learned a lot
  • I experienced God’s grace and love like never before

Maybe God’s telling you to go somewhere and you’ve been too scared. Maybe He’s not calling you right now, but He will one day. If that time has come or when that time finally comes, I just want to encourage you to take that step of faith. If you need provision, if you need confirmation, if you need a miracle, here’s what you need to do: ASK. He knows what’s up ahead even if you don’t. And if He called you, He’s already paved the way for you.

God is so wise, faithful, and so full of love. Throw away your preconceived notions and open your mind and heart to what God wants to do (and it’s not always about you…I learned that on the way, too!). The great news is that–in the greater scheme of things–His plan is not just better…it’s the BEST.

It took me forever to write this post, because I knew that my words would not do justice to the whole experience. What I experienced was beyond words. Thank you Lord for this wonderful journey–You are the best travel partner ever. Thank you to my family for sending me off with a blessing. And more than the places and the experiences, the best part of the trip was being able to spend time with all of these people (press play to see the rest!):

You made the journey so worth it.

Now to go back to the topic of this post: do I think you should go on a faith journey?

Absolutely.

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More blog posts from me.

I was thinking of transferring some of my longer posts from my other blogs, so I started reposting some of them (mostly those that I blogged for Victory’s One Life to Live series), one by one. You can find some of them down below…I reposted them on the original days that I wrote them. You can also click on the “Reposted favorites” category on the sidebar to view all of them. :)

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

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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:

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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:

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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.

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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:

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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.

*Sigh*

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…

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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!”

*INSERT LOOK OF HORROR HERE*

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…

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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

Terrible!

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:

2008

2009

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:

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