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Long time ago, when I was assigned in another facility, I used to do sick calls prior to the end of my shift in the morning. I tried to be fast by doing the treatments first, like dressing changes, blood pressure checks, footsoaks [yeah, sounds like spa treatment!]…

Prior to doing my sick call, I usually reviewed the charts and tried to prepare the medications I anticipated to give. For instance, if an inmate was complaining of coughs and cold, I would prepare the pain reliever and cold pills. It made my sick call more organized. Thus, everyone got seen and I finished my list, instead of passing it on for the next day’s sick call.

I asked the inmates direct to the point kind of questions. I tried not to give them more time inside my little office. They would tend to look around and would get familiar with what things were in a particular place. Also, I tried not to be distracted. That was for my own safety and for safe keeping of things around us.

One time, as I was in the middle of my sick call and had probably just 3 inmates left, I was thinking I would have a lot of time left for my charting. When a well-sculpted inmate walked in. I remembered reading his chart and his sick call request, complaining of cold symptoms.

I looked at him once and greeted him a good morning. He sat down on the chair against the table I was using. He flexed his arms. But I didn’t say anything. I knew right away that he wanted me to give him a compliment. He flexed it some more. No response from this nurse.

“Sir, what brings you here today?”

“Uhmmm…I don’t feel good.”

“I know you don’t feel good. Can you be more specific?”

He lifted the sleeves on both of his arms. And flexed his muscles. Every muscle was well-built from using the bars to lift themselves up or do hundreds of push-ups.

“Look at these,” he said, making his muscles move as if he was Hercules.

“What about it, Sir?” I asked, still with the same stoic face.

“Can’t you see?”

“See what? If you came here to just display your muscles, obviously, you’re not sick. Kindly step out of my office now and you may go,” as I called the deputy at the same time and told him about the situation.

The inmate was surprised. Surprised that I didn’t compliment him and that I ended his sick call just like that. But he wasn’t upset with my latter gesture. He went back to his cell. Turned around really quick and said to me, “I’m sorry, Ma’am.”

“It’s okay. But if you’re really, really sick, you can come see us anytime,” I replied.

We can feel good about a job we did so well and there’s nothing wrong with that. But what God hates is the kind of pride that arises from self-righteousness. He hates it because it stops us from seeking Him.

Because of pride, many people do not accept Jesus as their Savior. Pride is a sin that God hates because we are giving credit to ourselves, instead of giving it to God, Who accomplishes things. It is bragging about the glory that truly belongs to Him. It is worshipping ourselves, instead of the Lord Who deserves our worship.

Next time you parade your muscles to anyone, think about Who enabled and sustained you to have those in the first place.

From NIV:

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.” ~ James 4:6 [ESV]

18 Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall. 19 Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed than to share plunder with the proud. ~ Proverbs 16:18-19

3"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. ~ Matthew 5:3

4 In his pride the wicked does not seek him; in all his thoughts there is no room for God. ~Psalm 10:4

7For who makes you different from anyone else? What do you have that you did not receive? And if you did receive it, why do you boast as though you did not? ~ 1 Corinthians 4:7

13 To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech. ~ Proverbs 8:13

“A proud man is always looking down on things and people; and, of course, as long as you're looking down, you can't see something that's above you.” ~ C. S. Lewis
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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 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].