Thank You Lord for Your wonderful, faithful, everlasting love. Thank You for Your mercy. We hurt You many, many times, yet You always readily forgive us when we turn to You. Who is like that among us Lord? None..."For Your ways and thoughts are higher than ours".
I choose to seek You. I choose to receive Your love. I choose Your forgiveness. I choose to believe in You. I choose to have faith and trust only in You. I choose to sing this song You had given me in my heart. I choose to love You.
Thank You Lord for always carrying me whether I'm in troubling times or not. Thank You for saving me. Thank You for reaching out Your hand to me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Deuteronomy 10:21 - "He is your God, the one who is worthy of your praise, the one who has done mighty miracles that you yourselves have seen."
You, Oh Lord Jesus
Lord, I give my heart to You
Lifting up my hands to praise and thank You
Sometimes I have no words to say
But I know You’re here with me, come what may…..oh Lord
You… saved me
And You…healed me
And You….love me….oh Jesus…
Jesus, I trust in You
No one else loves me the way You do
On the cross You died for all
You call us friends if we choose to believe in You…Oh Jesus…
~ rcubes 8/20/09 1322hrs.
I went into my room before taking a nap and decided to talk with Him. I didn’t need to search. I knew what I was looking for. My right hand’s digits opened the Bible to “Psalm 91”. I knew I needed that protection that He provides.
Prior to that, I visited sister Mary . I had known her as one of my long time bloggy friends and someone who just incessantly pray. I know a lot of you are praying for me. And this is just a moment for me to let you all know how much I appreciate all of you knowing how vital it is that we pray for each other, too. I truly am very grateful to have met each one of you and in you, I have the best assurance that I am covered with your awesome prayers as I walk into the well-guarded facility, but open and vulnerable to spiritual attacks.
This is how the night went:
The charge nurse had me working in the office. But there was a new nurse requesting to work with me at Intake so she could be exposed more and learn more. As much as I hated to be at Intake, I thought, “Is it You Oh Lord Who wants me there? For whatever reason, that’s fine with me. But I need You. I need Your protection, Your wisdom. No drama for me tonight Lord. And if it’s not too much to ask of You, may it be a quiet night?” I silently prayed.
Friday nights are known to be bad nights at Intake. That’s when many bodies who regularly go to the bars go for a casual drink. Unfortunately, they make a bad decision of getting behind their wheels and that was how they were caught. Some were long time alcoholics whose faces became so familiar that when they get released on the previous nights, you just had that gut feeling that they would be back.
The PM nurse was busy, busy and loud! I could feel a lot of restless spirits [hard to explain]. Loud, talking with Sergeant and deputies. She hasn’t given me her report but I had already checked and logged on those inmates under Suicide Watch.
There were 2 bodies in each of the 2 safety cells that we had [where they are more serious than suicidal ones because they are always agitated and sometimes, hard to control without giving them a calming medicine]. The inmates lined-up were quiet but the amount of bodies just contributed to these distractions. Deputies were constantly yelling, calling whoever was needed to be processed and fingerprinted. Their mug shots taken. Some inmates resisted and were just too intoxicated to be talked to. They were thrown [not literally] into sobering cells until they could talk better. But that meant more bodies for me to check and make sure they were not having withdrawal symptoms from drinking too much or other illegal substances.
Along with the deputies’ yelling, people working at the Bridge were yelling, too, calling on each person to be booked. The orientee PM nurse was asking for my attention, as I was just screening an arrestee who came back from the hospital with doctor’s orders. She was requesting for me to teach her because the other nurse was busy and she was starting to panic because it was almost time to go.
I answered her questions patiently but in my mind, I was thinking I would be behind with my own work. My orientee came in and was also overwhelmed with the activities that seemed like a zoo!
I talked to the Lord in my mind and with a soft prayer, “It can’t be happening. I asked for Your protection, guidance, calm night, no drama! It is the opposite though, Lord. I am overwhelmed right now and my charting is piling up. I’m not complaining but I just need You to assist me. Then, I know I will be fine! Help me, Lord!”
In the next hour that followed, the PM nurse finally got done and decided she could give me her report. The new nurse working with me looked at me and sighed and with her eyes, I felt like she uttered, “Finally…” I heard a “Whew…” under her breath.
Until it was just her and I. I started telling her a few things how it should have really gone with the change of shift report. But now she knew that it was impossible to get an orderly report at times because it could be very hectic as she witnessed herself.
We kept talking. I kept teaching. She was listening. Phone calls. More arrestees came with medical issues. Got up and checked on those suicidal inmates and offered water to those who didn’t have access to the fountain.
2 hours had passed. The other nurse turned her head toward me and said, “I like working with you. I hope I have another opportunity with you. It was so loud earlier, chaotic and so restless like. But with just you here, it was calm, busy but you were calm. We got caught up with things and you were able to teach me at the same time. I don’t know if I’m going to last here. There are so many other nurses who are hard to work with.”
She was right! The peace and calm felt like a blanket that covered all the areas of Intake at that moment. The suicidal ones in safety cells were calm and asleep. They took water when I offered but calmly and would just go back right to sleep. They never caused me any problems. The yelling, pounding on the window drunks all went to sleep, some were just sitting up, quietly as if wondering why they ended on those cold floors of the sobering cells.
“Lord, I know it’s You! You did answer me! Thank You!”
To the other nurse I replied, “You know what’s my secret before coming to this place?”
