The Blood

“This is Nurse Rcubes. How can I help you?” I asked the deputy on the other line who just called over the radio for the nurse’s assistance.

“Can you please meet us here in our unit to assess this guy who is covered with blood,” he replied.

With my stethoscope dangling around my neck, the medical secretary followed me and was willing to help me out, knowing we were short and technically, I was alone with just the Charge Nurse who needed to stay in the Clinic.

Sitting on one of the plastic chairs as we walked in, I saw a glimpse of a big man. With the help of soft glow from the unit’s light, his white shirt was illuminated but it was all red and same with his face. As if we were watching a bloody movie from Hollywood, his face was red all over with his blood.

When the deputy walked in, I motioned for the inmate to sit on one of the chairs used in the small clinic in their unit so I could have better access to my medical supplies. The blood trickled from an open gash on his forehead, as I struggled to keep the paper towel over his left arm to prevent my blood pressure cuff from being stained with his blood. Two huge bumps were prominently visible on both sides of his forehead.

“Are you okay? What happened?” I started probing after calling for an ambulance so he could be brought to the hospital.

“I’m cool, Ma’am. I fell down the stairs,” he clearly stated. As the other deputies started taking pictures of his wounds, I kept working and asking.

“Sir, with all due respect, let me repeat my question, what really happened?”

“Ma’am, I fell down the stairs,” he repeated as he tried to wipe his trickling blood with his towel.

“Sir, let me make it clear now…If you don’t tell me the truth, the doctors in ER might not order the necessary tests  that will speed up the appropriate treatment for your wounds,” I firmly explained.

There was a pause. I knew he was very alert. He was a big man but I sensed that despite his size, he was overwhelmed by many other inmates who intended to hurt him physically.

“Yes….I got jumped on…7 guys…” he said in front of me and to the relief of the deputies surrounding us so they could start getting those who were responsible for this assault.

Wrapping the open wound, I gave him some oxygen through the nasal tubing.

“Are you sure you’re not hurting anywhere else?”


With all the amount of blood that dried up all over him, I knew the gash was not the only injury. There had to be some other parts of his body that got hurt.

When he was brought back from the hospital, he looked way clean. And the doctors noted that he had some fracture inside his nose. But it didn’t end there. It was only the beginning of his battle. He had to give the names or faces of those who assaulted him. His blood was the proof of the extent of the crime those other inmates did. It was photographed, too.

With Jesus, it was the opposite. Unlike that inmate’s white shirt dirtied with blood, with Jesus’ blood, it is hard to imagine that only His blood makes our lives white. But that is the Truth! Only by the sinless blood of the Lamb any one can be cleansed and purified. This is the only way! This is the only proof of being saved through faith. And despite all the assaults of our spiritual enemies here, we must take comfort in knowing that God’s promise stands true every day: “to protect us and give us that hope of eternal life.” To bring us to that place, His place, where there’s no more sorrow, no more pain, no more tears, no more death…” Glory be to You Oh Lord!

“ I answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Therefore, “they are before the throne of God and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will spread his tent over them. Never again will they hunger; never again will they thirst. The sun will not beat upon them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd; he will lead them to springs of living water. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” ~ Revelation 7:14-17 [NIV]

Two Words...My Reminders...

One hurried Thursday morning, as I was eating breakfast with my son prior to bringing him to school, I glanced once more behind me and stared at those two words on our mantelshelf.

“Be careful at school. Always pray…” I reminded my son.

“Yes, mom. You, too,” he replied as he took the last piece of his scrambled egg.

“Proverbs 3:5?” I abruptly queried and made his memory juggled a bit.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding,” was his quick reply, along with a few gulps of cold milk.

“Remember that…Start your day with the Lord. End your day with the Lord,” I ended the conversation as we got up and placed the dishes on the sink, washed our hands and our hands meeting together as we bowed our heads to talk to the One Who already knew what would happen that day. Events that were uncertain most of the time to us.

And those two words I claimed silently as we both prayed while standing on His ground with confidence, knowing that everything Jesus said was true. He left so many proofs. He left His Word. He shared so much about the Kingdom. He gave so much love. None could fathom. But because of what He did to save humanity, I would always remind myself to trust first on Him and not with my own understanding. “Because His ways and thoughts are higher than ours…”

So, I will choose to always BELIEVE…and have FAITH….no matter what comes my way... At each passing seconds...Knowing that He does know. And He promised to never leave nor forsake those who loves Him. For each hour, we don’t need to see….True followers believe by faith… True followers see through their hearts...

the reminders on our mantel

“For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.” – James 1:3 [NLT]

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.” – Hebrews 11:1 [NIV]

“In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.” – Ephesians 6:16 [NIV]

“And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6 [NIV]

