Who Are You Listening To?

               Prayer is when you talk to God;meditation is when you listen to God. ~ Diana Robinson

I was a new nurse 10 years ago in a correctional setting. I had noticed how easier the job was compared to what I did at the hospital. No more lifting patients. No more putting extremities back on CPM’s [Complete Passive Movement Machine] after the patients’ total knee replacements. No more turning of post-op patients side to side at least every 2 hours to prevent skin breakdown. Not that I hated those as an Orthopedic nurse. But because I couldn’t do it anymore after sustaining a neck injury in 1997, after lifting a patient who just had a back surgery. Despite me being aware of using good body mechanics, my neck was injured.

“Don’t work with Nurse P.,” warned one of the new co-workers. “He’s grumpy and just hard to work with,” she added in a whisper.

That was what stood out after being oriented in a few weeks. The job was not hard. It was the people. People who loved to back stab others and in their presence, lauded them with praises. People who loved to see someone messed up and was so sure to talk about it when it occurred. People who always checked for what kind of phones co-workers were using. Brand names of purses. Expensive watches. The kind of cars they drove. The kind of life they lived outside. Interested to know if a co-worker was divorced. That they were having problems with not only with their mates but with kids if they had kids. Those were the obvious things I saw, heard, sensed and experienced.

“Thanks for your warning,” I replied. “But I prefer to form my own opinion of people. I would rather meet them and be able to work with them.”

So I did. With Nurse P. And he was a great co-worker. We worked harmoniously. We were a great team when we had man downs. We finished early with our morning sick calls because we split the work. There was no whining. Whoever was available and could, one of us would just do the work. And we earned more than what we were making, pay period to pay period. We earned respect. Toward each other. Nurse P. had been retired. And I was glad that I never listened to that damaging warning.

How about you? Who are you listening to? Are you listening to this world’s point of views? Or are you listening to God?

“My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.”
~ John 10:27-28[NIV]

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The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].