Future....Unknown



Everything has already been decided. It was known long ago what each person would be. So there's no use arguing with God about your destiny. ~ Ecclesiastes 6:10 (NLT)

I had walked on a very tough battle on fighting for my right to remain as a regular status employee at my workplace. But with corruption everywhere, where else could I seek help? I decided to close this year 2012, choosing to move on and accept what had happened. Determined to find out what new road would open for me. Despite the difficulty, it was God’s Word that gave me strength. It was His true promises that reassured me time and time again that He would always be my Refuge in any storms in my life. 

No! I wouldn’t let that storm create havoc and rob my heart of other wonderful things God has given me. As the last page of this year came this morning, my heart would always be filled with gratitude for all the things that happened in 2012. 

Days apart in this month, my husband and I celebrated our 21st Anniversary and our child welcomed a new stage of becoming an adult. We decided to celebrate in a favorite barbeque restaurant and splurge a little as we didn’t really plan any get-away on this vacation. We were just contented most of the time, thankful for the times whenever the three of us were always together. Away from the busyness of work and school matters.

As my son carefully drove his car, more rain came down on the road we were traveling on. The clouds above us became darker and darker. We forgot to bring an umbrella and usually, we would have one anyway in the cars we were driving. My son didn’t have one! Finding one remaining parking spot, no one dared to venture out as a heavy downpour steadily came, mixed with a slight hail. We didn’t let that spoil our moods. We decided to turn around and just eat in a different restaurant. Toward the favorite burger place nearby. We didn’t want to get wet!

Parking right in front of the joint, we were all surprised to see how very little the crowd was inside when usually, the line would have formed in miles by that hour. I didn’t even need to reserve a table while my boys would order for me. I ordered first, my son, then my husband. In that order, we got how we wanted our burgers made! 

Oh how we all laughed, eluding being dampened by the rain!!! Thankful to God that we made it even to that burger joint. Dry and looking fine!

We all took our first bites through those layers of buns, meat, veggies and favorite condiments and we all agreed! Nothing tasted better than that good, old hamburger on a rainy day! We didn’t get our barbeque ribs. But that was okay! We all knew it was being together that would make any food taste good! No matter the weather. 

For in this life, no one knows what the future holds. But God does. And if one completely trusts and has faith in Him, he is secure no matter what life brings. So, this coming 2013, let us not look into this year, but look up to God… 

There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD. – Proverbs 21:30 (NIV)
Whatever is has already been, and what will be has been before; and God will call the past to account.
- Ecclesiastes 3:15 (NIV)

"Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him who is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, 'What are you making?' Does your work say, 'He has no hands'?
- Isaiah 45:9 (NIV)

Jesus Is The Shepherd (A Song He Gave Me)



 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. 
- Colossians 3:14 (NIV)

I had problems with my posts updating for a while...that I had not been able also to post anything as I worked here and there when able to. One morning, in the midst of my wiping dusts off and vacuuming, my oldest guitar had caught my eyes and my heart desired to stop what I was doing, picked it up and sang some of the songs the Lord had written in my heart at the span of years. I tell you, it felt good to have lingering dusts of worries and uncertainties in my heart wiped off by His hands.

I don’t have a formal guitar lesson. I learned to endure blisters on my fingers, learning easy chords growing up. Paired with my passion to write, I didn’t know at that time, those painful moments He gave me to learn to write songs for Him. Songs that also strengthened me and comforted me every time there was a struggle with my family, friends or just myself was going through. He reassures. That’s always the truth!

I don’t have a nice voice either but I felt so strong to share this song with you praying that the lyrics will minister to your hearts. With this special season of love, we must honor that true love that came down from heaven to let us know about God’s love from above. 

I wrote this song on July 29, 2003 when one of my nephews was vacationing from Belgium in Denmark. But he hardly saw his father (my brother). As I was praying for them, I started asking myself, “When is the right time for us to get together with God, our heavenly Father?”

It’s hard to sing for me without choking up as I feel His love, mercy and grace every time I strike that chord and sing that note. Jesus is indeed the reason for this Season. All the glory to our good Lord! Merry Christmas to all of you and may His love and grace always strengthen us all.

video

Jesus Is The Shepherd

I was once lost like you not knowing Christ
Every struggle means pain and I get deeply hurt
But please listen to me, and to all the things I’ll say
Jesus is the only Life, the Truth and the Way

How long are you gonna’ be lost like a sheep?
For when Christ finds you, you just have to believe
Oh Jesus is the Shepherd Who will lead us all
Salvation comes from Him, and from Him alone

Chorus:

Oh Jesus has so much love
All you need to do is open up your hearts
Turn away from all of your sins
And love and joy will grow within

If your life is ever found don’t let it go
Stop your wandering let your faith grow
For Jesus is the Shepherd Who will guide your way
Nothing will go wrong, in your hearts He’ll stay

(Repeat Chorus)…

Just...Leave!!!



