What does Salvation mean?

salvation_webPhoto http://www.victory.church

I was in my first year of college at Silliman University when someone first shared the gospel to me. I was told that I only had to accept Christ as Lord and savior in order to be saved. Salvation, I was told, was a gift that I could accept if I wanted to. It wouldn’t be forced on me. It was my choice to make.

But what does salvation really mean?

This was our topic tonight at GLC 2 (Global Leadership Center). GLC is a series of classes scheduled once a week at our church CCF (Christ Commission Fellowship). It’s purpose is to equip us to go beyond barriers to share the gospel to as many people as possible and to help us live a life for Christ.

Salvation is more than just the forgiveness of sins. Our speaker tonight gave us 3 things that happen when we receive the gift of salvation.

Born again. Once we accept Christ as Lord and Saviour, we are born again. Our old self no longer exists. This is our rebirth. Our chance to be new again.

New creation. Salvation is about us being a new creation is Christ Jesus.

New nature. Salvation is about having a new nature. Our old nature, the nature that wants to sin and do dishonorable things will still be there, fighting to win over our new nature. How can we win? We can win by starving the old nature and feeding the new. It’s only by focusing on God that we will be able to achieve victory in our life.

1 Peter 1:3

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

It’s not about being perfect or never sinning again, because no one is righteous. Good works cant save us. Only faith can.

Ephesians 2:8-10

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—  not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Once you accept Christ, it’s impossible for you to be the same. You will be slowly changed by God. Salvation leads to a changed life. Jesus isn’t interested in making a few touch ups – he wants a complete renovation. We think tune-up, but Jesus wants an overhaul. When we choose to follow him, Jesus will turn our lives upside down. He isn’t interested in having uncommitted followers. He wants complete and total dependence on Him.

God loves you just the way you are, but He refuses to leave you that way

-Mac Lucado

What then is role of good words?

If we are saved through salvation and not by good works, what then is role of good works?

Good works are a result of a life lived for Christ. It cannot bring us salvation. But good works result from having Christ in our life. Because again, once Christ is in us, we will be changed.

What next?

After everything God has done, what is our response?

We are to present our bodies as a living sacrifice. Worship isn’t only about going to church on Sundays or attending bible study. Worship is a lifestyle. Living a life as a sacrifice – holy and pleasing to God.

I admit that this is something I need to work on. When it comes to living a life of worship, I’m not as consistent as I should be. Some days, I get it. On other days, I fall into sin again. This is why I need the Lord more than ever. Because I can never do it on my own. I can only triumph over sin through His grace alone.

How about you? Do you live your life in worship?

God isn’t after perfection but a transformed life. All He asks is for you to let Him in.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

How to Deal with Difficult People

difficultpeoplePhoto from http://www.chopra.com

In my job as a real estate broker I get to deal with different types of people everyday. Most of my clients are a pleasure to deal with. Some, however, are a bit difficult.

I remember a few years ago when I was working on this deal in Xavier Estates. My client wanted to purchase this 5-bedroom luxury house overlooking Cagayan de Oro. It had a huge lawn with a swimming pool. It was one of my favorite listings and ever since we got that listing, I’ve praying that I would be the one to sell it. Now my client was a 24-year-old businesswoman named Maria (not her real name) who was a bit on the tough side. She would shout at people (yes, even at me) and was generally difficult to deal with. At first, I felt a bit resentful towards her. I was raised in an environment where shouting was not a normal part of our routine.

Then one day, as we were waiting at for some documents, Maria told me her story. When she was eight years old, their village Healer told her parents that she was bad luck and that they had to give her up or else the entire family would suffer. So her parents took her to her grandparents house and left her there. Since her grandparents were already old and had little money, she had to work to take care of them and herself. She started to grow vegetables in their backyard and sell them at the night market. In the mornings she went to school. On weekends she would man their small sari-sari store. Sometimes Maria’s male cousins would storm inside her store and take away all her earnings for the day. Since they were bigger and stronger than her, she couldn’t fight back. So instead, to protect her earnings, she put her money in tin cans and buried it in her backyard. All throughout grade school and high school, Maria worked hard to fend for herself and her grandparents while at the same time, using her wits to outsmart her cousins who would drop by from time to time to bully her.

