True Courage

     "Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" ~ Mary Ann Radmacher 

Trying not to drop 2 bags of ice, one on each of my hand, I walked toward the unit close to the Clinic to deliver it to an inmate needing the ice for a lab procedure called 24 hour urine. He would collect his urine in a special bottle previously given and it needed to be iced so that bacteria wouldn't grow.

Hoping that the Custody Specialist [the person controlling the opening and closing of all doors in a unit] would see me since I was having difficulty buzzing the bell, I stood in front of the small glass window. There he was, the silhouette of a tall man, an inmate worker dressed up in blue, saw me instead. He flung his right hand holding a mop in the air, as the left hand with a piece of rag also alternately tried to draw the CS's attention. Through the soft glow of yellow light, I saw him pointing at me. I sensed the calmness inside, signifying the end of "chow time" or breakfast of inmates.

He waited for me at the second door that led to the different segments of the unit, ready to open the door. After that, he took one of the ice bags from my hand and cheerfully asked me if I wanted him to hold the other bag, too.

"It's okay, I got it. You have helped me so much already. Thank you," I uttered.

"You're welcome, Ma'am."

After calling the inmate who needed those ice, this inmate worker opened the door again for me. I ignored the fact that the usual friendly conversation that was discouraged in this environment as my feeling of gratitude for this kindness displayed, overwhelmed me.

"Start of shift?"

"Yes, Ma'am. I'm about to clean the G room."

"How long are you gonna' be working?"

"8 hours."

"Well, I hope the day will be okay knowing the day shift usually is busier than the night. Take care and thank you so much for all the help you had given me."

"Have a nice day, Ma'am. That was nothing," he replied as he gave me a smile.

A short conversation that meant a lot. He was thankful for the way he was acknowledged. But he didn't know. I was more thankful for his behavior. That it was true. There was still a good thing out of the bad. That everyone deserved a chance. For them to try to make a change. He just showed me. His willingness to change. His effort to become a good person, away from the person he was once who made wrong decisions that put him inside the prison. He just shown me true courage.

The way God believed in me and never gave up on me. To show courage. Courage that is not measured by the tallest mountain we climb. Nor the widest expanse of seas we sail on. Nor the highest altitude we have flown. But the courage to say "I'm sorry for my sins" and then, making that right decision to make a change. Which is to do the right thing.

"From that time on Jesus began to preach, "Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near."
~Matthew 4:17

You Are The One Who Answers Our Prayers

"Hey Rcubes, called you again to let you know that I changed the schedule and you got Christmas Eve off and I'll just come in instead.. So you can enjoy your time with your family..."Click...

That was the final message from one of my supervisors in regards with the schedule requests for the holidays.

The feeling of being mistreated in my heart seethed, prior to those few messages left in my blinking answering machine. But that final message brought sadness instead.

I was the first one months ago to request for the Christmas Eve off. Until this supervisor approached me and wanted to give our hearts and sacrifice for the newer nurses who have little kids than us. I agreed. Without thinking.

Because the heart of gratitude and tasting the Lord's kindness always overwhelms us in situations that are needing that extension of a loving Hand, of a merciful Heart, or His everlasting kindness.

Except I didn't know...That everyone wanted to be off for Christmas Eve. Including this supervisor. The schedule came out amidst the anticipation of those eager to be off on their chosen holidays. Not everyone was happy. Someone complained. That prompted this supervisor to call me at my home. To make me aware of the changes. And that....certain nurses were off and her,  and I would be the one working then for Christmas Eve. Silently, I prayed while conversing with her. I didn't want to be disrespectful for feeling so wronged. I didn't want to do anything coming from my own strength because I felt like I didn't have enough and my body and mind was just drained off of its functions as I heard the news.

There are so many injustices in this world. It's nothing new. But it was a comfort to have His Word to remind us that we have hope in a time of discouragement. We have God  Whom we can trust and wait patiently for Him to act. That we have God's faithfulness, justice, and love which are opposite with the sinful hearts of humanity.

"Lord, what do I do? I feel so wronged. But I know You know it. And I trust in You more than anything. Please talk to me. I need to hear from You Lord," my heart was crying out.

"It's okay C...I'll just work on Christmas Eve if there is no other way to make it work out for my request," I softly uttered as I ended the conversation with a "Thank you." She must sensed my sadness.