“What? I wanna’ know.”
“Pray…I pray…because we have to.” [not minding what she would say about it by me saying that. Deep inside, it was just fitting to throw the glory back to the Lord and give a testimony at the same time].
“I believe that. I saw it…the calmness.” she replied.
“Don’t give up. I know it can be frustrating many times. But think about it, you came from a different setting. Everything here, you need to learn. I think you are doing great! I’ll say, give it about 3 more months. Don’t say you’ll quit.”
“3 months? Hmmm…That long? I don’t know if I can.”
“Yes, you can. Because I did. 9 years ago, I was in the same shoes. And another kind nurse told me the same words I told you just now. If I made it, then, surely you will, too. When I also came to really believe God and accept Him in my heart, it also changed everything, the way I look and see things.”
“Okay. I’ll try. Thank God I am with you tonight.”
“Thank God is right!” I added.
Sorry guys that this is too long. But I want to bring the point of how important it is to lift up everything in prayers, all our worries to our good Lord Who is always listening. And if we really follow His lead, you just never know if He will put someone in your path that needs encouragement, that needs to hear a testimony, not about us, but His grace, His provision, His love, His faithfulness. I can go on and on…Thank you for your prayers and thanks be to God Who answers our petitions! So, to Him be the glory forever and ever, in all ages of eternity to come! God bless all of you and may we keep on growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ!!!
Prayers surely open that door to PEACE…
Facing him, I lifted his shirt to find a well-healed scar that ran from the top of his left shoulder down to the front of that joint. Grimacing a little bit as I asked him to move forward, it was really difficult for him to move around.
Not sensing any danger or threat, I had requested the deputy if it was okay to undo the handcuff. He immediately took it off upon my request.
“Ahhh…Thank you nurse! That’s better! It really hurt me. I had a previous surgery on my left shoulder when I had an accident one time,” his face still filled with doubts as to why he was summoned to be seen by the nursing staff.
“I know, Sir. I’m glad you told me. Do you know why you’re here?” I politely asked.
“Hmm..Not really Ma’am. But I’m scared. I don’t know what’s going on,” he replied.
“Sir, you had put a sick call request saying that you wanted to kill yourself.”
“What?,” an astonished answer echoed. “How did it sound with what I wrote?,” he asked.
“What do you mean what did it say? You’re the one who wrote it, right? Not unless someone else did it for you?” I queried with the determination to find out if another inmate was playing a joke on this poor, anxious man.
“What did it say again, Ma’am?”
“That you wanted to kill yourself!,” I patiently repeated.
“I am so sorry, Ma’am. I don’t really know how to read and write. I could not find anyone to help me write for me so I tried my best. My real problem was that I had been having nightmares since I got here. I was also hearing voices telling me not to sleep. So, those sleepless nights…they’re killing me!!!,” he explained. “I don’t have any intention to hurt myself,” he pled strongly with a direct eye to eye contact.
I glanced at the square note. It read: “Keent slip. I nid hellp. Kill meee.”
I couldn’t help but smile, until a soft laughter ensued. Not to make fun of him but a smile of relief that he was not really suicidal. He must have sensed that I believed in him then. I saw him became more relaxed at the corner of my eye. I heard him laugh softly, accompanying mine.
“Sir, it’s okay if you can’t read or write and that we misunderstood this request. But here, we take “suicidal ideations” seriously. I had asked your unit to bring you down to make sure that you don’t have any intention to hurt yourself. Because we’re here to help you and not allow you to do that. Sometimes, it may feel that there is no hope and help for others, but there is help available.”
“No, Ma’am. I am in no way planning to kill myself. But thank you for checking with me and being concerned,” his eyes now wrinkled from the smile he managed to give time to time.
“Well, how about this…I’ll go ahead and give you something for pain for your shoulder and wrist. But I will still have someone from Mental Health Services evaluate you so they can help you with your nightmares or anxiety attacks.”
He replied, “Thank you. I was so scared earlier not knowing what’s going on. I think I was so scared that I was praying. Thank you again. I appreciate that you did take care of my other true problems.”
The deputy escorted him back to his unit. But his wrists were without a handcuff this time. The anxious look earlier now replaced with relief and a little laughter that echoed for a few minutes.
“Suicide!” It is a big issue in the jail. When someone declares that intention, he/she is placed in a special place where they can be monitored 24/7 until the Mental Health doctor evaluates and treats them. They get released back to general population if the doctor gives an order to release them if he feels that they are mentally stable.
Suicide is what we commit when we are far from what God had willed for us. We hurt ourselves by depriving of being useful for Him. We commit spiritual suicide when we allow bad circumstances to empower us, instead of His strength and guidance to help us succeed in this life’s journey.
Apart from God, we are just existing, living a meaningless life. Our hearts are void of joy, joy that only comes from knowing Jesus Christ.
Let us not end the works marked for each of us. And we can live victoriously… if we know His will: to be joyful, prayerful and thankful.
1Thessalonians 5:16-18 - “Always be joyful. Keep on praying. No matter what happens, always be thankful, for this is GOD’s WILL for you who belong to Christ Jesus.”
John 10:10 - Jesus said, “The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.”
John 8:51 - Jesus said, “I assure you, anyone who obeys My teaching will never die!”
