Prayer Request

"It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves." ~Edmund Hillary

Please visit sister Heather at Grow Up and keep her in your prayers if you feel led to do so.

I told sister Heather, this morning, as I was driving to bring my son to school, the dark rain clouds were all scattered. Yet, in front of us, there were rays of the risen sun beaming through those dark clouds. God comforted me with that sight! That just because we are going through tough times doesn't mean He is not there with us. That  He is going through all the trials with us...But it relies on our faith and trust on Him.

Jesus always spoke "Oh ye of little faith...."


I wanted to take a picture from my cell but could not risk swerving in the traffic and getting a ticket for that.  So, I waited until I got home and took it from our side yard:


Light of the World, You stepped down into darkness....Opened my eyes, let me see...



Thank you friends and powerful intercessors for coming by and blessing me always with your love and prayers. God bless.

"I'm eager to encourage you in your faith, but I also want to be encouraged by yours. In this way, each of us will be a blessing to the other." - Romans 1:12

Tealight

"Dare to reach out your hand into the darkness, to pull another hand into the light." ~Norman B. Rice

my tea lights in the kitchen


I love lighting up tea lights in our home. The moment I get up and prepare sandwiches for my husband's and child's lunch, I get a delight watching even a tiny light lit up our kitchen in the early morning hours or at mealtimes.

I love that a small ray of light can truly illuminate the dark corners of that particular room. We are called to be the "light of this world" as believers. I have that tendency sometimes to hide my light, I think. Like when I get quiet when I should speak. Or at work, when I go with the flow [not good!]. Or go back to old habits that extinguish this light.

Oh Lord, forgive me for my sins. Forgive me for not reflecting your Light the way You want me to. Forgive me for those times that I don't explain Your Light to others who have never seen it before. Help me have the eyes to see the needs of others. Strengthen me Oh Lord and that I pray also for all believers. So that we may continue to always be burning strongly for Your light to be seen in those dark areas of this world. For those who are still living in the dark, that they won't have fear to step into Your light and be exposed into Your light and turn away from any dark deeds. Thank You Lord for Your forgiveness, for Your unfathomable love, mercy and grace. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

He Came Once, He'll Come Again

Sunrise this Tuesday morning
I was all in tuned to what seemed to be a very interesting conversation among my co-workers, deputies and nurses alike. One deputy swore that it was true. That zombies were coming sometime. It all started when ghost stories became the topic. I never denied the weird experiences in the jail, too. Because I knew there were territorial spirits. But I would choose to not make a hype about them. All they would do was instill fear.

Oh, but they were all excited. To hear their own different experiences while working in our facility. Especially at the back, in a particular unit behind the Infirmary. Where very sick inmates were housed. Some of them had died. And some housed inmates also experienced odd things.

How could my spirit explain? About the reality in the spiritual places? How could some of them believe me if they don't have the Spirit of the Lord? Or even if they have the Spirit, but the minds and hearts are set on flesh, how would they understand? The Bible says if we are friends with the world, we are enemies of God. ["You adulterous people, don't you know that friendship with the world is hatred toward God? Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God." -James 4:4]

This is the Truth that I know: "That Jesus is the One returning to rule His people. He came once to save all people from sins that separated us from the righteous God. And He will come again, this time, to judge the world."

"For the Lord is coming to judge the earth, He will judge the world with justice, and the nations with fairness." - Psalm 98:9

As I took a shot of that beautiful sunrise this morning in front of our house, I thought about how many days have gone by that many souls are still not saved and have not known His offer of salvation.

Oh God, thank You for Your patience. Thank You for saving us from going to hell, because You sent Your One and only Son to die for our sins. I pray many more will be able to see and hear Your offer of salvation. I pray for those of us, who have already tasted how good You are, how faithful Your love really is, how unfathomable Your kindness, love and grace are, to set our minds, not on temporal things but on heavenly treasures. Give us Lord the boldness, Your divine wisdom and protection, for us to be able to share Your gift with others who haven't opened it. I praise You Lord for Your true promises. Thank You for Your future return and may we be always ready, anytime, anywhere. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

"13Brothers, we do not want you to be ignorant about those who fall asleep, or to grieve like the rest of men, who have no hope. 14We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. 15According to the Lord's own word, we tell you that we who are still alive, who are left till the coming of the Lord, will certainly not precede those who have fallen asleep. 16For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. 17After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. 18Therefore encourage each other with these words." - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 [NIV]

So...which side are you on? It's not too late. RETURN to Jesus before He returns!!!

The Hole

I felt sleepiness taking control of my tired body, as I was praying, "Lord, fan the flames in my heart for You..." Nearing the door that led to dream land, I felt a sudden stirring in my spirit, that roused me. I felt an urgency to pray. To pray for someone. To pray about something. That I didn't know. I became antsy. To the point that I felt a surge of creepiness. Of like an impending doom in a spiritual realm.

"Lord, help me..."

Until something was recalled in my memory. It happened at work last night. Few hours after I arrived and preparing to volunteer to pull the medications from that million-dollar worth machine that would prepare all the inmates' medications for the morning and noontime doses, I received that call. There was a female inmate complaining of chest pain. "Send her down," I uttered, as I pulled out my own stethoscope from my transparent bag.
Photo Credit

She sat there quietly. Reviewing her medical chart, I read she had some mental health issue. She was placed on suicide watch before. But there was no record of any cardiac related problem. Her vital signs were normal. She admitted to a history of anxiety. Despite feeling the certainty that she wasn't having a heart attack, I made her lay down on the exam table and explained that I needed to do an EKG. A thin curtain divided us from the sharp observation of the Clinic Deputy to give her a little privacy. There it was. An eerie stare from her that followed my every moves. Stare that didn't scare me. But penetrated my spirit feeling that she was in deep trouble. That there was another source of this chest pain. The EKG reading came back normal.

I motioned for her to go back to the waiting area. Contemplating on whether I was going to violate some personal zones, I decided to ask her anyway through the thick glass partition window:

"Why are your eyes red? Like you just cried? Is there something bothering you?"

I asked her already those questions during my initial assessment. To which she denied. Except this time, coupled with that weird stare, she looked at me directly in the eyes and answered, "Yes."

"Another cellie [inmate sharing cell with her]?"

"No, Ma'am."

"Custody?"


She shook her head "no."

"Well then, how can I help you? Because you don't have true heart problems. What's eating in your heart is what's causing your pains," I explained.

