I Know

“I know…”

“You do?” “Sure…Yeah, right…”

My friend noticed I had a habit of saying “I know” a lot in every conversation we had.

“It’s hard,” she vented one time, “I don’t have anyone else to help me with things.”

“I know…”

“No, you don’t…because you’re not in my shoes,” she stated.

“Oh…it hurts,” she complained of different aches.

“I know…”

“No, you don’t…You don’t have the pains I’m having,” she replied.

I never noticed my “expression” until she had noticed it and had brought it to my attention. I told her I might not have the same problems or aches she had, but when I said “I know” I meant it because I felt like I was going through the same problems and was having the same pains. Because I love her.

That’s being a friend after all, right? It’s placing ourselves in our friends’ shoes  so we can share with their suffering and just by being there for them, somehow, we hope that we are able to help out doing so in easing their pain or making the burdens a little lighter.

“I know…”

I’m confident saying that and in my spiritual state should be the same. Knowing the truth that the bottom line is my spiritual victory is not something I have accomplished but because of what Jesus did for me. And for you. And for him. And for her. For all of us.

As I go through this tough battle at this time, I am not afraid because I KNOW, my Faithful Friend is always there for me. And that is the truth!

“No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you.”
–John 15:15 (ESV)

Appreciating Flaws

Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” (ESV)

“How can such a beautiful place look so good outside and deep inside is dark and scary?” that thought lingered as I drove away from my scheduled interview 11 years ago.

“Do you have any question?” the interviewing Nurse Manager asked me.

Photo Credit
“Only one,” I confidently stated.

“Your place looks so nice with the palm trees around and green lawn and beautiful flowers all over. But coming from the hospital, I haven’t truly been in, in any prison kind of work so I want to see how it’s like inside, if I may?”

“Oh…”with a surprised look she says, “No one had ever requested that. That was a good thing to ask. Some of the nurses who had come here for job interviews were so confident and was so positive at first, then after just working a few days, turned out they all wanted to quit.”

My request was granted. Someone from the Infirmary downstairs had volunteered to give me that tour in that precious few minutes of break she had amidst the mountain of paper works she dealt with daily. I immediately felt suffocated as we both descended downstairs that led to the prison units, including the Clinic and other offices vital to the prison’s needs. She brought me to Intake where heavy metal doors were slammed shut as different arrestees from all walks of life arrived and were to be processed. Funny smell arose from bodies reeking with alcohol and other unknown substances. The more the air became stale.

Sick inmates were lined up, some being yelled at for losing patience, as they waited to be called, one by one, to be seen by either nurses or the jail doctor. I saw darkness amidst the fluorescent light illuminating the whole facility. It felt being buried down there. It was suffocating, as if we were deprived of fresh air to breathe. The mixture of silence and noises at times were deafening.

“Thank you,” I told the Nurse Manager after my brief tour.

“I didn’t expect what to see but I think I will try to learn whatever I need to learn in your facility and just give my best.”

“No, thank you!”

“You had given me that idea to give applicants a chance to see this place and what truly goes on here, day after day.”

I took a deep breath as I hungered for a fresher air as I step a little lower on my gas pedal. Looking at the rear view mirror, I saw the palm trees dancing with the wind. The tan paint coated the outside walls and made the building appeared clean. The grass appeared greener as the sun's rays shone on them. I smiled as I saw some of the sunlight penetrated those tiny windows in the tiny cells. I knew I would be okay to work in that place.

We all face a war that rages deep inside ourselves daily. It is the war to make the decisions, whether good or bad, we need to choose. We are all flawed. We all have imperfections. We all can choose to see the “best” amidst all these imperfections. We can choose to see the “good” out of the “bad.” The way God sees humanity. He knows all of our imperfections and because of love as His nature, He chooses to give us the best despite our flawed nature. Sometimes, no one knows....It is in those flaws and little blessings that may turn out to be the biggest in someone's journey.

