Who's Telling The Truth?



Fifteen minutes to 08:00 in the morning, my other co-worker and I were taking turns running around, seeing one sick inmate after another. Then, she ran to a unit when they asked for help as the inmate seemed to be having a seizure. Five minutes later, another distress call over the radio was requesting for Medical staff’s help.

“Possible heart attack,” the call blared.

“Unit 13 nurse copy. Enroute in 1,” I replied [meaning I was on my way and that’s my ETA was in 1 minute at the max].

“They couldn’t say that! [“heart attack”],” exclaimed the newly-arrived day charge nurse getting her report from our night shift lead nurse.

“Perhaps, they’re panicking. I’m on my way now,” I replied to her.

“Okay, then call us if you need help,” she uttered.

The hallway was long though it was the same hallway that led to our Infirmary. I hurried my little steps as I toted the heavy emergency bag, praying for the Lord to protect me and guide me with His wisdom and I asked for discernment.

The heavy metal door popped open. The unit deputy met me and had warned me that there was some issue earlier with the same man, complaining of chest pain now. He complained about other inmates being noisy but there was really no one making such a big noise. When they told him to go back to his bed, that was when he started complaining of chest pains.

The inmate workers were serving “chow” [breakfast trays]. They had barely finished their meals. As I approached the particular cell, there were perhaps, twenty-something bodies lined up against the wall as the deputy went with me and assisted me to a the farthest bed in a corner. On it was a seventy-something man, laying on his left side and while clutching his mid-chest, started moaning a lot and was complaining of severe pain. Since I noticed he was breathing okay, I had requested the deputy to put him on a guerney and I would rather take him to the Clinic because if anything happened, all of our equipments were there and there would be more nurses to help me, in case it was a true heart attack and if he coded.

Five minutes later, as he still clutched his chest, I tried hard to take his vital signs. Everything appeared normal. The blood pressure was not that bad. I motioned for him to get on top of the exam table so I could do an EKG to check if there was something going on with his heart.

It took a while before the other nurse and I got a good reading, as even a minor movement would affect the result. We didn’t see anything to be of concern and as we were trying to read the EKG, he started complaining:

“I got kicked!” while moaning still.

“Who kicked you?” I asked.

“This tall, Hispanic deputy in my unit. I told him that there were 2 inmates who were loud and he got upset and kicked me!” he claimed.

I didn’t see any inflammation nor bruising on the area he mentioned as source of pain. It was slightly tender to the touch. There was no deformity. If he had any broken ribs, for sure, he wouldn’t be able to breathe and even talk. He denied any prior injury and his chart noted his history of diabetes. I stopped asking him and reported to the day charge nurse, who in turn, immediately notified the Sargeant. He would probably need to do a further investigation regarding the man’s claim, because the deputy was involved.

This situation is tough. How do we know who’s telling the truth? The Lord warns us not to judge and He’s so right on that. Every story seems so true until you hear both sides. One thing is for sure, it’s only the Lord Who knows who’s telling the truth for He sees all of our actions, words, and even thoughts.

It was time for me to leave as I finished the EKG and my report to the charge nurse. The doctor would be in, in just a few minutes. My heart was heavy. I just prayed that the Lord would help the man if he was telling the truth for it to come out. And if he wasn’t, I still prayed for him that he wouldn’t get in so much trouble.

Proverbs 12:19 –“The lip of truth shall be established forever; but a lying tongue is but for a moment.”

Romans 14:13 –“Therefore, let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in your brother’s way.”

Matthew 7:2 –“For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you.”

Job 28:24 –“For He views the ends of the earth and sees everything under the heavens.”

Don God's Armor

A man in his early 20’s was naked, drunk and yelling profanities outside the bar’s door. The owner of the bar called the police who immediately showed up. The man became combative and was resisting arrest.

I was the Intake Nurse working that night, orientating a new nurse. It was hard to work in that place as the new arrestees were brought by police officers, loaded with alcohol or drug substances, combative or resisting arrest until they even get there in the jail. Their behavior could be unpredictable. Sometimes, it was difficult to get straight answers when medical questions were thrown at them.

It was my duty to assess them well and decide whether they would be medically fit to stay in the jail. If not, they get sent to the hospital to be evaluated first and only when the ER doctors release them back to jail, could they be processed and booked.

“Intake Nurse, can you meet us in the yard? Combative here,” requested by the Intake Deputy.

“Intake Nurse copy,” I answered over the radio, as I grabbed the blood pressure cuff and my stethoscope.

I heard the loud yelling coming from the Male Intake Yard. The same man was in no fear to resist his arrest despite seeing at least ten deputies, not including his arresting officers. He was yelling at the top of his lungs, being belligerent.

Before I showed up in the yard as I tried to finish asking another arrestee ahead of him, I heard the commotion inside, near the Nurse’s clinic. They brought the combative man in the “Search and Hold” area, still yelling, trying to kick, trying to bite, anything, to show that he was not afraid of the authorities. An Intake Deputy approached the door and asked me if I didn’t mind assessing him there. To which I obliged.

I was still about 3 yards away from him when he started covering his eyes as he saw me approached him. He looked so panic-stricken when he saw me approaching, the opposite of what he was doing with the deputies.

“Go away! Go away from me!” he screamed.

“Sir, I’m the nurse here and I just need to make sure you are not sick to stay here,” I calmly responded.

“No! Go away! I want my mother!” still crouching, his face filled with terror.

“Who’s your mother?” I asked [to assess his orientation, too at the same time].

“Devlin! Her name is Devlin” still screaming and the smell of alcohol filled that small space as he talked. He won’t allow me to approach him so I quickly examined him with my eyes to make sure that there were no wounds or no head traumas. I motioned for the deputy to bring him to a sobering cell so we could just monitor him. When he would sober up, that was when I would ask him the medical questionnaires.

I went back to my little clinic. I started praying softly, no one could hear me but I knew my Lord would. I prayed for discernment and protection and started praying for this man. The nurse I was orientating forced me to take my break at that time and told me she would cover for me. She knew we had a long night and that I looked tired. Refreshed after my short break, I headed back to the Intake Nurse’s Clinic. I could hear a man’s voice echoing even on the other side of the Female Intake, humming to what sounded like a chant but his voice sounded like there were 7 voices. I saw some officers looking at him as he did that through the big, glass window, obviously amused by what they were witnessing.

My orientee was so excited to see me back and said, “That was the combative guy! He’s humming like he’s praying or something but it sounds weird like he has many voices.”

“I know,” I replied. “I could hear him, too as I was walking back”.

I uttered more prayers silently - for deliverance. I knew there was something spiritual going on with this man. I knew there was a spiritual battle being waged over this man. By the power of the Lord Jesus, I prayed earnestly, softly, in whispers.

I heard him threw up. There was a short period of calmness. He wasn’t yelling anymore. He wasn’t humming anymore with that weird chants. All of a sudden, I saw him standing by the huge, glass window, all calm and like nothing happened. He was so calm that I was able to approach that window and was able to ask him the health screening I needed to do. The deputies were all amazed by how quick his demeanor changed. I wasn’t. I knew what happened and I was thanking God for His help.

