I had everything ready in front of me: gauze, saline, wound cleanser, antibiotics, a sterile pack for wound care and some pain-relievers I had stashed in a small, tan envelope. He was screened by the Intake Nurse after being treated at the hospital. But as he was walking toward the unit where he would be housed, his wounds started bleeding. So, the deputy brought him to the Clinic and had us evaluated them again.
His left shin was swollen. The metal part of a baton etched on it, as it started to become bluish. He showed me his right elbow. There was a big abrasion that bled a little. His face, slightly swollen on the left cheek. He looked embarrassed at the same time. Not wanting to answer the deputy’s queries on what he did that precipitated the officers to hit him.
I wasn’t paying attention to their one-sided conversation. I was looking at each wound, thinking how it wasn’t even open but he looked like he was already in so much pain. And a scenery flashed in my mind that dated back thousands of years ago. When one man, sinless, was hit hard though no crime was ever committed by him. He knew this needed to happen. He had many wounds from being whipped. His head pierced with a crown of thorns. His hands and feet pierced by the nails. His side pierced by the Roman soldier. He wasn’t a felon. He was God’s only Son. Willed to die on the cross to pay for humanity’s sins. He is Jesus…..God has no obligation to save any of us. But because He loves us, He sent Jesus to take away the sins of the world…The punishment paid…by Jesus’ blood. The sentence no longer applies. And God raised Jesus from the dead. And the death sentence has been lifted from mankind, too.
“Everyone dies because all of us are related to Adam, the first man. But all who are related to Christ, the other man, will be given a new life.” ~ 1 Corinthians 15:22
But for us to be given eternal life, we must choose to believe in Jesus and repent for our sins and make Him the Lord of our lives. “You can enter God’s Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose the easy way. But the gateway to life is small, and the road is narrow, and only a few ever find it.” ~ Matthew 7:13-14
Do you know Jesus? Yes, the One wounded many years ago….The One Who died for you and me…
I just got done helping the LVN’s with the morning accuchecks on the female side. I finished checking all the female inmates’ blood sugar checks and that was when her laughter filled the entire clinic. Along with the other nurse, sitting in front of the computer monitor. With her head bent down as if she was fixing something. I saw a little plastic bottle on her right hand. It looked like a bottle of glue.
“Are you okay?” I asked as the other nurse who was laughing so loud and continuously was seeming to be out of breath by then.
The other nurse turned and said, “Yeah, I’m fine…” As she turned, I saw one of her fake eyelashes on her left hand. No wonder! It fell and she was trying to put it back with that glue. She was talking to the other nurse when it did and ever since, that nurse couldn’t stop laughing.
I did, too. I ended up joining the roaring laughter. To the point that my stomach hurt!!! For how long everyone was doing it, time seemed to stand still…
Fake lashes. Fake hair [extensions]. Fake everything. True and lasting beauty comes from the inside, not outside. A woman who fears the Lord and obeys Him is the one whose character and qualities lead to enjoyment, success, honor and worth. This is true beauty. From the inside out.
“Charm is deceptive, and beauty does not last; but a woman who fears the Lord will be greatly praised.” - Proverbs 31:30
“How long have you been using heroin?” I asked.
The deputy and the LVN looked at me surprised at the question I asked.
The inmate looked dumb-founded. Quiet for a few minutes and not sure what to say.
“Go on,” I added. “You can tell me. Don’t worry. The deputy will not use your answer against you because I needed to know this information before I have the doctor see you this morning,” I explained.
Unable to move his hands as they were both securely held behind his back with the silver handcuff, he said, “Yes, Ma’am. I’ve been using heroin heavily for so long now, I can’t remember.”
“That’s all I needed to know,” I uttered.
“Thank you for taking care of my wound,” he replied. He started tracing back his footsteps where he first walked in, the unit’s deputy right behind him, thanking me for treating the inmate.
“That was disgusting!” exclaimed the LVN. “But how did you know that he was using heroin? I thought he just had that abscess when he got arrested.”
“I just know. Working here for many years now. It doesn’t hurt to ask anyway,” I replied.
“Thank you nurse rcubes, for helping me treat that inmate. You were so nice to him,” she said.
“Don’t need to thank me. That’s our job here,” I retorted with a smile.
