The Wrong Order


No man can follow Christ and go astray.  ~William H.P. Faunce


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I knew the lady didn’t understand me when I ordered my drink from the drive-through.

“Coffee…Not mocha…frappuccino please….” I repeated.

I heard a slight giggle when she had her audio on…I thought I heard “Okay…Toffee…Mocha…”

True enough, as she was giving me the cold drink by the window and I was paying a little more, it was Mocha Frappuccino with toffee. I wanted the coffee. Simpler. Less sweet than the other one. On top of that…toffee was added.

She didn’t apologize. Except she said I didn’t have to pay for the drink and I should try it. Whether I liked it or not. I insisted for her to take the readied $5 on my left hand. Still. She acted like I didn’t say my order right. She was giving me back 3 quarters but I left it. In their tip jar.

“Try it…” she coaxed.

“I didn’t need to.” A positive reply I threw right back. Without anger.

“I knew what I wanted. Coffee Frappuccino. But thank you anyway.” I added.

With the temperature starting to soar, I moved forward and didn’t insist anymore on having the drink that I was craving for be made. I knew it was His presence guiding me all the way as I interacted with that lady. I didn’t need to be angry right away. That wasn’t my old self. My old self would have scolded her for not taking my order right. And I would perhaps, walked away with the drink corrected…And kept my $5 bill.

I hoped. She would be more careful. In taking the following orders after me. Having the courage to ask to have the order repeated if she didn’t understand. But most of all, to have the courage to apologize and accept the mistake done.

After all, no one is perfect…

And I? I would always be reminded of Who has been residing in me. In my temple. That it only became important because of God’s presence. How could I get angry with that lady? I was the same…I had so many sinful mistakes done in the past that Jesus took for me. He didn’t get angry. Instead, He willingly paid the price of taking away people’s sins on the cross by dying. And I or no one else would ever know the cost of my sins that Jesus took on the cross.

I looked at the frozen drink. Dumped into the sink. I didn’t feel bad wasting $5. Because I knew the reality. Jesus didn’t feel bad paying with His life for sinful souls like mine.So we could live and be free.

I saved that lady from being reprimanded by the manager.

Jesus saved me from the eternal fire…

The Inmate Worker In The Clinic Would Overcome

“Hi!”

A familiar voice echoed in the hallway. Coming from the very back of that unit near the Infirmary.

“How you doin’, Ma’am?”

“Oh, Hi Sir! I’m fine. Thanks. Busy as usual though I just got here…And you?”

He cracked a soft laughter. Managing the volume of his voice. Careful the sound would not go beyond from the space where we both were standing. I was getting a particular stock from our Supply Room. Him…Sitting in that corner where there was a table meant for Inmate Workers like him. On top of the table, there was a tier of papers or forms used to open charts for sick inmates. That was his duty and those who were there before him. To make charts from cleaned up, old ones. And then, wait for orders. If either Custody or Medical staff needs something to be cleaned up and other errands reserved for his role.

He must be sentenced for many months. Perhaps, years…As I saw him every weekend I tried to schedule myself. He was becoming familiar with every face that walked into that Clinic. Including mine. I could see and feel his reservation. Of whom to greet and not greet. But I usually tried not to wait. I always acknowledged him. And told him how grateful I was that he was keeping the areas in the Infirmary clean.
I didn’t have to know his crime. I just knew with the way he cleaned the areas around the Clinic patiently. Hours after hours. Only to clean again at the end of the day as other staff might not be conscious of keeping our own areas neat. I always saw him with a friendly grin. A smile most of the time even when being told to do a particular duty. I could sense he wanted to change. I could sense the hunger inside him. Wanting to do good. Holding a mop or a broom with bare, callous hands that once held guns in the street. The respectful words he tried to utter every time someone walked into his domain. Instead of cursing.
He was looking down. Staring at the open chart he initiated as he tried to gather the needed forms.

“Excuse me, Sir!”

“Can you do me a favor?”

“Sure, Ma’am.”

“Can you help me with this inmate in the wheelchair that needed a dressing change? It’s not possible for him to get into the exam table.”

“Oh yeah! I know him. I always help him out and I know he doesn’t mind me helping him. He told me he appreciates my help.”

“I do, too.”

“Ready? One. Two. Three.” The paralyzed inmate used his strong, muscular arms to keep him stable from that transfer as the other inmate worker helped him with his lower legs.