But my spiritual conversation has not ended. This was the line that was always open. I opened the Bible and this was what He told me: [from 1 Peter 2:18-21]

"You who are slaves must accept the authority of your masters. Do whatever they tell you - not only if they are kind and reasonable, but even if they are harsh. For God is pleased with you when, for the sake of your conscience, you patiently endure unfair treatment. Of course, you get no credit for being patient if you are beaten for doing wrong. But if you suffer for doing right and are patient beneath the blows, God is pleased with you. This suffering is all part of what God has called you to. Christ, Who suffered for you, is your example. Follow in his steps."

As I was reading those precious Word, my phone rang twice, 5 minutes in between. And the last one was that final message letting me know that I would be off and she would be working instead. What caused a change of heart? Deep inside, I knew she had conviction, too. Knowing she is also His child. She might be the supervisor but she had a Higher One she must answer to. She knew she was always off on all the holidays.

But her message made me sad. Because I knew she was also a good mother needing that day off. To be with her family. I started praying for her, for the Lord to bless her and that she would still find someone to work for her. There is nothing impossible with our Lord.

Because I knew...We were both lost sheep before. And both of us have turned to One Shepherd, the Guardian of our souls. It was not about who would be off, who would be working anymore. We both could look at the situation through His eyes. We both have His victory. And I know we both have feeling of gratitude because we have this precious job, one of His provisions. And we both serve a mighty God, Who leads all of us out of any despair.

God does answer prayers...Whatever response, it is not because that is what we want but because He knows that's what's best for us. To give our hearts a chance to purge those things that do not need to take its space. Things that are not glorifying God. Yes, He answers even through those periods when He seem so far away. His silence does not mean He is not listening...What would be hard for Him not to give when He gave His One and Only Son to be the sacrifice for humanity? We just can't help but "thank Him!"

"May he grant your heart's desire and fulfill all your plans. May we shout for joy when we hear of your victory, flying banners to honor our God. May the Lord answer all your prayers."
- Psalm 20:4-5

Thanksgiving Reflection

2 nurses are leaving. 1, in fact, already left. You would think, "Who, in the earth would do that?" when we know that we are all facing a tough economic times. Where job is very scarce and those that still have it, are still uncertain of its stability. I'm not saying that they're not thankful for what they have, but I know that the reason is not job-related. Not the kind of work we do. But it's the people they work with. Personalities clash. Ideas differ. Compromise not known. Pride fueled by self-expertise and power collide. The other: complaints of her "SOS" messages seemed to be ignored. Needing an extra hand with tasks that are becoming too much for just one nurse was her simple 9-1-1 message. She got burned out. Left with only one choice, she opted to put in her resignation.

This is reality. Changes in this world abound. And we have no control, whether we admit it or not.

This Thanksgiving, I am going to remain thankful. And in every day that comes. Because "hope" was paid for long time ago by the greatest sacrifice. No matter what changes occur, I know I have chosen to follow Jesus, Who does not change.

As I sample the turkey, mashed potato and whatever else will be on my plate, I want this to take me back to those times, where people realized that all the blessings they received were given by God. Those who had gone first and met a lot of obstacles on their paths, only to realize that they were not truly alone and had divine guidance, protection, provision and other blessings.

Remembering God's faithful love, then I pray for "pride" from people's hearts to crumble. For personalities to unite despite the differences. For ideas to be embraced and respected to avoid confrontations. For compromises to be known that all disputes are settled.

I pray for people to realize God's greatest blessing to humanity: "to have the privilege of being born again because of what Jesus had done." This is a priceless inheritance. Pure. Undefiled. Beyond the reach of change and decay. This is my greatest encouragement in times of trouble. Amidst the constant and unpredictable changes in my journey. That no matter what step I take, I live with this wonderful expectation of eternal life.

Giving thanks to God...It is just the right thing to do...Thank You God! Thank You Jesus!

I Want To Thank You

"Shout with joy to the Lord, O earth! Worship the Lord with gladness. Come before him, singing with joy. Acknowledge that the Lord is God! He made us, and we are his. We are his people, the sheep of his pasture." ~ Psalm 100:1-3

She demanded to be seen for severe nausea and vomiting at the wee hours of Sunday morning.

“I did put a sick call request!” she complained as I started applying the blood pressure cuff on her left arm.

“How long ago?”