The works of the devil is real but I am not glorifying the works of the enemies here. I am glorifying no one but God alone. I just know that God is there to help us win any spiritual battles we face. It’s important to don His Armor every day. We shouldn’t be afraid. God already provided us His help: we have the Holy Spirit in us. When we feel discouraged, weak, and vulnerable, just remember “Jesus”.



“Be strong in the Lord’s mighty power”. –Ephesians 6:10

“You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the One Who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4

Spiritual Sundays

"If only you would prepare your heart and lift up your hands to Him in prayer! Get rid of your sins and leave all iniquity behind you. Then your face will brighten in innocence. You will be strong and free of fear. You will forget your misery. It will all be gone like water under the bridge. Your life will be brighter than noonday. Any darkness will be as bright as morning. You will have courage because you will have hope. You will be protected and will rest in safety. You will lie down unafraid, and many will look to you for help."

-Job 11:13-19 [Life Application Bible].


If you want to know more about a place to be encouraged or be uplifted, and even to join in, please visit Spiritual Sundays.

Thank you to Sister Charlotte and Sister Ginger for hosting Spiritual Sundays. God bless you both.

Living Water


It was the change of shift. But our charge nurse got a call from one of the female units and wanted to send a pregnant inmate, complaining of abdominal pain. Five minutes later, the young female came in with a waddling kind of walk. She was pregnant for 6 months now.

“What’s wrong?”

“Ma’am, I have bad cramps”.

“Any active bleeding?”

“No, Ma’am. Just cramps.”

After taking her vital signs, I found out everything was normal. Together with a co-worker, we assessed the baby’s heartbeats, using the Doppler monitor. Her tummy started moving around which was a good sign that the baby was kicking inside her and the heart beat was fine and within a normal range. I had her get up and gave her a little cup.

“Ma’am, try to urinate and put a little sample in this cup. I’ll check your urine for possible infection.”

“Okay, Ma’am”, she responded as she slowly made her way toward the bathroom for the female inmates.

After doing the urine UA [Urinalysis] dipstick, it showed some presence of bacteria and mild amount of blood.

“Ma’am, how many cups of water a day do you drink?” I asked.

“Not so much. Sometimes, I don’t,” was her reply.

“No wonder. You will have cramping from having a bladder infection. You will need antibiotics. So I just want you to remain sitted in the waiting area until our jail doctor gets here and examine you further. More likely, the doctor will give you antibiotics and tell you to drink a lot of water!” I explained.

I’m sure this inmate had learned a painful lesson of not drinking enough water, especially in her condition of being pregnant. The spasms could really be awful if she had a bladder infection. Worse yet, if she became dehydrated, that could have been life-threatening to her and the baby inside her womb!

When Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well, He told her of the living water that He could supply [John 4:10-15]. Christ invites anyone to come and drink of the water of life. Salvation cannot be earned. God gives it freely. We are living in a world desperately thirsty for living water. Many are dying of thirst. As Christians, we can choose to advice and tell others who are thirsty that there is a living water that gives life!

“Let the thirsty ones come – anyone who wants to. Let them come and drink the water of life without charge.” –Revelation 22:17

Worship the Lover of My Soul

I turned off the car’s engine as my son and I just got done with a few errands. Prior to leaving, I was playing a few worship songs to the Lord and the last one I played and sang was “Jesus, Lover of my Soul”. We felt the summer’s heat slowly rising inside the garage but my son and I couldn’t help it but be awed by the cloud formations today. He ran upstairs and grabbed his daddy’s camera and took these shots for me:





Lord, I just want to devote this time to reflect on Your enduring and faithful love. My blogging is all about You, not about me. Thank You Lord for a wonderful family Your children belong to. No matter what we do, no matter where we are, Your love bridges the distances between our hearts. Thank You for the Holy Spirit that keeps us, bloggers, united in Your Holy Name. Please bless my wonderful brothers and sisters blogging for Your glory. Direct our words Lord that it is You Who always shines in our writing. Fan the flames in our hearts so that we may continue to seek You first in everything that we write about. Not only that, in other areas of our lives as well.

Thank You Father for the connection here in blogosphere. Through that, we are able to encourage each other, help carry each other’s burden through prayers, rejoice during happy times, share laughter during fun times and be able to lend each other’s shoulders to cry on during the times we feel afraid, beaten, discouraged, alone and weak.


Forgive me Lord for my sins. Forgive me for the things I do or I say that do not glorify You. Help me Lord to grow in Your likeness. Do a heart surgery on me Father.
I ask You O Lord to heal the sick, comfort the grieving, to give Your strength to those who are weak, to lend Your divine wisdom to us who need Your direction. Remove anything that hinders our walk with You. Please protect us, our families, friends, and even our blogs against the works of the enemies. Give us the discernment to know if anything is not from You.

Thank You Lord for all of Your blessings. Thank You for Who You are. Thank You for Your greatest attribute – love. Help us fill ourselves with Your love so that we may be able to love others unconditionally.


Open the hearts and the minds of those who don’t know You. That through our writing, may many stumble on our sites and will come to know Your offer of salvation because of what we share. I love You Lord. But thank You for loving us first. Thank You for the wonderful day today, seeing Your creations all around us so that we have no excuse to not believe in You for everything points out to You. And You creating us in Your image, forming us in our mother’s womb with Your loving hands, You are just there from the very beginning. You are the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last. To You be the glory forever and ever. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


Doubts

I started cleaning my own stethoscope with an alcohol pad. I picked up the pens from my lab coat pocket and tried to stow them away into my clear, plastic purse.

“Not a bad night at all”, I told my other co-worker who was also getting ready to leave in 20 minutes.

Then, the morning charge nurse got a call from a unit. They were sending a man bleeding on his face from shaving. She requested me and the other co-worker if we didn’t mind seeing the expected inmate.

“Not at all,” I responded with a willing heart. There were two of us and we both work great together as a team, so I knew this would be a “piece of cake”.

A young male approached the partition window towards the Clinic. He was holding a regular white towel with smears of blood on some spots. He seemed to be putting pressure on his face as I observed him.

When my co-worker and I motioned for him to go inside the exam room so we could examine him closely, we both were surprised when he let go of the towel. He had three huge lacerations on his face and started oozing blood from those sites. Two were horizontally etched on the right side of the chin and a longer gash on the left side of the cheek. I looked into his eyes as the other nurse started taking his blood pressure.

“Sir, tell me now! You were attacked by someone. These are not from shaving!,” I calmly uttered.

“What? I told you, I’ve been shaving and I accidentally cut myself,” as he slightly raised his tone of voice as if annoyed that I didn’t believe him.

I just kept looking into his eyes and remained silent. He sealed his mouth, too. As more blood oozed, both of us were into that “staring” kind of game.

Momentarily, I stepped out and consulted the day charge nurse because I already knew that this man was attacked. We needed to get deputies involved because if later on that this inmate would want to file a charge against his attacker, photos were needed to be taken and a thorough investigation conducted by the custody staff in his unit.