The inmate worker turned his back. He understood his part was done and he didn’t have any business during the dressing change. Not like outside the streets. When he wanted to hear anything going on so he could preserve his life from those wanting him killed. Better yet...To make the hit even before his surrounding enemies get him...

“Thank you, Sir.” I added as he made that quick u-turn. The paralyzed inmate thanking him, too, at the same time.

“You’re a big help!”

He replied with just a smile. But I saw the reflection from his weary face. He was proud of being able to help out others. He was proud of the change that started in his heart. He saw the goodness of being able to love instead of hate. He saw the reality of being useful instead of living without a purpose.

My dressing change had long been done. As I saw the familiar figure then with a few charts already made on his table. I silently prayed for him. I knew he needed God’s strength in order for him to move on. And pursue the change he wanted. I knew he would overcome. But not by his own power.

But of God’s…

I invite you to listen to this song "Overcome" by Jeremy Camp. I pray this will encourage you in your life's journey and that of my own. We all face trials. But despite the tribulations in this world, it is true that we can have peace because of what Jesus had already done... Jesus "overcame" the world!!! And as we follow our Master, how true that we should be encouraged instead of feeling despair and hopeless. But we also know it is only by drawing near our Savior that makes our walks strong. So...let us "Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus." (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18; NIV)


"I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world."
- John 16:33 (NLT)

Prayer On Friday Morning


Lord, today, I just want to lift up people, not only my family and friends but to everyone who will come here, seeking hope. Needing compassion. Hungry for love. Tired. Hurting. Abandoned. Can’t get out of unwanted situations. Wanting to be accepted not rejected. Finding things that do not truly satisfy their needs and instead trap them. You’re the only One Who can truly satisfy one’s soul. You’re the only One Who can give the physical and spiritual healing everyone needs. Your love is the only one that is unconditional, boundless and faithful. Help us Lord to have Your strength. Help us Lord to endure. Help us to see things through Your eyes. Remind us to share and give away the love You have poured into our hearts. Protect us against our enemies. Help us to never get tired serving because of what You had done in the hearts of those who accepted Your grace. We are the best sinners whose life You had and continue to change around. Remind us we are no better than others who still are wandering in their life's roads without true directions. Make us sensitive to others who happen to walk in our own journey and guide us and give us the boldness to share the work You had began in our hearts. Thank You Lord for Your love, mercy and grace. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.


And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.-Philippians 1:6 (NLT)


The Dying Man

The dying Jesus is the evidence of God's anger toward sin; but the living Jesus is the proof of God's love and forgiveness. ~Lorenz Eifert


Downing almost 20 oz. of the icy-cold water in my car, I ran to the restroom as soon as I entered the Clinic last Sunday afternoon. It was right across from the nursing supervisor’s office. As I emerged from the door, the day supervisor called me and wanted to talk with me inside.

“Hi Rcubes! I called you because I want you to know that the man you sent to the hospital last night is dying now,” she broke the news with a faint smile, weary from the hours of answering phones from those who were higher in Custody and from the treating staff at the county’s hospital.

“What?” I exclaimed in disbelief.

“I mean…I knew he was very sick but for him to go down so fast like that….Bleeding from where?” I quickly asked.

“Wow! You remember!” she uttered.

“I want you to know (as I remained in long silence) that I had read the chart and I could see, you had done the best you could and did the right intervention. There’s just so much we can do,” she reassured. Perhaps, sensing the loneliness that crept over me, mirrored in my still-tired face from a busy shift the night before. What was sad was that the supervisor told me that they didn’t have any info on any family member, so they could let someone know.

During the course of another chaotic shift, we got a dreaded phone call. The hospital staff just called a Code Blue on him.

He was an obese man. Still young in his mid-40’s. The body ruined by an early vice of abusing alcohol. He had developed liver and renal failure. He was just complaining of vomiting when he came to the Clinic when I first saw him. Wheeling himself in, with the wheelchair provided when he got booked in, he also told me how both of his legs had osteomyelitis so it was difficult for him to walk. I didn’t see any vomitus. But I went ahead and called the on-call doctor. He stated how he felt better after I medicated him for nausea and vomiting. I told him he would see the jail doctor still the following day. A couple of hours later, his wheelchair came into view. Requesting to be seen again, he looked pale then. He told me when he used the restroom, he saw a lot of blood. To prove his claim, he showed me some toilet paper housed inside the paper tube.He denied having problems from his unit. Except he kept repeating about his medical condition as he was already being treated for those by the jail doctors.

