This young inmate vomited while the unit’s deputy was checking on everyone. He was the only one in his cell. His vomit sounded an alarm to the deputy’s sensitive nose. The vomitus smelled like “pruno” [prison wine]…
“I only had 3 small cups,” smilingly he told me.
Warning him that I would raise his shirt to further search for any abnormal findings, he calmly okayed me. His movement slightly restricted as his arms were handcuffed to his back. 2 deputies guarded us the whole time.
Searching intently, I found a small bump on his right forearm, where the visible vein protruded. It was slightly reddish with what appeared to be like a “prick” in the middle of that reddish spot.
With his vital signs being normal, there was no other peculiar things on him except for that bump and being slightly drunk after ingesting the illegal self-made wine. His speech was clear. He even had steady gait.
But prior to him coming, I reviewed his original charges which I sometimes performed to see if there would be any relation to whatever I would discover with their health problems. He had been in the jail for over a year after committing the use of illegal substance.
“Aha!” [A light just went on!]... Despite the slight protest from the jail’s main core of transportation deputies [the one assigning deputies that take inmate to the court, hospitals or other places], the person in charge had no choice but to obey regarding my decision to send this inmate to the county’s hospital to be evaluated for a possible just recent use of illegal substance.
After many hours had passed, as I peered into the lab result taken at the hospital, this inmate’s drug screen turned positive for opiates. [Opiates can come from use of heroin or other drugs like Morphine used for management of pain control]. Wherever he got that drug and illegally used it inside the prison, I just knew at that point that there would be a massive investigation on him, and that, his prison time would be longer because of this possible charge that would be added.
He could have been nearing the end of his prison term. But his habits kept winning over him. The freedom he could have attained in just a matter of days, had just slipped through him.
Unfortunately, inmates are using their talents on illegal things. They do not seem to follow the prison’s rules. They know how to improvise one thing into another that supports their habits of use of illegal substances. They know how to make wine from fruits they hoard from their meals. They know how to make shanks [illegal weapons] out of any metal objects, doesn’t really matter how big or how little. They know how to make ink and make a needle to perform tattoos for themselves or others.
In this spiritual journey we are in, us, Christians, would have been free if we don’t go back to our old habits, too. We all found that freedom when we receive Christ into our hearts. But sad to say, when we don’t listen to His commands, that freedom slips through us. We may not be physically locked up, but spiritually, we are. And in that process of committing sins again, we lock up “His Holy Spirit”, together with ours. In short, we GRIEVE the Spirit.
His activity within us is quenched. Our lives are aimless again when that happens, since we won’t experience the fullness of His Spirit working and His power in and through us. When we are filled with the Spirit, it means freedom for Him to occupy every part of our lives. We are guided by Him and controlled by Him.
Sins stop us from the filling of His Holy Spirit. And only by being obedient to God can we maintain that kind of relationship. If we remain carnal, we will not experience the abundant and fruitful Christian life…
Ephesians 4:30 - “Don’t grieve God. Don’t break His heart. His Holy Spirit, moving and breathing in you, is the most intimate part of your life, making you fit for Himself. Don’t take such a gift for granted.” [The Message]
Ephesians 5:18-20 - “Don’t drink too much wine. That cheapens your life. Drink the Spirit of God, huge draughts of Him. Sing hymns instead of drinking songs! Sing songs from your heart to Christ. Sing praises over everything, any excuse for a song to God the Father in the name of our Master, Jesus Christ.” [The Message]
Unit 15 - the unit that housed inmates with special medical and mental health care needs was located across the hallway from our jail’s Infirmary. It was one of those busy nights when things seemed to be overwhelming for Nursing staff. There were lots of doctor’s orders to be noted, the lines constantly rang and sick inmates came down requesting to be seen and treated by the Nursing staff.
A radio call broke out amidst the busyness inside the Clinic:
“Charge Nurse! Can you 87 [meet] Unit 15?”
“Charge Nurse copy! En route!,” I answered swiftly.
With another staff nurse who eagerly wanted to help me, we found 2 deputies holding down an unconscious old man on the cold floor, as the Unit 15 nurse tried to assess why he was that way. The male deputy was doing his routine checks, when he saw the man lying on the floor, inside his cell, not responding but kept moaning and had an involuntary movement with his right arm.
As we, nurses split with interventions to help the man, I started the oxygen right away via mask thinking of maintaining his airway first. The other nurse started an IV and applied a neck collar. I stepped out to go to the unit’s clinic and took his chart and started the paperworks for the inmate to be brought to ER. I called for an ambulance, Code 3 [which meant it was critical].
That man was known for being feisty with deputies. There were days that he would try to spit on the window or call the deputies some disrespectful names. When the deputy found him on the floor, he knew right away that he wasn’t playing around. He was only housed alone so an assault was not possible.
His pupils were reacting within normal limits as I shone my penlight over his eyes. But we knew he just sustained some kind of head trauma. He must have fallen, and hit his head hard on something... I decided to slip my gloved hands under his head. There were no bleeding nor lacerations anywhere. The digits of both of my hands felt something uneven...There was a huge BUMP on his left side of the back of his head. Immediately, I knew, he had some bleeding inside his head. This became a very critical moment for that inmate.
As ambulance took him away stabilized on a C-Spine board [cervical spine board that prevents movement of head if head injury is suspected], we remained wondering how his injury was sustained. In the chart, there was no listed medical problem nor mental health problem except for a history of polysubstance abuse.
When the man reached ER, he was immediately taken into surgery to have the bleeding controlled and prevent that bump from getting bigger. He remained non-responsive.
This incident reminds me that there are also times in our life’s journeys when we sustain bumps and make us confused regarding our spiritual walk with God.
“It is not a matter of right and wrong, but a matter of God taking you through a way that you temporarily do not understand. And it is only by going through the spiritual confusion that you will come to the understanding of what God wants for you.” ~ Oswald Chambers
When we sustain those bumps that make us non-responsive to God’s request for our obedience and as we become weaker in faith sometimes, let us allow God to do that special surgery for Him to remove those bumps.
