Idols

"“You shall have no other gods before me. " - Exodus 20:3 (ESV)

I was surprised to see him with the Acting Supervisor, wife of the current highest supervisor from our Healthcare Department. We both started around the same time 12 years ago. He was brought to my last meeting with 2 other people who held high positions. A tryst they planned thinking they would scare me by doing so.

I greeted them both as I sat on a nearby chair. Waiting for minutes and I arrived way early than their set time.They were late. He didn't know what to say. He couldn't look me in the eye. I sensed he wasn't comfortable. But I also understood that he needed to do what was being told to him in order to protect his own career. I never saw him after he was granted a higher position. He held an office upstairs, close to the highest Supervisor's room.

I was more calm during that time. Answering appropriately to their questions with no more anger as I had dealt with them with the previous 2 meetings that didn't make sense at all what they were doing with my job. They had put me to a tremendous pressure to make me quit on my own. But I never did. They had tried all sorts of plan even a forced leave to scare me. Such tactics didn't work as I clung more to Jesus' comfort and faithful promises.

They were all in that circle. Elevating each other by their praises. Giving their own selves a "pat on their own backs." I just looked at them in silence. But when I asked them something, a simple question, their answers were vague. If not, they didn't have an answer at all.

I felt good leaving the room as I said goodbye to four of them, wishing them a good day to which they didn't know how to react. I knew they knew in their hearts the ill treatments they had been giving me that I didn't deserve. They had nothing to show that I did anything wrong at my work during those years I had worked as a night nurse. They only threw one accusation about my neck injury. Except it was a lie. I didn't respond in anger anymore knowing I could prove it in God's perfect time. But I didn't want them to know I had that evidence. I left as I saw him fidgeting, tapping the pen in his right hand on the table as if it was a drum.

It had been almost a year since I battled with these people. The lesser hours that replaced my once steady shifts should have made me worried. It meant lesser income. But God turned it into good. It became an advantage as my husband became busier with his line of work. Our income was much lesser but God did sustain my family and I this whole time and to my disbelief, my husband and I were still able to help out his parents. I was never wrong about completely trusting in Him though it was difficult to not know what was coming. Day by day, He always replaced the uncertainties in every crevices of our hearts with His faithfulness, love, and grace.

"1 The LORD is my shepherd, I lack nothing.
 2 He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
 3 he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
   for his name’s sake.
4 Even though I walk
   through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
   for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
   they comfort me." - Psalm 23:1-4 (NIV)

The help I sought would be starting anytime soon. Whether I would win or lose actually didn't matter anymore. I would rather rely more on the help that would come from His hands. What was a man's help? We are all humans and we know we are limited and we are all not perfect. Except Him.

"For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope." - Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

I thought he was different. Others from work did, too. That he would always do the right thing. But the influence of being swayed by a particular group made him like them, wanting to see things the way they desired. Even if it was wrong. They praised each other but elevating anyone or anything above God would make them blind to His love. They were trying to hurt me but spiritually, they didn't know, they were just hurting themselves as if they were sitting as they cut on this huge branch of a tree...My tree...Except the branch they were cutting was the very branch they were sitting on...

"All who fashion idols are nothing, and the things they delight in do not profit. Their witnesses neither see nor know, that they may be put to shame. Who fashions a god or casts an idol that is profitable for nothing? Behold, all his companions shall be put to shame, and the craftsmen are only human. Let them all assemble, let them stand forth. They shall be terrified; they shall be put to shame together. The ironsmith takes a cutting tool and works it over the coals. He fashions it with hammers and works it with his strong arm. He becomes hungry, and his strength fails; he drinks no water and is faint." - Isaiah 44:9-12 (ESV)
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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