“You can throw that away! I believe you. But this time, you need to go to the hospital.” We started the IV right away and gave him lots of IV fluid to compensate for the fluids he lost. His blood pressure was on the low side. I put the oxygen prongs in each of his nare and reassured him. He looked uneasy. When he got to the hospital, they found out he was bleeding internally but they couldn’t find the source.

I didn’t know this man. Except I knew he was a man also loved by the Son of Man. I kept hearing he might not make it before they did the surgery. But I didn’t believe that. I knew the love and compassion the Son of Man has for everyone who would call on Him. And I pled quietly for that dying man.

For the Son of Man Who understood what he was going through. What his spirit needed.  Because He came here to die so we could live. As I was off on Monday, I ended up calling the same supervisor who dealt with the news first thing. She gave me an update. That the officers who arrested him found a sister. And that…The man made it... For some reason, she said, he was holding on…

I thanked her. Not at all surprised with the news of extended hours, days or years for that sick man. Because I knew…Jesus was always quick to reach out. And save…He took our sins and put them all on Him on the cross. Because He loved humanity. He loved us. It was not the nails that held Him on the cross. It was His love for us. Yes…This Man…The Son of Man…Loves us!

This Man - Jeremy Camp



In only a moment truth
Was seen revealed this mystery
The crown that showed no dignity he wore
And the king was placed for all the world
To show disgrace but only beauty flowed from this place

Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands
Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands

He held the weight of impurity
The father would not see
The reasons had finally come to be to
Show the depth of his grace flowed with
Every sin erased he knew that this was
Why he came

Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands
Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands

And we just don't know the blood and
Water flowed and in it all
He showes just how much he cares
And the veil was torn so we could have
This open door and all these things have
Finally been complete

Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands
Would you take the place of this man
Would you take the nails from his hands
From his hands...

I See Aliens

“Dear friends, I warn you as "temporary residents and foreigners" to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” – 1 Peter 2:11 (NLT)

"Hear my prayer, O LORD, listen to my cry for help; be not deaf to my weeping. For I dwell with you as an alien, a stranger, as all my fathers were.” – Psalm 39:12 (NIV)

“And remember that the heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites. He will judge or reward you according to what you do. So you must live in reverent fear of him during your time as "foreigners in the land." – 1 Peter 1:17 (NLT)



“I’ll go,” I told the Charge Nurse to remain in the Clinic as there were only the two of us before the night shift started. We just heard a call from the radio, a unit whose deputies had to extract a combative inmate from his cell with force. When injuries were present, nurses had to be there.

I was starting to feel hot as I felt my sweat emerged from my forehead from the long walk it was taking me in the long corridor. The unit’s heavy metal door was open. Past on my right side where they housed those inmates on discipline alone, I saw the flooded floor and bunches of towels and blankets thrown on the floor to attempt to dry the place. As I looked straight ahead, I saw the bloodied shirt of an inmate whose back was facing me. He was surrounded by so many deputies, clothed in heavy riot gear. Their faces I couldn’t see as they wore the helmets with only the visor visible and only their eyes and noses were seen. Wearing thick pads around them, they were all surrounding the obviously very combative inmate strapped on a safety chair. I thought….If I wasn’t familiar with the things that went on in the prison, those deputies in riot gears looked like aliens with huge and thick pads, and faces covered with helmets. My thought was suddenly interrupted…With the lingering fume from the pepper spray that was deployed to paralyze that inmate who was constantly yelling.

I saw his white shirt all bloodied. The source…From a deep gash that was obscured by a spit mask the deputies had put over his head. He refused to be treated. He wouldn’t allow me to touch and assess his injury. I saw a bump protruding from the right side of his head. It was not a hard decision. With his odd behavior, it seemed like he was under the influence of “something” and that his gash might need some suturing. I gave the paper works to Custody as I turned around, toting my emergency bag on my shoulder. I saw the deputies wearing heavy gear easing up a bit after they secured the inmate on that safety chair. One took off his mask and I knew him immediately. From one of the units when I also responded to a “mandown” long ago. His sweats dripping on his face. He gave a big sigh.

“Are you guys, okay?” I asked the two of them who happened to go out with me in the corridor.

“Yeah,” a tired response echoed in the silent hallway.