Romans 6:6-11 - “Our old sinful selves were crucified with Christ so that sin might lose its power in our lives. We are no longer slaves to sin. For when we died with Christ we were set free from the power of sin. And since we died with Christ, we know we will also share his new life. We are sure of this because Christ rose from the dead, and he will never die again. Death no longer has any power over him. He died once to defeat sin, and now he lives for the glory of God. So you should consider yourselves dead to sin and able to live for the glory of God through Christ Jesus.”
When nothing makes sense and when troubles seem more than you can bear, remember that God gives strength. Take our eyes off any difficulties and look to God. Let us LIVE...and be joyful.
2.3 million men and women now pack our prisons and jails.
7% of the total prison population is made up of women; the United States incarcerates more women than any other countries.
95% of all state prisoners will be released back into the community , at a rate of more than 700,000 per year.
66% of released prisoners are arrested again within 3 years.
52% end up back in prison within that same time period.
$68 billion of taxpayers’ money is spent on corrections per year.
Crime costs $105 billion annually in medical expenses, lost earnings, and costs for victim services. Victims lose 6 million days of work per year.
Source: Pew Center on the States
Working nights, I haven’t really gotten the chance to see any volunteer who is involved with their churches’ prison ministries. Though I heard about many lives who were turned around from worse to good as the Good News is brought by these brave volunteers.
Why minister to prisons? Because these inmates are capable of changing. One volunteer is all it takes for them to see and hear the hope that comes from Christ, the freedom that comes from Christ.
Jesus came to “seek and save what was lost” and as His servants, we must be in prisons as well as Jesus would have done. These inmates must hear the healing that comes from Jesus alone. In their brokenness, they must know that there is hope and that no amount of their burden is beyond Jesus’ love and His power to transform.
And when an inmate’s life is transformed, it also changes the lives of those involved.
Have you heard about David Berkowitz or “Son of Sam” as people had known him? He was an American serial killer and arsonist, terrorizing New York back in the 70’s. He claimed he was a member of a Satanic cult.
In 1987, he became a born-again Christian by coming across Psalm 34:6 from a pocket sized Gideon’s Testament Bible that another inmate had given to him. [“I had cried out to the Lord in my suffering and he heard me. He set me free from all my fears.”-Psalm 34:6].
And from then on, hard to believe as it was for others to see his transformation, if not for prison ministries who bring in the Good News, he would have still be held in spiritual bondage.
He got involved with prison ministry himself and counsels troubled inmates. He doesn’t have an access to computers, so a church group maintains this website for him for others to see.
But I’m not focusing on “Son of Sam”, my friends. I am pointing to the transformation power that comes from the cross. In this man’s broken life, he had a major change and a different journey he took, once he found that road “off the beaten trek” that led to Christ.
I'm also recognizing the great brothers and sisters in Christ who willingly chose to serve Christ by going to these dark areas [prisons] and sharing the light that comes from the Light of the World. They have to lay down all their worries and fears, just so they can minister to these lost souls. Deprived of seeing the true light, hopelessness surrounds them inside these walls, day after day. Every time these faithful servants go in, a shed of hope is left behind to those who will open up their hearts and minds to God’s forgiveness. I ask that we remember them in our prayers as it is vital for all who are working for Christ:
Father, I lift up these brothers and sisters in Your Holy Name who minister to prisons all over the world, bringing the Gospel so that these inmates locked up twice, both physically and spiritually, may hear about the hope that comes from You, the freedom You give, Your love that is faithful and unconditional.
Lord, please guide them with Your divine wisdom, protect them as they minister to inmates and give them Your strength. Open the inmates’ hearts and minds Lord before the volunteers go inside any prisons, so that these lost souls may be more receptive of this Seed that needs to be planted in the garden of their hearts.
Thank You Lord for everything that You had done. Thank You for dying on the cross so that all of us may live. Thank You for calling these people who sacrifice their own lives to help out others who are in the dark. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
If you want to hang around for a while, please watch this video and see the difference to that inmate who accepted Christ when she was released from the prison. God is the only One Who can change our hearts...that is...if we are willing to accept Him. Glory to God!
“They put something in my food. I’m allergic to legumes. They must put some “soy” or something. I had pancakes.”
“Sir, pancakes here don’t have soy or legumes in them,” I replied as I hurried to strap the blood pressure cuff on one of his arms and put the oxygen saturation monitor on his thumb. The reading flashed 99% [anything more than 90% is great!].
“Something! I just told you! My throat is closing up! Aahh…” His moaning and gasping for air continued as he tried to wobble his head side to side.
Using a wooden tongue depressor, I took a peek into his mouth and with my bright flashlight, did not see any obstructive object nor there was any visible swelling. However, it didn’t mean that there was no problem down deeper with his larynx [voice box] or any structure below that might be swelling up. I needed to explore further.
I had him close his mouth and using my stethoscope, listened to him take a deep breath as I commanded him to do so. The sound of a troubled breathing was not present when he did so. He appeared calm and was able to take some breaths in without the struggle he portrayed when he first walked in. His lung sounds were clear! Watching the oxygen monitor at a close distance, it was staying at 99%.
He only had a history of seizure, nothing else. Working in the jail, the medical staff was just aware of how manipulative some inmates could be. He was one of them. And if we ignored his complaints, he could potentially fake a “seizure and become a man down”.
The other nurse called the on-call doctor anyway. And just to be on the safer side, his order was received to give him some medications to counter the allergic reaction.
“Sir, I needed you to swallow the water first.” He didn’t know that everything I had him do was to be observed and as he took a gulp or two without difficulty, I already knew that he wasn’t having an anaphylactic reaction.