In the meantime, during that confusion, let us remain trusting in Jesus and stand firm in this faith we believe in…
Isaiah 42:16 - “I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” [NIV]
Father's Love Letter:
You may not know me, but I know everything about you. Psalm 139:1
I know when you sit down and when you rise up. Psalm 139:2
I am familiar with all your ways. Psalm 139:3
Even the very hairs on your head are numbered. Matthew 10:29-31
For you were made in My image. Genesis 1:27
In Me you live and move and have your being. Acts 17:28
For you are My offspring. Acts 17:28
I knew you before you were conceived. Jeremiah 1:4-5
I chose you when I planned creation. Ephesians 1:11-12
You were not a mistake, all your days are written in My book. Psalm 139:15-16
I determined the exact time of your birth and where you would live. Acts 17:26
You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Psalm 139:14
I knit you together in your mother's womb. Psalm 139:13
And brought you forth on the day you were born. Psalm 71:6
I have been misrepresented by those who don't know Me. John 8:41-44
I am not distant and angry, but the complete expression of love. 1 John 4:16
And it is my desire to lavish my love on you. 1 John 3:1
Simply because you are my child and I am your father. 1 John 3:1
I offer you more than your earthly father ever could. Matthew 7:11
For I am the perfect father. Matthew 5:48
Every good gift that you receive comes from My hand. James 1:17
For I am your provider and I meet all your needs. Matthew 6:31-33
My plan for your future has always been filled with hope. Jeremiah 29:11
Because I love you with an everlasting love. Jeremiah 31:3
My thoughts of you are countless as the sand on the seashore. Ps 139:17-18
And I rejoice over you with singing. Zephaniah 3:17
I will never stop doing good to you. Jeremiah 32:40
For you are My treasured possession. Exodus 19:5
I desire to establish you with all My heart and all My soul. Jeremiah 32:41
And I want to show you great and marvelous things. Jeremiah 33:3
If you seek me with all your heart, you will find Me. Deuteronomy 4:29
Delight in me and I will give you the desires of your heart. Psalm 37:4
For it is I who gave you those desires. Philippians 2:13
I am able to do more for you than you could possibly imagine. Ephesians 3:20
For I am your greatest encourager. 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
I am also the Father who comforts you in all your troubles. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
When you are brokenhearted, I am close to you. Psalm 34:18
As a shepherd carries a lamb, I have carried you close to My heart. Isaiah 40:11
One day I will wipe away every tear from your eyes. Revelation 21:3-4
And I'll take away all the pain you have suffered on this earth. Revelation 21:3-4
I am your Father and I love you even as I love My son, Jesus. John 17:23
For in Jesus, My love for you is revealed. John 17:26
He is the exact representation of My being. Hebrews 1:3
He came to demonstrate that I am for you, not against you. Romans 8:31
And to tell you that I am not counting your sins. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
Jesus died so that you and I could be reconciled. 2 Corinthians 5:18-19
His death was the ultimate expression of My love for you. 1 John 4:10
I gave up everything I loved that I might gain your love. Romans 8:31-32
If you receive the gift of My son Jesus, you receive Me. 1 John 2:23
And nothing will ever separate you from My love again. Romans 8:38-39
Come home and I'll throw the biggest party heaven has ever seen. Luke 15:7
I have always been Father, and will always be Father. Ephesians 3:14-15
My question is - Will you be my child? John 1:12-13
I am waiting for you. Luke 15:11-32
Love, Your Dad, Almighty God
Isaiah tells us, “Who but a fool would make his own god - an idol that cannot help him one bit!” We think of idols as statues of wood or stone, but in reality, an idol is anything natural that is given a sacred value and power…
Oh Lord, I’m feeling so heavy for these past few days. What has happened to America? This country founded in You! What a slap it must be to You, when people of another faith is being welcomed by thousands tomorrow. I am grieving Lord, to what’s happening nowadays. People are turning away from You.
I ask for Your forgiveness, dear God. Because we had opened doors for idolatry and that is an abomination to You. I know that when we turn away our ears from hearing Your laws, even our prayers are abomination to You, Oh God [Proverbs 28:9].
Lord, please protect us from the enemies not seen. Send Your mighty angels that these enemies would be paralyzed and not be able to create havoc in all vulnerable areas of the people in this land. Lord, open the hearts and minds of those who will participate and may they tend to know that there is no other God but You. Where there are blinders, please remove them from those affected Lord. Thank You Lord for Your love and mercy. I pray in Jesus’ Name. Amen.
This is what the Lord showed me today when I was praying to Him with a heavy heart:
Theme: The lies of enemies. God is able to defend us from lies spoken against us.
Psalm 5 [Life Application Bible]
1 O Lord, hear me as I pray;
Pay attention to my groaning.
2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God,
For I will never pray to anyone but you.
3 Listen to my voice in the morning, Lord,
Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly.
4 O God, you take no pleasure in wickedness;
You cannot tolerate the slightest sin.
5 Therefore, the proud will not be allowed to stand in your presence,
For you hate al who do evil.
6 You will destroy those who tell lies,
The Lord detests murderers and deceivers.
7 Because of your unfailing love, I can enter your house;
With deepest awe I will worship at your Temple.
8 Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
Or my enemies will conquer me.
Tell me clearly what to do,
And show me which way to turn.
9 My enemies cannot speak one truthful word,
Their deepest desire is to destroy others.
Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their speech is filled with flattery.
10 O God, declare them guilty,
Let them be caught in their own traps,
Drive them away because of their many sins,
For they rebel against you.
11 But let all who take refuge in you rejoice;
Let them sing joyful praises forever.
So all who love your name may be filled with joy.
12 For you bless the godly, O Lord,
Surrounding them with your shield of love.
[Please don't forget to click on pause in my playlist so you can hear this better].
Please pray and see where God directs us all. May God bless and protect us.
One night, our HSA [medical secretary] was reviewing the sick call requests from inmates. Doing so, he was able to screen if there was someone who needed an immediate treatment, like suicidal inmates or anyone with serious medical condition that they never complained about when they first got incarcerated.
He came across a particular request. With words written in pencil, the request read:
“I have this fungus on my feet. Please treat me because it’s ugly and I need them gone when I go to the beach…”
“Was he kidding?” we thought as we laughed because of the fact that he wouldn’t be able to go anywhere and there was no beach in the jail that we knew of.
Checking his status regarding his incarceration, true enough, he would be a long time resident of the prison system. He was temporarily housed in our jail, only to be transferred to a state prison, so he could spend the rest of his sentence there.
In this life, there is nothing wrong in making plans. But it ends up leaving us frustrated and disappointed when we leave God out of them. There is no point in making plans as if God doesn’t exist. The future is in His hands.
Who knows what tomorrow brings?