When Tough Times Come

“Why don’t you get a glass of water? You know where the bathroom is, right?” the middle-aged woman in front of me asked, as she fixed her eyeglasses that slid a little down her nose. She kept checking the computer monitor, making sure she had put in all the information I had provided.

“I’m sorry,” I softly uttered as I tried to wipe the warm tears that I couldn’t hold anymore.

“I had never been in this process but I felt it was coming. I knew that what they had been doing with me was not right.”

“It’s okay. You know what? You did the right thing,” she reassured. “Sometimes, you need to voice out and fight for what is right.”

I handed over some facts to her opened palms. She browsed and smiled, “I think I have all I need.”

Some people in power at work wanted to do what they thought was right. They sounded like they cared but the intentions were opposite. I sensed all those from the start. But I wasn’t caught off guard even if they thought they paralyzed me. They were not aware that I was constantly ready knowing that the battles rage all around me, day in and day out. They did not know that many times, I had fought back by bending my knees, tears flowing in darkness as I pled for His help. They did not know that my strength was not mine but of His. They did not know that whatever they planned to harm me would not prosper as He was the One truly in control from the start.

Here in this world, the fastest runner doesn’t always win the race. The strongest warrior does not always win the battle. The wisest does not always make the best decision nor give the best wisdom.  The richest does not always mean they feel that way, as their hearts are void of satisfaction and joy. Those on top does not always lead successful lives.

No one can truly predict when tough times come.  Birds are hunted by sudden grazing bullets in the air. Fishes get caught abruptly with a drop of a net. People, like those animals, can also be caught by sudden tragedies. Bad storms can come, disrupting the clear, azure skies, and so it is with our lives when trials suddenly come. There is no right time. There is no right place.

The only security comes from knowing God, our Refuge.Now, those people would have a lot of explaining to do because of the necessary step I took. Quiet. Short. But powerful. All because of His guidance and discernment. Thank You Lord!

“1 God is our refuge and strength,
   an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
   and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
   and the mountains quake with their surging.” – Psalm 46:1-3 (NIV)

Fear of the Judge

“Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our “God is a consuming fire.” ~ Hebrews 12:28-29 (NIV)

I tapped on the glass window to get the attention of the Intake Nurse rushing to go toward the transportation area of the prison. She didn’t notice me as I waited for the Custody Specialist to just open the heavy, metal door.

As the Supervisor left early and gave me the task to be the acting Charge Nurse, I listened intently on the radio traffic as inmates were being prepared to be boarded in their designated buses that would bring them to court and see the judge that morning. It never failed, morning by morning, on court days, when something always went wrong with those inmates. Some happened to complain of feeling like fainting. Others were secretly hit by strong punches from unknown fists if personalities among them clashed. Some were planned. It was always a hectic time for the Intake Nurse as any mandown would give more work to be done, and would slow down her already burdened work load. Any pair of extra hands would truly make the task easier.

She smiled upon seeing me, as she pulled the wheeled vital signs machine. Halfway in the long hallway, we saw a deputy holding the shoulder part of the inmate’s orange shirt. He complained of feeling like he was going to faint. The fumes coming from the warming up huge, diesel-fueled buses were noticeable even though the metal doors were closed.

All of the man’s vital signs were normal. But it didn’t mean that there was nothing wrong with him. We completely understood the fear that must have overwhelmed them upon realizing that they had to face the judge that morning, with the punishment still unknown to the crimes they committed.

“Sorry, you must go,” we uttered. “Your vital signs are okay. Just try to relax.”

The deputy upon hearing us yelled, “Let’s go! Get in the bus!” Every second was rushed by then. There shouldn't be any delay, as some of the buses would have to travel long distances. He picked up the inmate sitting on the cold floor and holding him again by the shoulder, he helped him get up as his wrists were cuffed behind him.

Don’t we all face the same reality of fearing God? Of facing the only Judge? But for those who don’t believe in God, they face the fear of God’s judgment and eternal death. And for those who believe in Him, it is different. Fear is much more of revering Him.

