I Just Met My Brother


my bro and his family having fun awaiting their own broadcast on "pretend" tv show

I heard our garage door barely opening when my son and I raced and unlocked the door that led to it. I hugged my brother, his wife and his daughter. It felt good to see them again after almost 5 years. And hoped that our reunion was for healing. An appointment written by His scarred Hands in His calendar. It was an unexpected visit from them. It was hard to not know where to start as soon as he called me to let me know that they were boarding the plane from their country of origin and was on their way to our country.

Memories flooded my mind. Of those hurtful accusations he felt against me from our last get-together. But he would never understand no matter how hard I tried to explain. Because the battle we got into was not of physical. It was of unknown domain. The spiritual…

Few days of him hinting that they would want to visit us somehow increased the excitement in my heart. But it was also paired with uncertainties of what was left over from our time together.

I had asked for prayers from you, my friends. And I thank you for doing so. The Lord had been gracious and had blessed me and my brother beyond what we could imagine. Their stay of total of 2 weeks might seem short but it didn’t take that long to know and truly feel the true love we had for each other as a family. Both of us had migrated to foreign lands back in the 80’s and it was only on a few occasions where we were able to convene but not enough to know much about each other’s lives. Soon enough, we had gotten married and the busier we all got.

We shared many fun times we both recalled. There was no mentioning of the past hurt. Day to day, we looked forward to what God had in store for us. The fun of visiting places together. The good company of having meals together. But we both felt and knew. It was beyond that. God had blessed us and our families His healing. His love. His protection. And the wonderful times of getting to know each other on a deeper level. The kind that would remind us that no matter how many oceans divided us, our love had grown deeper knowing we belonged to what our parents had groomed and nurtured for us to follow. And that was for us to always be together. Not divided. For us to love each other, not hate.

“Come anytime…We’re just here…” I reminded them as we said our “goodbye’s” again. And this time, the tears flowed. Warm and sincere. But able to bring out the love kept imprisoned by the walls in our hearts.  And now…with the walls fallen, kept flowing again. The car that my husband drove to bring them to the airport had long been gone. I felt such emptiness. I missed them right away. But I had the comfort at the same time. I felt like I just met my brother again. But I wasn’t sure if I was also seeing my father. He was like my father’s image in mostly everything that I had not seen before. The way he joked around. The way he loved to give. The way he thought about everyone else before him. 

He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? - Romans 8:32

Ahhhh….But even if....Whatever circumstances...God is good…He is truly the God of healing. The God of compassion. The God of mercy.
The God of love…



(On another note, I also received bad news regarding my case at work. I would not elaborate at this time but if I may request for your prayers for the Lord to provide me with the counsel He approves of. I know He is in control, no matter what happens…Thank You friends and God bless…)

One Language


A bowl of vegetables with someone you love is better than steak with someone you hate.-Proverbs 15:17 (NLT)


I felt a weird sensation from my toes on my left clog. They remained comfortable as I had been wearing those favorite clogs of mine for many years. But why too comfortable that they didn’t seem to have a hard time wiggling with way extra room?

I stared at my friend and her mom who kept re-orienting her aunt/sister they had not seen in a while when she was moved to a nursing home. It was not because her family left her but because her hard-working son couldn’t care for her with the business that usually got in the way. He loved his mother, my friend’s aunt, that he wanted comfort to always be provided no matter what it would cost.

It was a nice facility. Sort of a rehab unit at the same time as I saw some elderly in the wheelchair, others with cast, being aided with their therapies. My friend’s aunt was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It was  difficult to communicate for her. She smiled a lot though. Though she didn’t remember her loved ones’ names. It was tough for my friend and her mom to see that her memory was not the same. 

She gave a big smile as my friend and her mom first saw her when the nursing assistant wheeled her out of her room. We brought her to the nice patio for her to get some fresh air from the ocean and a little privacy. How patiently my friend and her mom tried to talk to her no matter if she understood or not! They kissed her at times. Her mom fed her sister’s lunch. She ate all the well-portioned, healthier food in the tray. Sometimes, staring in the space, she would say something that didn’t make sense. Then, she would smile. 

“Let’s go, grab some lunch,” my friend uttered to me. I volunteered to drive that day but she invited me at the same time to go with them, to which I accepted.

“I have something to tell you,” I whispered as I slowly got up and appeared as if I couldn’t walk at all.
My friend’s face had concern, waiting for my words or problems that plagued me that came to her mind.

“Look at this! My shoe has ripped!” I showed her all of my 5 toes on my left foot that came out through the hole that formed from the beloved black clog. She laughed so hard as I joined her.

“I thought there was a big problem,” she said with difficulty as she couldn’t stop laughing.

“See!” 

“It’s good to laugh though it’s a problem for me now,” I replied.

From that moment, we both knew that was a memorable laughter we shared that perhaps, made our bond stronger knowing that in anything we would face, we had the comfort of telling each other without fear of being judged or ridiculed but instead, be able to help and comfort each other, whatever was needed to make the other stronger. 