I walked back to where the inmate was sitting. I had doubts with him saying that he cut his face while shaving. But doing so, I only wanted to know the truth so that I could protect him, too by not sending him back to the same unit where the attacker was.

“Will you give me candies after treating me, nurse?” he jokingly asked me.

I just stared again through his eyes and his stares that once fought with mine was now clearly losing. He slowly bowed his head amid my silence.

As I was cleaning the wounds, still not saying anything, the deputy came. The inmate looked at me and looked at the deputy. A minute later, the deputy asked me if I could leave them alone.
“Of course,” I happily responded. I knew that this inmate wanted to tell the deputy the truth now and that was all I wanted to happen. He still couldn’t look me in the eye and his stare was that of an embarassed kind.

I gave the report to the day charge nurse. I took the clear plastic purse with me and waited for my co-worker to get hers. As we were about to step out of the Clinic’s door, the inmate was sitting on one of the chairs nearby, waiting for the deputies from his unit.

“Ma’am, how did you know?”, he softly asked.

“Sir, I’ve been here so long I don’t even need to ask you. We just know…” I answered.

“Thank you,” he calmly replied.

“No! Thank you! I just wanted the truth from you that would eventually save yourself from getting hurt again,” I smiled as my co-worker and I left everything in that place and took our steps heading out the door and be able to breathe some fresh air outside and get refreshed on our days off. We knew that this wouldn’t be the first nor the last case to happen. But what a relief to know that we were able to help him out and discern the lies from what truly happened.

Remember “Doubting Thomas”? Though he doubted Jesus was resurrected, he deserved to be respected for his faith. He was a doubter but he had a purpose - he wanted to know the truth. Doubting was his way of responding, not his way of life.

We can also doubt without having to live a doubting life. It encourages rethinking. Doubt can be used to ask a question, get an answer and push for a decision. It was never meant to be a permanent condition.

We can all be encouraged by Thomas whenever we experience doubt. He didn’t stay in his doubt but allowed Jesus to bring him to belief.

“Then He said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see My hands. Put your hand into the wound in my side. Don’t be faithless any longer. Believe!’ ‘My Lord, my God!’ Thomas exclaimed”. [John 20: 27, 28].

Kreativ Award

So sweet of sister Alleluiabelle to share “Kreativ Blogger” award today.

Her passion for the Lord was the first thing that caught my attention when I first visited her. I was just so touched by her writing right away, I just knew it in my heart that she is a special woman who writes from her heart.

Despite the trials she faced with her husband, here she is encouraging me and other friends/sisters in Christ! Sister Alleluiabelle, you’re an amazing woman who truly reflects the Lord’s love through your words. You are a great encourager, your poems describe your intense love for God and that even through trials, your heart rejoices because of His presence in your life. You are a great Prayer Intercessor, a friend and most of all a dear sister in Christ. To God be the glory and to Him I say thank You for making us meet and feel that unity that comes from His love, unity that we share along with other blogging friends. May the Lord guide us all, bloggers for Jesus to be more “kreativ” for His glory! I pray that many who still don’t know His love and forgiveness will be attracted to these “kreativ” blogs. Thank You for your thoughtfulness dear sister in His Holy Name. I treasure your friendship. Please visit her site if you haven't met this wonderful daughter of the King.

I am required to nominate 7 other bloggers for this award and they are supposed to nominate 7 others. (Be sure to leave a comment on their blog about the award.) After they accept the award they are then asked to write a list of 7 things that their blog readers may not know about them.
So, this is the hardest knowing there are so many “kreativ” blogs. I would love to share this blessing with:

1. Sister Heather at Beautiful Self

2. Sister Daveda at Grace Talk With Daveda

3. Sister Sarah at Splashin’ Glory

4. Just Be Real

5. Sister Denise at Shorty Bears Place and Free To Be Me

6. Sister Loren at The Magoos News

7. Brother Chris at Prayer

I’ll try to list 7 things here that you may not know about me:

1. The Lord is always no.1 and I know you know that. But I want Him to continue to mold me and do spiritual surgery so I can grow in His likeness.

2. I love Greek food! The pastries are so delicious but I have to be careful or else I’ll grow more sideways.

3. I don’t know how to play tennis and recently, my child’s passion is to be involved in this sport [as the Lord wills]. I took him to the court today. I served the balls as he tried to hit them and he was able to practice more. I did okay in throwing him the ball but I was better at picking up the balls after.

4. I used to love “Starbucks Coffee Frappuccino” but haven’t been drinking it to avoid the calories. I learned to like “Iced Passion Tea” and gotta’ get “venti” of course all the time.

5. I work part-time and I am job sharing with another co-worker. I do 2 nights and she does the 3. [Thanks be to God].

6. I love relaxing by the ocean with my family. Sometimes, we go to the nearest beach which is 20 minutes away from our house and sometimes, eat at the nice restaurant which is at the end of the pier. The sight is so calming while some people are trying to catch fishes.

7. I’ve been a night owl for 20 years now. But I love working the night shift. It’s really a perfect schedule if you have children. I get to see my child and spend quality time with him in the day time, then, still able to take a nap before going to work.

Well, thank you all for being patient to read all these things. I pray that you are encouraged everytime you come here. You are more than welcome to come anytime! Give me a ring and I’ll make some “crab fried rice” next time. God bless and I love you all in Christ’s Name.

Honest Scrap Award


Last Saturday, sister Andrea was kind enough to share with me the “Honest Scrap” blog award. Let me tell you, coming from a very busy night shift and knowing it was so thoughtful of her to remember me was refreshing that morning.

As always, I’m always grateful to have met sister Andrea during the earliest times of my blogging. After many months had gone by, I know she’s a great friend, prayer buddy and my sister in Christ! Her writing inspires me to examine my own walk with the Lord, as her words lift me up, rouses me to hunger for the Lord, her sincere prayers that stood in agreement with mine, her poems that reflect the beauty of her heart that always seeks our dear Father in heaven…I can go on and on but I’ll let you pop over to her site to get to know her, too. Thank you sister Andrea for your friendship. I treasure it. Thank You Lord!

In accepting this award, I need to do the following:

1) Say thanks and give a link to the presenter of the award.

2) Share "ten honest things" about myself.

3) Present this award to 7 others whose blogs I find brilliant in content and/or design, or those who have encouraged me.

4) Tell those 7 people that they've been awarded HONEST SCRAP and inform them of these guidelines in receiving it.

Ten Honest Things About Myself:

1. My oldest sibling was a girl who passed away at a young age. After her, came 5 brothers, then me. Believe me, I’m not spoiled at all.

2. My hubby came to our house to let me know that he liked me [as my mom was probably eavesdropping to our conversation]. But because I was on my way to come here to USA, I didn’t want to have a relationship [though I knew he was a great guy]. We met again here when he joined the US Navy and ended up getting married. [We’re together now for 18 years, will be 19 this year].

3. I came to know Christ sometime back in early 90’s but not until 2003, when I witnessed a spiritual battle, that I knew how truly powerful Jesus is and He is the “real deal”. I can’t let another day go by without sharing His awesome love, His truth, His grace that is available to anyone. Thank You Lord for finding a lost soul like me!

