Birth Pangs

2 weeks from now, we are having the mandatory annual Skills Fair again. I'm glad we have this training yearly as many sicker inmates keep coming in.

There is something new added to the variety of stations we have to visit. As more and more mentally ill inmates are being incarcerated, one unit that housed those with special needs, has made the decision to put those pregnant women back into the general population or those units that house the women. So, in order to hone our knowledge regarding pregnancy, we have to learn many life-threatening symptoms that specifically concern them.

I've seen the anxiety on those women's faces. Their fears. The uncertainties because of the wrong decisions they have made. Their selfish acts resulted not to their own suffering but to the baby they end up carrying. But I respect those. The ones, who in spite of the difficult path they are walking on as pregnant, incarcerated women, chose to carry their baby into full term. I admire those who did not think about quitting by going through abortions. I feel their pain. Of trying to at least make a change by giving their babies a chance to life, despite them being locked up. It's not easy to be separated from their babies after giving birth. But at least, they must have felt something deep inside to know that babies are special gifts. Hand made by a loving Creator. They smile, despite the pain of separation, to know that their babies are being born. They endure all the physical pain that comes with pregnancy, knowing that it will give them a far more "joy" in the end. Knowing that despite the consequence of committing a crime, they have something good to look forward to.

We go through birth pains, too, as we await for Jesus' second coming. Like a pregnant woman's pains getting intense as the delivery of the baby nears, so it must be with the signs that Jesus had mentioned:

- anti-Christs ["Don't let anyone mislead you. For many will come in my name, saying 'I am the Messiah'. They will lead many astray." - Matthew 24:4-5]

- wars, famines, pestilence and earthquakes ["And wars will break out near and far, but don't panic. Yes, these things must come, but the end won't follow immediately. The nations and kingdoms will proclaim war against each other, and there will be famines and earthquakes in many parts of the world." - Matthew 24:6-7]

All these pains will happen but Jesus' second coming will bring a far more joy to those who love Him. And despite all these trials and sufferings, it is worth the wait.

Are you ready when Jesus comes? Have you been saved?

"For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved." - Romans 10:9-10

This is a long video I found but is this one of the birth pangs that is already happening?

"For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast." - Ephesians 2:8-9 [emphasis mine]

"The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it?" - Jeremiah 17:9

"But the anointing that you received from him abides in you, and you have no need that anyone should teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about everything, and is true, and is no lie—just as it has taught you, abide in him." - 1John 2:27

"Now, brothers, about times and dates we do not need to write to you, 2for you know very well that the day of the Lord will come like a thief in the night. 3While people are saying, "Peace and safety," destruction will come on them suddenly, as labor pains on a pregnant woman, and they will not escape. 4But you, brothers, are not in darkness so that this day should surprise you like a thief." - 1 Thessalonians 5:1-4
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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].