She avoided my direct eye contact this time. Softly, she whispered, "I'll be okay, Ma'am." Then, she requested for her yellow pass so she could go back to her unit. Back to the hole that was making her anxious and stressed out every time.

Realizing I needed to pray for this woman, despite the whole day that had passed by, I did. I felt better after asking the Lord to intervene for whatever needs or problems she was going through. The impending doom sensation was replaced with calmness. And 2 Timothy 1:6 suddenly flashed in my mind. I didn't know what it was. So, I got up and took my Bible:

"This is why I remind you to fan into flames the spiritual gift God gave you when I laid my hands on you."

Here, Paul was encouraging Timothy to persevere as he was ordained to start a ministry. He received special gifts of the Spirit to make him be able to serve the church. He didn't need to obtain new gifts. He just needed to hang on to the truth and to use those gifts to step boldly in faith and share the Good News.

Like Timothy, we are all given different gifts by the Spirit. May we be all sensitive to the needs of others around us and be able to share His gift of salvation boldly. God will enable us and strengthen us only if we are willing to be His instruments in bringing the Good News to those who are still lost. May we be that sturdy kind of ropes that God sends down to those who have fallen and remain to be in a hole. Like when we used to be...

Miracles



Feeling the familiar ache on my right upper back, I donned my shades to protect my eyes from the glare of the already blistering sun. I looked at my rear view mirror and saw the electronic gate remained opened behind me, as another staff's car was waiting for me to clear for their turn to get out of our gated staff parking.

We had a good night despite the few doctor's orders my co-worker and I had finished in a short period of time. Most of the staff was relaxed, chatting and sharing jokes, remembering scary episodes at work or simply just browsing in the Internet.

"Thank You Lord!" I prayed as I guided my steering wheel steadily to turn my car to an on ramp of the freeway that would lead me home. "Thank You for the quiet night we had." As I turned on the soft music, my mind wandered about how many miracles that God constantly had shown me in every day that passed by.

No! I'm not dying of cancer. Nor did I die and was given another chance [almost at one time but that would be another story]... As I learned to trust in Him, He had proven time and time again, that He is alive and that His promises stand true up to this day! He proves them to me through all these life's miracles that if I am walking away from Him, would hardly be noticed by my mind and heart.

These were the past miracles:

When I accepted Him into my heart, same time with my husband...

When my son at 8 years of age, understood what it meant to accept Jesus into his heart as my oldest Christian brother shared Jesus with his young mind.

I saw His miracle in 1997 when I hurt my neck in the hospital and when the doctor told me to get out of Nursing, He brought me to the prison to remain as a nurse, when I cried out to Him in prayer.

I saw His miracle when my husband got out of the US Navy and wanted to help me be there for our child and in desperate times while he was out of work, He had shown the job that he wanted to join when I picked up the Sunday newspaper that I usually never bought and the ad needed applicants right away. He got hired right away!

I saw His miracle when my father was dying from colon cancer and he had shown tremendous strength and joy amidst that painful trial. I saw happiness from his eyes when he looked forward to going Home and promised me that he would wait for me, when my own time comes.

And He continues to show me more:

I see His miracle when in just a matter of minutes, He helps me find His Word or video that will apply to what He inspires me to write in my blog.

I see His miracle when I know that His guidance and discernment are working in my child's life.

I see His miracle when all of us are able to get through the day, unharmed, provided for with our needs, and given peace during life's trials.

I see His miracle when friends pray for each other, even in this blog world.

I see His miracle when our prayers are answered and in other instances, we remain waiting yet in that silence, hearts of friendships have grown closer, love and concern displayed through either material or non-material things.

I see His miracle that I am able to finish my work, despite the little aches and pains, He sustains me with His strength and comfort.

I see it when amidst sinful environment, He protects me and guards me in my ways.

I see it when pregnant inmates choose to keep their babies and not have abortion.

And so many other things that may seem little but truly are God's gift of His miraculous ways. Glory be to You Oh Lord, God of miracles!!!

And His best miracle in each of our lives, is His invitation to accept His gift of salvation. We are all sinners in need of a Savior.

Learning To Be Contented

"And this same God who takes care of me will supply all your needs from his glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:19

I knew right away at first glance that she was not lying. Constantly rubbing her upper stomach area, she kept complaining of burning pain that just wouldn't go away. She just wanted help to make her more comfortable. Not in a demanding way. More of a pleasant request, allowing me to intervene to the best of my ability.

I gave her a white concoction of 3 medications that usually treat any epigastric discomfort. With complete submission, she downed it despite the awful taste that coated her tongue as soon as the liquid touched her mouth. She quickly flushed the medication with a small cup of water I gave with it. Few minutes later, I saw her grimacing more and seemed to be in distress. Yet, she never came up to the window to demand to be sent to the hospital.

I loved helping those kind of inmates. They were the kind that never abused the system. They were the ones who seemed to be contented with the kind of treatment they were getting, despite the delay, or inadequate relief for their suffering.

I phoned the on-call physician and relating with him the symptoms I noted on my own, at first, he didn't want me to send the inmate to the ER. But he changed his mind when I kept telling him that she looked more in distress. He gave me a "go" signal. No rush. Just with our transportation deputy.

With tears falling down on her cheeks, she thanked me and breathed a sigh of relief when I informed her that she was going to see the doctor. She uttered a soft but warm "thank you" and sat back down on one of the plastic chairs and quietly rubbed her stomach. I knew she would be patient to wait for the deputy but I reassured her. She thanked me for my kind gesture. Little did she know, I was the one who should thank her for her contentment. By seeing her not whine and tried to endure and be contented with all the efforts I did, she reminded me of Paul, the apostle. The man in love with Jesus who learned to be satisfied through all circumstances that he faced.

"How grateful I am, and how I praise the Lord that you are concerned about me again. I know you have always been concerned for me, but for a while you didn't have the chance to help me. Not that I was ever in need, for I have learned how to get along happily whether I have much or little. I know how to live on almost nothing or with everything. I have learned the secret of living in every situation, whether it is with a full stomach or empty, with plenty or little. For I can do everything with the help of Christ Who gives me the strength I need." - Philippians 4:10-13
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Oh Lord, with us living in this world full of discontent: discontent with laborious or low paying jobs, discontent with spouses, discontent with our looks, and I can go on and on, please help us learn contentment, the way Paul discovered it. Help us to have confidence and strength that comes from You. Help us to remain trusting in only You. That is the only way to be contented no matter what is going on around us. Thank You Lord for all of Your provisions. Please forgive me for the times that I have complained and was just focused on the gifts, instead of You, the Giver. Thank You Lord for always being merciful, for Your faithful love and grace. In Jesus' Name. Amen.