James warned us, too from James 4:13-15 - “And now I have a word for you who brashly announce, “Today - at the latest, tomorrow - we’re off to such and such a city for the year. We’re going to start a business and make a lot of money.” You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.”
Verse 16-17 - “As it is, you are full of your grandiose selves. All such vaunting self-importance is evil. In fact, if you know the right thing to do and don’t do it, that for you, is evil.” [The Message]
Do you feel like being suffocated in your relationship with your spouse? Do you feel like you are neglected? Do you feel like getting out of your marriage, thinking that it is the only way to solve your marital problems?
I dare you to seek and work out LOVE first....
Marriage is like a garden. What a beautiful garden it would be if 2 gardeners are willing to help out each other to maintain the beauty in their garden. One might pluck the roots that threaten to kill the beautiful flowers. The other might do the pruning necessary to gain more beautiful flowers. Sometimes, it's been beautiful and there seems to be no problem. But it still tends to dry out because they both forget to fertilize.
Is that the kind of marriage you have? Are you helping each other as a couple to maintain a beautiful, healthy relationship to make your marriage work? Do you help each other out in removing anything that hinders the growth of becoming and or maintaining a beautiful relationship? You might not be fighting but have you forgotten to even say "I love you" lately to your spouse?
A precious sister, sister Bren at Seeking Grace On The Narrow Path, recently posted about the "The Love Dare", a 40 day journey for couples that will help you understand how unconditional love fits in to make your marriage work! She also has a give-away, a copy of "Fireproof" movie.
My hubby and I embarked on this journey two nights ago. Even if we don't have anything going on that threatens our marriage, we're glad that we did it because we became more aware of those areas drying out that we haven't tended to in a while. And what an amazing journey when we include God in it!!! After all, He is the Author of unconditional love.
If you feel led and you want to join, please visit Sister Bren here. God bless you and may Jesus be the bond that holds you together, as a couple. May your garden stays beautiful and healthy forever.
This lady who works in a tv station went purposely for a day into the jail, to see how it was like inside the jail…
She knew and experienced how it was like. Now, we know after watching this because we have seen it. She told us. She showed us. I know because I work in one and see how it’s like for the inmates.
So, why can’t we believe that Jesus came here to us, to be with us, to tell us that “hell is not a fun place to be”. That hell is for real and that it is an eternal destination for those who will not repent and ask for God’s forgiveness.
Repent for what you may ask? Repent for our sins. Because sins and God cannot mix. God is Holy, Pure, Just. Think about that bread in your pantry that's becoming stale...See the mold on it? Gross? Can you eat it still? How about that potatoes in that big bag? Did you see the roots that started growing? If you're like those potatoes hiding something in the dark, you're more likely to get tangled in that web of sins and will have a hard time to get out until it keeps growing. But didn't you see those potatoes when you opened that door in your pantry? Just like how it is with our God, He can see us. He is the Light and anything exposed to the Light is visible...
Jesus answered, "I told you, but you don't believe. Everything I have done has been authorized by my Father, actions that speak louder than words. You don't believe because you're not my sheep. My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand. The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him. I and the Father are one heart and mind." [John10:25-30, The Message].
Romans 3:25-26 - “God sacrificed Jesus on the altar of the world to clear that world of sin. Having faith in him sets us in the clear. God decided on this course of action in full view of the public - to set the world in the clear with himself through the sacrifice of Jesus, finally taking care of the sins he had so patiently endured. This is not only clear, but it’s now - this is current history! God sets things right. He also makes it possible for us to live in his rightness.” [The Message]
1 Thessalonians 1:6-10 - “6God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble you 7and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his powerful angels. 8He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. 9They will be punished with everlasting destruction and shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power 10on the day he comes to be glorified in his holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed.” [NIV]
Revelation 20:11-15 - “I saw a Great White Throne and the One Enthroned. Nothing could stand before or against the Presence, nothing in Heaven, nothing on earth. And then I saw all the dead, great and small, standing there—before the Throne! And books were opened. Then another book was opened: the Book of Life. The dead were judged by what was written in the books, by the way they had lived. Sea released its dead, Death and Hell turned in their dead. Each man and woman was judged by the way he or she had lived. Then Death and Hell were hurled into Lake Fire. This is the second death—Lake Fire. Anyone whose name was not found inscribed in the Book of Life was hurled into Lake Fire.” [The Message]
You don’t want to go to hell? There is a way…and that is ONLY through Jesus Christ. If you are that one making excuses that Christians are "hypocrite", don't focus yourself on those Christians. Focus on Jesus. Because He is the One Who doesn't change. And He is the only door you can open to have that salvation. To be granted an eternal life when our lives are over in this world. He is that bridge that connects us again to be with the Eternal God. Because of Jesus' righteousness, we will have that righteousness that will cover us when we accept Him into our hearts. That's the one that will make our broken relationship with God whole again.
Will you now call upon Jesus to save you from your sin so that you can know God's love and forgiveness?
Pray like this: "Dear God, I confess that I am a sinner, and I am sorry. I need a Savior. I know I cannot save myself. I believe by faith that Jesus, your Son, died on the cross to be my Savior. I believe He arose from the grave to live as my Lord. I turn from my sin. I ask You, Lord Jesus, to forgive my sin and come into my heart. I trust you as my Savior and receive you as my Lord. Thank you, Jesus, for saving me.
"When anyone calls on the Lord in this manner, that one is saved according to God's Word. If you pray a prayer of repentance and faith, you are saved. You have God's word on it.
I have been job sharing with one of my co-workers for many years now. When I started working at the jail, my child was only 5 years old then. He’s 14 now. You would think that I would go back working full time. But I truly enjoy my time raising my son and taking care of my hubby’s and child’s needs. In their teenage years, I believe that’s the most important time of guidance and sharing the Lord with them at these awkward years. They feel like they are grown-ups, yet, they still have not completely left their childhood years. They are still dependent with some things.
It’s amazing to me how co-workers are constantly teasing me about adding more work hours or making comments that my son now is big, why be there [for him]? I try to tell them answers that are not mean but let’s just say in a much better way than saying “it’s none of your business…”
Working this weekend, one really got to me when she spoke, “Why? Why do you bring your kid to school? He’s big now. Maybe he doesn’t want you to be there. He just doesn’t want to tell you because he doesn’t want to hurt your feelings?”