Giving him his pills, one at a time, he started demanding, “I need the epinephrine shot! They gave that to me one time!”
“Sir, I can’t give you anything that the doctor had not ordered. This is what he ordered and this is all I can give you. If these don’t seem to help, I will call him back.”
Appearing more calmly, he surrendered to my advice. He started trusting me. Yet, after swallowing the pills without any difficulty, he started demanding again for the “shot!”. The day charge nurse walked in at that time and immediately recognized him and knew he was a hard kind of patient to have.
I motioned for him to relax on one of the benches in the Clinic’s waiting area so we could continue to monitor him, as his agonizing breaths, now became more normal and the demands waning.
Sad…As I went back to my charting. That we, too fall into this same habit. How easy it is to agree with Christ with no intention of obeying. We desire for things of this world that end up choking the desire to pursue Christ first.
Like this inmate wanting the shots, are we yelling, “I want money!” “I want happiness!” “I want everything that this world offers!”
Are we still desiring for Christ and His Kingdom? Or we’ll allow ourselves to get choked up by things that have no value? We need to relax, and think about the only “One” we will ever need.
“The thorny ground represents those who hear and accept the Good News, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the cares of this life and the lure of wealth, so no crop is produced.” -Matthew 13:22
“So don’t worry about having enough food or drink or clothing. Why be like the pagans who are so deeply concerned about these things? Your heavenly Father already knows all your needs, and He will give you all you need from day to day if you live for Him and make the Kingdom of God your primary concern.” - Matthew 6:31-33
Song of Songs 8:6 - “For love is strong as death, and its jealousy is as enduring as the grave. Love flashes like fire, the brightest kind of flame.”
This is a song the Lord gave me on August 21, 2005: [God is Love]
The sun slowly rose on the eastern skies. One by one, the imprisoned bodies woke up and gave themselves a stretch and yawned. Donning themselves with blue uniforms, they started getting ready to be sent for work in different areas of the prisons.
Lined up neatly in a row, by two’s, several marched ahead to go to the bakeries to bake the loaves of bread that would feed the entire jail population for the following days to come. Freshly-baked aroma filled the air and woke up those not working and who stayed behind in their cells.
Some went to the kitchen to make some meals, some of them to serve the custody and medical staff in the dining area where they could learn some etiquettes in taking the staff’s orders and the manner they would serve the ordered food. Others would start making big batches of food for those incarcerated. Hot oatmeals were stirred in a big pot, soups were boiling, chickens and vegetables were cut up for a particular menu and individual trays were readied that would go to different housing during “chow times” [meals].
The garage was busy with the inmates learning how to fix cars, painting them, restoring the engine parts.
The laundry area was noisy with the busy washing machines, full of heavy loads of prisoners’ uniforms. As the dryers joined in with the rhythmic din, some inmate workers were already folding some dried clothes, arranging them in neat piles on a big bin.
Some were outside, clearing the tall weeds, mowing the lawn, putting fertilizers on the beautiful landscape they had created days before.
Others could be found in the Bridge [central part of the jail] where they would maintain the cleanliness or help the staff with some errands within the facility.
Still, some others, feeling lazy would put in a sick call request, hoping that the facility nurse would give them a few days off from their work. There were so many lame excuses but they didn’t know that it would be hard to get a valid off-work status, as jail nurses were always keen in detecting their needs or symptoms noted.
Yes, these broken lives are kept busy and by rehabilitation, hopefully will make them useful when they are released. This process gives them a new life to stay away from society‘s illness: drugs, alcohol, rape, robberies and other forms of crimes. With the skills learned, they can become more productive.
As Christians, previously broken and restored by the saving power of Jesus, we must not stop, too and be useful for the Lord. I think, sometimes, it’s easier to make excuses from witnessing with those people around us needing to hear the Good News. But there is a continual “harvest” that waits to be reaped.
And yes, we do this witnessing because it produces a joy of working for Him. It is a joy to see when new believers come to Christ.
Jesus said, “My nourishment comes from doing the will of God, Who sent Me, and from finishing His work. Do you think the work of harvesting will not begin until the summer ends four months from now? Look around you! Vast fields are ripening all around us and are ready now for the harvest. The harvesters are paid good wages, and the fruit they harvest is people brought to eternal life. What joy awaits both the planter and the harvester alike! You know the saying, ‘One person plants and someone else harvests.’ And it’s true. I sent you to harvest where you didn’t plant; others had already done the work, and you will gather the harvest.” - John 4:34-38.
He didn’t tell the Intake Nurse [admitting nurse] his drug use history the day prior when he got booked in the jail. Tired and wanted to be housed immediately, he eluded all the questions by answering “no’s” to all queries.
“Please, help me!” he begged, slightly shaking.
I took his vital signs and initiated the opiate withdrawal protocol we had been using at work. I gave him a small white pill for nausea/vomiting, a pink pill to help him sleep, and 2 white pills to help lower the fever and help him with the pain.
“Thank you, nurse for saving me. Thank you for listening to all of my complaints and for giving me the medications,” he sincerely uttered.
“It’s okay. I hope that the medications will help you and it will be given still for the next 5 days so you don’t have to put a sick call request, not unless you think that the symptoms are getting worse,” I advised.
Picking up his pass from the Clinic deputy, he waved at me and uttered “thank you” again as his steps headed back out to the hallway. He was long gone and I was still hoping and praying for him that those medications would help him be comfortable and praying for the Lord to change that man’s heart.