God's Math

"Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ." - Philippians 3:8 (NLT)

Hanging up the phone with my left hand getting tired after getting an update on the inmates that were admitted in the hospital, I asked for permission from the night charge nurse if I could go briefly to our ODR (Officer’s Dining Room) and I had a taste for coffee which was unusual for me to drink while at work.

The other nurse working with me, upon hearing that I was going to get a cup wanted to tag along, too. So, off we both went. What was puzzling was he never usually said anything let alone, he wanted to go with me which would mean conversation would be inevitable.

Sensing he wanted to vent out, he sort of talked about some frustrations about co-workers how some were lazy and some were abusing their power. I could feel for him as I was involved in a battle with some in positions and the silent war was not known except between myself and those others involved.

“I know,” agreeing with his statements. “Nothing new. It’s been that way. I had never been so grateful than when I was blessed with this job,” I uttered.

“Sad to say, the problem is always about the people.”

Tracing our steps back to the Infirmary down a long hallway, with him balancing 2 styrofoam cups of coffee on his right hand as I held on to the lid of my coffee, I felt not the warmth of the coffee but more of the warmth of our conversation and was glad that he opened up. I was beginning to know a little more about his attitudes since we started a new schedule this year and I was glad to be included with the people I ended up working with most of the time. It was a new thing tried out to encourage everyone to have a better working relationship.

“If only people would learn to compromise and truly look for the good and not the bad, it would have been the best job,” I stated as he nodded his head in agreement and took a careful sip from the warm liquid.

People had talked about him being lazy. But I never agreed since I started working with him and found out that he worked as hard as the rest of us. That’s the problem at work. People love to believe “hear says.” They forget that there are always 2 sides to a story. One side always seem so true not until you hear the other side.

“How many updates did you do?” he asked, changing the topic.

“Man! There’s more admits tonight. I had to call for 15 inmates.”

15. A number. Sounds like a lot. I also screened almost a 100 health screen forms, approving those who could be transferred to our other prisons if our main jail needed to make room for newly-arrived prisoners. To others, that would be a lot. But for me who did more at the hospital I used to work in for almost 10 years, that would mean nothing. An easy kind of work for those of us who did more hard work at the hospital.

At work, they look at those numbers for our supervisors to know how much work our shift does. The higher the number, it meant more work was done. Yet, those numbers would never reflect the quality of work applied by many of us. Some did them fast without complaining. Some did them slow and took work for granted while doing other idle and useless things.

People forget there is a Boss Who looks at everything and sees everything. With numbers or no numbers, He knows what transpires every time. If people can only learn from Him and truly know Him, every work will be able to create a masterpiece. Oh, how I pray for His love to cover our workplace, touching each person’s heart! For only then those numbers will have a meaning as a result of changed hearts -  hearts that if only can learn to surrender to His love will gain His rich spiritual blessings instead of counting it as a loss. For in God’s Math, the “cross” resembles the “plus” sign in this world’s math. So, everything is a “plus” if people’s hearts open up and allow God’s love to be poured into theirs.

The One In Control

“Just concentrate on your breathing!” both of us reminded this inmate worker who was hyperventilating as he sat on the cold steps of the  stairs in the prison’s main kitchen.

It was his first night to start work and he was doing well, learning to work with others, as they all prepared the meals that would feed the thousand others and same with the prison staff. All of a sudden, he was very short of breath, according to the Kitchen Deputy. He ended up sitting on those cold steps and was not moving except he was breathing so rapid. The call on the radio that broke was not clear at first as we heard someone needed medical assistance.

I grabbed all the medications I could possibly think of to aid this inmate they said was having “asthma attack” as the other nurse grabbed the emergency kit.

He was breathing too rapid. His fingers were all turning bluish and getting more stiff. He panicked more upon seeing his fingers. Judging from the looks in his eyes, I could sense it wasn’t a true asthma attack but more of an anxiety attack.

“Were you taking Psych meds before?”