By the way, that inmate came back all smiling and felt much better after the doctor gave her something stronger for pain. She was diagnosed with gallstones. Then, we went from there and knew what advices to give her prior to sending her back to her unit. And our jail doctor would see her again for a follow up treatment.

CPR

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"The focus in revival is Jesus Christ, not revival. A genuine revival is characterized by a fresh revelation of the grace, greatness, and glory of Jesus Christ." - Mark Stibbe

There it is….an old book I have to read every two years before my CPR expires. It’s time again…So, I’ve been cramming last night. Reviewing techniques, sequence, ratios, and other pertinent things that have slowly faded in my memory bank, in between these past two years. It’s not often we have “Code Blue’s” at work. But when the need arises, of course, every nurse in the prison must work together to save a precious life. So, it’s just right to review and be reminded of the skills that we must not forget.

Tomorrow, I’m off to our annual training. The first part of the day is usually spent with our doctors and other staff taking turns, educating us if there’s anything new that is going on with correctional healthcare. We get a lunch break. Then, the remaining half of the day we spend on the floor, by ourselves and then, by two’s, practicing CPR skills on a dummy. Maintaining a patent airway is very crucial and if pulseless, then, that’s when chest compressions are initiated. But there has to be a right depth, right rhythm, right ratio…I’m already tired thinking about it because I know it will feel like a real scenario. But I know I must be refreshed. It’s vital and necessary.

Becoming saved does not stop there. I used to think “I’m fine, I’m saved. I’m going to heaven.” Amen! Then, I wanted to glorify the Lord through writing and I discovered this blog world. Met a lot of sisters/brothers in Christ. Blessed by their own writings as well. Unfortunately, it's not all about that. To mature in Christ is a continuous, lifelong process. Not just being saved and meeting other Christians.

It's not just about prayer and sharing that help us grow in our faith. We need to also exercise or "flex" our spiritual muscles that God gave. However, we have that need to be connected with each other. And that relationship as His family and church is very real!

We need discipline to keep growing in His knowledge.

"Do not waste time arguing over godless ideas and old wives' tales. Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important, for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. This is true, and everyone should accept it. We work hard and suffer much in order that people will believe the truth, for our hope is in the living God, who is the Savior of all people, and particularly of those who believe." - 1 Timothy 4:7-10

I admit, I am a big work in progress, like you. As we become a blessing to each other through our blogs and prayers, may we all be encouraged to keep growing and mature in Christ, through the different spiritual gifts we learn from each other. How true is that saying "no pain, no gain!" But with Christ, the pain we endure helps us to grow in our faith. It is a good kind of pain if we choose to suffer with Christ.

"Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily hinders our progress. And let us run with endurance the race that God has set before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish." - Hebrews 12:1-2

So, meet you here? Same place, same time? To seek our Lord Jesus daily and repent for our sins, and continue to practice CPR [Christ's Powerful Revival] as his family. And while you're here, I just want you to know I'm so grateful to have met you and thank you for your prayers and friendships. May God bless all of you richly and to Him be the glory in everything that we do!

Don't Believe The Lies

Nearing our night shift yesterday morning, I got up from where I was sitting to help my co-worker who was assigned to see an inmate being wheeled by a deputy on a guerney. This inmate was complaining of “severe dizziness”.

His medical history recorded how he just came back from the hospital couple of days ago, treated for ingesting an illegal substance and for dehydration.

The balls of his eyes were constantly rolling upward as he laid his head against the thick wall. As I approached the other nurse, she looked unsure of what next step to do.

“May I help you with anything?,” I asked her.

“Check this out Rcubes. What do you think? He’s so dizzy but all his vital signs are normal. His blood pressure is a normal high,” she answered.

Hearing that the vital signs were normal, especially the blood pressure, without any other known medical conditions, I already had a gut feeling that this inmate was faking. When dehydrated, blood pressure usually dips down as some of them don’t drink enough water in the prison.

“Nurse Rcubes, this is legit!” commented the deputy.

“Hmmm…I wouldn’t say that yet,” I replied as I made some head movement suggesting he was not sick.

He looked at me baffled why I didn’t believe him when he saw everything when he went down on the floor as he tried to walk in his unit.

“Have you tried doing a postural blood pressure readings?” I suggested to the other nurse.

“You’re right! Now, we’ll know for sure!” she exclaimed as the male inmate slightly opened his eyes and wondered what I meant for that kind of test. He started rolling his eyes again. There was no nausea nor vomiting. We told him to get up. Leaning upon the walls, he walked in a slanted position and down he fell on the floor, his head almost hitting a big trash bin, but he immediately avoided it. The 2 deputies immediately ran to help him get up. I just smiled and didn’t say anything. I knew the other nurse saw me and felt why I just smiled and didn’t seem concerned a bit. The deputy still looked at me and wondered why I wasn’t doing anything to help this inmate.

All the blood pressure readings and the pulses were not widened. They were all normal as I started giving the report to the daytime nursing supervisor. We decided to keep him in the back cell until the jail doctor arrived. Not saying anything yet to the supervisor, except the blood pressure readings, when she saw the inmate got up and pretended he would fall again, she uttered loudly, “Oh my God! I haven’t seen any drama like this!”

And the deputy looked at me and finally got it that I was right about this inmate faking the whole thing. He wasn’t dizzy. He wanted to go to the hospital so he could be given something for his drug seeking habits.

We don’t need to believe everything this world says. Our beliefs and faith in One true God Who is the Truth would help us discern the lies this world brings. This world is ruled by our spiritual enemy Satan and his angels. Everything he wants is to keep us, believers apart from God’s truth. His goal is to deceive everyone. Proverbs 14:12 - “There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death.”

But Jesus said to the people who believed in him, “You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” - John 8:31-32

I have learned from this life’s journey that some things in the past will not help me to keep pressing on, the future I’m completely unaware of what’s to occur. But He does. I have no option but to look up and know that His ways and thoughts are truly higher than ours. What this world says, I don’t believe because the enemies are making sure to try everything to thwart God’s purpose in my life. But thanks be to God, I [we] have His mighty power and might, His armor to wear to guard me against all evil ways.