Let's Pray

Father, today I pour out my heart to You. I want to thank You first for Who You are. Please forgive me for all of my sins. Lord, empower us, Your true children, with Your Spirit. Give us strength when we feel like giving up and so weary. Give us protection for the unseen battle that we are all in. Give us wisdom and discernment to choose to do the right thing and glorify You in everything that we do. You know all of our needs. I lift up those who don't know You. For them to have the veils removed so that Your love can be poured into their hearts. Father, remind me that in all trials that I face, You are always here with me, and that You are faithful. Thank You Lord for saving us. Thank You for Your love, Your mercy, Your grace, Your everlasting kindness. Lord, please help us to know You more and strip ourselves with those things that hinder our walk with You. Strengthen the bond of unity among us, believers. Help our spiritual leaders and that they may glorify no one but You. Help this nation. Help those being persecuted. Help those who are in great suffering. Remind us to give our worries to You. Because there is no weight greater than the cross You had carried upon Your shoulder. Remind us of the future hope and glory that is to come. Because of what Jesus had done. Thank You Lord. And yes, Lord, I believe...In Jesus' Name. Amen.

[Friends, please keep me in your prayers regarding my work situation. God bless.]

"This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us - whatever we ask - we know that we have what we asked of him" (1 John 5:14-15).

Which Side Are You On?

Struggling to finish the remaining paper works as the charge nurse had left one nurse and myself last Thursday night, the radio call for a “mandown” filled the Clinic. I told the nurse to get the Accucheck machine so we can check the sugar as I heard the inmate just left the Clinic after doing his blood sugar check. I grabbed the emergency bag and we both ran towards the long hallway by the Clinic.

Down on the floor was an orange-clad uniformed huge man, not moving. Two deputies were watching over him as they were glancing from our direction.

I saw one of the deputies putting an ammonia inhaler to see if he would respond. I saw his eyelids twitching. Despite the lack of response, I knew it was intentional.

“C’mon Mr. W.! I know you can hear us. Give me your left arm and I want to get your blood pressure!” I commanded as I signaled for the other nurse to start checking his blood sugar.

With a slight movement, he raised his left arm. Cautious not to be so close, I tried to be in front of him so I had a full view of his face and would be able to observe his reactions.

His eyelids twitching still, he shook a little and softly uttered, “I see demons! I see demons!”

Being the one nearest him, no one else heard his soft whispers. I started praying for the Lord to cover us with His Holy Blood [Glory be to God!] and for His mighty angels to surround us. Praying softly, I saw the frantic look from the other nurse, “Rcubes, the machine keeps saying “error!” I had used two Accucheck machines already. Both of them are saying “errors”…”

“I see demons!” the inmate uttered in a louder tone, enough for all to hear. The deputies huddled closely, ready to tackle him down if he would become combative.At the same time, they had a smirk on their faces. I cautioned the other nurse to keep a good distance and to stop trying to get his blood sugar level.

“Deputies, let’s just bring him down to the Clinic. He is fine with his vitals. He needs to see someone though from Mental Health. I can’t send him to the unit until he’s evaluated.”

The inmate kept rubbing his face at that time, as if to erase a vision no one else saw but him. He just came back from the hospital the day prior for a fall he sustained. Reading his chart, I found out he had been saying that “he sees demons” many times even when he got back from the hospital. He was already seen by Mental Health. But I knew he needed to be re-evaluated. He was in for murder.

How could I explain to the deputies and the nurse that there really was an unseen war?

That there are only two sides. That of God’s and that of the spiritual enemies. A line was drawn. What kind of battle are you on? Facing cruel bosses? Intimidated by neighbors? Relationships being soured by loved ones, friends or others? Conflicts cannot be avoided.Think about the forces behind those…Behind them is an army that is highly organized, merciless, and determined to do one thing: “to dominate the world.”

“Are you seeing demons?”

If you had decided to be on God’s side, fear not! Jesus had already defeated the spiritual enemies on the cross! God made His weapons available for us to use to remain standing in victory!!! We do not belong to this world. We are here to make progress and prepare for what lies ahead…to live in an eternal Kingdom. But while down here, we must not be stagnant but rather grow in maturity. To know more about things of God. So…which side are you on?

“But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (Matthew 6:33 NIV)

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14:27 NKJV)

“What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?.” (Romans 8:31 NKJV).

No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, And their righteousness is from Me," Says the LORD.” (Isaiah 54:17 NKJV) -emphasis mine

The Heavy Weight

I felt the achy pain radiating from my neck down to both of my shoulders, as I secured the black strap resting on my right shoulder with my right hand to prevent the heavy, red emergency bag from slipping.

It was almost 7 o’clock in the morning as I ran toward the outside yard of the prison’s Intake where a neat row of huge buses and its engines were warming up to take hundreds of prisoners to different courts for them to see the judge. The rising sun’s rays were peeking through in one corner of the still lingering darkness of the previous night.