Maria’s first house

When Maria reached 13 years old, she happened to pass by one house for sale in Carmen which she liked very much. She liked the quiet environment and peaceful neighborhood. The house was being sold for 3.5 million. Maria thought for a moment. Where would she get that kind of money? After a few minutes, she went home and started digging. She dug up every single tin can she had buried over they years and started counting the money she had accumulated. The total amount was 3.5 million. And that was how Maria bought her first house.

Nothing beats hard work

Over the years, Maria engaged in a variety of businesses until she found one where she really hit the big bucks – the textile industry. She started buying RTW’s from a factory in Korea and selling it wholesale to boutiques and malls in different cities. She had clients from Pagadian, Ozamis, Dipolog, Cagayan de Oro, Butuan and Davao. Her business was so successful her clients actually had to get in line to purchase her products. The factory didn’t have any other buyers as it sold everything it made to her. Despite not being able to go to college, Maria’s dedication to her business and willingness to work hard enabled her to succeed where so many had failed.

Put yourself in the other persons shoes

Maria’s story not only inspired me to continue reaching for my dreams, it allowed me to understand her better. It was only when I put myself in her shoes that I was able to see where she was coming from. At a young age, she was rejected by her family. Over the years, many people tried to trick her and take advantage of her. It’s no wonder why she would so easily get defensive and angry and suspect that people were trying to deceive her. We are shaped by our environment and experiences. I could see that although Maria was, by worldly standards, successful she was still struggling with trust issues because of what she went through as a kid. And so, instead of feeling resentful I started to feel compassion towards her.

Colossians 3:12

Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.

Are you dealing with a difficult person in your life now?

When dealing with difficult people, instead of reacting, try to understand where that person is coming from. Try to put yourself in the other person’s shoes. My experience taught me that people are the way they are for a reason. Perhaps that person who’s mistreating may just be having a bad day. Or maybe he’s going through a huge family problem. Or maybe he’s up to his ears in debt.

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving.
Dale Carnegie

 

Because I made the effort to understand Maria, we were able to keep our relationship. I was able to help her buy the house she wanted and now she’s living in her dream house. A beautiful 2-storey, ridge-view mansion in Xavier Estates that overlooks the city. The little girl who was supposedly “bad luck” became the good luck charm of her family. Last time I saw Maria, she was with her family. She had forgiven her parents and is now building a relationship with them again. 

beautiful-house-1Photo from wlpapers.com (not the actual photo of her house but it looks similar to this)

Never burn bridges 

I believe in never burning bridges with people. You never know when you might run into them again. The world is becoming smaller everyday. If you have a person in your life now that’s difficult to deal with, try to understand that person. Decide to love them.

John 15:12

This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life

-Alex

The Epic Love Story of Titanic

header-was-rose-just-imagining-things-fan-theory-proposes-that-titanic-s-jack-wasn-t-even-real-jpeg-240931-1Photo from asiatrvl.com

Who hasn’t heard of the timeless love story of Jack and Rose in Titanic? I remember watching it when I was in the 4th grade. The movie had ended but I didn’t want to move from my seat. It was so romantic and yet tragic. The me-against-the-world, I-would-die-for-you kind of love. So when Pastor Fernie showed a photo of Jack and Rose at the CCF service yesterday, it brought back a rush of memories. I thought that was the only epic love story of Titanic. It turns out, it wasn’t.

On the eve 1912, The Titanic, a luxury steam ship set sail from England to New York. On that ship was a 39-year-old Scotish pastor from Great Britain, John Harper, with his 9-year-old daughter. They had just finished their daily devotion when they heard a commotion outside. It turned that The Titanic had hit an iceberg and was slowly sinking. Harper quickly helped his daughter into one of the life boats and went back to the ship to help save more people. One of the survivors recall seeing Harper praying with terrified passengers on the deck for their salvation. While everyone else was busy fighting for their life, Harper was focused on saving them not only in this lifetime but for eternity.

john-harperPhoto of John Harper from moodychurch.org

John Harper’s last convert

In the ice-cold water, John Harper was doing his best to save as many people as he could. One Scottish survivor, Steve Crain, recalls that fateful night when the ocean waves brought John Harper near him.

“Are you saved?” Harper called out to him while holding on to a piece of wood.