4. I love to play with my guitar. I learned it on my own [I was maybe 11 or 12 years old] when I used to watch my oldest brother pluck the strings and being awed, I was determined to learn to play it. Everything happens for a purpose. Now, I use that when I get inspired and write simple songs to worship the Lord.

5. I have met my best friend in 1996. I’m that type of person who prefers to have one or two or a few but I know that the friendship we share is honest where I can be comfortable saying, “Hey! You got broccoli stuck on your teeth or you have lipstick on your teeth” or them with me. If someone is superficial and hypocrite, I get turned off big time!

6. My father was a radio operator. I remember we had that old kind of typewriter where I had to press hard on each key to type a letter. As I kept doing so, I had learned to type faster and faster. I loved to read even then so reading took me to many places I had not gone before and learned so much about people, places, cultures, etc. When my father was sailing in the ocean, I practiced my vocabulary more and more as we traded letters. Now, I’m “blogging”…

7. My mother was an awesome cook. Sad to say, I didn’t learn it from her because she wanted me to finish my studies [It's a good thing I have 2 boys with me who always say "yummy" to whatever I cook. It pays off when I keep reminding for us to have "only encouraging words should come out of our mouths]. She would rather have me hit my books than be in the kitchen. Not that she didn’t want me to cook with her but she had a higher goal for me. She was a great dressmaker, too. She was the best, always sacrificing along with my dad for my siblings and my happiness.


8. I’m a mother to an only awesome child, my greatest gift in this world. He inspires me to be the best mother I could be.

9. Some of you know now that I used to be an Orthopedic Nurse for 10 years, hurt my neck and the Lord brought me to a correctional facility. He not only blessed me with a challenging job but the neck pain was much milder now, sometimes I don’t even feel it.


10. I love cleaning the house, doing the chores except for ironing. Though I do it, it’s the least of my favorites.


So, there you have it. Now, I want to share this blog blessing to 7 wonderful friends who are all amazing [sorry…I have more choices than that but I’ll try to stick to the rule]. May you take your time to know them as well:

Sister Toia at Designer’s Original


Sister Tammy at Omah’s Helping Hands


Sister Kat at Heart 2 Heart


Sister Cynthia at Girl In A Glass House


Sister Mary at Pile of Smiles
In all of this, to God be the glory forever and ever!!!

Father's Day

Lord, I just want to thank you for giving me one of the best earthly father,Ricardo, who had gone home to be with You, a little over a year ago. I miss him but I thank You for the wonderful times we shared while he was here. He was a very loving father, who always put his family’s concerns first. He was the one who motivated me to keep writing and drawing pictures when I was little. He would come home for vacations after sailing as a Radio Operator and would bring home lovely stationeries and colorful markers, crayons, and colored pencils. Together with my mom, they were a picture of sweet marriage for 30 something years bonded by Your love.


Thank You Lord for giving me one of the best husbands and father to our child - a man who works so hard without seeking recognition for all the things he does. A man who would trade anything to be there for me and my son. J and I love you daddy!Happy Father's Day!


I want to praise You, O Lord, for You are our best Father from the beginning. You deserve our honor and praise. Thank You for allowing us to be called Your children and we really are! [1John 3:1]. What a privilege! How great to be called Your children “now”, not just sometime in the distant future. You had given us Your best gifts: Your Son, forgiveness and eternal life. Thank You Lord for Your eternal, unconditional love. I love You.


Psalm 68:5 – “Father to the fatherless, defender of widows – this is God, Whose dwelling is holy.”

I’m posting this a few days early since I’m working this weekend. I want to greet all of you dads out there a “Happy Father’s Day”. I wrote this song on February 4, 2004 to praise our Father Who had loved us from the very start. I had sent a couple of songs to a studio just to see how it would turn out when they did the demo tape for me. This was one of the song: “I’m Your Father”. God bless you all!

[Photos are from heartlight and
stockxchange].



The Past Is A Part of Today and Tomorrow's Actions

There were 20 something bodies that morning to be seen by me for sick call. I learned to prioritize by doing the treatments first [like blood pressure checks and dressing changes] to have them out of the way. Then, the sick call I could call one by one and usually would run smoothly.


The clinic’s door was narrow. A few steps away was a desk, telephone, and other medical equipments. The nearby sink was crowded with jars full of gauzes, tongue blades, band-aids, cotton balls, bottles of saline and hand soap.


When I did all the treatments, I called the first inmate who requested a sick call. I noticed he only spoke Spanish so I needed an interpreter. Even before I asked if someone would volunteer to interpret, a young male inmate worker stepped up and eagerly offered his help. The deputy was just nearby.


One thing I learned working in this setting was to never turn my back on the inmates. Even if it seemed that I had my back turned, my eyes would be busy revolving around me and my ears would be fully opened to always be alert on what was going on.


I motioned for the sick inmate to sit on the chair next to my desk. The interpreter positioned himself by the sink which was fine with me because I wanted to give the other inmate some privacy, too and I didn’t want both of them to crowd my clinic. [That was also for my own safety].


I knew the volunteer. He was a good, hard working inmate. I would see him help serve the food trays and clean up after they were served. He put things in order.


He was leaning by the ledge of the sink the whole time I was doing sick call. When I got done seeing the sick inmate, the volunteer started to head out the door, too.


“Sir, I didn’t ask you to leave yet,” I politely told the interpreter.


“I thought you’re done seeing him, Ma’am?” he replied.


“Yes, I was. I want to thank you for interpreting for us. I want you to know I really appreciated that. Except with you stealing some of my band-aids!”


“Whoa!,” he exclaimed, as his jaw seemed to have dropped on the ground.


“What? I didn’t steal anything!” he protested. [By this time, the deputy was standing by the door, too].


“You didn’t? Are you sure? Because now, I would like you to turn around and show the deputy the left back pocket of your pants”, I calmly requested. I saw him got a little nervous as a few beads of sweats formed on his forehead.

Sure enough, approximately 10 band-aid dressings were brought up by the digits of his left hand. He was so embarrassed and didn’t know what to say. His face turned red.

“Do you want me to put him on discipline, Nurse?,” asked the deputy [for stealing and lying].

“No. Will you just let me speak with him, please?” I told the deputy. [He took a few steps away to give us some privacy].

“Sir, I’m not here to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong. But you know the rules here. All you have to do is try to ask me if you can have some of those band-aids. I’m sure I wouldn’t mind giving you a few as a token of my appreciation for helping me with that inmate.”

“Ma’am, how did you know I did that? I’m so sorry. Thank you so much for not putting me on discipline,” his face with a relieved expression.


“I wouldn’t tell you how I knew. But I know you as a hard worker here. Don’t change that. You may go now,” I uttered.


“Ma’am, you’re good!” he replied softly. “Thank you again. I won’t do that again.” His body disappeared with the rest of the bodies for sick calls.


That inmate was a hard worker, always helpful to custody and Nursing staff. But his actions were totally different that day and was the opposite of the character I had known him for.

As Christians, our past is an important part of today’s actions and tomorrow’s plans. The past affects our decisions and actions today. In turn, also affects the future.