“Take care,” I added.

“Thank you,” they softly returned.

I had walked past them as I was wearing a lighter clothing perhaps… Oh…What a sight it would be for those who were not familiar with such incidents! I knew many people believed in “aliens”. I did, too. Except I didn’t need to look up in the sky and search for unfamiliar flying saucers and objects or weird lights…

I see “aliens” everywhere. When I hear human beings talk about “following Christ” or they are “born-again Christians”. I see “aliens” who show no favor to rich ones over the poor. I see “aliens” when they weep over sins knowing they contaminate their spirits and who do not hesitate to repent to Jesus. Then, work, though hard, to not fall again with the same acts believing the strength He gives. I see “aliens” who believe that Jesus died on the cross and rose again on the third day and ascended to heaven. I see “aliens” who truly walk…in Spirit and Truth…Yes…These “aliens” are everywhere. Actually, I do see some lights…Little lights they shine. Reflections from the Light of the World…

“Dear friends, I warn you as "temporary residents and foreigners" to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.” – 1 Peter 2:11 (NLT)

“Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God.” -  2 Corinthians 7:1 (NIV)

“So now you Gentiles are no longer strangers and foreigners. You are citizens along with all of God's holy people. You are members of God's family.” – Ephesians 2:19 (NLT)



Example of "cell extraction" when inmates defy authorities to go out of their cells or if they are being combative to them:


Paying Attention....To Just "One"

 “Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God.” – Hebrews 6:1 (ESV)

Photo Credit
“Hurry up!”

My voice echoing in the very long hallway as I hurried my pace, toting the emergency bag on my shoulder as I held down the radio housed in my scrub’s left pocket. The other nurse getting weary from the long dash it was taking us, smiled back at me, slightly shy from my unmatched, rapid steps.

The big, metal door slid as I pushed the button outside the particular unit which called for assistance as one of their inmates couldn’t get up in his cell because of severe pain. The location, we weren’t sure yet at that time. The lady controlling all the doors in that unit looked at me as she motioned her right hand and pointed at a particular segment to where we should go. I pushed the metal bars open and found most of the male inmates were locked down inside their tiny cells except for one sitting by the stainless-steel like table, where the inmates usually ate their “chows” (meals). His wrists, secured with a handcuff, he was talking loud at first and grew quieter as both of us entered their zone. Immediately, I felt all the hundreds of stares glued on the two of us, responding nurses. Curiosity scanning us from head to toe. Some of them, started talking loud. Some, with sexual gestures that wanted attention, unafraid to be disrespectful knowing that the deputy was busy with the downed inmate. I kept my eyes focused on the upper tier where one door was open and I saw the long figure of the deputy looking down at the inmate on the floor.

He was grimacing in pain. He said that he couldn’t get up because he was having too much pain. The other nurse whispered to me that she knew him. He was known to have a history of bladder cancer. I knew cancer hurt. But I knew that his pain could also be exaggerated as they hoped to be sent immediately to ER. I had to confirm my thought. So, I asked him if he was on any pain medications.

“The order had expired 2 days ago,” he replied, with slow utterance. I told him I would bring him to the Clinic so we could deal with his problem.

“But Ma’am…” he quickly uttered as he showed how he couldn’t even turn to his side as I commanded him to get up so we could help him get on a guerney I got from the nearby Clinic in their unit. “The doctor in ER told me I could always go back if I needed something for pain.”

I told him I knew that but at that moment, a trip to ER was not necessary as we could call the doctor and we could ask him for stronger pain medications. He didn’t say anything. Protesting silently with the way he looked at me. As he got up and got on the guerney, the familiar stares followed all of us. The talk becoming louder as some comments were to make fun of the situation. It wasn’t worth listening to those. It wasn’t worth paying attention to those who wanted a response from us. I could have put some of them in trouble if I wanted to. But it was just not worth it.

What needed our attention the most was this inmate. Though he exaggerated his pain, indeed, he needed something stronger for pain. As he didn’t appreciate our help of calling the ER doctor at first, I knew he would understand later that his pain was not life-threatening. But we wanted him to get back on something stronger to control his valid source of discomfort.

He swallowed the white pills the nurse had given him for pain. As he silently rested on the metal bench in the waiting area. Few minutes later, he appeared more calm. He didn’t say thank you but his stare was not piercing with anger and protest anymore. I knew…Someday… This incident would be in his heart. To make him think that the medical staff never ignored him. But wanted to apply the right intervention for his problem. Though it might not agree with what he thought was best.