“No I am not.” Replied the Scotsman.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” Was John Harpers reply.

“Are you saved?” Harper asked for the second time.

“No,” Replied Crain.

“Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved.” (Acts 16:31) Harper repeated. Then, loosing his hold on the wood, John Harper sank to the depths of the ocean. Never to be seen again.

Steve Crain, in that moment, accepted Jesus as Lord and savior of his life. And he was John Harpers last convert.

titanic-sinking-underwaterPhoto from titanicuniverse.com

I’ve always thought that the story of Jack and Rose was the epic love story of Titanic. It turns out, it isn’t. John Harpers story surpasses their love story in ways that can’t be explained. His love for Jesus Christ goes beyond life. Because he knew he was already saved, he wasn’t afraid to die. And up until his last breath, he continued to preach the Gospel.

We are all called to make disciples of all nations. That is our great commission. Our ultimate calling.

When was the last time you shared Jesus to someone?

God has given believers the responsibility of spreading the Gospel to all the world, and we need to use all at our disposal to accomplish this task.

Theodore Epp

I admit that I don’t do it as often as I should. John Harpers story, the epic love story of Titanic, reminded of what I should be doing everyday. So many people need the Lord. As His children, it is our privilege to share the Gospel to as many people as we can.

You have one business on earth – to save souls.
― John Weslet

Don’t wait for your last moments on earth to share the Gospel. Start doing it today.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

Playing to Win: Lessons Learned from Ivanka Trump

ivanka-trumpPhoto from pinterest.com

No one says “successful career woman” quite like Ivanka Trump. As the daughter of billionaire real estate tycoon, Donald Trump, you wouldn’t expect any less. In her book The Trump Card, Ivanka tells her story about growing up as a Trump and shares the lessons and insights she has learned along the way.

Most people are not as fortunate to be born a Trump. But Ivanka takes what she has to a whole new level by not resting on her father’s laurels or her famous family name. She fearlessly worked hard to forge a name for herself and make her own mark in the real estate industry.

Despite being born in the lap of luxury, Ivanka shared that their parents taught them the value of discipline and hard work. Yes, their parents provided for their needs. But if they wanted more, they had to negotiate for it. Thus, Ivanka learned early on how to hone her negotiating skills. At home, if they were asked to do the dishes after dinner or help fold the laundry, they were expected to do it right away with no complaints. Growing up, her father provided guidance yet never pushed them into doing things they didn’t want to do. He gave them free reign to make their own choices and commit their own mistakes.

 Never be afraid to try new things.

While at Choate, a college preparatory boarding school, a modeling agent invited her to try modeling. At 5’11” she certainly was tall enough to be one. Although she wasn’t really interested in modeling, Ivanka wanted to try her hand at something new. Something that was outside her fathers sphere of influence. She wanted to see if she could succeed in an industry where the Trump name didn’t carry much weight. As a model, Ivanka had moderate success. Still, real estate remained her first love. It wasn’t easy to juggle go-sees and college but she did it, graduating as summa cum laude with a BA in real estate from the Wharton School of Finance.

2c25f9ad00000578-3229289-making_an_entrance_ivanka_trump_33_looks_absolutely_stunning_in_-m-13_1441894921055Photo from dailymail.co.uk

Listen to advice.

Due to her exposure to real estate as a child, it has always been Ivanka’s dream to join the Trump Organization after college. But one of her college professors advised her to try working for a different company first before joining the Trump Group. Seeing the wisdom behind his advice, she joined Forest City Ratner, a diversified real estate development and management company. After two years, Ivanka resigned and joined the Trump Organization as the Vice President of Real Estate Development and Acquisitions.

Donald Trump may come across as brash, too outspoken and can rub some people off the wrong way. But based on how his 3 children turned out, it seems like he was a good father to them. He provided them with the guidance they needed. No matter how busy he was at the office, whenever anyone of his children called, he would pick up the phone. He also modeled the value of discipline and hard work. Now all three are doing well at the Trump Group as part of his team.

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.”