Nice to him? I was only paying back God’s goodness to me. Me? A wretched sinner who deserved punishment and God’s wrath, obtained His mercy instead. Forgiven. My spiritual wounds treated and healed by the merciful Savior. I am a sinner like that inmate. Like him, I also need God’s love and mercy. His compassion never fails. When our awareness of sins overcome us, His compassion never fails.
We should never be afraid to come to God for a clean slate and a renewed life.
Thank You Lord for forgiving me. Thank You for treating my ill ways and addictive behavior toward the worldly things. Thank You that when I confess my sins, You don’t hold them against me. And through Jesus, I obtain Your forgiveness, Your love and mercy.
“O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who looks after you and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green, giving my fruit to you all through the year. Let those who are wise understand these things. Let those who are discerning listen carefully. The paths of the Lord are true and right, and righteous people live by walking in them. But sinners stumble and fall along the way.” ~ Hosea 14:8-9
Jesus is the Supreme example of humility.
"Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death - even death on a cross!"
~ Phillippians 2:5-8
May you all be empowered by the Lord's might and power as you do the important work for His Kingdom [we all do!]. In your weakness, be reminded He is our strength. In your lack of supplies, He is our Greatest Provider. In sickness, He is our Greatest Physician. With your thirst, He is our Source of Living Water. No matter what dire consequences you are facing, He is the Source of joy! May God bless you all richly and may you continue to focus on looking up ahead, straight, onto Jesus! May you all have a wonderful week, being strong in the Lord's mighty power. To God be the glory always!
Please enjoy this wonderful song and reminder:
He was a respected Lieutenant, who just retired from law enforcement. But after that, he became the top official in a famous university’s security group. He must be the envy of other law enforcement officials. Then….
Not anymore….as my co-workers and I gasped at his booking photo. Booked for molesting a young person at the young age of 14. The teenager had grown to become an adult and turned around and squealed on what he had done. To her counselor, she spoke about the abuse he had done with her. To everyone’s shock!
Who would have thought? When the one who was supposed to protect someone was actually the perpetrator of this ugly crime?
Isn't it true for most of us, believers...that we still fall into sinning?
"But remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different than what others experience. And God is faithful. He will keep the temptation from becoming so strong that you can't stand up against it. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it." - 1 Corinthians 10:13
Yes, we can overcome falling in the traps of sins. By choosing to do what is right and praying for God's help. Running away from those tempting situation is our first step towards victory.
"Since you have been raised to new life with Christ, set your sights on the realities of heaven, where Christ sits at God's right hand in the place of honor and power. Let heaven fill your thoughts. Do not think only about things down here on earth. For you died when Christ died, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God. And when Christ, who is your real life, is revealed to the whole world, you will share in all his glory." ~ Colossians 3:1-4
"So put to death the sinful, earthly things lurking within you. Have nothing to do with sexual sin, impurity, lust, and shameful desires. Don't be greedy for the good things of this life, for that is idolatry. God's terrible anger will come upon those who do such things." ~ Colossians 3:5-6
Friends, sorry if I haven't been able to visit you all. I'm actually on a break but this came to my heart few minutes ago. May God bless all of you and protect you. Thank you for all of your prayers, loving thoughts and encouragements. "Be strong in the Lord's mighty power!"
“Excuse me nurse!” interrupted this inmate with walker who just came back from being treated from the county’s ER. He claimed he fell and continued to have numbness on his right leg. That it would be difficult to walk with the walker and preferred the wheelchair instead.
I was returning the wheelchair to our storage area, which the deputy used to wheel him back to the Infirmary when they got back at the Intake yard from the hospital.
“Do you think I can still use that? I think I can move around better with it than this walker. I need that wheelchair!!!” he requested.
I didn’t answer him. I just looked at him. He stopped talking. I didn’t need to explain anything. Because the charge nurse already explained to him what was about to happen with his care. He slowly turned his gaze away from me toward the tv set up on the wall when he sensed that I wouldn't dare to speak nor explain.
He claimed he was having numbness on his right leg. But all the tests came back negative. He didn’t know we were watching him earlier before he was let in to be examined by the charge nurse. He did okay ambulating with the front-wheeled walker.
“The tests were all negative,” explained the charge nurse.
“We can’t allow you to use the wheelchair at this time because you don’t fall into that criteria where we need to give you one,” she continued.
“Our jail doctor will re-examine you this morning. So just go back to your unit and we’ll see you again in the morning,” she explained.