And that’s how we are as servants of Christ. We don’t go after the crowds. We go after one individual like how Jesus did it. He cleansed Mary Magdalene of 7 demons. He explained to Nicodemus, a highly respected Pharisee, that their ways were not enough to get to God’s Kingdom. Jesus talked to the woman at the well and told her about the message of the Gospel which supersedes all barriers be they moral, religious or social. He had forgiven the dying thief next to Him on the cross.  And many more… Changed from the inside-out as they experienced Jesus’ personal touch of love, mercy, and grace. Like Jesus, we reach not to a big audience but to specific individuals by showing our true love and compassion. Like the kind that we have received from Him. For our own efforts will produce nothing. We bring only....JESUS...

“For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost." – Luke 19:10 (NLT)

“I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance."- Luke 5:32 (NIV)

“When Jesus heard this, he told them, "Healthy people don't need a doctor--sick people do. I have come to call not those who think they are righteous, but those who know they are sinners."- Mark 2:17 (NLT)

Abortion

"If you need wisdom, ask our generous God, and he will give it to you. He will not rebuke you for asking." - James 1:5 (NLT)

I was confused…with a protocol a nurse had followed by initiating it. For a pregnant inmate. Some of the standing orders that included prenatal vitamins and a bedtime snack given to sustain the life in her womb. I read her notes. Only to discover that the young inmate chose to abort the baby.

“Should I just cancel these?” I asked a co-worker sitting next to me doing orders like I was in front of the glowing monitor.

“Follow it for now,” she advised…

“But she already signed a consent for her to have her baby aborted…” I explained. She didn't know what to say next...

I felt my fingers on the keyboard suddenly felt heavy. Out of confusion, I tried not to mix my own emotions. Yet…I still typed. And ordered the prenatal vitamins and bedtime snack. Except for the duration of only 30 days instead of the usual length of pregnancy (40 weeks). I scheduled for her to see the OB doctor. As I softly prayed inside the hidden closet in my heart and mind…that this young inmate would be guided by His wisdom. From many years working in the corrections, I knew…I just knew…Most of them who chose to have abortion wanted it for convenience…This precious life that would be lost…Was innocent…Formed by the active God in the mother’s womb.

Is abortion really a matter of a woman’s right to choose? What about the matter of either life or death of a “human being”  made in God’s image?


"For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." - Psalm 139:13-16 (NIV)



The Beautiful Miracle of Life from sharethemessage on GodTube.

Father, I pray...For those who are needing Your wisdom to make the right decisions. Give them the courage that they need to do the right thing. Even if they are facing the worst of the worsts, I know that Your knowledge will help them overcome. And for those who had already chosen to give up the life growing in their wombs, for whatever reason they had, may they come to know that Your love and forgiveness have no limit. May they be able to receive Your compassion, Your love, Your forgiveness...Anytime....Anywhere...In Jesus' Name. Amen...

CPR

Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. – John 3:18 (NIV)

Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. – John 1:12 (NIV)

My brother emailed me to thank me for the birthday card I sent him few days ago and was so glad to receive it exactly on that special day. He was happier even to see the picture I enclosed of his nephew (my son) who had grown so fast and who he knew was a big blessing for my husband and I.

“They would bury this guy in a few days…” he added…

“He died from a heart attack. That’s really an awful thing when it suddenly occurs. We were just talking to him in a mall and then we heard what happened to him…”

This was the same brother who emailed me last month about his own brother-in-law who also passed away from a heart attack. His brother-in-law, who had been dear to my family, especially to my parents, who treated him like their own son. The relationship became more special as my brother ended up marrying one of their sisters.

Reminded me…I was just talking to my friend last night that it would be time again to renew our CPR (Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation) skills. But I told her I wanted to just take it near my house instead of going all the way down to the hospital where I used to work.

We, as healthcare providers, are required to renew it every 2 years. But since 2010, the American Health Association had changed the sequence of ABC (Airway-Breathing-Compression) to CAB (Compression-Airway-Breathing), giving more emphasis now on doing the compressions as they determined that it increased the chance of survival for those who become unconscious.

But......Does it?