“So humble yourselves before God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw close to God and God will draw close to you.” - James 4:7-8

I enjoy watching cloud formations on different days. But lately, I have been noticing clear, cloudless blue skies. As I was sweeping the leaves in the front yard, I took this picture because it reminds me, aside from the truth that He is higher than us and that He knows and sees everything, God is not God of disorder but of peace. [1 Corinthians 14:33]. He is God of clarity...



“I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” - Psalm 121:1-2

Use What's Given

I could still feel the adrenaline rush from most of my co-workers working PM shift last night [Friday], as I got to work and placed my transparent purse with all my nursing tools. Everyone was talking about the “Code Blue” they had prior to my arrival in a particular unit and how the male inmate almost didn’t make it.

Fortunately, it was a great group working together last night and one of the particular nurses who was a Trauma Nurse outside, adeptly coordinated the life-saving effort to revive this man who shot up some heroin into his arm. But I also wanted to commend each of those nurses, some who might not be a trauma nurse, but all of them had special skills they contributed to help in that tug-of war they were in, to save this man between life and death.

I often wondered how much I am able to contribute each night that I am at work. Not only at work, but also with my family, with my loved ones and other places. Working in the prison now for almost 11 years, some of the skills I had learned from Orthopedics I must have forgotten, even lost.

That is what’s going to happen if our God-given talents or abilities are not used. We must not feel inferior to anyone though. Because God had given each of us special skills to use for His glory. So, we must never underestimate our capabilities.

We must be all working together, coordinating a life-saving effort to those walking around us who are spiritually dead. Only the life-saving power of Christ could revive anyone. Jesus came to share about God and His Kingdom and while he was away now for a while, us, followers, should be productive and faithful during His temporary absence.

“But how can they call on him to save them unless they believe in him? And how can they believe in him if they have never heard about him? And how can they hear about him unless someone tells about him?” ~ Romans 10:14 [NLT]

“Yes,” the king replied, ‘but to those who use well what they are given, even more will be given. But from those who are unfaithful, even what little they have will be taken away.” - Luke 19:26

What are your special talents and abilities? How can you use them for God’s work in this world? Let us use our talents or they will diminish!

Lord, help us and continue to guide us with Your divine wisdom. Protect us Lord against the works of evil. Give us the boldness and the courage to be able to share the Good News to those who are perishing. I was like them before Oh, Lord. Thank You for saving us. I pray for Your mercy despite the many rebellion that continues to be displayed from many stubborn hearts. Help us Lord to be productive with what You have given us. Help us determine what they are. Remind us about a young boy who had just 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes, yet, with everything that he had, his faith found that key that made him surrender all he has gotten to Your hands. Give us the strength Lord to press on until You return. May everything we do, be done in Your glory.

May Your will be done Lord! Thank You for Your love and mercy! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


Rests

"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop." - Ovid quotes

The luminous sun ray on the right side of the car blinded me only to make me turn my head to the left and saw my son walking toward the car as soon as the school bell warned the end of the Friday session. I heard my husband, who took a day off and sitting behind me grew quieter as if he was a “jack in the box” hiding in this box, waiting to give my son that surprise!

My child smiled at me. Walking happily, despite the heavy backpack strapped on both of his shoulders. I saw that sign of relief on his facial expression after this grueling week of exams and other homework that made him coop up most of the time in his bedroom. Burning the midnight oil, as long as he could, trying to understand the subjects well ahead for his years.

“Just relax this weekend, okay?” I suggested when he opened the side door and hopped in.

“Yes, mom. But I still have a lot of homework for this weekend,” he quickly replied.

“That’s okay. But rest for now. Try to recover, then, study whenever you feel ready,” I replied.

My husband agreeing the whole time and adding his fatherly love and care for his beloved child.


my son resting after lots of exams


That’s what I’ve been doing now. Since getting hurt. I told sister Denise, I vacuum. Rest. Wash a load of laundry. Then, rest. Iron. Rest. Cook dinner. Rest. More rests in between when I used to finish 10 tasks in only a matter of hours. Not anymore. I’m only taking one thing at a time. Trying not to get injured more. Knowing my limitations.

But in those periods of rests, God had gotten my attention. To listen more to His advice. To re-evaluate if everything that I do have more weight for eternal results, than temporary ones. That with my life’s exams or tests, come both success and failures. These periods of rests becoming more crucial now to me to determine if I have been carrying unnecessary backpack of burdens that I need to hand back to Jesus.

“Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke fits perfectly, and the burden I give you is light.”
~ Matthew 11:28-30

I thank God for these periods of rests in Him. Because His rests bring healing, love and peace.

The Veil

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The other night, I visited my friend and while watching Larry King interviewed Bill Maher [not that I like to watch any tv shows], it grieved me to hear how much Bill Maher had hurtful things to say about Sarah Palin. How he projected her as ignorant just because she avoided media interviews. How he thought of her as a scary leader because she uttered she was online talking with her spiritual friends/warriors, praying for her. He made fun of her because she believed in angels and demons. He mentioned something about Moses’ dropping the heavy tablets of the Ten Commandments but I didn’t understand what he was trying to say because he started making fun of it.

I used to be that way. I made fun of my oldest brother who was on fire for the Lord when he turned to Christ. Everything that came out of his mouth, I laughed. All the Scriptures he mentioned, I thought of him losing his sanity. When he talked about spiritual battles, and of demons, I thought about how much he fantasized about things. That “this religion” is not good!

“But God shows his anger from heaven against all sinful, wicked people who push the truth away from themselves. For the truth about God is known to them instinctively. God has put this knowledge in their hearts.” - Romans 1:18-19

We are all, unfortunately, the same. We are all SINNERS! How can we quickly think of others as full of flaws when we don’t have to go that far. Just look into ourselves. We have our own! Perhaps, even worse! Pride…Lust…Adultery…Lying…Murder…And others…

Oh how I wept when I came to the end of one road and just knew I couldn’t continue to walk all alone! That I needed Someone to guide me, strengthen me and release me from the bondages that had a hold on my soul. I knew there was a war going on. That I wasn't making fun of my brother...I was making fun of Jesus!!! I’m grateful that He found a lost soul like me…He showed His love and mercy to me...