“Just yesterday. But I put in 2 requests already!” she whined.

“Ma’am, you have to understand. There are 3,000 something inmates here. Out of that number, many are requesting to be seen for different issues, like you.”

“I know,” she mumbled under her breath.

“You just need to be patient. Sometimes, the people screening the inmates’ requests, have to put those urgent conditions,” I explained.

Everything was normal despite the complaint of severe nausea and vomiting all day, prior to her arrival in the Infirmary’s waiting area. I motioned for her to go back to the same spot and just try to relax. She didn’t know. I was just observing her. I didn’t see her throw up not even once. I saw her got up many times, trying to scan who the people were inside the Clinic. She must have seen how busy the Nursing staff was. She glanced back at the tv monitor up on the wall, when she saw me looking at her.

A few hours had gone by. She started becoming fidgety and uncomfortable. The fingers previously rubbing her abdomen became intertwined with each other and moved restlessly.

“Nurse! Nurse!” she yelled.

“How may I help you?” I asked as I approached the big glass partition window.

“I’m sorry. I’m okay now. I think I’ll just go back to my unit. Thank you for giving me those pink pills for my tummy. They worked,” she uttered.

I signed her yellow pass and reminded her to be patient. That she could still put a sick call request whenever she didn’t feel well. The demands she had when she first walked in vanished into thin air. As her shadow disappeared, I knew she wouldn’t be back for a while. She discovered it wouldn’t be easy to get what she wanted every time. She found out that no matter how much she whined, she still needed to be patient and needed to learn how to endure every passing moment. That it wouldn’t be easy to lie when it came to medical symptoms. That she couldn’t go anywhere despite the fact that she was able to go out of her tiny cell, the reality was that she was still inside the prison even if she had found a temporary few hours of freedom being in the Clinic. I saw her frustrated eyes replaced with a grateful look. She was thankful to be out of the Clinic as she couldn’t stand being monitored anymore by the Nursing staff, especially with my watchful eyes. Yes, I let her go. Not because she demanded but because there was truly no intervention needed. I made her aware that she was not sick after all. And that was one thing to be grateful for. There were a lot of sicker inmates than her.

I forget, too, sometimes that there are lots to be thankful for...But when we realize that God created us because He loves each of us, we, in turn, can’t help but give to others, as God gave to us. Out of the millions of people, we may all differ in our characteristics or traits from one another, but we are all the same when it comes to Him calling us to love Him first, then, love others. Our good God deserves all our thanks and praise.

Oh Lord, You alone are worthy to be worshiped. Help me to always joyfully come into Your presence. May I remember to always thank You and praise You whatever circumstances I am in. For You are awesome and Your unfailing love endures forever. May my life be a sweet offering to You Oh Lord. Thank You for Your love, mercy and grace. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Happy Thanksgiving friends and may God bless you all.

Daily Talk

"You must crave pure spiritual milk so that you can grow into the fullness of your salvation. Cry out for this nourishment as a baby cries for milk, now that you have had a taste of the Lord's kindness."
~ 1 Peter 2:2-3

What better time to talk with my son but every morning as we sit down and have breakfast together before him, going to school?

This morning was one of those ordinary moments. Digging his fork into the toasted flesh of his hot hashbrown, I took a sip of caffeine from my red mug and took a breath.

"Kristian, I just want you to know, that as you have more independence and learn more things, you are more than welcome to speak with me and daddy if you encounter any problems. You can approach us anytime if you need help. Or if you just want to talk."

"I know, mom," he replied as he savored the potato.

"And in any thing that you plan, please remember to pray about it and always include the Lord with your plans," I added.

"Yes, mom," he smiled as he reached for his glass of milk and was careful not to leave a white mustache.

"I love you, mom" he uttered. He got up and gave me a hug. That's a daily occurrence among us, him and I, and his daddy.

"I love you very much, Kristian," I replied.

Life is rushed. Evident with time, like sand slipping through our fingers. Evident with the years that had gone by and the once small toddler I helped was becoming more independent and grown up.

I am grateful. Everyday. To be reminded by my Father Whose Word echoes each and every morning as we feast together. Just Him and I. The reminder and assurance of His faithful love that He wants me etched in my heart. That I can approach Him anytime, anywhere when I encounter some trials, be they small or big. Or simply, just to talk.