Down on the cold ground was this pale-looking male, dressed up in gold, meaning he has some mental health problem. His hands chained in front of his waist, same with both of his feet, he quivered from the constant blasts of the icy, early morning winds. The stench from the fumes of the diesel engines running surrounded the corners of the yard.

No one witnessed when he fell. But it was obvious that he needed an urgent treatment. I noticed the huge bump he sustained on the right side of his forehead. Fortunately, there were no other major wounds or problems. He tried to answer my queries with a mentality like that of a toddler, but he was making sense.

“Don’t move your neck!” I commanded as I saw him trying to look way past below his feet that needed him to elevate his head. As I requested for blankets from the deputies to shield him from the cold winds, I immediately requested for an ambulance so he could be brought to the hospital.

While monitoring him, the achy pain I had been feeling persisted. But I knew it wasn’t the heavy weight from the emergency bag that had caused it. It was the weight of the responsibilities I faced that night.

Responsibilities that nurses like me, whether at the hospital, prison, nursing homes, birthing places and other places carry on our hands and shoulders as we face situations needing timely interventions and where autonomous judgments have no room for errors. It is in those moments where we play a tug o’war between life and death.

Like Jesus…It wasn’t the heavy wooden cross that He carried upon His shoulders…It was the weight of the sins of the world…So you and I may live…

“God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” – 2 Corinthians 5:21 [NIV]

The Big Mess [LOAM-Ladies On A Mission]

I had so much emotions welled up in me when Sister Lisa asked me if I wanted to be a part of LOAM [Ladies On A Mission]. You guys should have seen me because I was so excited! Not for me. For Him Who is so full of goodness!

I had given a copy to sister Lisa right away but I had one, or another story, that I originally typed first.

"Now?" I asked the Lord that night. "You want me to send it to her now? She's gonna' think "I'm nuts! So soon...."

As soon as I got done questioning Him, His timing, I found myself repenting. Sorry Lord. For not trusting you with Your perfect timing...

Click...and my story was shared with sister Lisa. What's new....We always make a mess. But thanks be to God for His faithful love and grace. He is God of so many chances...So, follow "this mess" over at sister Lisa....

Time To Rebuild The Temple

Tonight is the first night that I am officially not working weekend nights anymore. A very sudden change of my schedule as the supervisor opted for everyone working nights to work 12 hours to cover those shifts that were always short of staff. It wasn’t really a big change for some, but it was for me, who could only work 8 hours maximum to prevent having my neck pain aggravated.

Thank you for those of you who had prayed for me regarding this change and my continued request for a reasonable accommodation for my managers to allow me to work, not exceeding 8 hours per shift. Please keep me in your prayers and thank you from my heart for remembering.

When it comes to worries, it’s still not easy to not somehow get a little anxious when faced with a new challenge. My priority was always to care for my family as I had enjoyed being off on weekdays. I was able to keep the house, cook more nutritious meals, prepare lunches for my husband and son, and just be there to drop off or pick up my child to and from school. But now, things will change. Priorities will definitely change.

As I had a quiet time with the Lord tonight after dinner, I had been at peace about this change since the last few days. I know that everything has a purpose in Him. As I consulted Him about this change, He reminded me how pressures, demands, or tasks can assault our schedules. Somehow, we tend to run out of energy and time in the long run. Until there is little to give from our part. Everything is a rush! And the truth is….we often leave behind those priorities that truly matter the most.

I have been working weekend nights enjoying this schedule and same agenda for many years. And now with this change, it’s actually awesome that the Lord is bringing me back to reflect on what should matter the most in my heart. Being off on the weekends now, I can truly give priorities to Him as number 1 and secondly, I will actually enjoy my time more with my family as my husband is always off on the weekends. How often I talked about the Lord in my previous posts, and yet I somehow put Him and categorized Him as one of my “to-do” lists.

God showed me the short book of Haggai to reflect more about Him. Centuries ago, Haggai, the prophet, challenged God’s people to set and do the right priorities. The people of Judah were exiled to Babylon and Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed. Under Cyrus, the king of Persia, the Jews were allowed to return to Judah and rebuild their Temple.

Through Haggai, the Lord said, “Why are you living in luxurious houses while my house lies in ruins? This is what the Lord Almighty says: Consider how things are going for you! You have planted much but harvested little. You have food to eat, but not enough to fill you up. You have wine to drink, but not enough to satisfy your thirst. You have clothing to wear, but not enough to keep you warm. Your wages disappear as though you were putting them in pockets filled with holes!” – Haggai 1:6 [LAB]

How true that Haggai’s message still applies for us today! We put our energies into those things that do not give back any value to us. But if we put God first, He provides for all of our needs and sometimes, it’s more than we can handle.

