My Power...Is of God's...

I was trying to savor each crucial minute that was passing by. As my plan for an unexpected early exit from working in the prison seemed to materialize more at the passing of each day. There in front of us, five nurses, sat a middle-aged man, slumped slightly forward as he tried to put more effort in getting in more air to his chest that started hurting this morning. Slightly pale and diaphoretic when we first got there, the other nurse and I who responded barely knew his medical history. We just knew he was diabetic and was getting dialysis every certain days of each week. But his blood sugar was not that bad for the morning check.

“I bet he’s coming down with some lung problem more than the heart,” I suggested to the nurse whose fast pace, I tried to keep up with, down the long, silent, cold hallway.

Tapping my stethoscope before putting it on his upper, right back, I heard his breath sounds diminished on that side. Feeling the hot skin even with my hands donned with gloves, I knew he was running a fever. I advised for the deputies to put him on a guerney so we could take an EKG but I told the nurse, he looked so weak. I would rather not waste a second in calling for an ambulance so he could be brought to the county’s ER immediately. To which she agreed.

After calling over the radio, the other three nurses immediately worked like a precise team. One started the IV. One connected the mask to the oxygen tank I hauled with me. One helped me and the other nurse did the vital signs and other assessment.

To what seemed like an eternity, it actually took us five to ten minutes to settle the man and did the best first aid we could. I had an AED machine near me. In case… 

He became more calm. His pinkish color returning to what looked like a grayish, pale face we first saw. The EMT finally came with their guerney and agreed that he could hear diminished sounds on the right side of his lungs. The EKG strip returned without any abnormalities.

Walking back to the Clinic, five of us were more relaxed by then, enjoying that special mission which tried to make a life not be lost. I told them...It was a moment like that, that sometimes stopped me and gave me doubts if I truly wanted to leave working in the prison. I told them I had more stress-less nights despite chaotic shifts. Because I was working with the right team. They all smiled and those smiles showed a hushed thankfulness to a well-meant flattery.


Working in the prison, I know better now as the Lord still continues to teach me each time…that as His child, I don’t have to do things that are fear-based. Because of Him, I have learned to face each critical event with calmness, heart pounding, not with fear but with flipping the pages of learned experiences that can intervene to a particular symptom or emergent situation. But paired with that, He also gives some of His children, who I must learn to trust and work with with respect, no matter what degree of education we, each, hold.

Because of Him…God Who gives a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control (2 Timothy 1:7).

Whether I stay or leave the prison, there is no thing truer than this:

The Spirit of God, who raised Jesus from the dead, lives in me. And just as God raised Christ Jesus from the dead, he will give life to my mortal body by this same Spirit living within me.(emphasis was mine)


My power? It is God’s power….The SAME POWER…


I heard this song from Jeremy Camp a while ago on my way to work. May you, child of God, always be reminded that wherever you go, whatever you do, you are living each moment, not for your own good, but for His glory. Sharing Christ to those who don’t know Him. Whatever you face, you have that power that comes from Him. There is nothing to fear. Instead, you and I can do everything in Christ Jesus. To Him be the glory forever.

First...

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.  Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.  You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

Before an unspoken prayer…

Before any acts of service…

Even before a small faith that can move mountains…

Before each encouraging words and actions…

Before worship…

Goes a HEART….Offered first before any sacrifice…

May my heart seek You First, Oh Lord, the One and only true God. Daily…

But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.- Matthew 6:33 (ESV)

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.- Matthew 6:24 (ESV)

Commit your work to the Lord, and your plans will be established.- Proverbs 16:3 (ESV)

My son, do not forget my teaching, but let your heart keep my commandments, for length of days and years of life and peace they will add to you. Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lordwith all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. – Proverbs 3:1-5 (ESV)


I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.You shall have no other gods before me.- Exodus 20:1-3(ESV)

The Greatest Is....The "Least"

I couldn’t believe the apology from an email I was waiting for since Friday. A personal inquiry I had sent her before I finally end my career at Corrections as a nurse. To me, it wasn’t even a big deal if she forgot to answer my question. But to my surprise! She apologized for taking a while to reply as she went to another department to confirm and make sure she would give me nothing but the RIGHT answer. It only took over 2 days in reality and those were not even counted as those were weekends and understandably, our offices in the county were closed.

I emailed her right back and thanked her. She might not know me but those little things never went unnoticed to me. Simple acts of service that I hungered for sometimes wherever I went. To get a grande cup of macchiato in Starbucks. Paying at a cash register. Looking for items I needed for a particular recipe in a grocery store.

I had been contemplating to resign before this year is over. I have been feeling that my time in the prison was coming to its end. Still…I am not sure what path to take. Except that with almost 16 years being there, God was the only One Who truly was faithful in guiding me. Calming me during times of trials. Giving me discernment during crucial decision making. Reminding me of His love and forgiveness despite what was thrown at me. Reminding me of His presence and power that truly He was and would always be my Boss as I worked.

Service…That I pray for those years I had done behind those thick walls, I never pleased anyone but only Him.

Anyone wanting to be the greatest must be the least…..the servant of all….

That’s what Jesus said…(Mark 9:35)

I look everywhere…Where is true service nowadays? If one is only devoted to humanity’s cause, more likely a broken heart ensues. But if the motive is love to God, then, nothing can hinder anyone from serving others.

I have learned from working 10 years in a hospital and almost 16 years in the prison, work has no fulfillment if I just viewed it merely as a job.

 But any work, no matter how insignificant it may seem, is truly an opportunity to serve God and man. Doing things with hands seem a mundane thing. But if those hands are paired with a willing heart and a servant attitude, then it becomes significant to whatever service it provides.

I have learned so much wherever the Lord takes me. Like seeing those who claim they are fulfilled because of what they have are not true. To me, those who live fulfilled lives usually are the ones busy serving others faithfully and unconditionally.

Oftentimes, inmates thank me for treatments I have done. Without them knowing, I learn so much from them when I forget my own needs as I try to help them with their ailments.

I am slowly giving hints to wonderful co-workers. With sadness, I know I will miss those who are truly dedicated in helping the incarcerated ones.

I know I will miss a lot of things when I leave...But in reality, there is no resignation under God’s Kingdom. He is just placing His willing servants to places where he or she may grow.

“Where to, Lord? Where to?” are my heart’s cries lately. Without anxiety. Without fear. Because I know, He will always be there no matter where He takes me…

Whatever your task, work heartily, as serving the Lord and not men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward; you are serving the Lord Christ – Colossians 3:23-24


For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many ~ Matthew 20:28





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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