Albert Schweitzer

Here are 3 things I learned from Ivanka Trump:

Follow your passion. Ivanka had discovered her passion for real estate as a young kid. She loved the times she would go with her mother, Ivana Trump, to check on their hotel operations or accompany her father on the construction site. Ivanka and her two brother got to work at the different aspects of their business when they were still in high school – mooring boats, landscaping and helping with operations. Donald Trump was a firm believer in hands on, from the ground up training. Business was their usual topic at the dinner. So although she could have been successful in other fields, Ivanka followed her passion to pursue a career in real estate and is currently doing well as Vice President for Real Estate Development and Acquisitions.

Make excellence a habit. Her parents taught her at a young age that whatever you do – be it school, modeling or business – do it to the best of your ability. Ivanka’s parents allowed her to pursue a modeling career while studying provided that her grades wouldn’t get affected. And their standard was no less than a 4.0 average. There is no room for being mediocre in this world. It’s easier to aim for the best when you love your job. Still, even if you don’t like what you’re doing at the moment, that’s no excuse to slack off. Successful people play to win no matter what they’re doing because excellence is not only a destination. It’s a way of life. It’s a habit.

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”
-Aristotle

Hard work will never go out of style. The world may know about Donald Trump’s story. About how he built his real estate empire from the ground up, about surviving a financial crisis, from being almost a billion dollars in debt to coming out even wealthier than before. But not many people know that Ivana Trump, his first wife and the mother of his 3 children, is also very much like him. Ambitious, relentless and hard working. As a Czech skier who competed in the Olympics, Ivana was no stranger to hard work. And she brought this work ethic into the Trump Organization, matching her then-husband in his zeal for hard work.

Having successful parents like Donald and Ivana Trump can either leave you feeling entitled or determined to get out of their shadow and succeed on your own. For Ivanka, it made her determined to succeed on her own. As the Vice President of Real Estate Development and Acquisitions, she has worked hard to provide value to the company. When working on a deal, she does her homework. She studies the competition, analyzes the deal and gets the insight of a lot people (including her father) before making her decision. A famous family name is one thing, but without hard work to back it up, you won’t go far. It’s like style and substance. They need to go together. Aside from her success with the Trump Group, Ivanka has also ventured out on her own by partnering with Dynamic Diamond Corp, a leading diamond supplier, to introduce a line of jewelry called The Ivanka Trump Collection. This collection is targeted for the working woman who wants timelessly chic pieces that she can pass on to her children.

A dream doesn’t become reality through magic; it takes sweat, determination and hard work.

-Colin Powell

As a career woman myself, I appreciated how hard Ivanka works and the effort she puts into doing what she loves. Success isn’t simply about money. It’s about significance – making your mark in the world through meaningful work and helping as many people as you can. As for me, I want to make my mark through 3 things: as a discipler, as a real broker and someday (hopefully next year) as an author.

042610-ivanka-lead-623Photo from pinterest.com

What about you?

How do you want to make your mark? In this day and age, we can succeed in almost anything. Do what you love, make success a habit and work hard at it. If you do, you will make your mark and success will be around the corner. It’s only a matter of time.

Go live Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

 

Rise Up: Face Trials Head On

rise

Our character is shaped not in times of joy but in times of hardship and suffering.

I remember a few years back, when my dad had a heart attack and could no longer manage our hardware business alone. So my mom called to ask me if I could help him out. Initially, I didn’t want to do it. I found managing a hardware too stressful because there was so much inventory, dozens of things to consider and you couldn’t leave the store because clients only wanted to negotiate with the owner. So at first I resisted. But in the end I couldn’t say no to family.

Managing our hardware took me way out of my comfort zone. A few weeks into managing it, I quickly realized it didn’t have a proper system for inventory and finance, and it was bleeding money. I felt like I had stepped into a boat that was sinking fast.

I’m a believer that a person should focus on his passion and do what he loves for a living. Because if you love what you do, you wont have to work a day in your life. But there are times that you need to go through stressful situations and do things you don’t like to do in order to grow. 

Our character is shaped not in times of joy but in times of hardship and suffering.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from that experience, it is this: Rise Up. Face life and the trials it brings head on. Just like gold, you’ll need to go through fire while being hammered and bent into shape to be the best that you can be. Although I didn’t really enjoy managing the family business then, I certainly learned a lot from it. And some of what I learned I am able to use in running my own business now.

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.