I felt an arm went through mine and slightly tugged to pull me away from some nurses surrounding us. It was a co-worker I used to work with when I was working night shifts. We had a great relationship not only as being co-workers, but also as sisters in Christ. Praying together. Our shoulders available to each other whenever one needed a shoulder to cry on. Cautious with our tongues whenever we heard rumors and stories that sounded good to be true. Not afraid to say something to each other when we knew that our steps might not be taking the right road that might end up hurting us.

Hi sister!” I exclaimed with excitement as I pulled my left arm she took and wrapped both instead on her to give her a hug.

“Please pray for me,” was the first thing she said.

What’s wrong?”

“I haven’t been sleeping for some nights now. It’s difficult.”

Stress or any problem?”

“Not really.”

Good. But still…I know it’s hard when your body is chasing after sleep.”

I will sister…I will…”

She asked about my case and I asked her in return to pray for me. For God to help me forgive despite the wrong done. I told her how God has always been good. That was no surprise to her knowing His nature. 

Pray for me, sister…That I would be able to forgive those people in power who have wronged me.”

“What’s your plan now?”

That’s another thing. I don’t know yet if there’s another road that He wants me to take at this time.”

But He gives me peace…You know what I mean…”

With another tight hug, we rounded up our short conversation as she needed to start pulling the hundreds of medications for the units assigned to her. Briefly, we had talked about so much chaos going on at work. A nurse quit. One got fired. One threatening to demote herself to working lesser hours because she was not allowed to go to PM shift that she wanted because of her personal reasons. Some got promoted but already facing struggles with people who never liked the way they managed the Clinic.

“Pray? We need to pray for people here.” We both agreed.

“Let’s go! Time to go home!” yelled the night nurse I worked with as her purse dangled from her palm.

Grabbing my own from the corner of the table, I hurried my steps to keep up with hers. I was leaving a place known to keep inmates. Leaving my co-workers who could get out of the prison after work but the sad truth was that…most of them were perhaps not living free. Liking the earthly principles and wisdom that in return would not get them anywhere.  And I knew at that moment, I needed perseverance in bending my knees more and folding my hands together in prayers for God to save not only me but also my co-workers. To save any of us from any afflictions, temptations, or troubles. May our workplace be filled with His love, grace and mercy as confusion abounds. For God is not God of confusion but of order.

It was winter but the air outside was not the expected freezing breaths from the skies. Yet, it felt good to be out of the prison and breathed fresher air. It felt good to just get out. And in its true sense, that was how it would be whenever we could get out of anything that trapped us. Sometimes, it’s easier to just LEAVE…


I am suffering and in pain. Rescue me, O God, by your saving power. – Psalm 69:29 (NLT)


But as for me, I am poor and needy; please hurry to my aid, O God. You are my helper and my savior; O LORD, do not delay. – Psalm 70:5 (NLT)


But may all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, "God is great!" – Psalm 70:4 (NLT)

Faith...In His Word...



“The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever." – Isaiah 40:8 (NLT)

A little note…That was the difference. Note that if only was given could have paved the way for me to get out of this battle at work I had been in. But a note that never came…and kept me in a place that seemed enclosed.  A place deeper and darker in this valley I had walked on. 

The time frame I needed to fight back had been running out. In much quicker pace as anticipated. I gave up. Long ago. As soon as that lady who was supposed to help me didn’t want to hear my side and just closed my case. I knew this battle was not on my hands.

It had been difficult to look way ahead at this time. To not know where my steps should go. But I knew…it would be more foolish to stray away farther from that mountaintop ahead. The valley was not a fun place to be as we all knew. Too cold. Harsh weather. Dark. A scary place to be in.

The joy I had working in the prison was stolen by the enemy. I still would work. Whenever I chose to. But it was not the same. The fire burning was not the same intensity. I lacked passion. I lost interest.

Despite…I always will be grateful for one thing. It is only a shadow that never scares me knowing the protection God always give to those who seek refuge in Him. I don’t know the purpose of my battle at this time. I don’t know the road to take. But one thing is for sure…He gives me a deeper faith and allows me to trust more in Him knowing in His place, that’s where it’s secure. 