Because each day is a reminder of how fleeting this life is. And what a waste to spend each day not choosing to hear His Word. Continuing to live sinful lives. Sins that block people's visions of God. For sins and God do not mix. He is a Holy God.

I treasure this everyday talk with my son as I treasure my daily talk with my Father. Ordinary moments? No! I don't think so anymore. As I ponder and realize that as a citizen of the heavenly Jerusalem that is to come, this fellowship with the Holy Spirit enables us to experience the Father's faithful and unfathomable love. Through Jesus, I am able to approach His throne of grace. Anytime. Anywhere. And that's what He wants. Because of Jesus, He turned my ordinary life into an extraordinary one!

For Abba Father is not only a disciplining kind of Parent but also a lifetime Coach Who pushes us to our limits and wants us to live our lives disciplined. There are times I will fail. I have limitations. But because of Christ, He is the One Who will help me get through and accomplish my total victory. It is His strength, not mine that helps me win. It is His Word that guides my path as I grow more mature. It is Him Who gave me the true meaning of independence, apart from this world's beliefs and systems.

For that, I am a blessed child of God, And I am forever indebted to Christ. And I love Him. But you know what? He loved me first!

I Am Blessed [Rachel Lampa]

Verse 1:

I may never climb a mountain so I can see the world from there
I may never ride the waves and taste the salty ocean air
Or build a bridge, that would last a hundred years
But no matter where the road leads
One thing is always clear


I am blessed, I am blessed
From when I rise up in the morning
Til I lay my head to rest
I feel You near me
You soothe me when I'm weary
Oh Lord, for all the worst and all the best
I am blessed

Verse 2:

All along the road less traveled, I have crawled and I have run
I have wandered through the wind and rain until I found the sun
The watching eyes asked me why, I walked this narrow way
I will gladly give the reason
For the hope I have today


You've given me joy
You've given me love
You give me strength when I want to give up
You came from Heaven to rescue my soul
This is the reason I know
I know

I have linked this post with Spiritual Sundays. Please head on over  there if you want to soak in His Word and love, emitted by fellow brothers and sisters. This is a warm place to visit, hosted by sisters Charlotte and Ginger.

This Is How You Know Me

"When I think of the wisdom and scope of God's plan, I fall to my knees and pray to the Father, the Creator of everything in heaven and on earth." - Ephesians 3:14

I haven't gone to work for almost 2 weeks, so nothing exciting yet that I could share with you from the prison. This morning, as I was praying, I asked the Lord, "How do people know You Lord?"

Images of pyramids, tower of Babel, tall churches, and rich possessions flooded my mind.
Tower of Babel

And this was what I heard:

"For so many years, people have been striving to build those, thinking they can reach Me by doing so. Or if they have accepted Me, have used the talents I have given them and become successful, they think that's how it works to have a relationship with Me."

"Look down, not up, My child. That is how you know Me. Look to the ground. Look at the bottom of your heart."

After dropping off my child at school, I was so anxious to know more. The intensity of this truth growing wild, ready to explode like a volcano. The reality of what the Lord said. So opposite and so high from man's wisdom, yet so simple...

"Look down..."

"Bow down..."

"Stay humble..."

"Know humility..."

"That's how you know Me..

Farmers must know that. As they grow things from the ground. The hard labor it takes for them to grow their crops. They need to be patient. They need to be strong. They must learn to trust and lean on God more as the seasons abruptly change, affecting the outcomes of their harvest. That they must be thankful no matter what the outcome of their harvest is. Learning to rely on God, strengthening their character through all the trials they go through from seeing their fields of grains or whatever crops they are growing...

I remember my grandmother's story about the rice, the staple food in Asian nations. That whenever the rice is coming out, growing up, and when the grains are becoming heavy, as they reach a higher height, the grains tend to fall over...
Rice grains bowing low to ground

"Stay humble," that's what she told me.

Humbleness...Marked by meekness...A modesty in behavior, attitude and spirit...Not arrogant. Not proud...It is humility...

Joshua found himself bowing down to the Lord when he did not consult God and relied on his army's strength to defeat the small city of Ai. Instead, he lost. They tore their clothing and threw dust on their heads as they mourned before God. Like Joshua and his men, we should humble ourselves before God so we can hear His words. We should turn to God for His direction and help, not only when our lives fall apart, but much more when we are doing well in our lives.

How about Saul? Whose popularity made him proud and arrogant while David remained humble?