There are lessons to learn and mistakes that need not be repeated. Yesterday’s obedience to God does not remove the possibility of present disobedience.

How are you using your success from the past now and how well are you using it to prepare for the future?

Trusting In The Lord


[This is the second part to my latest post “Stand Firm” posted on June 13, 2009].

The palm trees were dancing back and forth, in tune with the mild wind blowing, as the dust was spun all around. After the electronic gate closed behind me, I spotted an empty parking spot right away on my right side. I stared at the glowing clock in my dashboard. It was 11:15p.m. I had 15 minutes spared before starting my work that night.

The past week had been an awful experience for me as I carried that burden of almost hating someone I worked with. But it was also a week of realization: I had reached my limit and I knew I needed God’s grace that would extend the strength I needed to face the situation. I closed my eyes as the slight howling of the wind seemed to carry God’s whispers and reminders He had shown me this past week as I had consulted His Word. My heart started praying:

“Lord, please be with me. This whole week had been totally chaotic for me. Whatever transpired, drained me, mentally and physically. Lord, I don’t want to deal with this situation on my own strength. I need Your guidance more now than ever. I want to face any situations that are about to happen tonight as I work, in ways that You will approve of. Remind me Lord that I represent You through my actions and my words. I want the people in this place to see You, not me. Lord, surround me with Your angels for I know that we wrestle against unseen enemies. I thank You Lord for always being there for me. I thank You that You never forsake me. I love You Lord…”

I slowly entered the door that led to the Clinic. This was the night I anticipated to speak with a charge nurse. I made up my mind as the Lord had shown me how to deal best with the problem I had with her.

“Hello,” as I smiled and greeted everyone.

That charge nurse was giving a nurse a chart so she could see an inmate that the deputies brought. I caught the chart from her hand and volunteered to see that inmate as I just started with my shift while the other nurse had been there 4 hours ahead of me.


“Thank you,” she uttered surprisingly.


After treating the inmate, I went back to the charge nurse. Softly, I had requested if I could talk to her in her office. She got up immediately and told me to close the door behind us if I wanted to. I did.


My voice started cracking, not so much with nervousness but of wanting to be forgiven.


“I just wanted to apologize to you. I’m sorry that I disrespected you the way I answered you last time I worked with you. I didn’t mean that. My neck was hurting so bad because you were telling us a lot of things to do, way beyond what we could accomplish. I was getting frustrated but out of respect with you, I never said anything and did obey. Until I got to that point where I felt I was drowning. I didn’t want to talk with you when you asked me if we could talk because I knew I would end up saying hurtful words to you. I didn’t want to express words that I would regret forever and that I never meant to say. I’m just not that way. You know how hard I work here since day 1. You know I’ve never been in any troubles. I would like to remain that way – a productive employee,” my eyes swelled with a little bit of tears.


Her eyes looked intently with mine. She wasn’t saying anything the whole time. She allowed me to speak but her stare was one of amazement, of an adoring kind of stare. Because she knew I was speaking from my heart. Her facial expression conveyed a deeper level of understanding, of openness. Her stare was of acceptance, her silent heart penetrated by an act of a sincere apology, forgiveness, of restoration and of healing for whatever broke in our bonds as co-workers. She was surprised by a show of humbleness, not of defiance nor arrogance of an employee who could have shown a lot of remorse.


“Okay. Thank you,” was all she said as we both began to step out of her office.


I felt something heavy got lifted off my shoulders. I knew a healing process had began from what could have been destroyed. [“Thank You Lord for Your intervention”, I softly whispered.].

That night went smoothly. I had noticed she wasn’t delegating the day’s workload anymore. She was just letting us, the night crew, tried to finish our expected work with our own pace.

There was something else I had noticed. She was venting out her frustrations with me, as the other deputies from other jails asked for her medical advices and they seemed not to agree with her decisions. She was asking for my confirmation. I knew I earned some kind of respect from her.

My neck was not hurting that bad. I took my break and in my solitude, talked with the Lord:


“Lord, thank You for Your help. If not for You, our talk would not have gone smoothly. If not for Your direction, I wouldn’t accomplish anything on my own and would end up destroying everything I had worked hard for all these years. If not for You, there would be no resolution. Lord, thank You!”


I love Proverbs 3:5,6 – “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will direct your paths.”

When we have an important decision to make, it’s hard to trust someone sometimes for their input or advices. But there is Someone Who knows what’s best for us. God is a better judge of what we want than we are! We must trust Him completely in every choice we have to make. We should not belittle our God-given ability to reason nor omit careful thinking. We must not be wise in our own eyes but instead, be willing to listen and be corrected by God’s Word. Let us bring our decision-making to God and then, follow His leading. He does guide and protect us!

Stand Firm

My neck was starting to hurt, as my frustrations started to grow inside. I had been non-stop with work from the time I got there at 11:30 p.m. I glanced wearily at my watch: 2:00 a.m.


This charge nurse was known for finding things to do. She doesn’t let anyone just sit around. I have no problem with that because that’s my work attitude, too. I don’t want to be lazy knowing that it doesn’t please the “Boss”. Every night, she delegates most of the work to the nurses and other staff members.


I had barely gotten done charting after seeing an inmate who returned from the hospital’s ER. She was giving me another work to do. I calmly obeyed knowing that I needed to respect her. I always thought of what would please the Lord in my actions. So, I was merely doing it for the Lord. But being human, I have limitations, too. That night, I felt like I was a rubber band being stretched out to the max and I knew, I was ready to snap.


My co-worker felt the same. I knew her, too that she wasn’t a lazy person. She loved to help out the way I did! We both were finishing up a lot of doctor’s orders while seeing unscheduled sick calls that this charge nurse had summoned, answering phone calls, listening to the radio for any possible “mandown” because it would only be her and I to run to those medical emergencies, and reassessing all the inmates that had gone back from the hospital.


The charge nurse started looking at the blood pressure checks for that morning. We all knew that blood pressure checks and sick calls [not emergency ones] are the day shift’s work. But she wanted to do it as she found more and more things to do that was usually assigned for the day shift.


I had no problem with that, to help out others. But the problem was that, we had so much to do just for the night shift and to be given all those things when we weren’t even done yet with our assigned work was just unbearable that night.


“Rosel, can you also check the blood pressures of these inmates from unit 12?”


“No!, " I protested for the first time and she didn’t expect that from me knowing I had always worked without any complaints nor being told.


“Why? There were only 7 more!,” as she tried to laugh it off.


But I turned my back and got teary-eyed as I tried to seal my mouth so I won’t say things that would be disrespectful to her. I bottled up my frustrations for so long that I didn’t want to explode in front of her. If I wanted to let her know of my frustrations, it wouldn’t be like that kind of a show in a theater where everyone was there and would be able to watch and hear. Yet, I wasn’t ready to even speak with her.


“Do you have any problem?” asked the charge nurse as she saw that I wasn’t happy at all.


“Yes, I do. My neck is hurting me right now, “ I retorted. [I had a neck injury from the past and it was hurting as I did a lot of computer work and was doing things endlessly].