My first reaction in my mind? Prayer….”Lord, thank You for changing me. If You didn’t change my heart, I would have responded in a mean way to make this person zip her mouth…”
My answer? “I think I know MY son well enough that I will know whether he likes me to drive him to school or pick him up or not!”
She went back to typing whatever in front of the computer monitor. Topics suddenly changed…
I love the wisdom that comes from the Lord. Short but very sharp. So sharp that even one sentence was enough to make your point!!!
I would love to ask that co-worker some of my own but decided not to….I had so much if I did…
“Does working a lot of hours improve our relationships with our children?”
We may earn a lot of money, but is it all worth it than the times well-spent talking with our children, seeing their accomplishments, being there for them when they encounter their own defeats and losses as our kids meet new challenges in their lives?
“What makes you think that my child doesn’t want me to drop him off and pick him up at school?”
Everyday, I won’t trade with anything our breakfasts together, preparing his lunch and snacks, our devotions together, lifting up everyone we know in prayers. The way he says, “thank You Lord! Thank you Mom! [or thank you dad if my husband is home] as his warm kisses land on our cheeks along with his hugs, after eating each meals….
“He’s big now..Yes, I know…But what makes you think that just because he had grown up a little and had known a little, he became a disrespectful half-man/half-child?”
“Train your child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.” -Proverbs 22:6 [NIV]
My response to my co-worker’s statement: Nothing….But to mind my own business…I have nothing against working full time. It is because it depends on our financial status and life’s priorities. My only point is that we cannot apply what situations we are facing with others. I think every family is unique, just the way each of us is unique to God. I have no one to thank but God because as I had learned to walk closer with Him, He changed my heart. He changed my priorities. I learned to live in contentment. I learned to prioritize of what matters the most…I learned to live in simple ways. It’s an on-going learning process…And how I love the simplicity that comes from Jesus Christ!
Let me just put God’s advice [1 Thessalonians 4:11]:
“Stay calm; mind your own business; do your own job. You’ve heard all this from us before, but a reminder never hurts. We want you living in a way that will command the respect of outsiders, not lying around sponging off your friends.” - The Message
“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” - NIV
“Try your best to live quietly, to mind your own business, and to work hard, just as we taught you to do. Then you will be respected by people who are not followers of the Lord , and you won’t have to depend on anyone.” -CEV
The amber glow of the rising sun started penetrating the tiny windows in some of the prison cells. It was a beautiful morning to gather together and worship God on that particular Sunday. The throng of prison-issued, orange uniformed men, of different races, of different ages came and filled those benches neatly arranged for the fellowship.
The bolder ones shared what their faith meant, professing their powerful testimonies. Then, came singing. Some raised their hands into the air and completely released their adoration of the One Who forgave them of their heinous crimes. Tears freely flowed as they wept with a sincere gratitude for the newfound hope their broken hearts accepted from Jesus Christ.
The leader of the prison ministry stepped into the front, grabbed everyone’s attention and requested to bow their heads and confess their sins to God and lift up whatever petitions they wanted to say or even just to simply offer their thanks to God. Whatever they did that week up to that day leading to that worship, anything that was not pleasing to God must be confessed.
One by one, the heads slowly bowed low, eyes were shut closed, some pairs of hands were folded together; still, others felt compelled to bend and get down on their knees. With a silent whisper, confessions and petitions slowly lifted up into the air, towards the heavenly abode of the living God.
There were two of them sitting on the far corner of the last line of these benches. They were huddled close together and in whispers, softly spoke. Not to converse with God. But to each other. A negotiation started.
In a quiet hush-hush conversation, the previously incarcerated inmate was trying to lure the newly-arrived inmate to steal food from others for himself. He couldn’t afford to buy anything from the jail’s commissary. He had no money or funds from his account.
Unfortunately, there was no choice left for the new inmate. If he complied, protection would be given to him from those who loved to intimidate and impose power over the weak ones. If he didn’t obey, it would be an uglier outcome: “his safety jeopardized, even his own life might cost him.”
Their negotiation was drowned by the utterances of other’s prayers. It was carefully going on despite the surveillance of the prison guards. The cameras would not detect anything as they would not pick up a sound.
It was sad that the longer incarcerated inmate was taking advantage of that special fellowship for God to mask his own, evil agenda. The beautiful sunlight penetrated the cells, but not all of the parts of the prison get that benefit...There is still areas of darkness...And it is a very dark place to be.
The Bible warns us that Satan, too is that way. He is capable of appearing like he is an angel of light. Not everything or anyone who looks beautiful or good means that they are doing things for God. The apostle Paul said:
2 Corinthians 11:12-15 - “And I’m not changing my position on this. I’d die before taking your money. I’m giving nobody grounds for lumping me in with those money-grubbing “preachers,” vaunting themselves as someone special. They’re a sorry bunch - pseudo-apostles, lying preachers, crooked workers - posing as Christ’s agents but sham to the core. And no wonder! Satan does it all the time, dressing up as a beautiful angel of light. So it shouldn’t surprise us when his servants masquerade as servants of God. But they’re not getting by with anything. They’ll pay for it in the end.” [The Message].
Just as that time when Paul warned the Corinthians to be careful not to assume that every preacher or evangelist who was well-known or who demanded a large honor and recognition was superior at teaching God’s Word, still applies for all of us, believers, today…
“My dear friends, don’t believe everything you hear. Carefully weigh and examine what people tell you. Not everyone who talks about God comes from God. There are a lot of lying preachers loose in the world.” - 1 John 4:1 [The Message]
“Here’s how you test for the genuine Spirit of God. Everyone who confesses openly his faith in Jesus Christ - the Son of God, who came as an actual flesh-and-blood person - comes from God and belongs to God. And everyone who refuses to confess faith in Jesus has nothing in common with God. This is the spirit of the antichrist that you heard was coming. Well, here it is, sooner than we thought!” - 1 John 4:2-3 [The Message]
As you worship the Lord this Sunday, may I ask you if the leader of your church gives all the glory back to Jesus or does he glorify himself? In everything we come across with...i.e...books, shows we watch in the theater/tv, video games, any other form of entertainment....is it the Lord Jesus glorified?
Satan doesn’t come like a roaring lion sometimes. He likes to slither like a snake just as how he did it in the garden of Eden. He comes in a very subtle way at times, so quiet that it’s hard for us to perceive that kind of attack… Let’s put on the Armor of God and ask the Lord for discernment in everything that we do…God bless.