The tower of Babel? People built this tower as monument to their own greatness, something to be seen in the world, not to honor God. This may never be done again. But it is still possible that there is a hidden monument in our lives. Things that call achievements to ourselves, not to God. They may not be wrong to have them but when they replace God as number One in our hearts, then that's when it becomes wrong.

And Paul? The most influential among the apostles yet was deeply humble. Because he knew that his power and transformation came from God, not his own doing.

"Lord, I want to know You but how can I humble myself?"

"How can I learn humility?"

Humble people know...They live their lives knowing Christ, realizing their sinfulness and understand their limitations. They also recognize that their talents and gifts or strengths come from God and are willing to use them as Christ leads.

Knowing humility is having a life completely surrendered to Christ's Lordship. It's bowing down in front of Him. It's emptying one's heart so that it can be filled by His love.

"For the proud will be humbled, but the humble will be honored." - Luke 14:11

"Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. Though he was God, he did not demand and cling to his rights as God. He made himself nothing, he took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. And in human form he obediently humbled himself even further by dying a criminal's death on a cross. Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven and gave him a name that is above every other name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee will bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue will confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." - Philippians 2:5-11

"For dust you are and to dust you will return." -Genesis 3:19 [emphasis mine]...

Seek You...But You Found Me First

 "Never cease striving until you have seen God face to face." ~ Oliver Cowdery

"You need a filling," the dentist added before I shoved open the dental office's front door after my regular check up this morning.

I sort of expected that now, getting used to this routine.

What is there in our lives that don't have anything missing?

From physical things to spiritual, it seems that there is always "something" missing.

Before I discovered this less-traveled path "off the beaten trek", I was missing a lot of things. I was walking in darkness for so long that I was missing the true light that could guide me. I was pursuing different roads, finding meanings into my life, that I was missing that only road that offers eternal purpose. All those roads were tiring and meaningless.

I was seeking for something or someone to fulfill that void in my heart.

The truth is, it is only the Lord Jesus Christ Who can fulfill those voids in all of our hearts. Living a life fulfilling God's plan for you and I is the only way to have true meaning in our lives. When we draw nearer to God, He doesn't empower us so we can have all we want to have and all that we want to be. He empowers us so we can have what He wants for our lives.

This was a song I wrote on February 2, 2006, "Seek You...But You Found Me First..."

I was walking for so long in the darkness
'Til a light shone on me
The road I traveled became clear
I knew right there my destiny

I want to seek and find You, Oh Lord
Draw me near to You, I will be strong
I want to seek and find You, my God
Hold me closer...into Your arms

My heart's one desire
Is for You to mold me and make me new
Fan the flame and my hunger for You
So I can talk and walk like You do

I want to seek and find You, Oh Lord
Draw me near to You, to Your Word
I want to seek and find You, my God
Give You thanks and praise...with all my heart

[Seek You....but You found me first...oh my God...]

If you are tired pursuing those things that do not fulfill any void in your life...If you hear Him calling you to return to Him and repent for your sins...If you have taken all the known roads in your life that seem to be going nowhere....Don't turn your back....He is seeking another "lost sheep..."  Because He loves you. Because He doesn't want any one to go to hell. Don't seek those things that do not last....God bless and may you have an open heart and mind as you are reading this now. 

The Lone Cypress Tree

"We live by faith, not by sight." ~ 2 Corinthians 5:7

I woke up this morning, feeling better from the symptoms of sinus pressure and right ear pain. I ended up going to the Urgent Care yesterday and the doctor told me that it was a good thing I did because my right ear was starting to get red, that was why I was feeling pain on my right jaw, close to the ear. He said he could tell my allergy was bad just by looking at my eyes. He gave me a nasal spray and a 3-day course antibiotic. Which I took immediately as soon as I got them on my hands.

With faith, I asked the Lord to bless those medications and at the same time, thanked Him for all His provisions and bringing in His children who love to intercede right away.

Thank you to all of you for your encouragement and for immediately folding your hands together and bending your knees to lift me up to His throne of grace.
This morning, for some reason, I started going through these old photos as I opened the cabinet on top of the computer monitor and saw this picture I took from one of my family's vacation in Central California:

The verse caught my eye right away! And the truth to it just penetrated my heart!