-Helen Keller

There will be times in your life when you’ll have to do something you don’t want to do. Things that you feel you are not prepared for or that’s beyond your comfort zone. You may be tempted to say no and just pass the baton to the next person. Don’t. Rise up. Say yes to the challenge. Do what you need to.

Things that are unfamiliar will feel uncomfortable at first. But as you rise up to the challenge, as you face it head on, that’s when you’ll grow.

You cannot dream yourself into a character; you must hammer and forge yourself into one.

-Henry Davie Thoreau

 

Are you running away from something?

A responsibility? A job you feel you’re not equipped for? A decision you need to make but cant?

Rise up. Face the challenge. Grow.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

The Use of Inception to Influence Others

inception-top-spinning-rotation-2Photo from businessinsider.com

Inception is a 2010 science fiction heist film written and directed by Christopher Nolan and starred by Leonardo DiCaprio. Nolan worked on the script for 10 years before it finally materialized into a movie that won 4 Academy Awards. Inception is based on the idea that a person could enter into another persons subconscious mind through his dreams. And through that dream, plant an idea. When that person wakes up, he will think that idea came from him when in fact it came from inception.

When I first watched Inception a few years back, I thought, how devious. Inception is a whole new way of manipulating people to bend to your will. I always thought inception was pure fiction. That it was just a movie. But after watching it for the second time, I realized, it is real. Every time we share our ideas and values to the people around us, we are performing inception.

secrets1

Photo from brandibernoskie.com

We live in a world that is highly connected. And I’m not only talking about technology. Almost none of the ideas that we have is purely an original. Every thought, each belief came from someone or something. It may have been from a book, a movie we watched, random thoughts of a friend or the intentional teachings of a parent. We may think an idea is our own, but actually, it’s not. With all the things around us that influence our thoughts, no idea is purely our own.

You are influenced by your environment and your environment is influenced by you.

In the movie, inception could happen only if you were able to successfully get inside the deepest recesses of your subjects subconscious. So your subject had to either open his mind to you or you could get in his safe place and plant the idea without his knowing it. In the same way, in life, you are influenced greatly by two things: the people that you care about most or the incidents that had strong emotional impact. Because we often don’t remember the facts but we remember how we felt in that moment. Emotion is a powerful memory enhancer.

Being able to perform inception, to influence a person to do something is powerful thing. And we each have that power. We each have a certain degree of influence and it is our choice how to use that influence. Through inception, we can either build people up or destroy them.

We can sometimes be careless with our words and actions. But we don’t know how much influence we wield. And how that can affect the life of another person in ways we cant imagine.

With great power comes great responsibility. You have the power to plant ideas into another persons mind. What kind of ideas will your plant? Will it be ideas about love, service and humility? Or will it be about selfishness, pride and greed?

An idea is like a virus. Resilient. Highly contagious. And even the smallest seed of an idea can grow. It can grow to define or destroy you.

-Cobb

The next time you share your ideas to the world, think for a moment, will this make the world a better place?

Go live a Truly Wealthy Life.

-Alex

 

How Alibaba founder Jack Ma opened sesame

 

Billionaire Jack Ma, chairman of Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, speaks at the Asian Leadership Conference in Seoul, South Korea, on Tuesday, May 19, 2015. Wasu Media Holding Co., the Chinese media company backed by Jack Ma, has held talks with Netflix Inc. as the broadcaster of "House of Cards" seeks to enter China's $5.9 billion online video market. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg *** Local Caption *** Jack Ma

Photo from bloomberg.com

In life, a lot of things don’t make sense. Just like the way an English teacher at a local university in China who earned $12 per month went on to becoming a multi-billionaire in just 7 years. When his company Alibaba went public in 2014, it was the largest IPO in history raising about 25 Billion dollars and valued now over 200 Billion. Alibaba was not only the leading ecommerce website in China, it was also wildly successful on a global scale with it’s entire value exceeding Amazon and eBay combined. On the eve of it’s IPO Jack Ma, a regular Chinese school teacher who knew nothing about coding, catapulted to being a multi-Billionaire. From it’s humble beginnings in his small apartment, Alibaba is no longer a David. It’s now a Goliath.

But first, what is Alibaba? In his book Alibaba’s World, Porter Erisman, former Vice-President of Alibaba describes it as a vast e-commerce conglomerate that connects buyers and sellers and allows them to do transactions across a wide range of products and services. It’s basically an online portal where you can either buy or sell. It connects buyers and sellers in more than 240 countries and 80% of online retail sales in China happen in Taobao.com – a company under the Alibaba Group.