He nodded as he was not able to talk, paralyzed in fear as he saw his fingers getting stiffer and stiffer.

“Listen, you have to help yourself. Only you can control your breathing. We can’t give you any medications at this time because you just need to simply relax,” reminded the other nurse.

I got a makeshift bag and held it close to cover both his nostrils and mouth and instructed him to concentrate on breathing slowly. He tried. And as his chest began to slowly rise and fall, we decided to bring him to the Infirmary so we could continue to monitor him. He was already referred to Mental Health Services.

How scary it must be for anyone to be not in control of anything. Most of the time, we don’t know what will happen. A lot of times, we are uncertain of the future. But Jesus reminds us “not to worry for worrying won’t even add another hour to our lives.” Worrying takes our focus off on God and that makes us more scared, more worried and not helpful with our own physical, mental and emotional health.

May we remember that even if we have no control of things, there is Someone we can rely on Who does.

"So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
~Matthew 6:34 New American Standard Bible

"Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
~Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

"God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble."
~Psalm 46:1 King James Version

God Fulfills His Purpose

I give you thanks, O Lord, with all my heart;
…Though I am surrounded by troubles,
You will preserve me against the anger of my enemies.
You will clench your fist against my angry enemies!
Your power will save me.
The Lord will work out his plans for my life –
For your faithful love, O Lord, endures forever.
Don’t abandon me, for you made me.”

~ Psalm 138:1,7-8

I had never worried since day 1, the moment these people wanted me to be in despair. Accusing me with lies, they used their power to try to stop what God had planned for me. They created problems for me, thinking that in so doing, I would desire to stop the kind of work I loved doing for the Lord. They sugar-coated their words but with His gift of discernment, those words were void of good intentions and heartfelt concerns.

I remained silent, meeting their gaze with my own until they couldn’t stand my penetrating stares. I brushed off whatever lies came out of their mouths and let them out the other ear. But I was angry with their evil hearts. I often wondered how many people they had hurt from the past and those people left because they were told lies and were given no options but to leave.

I got home and in tears knew where to go first thing. The heightened mixed emotions of injustice and at the same time, loneliness for their ignorance of God’s love flooded my heart and mind.

In prayers, I cried with tears as the air of arrogance and lies surrounded me. Silently, I gathered my strength and from His Word, my spirit was being rejuvenated. As I took my first step to fight back quietly, I knew that it would hit them hard and would hurt them, because I would never fight in the flesh. And you friends were a part of my spiritual warfare. I thank you all for your continued intercessions in this long battle I’m in.

Going to work last night, I saw that what they threatened me with did not happen. There was something different with one person who was among those who wanted me displaced from work. I could sense the disappointment from her spirit and a cowered one. I knew that if they had heard about my defense, they must be very nervous now. How would someone defend their lie?

“Good morning,” I greeted her.

She didn’t know what to say at first. Still a little surprised with the way I was treating her.

Yes, I wanted justice from the Lord. It was never my desire to wish anyone of them any wrong thing. But I desire for their hearts to get to know God through this trial. He alone knows each person’s heart.

Moses got angry when Korah, conspired with some men and accused him of acting as if Moses was greater than anyone else among God’s people. But  it was never about Moses. It was about these men’s evil desire for priesthood knowing that Egyptian priests had great wealth and political influence. Moses told them to bring their incense burners and the Lord would show them who belonged to Him and who was holy.

“Then Moses became very angry and said to the Lord, ‘Do not accept their offerings! I have not taken so much as a donkey from them and I never hurt a single one of them.” – Numbers 16:15

Moses warned the Israelites not to touch anything that belonged to these men so that they wouldn’t be destroyed for their sins. As he was telling the people that if Korah and those men died from natural death, then it would mean that God did not send Moses for them. But if God would do a miracle and the ground would open up and would swallow them and all their belongings, then the Israelites should know that these men had despised God.

Moses was hardly done speaking those words when the ground suddenly opened up and the earth swallowed those men and their belongings. (Read this story from Numbers 16).