Please visit Spiritual Sundays for other encouraging posts. Thanks to sisters Charlotte and Ginger for hosting this special place.
James 1:26-27 - "Anyone who sets himself up as "religious" by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world." [The Message]
I have always thought the actions of men the best interpreters of their thoughts. ~John Locke
After all is said and done, a lot more will have been said than done. ~Author Unknown
The shortest answer is doing. ~Lord Herbert
We should be taught not to wait for inspiration to start a thing. Action always generates inspiration. Inspiration seldom generates action. ~Frank Tibolt
Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned. ~Peter Marshall
Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions. You may have a heart of gold - but so does a hard-boiled egg. ~Author Unknown
She laid there on the bottom bunk, slightly nodding her head to questions but not saying anything. She was slightly diaphoretic. Her breakfast tray was visible on top of the steel table, still untouched. In a far corner, there were unopened graham crackers.
The night shift nurses just got done with the Accuchecks [when diabetic inmates come down to the Infirmary to have their blood sugar checked and their morning doses of insulin given if they are on it]… I felt my energy was waning as our shift neared its end. I picked up my transparent purse and just waited for my co-worker to give her report to the incoming day charge nurse. I took a careful sip from my cup of still hot coffee…When this call of distress blared from all the radios:
“Unit 9 Nurse! Mandown! She is a diabetic!”
My co-worker stopped giving report. She grabbed the emergency bag, making sure that the Accucheck machine was in it. I dropped my purse and took a radio and slid it into the left pocket of my scrub uniform. We both ran as another co-worker started popping the metal doors for us so we didn’t need to use the keys. The hallway was long and it felt like the minutes had slowed down.
The downed inmate was on the top tier. Swiftly ascending the steps of the stairs, we saw the deputy waiting for us inside her cell. I told my co-worker I had a feeling it was “Ms. Rodriguez”. Because I did her sugar check and it was okay to give the morning insulin. Except, I had given her a few packets of Graham crackers for her to eat knowing that sometimes, the breakfast trays were served late on weekends. Her body felt cold to touch.
True enough, it was that familiar face. I hated to see her in that situation knowing that it could have been prevented. She was nodding and as I noted that she was not able to swallow the glucogel [gel eaten to raise the blood sugar] in her mouth, I ordered my co-worker to go ahead and start an IV. Prior to that, I told her to give the shot of sugar to her thigh so we could bring her blood sugar level to a safer reading. The cell was so tiny. It was hard to move and it needed both of our precise intervention and cooperation in order for us to be successful in saving this precious life. We were both playing the tug of war: the tug between life and death…
I ran to the Nurse’s clinic inside that unit as we needed a needle to be able to inject sugar in an intravenous form. I grabbed the emergency kit stored in every Nurse’s clinic. My adrenalin pumping, I couldn’t miss a step on those metal stairs. Every seconds counted!
I saw the IV in on Ms. Rodriguez’ right arm. I aimed to the nearest port of her IV and slowly injected the medication. In less than one minute, she was slowly coming back and started talking and shaking with fear.
“I’m sorry…I didn’t eat those crackers you gave me,” she wailed.
“Shhh…” I said to make her calm down and in a soft voice added, “It’s okay. What’s important is that we are able to bring you back. That’s what matters right now.”
“Next time, if you are told to eat your crackers, do so. There is a reason why we do that and a reason why we don’t give it to you when you want them.”
“Yes, Nurse….sobs….I understand now. I’m sorry and thank you so much to both of you,” as she slowly got up and tried to get dressed up with her orange shirt.
“Go ahead and eat. We’ll have another nurse follow up with you. Don’t be afraid,” as my co-worker and I gathered all the needles and other things strewn on the floor. Her body became warm to touch now when we left her. I went back to the Clinic and found my cup of coffee had gotten so cold, it was not good to drink anymore….I tossed it out in a nearby trash can. I would rather have my coffee got colder and a precious life be revived and warm blood flowed again.
Diabetics are vulnerable to having too high or too low of their sugar level. These altered levels may cause confusion, diaphoresis, neuropathy, coma and even may lead to death.
Our bodies are very fragile! They are perishable! We get hurt, wounded, bruised, or sick. We bleed, our bones may break, our organs can malfunction. But Paul reminded us though we may feel that we are at the end of rope, we are never at the end of hope. Our body may be subject to sin and suffering, but God never abandons us. Because of what Jesus had done on the cross, we have eternal life. Through all of our sufferings and trials, they are all great opportunities for Christ to show His power and presence in us and through us.
2 Corinthians 4:7-12 [NIV]:
7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted , but not abandoned ; struck down, but not destroyed . 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12So, then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
2 Corinthians 5:1-5 [NIV]:
1For we know that when this earthly tent we live in is taken down - when we die and leave these bodies - we will have a home in heaven, an eternal body made for us by God himself and not by human hands. 2We grow weary in our present bodies, and we long for the day when we will put on our heavenly bodies, like new clothing. 3For we will not be spirits without bodies, but we will put on new heavenly bodies. 4Our dying bodies make us groan and sigh, but it's not that we want to die and have no bodies at all. We want to slip into our new bodies so that these dying bodies will be swallowed up by everlasting life. 5God himself has prepared us for this, and as a guarantee he has given us his Holy Spirit.
The PM nurses appeared tired. They had a busy shift, too. Their eyes lit up as I walked in. My entrance signaled that their shift was nearing its end.
I took a deep breath and gathered whatever strength I had, knowing what awaited for me.
Before working, I usually have the habit of checking my mailbox, in case I have a memo from either my supervisors or other co-workers. Inside the tiny box, I saw a white envelope addressed to my name. I wondered where it came from as I rarely get cards like that, except for Christmas when co-workers usually exchange little gifts or Christmas greeting cards.
I was surprised when I found out that it had a little gift of a nice bookmark and a sweet note from the nurse, newly-hired by the Sheriff’s. She was the one I worked with when my night was chaotic at Intake.
This was what I got from her:
[The bookmark says: "It is by believing in roses that one brings them to bloom."]
We all know that even a little kindness can make a big difference in someone’s life… When our lives are changed by God’s mercy, we are expected to show this same mercy as we deal with others. It’s only God Who can change our hearts. We can’t brag about the goodness that we show. It’s all from Him. And as we follow the Lord, and yield to the leading of the Holy Spirit, we strive to be more like Him.