“It’s like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now.” - 1 Corinthians 13:11,12

God is complete. Represented by Jesus. It’s us who lack understanding. One day, when we all see God and see Him face to face, everything will be revealed. This alone, a glimpse of what’s in store should give us, believers, the hope and strength that we need to continue to press on. To endure. To bless those who hurt us, instead of being angry. To pray for them instead that the veil is removed on their hearts, so that the Lord’s Good News they can clearly see…

“But the people’s minds were hardened, and even to this day whenever the old covenant is being read, a veil covers their minds so they cannot understand the truth. And this veil can be removed only by believing in Christ. Yes, even today when they read Moses’ writings, their hearts are covered with that veil, and they do not understand.” - 2 Corinthians 3:14

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Lord, if it grieved me to see so many who are still not willing to repent and turn to you, who are full of pride and hardened hearts, I can’t imagine how it must feel for You. For You, Oh God, have been patient so that many of us can be saved through Jesus. Help us Lord to remember that with You, a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years is like a day. Help us know in our hearts that You aren’t being slow about Your promise to return, as some people think but that You are being patient for our sake. [2 Peter 3:8,9] Because You, Oh Lord, God of love, doesn’t want anyone to perish. I pray Oh Lord that many more will turn to Jesus and let Jesus be the Lord of their lives. Lord, please remove the veils in so many, many people who still don’t know You, that they may see the brightness and let Your light in, into their dark hearts and minds. Thank You Lord for Your love, Your mercy and grace. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

The Surprise Visit

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He was a lot taller than the Sergeant walking right behind him. I just walked in few minutes earlier and started filing away charts to help the medical secretaries, since I couldn’t find any seat yet in each of the computer station, as PM shift neared its end.

The Infirmary Deputy popped open the security door and he came in, beaming with a big smile and with a loud voice, greeted “Hello!” to everyone. Everyone was fazed.

“Who is he?” asked one of the nurses, while the look on everyone’s face was filled with curiosity, some with the threatening return gesture of ignorance and coldness to someone not familiar to them. He shook the hands of a co-worker near where I was.

“How are you, Sir?” I smiled back even if I didn’t recognize him. But I didn’t give my hands though he anticipated for me to approach him and would do so.

“I’m great! I hope you guys are, too!” he replied back with an even wider smile.

“Who are you? We don’t know you!” courageously asked one of my co-workers.

“I’m Mr. ___,” he replied, as if he was just a regular guy who happened to decide one night to visit the prison.

The curious eyes tried to look for the stripes on his shirt. There were none. And off he went to see the deputy in the back. As everyone continued to wonder who this mysterious visitor was.

As one nurse opened the pictures of the higher-ranking officials, she excitedly pointed at this man’s picture:

“There he is! Oh, my God! He is one of those top officials, right below the Sheriff!!! No wonder, it seemed like he was familiar to me somehow,” she exclaimed.

“It’s a good thing we are busy and I’m not surfing the net!” exclaimed the other.

I just smiled. I knew I didn’t have to worry about anything, whether we get surprise visits or not. I will do the same tasks, whether there’s a boss or not around…

How about you? Are you ready when Jesus comes back for a surprise visit? No one knows when it is going to be. But those who trust and believe in him and obey Him have nothing to worry about. But for those who have rejected Him, His surprise return would be terrible!   

“See, I am coming soon, and my reward is with me, to repay all according to their deeds. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”
- Revelation 22:12-13 

“And I saw a great white throne, and I saw the one who was sitting on it. The earth and the sky fled from his presence, but they found no place to hide. I saw the dead, both great and small, standing before God’s throne. And the books were opened, including the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to the things written in the books, according to what they had done. The sea gave up the dead in it, and death and the grave gave up the dead in them. They were all judged according to their deeds. And death and the grave were thrown into the lake of fire. This is the second death - the lake of fire. And anyone whose name was not found recorded in the Book of Life was thrown into the lake of fire.” -  Revelation 20:11-15

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas.” - Hebrews 13:8,9

“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.” - Philippians 2:8-10


Forgiving During This Invisible War

“God always answers in the deep, never in the shallows of our soul.” ~ Anonymous

Working at the prison’s Intake for many years when I was new brought so many different kinds of memories. Some were challenging [or most of them]. Some so tough that I just felt like giving up. Some were even tougher that I knew I survived, had it not for divine providence. Some were helpful for my own growth pertaining to my assessment, my interventions, or my autonomy with my decisions. But there were those memories that evoked hurt. Shame. Pain. Guilt. Doubts. Anger. The hunger for justice.

“Stop flashing your breasts!” I yelled so loud that the deputies nearby came rushing to my side.

There was this young inmate. So beautiful. Appearing so harmless because of the gentle nature. The way the words were spoken from the well-shaped lips. The way gestures were done with long, slim fingers. Imprisoned for the murder committed by those candle-like fingers. Deputies were always careful to search every crevices of that body. As many razor blades were adeptly hidden in those spots where no one would have imagined that it could be hidden. Attempting many suicidal thoughts by slashing the already well-scarred wrists, claiming many medical emergencies when self-mutilation was done, it became a habit. This inmate was a beautiful appearing woman. On the outside. The physical appearances of a woman enveloped in a man’s body. He was close to having surgery done to change his genital organs. But he killed someone.

He learned the system well. If he got bored in his cell, he would do anything to hurt himself so he could be housed in one of the Suicide Watch cells in Intake. Because he knew many male bodies arrive every minutes. And that was his pleasure.

During one of those watches, that was when I caught him alluring the newly-arrested bodies formed in a line. And he got in trouble! We decided to house him in a particular cell where there was a very tiny window and he wouldn’t be able to see nor be seen because it was only the staff who had the control of that window…And he grew silent. He learned a lesson. That his acts were unacceptable. He learned that he was causing embarrassment, not only to himself, but also to staff and to those who were being disgusted by his weird behavior. And he stopped. For a while. Until he was transferred to another state prison.
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9/11 remembrance. It was not over. This memory always must resurface. Because this memory was too painful to Americans. To those who suffered precious loss of lives so dear to them. Too hurtful because it was a deliberate act of murder to those innocent ones. I did post about God’s love that we must learn to forgive. But how do we do it when such acts seem forgiveness is just an impossible thing to do?

Letting an offender off the hook encourages him to repeat the same style of behavior again. And again. Yes, God does command us to love Him first, then love others. No bias. Other. Anyone. When something like this happens, a crack between relationships occur. It widens. Until there’s no closeness even and the separation so great that there seems to be no hope with reconciliation. We pretend sometimes that the hurt will not last. Wounds heal. And that people change. But we miss an opportunity to experience the joy of honest love, forgiveness and reconciliation if we keep on doing so. With God, there is balance in everything. We should not tolerate sins yet be able to forgive and rebuke at the same time only if coupled with His love.

