Monday, May 19, 2014

“Argh!” was all I could mutter under my breath as I bit my lips to stifle a scream: “Stop it!” 

Tooth extraction? No. Migraine headache? Neither.

Guess what, I went for a face treat in one of those popular derma salons and got an ache trip instead. The facial proved to be total agony; the eye brow threading pure unadulterated torture.

How could women stand all that pain? And for what? The funny part was, I didn’t see an Angelina Jolie when I looked at myself in the mirror.

My eyes still wore their baggy pants. (When my aging mother was alive, she’d call them eyes bags, surreptitiously framed by no-grade spectacles.) And my vertical facial lines still ran to and fro like tracks converging at a train station between my senior eyes.

Had I complained, someone could have thrown me the look: “What you need is a face lift!”  So I kept my lips zipped. (Just imagining its cost is cause for more sleepless nights; naturally, more eyes bags.)

No wonder I tried to decline when my sister offered to treat me to a facial. But hey, a treat is always a treat; and my Ate Marcia was so kind. So I relented.

I realized soon enough that the reason I didn’t enjoy facials that much was the prospect of someone unearthing my face of dirt and grime—and white and black and whatever despicable heads—like she were mining for coal. (At least coal has its economic benefits.)

But “The Face” business has really become a booming industry, with more and more women going for facial treatments—including botox injections, face, lip and nose lifts—an ego lift actually, to reverse the onslaught of gravity and years of battling it out to survive on planet earth.

It helps of course that Hollywood and mass media have reminded us non-stop that beauty is all about having smooth unruffled skin, a narrow and aquiline nose, or lips as plump as Jolie’s; and body as reed-thin as Jolie’s (again!).

Had I complained, someone could have thrown me the look: “What you need is a face lift!”

An online source predicts a $267 billion global beauty industry in 2017. In the Philippines, “whitening” products and services have grown dramatically.

It is said that whenever the Philippine economy is on a slump, sale of cosmetic products dramatically go up. My Marketing mentor explained it this way: “If people don’t have much to eat, they want to at least feel good about themselves.”

Some food for thought, huh. But an eye opener on how our priorities have shifted as marketers tried to condition our minds about indulging in more pleasurable and sensual experiences to mask life’s real issues.

It’s a sign of good stewardship if we take care of our health, including the only face and body God gave us—as long as we are not overtaken by vanity; or your hard-earned sweldo (salary) flies away and your creditors swoop down on you because of your unpaid bills.

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised,” Proverbs 31:30

Besides, the Lord reminds us that what’s inside matters more. 1 Samuel 16:7 “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature… For the Lord sees not as man sees. Man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

“Godliness is of value in every way,” says 1 Timothy 4:8, because “it holds promise both for the present life and the life to come.”

A facial may momentarily make you look polished; but come to think of it, greater scrubbing of our insides comes from spending more time in His Word.

Believe you me, it is because of these quiet times with God that I get comments like, “You’re glowing!”

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Friday, May 2, 2014

Na-El Niño ka na ba?

El Niño refers to the warming of the Pacific Ocean which in turn contributes to dry spells and limited rain. La Mesa dam's water level has reached critical levels, we are told, that's why we need to pray for rain.

Though unaware, we are hit by the  El Niño on a daily basis. Spiritual dryness can be a stealth bomb---attacking you in trickles, then slowly turning your heart for God from hot to cold.

And it comes in the most natural manner. This morning, you probably tumbled out of bed in a frenzy. You slept rather late, unable to set your alarm last night. Now, you've only got a few minutes for your morning rituals before setting out to work. Lunes pa man din! 

Just a "Thank you, Lord!" No praise. No Worship. No prayer. Mamaya na lang ang quiet time. Huli na nga ako! Lagot ako ke Boss

We learned in biology class that the human body is 50-70% water-which diminishes when we pee or sweat, or when you, for some reason, experience diarrhea or vomiting. Lots of electrolytes (with all the minerals you need) lost through dehydration is a prescription for cardiac arrest, unless your system is replenished with fluids.
We are more than just this physical form which you can pinch and admire (or abhor depending on how you see your image in the mirror). Somebody in church always reminds us that man is a spirit residing in this articulo corporis or human body.

So is it too far-fetched to consider that we too need spirit-electrolytes to replenish our spirit as we battle day-to-day situations?

Confusion, panic, anger, fear, worries-these are no mean challenges. They can deplete your spirit, turn your laughter into sungit, so that at the end of the day, you feel drained, sapped of all energy.

Where did your bubbly, positive, considerate and funny you, go? Why the detour? When just yesterday or the other day, you seemed like a beacon of hope, encouraging others you encountered along the way? Why so downcast, oh your soul?

Ephesians 6:12-For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

That's why Satan is just too happy to see you not praying or reading your bible or having your conversations with God. They're your daily spirit-lyte. Take them. They're good for you.
Your spirit needs to have a stash of spirit-lyte---stored within your heart. Gas up on it daily. And fill your tank early. 

Instead of confusion, panic, anger and worries, you'll instead enjoy a rich menu of heart-and-soul-healthy nutrition enough to sustain you through the day. The fruit of the Spirit, with everything thrown in: "love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control..." (Galatians 5:22-23)

Jesus, your Alpha and Omega-Beginning and the End, who holds your life in the palm of His hand and is the author and perfecter of your faith-is your best remedy for any kind of mallaise.

But follow the prescription: daily dose, all through the day. It starts with acknowledging Him as Savior and Lord.