“Take courage and work, for I am with you, says the Lord Almighty.” Haggai 2:4

God is truly with us with that wonderful promise!

As this new schedule begins, I know I must set my priorities on returning to the Lord. Putting Him number 1 in my life. It’s time to work. It’s time to not allow these changes bother me, but it’s time for me to be the one to make changes. At home. At my workplace. With church family. With those I meet anywhere. Even through this blog land. God wants to change the world. Through me. Through you.

It's time to rebuild this temple [my heart] and make it beautiful by making His presence known.

Wake Up!

“She’s been here many, many times…”whispered a female arresting officer in dark blue uniform.

“I think she goes through alcohol withdrawals, too.”

I glanced at an alcohol-reeking woman, sitting on the cold cement bench on the female side of Intake. Her head slumped on her chest. There was no tremor but she was so drowsy, it was hard for her to  follow any commands.

“Ms. Johnson!” “Wake up!” I shook her left shoulder as I needed her to straighten her left arm for me to start taking her blood pressure.

“How much alcohol did you have tonight?”

“Ms. Johnson! Wake up!!!”

She barely opened her eyes. The lids looking heavy as if it had a ton weight on each.

“One…”she softly murmured.

“One what?” “Ms. Johnson, c’mon!”


Her vital signs were normal. I didn’t see any tremors. I had her get up and made her walk a few steps to see if she could walk on her own. She did, still with her eyes closed…

I signed her health screen form and the cop was happy that I had admitted her to be booked.

“She’ll wake up soon…in a few hours…”

And once released…there was always that big chance of seeing her back. She was entangled with a bad habit. How could she wake up when a few drinks would make her want to go for more. Day after day…Night after night…

“Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in worthless deeds of evil and darkness;  instead, rebuke and expose them. It is shameful even to talk about the things that ungodly people do in secret. But when the light shines on them, it becomes clear how evil these things are. And where your light shines, it will expose their evil deeds. This is why it is said,

Awake, O sleeper, rise up from the dead, and Christ will give you light.” – Ephesians 5:10-14 [LAB]

“So be careful how you live, not as fools but as those who are wise. Make the most of every opportunity for doing good in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, let the Holy Spirit fill and control you.” – Ephesians 5:15-18 [LAB]

-emphasis is mine

Do The Right Thing

“Test me, LORD, and try me, examine my heart and my mind;” – Psalm 26:2 [NIV]

“Nurse, excuse me….”

One of the Intake Deputies disrupted my attention as I was trying to get caught up with my charting on those inmates I had screened that had medical or mental problems. I needed to start a chart so they could be seen by either the medical doctor or Psychiatrist, depending on their needs.

“Do you mind taking a look at this guy? He doesn’t look good.”

He motioned for me to go with him to the Search and Hold area, where they search all the arriving arrestees from the streets.

“Wait deputy! Let me just get the vital signs machine so I am not wasting my time. If his vitals are okay, and my assessment on him is okay, he can be booked. But if not, we are not going to waste time asking him questions.”

“Okay. Thank you, Nurse.”

He was talking rapidly. His nose was covered with dried-up blood and some bruising had already started. He was a heavy set man, tall but had disheveled look.

“What happened to you?” I queried as I started the electronic blood pressure cuff on his left arm.

“I smashed my nose but I’m okay, Nurse. Don’t worry about me.”

The din of the inflating cuff of the blood pressure monitor stopped.

“160/110”…….His pulse was 120 and erratic. Sometimes falling to 100, then would go back up to 125.

The arresting officer was already filling out the health screen form for his arrestee. Glancing at my direction, I interrupted him.

“Sorry, Sir. I can’t admit him. You have to bring him to our county’s ER so he can be evaluated because his blood pressure is way high and his pulse is going all over the place.”

His calm but weary face was painted with annoyance.

“No! How about if I let go of the handcuff, can you try taking it again?” he requested.

Arresting officers usually get disappointed when Intake Nurses can’t admit their arrestees for any medical or mental issue that warrants an immediate attention. The process is long as they wait with the arrestees in ER and then, bring them back to the jail, once they are cleared by the ER doctor for booking.

Our Intake Deputy silently talked with me using his eyes.

“It’s okay. Go ahead! I’ll re-check his bp again,” I reassured, sure that nothing would change upon seeing the behavior that was unusual somewhat.

The bp monitor started running and then stopped again: “158/110…His pulse still the same.”I hollered to the watchful eye of the officer.

The officer didn’t say anything. He started packing his paper works. He knew he would not be able to change my mind. A policy is a policy. He knew I was determined not to break that knowing it would be risky for the inmate’s health and most of all, it wouldn’t be the right thing to do.