That’s the man’s knowledge. When we enter the spiritual knowledge, it’s a completely different story. To know God is the highest form of knowledge. It becomes the source of strength for believers of Jesus Christ. Christ warns us not to have our hearts be satisfied and feel accustomed to the things of this world. It would only weigh the hearts down. But rather, when a man’s heart is being weighed down by sins, it is an opportunity to seek Christ and humble himself in front of Him. For anyone who welcomes Christ as their “Lord” are reborn spiritually, getting a new life from God. By faith, it is this kind of birth that changes a man’s heart. From the inside-out. A man’s heart being compressed to lessen its worldly desires to be replaced with things of God.  CPR…God’s way is:

C- hrist

P-roduces

R-edemption

When a man has the knowledge of the Holy One, the more love and faith are strengthened by His truth. The more we know Jesus, the more we love Him. With this knowledge comes hope…of what is to come…Of what He had already done to save men from their sins. Man’s knowledge is but a blur compared to looking through the telescope of hope that Christ brings. And when he looks, he discerns the glory that is to come…With a sure confidence…

Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
–Hebrews 12:2 (NIV)


So…even when death comes, there is no mourning. There is rejoicing. A true believer will not cry. Because of Christ’s promise of eternal life to those who believe in what He has done on the cross, when physical death comes, he will rejoice. He will sing…He will dance…

In The Fields...Of Grace...

“Lift your lips and open your mouth wide!” commanded the LVN who was passing meds that evening when I decided to re-acquaint myself in this facility where I used to work in my earlier years. The inmate in front of her, grinning sheepishly while the others shook their heads and started whispering...

There were 3 structures where the inmates were classified and housed. The dust was softly being blown by the late evening breezes. The sun was already setting behind those chain link fences locked in each doors.The yard empty by then as inmates huddled close, talking amongst themselves and some, watching shows from the big monitor reserved for them.

Those waiting for their evening medications were already lined up as the deputies had called them prior to our arrival. Holding cups of water and with the other hand holding their ID’s, one by one, they waited for their turn. The LVN did the right thing. When placing medications on the inmates' hands, she should make sure that the meds were swallowed as some were good at hiding the pills at the folds in their mouths, under the tongue, sometimes, spitting into the cup, and also, pretending to take the pills when one or all were hidden in their fingers. I remembered…I used to bring a flashlight when I used to pass meds in that facility. I aimed the bright light into their mouths where I could see well if anything was being hidden. I caught some…And when I did, they would either lose that privilege of getting that medications or be placed in discipline.

There are thousands of reasons why inmates do that behavior. Of hiding medications. Or other contrabands. They use those things for their advantage. Selling them in return for a favor. For things or other services. Sometimes, some are just being upset that they think they shouldn’t be there that they like to waste those so the county is losing money that way. They are good at improvising.

I looked at each body. The musty smell surrounding and reaching the cage that protected the deputies, the LVN, and myself. I saw “laziness”. Of some bodies laying on the bed. I couldn’t imagine for anyone not to do anything all day. Most of them, talking. In groups. Obviously with clear distinction of one color hanging around, or trying to find someone with the same race. The “brotherly handshakes” that meant “they belonged”…But still…I sensed most of them were not learning anything but laziness. They knew their rights. When outside, they were quick to violate that of others’. They complained about everything. Food. Beds. Pillows. Showers. Medications. When outside, they knew some of them couldn’t afford those. Especially that the economy had been hard for us.

The LVN waved goodbye as she escorted me and opened the front gate where the staff parking was. Slightly illuminated with amber lights, the surrounding areas were nothing but darkness. That was close to midnight. She was nice enough to accompany me and made sure I was okay until I got to my car. I thanked her and turned on my ignition. With the wilderness around me, I saw a reflection of a fading image of this facility from my rear-view mirror.  It was known as a rehabilitation center. But was it really helping others reformed their lives or not?

It was sad…To realize that God always provided for anyone’s needs only to be taken for granted. And how most prisoners always waited for provisions. When perhaps, God might be waiting for them to take the first step needed. To work. To do something. In order to meet that need. Of being reformed. Changed. For a renewed life.

Oh Lord, forgive us when we take Your blessings for granted…Forgive us when we don’t take actions when we should for the needs we lift up to You. How can we even forget that in Your fields of grace, all our needs are met and You never cease in supplying  our needs? Like Ruth, remind us oh Lord to glean the grain in Your rich fields of grace. Thank You Lord for Your love, grace, and mercy. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.



Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


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


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


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


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


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


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

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