No matter what other people say about our lives’ journeys, what matters is that God is the only One Who already had it planned for each of us. With His true promises, He is always here with us going through each trial we face. What seems difficult to us is never with God Who promised to be with us “up to the end of the age.” May we never let any worries take us off from focusing on God Who loves us all and desires a relationship with every lost souls .

Hoping As I Wait

“Thank You Lord!” I softly whispered as I noticed how many beautiful flowers had remained clinging on our cherry tree by the side yard. I prayed for these flowers to remain steadfast as the strong gusts of wind beat down upon them yesterday. I was sad for those beautiful pink hues that I ended up sweeping on the ground.
My husband planted this dwarf cherry tree, along with other fruit trees and last year, we were only able to harvest only a handful because of the same problem. The sudden gusts of wind always detached those beautiful flowers.

If these remaining flowers I was marveling at this morning would be able to make it, I was excited already, knowing that its fruits were amazingly sweet, ripened in its own natural process. We never used fertilizer.

“Why did you give my mom so much? These were the only ones you harvested,” asked a dear friend when I gave them that handful last year for them to enjoy.

“That’s okay. I wanted to share it with both of you because your mom did the same for me. She gave me so many figs from your tree. I enjoyed them all.”

At this stage of my life’s journey where I’m being battered by strong winds of wrong accusations and evil desires, I pray that I will cling more to the Vine. Even if I know that He promised an undeserved destination, I know that this process of waiting in my life’s journey is as important to the Lord. Going through those strong gusts of trials enable me to remain humble, to be tested and for my heart to reveal what is truly inside. All I want is to remain clinging ever closer to the Vine and be tested, be humbled, be poured out, and my heart emptied so that all of me: heart, soul, and mind would always be oriented to God. Someday, I hope  my fruits will be sweet and  is always a pleasing sacrifice offered to God, able to withstand the trials in this difficult journey. I know He is going through these trials with me.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~ John 16:33 (NIV)

I digested every lyric of this song as my church family sang in unison. I closed my eyes and this song “Everlasting God” (by Brenton Brown) spoke truth to where I am in my life. We all go through that needed “waiting process” in our life’s journeys. Sometimes, the answers might not come quick. Sometimes, we wonder where God is in all that waiting period. Even the Psalmist in Psalm 33:20 said, “We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.” (NIV).

Charles Spurgeon explained it:

Verse 20. Our soul waits for the Lord. Here the godly avow their reliance upon him whom the Psalm extols. To wait is a great lesson. To be quiet in expectation, patient in hope, single in confidence, is one of the bright attainments of a Christian. Our soul, our life, must hang upon God; we are not to trust him with a few gewgaws, but with all we have and are. He is our help and our shield. Our help in labor, our shield in danger. The Lord answers all things to his people. He is their all in all. Note the three "ours" in the text. These holdfast words are precious. Personal possession makes the Christian man; all else is mere talk.”
If you are going through a difficult time in your life’s journey, let us hold on more so with His faithful love and true promises. I choose to wait as I hope in the Lord, knowing He is the true Source of strength and everything else I need to be able to successfully finish my life’s journey.

We just never know...What difficulty we are going through today may turn up to encourage others needing that someday. Even if that's all we can offer to them.

Turn up your volume and let us sing to our good God!!!

Everlasting God (by Benton Brown; sang by Chris Tomlin):

Learning To Wait

“Teach me your way, LORD;
lead me in a straight path
because of my oppressors.

Do not turn me over to the desire of my foes,
for false witnesses rise up against me,
spouting malicious accusations.
I remain confident of this:
I will see the goodness of the LORD
in the land of the living.

Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.
~ Psalm 27:11-14 (NIV)

This week is the beginning of a waiting process as I anticipate the start of my silent defense. I just know that if God is taking away something good, then, He must have planned something better for me. If He is calling me to suffer, it is not because He wants me to suffer but to learn to endure. If some things are being taken away, these things of the world are better replaced with those things that have eternal gain.