How true with my faith. I want to know where I stand sometimes. Who better to ask than God Who alone can see my heart? I know I have Jesus in me. But how many times I still tend to stray away from what I know? From what He told me?

“Encourage us to do the right thing,” my husband always utters in our daily morning prayers before he goes to work, leaving while it’s still dark, to meet up with other officers. A daily task they have to do to maintain order and peace in this land.

And now that I ponder about his words, “Encourage us to do the right thing…” Paul’s words echoed at the back of my mind:

“Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed.”
- 2 Corinthians 13:7 [NIV] -[emphasis is mine]

“For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth.” – 2 Corinthians 13:8 [NIV]

Twisted Truth

Photo Credit

I worked at the prison’s Intake Saturday night as the assigned nurse had called in sick. It was quiet and calm until the arrestees started showing up between the hours of 3:30-4:30 in the morning.

I kept staring at this arrestee’s shallow puncture wound, atop his right eyebrow, as I started screening him for any medical or mental health problem. His arresting officer watching us by the door.

“I did it! Yes! I stabbed myself with a screwdriver because I was so pissed off with my wife,”he replied when I asked him what caused the wound. I noticed the scattered minor scratches all over his arms. None of them were bleeding fortunately.

“Do you have any history of mental problem or were you ever on any Psych meds?”

“I think I have depression but no! I am not taking any meds,” he answered as he kept his head bowed low, looking down on the floor.

“Do you feel like hurting yourself still at this time?” I probed.

“No! I promise you, I don’t! I was just upset earlier,” he stated.

“I’m sorry, Sir. Even though you stated you don’t want to hurt yourself anymore[as I studied his facial expressions the whole time], I have no choice but to still put you on Suicide Watch!”

“Why? I told you I’m okay now!”

“Why? It’s because who in the right mind would do something like that, “stabbing himself with a screwdriver because you were angry?” And because you told me that you might have a history of depression, I would like for our Psychiatrist to see you first thing in the morning when he gets here.”

“I want you to know, you will be put in a special cell, everything removed and you will be given a Velcro-strapped clothing to cover you and at least keep you warm. Deputies and myself will constantly keep an eye on you and you don’t have to do anything special but just try to rest and just wait on the doctor to come. I am not risking any moment for you to be a risk for your own safety.”

He started sobbing, as I saw the arresting officer nodding his head in agreement. Tears flowed and in between his sobs, he uttered, “Okay.” He stopped explaining about his promises not to hurt himself.

After the chaotic time ceased when a wave of arrestees came, I went to see him on the Suicide Cell. He was asleep, looking peaceful down on a blue, plastic boat, a makeshift bed on the cold floor. I knew that morning, it would be a new day for him. After the Psychiatrist would come and assess him, I knew the right help would dawn on him. As he rests…

His promise sounded so true. That he wouldn’t hurt himself anymore. But deep inside, there was more to that puncture wounds and few scratches. The real wound was unseen deep in his heart. If I missed those unseen cues, I could have listened to him and would have put him in general population. But I couldn’t imagine that risk if he ever had the strength and opportunity to harm himself.

Our spiritual enemies love to twist the truth. The devil challenged Jesus when He was in the wilderness.

The enemy took Jesus to Jerusalem, to the highest point of the Temple and said, “If you are the Son of God, jump off! For the Scriptures say, ‘He orders his angels to protect you. And they will hold you with their hands to keep you from striking your foot on a stone.” [this is in parallel with Psalm 91:12]

But Jesus responded, “The Scriptures also say, ‘Do not test the Lord your God.” [Matthew 4:6-7]

The enemy used the Scripture to try to convince Jesus to sin! He may sound very convincing but Jesus knew the Truth.  He knew that the devil twisted the truth. 

If we study the Bible carefully, especially with the broader contexts of specific verses, we will truly understand God’s principles for living and what He wants for our lives. We are to REST upon His faithful promises, not TEST Him!

"God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth."
-John 4:24 (NIV)

"The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of human beings who suppress the truth by their wickedness."
-Romans 1:18 (NIV)

"You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." - John 8:44 (NIV)

"But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come." - John 16:13 (NIV)

Learning To Endure Amidst The Trials and Pains

“Rather, as servants of God we commend ourselves in every way: in great endurance; in troubles, hardships and distresses.” – 2 Corinthians 6:4 [NIV]

“But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.” – 1 Timothy 6:11 [NIV]

Trying to hold my cell phone as my cold hands pressed the button to call my son’s cell, I saw some of the night crew heading to each of their cars, ready to go home after a long Saturday night of work. One by one, the electronic gate opened and like a parade, we followed each other to get out of the staff parking.

No one answered so I knew that my son was probably downstairs, eating breakfast with his father, getting ready to go to church. I dialed our house’s number and my husband picked up.

