The Past Is A Part of Today and Tomorrow's Actions

There were 20 something bodies that morning to be seen by me for sick call. I learned to prioritize by doing the treatments first [like blood pressure checks and dressing changes] to have them out of the way. Then, the sick call I could call one by one and usually would run smoothly.


The clinic’s door was narrow. A few steps away was a desk, telephone, and other medical equipments. The nearby sink was crowded with jars full of gauzes, tongue blades, band-aids, cotton balls, bottles of saline and hand soap.


When I did all the treatments, I called the first inmate who requested a sick call. I noticed he only spoke Spanish so I needed an interpreter. Even before I asked if someone would volunteer to interpret, a young male inmate worker stepped up and eagerly offered his help. The deputy was just nearby.


One thing I learned working in this setting was to never turn my back on the inmates. Even if it seemed that I had my back turned, my eyes would be busy revolving around me and my ears would be fully opened to always be alert on what was going on.


I motioned for the sick inmate to sit on the chair next to my desk. The interpreter positioned himself by the sink which was fine with me because I wanted to give the other inmate some privacy, too and I didn’t want both of them to crowd my clinic. [That was also for my own safety].


I knew the volunteer. He was a good, hard working inmate. I would see him help serve the food trays and clean up after they were served. He put things in order.


He was leaning by the ledge of the sink the whole time I was doing sick call. When I got done seeing the sick inmate, the volunteer started to head out the door, too.


“Sir, I didn’t ask you to leave yet,” I politely told the interpreter.


“I thought you’re done seeing him, Ma’am?” he replied.


“Yes, I was. I want to thank you for interpreting for us. I want you to know I really appreciated that. Except with you stealing some of my band-aids!”


“Whoa!,” he exclaimed, as his jaw seemed to have dropped on the ground.


“What? I didn’t steal anything!” he protested. [By this time, the deputy was standing by the door, too].


“You didn’t? Are you sure? Because now, I would like you to turn around and show the deputy the left back pocket of your pants”, I calmly requested. I saw him got a little nervous as a few beads of sweats formed on his forehead.

Sure enough, approximately 10 band-aid dressings were brought up by the digits of his left hand. He was so embarrassed and didn’t know what to say. His face turned red.

“Do you want me to put him on discipline, Nurse?,” asked the deputy [for stealing and lying].

“No. Will you just let me speak with him, please?” I told the deputy. [He took a few steps away to give us some privacy].

“Sir, I’m not here to tell you what’s right and what’s wrong. But you know the rules here. All you have to do is try to ask me if you can have some of those band-aids. I’m sure I wouldn’t mind giving you a few as a token of my appreciation for helping me with that inmate.”

“Ma’am, how did you know I did that? I’m so sorry. Thank you so much for not putting me on discipline,” his face with a relieved expression.


“I wouldn’t tell you how I knew. But I know you as a hard worker here. Don’t change that. You may go now,” I uttered.


“Ma’am, you’re good!” he replied softly. “Thank you again. I won’t do that again.” His body disappeared with the rest of the bodies for sick calls.


That inmate was a hard worker, always helpful to custody and Nursing staff. But his actions were totally different that day and was the opposite of the character I had known him for.

As Christians, our past is an important part of today’s actions and tomorrow’s plans. The past affects our decisions and actions today. In turn, also affects the future.

There are lessons to learn and mistakes that need not be repeated. Yesterday’s obedience to God does not remove the possibility of present disobedience.

How are you using your success from the past now and how well are you using it to prepare for the future?

23 comments:

  1. Rosel,

    Great story! You are so amazing but all you do not only for the inmates you help but all the staff you come into contact with. God is truly watching over you and pouring out His blessings abundantly through your words.

    Love and Hugs ~ Kat

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  2. Wow, nobody better mess with you, little nurse! I like the way you handled this. I have noticed how polite the inmates are. God gives us second chances and you gave this guy a pass. Good judgment.