One thing is for sure, this English teacher managed to “open sesame” and bring China and the rest of the world (or most of it) along with him.

But how did he do it? Was he just lucky? Was Jack Ma merely at the right place, at time?  Erisman writes that Jack Ma was the right person, at the right place, at the right time.

After teaching for 5 years, Jack Ma decided that it was time to test the waters and start a business. So he opened his first venture – Hangzhou Hope Translation Agency. He started the Agency to cater to the increasing number of local businesses engaged with foreign trade. Then one day, one client who was a local government official, asked him to fly to America to sort out a business transaction with a US partner. When he arrived in Los Angeles, instead of a warm welcome, he got flashed with gun and robbed by his supposed host. Eventually he was able to go to Seattle where he asked for help from his American friends. It was there that Jack got introduced to the internet. He discovered that the internet was an amazing tool were you could type a word or two and get information for free. But when he typed China, nothing came out. That was when he had the idea to connect Chinese businessmen (and there were a lot of them) to the rest of the world.

Jack flew back to China and set up China’s first internet company – China Pages. It had some success but in the end didn’t work out. Next, Jack tried working with the government of Beijing to promote ecommerce. But he felt too stifled by all the red tape. So he left to start another venture, where he hired 17 of his old students and made them founders – Alibaba.

alibaba

Photo from answers.com

Alibaba was not always the successful business model it is today. When it first started, it was a free service. The company struggled for years to find a way to be profitable. In the first few years, it was bleeding money. It finally became profitable when, after 2 years, sellers started asking for a paid option to promote their products and be seen above their competitors. The rest is history. Alibaba went on to become the world’s largest ecommerce website and Jack Ma became a multi-billionaire.

If you don’t imagine it will happen, it will never happen.

-Jack Ma

What did I learn from Jack Ma?

One, dream big. Like Steve Jobs, Jack Ma was a visionary. He looked at the market, at what the users wanted and produced a product that could fulfill that. Alibaba.com was launched in a time when so little of China, due to government censorship, was online. But he saw the future of China and it’s businessmen and that future included doing business online. Ecommerce was on the rise. Most of the world was already online and China would be sure to catch up. Jack Ma would often set wildly high projections for Alibaba – double or triple the projections of his managers. And they often surpassed it. His vision has always been to connect buyers and sellers and make online transaction easy – on a global scale. He was not only a big dreamer but highly optimistic as well. Even when the company looked like it would topple down at any moment, he kept the faith and guided his team thru those tough times.

 A lot of young people don’t have dreams anymore. And we want to tell them, you have to keep your dreams.

-Jack Ma

Second, act on it. There are 1.3 Billion people in China. I’m sure a few other million had the same idea as Jack. The only difference was they didn’t do anything about it. When you have a great idea, act on it. If you don’t, you can be sure that someone else will. As Jack Ma said, “You can begin on nothing but an idea.” He certainly did.

Third, focus on the customer. Jack Ma was a salesman who focused on what the customer wanted. He didn’t know how to code and had no patience for algorithm talk but he knew how to sell. His focus was entirely on user experience. Whenever a new application or website tool was developed, he first tried it out. If he couldn’t understand it, that meant their customers probably wouldn’t either.

I’ve learned a lot from Jack Ma and how he took Alibaba from being a start up company to being the largest ecommerce website in the world. And if he tells me to keep my dreams, well, who am I to argue? Who knows, maybe Truly Wealthy Realty can also be an Alibaba someday.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

 

Trick or Dream Big?

dream-big-hd-1080Photo from mastipedia.wordpress.com

You’d think that Starbucks would be near empty on the 1st of November. But no. It was bustling full. Apparently people still wanted their Starbucks fix even on a Holiday. Which brings me to my next question – what do people do on the 1st of November?

I asked my friends about it and most of them hung out with family and visited their deceased in the cemetery. For others the day was merely an excuse to eat a lot and not work out as almost all the gyms were closed. Others still, took advantage of the long weekend and went on a vacation.