The way He took me from what I was comfortable doing at the hospital after working almost 10 years there, and He placed me in the darker walls, only had me learn to have more faith and become obedient. It seemed tougher. It seemed scary. It seemed a hard challenge. But it wasn’t.

In the prison, I learned to grow more spiritually. I learned to rely more on His weapons and His strength. Despite the neck injury I sustained working at the hospital, my pain was lessened. Financially, He gave me more and He rescued me from the debts that mounted after those many days of not being able to work in the hospital because of my severe pain.

I had to wait during that transition from being an Orthopedic Nurse to a Correctional Nurse. I had to learn patience. I had to trust more and rely more on God’s perfect timing, not mine. True enough, He refreshed me. He renewed me. He strengthened me.

As I face a tough battle now, I know that whatever happens, it’s because He already planned ahead. In this long process, I know I have to learn to be patient again. Someday, I know it would be worth it. God already granted His children His victory. And in that, I will rejoice.

Thank you for all of your loving comments, continued prayers and encouragement. God bless you all.

My Maker

“The Sovereign LORD has given me a well-instructed tongue, to know the word that sustains the weary. He wakens me morning by morning, wakens my ear to listen like one being instructed.  The Sovereign LORD has opened my ears; I have not been rebellious, I have not turned away.
I offered my back to those who beat me, my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard; I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting. Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame. He who vindicates me is near. Who then will bring charges against me? Let us face each other! Who is my accuser? Let him confront me!
It is the Sovereign LORD who helps me.
   Who will condemn me?
They will all wear out like a garment;
   the moths will eat them up.” – Isaiah 50:4-9 (NIV 2011)

“Kristian, come here,” I called out as my son was coming down the stairs to prepare to go to school. We were preparing ourselves for our daily morning prayers before parting ways.

“I want you to etch His Word into your heart,” I pointed to a specific page in the Holy Bible.

“And don’t forget that you can speak it into yourself and pray it and it is His Word. His Word does not fade. It lasts forever…” I explained.

“You know that mommy is going through a tough battle but you never see me scared. It’s not because of my own strength. It’s because I rely on His wonderful and faithful promises. I want you to understand that.”

“Yes, mom,” he replied as he glanced at the specific part of the Bible I showed.

Isaiah 54:17 says that “No weapons turned against you will succeed. And everyone who lies in court will be brought to justice…”

“So, you can pray if you are facing any accusations or any threats, “No weapons formed against me shall succeed. And anyone who lies will be brought to justice.”

“Isn’t that a wonderful promise from our Lord?”

“Yes, mom,” he paused as he slowly read His faithful promise. He took my hands and closed our eyes and I heard him slowly led me into prayers. He prayed for all he loves and he prayed specifically for each person’s needs. I heard him asked for forgiveness and I heard him thanked the Lord.

“Yes…Don’t forget to thank Him for anything, whether big or small,” I often reminded my son.

I learned that because He had been good to me. He remains good to me. With what I am facing at my work doesn’t concerned me. It’s because I have Him on my side. I know that He knows what’s best for me no matter what goes on in my life. He always has the best interest for me. Even if the enemies desire to hurt me in any possible way, He reminds me to be forgiving.

When Peter asked Jesus, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?”

Yet Jesus replied, “No! Seventy times seven!” (Matthew 18:21-22)

Because His forgiveness has no limit. As a Father, He wants His children to learn it from Him. I want to learn it from Him. I want my child to learn it from Him. I know that His plans are already made for me. He is my Maker. The One Who promised to fight for His people.

Our Maker does not reject anyone who turns to Him. It is us who tend to reject God. Are you still rejecting God?

