Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Faith Fight: Bring it On!

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted."
Hebrews 12: 1-3

Here you are one morning, all dressed up and ready to face the day!  

You stepped out of the door, only to find out you are on the grounds of an amphitheater with your gladiator armor, ready to face the day... of battles! And there they are-- the Apostles and the ancient Christians, settled in the circular seats as spectators, cheering for you and awaiting for your next spiritual victory.

"...we are surrounded by so a great cloud of witnesses..." 

Of course, this is a figurative representation.  The scripture tells us to act as if the Christians of the old are watching our efforts to live by the purpose we are called for.  Those brothers who had endured greater sacrifices to the extent of their death, to live their faith and make everyone know that Jesus is Lord.

Going back to our present time, knowing the situation we are into and the things we need to give for the glory of God, we realize that it isn't so bad after all… we realize that it’s not too much at all. 

 “…sin which clings so closely” 

Can you believe that?!  I can imagine sin clings so closely that every time our faith grows, the scheme of the devil cunningly upgrades to the level apt to our spiritual maturity!  We could fail at times, all right.  But we all know that what really counts is getting up and learning from it .  Paul said in 1Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith.  Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses".  Yes we fall at times, but our God will always give us the grace to stand up and overcome! (2 Corinthians 12:9a "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weaknesses...”)  

Now let’s go back to the “great cloud of witnesses” surrounding us… what if we keep failing on the same level, to the same temptations?  The point here is, what if Paul and the other worthies are really watching us in the battlefield?  The ones who underwent a lot of persecutions, sufferings, imprisonment and pain for the sake of the same faith we have.  God will always give us a chance, but how shameful it could be?  More so if we compare our situation to theirs.  Are we even fighting anyway?  Or are we standing up just to stumble again?  The Lord knows our hearts!

Jesus endured it all, despite that He did not deserve a bit of it.  He bear all of it so “that you may not grow weary or fainthearted.”  We had hard times, that’s true. It could be somebody’s fault or our own.  But then let us “Consider Him who endured from sinners such hostility…”  Jesus is Lord.  Everything was created through Him, including these “hostile sinners” from whom he experienced cruelty beyond our imagination.  And for what? Just so He can fulfill what He was sent for… our Salvation. 

I believe we can go through all the growing pains of our spiritual endeavor.  We can overcome all the trials and temptations.  And we can finish the race of faith… for God has given us everything through Jesus Christ.

“His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”  2Peter 1:3

With all these, should you still be lying, knockdown by the enemy?

Source: Barnes'  notes on the Bible

Friday, March 4, 2011

So, what about Fitflop?

Yeah, yeah.  I heard about this new thong mania during my stay in Manila last year.  It was absurd!  Buying around P3,000 up worth of slippers?  What IS that?

Yes, I said that.  I'm not buying this time.  No way you can fool me.  The Havaianas fever got me, all right (meaning I had two pairs. HahAHA!).  But this... this thing is way too expensive .  I am not buying.  NO.

Or so I thought.

My friend Mae and her fourth pair of Fitflop
When I got here in Saudi Arabia, my friend who's very fond of Fitflop caught my interest.  I kept wondering why did she buy  five  seven pairs [and will still buy more]?! She has two acceptable, and probably relevant reasons why.

First is Technology. According to the claims of the brand, the Microwobbleboard technology will help tone your thighs, your calves and your glute.  Wearing this flip-flop also encourages better posture.  I asked my friend, is she experiencing these benefits?  Well, there was no clear answer from her, really.  When she started using a pair of Fitflop, she was also having her regular day to day workout.  So she doesn't know how much it helped her at that time. Anyways, this counts because technology was initially what prompted my friend to try it out.  How's that?  It was from a testimony of a close aunt, who after years of enduring plantar fasciitis [is irritation and swelling of the thick tissue on the bottom of the foot.], affirms to have treated through wearing Fitflop!

Second is Comfort.  This feature could be what most Fitflop users would agree on.  Hours of walking could stress your feet.  And sometimes, even how flat are the shoes you're wearing or you're on your rubber sandals, tendency is that you would feel a twinge of pain in your feet and legs.  Surprisingly, despite Fitflop's high heels (compared to other "comfy' sandals/shoes out there), it is said to give you both comfort and style.

Needless to say, I got convinced and bought a pair of this Fitflop.  Honestly, the toning of the butt got into me. Maybe, just maybe, you know... ^_^  And I think it is right on time since winter is ending... meaning it will be too hot to put on closed shoes.  I chose to get their latest Oasis 2 early this month. 

I actually wanted the ceramic blue... but then again, violet is fine.

Fitflop in Action
Malls here in Saudi start at 4PM in the afternoon on Fridays, and are open until 11PM.  I decided to test my new Fitflop in the mall, where I was most certain to walk a lot.  I stroll around for seven hours straight (okay, I had an approximately 30-minute break for dinner)!  I even carried my 9-month old baby most of the time.  Fitflop was extremely comfortable! I felt no pain whatsoever.  My feet did not feel tired at all, and were relaxed the whole time.  But for the "workout" part... I'm afraid it's not "working out".  It was a one time test, so I can't assure anything at all.  But for now if you'll ask me if my butt was toned, I don't think so.

with my daughter :)
My Verdict
I am yet to find out whether the microwobbleboard technology really works.  But for now I can merely recommend Fitflop as a new trend of comfortable and stylish footwear.  And if its quality would guarantee long-wearing, then the price is okay.

Do I like it after all?  I'm wearing Pietra now.

Note: Fitflop is not yet widely available in KSA.  Advantage side is that it's a little cheaper here.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Emotional Outburst in Low Profile: Could there be such a thing?

It was a heck of a time for me the other day.

I was just getting off from a headache when I felt another one coming.

"Paging self-control... paging self-control... you are now needed in my heart and mind... please come immediately."  Yes, I should have done that, or of course something just like that.  Then I know things could have been better.

It's not that all the worst escaped from my lips or I became estranged to every face. [There goes the title " Low Profile..."] But I said something.  So meaningful.  And if I could be honest, a little hostile. 

Today, I am remorseful.  And no matter how hurting it was for me, I know I should have not done anything like that.  What else is the gist of the last one I wrote if even I, myself, cannot grasp it?

This goes to you.  Forgive me.  And yes I will remember well, to practise what I write, or all the words may as well go down to that stinky drain.

So help me God.

"Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control" - Proverbs 25:28