Galatians 5:22 says, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” [NIV].
Actions do speak louder than words. And so it is with Christian lives. We affect others by what we say or do. Whether we are with family, friends, even strangers, God wants us to always treat others with the utmost care and respect.
When we help out someone, we don’t know that we are making their day. Expect nothing back but do things with love. My co-worker thought I made her day. She didn’t know she blessed me more than she could imagine. Because then, I knew at that moment when I was reading that card, that I hoped I pleased no one but God.
So….take the risk of reaching out….the way God reached out to you…
Zechariah 7:9,10 - “This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts, do not think evil of each other.” [NIV]
Galatians 6:9,10 - “So don’t get tired of doing what is good. Don’t get discouraged and give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. Whenever we have the opportunity, we should do good to everyone, especially to our Christian brothers and sisters.”
Colossians 3:12 - “Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
Ephesians 4:32 - “Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.”
1 Corinthians 13:4 - “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
Ephesians 2:7 - “And now God can always point to us as examples of how very, very rich his kindness is, as shown in all he has done for us through Christ Jesus.”
For more encouraging posts, please visit Spiritual Sundays, hosted by 2 sweet women, sisters Charlotte and Ginger. God bless you all.
Out of the blue, I was driven to my knees just few minutes ago and as I pray, I wanted to praise the Lord with a song and He always graciously gives me when I ask. May you be comforted with this song and prayer.
Anyone here having troubles leaving comments on some sites? I did last night as I tried to post a comment on sis Alleluiabelle’s latest post. So, please know that I visit you guys and if I am not able to leave comments, may you just remember that you are in my thoughts and prayers. God bless you all.
Lord, with tears I cry out to You. Please forgive me for all of my sins. I’m sorry that I hurt You still. Lord, have Your mercy on me. Save me. Help me and all my loved ones [and my blogging brothers and sisters] facing spiritual battles at this moment. Send comfort Oh Lord to hurting hearts, healing to the sick, salvation for the lost. Where there is a fierce warfare, help us with Your mighty angels. Protect us Oh Lord and be our Shield! May every drop of tears that fall purged out what I don’t need in my life. Let them wash away the things that are not pleasing You Lord.
Fill me with Your Holy Spirit Lord and help me live in the ways that are pleasing to You. Do a heart surgery on me Lord and help me to live in Your holiness. I want to be like Jesus. Help us to be strong with our commitments to You.
Thank You Lord for all that You’ve done. Thank You for Who You are. Thank You for Your faithful and eternal love that completes us when we receive them.
Lord, today hurts as we remember the lost innocent lives 8 years ago. Please comfort those loved ones who were left behind with the sudden death that came to their father, mother, brother, sister, cousin, nephew, niece, friend, husband, wife, grandfather, grandmother, grandchild. Let this painful memory drive us all to go to You, not away from You. Protect us Lord from our enemies.
I love You Lord. And I thank You for loving me first. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Here’s the song I’m still composing as I typed:
Be Still [Know That I Am GOD]-Psalm 46:10
I close my eyes in this silence
I want to feel Your love
Your soft whisper blown to my ears
That I’m accepted and loved
You are……You are…..my God
I wanna’ be still in this place
Filled with Your love and grace
There is no other place I’d rather be
But for my heart to see Your face
You are….You are…my God
He could barely move his left elbow as this arrestee was walking into the Intake Nurse’s clinic. The swollen tissues were visible. He was wearing a white over-all, torn in different spots but what was noticeable was the left pant leg, obviously cut by the treating staff at the hospital to expose his left leg, from the bottom up to the mid-thigh area. Many bruised areas were exposed, some cuts visible. There was dried blood that oozed down his leg. He walked with a slight limp, leaning more on the right leg as he slowly dragged the what seemed to be very heavy left leg. Obviously, he didn't want to put too much weight on that sore leg.
Earlier, he was resisting arrest. He attempted to fight with the cop. But the cop was quicker than him and he got his steel baton and had no choice but to defend himself before this arrestee could hurt him, possibly, even kill him. This man just wouldn’t obey.
When the melee was over and back-up for the cop came, that man was bleeding profusely. The cops brought him to the county hospital’s ER so he could be evaluated and treated prior to being booked in the jail.
This man had learned his lesson the hard way. If only he listened and obeyed, he wouldn’t have sustained these injuries. At that time, he was calm and had been following whatever was told for him to do so. He knew he was wrong but he didn’t want to admit it. He knew he broke the law when he was caught with drugs but he denied it, despite the evidence.
We, too, are in constant melees of our own. But we don’t use worldly weapons. We use spiritual ones, for we battle against unseen enemies.
As God’s children, we know the truth that comes from knowing Christ. It is not our job to oppose that truth. Instead, we must stand for this truth at all times!
Our spiritual enemies are active in hurling the darts of lies to us. Anything they will try to kill our joy and make us paralyze from working for the Lord. Lies like:
“God does not love you.”
“God is not listening to you.”
“You are not going to heaven.”
“You are a failure and can never be successful in this life.”
I can go on and on. Satan had resisted God’s authority from the get-go. He was created as the most beautiful angel but in that beauty, pride grew. He thought he was higher than the One Who created him. He still continues to resist God’s authority up to this time.
We shouldn’t be afraid of him. For we have the power that comes from Christ [Glory to God!]. In our weakness, He is our strength! Use God’s mighty weapons…
From The Message:
2 Corinthians 10:3-6 - “The world is unprincipled. It’s dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn’t fight fair. But we don’t live or fight our battles that way - never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren’t for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity.”
Ephesians 6:10-12 - “And that about wraps it up. God is strong, and he wants you strong. So take everything the Master has set out for you, well-made weapons of the best materials. And put them to use so you will be able to stand up to everything the devil throws your way. This is no afternoon athletic contest that we’ll walk away from and forget about in a couple of hours. This is for keeps, a life-or-death fight to the finish against the devil and all his angels.”
Ephesians 6:13-18 - “Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other's spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.”
I halted and decided to not make the cop wait. I wanted to screen the female just in case she has any medical or mental problems that needed to be addressed.
“Does she have any problem that you know off, Officer?”
“I’m not really sure, Ma’am,” the cop politely answered.
“Why was she arrested if you don’t mind me asking Sir?” [I wanted to know if she was drunk or under influence of any illegal substances].
“I found her wandering by the freeway,” answered the cop.
I turned my head to this quiet arrestee.