"If you do not stand firm in your faith, you will not stand at all." ~ Isaiah 7:9

And the picture brought me back to that day when the Lone Cypress Tree had my jaw almost dropped to the ground in awe because of its beauty. It was by itself on that huge piece of rock, overlooking the ocean with unpredictable, strong currents sometimes. The thought it evoked of how it continue to thrive despite the roots being so far from the water and had to thread through those pieces of rock. Yet, for so many years, it was gazed at by millions of visitors that made the place famous.

And how true it is, that in our lives, if we remain standing on the Rock, living by faith will make us fare better than by fulfilling rituals or rules. Because God commanded believers to live by faith not by sight! As we do so, this challenges us to grow more in faith and to live in obedience to God each day. And as we face many unpredictable currents of trials, it is only by standing firm on this Rock that will make us weather any storm.

"For every child of God defeats this evil world, and we achieve this victory through our faith."
~ 1 John 5:4 [NLT]

"But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind."
~ James 1:6 [NLT]

No Matter...

The Santa Ana winds these past days must have bothered my sinus allergy and so, for the past days, I have not been feeling well. No fever [thank God!], no other symptoms except just pressure on my sinuses, which could be annoying and tiring.

As I try to rest now, downing more fluids to ease the stuffed up sinuses, taking more pills of organic sinus pills which thankfully help, and begging my husband and son to get some soup [like something spicy which I usually can’t tolerate] for lunch, and constant prayers, I am not worse, yet still not completely feeling normal.

I want to get my guitar from the wall where it’s hanging yet, do not seem to have the energy to sing and worship. To worship when you’re not feeling your best, is a tough thing to do. And how true it is when we are going through trials as my heart has been heavy for so many loved ones, and friends I have met here in this blog land, that are going through tough times…

Don Moen is one of great worship leaders who discovered that while trying to compose a song. Here’s what he wrote in his blog:

“I wrote the title song for I Will Sing in my car and my first reaction was, “I don’t know where that came from, but I’ll never put it on a Hosanna! Music album!" I had spent the day at one of Alabama’s gulf coast beaches, about an hour south of Integrity’s studios in Mobile, hoping to write songs for the upcoming album.

I didn't feel anything the entire day. It was one of those times when you wonder where God is. I was driving back home, feeling frustrated, and I said, “Lord, You seem so far away, a million miles or more it feels today.” It just popped out. Then I got another line: “And though I haven’t lost my faith, I must confess right now that it’s hard for me to pray.” The words kept coming, and I wrote the entire song right there in my car, but I didn’t like it. I thought, “What a waste! I need songs for the album; I don’t need this!”
I promptly filed the song away, thinking I’d never use it. Not long after, Integrity’s staff was stunned by the news that the ten-year-old daughter of David C. Reilly, a graphic artist who has designed album covers for Integrity Music for more than a decade, was killed in a car accident.

I remembered the song I had scribbled on a paper, so I recorded it on a CD and sent it to David with a note: “I know you’re going to have days when you feel like, 'Where in the world is God?' but I want to encourage you to sing. Don’t give up.”

The reality is that everyone goes through days when we feel God is far away. There’s a phoniness in Christian circles that says you don’t admit that. But look at Psalm 109. How could David, the sweet psalmist of Israel who said, 'I will bless the Lord at all times,' write these angry words? Because he was honest before the Lord, and that’s what God wants in our worship, too. He knows already, so I want to work on being honest, transparent with the Father, who delights in our hearts.”
- Don

It’s impossible. To have a smooth journey. We all go through rough times. We have different paths we are walking on, but I pray that all these paths lead to the only Road that promises hope and life.

Here's a song I had written back on June 19, 2003, when my family and I were going through tough times at different locations of this world. God reminded me that no matter how hard or hopeless our situations may seem, Jesus said from John 16:33 - "I have told you all these so that you may have peace in Me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows but take heart because I have overcome the world." I'm grateful that we are not alone as we have Someone Who is faithful and true to His promises going through all these tough times with any of us.

Come And Seek The Lord

No matter how tough the trials that come your way
No matter how much they break your heart today
Fill your heart instead with joy
Knowing Jesus is there for us all


Come and seek the Lord [3x]
For He had overcome the world

No matter how much pain or suffering
No matter how heavy the burden they bring
Trust in the Lord it will be okay
For He will show us the way

[Repeat Chorus]...

