Many inmates get tattoos to make a statement. It makes them feel they belong to a certain group where they can be identified. Some state power with affiliations to some powerful gangs that run outside and inside the prison walls.
Yesterday, after my time with the Lord, I had gone off for my scheduled eye exam. By God’s grace, everything was the same. Except I still needed to get a pair of new specs as my old one’s coating started peeling. I needed to see!!!
When my loving hubby came home, he accompanied me to Lenscrafters in the mall nearby so I can have a new pair within just a few hours. After measuring everything and finding what I liked, we took a stroll around the mall to kill time as my glasses were being made. By the time we have went up and down the 2-story level, there was still 15 minutes remaining. So, instead of going back to Lenscrafters, we decided to turn to its right corner and saw some stores we haven’t seen before. C28...A store caught our eyes immediately. Looking like a shop for teenagers shirts, we looked closer and saw all the Word printed on their shirts, jeans, stickers, everything! It was a Christian store. The sweet, young lady said that it had been there for 8 years. Yet, we never knew. Why C28? It was taken from Colossians 2:8. So, they had a lot of products sharing the “NOT OF THIS WORLD” messages or “NOTW” for short. And yes, they share the Good News if given an opportunity and she said that some teenagers walked into that store and left...Saved. Glory to God!
As I woke up this morning, C28 was on my mind:
“Don’t let anyone lead you astray with empty philosophy and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the evil powers of this world, and not from Christ.” - Colossians 2:8
But let me back up and start from verse 6:
“And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to live in obedience to him.”
Verse 7: “Let your roots grow down into him and draw up nourishment from him, so you will grow in faith, strong and vigorous in the truth you were taught. Let your lives overflow with thanksgiving for all he has done.”
In relation to tattoos and body piercings, it is good to always ask God to bless that particular activity for His purposes [1 Corinthians 10:31 - “so whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God”]. But if there is a room for doubt whether it pleases God, then it’s best not to participate in that kind of activity. [Romans 14:23 - “But if people have doubts about whether they should eat something, they shouldn’t eat it. They would be condemned for not acting in faith before God. If you do anything you believe is not right, you are sinning.”].
Pray for wisdom and ask the Lord to provide pure motives and discernment.
1 Corinthians 10:23 - “You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’ - but not everything is helpful. You say, ‘I am allowed to do anything’ - but not everything is beneficial.”
Remember that we have a special tattoo when we came to Christ...Our new commitment to God is tattooed [written] on our hearts, not our bodies. ["When you came to Christ, you were circumcised, but not by a physical procedure. It was a spiritual procedure - the cutting away of your sinful nature. For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, Who raised Christ from the dead." - Colossians 2:11-12].
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].