He didn’t know, the medical staff is always careful issuing any equipment. They are all potential weapons. Some inmates use them, to make their medical condition appear worse. So that when they go to court to see the judge, they try to show or act that they are not in the best of health to commit whatever crime they were charged for. They might know some loopholes in the system. But we, nurses, are careful, too not to be tricked into the kind of games they play. We see the facts, the symptoms and we go from there. Along with the custody staff’s input as they observe them more closely and their behavior is different when they are in their particular units.
We all make requests, too. Through prayers. We know what we need. We know what we want. We may not be playing a game. But we pray not to change God’s mind and make Him give all the stuff that we need. We pray to change ours! And make our lives aligned to what He willed for us. We need to remain silent instead and tune in to what He planned for each of our lives. God knows everything even before we ask. It’s us who need to trust in Him and draw nearer to Him.
Why trust God?
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.” - Isaiah 43:1-3
“All who claim me as their God will come, for I have made them for my glory. It was I who created them.” - Isaiah 43:7
“For I am about to do a brand-new thing. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness for my people to come home. I will create rivers for them in the desert!.” - Isaiah 43:19
God delights in doing something new. He delights in making us a part of His plan. But sometimes, these new plans are the ones that make us uncomfortable. They are bringing us to “unseen” circumstances. We don’t know what to do at times. They can be so troubling. But God promised to be there with us. That is if we choose to walk with Him. And if we do, these plans become humbling experiences for us in return. Our weak faith becomes awed instead by His power and might. Awed by His love, grace, mercy and faithfulness.
“Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” - Philippians 3:13-14
Often times, I ask the inmates how they think their wounds are looking since night shift nurses do not perform treatments at night. Treatments are usually done in the morning by the day shift nurses who specifically go to the jail’s every unit and with their list, would start seeing them one by one.
I didn’t do this inmate’s initial dressing change. But it still looked awful to me. I wouldn’t go into a much more detailed steps I took to change his dressing. But over all, his finger was still swollen, and had a dark discoloration. It looked like it was rotting. But to him, it looked better.
“Awww…” he moaned.
“What’s wrong?” I asked though I know it might hurt a little because of the swelling.
“It hurts every time you guys change the dressing,” he replied with his face looking the opposite direction.
“Sir, it’s done,” I softly answered.
“It is?” he asked in disbelief with his eyes opened wide and bigger.
“Thank you. That’s the first time it didn’t hurt,” he smiled as he looked at his newly-dressed swollen finger.
“I saturated your old dressing with saline. That’s why you didn’t even feel the pain when I took off the dressing. Here are some few Motrin. Take them few minutes before the day nurses start your dressing change in the morning. So you won’t feel as much pain,” I added.
Carnal Christians….Seems like it’s hard to believe these words can go together. But they do. Since we are descendants of the famous first couple back in Eden days, the snake tempting Eve to take that bite from that fruit of knowledge, which she did, it had been difficult to re-program ourselves, despite us, being born-again Christians. Carnal means being controlled by the flesh.
We always think Satan as our spiritual enemies. But we forget that sometimes, our greatest enemies are ourselves. Our flesh. After accepting Christ into our hearts, we think that we are looking better in our spiritual state. That we are progressing. When deep inside, our flesh are warring against our own spirit. Against His Spirit in us. And the spiritual enemy, makes us think we are progressing when truly we’re not.
I know that you and I feel that pain. Deep inside. Whenever we do something we don’t want to do and end up doing it. Paul said it best:
“I don’t understand myself at all, for I really want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do the very thing I hate. I know perfectly well that what I am doing is wrong, and my bad conscience shows that I agree that the law is good. But I can’t help myself, because it is sin inside me that makes me do these evil things.” - Romans 7:14-17
Being born again and becoming a Christian is not enough to prevent us from sinning and from temptations. It is a lifelong process. Only by being saturated with the Living Water, by His Word and obeying them help us in our spiritual state.
Let us take a look again at our spiritual wounds, caused by our own choices and the snake’s bites…It’s through knowledge that we can overcome this and be healed. It’s through God’s Word.
“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” ~ 1 John 1:9
“Hey! Nurse M! Have you heard about our openings? I heard they have 3 openings for nurses,” I excitedly informed one per diem nurse we rarely see. She used to be a full time LVN who worked hard to become an RN. She opted to work per diem in our detention facility as she tried to get more skills in a bigger hospital.