She came next to me as I was still charting on one of the inmate’s chart. “We’ll talk later.”


“No,” I answered with an upset tone. “I don’t need to talk with you at this time.”


“No…let’s talk!,” she insisted as if she didn’t hear me the first time.


“No! I told you, I don’t want to talk about anything at this time,” in a higher tone of voice so she could get what I just said.



I couldn’t believe myself for acting like that. The mounting pressure and frustrations changed my character in an instant. I didn’t want to talk to her because I was not in the right mood to do so. I was avoiding that in my frustration and being upset, I would utter something that would either hurt her or for me to regret forever.

My co-workers who had witnessed what occurred were supportive of me. They were all frustrated, too. But the thing was that no one was willing to stand up for himself or herself. They never made her aware that her wanting to finish everything which was impossible to be done by just one shift was making them feeling overwhelmed, frustrated, upset, burned out! One co-worker wanted me to talk with her and tell her that everyone’s getting burned out. And that saddened me, too – that no one wanted to be honest in making that charge nurse know how those extra, overwhelming loads of work are making them feel.


This entire week I was off, I had consulted the Lord. He was the “Living Water” that doused the “fire” that would have destroyed my work ethics and my once harmonious relationship with that charge nurse.



I would be talking to her when I go back because I wanted the charge nurse to know that I am not a monster. I am not an unwilling employee who disrespects employers. I am not mean. I am not lazy. I don’t need to be told on what to do because I have the initiative to do those things knowing they are my responsibilities. I am a good team player knowing that every work I do is essential to the night shift’s success in completing our task. I don’t mind helping others because it’s a 24-hour facility and there’s nothing wrong about that except that if there are enough people to do the task for that day, we are making them more lazy when we do the things for them, instead of the other way around. And they still complain that they [day shift] are frustrated.


I am God’s child who learned so much from my Father. He instructs me to do things with a cheerful heart. He wants me to consider others higher than myself. He wants me to serve not to be served like how He did it, to the point of even giving His own life on the cross for us. He wants me to fix my thoughts only on things that are true, honorable, and right. Things that are pure, lovely and admirable.




An effective teamwork happens when each team member uses his or her special skills. Each member’s strengths will contribute something important to the team’s effort. Most of us are good followers than being a leader in us. No leader is perfect. No human deserves our complete allegiance. Only God deserves our complete loyalty and obedience! We need to be effective team members in using the skills and abilities God had given us. But if the leader goes against God’s Word, we must be willing to stand alone.


Psalm 1:1 –“Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join with scoffers.”


Isaiah 32:8 –“But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.”


Jeremiah 6:16 –“This is what the Lord says – Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘we will not walk in it’”.


Matthew 10:22 –“All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved.”


1 Corinthians 16:13 –“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.”


Ephesians 6:11 –“Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.”

Love You Award



I've been busy running around today and when I finally had that chance to sit down on my favorite recliner and started checking the blogs for encouragement, sister Andrea had a surprise waiting for me! Please visit her site if you haven't known her yet. It's really amazing when the Lord brings us altogether and be able to blog for His glory! I am blessed by so many of you and sister Andrea was one of those I had met during my earlier times of writing. I am so thankful for her friendship that she remains a great friend to me, a great prayer buddy and of course, a dear sister in Christ.



I will just write here what sis Andrea explained about this blessing:



These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers. Deliver this award to eight bloggers who must choose eight more and include this cleverly-written text into the body of their award.



It's my honor to share this "love you award" with the following and I hope that you will take time to visit them and say "hello" and I pray, that we'll all become friends...Since the other great friends and brothers/sisters in Christ I've known have received it from her, too, I would like to extend this blessing to the following:

Just Be Real - who continue to inspire me with her courage and transparency.

Brother Chris - a great daily prayer Intercessor.

Sister Heather - whose pictures, posts, poems, just about everything are so beautiful as her heart after God shows in all of her works. Tip: She even offers blog designs for "free"...

Brother Warren - his latest posts about parenting are awesome and very helpful.

Sister Denise - another encourager who is very much on fire for the Lord, too.

Brother Billy - an amazing writer. You have to visit him to know what I mean. He grills steaks and makes lemonade, too.

Sister Jennifer - the moment I visited her site, I was hooked. From the title of her blog, it already had me. See for yourself how terrific of a writer she is!

Brother Peter - I have met this unselfish man who shares his battle with depression and has a lot of tips in how to overcome it. He did it because of his unwavering faith!

And the rest of you, too many to mention, you know how awesome your friendships are to me! God bless you all and thank you for always encouraging me...

STD's

The inmate came and sat down on one of the chairs, with a shy look on his young face. I summoned for him to come to the clinic because he put in a request for a Nurse’s sick call for complaint of burning with urination.

“When did you start noticing the symptom?”, I politely asked.

“Just tonight, Ma’am. But I gotta’ tell you something. I got some sort of bumps, too down there,” as he shyly tried to talk in whispers.

I got the picture! This man must be suffering with the onset of an STD [Sexually Transmitted Disease]. I started probing more to get as much history as I could to aid the jail physician who would examine him later that day.

“Do you have one or multiple partners?”

“A lot,” was the quiet answer, his gaze wouldn’t look at mine.

“Do you use protected sex or not?”

“Ahh…[long pause]…No, Ma’am.”

“When was the last time you had a sexual intercourse?”

“The day I got arrested, Ma’am.”

“Will it be okay for me to examine it inside the exam room with the presence of the deputy?”

“Yes, Ma’am,” was the quick response [He must be really uncomfortable].

I saw a few red bumps that formed. There was no drainage nor pus. There was no blister. His dipstick urinalysis was negative [using test strips]. I encouraged him to increase his fluid intake as long as he could tolerate that. Then, I put him for the Doctor’s sick call that morning so that the physician could evaluate him further and him, be given an anti-viral kind of medication if needed.

He felt relieved that the assessment part was over and that he would be seen by the jail MD.

God had a lot of warnings, too regarding the meaning of sex. His warnings are clearly written on the Bible for us to be guided to avoid problems such as these. Teenagers are so quick to try it out, out of curiosity and pleasure. Not thinking of consequences, unwanted pregnancies lead to abortions, financial woes and most of the time, teenagers are not ready to commit to a lifetime marriage. But God had given that as a special gift between a married couple.

God warned us that sex, outside of marriage, destroys relationships. But if used within marriage, it can be a relationship builder.

We should give our sexual desires and activities under Christ’s control. God created sex for procreation and as an expression of love between a husband and a wife. We avoid contracting many sexually transmitted diseases only if we follow God’s ways regarding this matter.

The apostle Paul had this to say:

1 Thessalonians 4, verse 1 - “Finally, dear brothers and sisters, we urge you in the name of the Lord Jesus to live in a way that pleases God, as we have taught you. You are doing this already and we encourage you to do so more and more.”

Verse 2 - “For you remember what we taught you in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Verse 3 – “God wants you to be holy, so you should keep clear of all sexual sin.

Verse 4 – “Then each of you will control your body and live in the holiness and honor –

Verse 5 –“not in lustful passion as the pagans do, in their ignorance of God and His ways.