“Ma’am, I’m the Intake Nurse here.”
No response. She started giggling, took a quick glance at me, then turned her head and stared on one wall, still bursting with laughter.
“Ma’am, do you have any medical or other problems that I can help you with?”
Still no verbal response. She did the same, previous behavior and I felt like she was making fun of me.
She was dirty. Her shoes blackened by the thick grime. Her mid-length hair was completely in disarray, a little gray sticking out into all directions. Her sunken eyes couldn’t maintain a good eye contact. Her toothless laughter was all the means she responded to every questionnaire.
It was obvious. She has some form of mental illness. And in that state, I couldn’t clearly admit her, not knowing if she even took massive amounts of illegal substances.
Intake Nurses in the jail are the ones to determine if arrestees are medically or mentally fit to be processed and booked. If they feel that there is no stability in any area, it’s the nurses’ decisions that count, to be followed by a high-ranking custody officer, whether they may or may not agree with the nurses’ decisions.
“I don’t want her here,” a soft whisper said behind me. It was one of the Sergeants. “She looks very unstable.”
“Well, thank you Sir for agreeing with me. I feel that she needs some Psych evaluation before she can be booked in,” I replied.
“I’m sorry,” I told the cop.
He must be tired and it was nearing the change of shift that morning. But I didn’t have any choice.
“I’m sorry, Sir that I can’t admit her. Her obvious behavior necessitates for her to be evaluated by a Psychiatrist. If I may recommend for you to bring her to our county Behavioral Health, that is the best option at this time. When the Psychiatrist deems that she is okay to be booked here, then, you may return her here with the doctor’s order.”
“Oh no, it’s okay, nurse. I understand,” answered the young cop, as he started picking up his papers sitting on the steel counter and took the arrestee, back to the squad car.
And we think we are fine! When in reality, our spiritual state is in a BIG mess! We are dirtied by sins.
How about you? Be careful not to hold on to your belief that there is no God, that Jesus is not God. Be careful that you think it’s all a joke and that you can make fun of Him.
It’s not a joke that Jesus came here and gave His own life by dying on the cross. He did that to save you and I. He died, so we may live…
For you who are already believers, remember when Jesus warned his disciples to prepare for persecution? [Matthew 10:16-23]. The disciples were to avoid things that would give advantage to the enemies. Jesus foretold troubles, not only for the troubles to become a surprise but so that they might confirm their faith. If you are faced with persecution, are you willing to stand up for Christ or deny Him?
Persecutors are like beasts, preying. Bonds of love and duties are broken from enmity against Christ. Friendships are broken, family ties are broken. It’s grievous. As Christians, we must learn how to do well, not to speak well. We are not to do anybody any harm and wish anyone any ill-will. We may go out of way, away from any danger, but we must not get away from our duty. And that is to boldly confess Christ and show love to Him in all things.
Remember that Jesus is the ONLY One Who has the “say or power” whether you can be admitted to His kingdom or not. Don’t wait until you face Jesus and hear Him say, “No! I can’t admit you.”
Matthew 10:32,33 - “If you tell others that you belong to me, I will tell my Father in heaven that you are my followers. But if you reject me, I will tell my Father in heaven that you don’t belong to me.” - [CEV].
There is a special place, for you who haven't been there called "Spiritual Sundays", hosted by sisters Charlotte and Ginger. If you are looking for encouragement or uplifting stories, poems, songs, etc. and even want to join in, please go here.
I have 3 guitars. Don’t get me wrong! I’m not that great of a guitarist. I can only play easy chords and I learned this on my own when I was 12 or 13 years old. My husband had given all those 3 guitars as gifts for me, if not for my birthday, the last one was simply just to bless me because he knew that I always looked at that guitar every time our son had to go to his piano lessons and there I was browsing at the many instruments in that music store.
On November 8, 2004, he bought me that guitar on the right. And my oldest brother, who plays well with his guitar, asked me, if I had given this guitar a special name. He said he named his guitar to make him remember the special occasion why he had this in the first place. I told him, I haven’t really named the guitar but I thought of one name in particular right away.
What the Lord had given was what I thought of right away. Because I knew that what He had gone through was not easy. From Titus 3:7 - “Being made right with God by His grace, we could have the hope of receiving the life that never ends.”
Max Lucado wrote, “The cross was heavy, the blood was real, and the price was extravagant. It would have bankrupted you or me, so he paid it for us. Call it simple. Call it a gift. But don’t call it easy. Call it what it is…Call it GRACE…”
For You Lord, I named my guitar “GRACE”. And He gave me a song that day right away…
It’s not easy what You have done
You came to earth just to die
Jesus, sent by Father in heaven
You died on the cross to set me free
Your grace….raining down on me
Full of your love and mercy
Your grace….and it’s free
But the cost was priceless that saved me
You are my way, my truth and life
You’re just asking for my open heart
Jesus, my Savior and my Friend
Lamb of God Who takes away our sins
But the cost was priceless…
But the cost was priceless…….Your grace….[fading]
Welcome to the jail’s “Suicide Watch”.
They were in open view, checked alternately and often by the deputies, Sergeant or the Intake Nurse. Their activities were closely monitored and logged on a piece of document. When night time came, they were given blue boats [huge, plastic beds] where they could rest if they wanted to. They would need to patiently endure a long night, only to be seen by the jail’s Psychiatrist in the morning.
Some of them were long time residents of that cell. Not until the Psychiatrist released them, if they remained unstable with their behavior, they would continue to be monitored. If the medications prescribed started to help them and if the Psychiatrist determined that they were not a threat to themselves anymore, they would be released or re-housed in the jail’s general population, or from whatever unit they came from.
I glanced at my watch. The dials were glowing at 12 midnight. I saw him there, just sitting, talking to self. He briefly looked up when he saw me peeking through the huge, glass window. He didn’t say anything. He kept staring.
I motioned for him to come closer to the window. I wanted to talk to him.
“Are you okay?” my question partially deadened by the thick partition in between us.
“I can’t sleep. I tried,” as he pressed his head against the window.
“Are you still hearing voices?”
“It must be hard. I’m sorry that I can’t give you anything to help you sleep. The evening nurse had already given your medications for the night. But I want you to try to rest, even if you can’t sleep, lay down anyway. So you won’t be tired when the doctor comes in the morning to see you. Then, we’ll let him know that the medications seem not to be helping you, okay?”