After greeting him “Good Morning”, I asked about our son.

“Oh….He couldn’t pick up your call because he’s here in the laundry room, washing his clothes.”

Tears welled up in my eyes. As foggy as the morning mist I had to go through, I tried to steady my eyes on the road.

“Are you okay? What’s wrong?” my husband asked.

“No! These are tears of joy. The other day, when I was explaining about my schedule change at work to him, I told him, sometimes, we have to look at these changes, that they are happening, not only for me, but also for him. When the Lord is calling for us to step up and do more responsibilities for Him, the changes often hurt, but the outcome far outweighs the suffering or hurt we have to endure. If He can’t trust us with smaller things, how much more with bigger things?”

“I told him that anything he can do to help both of us around, it would be great. Not only is he helping us, but it will be a great opportunity for him to be more responsible, think about others and not of himself, and do them with great joy in his heart, to always commit them with the Lord. I’m crying because he remembered…”

As I got done preaching talking, my husband handed the phone to my son.

“Kristian, you’re so sweet. I just want to say thank you and I love you.”

“You’re welcome, mom. Drive safely and I’ll see you when you get home. I love you, too.”

“Thank You Lord. Thank You for these changes that hurt. They hurt because You want us to be more faithful. You want us to be more trusting in You. You want us to grow in our character. And even if we don’t know what lies ahead, You always provide with our needs. Thank You for Your love and grace.”

This time, I let the tears flowed behind the sunglasses that sheltered my eyes from the bright light peeking through the clouds from a distance. I knew I didn’t deserve anything. I was always an ordinary person but He never thought that way. He would entrust things to my hands because He always believed in me. And now that I had tasted His goodness, there was just no other response but to continually praise and thank Him for all of these opportunities of growth and bigger responsibilities. These challenges create a big change not on the outside, but from my inside. The way I will handle any trial is an opportunity of showing how a child of God can endure.

We endure not because we are strong. We become more patient not because of our own strength. It is because God sustains all those. If we can show others those God-given abilities, may it make them see God through our sufferings and changes. We are given talents not only to minister to each other but much more, we have that responsibility to always proclaim about the Truth. Because in the long run, it is not our opinions about God that will matter. He is not bound to change and adapt to how we want Him to be. [“Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today and tomorrow.”-Hebrews 13:8] We forget that though He loves to bless and provide a lot of things, He is also the One Who punishes sins. We look at comforting Scriptures but bypass those that are uncomfortable. We have to learn to endure amidst such pain and trials because God is calling for us to be more pure, letting go of those things that hinder our growth and relationship with God.

More Than Conquerors

“But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 [NIV 2010]
- [emphasis is mine]

“Rcubes…how do you feel about the schedule change?” “Are you worried?” asked one of the LVN’s.

She was talking about the new schedule for the night shift staff, starting January 15. She noticed I would be working weeknights now, instead of weekends I used to do for so many years. I had job-shared during those years to lessen my hours and not aggravate the neck pain I sustained from an injury, working at a big hospital for almost 10 years.

“Not really.”

“Oh, that’s good!” she replied with a surprised tone of voice. She paused, wanting to hear more about my personal reasons.

“I think it’s awesome. Now, I get to spend more time with my family and do a lot of things families do.”

“Ohhh…” she didn’t know what to say next.

“Sometimes, it’s those little things that mean the most. I’m grateful for those.”

She started walking away, her head nodding slightly. But she would be the only one to know what her thoughts were upon hearing my answers.

Not all big things here on earth are better. Not huge amount of money. Not being powerful and listing all those achievements. They don’t mean a thing sometimes.

I may have this disability but despite the pain I had, that was the time I felt my strongest. That was the time I had achieved a lot of things I knew would be impossible for me to do most of the time. That was the time I had learned to grow more patient, more humble, more forgiving and more loving. That was the time I had more compassion.

It was because of Jesus. He had paid the biggest sacrifice to save us all. And now, He is inviting everyone, anyone, to submit their hearts and lives to Him completely. And having things like trust or even faith as small as a mustard seed on Him, He turns it into bigger things.

It is through brokenness when His redemption works best, not on being whole. It is through weaknesses that His power and might works evidently. It is by being weak that we become conquerors, because once He starts His work in someone’s life, He is always faithful to complete it. Thank You Jesus!

"31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33 Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34 Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,[k] neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord" - Romans 8:31-39 [NIV 2010]

Small things + faith = more than conquerors in Christ:

[please silence my playlist on top]:

Meeting Him In The Deepest Part Of My Soul

I guess I still struggle with this notion when I brought up the thought to my husband who sat next to me as I was browsing some sites in the Internet last night.

“Why is it that Christians are Lutherans, Baptists, or others? Why not just Christians?”