It is tough to worship during difficult times...But it is possible to still be thankful. To still be singing or dancing because we have His peace amidst the chaos of life. May you like Don Moen's song "I Will Sing" and may it minister to your heart. God bless you all friends.

"Since we are his children, we will possess the blessings he keeps for his people, and we will also possess with Christ what God has kept for him; for if we share in Christ's suffering, we will also share His glory." ~ Romans 8:17

How Do I Honor The Veteran/Soldier?

"In the truest sense, freedom cannot be bestowed; it must be achieved." ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt

Out of the stillness of the short respite my husband and I both had prior to retiring to bed last night, the silence was broken as I popped a question to my husband, who used to be in the Navy and had served in the Persian Gulf War [August 2, 1990-February 28, 1991].

"How do you feel, as a Veteran, every time we celebrate Independence Day or now, this coming holiday, Veteran's Day?"

Not seeing his glance as I was sitting on the recliner, hidden from his sight that was concentrating on the glowing monitor, I heard a short stammer...Perhaps, he started to wonder why after so many years, I had asked that specific question.

I didn't know the reason either. Except that I knew I wanted to know the soldiers' perspectives. We know what they all go through. We know what their families go through. All the sacrifices both have to make. I know...Because I've been there...Except that's what I know. I wanted to know how it felt coming from a soldier. From a veteran. Whom do I have but my own husband when this thought came to mind?

How do they feel when here I am, enjoying each beautiful day, calm and sipping my Starbucks favorite drinks while they are out in a foreign land, staying alert, with anxiety in different levels, anticipating to defend and preserve their own lives against those unwanted or unexpected attacks from the enemies? Have they even thought of taking a drop of water to quench those thirsts and soothe their parched lips?

What are the thoughts in their minds, as I rest in my favorite recliner, watching tv programs, as they are huddled close, deep in those foxholes their own hands must have dug, yet do not offer a permanent safety?

What goes on in their hearts as I enjoy this personal liberty wherever I go in this land, in which they are trying to protect from oppressors?

Or how their hearts must be breaking as they think of their separated and loved ones far away from them as I enjoy my time with my family?

And how they must endure to be dressed in those heavy camouflage battle gear yet here I am whining whether it's too hot or too cold?

And yes, here I am looking good, holding my Bible, as they go out there, with rifles and ammo's on their hands, with fingers ready to fire if enemies appear?

"Sad....", my husband answered.

"Sad?" I repeated to make him explain and satisfy my growing hunger to search for more answers.

"Yeah...Sad...'Coz many lives have been lost every time," he softly uttered.

"So, you're against the war?"

"I didn't say that. If it's necessary to defend, we have to do that....But I'm sad that many lives, sometimes, are being lost and some are unnecessary losses," he replied with a sad tone and there, I decided I had been answered enough. That my search for an answer was over.

I got the point dearest husband. I got it! That we have to fight for this freedom if necessary. We know the risks of losing lives but we must to protect this precious liberty. Because freedom is not free. Oh yes....It even happened long time ago. Even before we were all born. As it was planned. That Jesus would come to die. To give us freedom. And many are being persecuted also because of our faith in Him. But we must stand confident in the truth that God has shared with us, believers. No matter what circumstances around us. No matter what others say. We know the TRUTH....

Veteran's Day is coming up. And every year, it will be celebrated. Like July 4th. And every time, lives are being risked and lost. How do I honor them? These veterans and soldiers? All of them? I had spent a couple of hours searching for tribute videos but now I know, no amount of tribute videos will show how much I want to honor them.

"Thank you," I softly uttered to my husband and I wasn't sure if he heard me as he went back to typing something on the keyboard.

I know I can start by saying a simple "Thank you!"...And I can go on further by including them in my prayers...Not only on these holidays...But in each day that is to come.

The Impossible

I immediately recognized that haggard face. way older than the stated age. Rubbing her mid-chest, her tears swelled.

I recalled those messy locks of hair turning gray. The lines on her forehead that spoke about the harsh habits she was entangled in. The same complaints of chest pain despite the normal findings.

"You look familiar," I couldn't believe I uttered when I usually tried to maintain my professionalism when it came to dealing with sick inmates.

"Yes, Ma'am. You've treated me once. My chest is hurting again. It started today," she rapidly responded.

"Did you get released before?" I continued.

"Yes," she coyly replied.