When I’m afraid of any danger, He surrounds me with His protection.

When it’s too dark, He shows me what His light can do.

When I feel all alone, He makes it known that He’s in this trial with me.

When I’m lost, He comforts me with His guidance and discernment to see the way He’s making.

Faith. I’m grateful for faith that sees and believes in the unseen. Faith that hopes. Trusts. Faith that knows His endless mercy and grace. 

Note? I felt a tear rolled down my right cheek and I wanted to cry so hard because of all injustices around me. But only to be wiped out right away and my composure remained as His Word came to my ears and whispered:

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

All these troubles…always drowned by His love. All life's woes...calmed by His faithful promises...

Note?…I don’t need that note. Anymore…As long as I have His Word…

Faith...Believe...


The Final Game

I noticed...the three of us were holding our breaths as we watched my son's high school's football game. It was the final game for the championship reserved for the area where we lived. Their football team hasn't lost.
There were 4 interceptions sad to say. We were wondering why the team seemed unsure of their tactics. They made the touchdown at the beginning of 1st quarter, the ball they intercepted from their opponent. It made the crowd go "gaga". Their quarterback and one of the players were famous because of their great performance. In each game.

Score was flashed on the screen as their game was televised. 

30-22.

My son's high school was on the losing end. But they were known for making it. To even win...Yes. Even to the last minute left on that ticking clock. Would they be able to pull it off again this time?

A minute and few seconds left. With the ball on their hands, the favorite player made it to the goal line.

Touchdown!!!

The roar from where the audience was deafening.

And so from my couch where I couldn't help but yell "Go get 'em!!!" as I clapped my hands until they became numb.

My husband laughed. So did my son.

They knew I didn't even like football. There I was yelling as if I understood the whole game. I didn't. I understood. Only at that moment. While watching.

I knew that if the team opted for the pass instead of punt, they could get that 2 points and that would make the game a "tie". It was a risk worth taking. And the risk they took. The favorite player was again on the goal line as the ball seemed like it slowly got passed all the way to his direction. 2 opponents guarded him with their lives. As he fell on the ground, time seemed it froze. With all the eyes hooked on his arms. To see if he clung to the ball up to the end. But the opponent had pushed him so hard. That when he landed, to everyone's dismay. The ball was on the ground.

Time was up. Final score: 30-28. All heads from my son's high school football team bowed low. Even me. I could feel the adrenaline still rushing. To know that it was so close...To making it a tie. Even to win. Knowing how great their coach was and the team.

"Don't change the channel yet," I requested to my husband.

"But it's over."

"Let us just see the players that will be interviewed."

And of course, as expected, the network interviewed that favorite player.

"How do you feel about that? It was so close and you almost made it in making the score a tie!" as the lady put the mic in front of him.

Without hesitation, he quickly replied, "We shouldn't be mad. This is just how it is. We win. We lose. We just keep on trying our best in every game."

This Sunday morning, I woke up early in the morning as if I was hearing those words still. It touched me as on and off, my battle with work would come back to memory. The help I had been expecting didn't make it. I lost. So close.  Except my game was not fair from the start. It made me sad and at times, I felt down to know that injustices were rampant anywhere. My work. The government agencies. I saw laziness. I saw irresponsibility.

This morning, my soul was stirred again by the rogue waves of discrimination and the broken barrier that never protected me. Surely, that young man, the favorite player was right.

I shouldn't get mad. In this life's journey, I could win. I could lose. For as a Christian soldier, in every step I would take, crosses would be laid out on my path. And as my Coach, Christ, suffered first and even died for me, I must take up that cross and carry it because of Him. For the rest of my body would not be happy if something wouldn't be well with my soul. But my soul could be happy and joyful despite being afflicted. Despite losing a game. Despite losing my job. Despite an illness. Even when facing death. As a Christian, it is right to count all things a loss and rejoice in knowing Christ Jesus.

Yes...what is the advantage if we have all this world yet lose our soul?

There may be more crosses along the way...But with Christ...It is well...

With my soul...

    When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
    When sorrows like sea billows roll;
    Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
    It is well, it is well, with my soul. - It Is Well With My Soul (Horatio Spafford)

       
  
 What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit his very self? - Luke 9:25 (NIV)

(FYI: Those players had so many offers from famous colleges to make them attend their schools. The last time I worked, there were so many problems that many of my co-workers were stressing out regarding their schedules. For that, I was grateful that the Lord saved me from all that troubles...Glory be to God!!!)

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