Even those perfect-looking churches are all made up of once broken people, transformed by the work of the cross. Even those ministers or pastors were once lost, found and reformed by Jesus’ saving grace. Like my husband. Like my child. Like me…And you…

We were all prisoners of many kinds of sins, freed by our Savior Jesus Christ. Am I wrong to say that? Why can’t we be called just plain “Christians”? For everything we attained or lost should be pointed and reflected back at Him Who rescued us from the pits of hell? Doesn’t Jesus deserve all the glory? All the honor? All the thanks and praise?

CHRIST….IAN [I Am Nothing]

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” –John 15:5

Isn’t a Christian  one who is to conform to God’s character? Someone who is called to walk with God as Jesus did? One who is called to live not by his/her own strength but by the power of God? What do you think? Do you struggle with this like I do?

This year, I want to search for His answers in the deepest, not the shallow part of my soul.  To have my roots grow deeper into His love. I can’t do it on my own, that I know. Only by His grace. [“I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” – Philippians 4:13]

The past year had shown so much pain and suffering. Countless lives worried as they faced mountains of trials. Christians included. But as true follower of Jesus, we are called to endure so we can follow God, show trust in Him, draw nearer to Him, please no one but Him, imitate Jesus and reflect Him to those who don’t know Him fully well.

In the prison where I work, deputies do unannounced shakedowns to catch inmates off-guard. During that time, that is when they usually find illegal substances like pruno [alcohol they make from fruits], drugs, or shanks [any improvised weapons]. When our world seem to be shaking, maybe we should consider that God is shaking it to call our attention and truly listen to what He is saying.

 “5Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 7 Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil.” – Proverbs 3:5-7 [NIV]

“so that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God…” – Colossians 1:10 [NIV]

“Have nothing to do with godless myths and old wives’ tales; rather, train yourself to be godly.”
- 1 Timothy 4:7 [NIV]

Lord, help me find and meet You and hear You speak in the deepest of my soul. Guard me in all of my ways. That I may give you all the glory You alone deserve. Lord, forgive me for all of my lack of attention, those times I remain dry and not wanting to desire for more of You. Lord, I trust only in Your own understanding. Not mine. Give me the strength I need Lord to know more of You and less of me. All the glory, honor, thanks and praise belong to You Oh Lord. Thank You for Your love, mercy and grace. In Jesus' Name. Amen.

Please silence my playlist...

You Are Beautiful

“Oh my!” exclaimed the dental assistant. “I can’t remove this temporary crown. Let me call the dentist.”

True enough, the dentist had a hard time, too removing my temporary crown this morning when I went there so they could replace it with the permanent crown. The assistant had applied a strong glue as it would take me a few weeks for this morning’s follow up and she didn’t want the temporary crown to come off loose. She surely did a great job doing so!

How it hurt  a bit, as the gum got a little irritated with the pulling and yanking. Until it finally came off and my new tooth looked great!

And so it is with a new life with Jesus! How can we not be aware of His power and saving grace! We are rotten inside that is replaced with His righteousness. It surely hurt, maybe a bit or maybe even too much, when we are being stripped off of the things of this world.

Photo Credit
“You have a new good-looking crown,” uttered the dentist.

But I was hearing a different Voice as I stared at the calming framed of art in front of me, as the yellow glare of soft light shone over my face, it was clear: “I see My Son, Jesus as I look at you. Yes, I do not see those ugly sins anymore. You are beautiful.”

Those words spoken with unfathomable love.

The dentist handed me a mirror to look at my new crown. And as I stared at it, I knew I had no right to question those words I heard because it was the truth! I should question myself instead: "How do I look on the One Who loved me [us] first?"

“God has united you with Christ Jesus. For our benefit God made him to be wisdom itself. Christ made us right with God; he made us pure and holy, and he freed us from sin.” – 1 Corinthians 1:30 [NLT]

Silence That Destroys

“I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, ...”
- Ephesians 4:1-6 [ESV]

I worked on New Year’s Eve, surprised that there were three of us assigned that night in the Clinic. With the constant shortage of staff, that was a nice night to be staffed well. Though on a holiday, we usually did not anticipate that it would be busy. True enough, the night was calm. We got done entering the doctor’s orders in the computer in a short amount of time. Then….Silence… Except me, in a joyful mood, chatting with each of them. In between those two nurses, silence…

I had brought some coffee cake for my co-workers to enjoy. Seeing the Intake Nurse walked in, I hollered to offer her a piece and was going to greet her a Happy New Year. But she was walking so fast, almost running kind of strides to head back to the Intake after getting her much needed supplies. She didn’t hear me or she pretended she didn’t. But it didn’t hurt me. I was just wondering what was going on.