We can openly rebuke at times, if only the offenders can understand that being rebuked is a way of honoring them. Because rebuke makes them think and be accountable for their actions. It is a way of honoring them, not fanning the flame of anger nor fury. It is a way of making them weigh and look into their inner selves to understand clearly what they have done. Other times, we must pray. Jesus did it on the cross:

“Father, forgive them for they do not know what they do.” - Luke 23:34

Only God knows. Only God can bring the wounded ones toward the path of healing. Only God can bring those responsible ones to repentance. But two things are for sure, we do not close our eyes to sins that are more serious than we want to believe and our Christ-like faith does not mean believing whatever we want to believe. It is believing what His Word says. And obedience as being true followers of Jesus is after all, our duty! Fight? Yes, we must fight! For His truth and for His glory alone! Not for anyone's self-interest.  For we are engaged in this spiritual struggle until the Lord returns! To God be the glory forever and ever!

“But you offer forgiveness, that we might learn to fear you.” ~ Psalm 130:4


“…and forgive us our sins, just as we have forgiven those who have sinned against us.”
- Matthew 6:12


“With my authority, take this message of repentance to all the nations, beginning in Jerusalem: ‘There is forgiveness of sins for all who turn to me.” ~ Luke 24:47


“For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.” ~ Ephesians 6:12


“Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Pray at all times and on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers for all Christians everywhere.” -Ephesians 6:17-18

Love Is The Answer

9 years ago, these were the different entries in my journal I kept for my child:

my journal entry on 9/11/01


“Today, America was waken up by the cold-blooded murders of innocent people…..”

“Daddy [my hubby] woke me up and called me from his cell phone. He broke the news about this evil act of terrorism. He was riding in one of the Metrolink trains, bound for his work as _____ [someone who loves to serve and protect this country’s freedom]. I hated the fact that you [my son] would wake up to this kind of violence…”

“This tragic event would change America’s history - forever…”


How do you just explain to a very young mind, waking up to that evil act in front of the tv set, that somehow, some enemies found some vulnerabilities in America, where they could intentionally harm it and its people. Land of the free. Land of equality…?”

the gruesome headline that morning


Some wounds heal. Some wounds don’t. This is the kind of wound that America had sustained from its political and spiritual enemy. It cut so deep that Americans’ hearts would be forever marred. But I believe that through “love”, wounds do heal. The scar would forever be there. But I believe….love is the answer:
For love is not biased……It’s the people who choose to be unfair.

Love is never cold….It’s the people who choose to be unresponsive and lack with enthusiasm.

Love is a special gift…It’s the people who choose not to share it with others.

Love can spread and be infectious….It’s the people who choose not to communicate it.

And “God” is love…It’s the people who choose not to recognize His greatest attribute…

“Listen to me, all you who are left in Israel. I created you and have cared for you since before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime - until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you. To whom will you compare me? Who is my equal?” - Isaiah 46:4-5

“O Israel, how can you say the Lord does not see your troubles? How can you say God refuses to hear your case? Have you never heard or understood? Don’t you know that the Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth? He never grows faint or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to those who are tired and worn out; he offers strength to the weak. Even youths will become exhausted and young men will give up. But those who wait on the Lord will find new strength. They will fly high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.” - Isaiah 40:27-30




Father God, I remember all the pain, all the hurt that morning. It still comes to mind as fresh as it was 9 years ago. Because I know this nation wept. Because I know You wept.

Lord, to those who lost their loved ones on that day, please cover them with Your strength and comfort. To those who have been enveloped with fear, please sustain them with the courage that comes from Your powerful hands.

Lord, please protect us and continue to guide us, as we continue to walk in our own journeys. Despite the pain, despite the wounds, help us grow in Your likeness. Help us share Your faithful and unconditional love with those who don't know or acknowledge You. Guide the leaders Lord in this country and give us a revival in all of our hearts. To know You. To seek You. To turn back to you. And turn away from all those things that do not glorify You.

Lord, help the people of this great nation to come together and because of Your love, be united instead of being divided out of all our differences. Help us not wait until another tragedy comes to be united. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Survival Seminar

I forgot…today would be the second day for my husband to attend the “Street Survival” seminar. An important seminar for those who are serving in the law enforcement that inspire or motivate them, not only to survive but to win. Not to win as in power struggle. But to win against the bad elements in different areas in our society.

The “I love you” I often uttered was held this morning as I handed him a freshly-brewed cup of coffee. A little misunderstanding we had from the previous night we both nursed in our hearts and grew worse as nighttime fell. I watched his quiet steps disappear into darkness, as the cold air brushed against my face.

I ran upstairs and I knew I needed to talk to the One Who had been hurt, watching the both of us act this way. And the hurt slowly melted away as His Word talked to my spirit. I just knew. The ugly things of this worldly ways I was programmed with, would always clash with the renewal of mind that would only come from Him. The kind that’s true. Honorable. Right. Pure. Lovely. Admirable. Excellent. Worthy of praise. And peace did come sweeping over me.

If my husband was going to a survival seminar, I knew I needed to do my own. To help my marriage survive. To help us win against the spiritual enemy who is always active in destroying what is good. To win?

“No!!!” Not to win.



“I am a winner!!!”
and so is my husband. Because of our faith. Because of Jesus.

“I’m sorry,” I uttered as I heard a soft sigh on the other end of the line. A little conversation. But precious and timely. We both knew our exchange of words would bring the healing. The forgiveness. The restoration.

“Take care. I love you,” I uttered as he did the same.

And my cell phone rested back on the ledge as I started charging it. I softly prayed:

“Thank You Lord for recharging us at times that we feel drained out from all the fights and trials we are facing daily. Thank You for Your Word. For Your guidance. For Your protection. Without You, we are not going to win. But because of You, we truly are winners! In Jesus’ Name. Amen.”

Even if my husband and I seldom have misunderstanding, I know we both must be aware of the survival techniques that comes from the Lord. To my hubby, I love you and thank you for always being there for me...