“That’s great! I would love to apply!” she replied, beaming with a smile.
When morning came, she spoke with one of the supervisors who particularly was always nice with her.
“Nurse K., please don’t make me work at Intake when I come to work here as full time,” she pled.
“Oh! Don’t say that during your interview,” nurse K. uttered.
Over hearing their conversation, I was just thinking to myself that it would be impossible not to work at Intake.
Because most of us take turns sometimes. When there is a call off, one has to go there. It’s the busiest part of the correctional facility. Where the cops or highway patrol bring in their arrestees to be booked. And nurses give the “go” whether the arrested individuals are mentally or medically fit to be processed and be incarcerated. How can a nurse learn if she is not even willing to try? Yet, still wants to be a part of the nursing staff?
It’s not true that we have no talents. Nor to feel that we have the right to use them as we please. May we discover our hidden talents to be used in serving others for God.
“God has given gifts to each of you from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Manage them well so that God’s generosity can flow through you. Are you called to be a speaker? Then speak as though God himself were speaking through you. Are you called to help others? Do it with all strength and energy that God supplies. Then God will be given glory in everything through Christ Jesus. All glory and power belong to him forever and ever. Amen.” ~ 1 Peter 4:10-11
No way out from the dark prison holding you?
Think you have no more hope?
Feeling like you're just existing and there is no life?
Need a Savior?
"See how very much our heavenly Father loves us, for he allows us to be called his children, and we really are! But the people who belong to this world don't know God, so they don't understand that we are his children. Yes, dear friends, we are already God's children, and we can't even imagine what will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when he comes we will be like him, for we will see him as he really is. And all who believes this will keep themselves pure, just as Christ is pure." ~ 1 John 3:1-3
When I started understanding how much God loves us, I am so thrilled to know that He indeed calls us His children! Now!!! Not just tomorrow or sometime in the future. I want to greet all of you awesome "fathers" out there a Happy Father's Day, starting with my loving husband, and my own earthly father who I miss so much!
But praise Your Holy Name, my [our] Abba Father! Thank You for Your unconditional love. For accepting us and giving us self-worth as Your children! Thank You for loving us first Father. I love you. Please bless all the fathers. Empower them to do the right thing for their families. Help them to be a loving example of Your ways. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Once in a while, custody staff are faced with those inmates who are defiant and just do not want to obey in any way. Some would throw feces or urine [called “gassing”] to staff. Spit at them. Throw anything in their cell at them. They just don’t want to come out of their cell. And in rebellion, just would not heed to come to the door so a handcuff can be placed around their wrists, before they come out of their cell. The problem….They don’t want to come out. A little proof shown which means “nobody can touch me.” Here’s an example... [WARNING!!! Some scenes may be offensive to some.]:
Those who don’t believe in God think of Christians as being judgmental. Hypocrite. While it is sad that some Christians do not walk their talk [I might be one of them sometimes, forgetting that I am here to reflect His light], they forget that their actions give an impression of Who they represent. But it is the people who act wrong. Not God. God never changes. He is God of mercy. God of grace. God of compassion. God of love.
When you are in that stage of your life and there’s One Voice calling you, inviting you to come out of your hiding place, asking you to come out of that dark place, don’t rebel. Don’t be defiant. It is the Holy Spirit convicting you of your sins. Not only He convicts us of our sins but He assures us of the truth of the Good News. He is calling you to a life of holiness. To a new life with Christ. Where you are changed from the inside out.
I was once like you. Not wanting to come out of my pit. Waiting for Him to extract me. Except the difference from the video, God does not force us to love Him. He does not force us to believe in Him. He had given us that choice. To hear Him. To believe in Him. To trust Him. To surrender to Him. To follow Him. Christianity is not about hearing facts. It is the power of God to everyone who believes.
Yes, my life is harder physically when I turned to Christ. Because He wanted us to turn away from our sins, from all the idolatries in this world programmed deep inside us. But in return, I got the best reward of being raised up toward heavenly things. Toward those things that are not seen. Toward those things that last eternal. And as us, Christians, are being weaned from the things of this world, we are filled with none but joy. To share with you the things about Christ. This is a sign of sincerity. Not of being hypocrite. We are all changed. Because of the power of the Holy Spirit. Indeed, He extracted us from the pits we’re in. Using His grace, love and mercy.