    I think what I learned in my relationship with my daughter is to be a listener when she needs to work things out. I use to offer my great wisdom. LOL. Made her mad. So now I have learned what a gift listening is and how it makes the other person feel loved. Then they can work out the solution.

    Sisterly hugs & love,
    Mary

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  3. Sister Kat: As I prepare every story that occurred from work and apply the spiritual things relating to that story, I'm the first one who is learning so much from the Lord's ways. I don't realize it at that time as the story unfolds, but much later as I try to digest what happened. I'm just grateful the Lord is always there to guide me and protect me. God bless.

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  4. Sister Mary: Funny you remember "I'm little".LOL. Inmates are usually polite to medical staff, but not all. Sometimes, we encounter those "not-so-nice" ones.
    I think God has a great reason why He put 2 ears and just 1 mouth when He created us :) I need to work on that, too, listen more instead of yakking :) Thanks for your tip. Love and blessings.

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  5. Wonderful post and application. I am amazed as I read your stories and applications. GOD is revealing HIMSELF through you in tremendous ways.
    I just told a worker in a retail store today how I try to never forget where I came from. I had witnessed other individuals be arrogant with the worker...and that is totally unexceptable. She was working hard and deserves the respect of all who enter the business.
    Blessings and prayers, andrea

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  6. Sister Andrea: So sad that many are so blinded with their own pride that they think it's right to mistreat others. May God bless that worker you mentioned and that her hard work will pay off if not today, then sometime in the near future, well, in God's perfect time. I'm sure you talking with her had lifted her spirit. Sometimes, it only takes one person to make a big difference in someone's life. God bless.

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  7. You know, not all people while at work see their time as a ministry or that they truly are a vessel in which the Lord can and will use you but you my dear Sister are truly "set apart"

    This was an example of Christ and His love, His discipline in Love. I pray the inmate will also know that like you knowing and seeing him do such a dishonest act that God did to! But God disciplines those he loves!

    You did so good! Bless you!

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  8. Such a fantastic story my friend, be blessed. I love you.

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  9. Sister Loren: When I was new at this job I never understood why the Lord brought me there after working in Orthopedics for a long time. He took me out of my comfort zone and now, as every events happen or even about to happen, I know the reason "why". God will put us in areas where sometimes it is very uncomfortable. But we also learn to rely on Him more and if we keep trusting in Him, nothing will go wrong.There is nothing better than to be willing to do things for His glory! "Yes, I'm glad the Lord disciplines...then I know He does it out of love." God bless.

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  10. Sister Denise: I am blessed by your guys' encouraging comments and visits! Love you in Christ.

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  11. "What I want to ask you is: Would you help me become a different man?"

    Ex-Nazi Albert Speer, to Pastor Georges Casalis, chaplain in Spandau Prison, the late 1940s, quoted in Gitta Sereny, Albert Speer: His Battle with Truth, page 23.

    The cry of the heart, longing for a Redeemer.

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  12. Wow Rosel,
    Your stories are so amazing! The people that God puts in your path to touch with His love, will never ever be the same! Your wonderful!
    Christy

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  13. Bro.Ike: That's a very profound question you just shared. Yes, we can change someone...by pointing them to the cross...to the redemptive power of what Jesus had done! I haven't read that book, so I want to ask you back, was this man able to accept God's grace? God bless.

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  14. Sister Christy: I am hoping and praying that the Lord will continue to use me as His tool of sharing His love and grace as I come in contact with these people who don't know Who He is. May the changes start in me so I can be an effective tool. God bless.

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  15. Rosel,
    You are so brave my friend. God is using you . . . Praise HIS Holy Name! Keep praying for me my friend as I will for you. I will be speaking some this summer. My big fear "speaking". . . of course not fear from the Lord. HE is opening doors and I know I must go through them. HE is my reason for everything. HE is the Glory!
    Love You,
    Bren

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  16. Sister Bren: When my father's church invited me to speak to their congregation in 2006, I was afraid at first. But amazing when I gave it to the Lord, without preparation or anything, He guided me the whole time. Of course, I'm always praying for you and with that special request. May the Lord guide you and speak through you. Can't wait to hear about this. God bless. Love you in Christ.