Verse 6 –“Never cheat a Christian brother in this matter by taking his wife, for the Lord avenges all such sins, as we have solemnly warned you before.”

Verse 7 –“God has called us to be holy, not to live impure lives.”

Verse 8 –“Anyone who refuses to live by these rules is not disobeying human rules but is rejecting God, who gives his Holy Spirit to you.”

P.S.

If you click on the title of the post, I linked it with CDC's site regarding this, if you want to learn more about the many kinds of STD's [Sexually Transmitted Diseases]. Please note that I am not an expert regarding this matter. I only wrote what I know as a medical professional, what I had witnessed from work and what I know from my Lord's Word.

The Name Above All Names

She was confused, pacing in the clinic’s waiting area. She had been in and out of this jail. Her addiction to alcohol was so severe that her liver started deteriorating and same with her cognitive functions. She was known to be “homeless”. I glanced at her chart before assessing her and taking her vital signs. Her name was “Penny Cash”.

When I was just a new nurse years ago, I used to pass medications to inmates housed in different housing. With careful preparations to place the prescribed medications inside a tiny envelope with the inmate’s name on a printed label in front of this envelope, medication nurses would go and give those one by one, as the inmates walked up with a cup of water and their ID’s. This man was housed alone and with the deputy opening just the tiny door in his cell’s door, he would often just stick out his right arm and with a cupped palm, I would pour the medications on it. Giving him meds for a while, I had learned about his story. He stabbed a female companion to death. Spared from death penalty, he was given a life sentence because of that horrifying act. I looked at the name printed on that envelope: “Lawless” was his last name.

Doing the charge nurse role one night, I had told my co-workers to take a break altogether so at least they could enjoy their break and it was a quiet shift at that time anyway. If I needed help, I could easily just call them over the radio. I got a call from one of the units and requested for me to evaluate this distressed man.

When this young male came, I started probing, “The unit told me that you seem restless. Are you hearing voices, Sir or do you have any history of mental health problem?”

“Yes. I’m hearing voices. The devil is telling me to kill myself,” as his voice seemed to have come from under the grave and his intimidating look met mine.

“Do you believe in God?” I calmly asked.

“No! There is no God!” as he smiled sheepishly.

“What’s your name?”

Christian” [I placed him on suicide watch to be treated appropriately].

When morning approaches, it’s a busy time for the LVN’s as they do their accuchecks and administer insulin to those who are on it. One time, I was helping them by calling the inmates’ names so the LVN’s could monitor retrieving back the needles from every inmate and would not be distracted by others.

Mr. Freeman! You’re next!” I hollered.

“Oh, I’ll be here for a while, Ma’am, I still need to go to my court dates” was the response of this smiling middle-aged male.

I’m not making fun of these names I had mentioned. Everything was true! And I started paying attention because I was thinking to myself that their names made it more interesting with whatever situation they were in.

We, as individuals, are known by our names. People kill others sometimes, to protect their treasured family names. Some try to protect their reputation because of their names. Some are famous because of that, too. Sometimes, it can be very unpleasant when we call other people “names”. Names can influence. Names can hurt.



But there is a Name that stands out among all the names. It is the Name of “Jesus”. For those who are saved, “Jesus” is the most meaningful name we have ever known.

Philippians 2:8-11 –“And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus, every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

You have the power to choose now whether you want to commit your life to Jesus as Lord or will you rather be forced to acknowledge Him as Lord when He returns?

And Christ can return any moment. Are you prepared?

Decisions

The smell of alcohol reeked all over the four corners of our tiny Nurse’s clinic in this particular unit. The rotating wall fan helped a little bit to scatter the intoxicating and repugnant smell as I started assessing one inmate sitting on the chair. The deputy was right next to me, listening intently to the outcome of my observation.

“I didn’t have anything, Ma’am. And I’m not on any medications either,” stated the man with a slight slurred speech.

He was obviously drunk and I just made sure that his vital signs were stable and that there were no problems over-all with his neurologic status. My notes would be for record-keeping.

“Next!” I yelled to the other inmate [the first man’s cell mate] as I motioned for the first inmate to leave the room and wait for the deputy outside this clinic.

The second inmate’s eyes were blood-shot, his steps wobbly as he tried to come in and make his way through the door. He denied taking anything intoxicating, too. I noted my observation, too on him. He was just plain drunk like the other man.

The deputy finally told me what really happened. He was making his usual logs - of checking every cell every hour and on that particular time, he noticed these inmates flushed something down the toilet. He observed that they were acting funny and trying to be silly. And he smelled the alcohol whiffed past his nostrils as he stood by their particular cell.

In the meantime that the deputy was conversing with me, these inmates were still having a good time laughing outside the Nurse’s clinic. They didn’t think that anything would happen to them. Little did they know, they would be in a lot of trouble when they sobered up. They were definitely caught intoxicated with “pruno”. And because they did it, there would be an additional time with their sentence when their latest violation of the jail’s rules would be added to their other charge or charges. They were laughing then, but I was wondering if they would still be laughing once they became more aware of what they were caught for.

In our lives, we make decisions, too that we don’t think of any possible consequences after doing so. Even with little, but wrong decisions, the truth is: it still leads to mistakes. Making the right decisions every day start with even the little choice we have to make. Then, we can be more prepared when the need to make bigger decisions come.

The wisdom or ability to make the right choices, either in small or big matters, is a gift from God. Understanding this makes us more willing to include God with our decision-making.
If we include God in all of our decisions, what can go wrong?

Have you asked God to help you with today’s decisions?

The Holy Spirit in Christians

My co-worker and I found this inmate sitting on that chair next to the Nurse’s station in their unit. He was obviously trying to grasp for some air. With every inhalation, it was a struggle as his neck veins became distended and straining to try to get some air. He couldn’t talk. The wheezing was very audible and I didn’t need to listen to his lungs with my stethoscope.

Reviewing his chart prior to responding to the unit’s call over the radio, I read he had a history of asthma. He was already given an inhaler for his own use. Anticipating it was a severe kind of asthma attack, I grabbed the nebulizer and the gadgets that belonged to him that could be attached. I ran to our pharmacy stock and got a dose of liquid Albuterol encased in a plastic sort of vial. The nebulizer will turn the liquid medication into a fine mist that the inmate can inhale. It would quickly relax the tightness of the airways of the lungs, thus, would help him to breathe.


“Don’t talk,” as I calmly tried to reassure him.


“Just get the most of this medication and try to relax,” as the nebulizer got turned on and a fine smoke at the other end of the blue tube started coming out. The other end, which the inmate put into his mouth as he started breathing the fine mist that formed.


The other nurse started taking his vital signs while I continued to monitor and talked to him gently.


“We have a problem now, Sir,” I added as his eyes just grew bigger, trying to determine what the problem was. I heard my co-worker stopped and listened intently on what I was about to say next.


Keeping his silence as he continued to inhale the smoke coming from the nebulizer, I continued, “You see Sir, we have a policy here of no smoking. The problem is: I’m encouraging you to do it now. So I think I violated that.”