“And all of us have had that veil removed so that we can be mirrors that brightly reflect the glory of the Lord. And as the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more.” - 2 Corinthians 3:18


“And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again.” - Philippians 1:6


“The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”
- John 10:10


“A final word: Be strong in the Lord’s mighty power. Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies and tricks of the devil. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against the evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against those mighty powers of darkness who rule this world, and against wicked spirits in the heavenly realms.” - Ephesians 6:10-12

Fake Emergency

“I’ve been having this chest pain just this morning,” a middle aged female inmate stated in between her sobs, as the LVN and I took her vital signs. She never had any problem in her heart known and nothing was in her medical chart. Except, I noticed she often came if not in the Clinic, through the morning sick calls in her unit, to see the nurse for many different complaints.

“Okay, Ma’am, I’m going to try to do an EKG…” I barely explained and she cut me off.

“No! There’s no way that you’re gonna’ do that thing! I had it a while back and it made me shake!” she yelled as her tears continued to flow.

“Ma’am, there was nothing wrong with the machine if you felt that way. Because it wasn’t supposed to hurt,” I explained.This time, we determined everything was normal with her vital signs.

“You have the right to refuse but if you do so, I couldn’t do anything but send you back to your unit, no matter what happens because EKG would be the only thing I can use now to determine if there’s anything going on in your heart.”

Seeing the deputy nearby, she got up and stepped toward the medical exam room I opened and where I had prepared the table and the EKG machine awaiting to be used. The LVN [who was African and I described her race because of what would ensue] who was always a nice lady and always helpful to staff, especially with me as we both worked nights together before and had gone through many busy shifts helping each other, continued to assist me.

“I’m sorry, Ma’am, you need to remove your bra and your shirts so we can apply these sticky electrodes on the right spot!” I explained as I slightly closed the door and with just the LVN and I and her, gave her as much privacy I could.

She had a feat! She raised her hands up on the air and yelled, “Oh, what now? Am I supposed to go naked now? C’mon! I’m not in Africa!” she yelled. It was obvious to us, that she wasn’t having true chest pains for her to make it hard on the nursing staff from the beginning of her sick call. Demanding things she said she needed. Yet, she was refusing what we needed to do on our part. And I saw how offended my co-worker felt when she heard what she just uttered!

There’s just so much patience a person can have.

When I heard that as I was walking away, I made a u-turn and went back to the room and raised my voice.

“What did you just say?” I asked.

“Here we are going all through these troubles to help you out even though it’s obvious that you’re not having true medical emergencies. Yet, we try to respect you. And what did you just say?” I kept ranting.

“If we are respecting you, you must respect us, too!” I continued without pausing as she didn’t expect that and as she heard me say those things, she tried to be defensive with her tears and complaining again with chest pains. The Infirmary deputy heard me and she went inside. She heard how she was being a hard patient with us. She started yelling at her and told her to stop.

“Let me just finish the EKG deputy,” I stated. And it was normal. I signaled for the deputy to let her go. The deputy told her to get up and get dressed and she knew she could be in big trouble that I could put her on discipline, meaning limiting some of her privileges for faking her medical emergency. But I opted not to. I told the deputy she wasn’t the only one who manipulated the system to make it appear that they were having medical issues. They faked their conditions and used them to show the court that they were too sick that they might not be in the right state of mind to commit whatever crimes they did. Hoping that the judge would pardon them and perhaps, release them form the jail.

“All I need was a wheelchair!” I heard her tell the deputy.

“You don’t need it! You don’t need anything in fact! But you need to go to your unit and I’m going to call your deputy there so they know that all you did here was act up and cause troubles with the staff! If you do it again, you’ll be in big trouble,” she warned.

Don't we all at some point, try to manipulate God? Instead of following what He wants for us to do, we try to earn His love or favor by doing good deeds. Isn't that manipulation? There is nothing that we can do to make Him love us more or less. God can't be manipulated. He desires our true worship. He wants us to love Him with all of our hearts, all of our minds, all of our strength. We don't need to fake that we are doing well when we are truly broken inside and in need of a Savior. Freedom awaits to those who are willing to receive the sacrifice of a Savior. And obedience to God leads the way to that path toward freedom. We were His...Twice His!!!

RICE

I saw her grew quiet. Constantly rubbing the top of her right shoulder, her brows met together with a fretted look.

“Are you okay?” chorused my co-workers and I to our charge nurse.

“Just waiting for the Motrin to work,” she softly answered.

I covered her assignment for a couple of hours as she warned the PM shift that she would come in at 1:00 a.m. instead of the usual 11:30 start of her shift last night. Few minutes before 1 a.m., I saw her shadow emerged from the Female side of the Clinic as I responded to her buzzing the bell on the wall.

As she sat down on her familiar chair, she recounted her incident of falling earlier yesterday. She tripped in her home, and landed hard with her right arm, stretched outward. She felt pain, more like soreness. Like what I had written before, us, nurses, are being stubborn most of the time and waiting always for the symptoms to get worse before seeking medical help [you’d think we should know better]. She was not concerned as she didn’t feel severe pain and that she didn’t dislocate her shoulder.

Only an hour had passed since her arrival, the growing concern on her face was just plainly visible to us, her co-workers.

I had her lift the sleeve of her right arm. I noticed some swelling. Accepting my offer to wrap her arm with a compression bandage [Acewrap], I tried to recall my previous expertise of looping the elastic wrap without causing much pain to her already painful arm.

“Sorry, Rcubes. I think I need to go home early and would like to ask you if you can cover for me when I leave. I’m gonna’ go ahead and go to the Urgent Care. Thank you so much for wrapping my arm. It does feel better,” she commented.

“No! Go ahead! Leave if you need to,” we all said with concern. “I know the pain…” I added, as I told her about my own incident of hurting something on my upper back few weeks ago. It was not the same but the pain was much better. Where I hurt, was the same spot now for her source of discomfort that I could just relate so well. She felt better with all the caring wishes she received. I prayed silently for the Lord to heal her injury.

Things happen to all of us unexpectedly.  Death comes inevitably. Plans get ruined. Money and other resources become scarce. Relationships get broken. At times, these trials drive us to God. But we must not think that going to Him will make our trials and troubles go away or disappear just like that. If we think that way, then we will have the wrong desire to turn to God just so we can be relieved of all these sufferings.

God did offer comfort to all of us. He is after all, the Best Comforter.  His comfort is that kind that encourages us, strengthens us in our weaknesses, and gives us the hope when everything seems to be hopeless. His comfort helps us to learn how to endure. And as we do so, we, in turn, with the right set of mind, are able to comfort others as they go through their own trials. Especially if what they are going through is the same as what we had gone through.