“Thank You Lord!”, I thought.
“Thank You for listening to my complaints. Thank You that You didn’t get upset even though I sinned heavily. Thank You for giving me another chance. Thank You for saving me! Thank You for healing me and thank You for continuously working in me. Thank You for being there when I called on You.”
How about you?
Are you into drugs?
How about drinking alcohol?
Do you think it’s cool to use it everyday?
Do you know that it’s slowly killing you and messing up the way you think or reason out?
Do you really think that the friends you hang out with and who are doing these things are going to be there when you get in big trouble?
Are they really the kind of “friends” you want to be with? Or are you just pressured because you want to be let in, be accepted, be a part of a group?
God is here. Always near. For all of us. When you’re tired from all of this mess, and you want your life to turn around, call on Him…Get back on the right track. Don’t end up in the jail like that young man I saw. Do it now…while there is time….
“Listen, my child to what your father teaches you. Don’t neglect your mother’s teaching. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and clothe you with honor.” - Proverbs 1:8.
“My child, if sinners entice you, turn your back on them!” - Proverbs 1:10.
“My child, listen to me and treasure my instructions. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight and understanding. Search for them as you would for lost money or hidden treasure. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.’ - Proverbs 2:1-5.
“For the Lord grants wisdom! From His mouth come knowledge and understanding.” - Proverbs 2:6.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do and He will direct your paths.” - Proverbs 3:5,6.
“Seek the Lord while you can find Him. Call on Him now while He is near. Let the people turn from their wicked deeds. Let them banish from their minds the very thought of doing wrong! Let them turn to the Lord that He may have mercy on them. Yes, turn to our God, for He will abundantly pardon.” - Isaiah 55:6,7.
Another Sunday! I always look forward to Sundays because of the many encouragement I find from many blogging for the Lord. If you want to know more about Spiritual Sundays, please visit this great site hosted by Sister Charlotte and Sister Ginger. Thank you both for always inspiring us to gather together, to encourage, to amuse, or to pray.
Handcuffed, he came out of the police’s squad car. A nauseating stench followed him wherever he went. His unkempt appearance obviously told his condition of being homeless. With only a backpack crammed with a few things, it was the only belongings he carried, day after day.
The deputies took everything away and stuffed them into the big, plastic bag. He was brought into a cell where he could shower. His dirty clothes were stripped and stuffed into the big, plastic bag, together with the backpack. This would go to “Property” where they would store all the inmates’ belongings and be returned to them, once released. Everything he had was filthy, same with himself.
Cleansed from a bath he never had for a while, he was issued the orange jail uniform. If he remained dirty and housed with others, he would be prone to being attacked by other inmates if the lingering stench would make them angry. But now that he had showered and all cleaned up, it was safer to have him housed with the rest of the jail’s population.
Aren‘t we all filthy, too? Smudged by sins that are deserving of God’s anger. But because of His love, mercy and grace, He chose to offer the cleansing power that comes from the death of His own Son.
The only way we can be housed with God is when we choose to be cleansed by the “blood of the Lamb”.
Isaiah 64:5-7, Contemporary English Version:
5 You help all who gladly obey and do what you want, but sin makes you angry. Only by your help can we be saved.
6 We are unfit to worship you; each of our good deeds is merely a filthy rag. We dry up like leaves; our sins are storm winds sweeping us away.
7 No one worships in your name or remains faithful. You have turned your back on us and let our sins melt us away.
Our righteousness will not save us. It’s God’s righteousness that makes us clean. Our only hope is faith in Jesus Christ, the One Who can cleanse us and can bring us into God’s presence. There is no other way!
Guide us Oh Lord from all these battles we face. As we venture each day, help us start walking on the right track. Give me discernment Lord to help me win my own battles, which is on making decisions. Help me choose the right one that pleases no one but You.
Lord, we are all prisoners. Prisoners from sins and anything that holds us down and keep us locked up in enjoying the freedom that You gave. We are all lined up on DEATH ROW as spiritual sins bring eternal death. But You Lord took those sins away from us by giving Your life on that cross. You have declared those people who believe in what You had done to be “not guilty!”
I pray Lord for many of them still wandering and lost in this life’s journey to come before You and accept Your offer of forgiveness. Thank You Lord for being patient. Thank You for loving us unconditionally. You are love and that’s why we know how to love others in return. It is because You have loved us first. Help me remember that You have accepted me for who I am, so that I may learn to love others unconditionally. I love You Lord!
Lord, I lift up my brothers and sisters in Christ suffering at this moment. Help them remember that You are always there guiding us, never forsaking us. That no matter how hard the trials are, we already are delivered in Your precious Name! All the praises belong to You Oh Lord. In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.
This is what the Lord showed me last night as I talked to Him:
“Gather together and pray, you shameless nation. Gather while there is still time, before judgment begins and your opportunity is blown away like chaff. Act now, before the fierce fury of the Lord falls and the terrible day of the Lord’s anger begins. Beg the Lord to save you - - all you who are humble, all you who uphold justice. Walk humbly and do what is right. Perhaps even yet the Lord will protect you from his anger on that day of destruction.” -Zephaniah 2:1-3.
When you’re weary, when you feel like quitting, when you’re on the verge of just giving up,
Returning from the county hospital after being admitted for a day, the female inmate gave me her yellow wrist band marked “Prego” [pregnant], as I gathered my instruments to take her vital signs.