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  17. From what I have read of the man...he had the "repentance" of Judas. Remember that among the original twelve disciples, only one wanted to be seen as Jesus' "friend" without ever really bowing to His authority as Lord and Master.....and that was Judas. A lot of people (and Satan as well) had some kind of "personal relationship" with Jesus during His earthly ministry without submitting to Him as Lord.

    I will stick my neck out here and say something that is included in the book I am working on called, "The Judas Tragedy", based on Matthew chapter seven. Stop and think of the typical gospel presentations in todays modern evangelism. You will hear sinners being told to....."accept Jesus Christ as personal Savior"..."ask Jesus into your heart"......"invite Christ into your life".....or..."make a decision for Christ." You may be so accustomed to hearing all those phrases that it will shock you to learn that none of them is based on biblical terminology......"NONE". They are the products of a diluted gospel and NOT the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.

    I do not have the space here to further explain, but I do encourage everyone to read....re-read...and study the seventh chapter of Matthew. He is saying in this chapter that of all the people who "emphatically" call Me Lord......of these people.....only a "few" are genuine. As I have told those at "The Glass House"........this is the most frightening chapter in all of Scripture. Not everyone who claims to be a Christian really is. Unbelievers do make false professions of faith in Christ, and people who are not truly Christians can be decieved into thinking they are. Scripture tells us to examine ourselves and all of us can do just that in 1 John.

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  18. Bro.Ike: That is an interesting chapter in Matthew and I'm glad you brought it up. The other day, I was just discussing that with my husband on our way home after we saw a man with his guitar singing some worship songs and he had a banner behind him of some organization we were not familiar with. And I thought of that chapter and told my husband how scary that not all who called Jesus as Lord would be able to enter the Kingdom of heaven. The bottom line is our faith in Jesus, not our own efforts. Sad to say, a lot of people are still trying so hard to earn salvation by works. The Bible did warn us to test the spirit. Thanks for sharing about this. God bless. I gotta' go and reread that chapter :)

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  19. My sweet friend, obeying the Lord each and every day is the real adventure. Your story touched me today. Thank you for sharing.

    Blessings from Costa Rica,
    Sarah Dawn

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  20. Sister Sarah: Amen! Thanks for coming by. God bless you and your ministry.

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  21. My Dear Sister Rosel,

    Oh dear, sweet soul, you are a genuine one. Your heart exudes the Lord's as He consumes you in everything you think, hear, do or say. He is using you to the utmost degree while working in he prison system and as a nurse. I am amazed at every life story that you share and the lessons that not only the inmates learn, but all of us as well. God uses you mightily and you obey His commands at all times. You are an "Awesome Woman" from the Lord. He resides in you and you in Him.

    I thank you Father for such a wonderful gift of life: our sweet friend and sister "Rosel". She shines with excellence of who you want us all to be: loving, obediant, trusting in You, leading others to You and so much, much more. Father, I ask that you abundantly bless her in all ways and that you continually watch over and protect her at all times in the environment that she works and that you are using her in all for Your Glory in Jesus precious name. Amen!

    I love you Rosel.

    Peace, Blessings, Hugs & Prayers,
    Alleluiabelle

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  22. Sister A-belle: Thank you for your prayer. I appreciate that you take the time to visit me. Of course, I'm keeping you and Ron in my prayers as well. The glory belongs to our Lord! I am praying for Him to continue to mold me because I am still a big work that needs to progress for Him. God bless you and thank you for such sweet comments. Love you in Christ.

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  23. Wow! What a powerful message! God Bless you for what you do. Many will think how can you be kind to an inmate. They are in there for wrong doing. But when we think about it, we all have done wrong. Maybe not bad enough to be in jail/prison, but sometimes in our own personal prisons. We can share the Lord with them and not even say a word about it, just by pure kindness like you had shown that young man that was trying. What an inspiration. You made my heart sing! Love and blessings to you.

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"Faith is taking the first step even if you don't see the whole staircase..."
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

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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