“All praise to the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. You can be sure that the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.”

~ 2 Corinthians 1:3-5 


If you sustain any acute, soft tissue injury like sprain, strain or contusions, think about the acronym RICE.

REST - rest and protect the affected part

ICE- apply ice or frozen object like a bag of corn or peas sitting in your freezer. The cold prevents swelling. Do it for 20 minutes, three times a day for the first 48 hours.

COMPRESS- the affected area by using an elastic bandage [You’ll see those tan colored Ace wraps]. Make sure you don’t wrap the area too tight to prevent cutting off the circulation.

ELEVATE - put the area higher than your heart. Like raising the arm or leg by supporting it with a pillow or a rolled blanket. This also helps reduce the swelling.

Chicken Winged

“I got chicken winged by the deputy!” claimed a heavy set inmate in front of me, as he showed the hurting right arm.

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“What did you do or say, Sir, that prompted the deputy to do that with your arm?” I asked.

He chose to remain silent. His eyes glowing intensely with anger along with the throbbing pain he was feeling on his right arm, being twisted caused.

“See! Look! My right hand is swelling up now!” he exclaimed with a slightly raised voice.

The Infirmary Deputy stood nearby, guarding all his ways and keeping an eye on me, as I continued to assess the man’s right arm. I ordered for him to try to do all the necessary movements: rotate, flex, extend, to no avail. He claimed his pain was too much and just limited every attempt to move his upper extremity.

“Just watch it!” he warned….as he grew quiet. My eyes read his mind. I knew he had every bit of intention to sue. He felt violated.

Don’t they all say or plan that? These inmates always threaten us that we will be sued. But they don’t readily admit that they are not willing to follow the rules inside the prison. They know and memorize every right from Title 15... Yet, they have never even thought twice or many times to avoid committing a crime outside. They choose to hurt others. They choose to take advantage of others. But with slight pain which resulted from not listening, he was not willing to let go nor admit he was wrong in the first place.

It’s not easy when others have wronged us. In this country, every little offense feeds that hunger to sue. But as Christians, we should be reminded that we have the Holy Spirit and the mind of Christ. We must be willing to settle our disputes and differences among ourselves. Bringing our problems to courts who do not believe on Christian values sometimes, will make them insensitive to what we truly value. As followers of Christ, we must learn to focus on our purposes, not the problems.

“When you have something against another Christian, why do you file a lawsuit and ask a secular court to decide the matter, instead of taking it to other Christians to decide who is right? Don’t you know that someday we Christians are going to judge the world? And since you are going to judge the world, can’t you decide these little things among yourselves?” - 1 Cor.6:1-2

“But I don’t need to write to you about the Christian love that should be shown among God’s people. For God himself has taught you to love one another.” - 1 Thessalonians 4:9

“But you are not like that, for the Holy Spirit has come upon you and all of you know the truth.”
-1 Jn.2:20


"Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay," says the Lord." - Romans 12:19

That man’s arm was okay. I had the jail doctor followed up with him. His arm was not injured. His pride was. Knowing that he couldn’t do anything to fight back behind the prison walls. Not until he learns to follow the authority, those arms would always be chicken-winged here and there.

The Gash




I looked the second time around and noticed that his gash on his right upper eyelid was not bleeding. But when I tried to separate the laceration, I could see that it was a little deeper and did need some suturing. I knew that if we had the Dermabond [a special glue used for some lacerations], that was the only thing that I needed to close the cut up.

This young male inmate claimed that he got up and being sleepy, he got dizzy and fell and hit his head on a metal part somewhere in his unit’s bathroom. Clutching the bloodied towel with his right hand, he kept the pressure until the deputy had brought him down to the clinic so he could be evaluated.

“Sir, before I send you to ER, may I ask if someone tried to hit you in your unit?” I probed.

“No, ma’am. Everything’s cool there,” he answered with certainty as he maintained a good eye contact with me.

“I’m only concerned with your medical issues. But sometimes, some of you don’t like to say anything. And I want to help you out on that aspect,” I explained.

“Thank you but it’s fine, Ma’am,” he replied.

Few hours later, he returned from the county's ER. His deep gash then, was cleanly put together with Dermabond by the ER doctor.

As I took his vital signs before sending him back to his unit, he nervously asked the deputy, “Sir, can you move me to another unit?”

“Why?” the deputy queried. “You didn’t say anything earlier if anyone had hit you, so I couldn’t do anything now,” the deputy continued.

He looked at me. He didn’t say a word. He started to realize why I probed him earlier when I first treated him. It was too late at that time. Because he denied any assault from other cellmates.

“Talk to your unit deputy,” I uttered. “I can’t do anything about it. But the deputy can.”

“Sorry, Ma’am…And thank you,” he answered while his fingers fidgeted a little.

Is there something so deep that is bothering you now? Eating your heart out? We are all weak humans. But we can talk to the Deputy anytime, anywhere and ask for His help to make us win our battles. God’s mighty weapons are available to us as we fight against the unseen enemies: prayers, faith, hope, love, God’s Word can break down any proud, human arguments against God and can break down any barrier that the spiritual enemy had created to keep us from being effective in fulfilling His work in us. God's salvation is right in front of us. It's on people's lips and heart. "If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved." -Romans 10:9-10

“For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
- 2 Corinthians 10:3-5

Through Suffering

My right shoulder is feeling better friends. I seem to be more slow and take more time to accomplish things. But I am grateful that the Lord always gives me the strength that I need to finish the things that I need to fulfill, day after day. Thank you for all of your sweet thoughts and prayers. My right shoulder still gets achy, time to time. But in all of this, I am still thankful that through the pain, this is nothing compared to the suffering Christ had to go through in order to save me and you. I am continuing to rest. I might visit your sites once in a while and might not leave a comment. Through your written words inspired by the Lord, I am being strengthened, being encouraged, being inspired, and being pushed to keep trusting in the One Who is our sole security. Glory be to God!

Being Christians do not mean we are going to be rid of suffering. Suffering happens to all because of sins. But to live our lives with Christ, following Christ, that sets our journeys apart. For we know whether we are suffering or not, we are living our lives with a purpose. We are not living our lives in vain. May our journeys point others to our "Savior Who suffered the most in order for us to live..."



"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 Cor.4:7-12 [NIV]
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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