“I don’t need this anymore, right?” she asked.
“You’re right! And just to let you know, your prenatal vitamins would be discontinued also and your bedtime snacks.”
The day before, she had continued bleeding. It was her 6th pregnancy I gathered. She told me that she had previous complications, too from her past pregnancies. She had 3 alive children and the rest, she ended up having miscarriages, including this last one.
Speaking calmly, she didn’t appear to be in distress. She answered appropriately with all of my queries pertaining to her health.
“How are you? Tell me, what are you thinking now about this loss. I’m so sorry this happened.”
“No. I’m okay Ma’am. I’m okay with it since I always had problem sometimes from the past,” she replied, her gaze meeting mine. Her penetrating cold stare that seemed to evade any empathy from my part.
“Okay, I just want to let you know that if much later on, you feel like you need to vent out, help is available. So, just put a sick call request from your unit, “I advised.
“Thank you Ma’am. May I go back to my unit now?”
“Of course! I know you must be tired. Just keep drinking lots of water, too as long as you can tolerate that,” I added.
After handling out her yellow pass so she could go back to her housing, her shadow slowly disappeared from the hallway of the clinic’s female side. No other inmates would know what she had just gone through, just by merely looking at her.
She might not have accepted my offer of help. But that was okay, too. Because deep in my heart, I know that our strengths were given to us to help us serve. God is the One rejoicing when we change our “How can I help myself?” attitude to “How can I help others?”
And that strength is for service, not for status. No matter who is in front of us, true service is helping them out without any bias and without seeking for praises or even recognition.
The right attitude when serving others arise from loving God first. When our motive is to love God and please no other, no ingratitude can hinder us from serving others.
There’s a big difference when we look at our workplaces as just “a job” versus an area where “we can have that opportunity to faithfully serve God and man.”
“Work hard and cheerfully at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ.” -Colossians 3:23,24
“You are the light of the world---like a city on a mountain, glowing in the night for all to see. Don’t hide your light under a basket! Instead, put it on a stand and let it shine for all. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” - Matthew 5:14-16
“For I was hungry, and you fed me. I was thirsty, and you gave me a drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me to your home. I was naked, and you gave me clothing. I was sick, and you cared for me. I was in prison, and you visited me.” -Matthew 25:35,36
Then, these righteous ones will reply, “Lord, when did we ever see you hungry and feed you? Or thirsty and give you something to drink? Or a stranger and show you hospitality? Or naked and give you clothing? When did we ever see you sick or in prison and visit you?” -Matthew 25:37-39
And the King will tell them, “I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me.” -Matthew 25:40
"All prayers are answered if we are willing to admit that sometimes, the answer is 'no'".
"Prayer is a confession of one's own unworthiness and weakness".-Mahatma Gandhi
"Prayer is the key to heaven, but faith unlocks the door."
"A lot of kneeling will keep you in good standing."
Hi everyone...I just want to thank you all who always keep me in prayers and yes, thanks be to God Who answers them and if not answered, it is because He knows what's best for us...
I just want to give you all an update regarding my post about the "flu scare" that happened at my workplace. Glory to God that because everyone was quick with the interventions, the sick inmates were contained in one place and a lot of information regarding educating them and all the staff in preventing the spread of this illness went out and so far, everything is going great by the grace of God!
I have been feeling okay and I really appreciate all your encouragement and prayers. That's what I'm truly grateful for, meeting all of you. I treasure your friendships! So, I want to give this "not an award" but more so of "a gift from my heart" to all of you who come here and encourage me...Please feel free to take this gift from my heart to yours. [I drew this myself...].
I would like to especially thank these following wonderful siblings in Christ and you guys are awesome, always ready to bend down on your knees and fold your hands together when needs from others arise. God bless all of you and this is awesome that we can pray altogether. You are all "AWESOME PRAYER INTERCESSORS"...And I love you all in Christ!
[In no particular order]:
I want to share this with all of you...God bless...
Pray For One Another
I cannot tell why there should come to me
A thought of someone miles and miles away,
In swift insistence on the memory,
Unless a need there be that I should pray.
Too hurried oft are we to spare the thought
For days together, of some friend away;
Perhaps God does it for us, and we ought
To read this signal as a call to pray.
Perhaps, just then, my friend has fiercer fight
And more appalling weakness and decay
Of courage, darkness, some lost sense of right
And so in case he needs my prayer, I pray.
Friend, do the same for me, if I intrude
Unasked upon you, on some crowded day,
Give me a moment’s prayer as interlude;
Be very sure I need it; therefore pray.
“Stay still!” I softly commanded. “I’m trying my best here but I need your help, too to try to be still despite the discomfort you would feel.”
“I’m sorry. Okay, I’ll try not to move around!” she answered.
Few days earlier, while being transferred from one facility to ours, she started having a vibrating-like noise inside her right ear. Crumpling a small amount of toilet paper, she thought it would be best for her to stick it inside her inner ear canal. She did feel some relief after doing so.
Except at that time when I saw her, she could barely hear. And she started having pain inside the right ear. I could have denied her request to be seen and just had the jail doctor treat her that morning. But I didn’t want to do so without even trying to help her out.
Focusing the special guided light, I saw a little wad of toilet paper stuck inside that covered the whole foramen of that inner canal. Fortunately, there was no sign of infection around the affected areas. She probably couldn’t hear because the paper blocked the whole canal.