“because our gospel came to you not simply with words, but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and with deep conviction…”
- 1 Thessalonians 1:5 [NIV]
“What this means is that those who become Christians become new persons. They are not the same anymore, for the old life is gone. A new life has begun!” - 2 Corinthians 5:17
“Whatever you eat or drink or whatever you do, you must do all for the glory of God.”
- 1 Corinthians 10:31
I saw the wisp of smoke as she struggled with every gasp of breath in front of my 2 co-workers and a few deputies. I just came out from that medicine room where a big machine pulled the medications needed for that morning, for the 3,000 something inmates housed in our detention center.
Her back was facing me. I thought how odd that she was not dressed like one of our inmates. My co-workers and the deputies looked more relaxed but at the same time, edgy for her. I went around one corner and saw her whole face this time. No wonder, it was one of our co-workers from the custody staff. She was known for being a smoker. She got hit with pneumonia and as she was working that night, controlling all the doors in her unit, she got so short of breath. The deputies working with her panicked a bit and decided to bring her to the Infirmary, where my 2 co-workers were there. Not to my knowledge as I pulled the morning and noon doses.
“Try to relax!” I hollered to her. As it was an emergency and there was no time to call for any outside sources, my co-workers decided to give her a med-nebulizer treatment to help her constricted lungs. She started looking better after a few minutes. As she regained her normal rhythm with her breathing, the Sergeant sent her home after. She kept thanking my co-workers.
When it was just the three of us, one of the treating nurse yelled to the other one who helped her put the gadgets together, “We should be given an award!!! We saved a life!”
“I know,” the other nurse responded. She went closer to her and gave each other a hug and a pat to their own backs.
These 2 nurses unfortunately, were known for being lazy. Surfing on the web on nights that they worked and all night long talked about others.
“I’m glad you guys helped her out,” was all I said.
That morning, they were non-stop praising themselves for the “heroic act” they had done when the day shift crew came in. They were loud and kept telling everyone about the help they had given that Custody Specialist.
Jesus had warned us not to let “our left hand know” what the right hand is doing. He taught us that our motives for giving to God and towards others must be pure. Sometimes, we feel so good about the outcome that we end up with mixed motives. But Jesus wanted us to avoid giving out of pleasure.
“Take care! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give a gift to someone in need, don’t shout about it as the hypocrites do - blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone, don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.” - Matthew 6:1-4
When we remember, God forgets! But when we forget, God remembers!
Above all, we must do everything in love. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude.
Lord, I'm sorry if I take credit for the things that I do. Help me remember to do everything for Your glory! You deserve all the thanks and praises for everything comes from You Oh Lord, the Giver of good gifts. Thank You for supplying us with everything that we need. For things we are able to use so we can help others in need. But most of all, help us remember Lord to do everything with love, the kind that comes from You. You are God alone Lord. Thank You for loving us. You are Lord of lords, King of kings, yet, You are the most humble of all. Help us see Jesus' example and help us grow to be more like Him. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
“Okay, don’t forget to ask the doctor how much it costs…”
One of my co-workers complained about her face looking older. I was behind them two, as they were talking. The other co-worker was recommending a famous and supposed to be good kind of plastic surgeon.
“Look at this!” she was exasperated as she pinched her cheeks. “My body is still young but it is my face that looks like my age!” she continued. “I think I want a little face lift and those eye bags removed.”
“It doesn’t matter what you do,” I exclaimed. “You can have it fixed but give it another few years and everything will sag again,” I jokingly said.
“That’s true,” she agreed. “But I want to look beautiful still.”
People always look everywhere for happiness and fulfillment in everything. I was there once, too. When I worked so hard and thought I could be happy when I was earning more money. But in reality, it’s only God Who can satisfy all of our deepest needs. Especially the longings of our souls. We often forget to seek Him first. We are always after materialistic wants, forgetting that there is a much more important thing to pursue: that of spiritual things. God can meet all of our needs but He definitely wants us to pursue for spiritual things and there is no spiritual needs that He can’t meet.
We all need that kind of surgery. Not of physical ones but of the spiritual kind. It’s only through Jesus Who is the Master Surgeon that can fix those ills deep inside. That is…if we allow Him to. So, why don’t we all make an appointment to have the Surgeon give us a new heart? It’s free!