“Okay. Thank you,” was the low-toned reply as his footsteps slowly traced the path back to the cold, concrete bench.
“I’ll keep an eye on you. But if you need anything, I want you to let me know,” I added.
Three bodies. Three suffering people. Three different backgrounds. Three different races. But all were in the same boat of finding solutions, of finding hope, of finding a cure to never-ending voices that seemed real, when not real to others. The voices that constantly nagged at them to kill themselves, to end their lives. The treatments consisted of medications and therapies or combination of different modalities. It was worth a try than not to do anything at all.
For life is precious. And the staff will not allow these precious lives to be ended just because they intended to do so. Most of them are not in the right state of minds. They all need help!
We are all the same…Suffering from the eternal death we are facing because of our sins. But others still deny that they are in need of help. They are living a good kind of life. They have everything. Why would they need anyone to help them?
But we all need the hope that the Good News brings. It’s not aimed to a particular person. It is not directed only to people of one race, one sex, or one background. It is aimed to save all of us, “for we are all sinners”.
And we are all precious to the One Who created us in His image... God loves us all. He sent His Son to save us, sinners. No one is outside of His mercy and beyond the reach of His gift of salvation. He wants us ALL to be saved. In God, there is no PARTIALITY or BIAS.
“Pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them, and give thanks.” - 1 Timothy 2:1
From The Message:
Romans 2: 9-11 -”If you go against the grain, you get splinters, regardless of which neighborhood you’re from, what your parents taught you, what schools you attended. But if you embrace the way God does things, there are wonderful payoffs, again without regard to where you are from or how you were brought up. Being a Jew won’t give you an automatic stamp of approval. God pays no attention to what others say [or what you think] about you. He makes up his own mind.”
"All who are wicked will be punished with trouble and suffering. It doesn't matter if they are Jews or Gentiles. But all who do right will be rewarded with glory, honor, and peace, whether they are Jews or Gentiles. God doesn't have any favorites!" -Contemporary English Version
“Hello? Nurse Rcubes. May I help you?”
“Hi Nurse. We have an inmate here who accidentally cut his finger from the serrated edges of the plastic wrap as he was wrapping the food trays. We had been putting pressure for a while and it’s still bleeding a lot!,” was the jail cook’s reply.
“No problem. If he’s okay to come down here to the clinic, I’ll see him right away.”
“Thank you Nurse”.
A minute later, a tall, white, young male emerged holding on to his index finger of the left hand. I didn’t even ask, I immediately let him in, into the Exam Room. When I asked him to let go of the pressure, there was only a blood-soaked Band-aid dressing visible.
“Go ahead and remove the Band-aid, Sir,” I requested.
As I was doing a lot of things at the same time, like getting his vital signs right away and observing the wound, I started asking him some medical questions, too. The cut was not bleeding actively anymore when I saw it. However, in his set of vital signs, he had a low grade fever. I asked him if he had cold symptoms from the past days and he said he did, for about a couple of days. But he denied coughing or having trouble breathing.
I got concerned with his cold symptoms because of the last flu scare we had in the jail few weeks ago and with him, being in contact with other inmate workers and with preparation of food, I wanted to take him out for a few days so others would not get sick until we made sure that he wasn’t contagious. I handed a mask and to which he obliged right away.
I took another look into those glassy eyes.
“Sir, there’s more to those glassy eyes of yours. I know you’re not in pain from that minor cut and you’re not too sick. Would you like to tell me what’s going on, that is…pause… only if you want to tell me because it is still your right not to do so. I’m only wanting to help you the best I could.”
The head looked down. The facial expression turned to sadness. As good as he was with eye contact the whole time I was speaking with him, this time, he was looking at the floor.
With a sad tone of voice, he replied, “Ma’am…pause…You’re right. My mom just passed away on the 31st [July] from throat cancer. It hurts that I didn’t get to see her because I’m not out until October.” A deep sigh followed.
The jail is strict in implementing policies. The staff is not allowed to talk with inmates especially in friendly manners, as if they are friends. That prevents the staff from the possibility of developing close relationships with inmates. It is for safety concern. And I did hear a lot of stories that some of the staff ended up trying to help the inmate they became fond of, to escape.
That moment was crucial for me. I felt the higher policy that comes from the Highest Authority. He commands His children to love Him first, and then, love others, even our enemies. We are to shine our light so that those living in darkness still will tend to know that Source, which in turn, will give them the hope that they thought is forever lost, being in that dark place.
Staying calm with my composure, praying in my mind for the Lord to quietly guide me with what to say, I said, “I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. That must be difficult that you didn’t see your mother. But if you don’t mind me asking, how old is your mom and if you have a family?”
“Ma’am, you have no idea that I’m so glad that someone finally understands me. Of course, I don’t mind to tell you. My mom was 65 and yes, I’m married with 2 children and I miss them,” came the reply with an excited tone, this time his eyes met mine and he wasn’t backing down. His eyes lightened up.
[Back of my mind: “Lord, help me! What do I say now?”]
“No offense meant here, Sir. I don’t need to know why you’re here in the jail. But if there’s an opportunity for you to be released and start a new life, do so. I know life is so precious, and your mom had lived for 65 years, but you have a family waiting for you and that’s who you live for, especially your children. I’m sure they miss you, too.”
“You are so right, Ma’am. Thank you so much for everything. Thank you for treating me and talking with me. I feel better now. And yes, I will try not to be back here again. My family is important! And I learned so much…”
[Back of my mind: “Lord, may this man know You because I know that’s the only way he can change and be healed with his wound deep inside…”].
He went back to his unit after I took him off of work for a few days so he can properly grieve and rest to fight the cold symptoms. I had scheduled him for another nurse follow-up to make sure that he was not running a fever anymore and that, his cut was infection-free.
That man was not bleeding from his wound. He was bleeding and hurting in his heart! I saw that in him, just like the way God saw my wounded heart years ago. That “person” was grateful as he walked away from me. A “person” not an “inmate”. The way God looked at me: “His child” not an “enemy”.
There is no big wound that God can not heal…
He gave me beauty for ashes, joy instead of mourning, praise, instead of despair. Instead of awaiting my death penalty, He saved me and declared me “not guilty!” when I believed in His Son Jesus.
Yes, I am grateful that Someone understood me…Finally!
“I will tell of the Lord’s unfailing love. I will praise the Lord for all he has done.” -Isaiah 63:7
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
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].