And that’s our life’s journeys. Full of ups and downs.  I was thankful for the nearby In and Out burger that had a drive-through as I kept my left foot on the car’s floor, ready to step on the brake if needed, despite the hole on my shoe. We ate altogether in that patio. With her aunt’s smile painted on her face as she stared at two strangers’ faces. The last smile she gave as my friend and her mom gave her hugs and kisses when they said their "goodbyes" for that day. I knew... She understood one particular language from them that made her smile:

L…O…V…E…

Love… The universal language that doesn’t need words…The strongest bond that keeps any relationships from breaking apart. No matter what storms of life come. Love that knows when to share laughter or tears…Love that comes from God…Love that transcends...even through death...

My command is this: Love each other as I have loved you.-John 15:12 (NIV)

Put Her On Discipline




“Can I put her on discipline?” the what seemed to be a very upset unit deputy asked over the phone.

This particular female inmate was just seen that morning by the doctor. Complaining of mostly chest pain. Sometimes kidney problems. All tests were done. Everything came back normal. I just dropped my transparent bag on a counter to start my shift when I picked up that phone call. The deputy was asking if it was okay for her to send the same inmate to be seen for chest pain. If nothing could be found, she wanted to put her on discipline for faking her medical emergency. I could see her point. The inmate’s actions/demands were wearing down everyone. Custody and medical staff.

“I’ll call you back. Let me review her records,” I promised.

Flipping the thickening pages of notes from different disciplines, I noticed she came if not daily, at least every other day. She was even sent to the hospital. Nothing of significance in her heart was found. A one-liner stood out among those thousands of words written about her:

“Patient requesting for Norco.”

Norco. A controlled substance. She had a past habit of using Meth. And the doctor did not grant her request during that morning’s sick call. I knew then why she was coming back. To try to get that Norco to replace the Meth habit she had.

Her face was about to cry when someone let her in. Her head always turned towards the glass window so she could observe what the staff was doing and possibly hear everything. I was observing her from the distance the whole time. Without her being aware of my prying eyes.

I let her in through the 2nd metal door to get her vital signs. They were all normal.

“My chest hurts, Nurse…But I’m gonna’ miss my dinner.” She added quickly.

I looked at her, trying not to become tainted with my own personal opinion.

“You came here, complaining of chest pain and you have time to worry over your dinner?” I asked.

She didn’t know what to say. She knew I caught her that her pain must not be real.

“I’m gonna’ keep you so we can observe you. Here’s a cup of water so you can drink water,” I uttered.

She was one step closer to being out to the waiting area when I stopped her on her tracks. I knew this behavior had to stop. There was just that much anyone could do for her symptoms. But if the roots of her problem were not addressed, she would probably return thousands of times.

“C’mon. Everything was okay this whole time. Your tests were all normal. Your heart’s arteries were all clear. What is it that bothers you that you think is causing your chest pain?” I asked that made her eyes bigger.

“Any problem?” I added with a long pause after where she could fill in.

“Ma’am, my cellie…(cellmate). I don’t get along with her.”

“I can’t help you be moved but at least I could try if you let me tell your deputy about your problem?”

“You can…But she’ll put me on discipline.”

“Well, then you know you are going to be punished anyway. Even now, there is no reason for you to be seen here. We are not denying to treat you. But only if your symptoms are real! For there are consequences if you are lying.”

She cried and wailed down on the floor next minute. Other times, standing up just observing the nurses and the activity in the Infirmary. I yelled at her with authority and told her to sit down because if she was having chest pain, I didn’t want her to fall. She stared on the tv. She bowed her head. She cried a few times. A few more tears fallen without getting any attention. She pounded softly on the window.

“Ma’am…I’m not having pain now. Can you just send me back to my unit?” She begged. She knew she wasn’t going to win. But in that loss, her transformation could begin.

“Thank you, Ma’am,” she softly added as I gave her yellow pass so she could go back to her unit. She knew segregation awaited her.

“Deputy, this is Nurse Rcubes…After all that had happened here during my sick call with her, go ahead…”

“Put her on discipline…”

And it was tough on me. To do that. Because she lived a life of being a victim. But it was necessary. So she could try to emerge as a victor. She wouldn’t understand why but how could she find out if no one addressed her issues?

We are all victims called by God to have a new life. A new life because of what Jesus did. And we have that task of helping others to be reconciled with God. When we minister to others, I believe it’s important to identify the roots of the problem before one is able to get out of bondage. And God has already provided everything we need to help others be reconciled with Him: His Armor, His Word and prayers. Glory be to You oh Lord!

We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.- 2 Corinthians 10:5 (NLT)

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit set their minds on the things of the Spirit. For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace.- Romans 8:5-6 (ESV)

I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. - Romans 12:1-2 (ESV)

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.- Hebrews 4:12 (ESV)

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. ...-Romans 13:1-6 (ESV)


All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.



Encouragers

The Attacker (5/15/09)

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


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


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


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


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


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


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


[Source: Life Application Bible]:


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


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


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


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


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


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

Friends