"What happened? What were you doing that your chest started bothering you?" I probed.

"I was released. I thought I could change. But it's impossible! I went back to using drugs!" she replied without hesitation.

"What kind and how much a day? And the last time you had the drugs?"

"Meth...a lot....and the day I got arrested, that was the last time, Ma'am."

After taking her vital signs and probing more relating to the type and degree of her chest pain, I motioned for her to go into one of the exam rooms so I could take an EKG, an electrical reading of her heart. She knew the treatment modality so well. And everything was normal.

She bowed her head in disbelief. She was very sure of this pain bothering her. How could this be impossible?

"Ma'am," I interrupted her thoughts, "Take care of yourself. It is possible that the meth had this effect on you. If every time your chest hurt, just let your unit know. They will send you down here every time. It's just good to check if there's something more serious or not. Okay?"

Meth...or Methamphetamines...One of the drugs out in the streets. Used by many. Someone can get hooked even with its first use. But the effects are disastrous. Health becomes at risk. Relationships suffer. Sensing euphoria during the early stages, only to feel sicker, angry, depressed, ashamed or guilty the next. And the users answer to the latter? To use more meth! No wonder she said that "it was impossible". Impossible to break that habit!

But I believe in God Who is able! I believe in "what's impossible to us, men, is not with God!" [Luke 18:27]

We all have our failures. We all are entangled in different kinds of sins. Of habits that are not pleasing to God. There is a way out....Jesus... Who said, "I am the only WAY, the TRUTH, and the  LIFE..." [John 14:6; emphasis mine]. Let's turn all our impossible to possible, not with our way but with God's way....But you must believe...I was once like you except now, I Jesus...

Lord, today, I praise Your Holy Name. May you be the One glorified in everything. Lord, may many more lost wanderers turn to You. May they realize that what's impossible is not with You, our awesome God. Glory be to You now and forever. Thank You for loving us. Thank You for sending Jesus so our relationship with You can be made right because of His sacrifice. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

The Enemy's Victory Party Had Long Been Over

The heavy metal door swung open. Two deputies awaited for us, the emergency responders, as they watched the inmate looking dazed. According to neighboring cellies [cellmates], he was shaking and looked like he had a seizure.

The yellow band Intake Nurses applied was visible on his right wrist. The fading permanent black marker read "Seizure". I noticed a small drop of blood on the blanket right next to his head.

He wasn't saying much. I tried to make him open his mouth. He slowly pried it open and with the aid of my small bright flashlight, I couldn't see any cut or laceration. With his vital signs being normal, I knew there was something going on but it was hard to prove that he was only playing a game at that time. I had no choice but to play it safe.

"Can you start an IV on him?" I asked the other nurse who helped me, as I readied the paper work and called for an ambulance over the radio.

Going back to the Clinic, after the inmate was taken away, another LVN asked me who the mandown was. As soon as I stated the name, she knew that something was odd with that inmate. That he was planning on something. She recalled how he told her that he didn't want to be in that unit after being just moved. So, he complained that he was having seizures at night.

"Ahh...There you go...Thanks for telling me," I replied.

"I knew he was faking it but I wasn't sure and couldn't pinpoint at that time. So just to be safe, I sent him out anyway to ER to make sure that his medication level for Seizure was not low."

"Guess what? Next time he has it, we have to probe more and perhaps, just keep him here in the Clinic until he figures out he can't do this to the medical staff, wasting our time," I added.

When I went back last weekend, I pulled and read his chart. Everything was normal in ER. So he got sent back to jail after. The doctor's order was to continue current treatments being given as his Dilantin level was on a therapeutic level. I spoke with the charge nurse and warned about his scheme.

Let us not be fooled again by our spiritual enemy. Hurtful words, doubt, unbelief, fear, lies, condemnation, guilt, temptations, pride, greed, lust, self-pity, and many other things that do not come from God are being hurled at us. Yes, we can repel them all because we now belong to God. The enemy's victory party had long been over!!!

"How we thank God, who gives us victory over sin and death through Jesus Christ our Lord!" 
- 1 Corinthians 15:57 [emphasis mine]

"But you belong to God, my dear children. You have already won your fight with these false prophets, because the Spirit who lives in you is greater than the spirit who lives in the world." - 1 John 4:4
All posts/composed songs copyright by RCUBEs.


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].