“And I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart.” ~ Ezekiel 36:26-27
I just want to share this beautiful song. It's like a prayer to me. Sung and written by a famous Filipino singer, Gary Valenciano:
They will all chase their hearts’ desires. Hopefully, most of them will succeed. Sadly, some will fail. Some questioning their lives’ purpose. Education is a big thing. To gain knowledge. It’s woven in humanity. They hunger to learn and understand. Knowledge is good. But God wants us to seek wisdom. We can learn all the knowledge to the best of our ability. But it’s useless if we don’t have wisdom for wisdom make us able to apply that knowledge into our lives. And in today’s world, knowledge is plentiful but wisdom is scarce. And the foundation of knowledge is to fear the Lord. To honor and respect Him . To be awed by His power. To obey His Word.
For all of you graduating, congratulations! May your heart choose to seek that path - God’s way because He is the One Who grants wisdom. His Word leads us to live right and make those right decisions.
“1 My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
2 turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding,
3 and if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
4 and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
5 then you will understand the fear of the LORD
and find the knowledge of God.
6 For the LORD gives wisdom,
and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding.” ~ Proverbs 2:1-6 [NIV]
“Okay, nurse Rcubes,” greeted the unit’s nurse as she walked out from the bubble [control room], looking exhausted and upset.
“I tried everything. He just didn’t want to deal with me anymore because I wouldn’t send him to the hospital. He wants a doctor now. I’ll let you try to deal with him because when he didn’t get what he wanted, now he’s complaining of chest pain,” she explained.
He was one of those inmates, going in and out of the hospital for chest pains. Despite the vital signs being normal, we just couldn’t ignore those kind of complaints. Because you just never know if it was the real deal.
He was sitting on the bottom bunk, housed alone. Not looking at me, he constantly was rubbing his chest.
“Sir, would you be able to go to our “G room” [nursing clinic in a unit] so I can do an EKG on you and see what’s going on in your heart?” I asked.
Still not looking at me and perceiving there were 3 shadows lurking in front of him [2 deputies and myself], he answered, “No! I can’t get up!” he uttered in a slightly raised voice.
“I understand that you got upset with the other nurse. But your vital signs were normal. That’s why I wanted to do this EKG so I can find out if I need you to go to the hospital.”
“I said I can’t get up!” he said in a louder and higher tone.
The deputy butted in, “So, if you couldn’t get up, how did you manage to ring the bell? [which was up on the wall, a few steps away from his bed].”
This made him more upset and now yelling, “Get the ___ out! If you don’t want to send me to the hospital, get the ___ out!” he demanded.
“I can’t force to do an EKG on you but I want to let you know that it’s available when you feel like you can use it,” I answered still trying to be calm, despite knowing that there was nothing wrong with him. In my heart, I felt sadness…
Sadness, knowing that we, nurses, just want to help them and a lot of them turn up always upset, speaking in foul languages back to us. Despite us knowing they are just being manipulative, we still try to treat them with respect. In a way, it hurts deep inside. It feels like something is violated when they don’t respond to the kindness shown. Not that we expect anything back. But they have choices to make. To do things: good or bad.
I feel sadness, too. Everyday. Trying to ponder whether I hurt Him or not. I know that I can bring sorrow to the Holy Spirit by the way I live. And that’s my prayer…Knowing that I am not perfect. Like a child who imitates the parents, I want to follow Him. His example. Jesus’ example. His great love for us nailed Him on that cross. So I can live. So you can live. He wants us to love Him first, then, love others. So, what’s the best way to live? That is to follow Christ...
“And do not bring sorrow to God’s Holy Spirit by the way you live. Remember, he is the one who has identified you as his own, guaranteeing that you will be saved on the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage, anger, harsh words, and slander, as well as all types of malicious behavior. Instead, be kind to each other, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, just as God through Christ has forgiven you.” ~ Ephesians 4:30-32
Lord, I have nothing to offer You but only my heart. My life. My everything. Forgive me for hurting You. Please forgive me for grieving Your Spirit. Create in me a clean heart Oh Lord. I want to know You more. On a deeper level. Help me Lord to make the right decisions. And that is to follow You in all of my ways. Thank You Lord for Your love. Your mercy. Your grace. I love You Lord. Thank You for loving me first. Help me grow in Your love and knowledge. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
“Jesus replied: It is because you don't have enough faith! But I can promise you this. If you had faith no larger than a mustard seed, you could tell this mountain to move from here to there. And it would. Everything would be possible for you.” - Matthew 17:20
It was barely 45 minutes after I came on to work last night when an emergency call blared over the radio that there was a man down in one of the units.