For me, aside from remembering my deceased loved ones, it was a day to relax and not think about work. I love my job but every girl needs a day off. It was a day to write. Which brings me to this article.

They say that if there is one thing you want to do well in life, then you’ll need to do it regularly, consistently, as often as you can. One of my goals this year was to write a book. But I didn’t quite know what to write about or where to start. So I have decided to start blogging again. Who knows? Maybe by posting daily on my blog, I’ll eventually find out what I want to write about. My goal for my book is to educate and inspire people to go after what they want. To dream big. I’ve always been a fan of big dreams. After all, you only live one life. You might as well live the life you want.

“Think of it this way: There are two kinds of failure. The first comes from never trying out your ideas because you are afraid, or because you are waiting for the perfect time. This kind of failure you can never learn from, and such timidity will destroy you. The second kind comes from a bold and venturesome spirit. If you fail in this way, the hit that you take to your reputation is greatly outweighed by what you learn. Repeated failure will toughen your spirit and show you with absolute clarity how things must be done.”

-Robert Greene, Mastery

Some people say, don’t dream big because you’ll just end up disappointed. And yes, that is a valid point. But what if you do get your dream? Think about the kind of life you can have living it everyday. Dreaming big is not a trick. It’s a treat. Because the more you think about your dreams and what you want, the more you’ll be able to find ways to make those dreams come true. As Brian Tracy said, one trait that successful people have is clarity. Successful people are clear about what they want.

Dig down deep inside you and unearth that long forgotten dream. Take out your treasure box and shake off the dust. Buried dreams will remain forever out of your reach if you don’t let them see the light of day.

What is it that you dream to do?

Other people are living their dreams. You have as much a right to live yours. You decide. Trick or dream big?

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

On Finding True Love

finding-true-love-with-tarotPhoto from freetarotreadinglove.com

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you find it.

Before I met Christ, I used to think I was ok. I was basically a good girl who did well in school and only broke a few rules. Being a very goal oriented person, I tried to find fulfillment and happiness in achievement. But no matter what I did, there always seemed to be something missing. Coming from a Roman Catholic family, I’ve known about Jesus since I was young, but I’ve never really had a personal relationship with him. I felt like God was someone you praised and admired from afar.

Then a friend of mine invited me to a Christian church. I was still a college student in Silliman University then. That was when I first had an encounter with Christ. I was amazed by how happy they all seemed, how fulfilled.

Time is God’s paintbrush as he paints his masterpiece in the hearts of humanity.

-Ravi Zacharias

I had no idea then, but God was already painting his masterpiece in my heart. My personal relationship with God didn’t happen in an instant.

Like most relationships, it blossomed through time. My first impression of Christianity, was wow, they have nice music here. They had a full band and all the musicians from the drummer to the bassist to the singer were so good. I’ve always loved music and the excellent playing of that church’s music team was what kept me coming back. I became friends with band and eventually joined the music team. I guess you could say, music lead me to God. When I accepted Christ in my life as Lord and Savior, it was only then that I realized what I was missing. The joy I felt in having a relationship with Christ eclipsed everything else in my life.

After I graduated college, I was in a limbo as to what I really wanted to do with my life. I tried a lot of things. Eventually, God lead me to real estate and together with my partners, we founded Truly Wealthy Realty. At the time, I didn’t have a church here so without meaning to, I started to lose my way. I began to focus again on trying to achieve fulfillment thru worldly success: Through winning Toastmaster contests, closing deals and making money. And yes, I achieved these things. But the happiness was not only shallow, it was fleeting. I was like a dog running after its own tail – chasing dream after dream with no end in sight. No achievement, no matter how lofty, seemed to be enough to make me happy. Then a friend of mine, Eddie, invited me to CCF. It was here that I found the Lord again. I started attending Dgroup and eventually, with the encouragement of my Dgroup leader, I started to lead my own Dgroup.

I remember what Ate Mel Santos told me, “Lex, start leading. You’re ready. Trust me, leading your own Dgroup is more fulfilling than closing deals.”

You know what, she was wrong. It doesn’t even come close. Through being part of a Dgroup and leading my own dgroup, I regained my balance. I started to focus on what is truly important – Jesus Christ.

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you find it.