Instilling some special eardrops, I waited a few minutes and started irrigating her ear with some warm water using a special kind of syringe. Only a small amount came out and even with a forcep, I only got out a little bit. At that time, the doctor was already there. Knowing that I had done my best, it was time for me to surrender and have the doctor do her part.
The doctor tried but still, the wad of toilet paper just wouldn’t budge. I took the syringe from the doctor. One morning nurse walked in and joined in by giving it a few more tries. She kept on irrigating the canal with warm water, this time, improvising with a special catheter tip for the syringe. All of a sudden, the entire paper came out!
The inmate beamed with joy! She kept thanking us knowing how hard the doctor, the other nurse and I tried and patiently treated her. Yet, during the entire process, her pain was minimized, despite the huge effort.
“I won’t do that again,” she promised. “I learned my lesson.” She smiled as she walked away to go back to her designated unit.
If there are situations that need our generosity, how much are you willing to give? Paul reminded us that we should give of what we have, not what we don’t have. Sacrificial giving must be responsible, too.
“If you are really eager to give, it isn’t important how much you are able to give. God wants you to give what you have, not what you don’t have. Of course, I don’t mean you should give so much that you suffer from having too little. I only mean that there should be quality.” - 2 Corinthians 8:12-13.
Reading Psalm 17:6 on September 1, 2007 inspired me to write this song “Forever”.
Psalm 17:6 says, “I am praying to You because I know You will answer, O God. Bend down and listen as I pray.”
O Lord, listen as I pray
I come to You because I know You’ll answer me
Oh God, You are my strength
At times I’m so lost and I feel so weak
Forever, I will bless Your Name
Your unfailing love that has an undying flame
Forever, I will worship You alone
I trust no one but You, my Lord
O Lord, You listen as I pray
I come to You because I know You’re listening
O God, You’re the light of this world
You help us rise again when we stumble and fall
“Don’t pray for lighter burdens but for stronger backs.”
“Prayer is when you talk to God; meditation is when you listen to God.” - Diana Robinson
“Prayer is not asking. It is the longing of the soul. It is the daily admission of one’s weakness. It is better in prayer to have a heart without words than words without a heart.” - Mahatma Gandhi
“To be a Christian without prayer is no more possible than to be alive without breathing.” - Martin Luther King, Jr.
For more encouragement from other brothers and sisters in Christ, please visit Spiritual Sundays hosted by two God-loving women, sisters Charlotte and Ginger. You may also join in...
[Please click on the first image to make it more readable. Thank you].
Thank you sister Kat for these 3 awesome awards!
Please grab these and pass it along. You're all awesome! Don't let it end here!
Sitting on one of the chairs used for sick calls, a young male was holding on to his upset stomach. With our medical secretary nearby, to interpret for both of us [between Spanish and English], he complained of not being able to keep his food down.
He was just incarcerated the day before. But he failed to inform the Intake Nurse [admitting nurse] that he had a habit of using massive doses of methamphetamines daily. So, he started going through some withdrawal symptoms that day. When night time came, he couldn’t stand it any longer and had requested to be seen by the medical staff.
All day, he wasn’t able to eat as he had been throwing up and had been going to the bathroom, afflicted with bouts of diarrhea. His vital signs fortunately were normal, except for his rapid pulse. My concern was that he was prone to being dehydrated because of his nausea and vomiting coupled with his diarrhea. And him, not being able to eat nor drink, the lost fluids were not replenished.
Night shift nurses were there to only see inmates with emergency kind of illnesses. His was not that of emergent but because of problems with dehydration, I told the charge nurse, I would go and treat the said inmate.
“Why are you seeing him?”, grumbled the deputy who needed to guard me as I treated the inmate. “So what if he’s withdrawing? Mother____!” “You use drugs and then, you come here to the jail and keep complaining. A-----!” “You need to throw up, then throw up! Jesus!”
I wasn’t saying anything. I knew in my heart that anyone who hasn’t fully accepted the Lord’s love would have the tendency to talk like that. And if that deputy is a Christian, that just showed how much we are in need still of God's grace and knowledge every day, to help our minds be renewed, our hearts transformed to His likeness.
As my emotions were building up, I asked the Lord for His wisdom in this situation that slapped my face. Immediately, I felt calm and sealed my mouth and felt I didn't need to speak until there would be a better opportunity to speak back, but not in the manner that would displease the Lord.
While getting the appropriate medications to relieve the inmate’s upset stomach, one LVN walked in as I was washing my hands and said sarcastically, “Well, the deputy wanted me to tell you for you to give TLC to that inmate.”
"This is it! This is the opportunity that the Lord whispered to my ears..."
Loudly, I responded, “Isn’t that my job? Not to judge but to give TLC to sick ones here?” I knew the deputy was passing by and I wanted him to hear me.
At that point, I walked out of the pharmacy and he was right there. He didn’t say anything but I intended for him to hear my response. He couldn’t look me in the eye.
The inmate took the medications and immediately felt relief. So he requested if he could go back to his unit. I informed him that the medications would continually be given for up to 5 days. He said “thank you” and walked away, not holding his stomach anymore.
James also reminded us about learning how to tame our tongue. Such a small organ but if we are not careful, it’s unimaginable to know how much damage it can do! Before we say anything, we must be careful that the words are not something we will regret later. It’s either you use your tongue to build up someone or hurt them. Your choice…Will you have a wicked tongue? Or will it be under control?