I went with the nurse who responded, my own stethoscope dangling around my neck. As she toted the red, emergency bag filled with supplies. Our conversations echoing in that long, barren hall.
A row of orange-uniformed men were lined up against the wall. They were all occupants of the upper tier. The deputy must have sent them downstairs and cleared the area where the fallen man was. As we ascended to the top tier, we found the man down on the floor, possibly from falling from the bottom bunk and must have bitten his tongue as a streak of blood flowed from the left side of his mouth. He was very diaphoretic and very restless, his right arm flailing in mid-air. Stabilizing him and after calling for the ambulance, we waited in that top tier: 2 deputies and 3 of us from the medical staff. As soft chattering men’s voices emanated from the lower level, I knew we were in complete view from the bottom, too. And I knew those pairs of watchful eyes were glued to our every moves.
The spiritual enemies were good at trying to throw a dart of fear into my mind. As the thought of these men, if they really wanted to do anything bad could easily empower the 5 of us just like that, was possible. Even if help from other deputies would definitely be there in seconds, some of them could inflict injuries in seconds, too.
As the girl who brought the man’s medical chart was standing next to me, she also whispered the same thought I had in my mind.
I told her that….I was thinking about that…But despite the inmates outnumbering us, I knew about the only One Who is more powerful than them, actually the most powerful One in this entire universe!
I softly prayed in my head….feeling the strength right away…For His protection. For His angels to surround us. Because of Him, fear was replaced with courage.
“1Live under the protection of God Most High and stay in the shadow of God All-Powerful. 2Then you will say to the LORD, "You are my fortress, my place of safety; you are my God, and I trust you." 3The Lord will keep you safe from secret traps and deadly diseases. 4He will spread his wings over you and keep you secure. His faithfulness is like a shield or a city wall. 5You won't need to worry about dangers at night or arrows during the day.” ~ Psalm 91:1-5 [CEV]
Ahhh….the power of prayer should never be underestimated. For the power resides in the God Who is being prayed to. Whatever circumstances you are in, tap into this power. His answers may not be “yes” sometimes, but it is because He knows what’s best for us. But when we pray purposefully and passionately, according to His will, He does respond powerfully!
"The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective." - James 5:16
Father God, how awesome does it sound that we can come to Your throne boldly, at anytime, anywhere...Because You see Jesus' righteousness in us. Thank You Jesus! Help us remember how vital it is to communicate with You through prayers. That we may call upon You, not only at times of our needs, but mostly to just praise You, thank You and honor You. Thank You Lord, my Abba Father, for loving me [us] unconditionally. Thank You for equipping us and blessing us with things that we need in order for us to finish this work You marked within us. I love You Lord. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Not only every night, every few hours of a certain day, she would keep ringing the bell in her cell. Demanding to send her down to the Infirmary because of her abdominal pain.
“You don’t understand,” as she tried to do different contortions with her body, “I have gallstones. It hurts! You guys need to send me to the hospital.” She knelt on the blue seat, only to get up and go into the bathroom and made sure she was heard throwing up.
“Listen,” the nurse seeing her said, “You have been using drugs for so long. You don’t have any gallstones. The doctor did send you to the hospital and your ultrasound didn’t show anything. We have been giving you meds to help you with upset stomach. But we can‘t send you to the hospital. All of your vital signs are within normal range.”
She didn’t know, the entire time she was in the waiting area, we noticed that she wasn’t throwing up. When no one was looking around, she appeared calm. But when she felt there was a shadow observing, she would twist her body and showed she was in agony.
The clock slowly ticked by with no change in her behavior and complaints. 1:00 in the morning became 2:00. At half an hour past that time, she got up and called me. Her nurse was on her break.
“Ma’am, though I’m still having this pain [as she held her right hand over her stomach area, changing her voice to one who sounded like in severe pain], I would rather go back to my unit now,” she requested.
“Are you sure?” I asked but deep inside I knew she wasn’t having any pain but wanted some drugs.
“Yes,” she replied, moaning a bit.