His big eyes wrinkled as he managed to laugh a little, until he was laughing harder. I could tell his breathing was starting to ease a bit now and he seemed to be more relaxed. My co-worker started laughing, too.


The inmate opened his mouth, “Ma’am, thank you for making me laugh. I really appreciate you guys coming here so fast and giving me my nebulizer treatment here. I feel more relaxed now and my breathing is a lot better.”


“I could tell and that’s what we want to accomplish. So, what happened?”


“My fault, Ma’am. I am sensitive to milk. It seems to make me have an asthma attack. This morning, prior to breakfast, I had eaten a chocolate bar. It must be the milk or the chocolate, I’m not sure if that triggered my asthma. I’m so sorry.”


“That’s okay, Sir. You didn’t know. But now you do, so I hope you won’t hurt yourself with another chocolate bar. I figured your inhaler must not be working by then so I thought of bringing the nebulizer here.”


“Thank you so much Ma’am. Oh, what a relief that I can breathe now. Thank you! Thank you!” he exclaimed to me and my co-worker.


“You’re welcome, Sir. We’re just doing our job and I’m glad to see you breathing a lot better. Take care of yourself now,” I motioned for him to go back to his cell as I started cleaning up the nebulizer.


Happily, he walked back toward the metal door that would lead him back to his cell. His gait was steady, he was smiling and he was not struggling for breaths anymore.



A Christian is anyone who has the Spirit of God living in him or her. If you have sincerely placed your trust in Jesus for your salvation and acknowledged Him as Lord, then the Holy Spirit lives within you.


You can be assured that you have the Holy Spirit because Jesus promised that He would send Him. He grants us eternal life through Him [“And the ones who win this battle against this world are the ones who believe that Jesus is the Son of God.”-1 John 5:5].


He finds help in our daily problems and in our praying [“And the Holy Spirit helps us in our distress. For we don’t even know what we should pray for, nor how we should pray. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groaning that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.” –Romans 8:26, 27].


We are empowered to serve God and do His will [“God has given each of us the ability to do certain things well”-Romans 12:6].


And we become part of God’s plan to build up His church [“Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ; until we come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will mature and full grown in the Lord, measuring up to the full stature of Christ.” – Ephesians 4:12,13].


Are you choking from all this life’s troubles? Grasping for air that nothing in this world can satisfy your feeling of emptiness? Are you tired trying to stay afloat in this ocean of woes?
We all need the “Air” to breathe, to live, not just exist. Go to Jesus and open your heart and believe.

The Gate



The school year is nearing its end again. How many times have I dropped off and picked up my son from his school? I try to go early so I can always try to find a good parking spot near the gate where he usually comes out. Doing so, I have a good observation of people coming by and those other parents starting to fill up the parking spots, too before the school bell rings, signifying the dismissal of their classes.



The gates are always closed once the classes start the sessions in the morning and the school aide opens them at 3:00 p.m. before the students come out. I have observed many times, how some students would try to sneak in through the gates before the 3 pm school bell rings. Some had managed to get as far as the first gate, but sometimes they get caught, too before they are able to go in by the 2nd gate.

I saw one young man climbed over it one time. But he was caught, too and got in trouble as I saw the school aide took him towards the school’s main office.

Oftentimes, I wonder how these students manage to sneak out of their classes as parents are notified if their children were not present in a particular class. Just makes me wonder…


Jesus compared Himself, too as the Shepherd Who watches His flock. Usually, at night, the sheep were gathered together so they can be protected from thieves, weather or wild animals. It is the shepherd who functions as the gate, letting the sheep in and protecting them.

“I assure you, anyone who sneaks over the wall of a sheepfold, rather than going through the gate, must surely be a thief and a robber. For a shepherd enters through the gate. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice and come to him. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. After he has gathered his own flock, he walks ahead of them, and they follow him because they recognize his voice. They won’t follow a stranger; they will run from him because they don’t recognize his voice.” – John 10:1-5.

“I assure you, I am the gate for the sheep. All others who came before me were thieves and robbers. But the true sheep did not listen to them. Yes, I am the gate. Those who come in through me will be saved. Wherever they go, they will find green pastures. The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness. –John 10:6-10.

Jesus is the gate to God’s salvation for us!

He is our Protector. He offers access to safety and security.

“How do you want to approach the gate?”

Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Browsing at her first booking photo, her face was so clear. She looked healthy, with long, silky hair. This time, her face was thin, worn out, covered with acne and wrinkles etched on her forehead. Her hair brittle and disheveled and had a dull shine. Some of the teeth receded to the gum line. All these features caused by her cyclic use of illegal drugs within a 2-year span of time.

“Ma’am, I told you. I haven’t used street drugs for over a year now,” confessed this same young female inmate, as I wrapped the blood pressure cuff around her thin left arm, trying to get her over-all vital signs.


Her speech was rapid [I couldn’t even cut her off]. She had good eye contact but with an intimidating look as if to summon me to give her the medicines she was requesting earlier. Her behavior was very unpredictable - restless... Had not the deputy been there, she could turn into a violent monster. Though I mentioned before, by God’s grace, no one could terrify me!


Every night, she was down at our clinic, coming up with any physical symptoms she could think of and kept on requesting for some medicines for pain. She had abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, foot pain, and all pains you could think of, because she was hoping she would be given a higher dose of pain medication or even narcotics. She was given Motrin 600 mg. just the day before by the jail doctor. She swore, they didn’t give her any relief. [And I believed that knowing she had increased her need for higher doses of illegal substances in her system].


Her requests for sick call didn’t end at nights. She even would beg to be seen when morning came or P.M. shift came, hoping that with every new nurse, she would find someone who could perhaps, sympathize with her and would give in to her demands.


But as medical professionals, we knew what to look for. Unfortunately, her “talk” of being drug-free for over a year did not seem to match her “actions”. We all knew that she was withdrawing from a long time, habitual use of such illegal substances and her body was craving for them.


Deprived of its use, once incarcerated, physical symptoms started to manifest: chest pain, abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting; not including the emotional problems that went with it – anxiety, fear and the intense longing to get that “high” she used to get while outside.




As Christians, how many times have we heard that phrase: “we should walk the talk?” I admit, I, too, forget this at times and I need to learn a lot in this area. I am a big work at this time and I pray the Lord will continue to mold me.


We must look up to Jesus. He is the only One Who truly “walked His talk”. He said in Matthew 3:8 –“Prove by the way you live that you have really turned from your sins and turned to God.”

In other words, we should examine our behavior. God looks beyond our “talks”. He looks into the intentions of our hearts and through our conducts.

Galatians 6:5 –“We are each responsible for our own conduct.”


Micah 6:8 –“No, O people, the Lord has already told you what is good and this is what He requires: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”


John 12:35 –“”If you walk in the darkness, you cannot see where you are going.”

Revelations 3:4 –“Yet even in Sardis there are some who have not soiled their garments with evil deeds. They will walk with Me in white, for they are worthy.”
All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.



Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]


Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.


Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.


All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.


When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.


The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.


When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himseld and ended up injuring his attacker severely.


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.


“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14


Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].


Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.


Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.


Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].

Friends