James 3:7-12 - “People can tame all kinds of animals and birds and reptiles and fish, but no one can tame the tongue. It is an uncontrollable evil, full of deadly poison. Sometimes, it praises our Lord and Father, and sometimes it breaks out into curses against those who have been made in the image of God. And so, blessing and cursing come pouring out of the same mouth. Surely, my brothers and sisters, this is not right! Does a spring of water bubble out with both fresh water and bitter water? Can you pick olives from a fig tree or figs from a grapevine? No, and you can’t draw fresh water from a salty pool.”
Please turn up your volume and enjoy this song of worship! To God be the glory!
“Give him a mask,” I suggested to the Intake Nurse as I went there to help her out in screening newly-arrived arrestees. I distanced myself far away from this man when I was screening another arrestee and my attention got caught by his coughing.
This particular young male she was screening for health problems was coughing until he threw up a little bit. He stated that he had been sick for five days but he never sought any medical treatment.
Aware of the prevalence of the “swine flu scare” that we had recently, despite the vital signs being normal except for a mild fever, putting a mask on him was what first came to my mind as the number 1 intervention. Doing so would prevent others from contracting anything if that inmate happened to be contagious.
The other nurse kept sitting close to him. She didn’t seem to listen to my suggestion. Hesitantly, she felt like sending him to the hospital. She phoned the charge nurse for her second opinion. The whole time, the inmate continued to cough without a mask on.
“Sir, will you please cover your mouth whenever you cough?” I commanded.
Upset with his latest arrest, he seemed to purposely cough louder and tried to draw attention to scare others nearby. He was admitted and the nurse placed him for the doctor’s sick call that morning. Still without agreeing with my suggestion of giving him a mask.
When I went back to work that night, I learned about the chaos that ensued. The doctor ended up sending that inmate to the county hospital because he had swine flu symptoms. Swabs were done on him and the custody staff who came in contact with him. The nurse who saw him wasn’t aware since she was off that night and work had failed to try to get hold of her. No one was answering her home phone. As a precaution, some deputies were started with Tamiflu, the antiviral medications that hopefully, would prevent the staff from getting sick and whoever was exposed with him.
All the high ranking officials and medical staff’s highest supervisors were notified. The actions came swiftly to contain those who had contact and treatment was initiated in no time.
I was grateful to know that we had that kind of response. But deep inside, I knew in my heart that this chaos would have been prevented if that inmate was given a simple mask and isolated from others.
That morning, I called that nurse early and didn’t care if I had to wake her up. She needed to know because I knew that she was exposed herself. Pending the result of the swab, it was her option to take the Tamiflu or not. She didn’t bring up about my suggestion but I felt her anxiety because it became a big problem. I sensed she was afraid if she would get in trouble as supervisors were all notified.
Why are we selective when it comes to hearing God’s Word? We know His ways are best for us but somehow, we ignore His warning. We do what we think we know is right. But oftentimes, our actions come back to either haunt us or hurt us.
4 - “Take my words to heart. Follow my instructions and you will live.”
5 - “Learn to be wise, and develop good judgment. Don’t forget or turn away from my words.”
6 - “Don’t turn your back on wisdom, for she will protect you. Love her, and she will guard you.”
7 - “Getting wisdom is the most important thing you can do! And whatever else you do, get good judgment.”
8 - “If you prize wisdom, she will exalt you. Embrace her and she will honor you.”
9 - “She will place a lovely wreath on your head; she will present you with a beautiful crown.”
There were 4 columns of men’s and women’s faces, horizontally and vertically. They were the “before and after drug use” kind of photos. And the pictures told it all, they were not pretty!
Two or three years of drug use made these faces looked so old! They were in their 20’s or 30’s and they looked like twice, even thrice their ages already. Teeth were decayed, some receded to their gum lines. Their hair falling off and brittle, compared to what was once thick and shiny hair with a nice style. Clear facial skin was replaced with overly dry condition, filled with rashes or acne all over. The once over-all well-kept appearance looked shabby and unkempt.
These people were trapped in the web of habitual substances abuse. Others made fun of them. They were ridiculed, outcast, perhaps, rejected. They would find their “quick-fix” by increasing the amount of drugs they used to achieve that “peace and elation” feelings they were hoping for. But unfortunately, their mental condition also began to deteriorate at the passing of times.
People are often quick to judge others just by seeing their faces or over-all appearances. They think that they know that person’s character just by merely looking at them from the outside. If they appear handsome or beautiful, they associate it with them being “good kind of people”. Or vice versa.
Long time ago, though He didn’t use drugs and “sinless”, there was a humble Servant who came here but he was judged, laughed at and ridiculed. He did not appear majestic so why would one believe that He was the “Son of God” even? He was only a carpenter, born in a manger, so how could He be the “King of all Kings?”
The prophet Isaiah described Jesus this way [Isaiah 53:1-6]:
1- “Who has believed our message? To whom will the Lord reveal his saving power?
2- “My servant grew up in the Lord’s presence like a tender, green shoot, sprouting from a root in dry and sterile ground. There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.
3- “He was despised and rejected - a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care.”
4- “Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins!
5- “But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed!
6- “All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the Lord laid on him the guilt and sins of all.
Be careful not to lose that opportunity of becoming “friends” with others just because your opinions have formed pertaining to their physical appearances.
It may be the “best friendship” you can ever find in your lifetime!
The Attacker (5/15/09)
The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies.
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 himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.
[Source: NLT 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].