Much later, another co-worker told me that the acting charge nurse was not talking with the other nurse working with me and her. Something happened between them. And so it was between her and the Intake Nurse. That was why she was rushing to get out of the Infirmary.

Nursing pride in their hearts… Not willing to forgive. Not willing to yield. Not willing to cooperate. Not willing to compromise. That was the problem. No one wanted to go lower and respect another’s opinion until they had invisibly created a big wall in between them. They started warring with each other.

The silence enveloped me until I found myself quiet, too. The words I wanted to utter stayed in my mind. I felt sadness seeing this state of work habits amongst us. I sensed immense sadness to know how much time was being wasted having these kinds of attitudes amongst ourselves. Please pray for correctional nurses at my work. And for me!

No one can drive us crazy unless we give them the keys. ~Doug Horton

We are at war as believers of the Lord Jesus Christ. And what a waste if we are divided instead of united. We are His body and what a shame that we are allowing to have the spiritual enemies to have a gain by using our differences to divide us. We must be united. We must be one. We must not be at war amongst ourselves but with our spiritual enemies. Silence can be beneficial or not. Being quiet when we should talk may create disunity. But silence, in perfect timing, will help connect and build bridges instead of creating walls.

“Complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind.” – Philippians 2:2 [ESV]

“Only let your manner of life be worthy of the gospel of Christ, so that whether I come and see you or am absent, I may hear of you that you are standing firm in one spirit, with one mind striving side by side for the faith of the gospel.” – Philippians 1:27 [ESV]

“I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.”
– 1 Corinthians 1:10 [ESV]

“Finally, brothers, rejoice. Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.” – 2 Corinthians 13:11 [ESV]

“Do two walk together, unless they have agreed to meet?” – Amos 3:3 [ESV]

Driving But With One Focus

“Go to the next lane,” my husband told my son… “this lane you’re on leads to the freeway.”

My son’s hands steadily moved the steering wheel a little to his left.

My son knew how to drive for how long I don’t remember. But this time, he needed more hours of driving time to accumulate before he applies for his driving license. I often asked my husband since he was off this whole week, for both of us to take him and allowed my son to drive in different streets here in our area and a little farther sometimes. I wanted him to get familiar with places and not to get comfortable getting directions from a voice-prompted box up on the dashboard. I wanted him to get more opportunity to drive especially at night when the surroundings are darker and some of the roads are not that easier to see sometimes.

I feel like that. We are all driving in unfamiliar roads no matter how many years come and go in our life’s journey. Even if we take a wrong turn at times, it’s okay. We can choose to learn from our mistakes. But what’s not easy is to have that courage to say that “we are wrong” and accept the responsibility to apologize and return to the right road we were once in.

As we are already on our second day of 2011, we will be facing many unfamiliar roads. Forget the wrong turns. Forget the discourteous other drivers who loved to be ahead of others. Forget the fear from having cars that had broke down and got stuck in scary places. We are given God’s greatest blessing when we chose to drive on that narrow road. Whatever happens as we drive, we are already given this greatest hope and joy that is up ahead. We have his direction [Word] if we truly listen to it. Just like how my son trusted my husband, we will be okay if we follow His direction by completely trusting in Him.

“God the Father chose you long ago, and the Spirit has made you holy. As a result, you have obeyed Jesus Christ and are cleansed by His blood.” – 1 Peter 1:2

We are not promised that our drive will be smooth. For sure, we will be driving not expecting what is to come up ahead. But whatever hindrances come our way, may our driving techniques show other drivers who don’t know Jesus of what it’s like to be guided by Him.

When fiery trials come our way this year, may we learn to accept them as part of a refining process. A process that will burn away the impurities and prepares us to meet the Greatest Driver up ahead.

I leave you with His awesome answer and direction:

“All honor to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for it is by his boundless mercy that God has given us the privilege of being born again. Now we live with a wonderful expectation because Jesus Christ rose again from the dead. For God has reserved a priceless inheritance for his children. It is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay. And God, in his mighty power, will protect you until you receive this salvation, because you are trusting him. It will be revealed on the last day for all to see. So be truly glad! There is wonderful joy ahead, even though it is necessary for you to endure many trials for a while.” – 1 Peter 1:3-6 [LAB]

“Always be full of joy in the Lord. I say it again – rejoice!” – Philippians 4:4

Lord, give us the strength, the guidance and discernment to live our lives holy for You are a Holy God. Help us focus on what lies ahead. On those things that are imperishable. Protect us Lord as we drive through unfamiliar roads. Sustain us with your gift of joy that no matter what goes on outside, our inner attitudes will always reflect the joy we found in You. Thank You Lord for Your grace, love and mercy. Thank You for giving us the true direction on where to go. Heaven and earth will disappear but Your Words will remain forever. Glory be to You Oh God! In Jesus’ Name, I pray. Amen.
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].