I gave her yellow pass and let her out, slowly walking as she was rubbing her stomach. Her head stooped low and she seemed to be dragging her legs. She wasn’t aware that there was a camera that covered that hallway where she was supposed to walk out. As I intently observed her, I started yelling to my other co-workers who immediately got up and observed her with me:
As soon as she emerged in the camera’s view, without her knowledge, we saw her pulled her pants up and started walking straight. Her legs becoming faster with her strides. Her arms flung to her sides, swinging as she trotted with a normal gait.
“Huh! Got ya! We see you...” one of the co-workers yelled. We just knew…she wanted to manipulate the system so she could be sent to the hospital and be given stronger medications like Morphine or Demerol. It was sad.
How many of us wear a mask sometimes at workplace or other places, even at church because we don’t want others to discover things about us? But God knows everything about us, even the number of hairs on our heads [Matthew 10:30]. Unlike no other, He accepts and loves us. He is with us through every trial we go through, protecting us, guiding us and loving us along the way.
“I can never escape from your spirit! I can never get away from your presence!” - Psalm 139:7
He is indeed present everywhere. This is not an intimidating thing to know. For those who loves Him, this is great news! Because no matter what we do or where we go, it’s great to know that we can never be far from His comforting presence! To God be the glory!
Oh Lord, I come before You and ask that You do a heart surgery on me. You know everything about me. I have nothing to hide from You. Search me Oh God and remove those things that hinder my walk with You. Forgive me Oh Lord for all of my sins. Help me get back on that path that leads to everlasting life. Thank You Lord for creating me [us]. Thank You for being there even before I was born. Everyday of my life is recorded in Your book. Thank You Lord for loving me [us] unconditionally. Thank You for accepting me and loving me just the way I am. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
“Nurse! Nurse!” “Why, you _____! Come here!”
“De….pu…ty!…….De…pu…ty! Let me out o’ here!”
The yelling was followed by the loud din of metal grating against metal. This nude suicidal inmate had been on the safety chair for a few hours to prevent him from hitting his head against the window. I went over to help the Intake Nurse last Sunday night. The smell of reeking alcohol filled the hall as many drunk bodies arrived. Some arrestees’ hands twisted to prevent them from trying to fight with the deputies. Appearing tough, they would soon discover that their arrogance was no match with the well-trained deputies.
“Depuuuutttyyyyy!” his scream cut through the stale air. “Let meeeeee outtttt!”
The sergeant had one of the deputies opened a tiny metal window.
“Okay! Mr. F. I’ll let you out only if you stop banging your head! Do you understand that? If you start doing anything to harm yourself, that’s it, you’re going back to the chair!”
5 deputies went in, along with the sergeant to the bare cell reserved for those needing close monitoring by the medical and custody staff. The pungent smell of urine overcame their nasal passages. One of the deputies behind him was holding a taser gun, the light pointed at his upper torso, ready to be fired if he would try anything to hurt anyone.
The Intake nurse assigned that night stood by the door, assessing the inmate whose body was strapped to the chair. The feet and the hands were also secured. He appeared calm. But his stares penetrated each and everyone as if he was on to something.
The chair was taken out. He was left all alone. As soon as the big metal door was closed, he started banging the door and window again. Demanding for some papers because he needed to write something. It was denied. He was suicidal so nothing was allowed to be kept by him.
He started yelling profanities to the sergeant despite her talking with him in a soft manner and ordering him to stop harming himself. With the pounding of his fists, it was matched with his foul language. He was defiant. He didn’t want to respect the authority. There was no history of mental problem. Except him, just refusing to obey the authority.
“Alright boys!” yelled the sergeant. “Let’s put him back on the chair!”
It grew quieter. He just stood by the window and glanced with a mean look. If he didn’t understand, he wouldn’t have stopped his defiance. He walked into one corner of the cold room. And for the rest of the hours I was there helping the Intake nurse, we finally had peace and quiet.
We must show reverence and fear to our Lord. To revere Him means to show our deepest love and respect and honor Him. Along with reverence, obedience must come.
“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: Fear God, and keep his commandments: for this is the whole duty of man.” - Ecclesiastes 12:13
Lord, You have freed me from all of my fears. You have given me joy instead. I cried out to You and You did hear me! You have set me free from all my fears. Your angel guards those who fear You. Help me Lord to give my reverence due You. Help me to trust in no one but You. Help me Lord to turn away from evil. Help me Lord to live in peace instead with others. Help me value Your commands and help me store them in my heart. Thank You Lord for Who You are. Thank You for Your love and mercy. Thank You for Your wisdom. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
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 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].