Being a Christian all these years has made me realize 3 things:

First, a Christian cannot be a lone ranger. We need each other to grow in Christ. Even super heroes have their own groups. Justice league, Fantastic 4, even Batman had Robin. Superman had Louis Lane. We need the intimacy, accountability and the emotional support of our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. That is why it is crucial to be part of a Dgroup. When you’re part of a discipleship group, you can watch out for each other and help one another during tough times.

Second, we need to share the gospel and disciple others. As believers, we need to bring as many people to Christ as we possibly can. It is both our burden and privilege. It was only when I started discipling others that I became more committed to honoring and obeying God. A teacher must practice what he preaches. Being a discipler has allowed my faith to mature in ways I could never have thought possible. Many are content to accept Christ as savior but not as Lord. But God calls us not to be timid disciples but bold witnesses. That is the great commission. That is our mission.

Third, God + 0 = more than enough. Everything else is just a bonus. A great career, financial security, a Godly husband… These are all just bonuses. I’m not defined by what I achieve, the amount of wealth I own or in having the ideal husband, but in Christ Jesus alone. He is my rock and my salvation. And in Him, I will not be shaken.

Sometimes you don’t know what you’re missing until you find it.

I have found my identity in Christ-and never again am I letting go.

This is love, in the highest and truest form, in every sense of the word.

May you find Christ like I did and live a truly wealthy life.

-Alex

The Passion of Christ

the-passion-of-the-christPhoto from mubi.com

It’s hard to find absolutes in todays relativistic world. Most things now are relative, how can one be totally certain of something? Can one still find an idea or premise that’s completely, totally and absolutely true?

I was listening to a talk by Ravi Zacharias and he tackled this topic beautifully. According to Mr. Zaharias, there are 4 absolutes in todays relativistic world.

Justice. We are always talking about justice. What’s right. What should be done. What we deserve. It doesn’t matter what our religion or citizenship is. We all want justice for ourselves, for others.
To define real evil. Evil can take on many view points. What’s evil from where I’m standing may be different from yours. What is the true definition of evil?
Love. The most important thing in the world that knows no boundaries is love. We are all capable of it and we all want to give and receive it.
Forgiveness. We all need and are capable of giving forgiveness.

What struck me the most was when Mr. Zacharias emphasized that the one place in the world where these four converge is on a hill called Calvary on the cross of Christ.

I just finished watching the Passion of Christ with our Friday Dgroup. It was painful to watch the extent of the suffering our Lord had to go through to save us from our sins. At the same time, it was also humbling to know the extent of Christ’s love for us. Growing up I’ve known that my God died for me. But it’s different to really “know” that he died for me.

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. -Romans 5:8

This is where the importance of having a bible study group comes in. At CCF we call it Discipleship Group or Dgroup. Having a group that I’m accountable to helps keep me on track. They help me build my spiritual muscle so that when it’s crunch time, then I am better able to stand against the weight of temptation. The devil knows where our weak points are. We need to equip ourselves and get all the help we can to stand strong.It’s easy to judge the Pharisees and the people who crucified Christ. But as Mr. Zacharias put it, “The human heart is capable of the most extreme things when untamed and ungoverned. The problem is not merely moral, it is spiritual.”

The centerpiece of the gospel is the cross of Christ. We need to remind ourselves daily of what Jesus had to go through to save us from our sins. The truth is God loves us, and it’s because of this love, that he died to set us free. But we cannot be set free, we won’t be saved, if we don’t accept Christ as our Lord and saviour. It’s a choice that each of us are given the privilege to make.

Free will, though it makes evil possible, is the only thing that makes possible any love or goodness or joy worth having. A world of automa- of creatures that worked like machines-would hardly be worth creating. The happiness which God designs for his higher creatures is the happiness of being freely, voluntarily united to Him and to each other in an ecstasy of love and delight compared to with which the most rapturous love between a man and woman on this earth is mere milk and water. And for that they must be free. Of course God knew what would happen if they used their freedom the wrong way: apparently he thought it worth the risk.

-C.S Lewis

What about you? How does the crucifixion of Christ affect you?

As for me, it humbled me for he died for me, a sinner. I’ve accepted Christ and by His grace, I’m now free.

Accepting Christ is your personal choice. I hope, for your sake, you make the right choice.

Go live a Truly Wealthy life.

-Alex

1 2 3 4 5 6 14