My Savior

“Our deepest calling is not to grow in our knowledge of God. It is to make disciples. Our knowledge will grow -- the Holy Spirit, Jesus promised, will guide us into all truth. But that's not our calling, it is His. Our calling is to prepare the world for Christ's return. The world is not ready yet. And so, we go about introducing a dying world to the Savior of Life. Anything we do toward our own growth must be toward that end.” - Jeffrey Bryant

Time felt it stood still behind that closed-door meeting. Facing three of them, two of which I didn’t have the knowledge of, they all talked amongst themselves. Aware of the specific request I did as the new memo came out, they acted as if they were there to help. All the wrong accusations poured in. Their planned answer to my request were written down on a specific form, appearing as if they would try to do their best to help me find what was best. Except the words written did not match what was spoken.

Thinking they would intimidate me, they tried to discourage me instead by instilling fear of what could lie ahead for my future. I stood silent, my eyes meeting their gaze that couldn’t stay to meet with mine for so long. Three against one. They felt power in their number. But they didn’t know something about me. I wasn’t alone. The whole time, Someone was with me Who saw and heard all the accusations, all the lies, and all their attacks that wanted to stop His work in me.

Discouragement…Fear…It’s always the enemies’ tactics to stop the work of God’s children. ("For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God's law; indeed, it cannot." - Romans 8:7). Just like what I’m facing at this time. But they will not be successful. I will continue to trust in His faithful love and promises. I know He is always with me. He is our Savior after all. He loves to save.

He finds the lost. He strengthens the weak. He frees the captives. He forgives not once but many, many times those who turn back to Him. He protects against enemies’ attacks. He gives hope and a future to those who loves Him. He gives eternal life to those who believes in Him. He promises to finish the work He starts in each believer’s life. He restores what’s broken.

The path that leads to Him is narrow. It is never easy. There are lots to overcome. But He promised that He is there walking with anyone who truly trusts and believes in Him. Injustices seem to prevail nowadays. We often ask, “Where are You, God?” The answer might not come quick. But it doesn’t mean He doesn’t hear. All actions produce an outcome. And so evil things committed will reap consequences and will not slip past God’s judgment. For everything happens in His perfect time.

We serve God Who is not passive. And I know by His grace, my own time to defend myself will come. They will be discouraged for their intentions behind that door will be exposed into His light. They will fear because they will realize how foolish their wisdom is compared to that of God's. As I pray, I needed to go into actions. I just pray that I won't miss His plan on this.

This battle I'm in is a long process. But I would rather remain on His side. He is the only Savior Whose promises I can rely on. No promises put out on the table in front of me could be trusted. They were immediately broken because of their evil desires. But they would never discourage nor scare me. Because of my Savior Who continues to love, protect, save, bless and empowers me. I know….because He is in me…
"And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior," - Luke 1:47


“My left arm hurts!” she yelled through the glass partition window that separated us.

“I already know that, Ma’am,” I replied without any bit of concern.

“You’re not going to send me to the hospital?” she queried.

“Not at all,” I confidently answered.

“My face now is getting numb!” she yelled again.

“Just have a sit and relax! That’s all you need to do.” I ordered.

Pacing back and forth in the small area of the Clinic’s waiting room, oblivious to her, I watched intently with my spying eyes from a distance as I pretended to continue working in the computer. She was walking normally going in and out of the bathroom when she thought no one was watching her.

I got up in between and asked, “So, how are you now?”

“Still hurts! You need to send me to the hospital. They need to give me something for pain!”

“Just RELAX! Here, take this cup and drink water!”

“Ma’am, it’s cold here! Can I get a blanket?”

“No! Because this is a waiting area. That was the reason why the nurses earlier had sent you back to your unit because it would be more comfortable there. They were not able to do anything further like me at this time because our doctor had already given you something for pain.” I explained.

“But you need to send me to the hospital!”

“I’m sorry. This is the last time I am going to explain to you that you don’t need to say that to us! We know when we need to send you to the hospital! You saw that your blood pressure and everything else was normal! There’s nothing wrong with you but you need to relax because of your anxiety. You’re letting it consume you.”

“I’m sorry.”

“You don’t need to apologize. I had told you earlier that another nurse had already referred you to our Mental Health Services. Our medical doctor can’t do anything about your anxiety because it has to be the Mental Health Doctor who needs to see you. Just be patient and try to relax. I know it’s not easy on your part.”

And she sat quietly, curled up on one of the blue chairs in the waiting area. Her demands ended and she was thinking deeply. She knew she couldn’t get away with all the complaints she faked, no matter how hard she tried.

Just like so many incarcerated inmates who are suffering from anxiety and other mental health problems, we all can try to relax and amidst our sorrows, we can find that time to laugh and energize our spirits. I thought about Sarah who laughed after being told by God that she would have a son despite her old age. Or how about people who found that freedom that comes from Him?

“When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion,
   we were like those who dreamed.
 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
   our tongues with songs of joy.” - Psalm 126:1-2

When we abide by Truth and Spirit, we must be careful to look at His Word about laughter. We shouldn’t change His Word to conform to what we experience but rather conform to God’s ways.

When was the last time you really had a good laughter? I saw this cute baby and what made him laugh was so simple but listen to the baby’s pure joy. God bless.

"A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;"
- Ecclesiastes 3:4

Victory in Jesus

"But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ." - 1 Corinthians 15:57 (NIV)

I glanced again and again. Reading those words written by my own hands many years ago. I didn’t mind the heat of the sun’s rays hitting my left side of face through a slightly-cracked window. Inside my car, I quietly rejoiced. I didn’t need anything anymore. God had told me to get this paper resting on the palm of my hands as I sorted page after page. So simple thing but was His way of exposing those lies they had accused me of.

“Who would have thought but You?” I softly asked.

My eyes welled up with tears. There was just no right word to express my gratitude to my Father Who desired a relationship with me, through His Son Jesus Christ. He wanted all of us to be victors not victims. He wanted all of us to soar not to fall. He wanted all of us healed not sick. He wanted all of us to be strong, not weak. But His desire wouldn’t be effective if our hearts choose not to obey. If we choose to be self-absorbed. If we choose to remain attached to the things of this world.

He freely grants us that “freedom to choose”, for His love is unconditional. And the trials we all face in this temporary place we inhabit will never be bigger than our Father Who loves us first.

We can choose to live victoriously amidst all of these trials we face. Because of what Christ had done. There is nothing in our lives that He doesn’t know. He already knows even before we know it.

I turned the ignition on, as I continued to thank His everlasting kindness. I knew this was another “faith marker” He proved as I met these little bumps on the road I was walking on. He proved time and time again that He truly would never forsake His children. The problem would never be Him. The problem would always be me who has the tendency to always walk away from Him. But He remains patient. He remains forgiving. He loves to show His mercy.

I realized and wanted to know why my battle had to happen now after so many years? But why even ask? What’s the worth of asking when God already planned this? The bottom line rests on my heart’s willingness to continue to be a broken vessel ready to be moved by God to where He wants me to be.I will just hope that I am Christ's letter other lost ones can read.

“Daddy,” I told my husband over the phone.

“I have His victory! Praise the Lord!”

But in that moment of triumphs, even greater was the sadness I felt for those who loved to hurt others. Those who don’t know how to act in love because they don’t know the One and only Savior. Jesus…

I was never afraid the moment this trial started for me. Knowing Jesus would pick me up right away where I fall. Knowing He is holding my hand no matter where it brings me. Knowing He is my Greatest Shepherd protecting this once lost sheep before. Knowing that He is leading me to another place of greater opportunity, more spiritual growth and Him taking me away from those things that hinder my walk with Him.

I want to thank you my beloved friends for always encouraging me and praying for me always. It means a lot and at this time, please forgive me if sometimes I may not be able to visit you but just know that you are all in my heart. I always thank God for all of you and keep you in my prayers also.

In all of this, to God be the glory forever and ever in all ages to come. Please let us pray for each other everyday.

This was a song He gave me on June 19, 2003 as my family and I were also going through a trial but ended up in His victory!

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 hearts 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 and 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)
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].