Keep Running The Race

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. – Hebrews 12:1 (NLT)

Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.

-1 Corinthians 9:26 (NLT)    
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Since being demoted to a Per Diem position after many years of working full time and through job-sharing, I haven’t felt this much sadness of how supposedly, a government agency was to fight for me but didn’t. Never investigated. Perhaps, never even touched the many evidences I had sent by mail. Through a tough time, I never had a hard time of trusting God because He had shown me many times of how truly He was there going along this trial with me. I was sure what appeared as a mountain to overcome was nothing for Him.

There was no option for me but to love Him even more and continue to thank Him, as He made me more aware of what things have true, lasting values. The eternal kind…The ones that moths wouldn't be able to destroy. Not even the rust...

He turned this trial into an advantage for my part. The staffing issues at my work...In the beginning, seemed like the people in higher positions were doing a great job. Proud at what they had accomplished, now seemed to have fallen apart. We have 4 facilities needing nurses. Many applied. Many passed the interviews. But not one had passed the “background checks” that I had heard of. And the current, few nurses working were getting "burned out".

My request to remain working “part time” was denied from the start.  A few people in higher positions knew they had nothing against me.  But as the need for extra nurses arose, they kept calling me. The position they gave me became a secure ground where they couldn’t force me anymore to do what they want. They couldn’t force me to work on shifts I didn’t like. They couldn’t force me to work more hours that I didn’t want to. I knew…it was God’s plan…

But working lesser, I had fewer days of interacting with inmates. I had lesser encounters to write about in my blog. But some of the events didn’t need to be told. They were just meant to be kept in my heart. The hours added to my hands at home enabled me to help my friend who was in need. Aside from my own family. 

The spiritual enemy of course, never stops trying to steal the joy in my heart. Many times, he accuses me of “not being an effective soldier of Christ” anymore. Many times, he reminds me “I am a failure”. But by the grace of God, it is His Word that rings louder and always speaks of truth. It is His Word that tells me that ONE DOES NOT NEED A PRESTIGIOUS POSITION OR TITLE TO DO A SIGNIFICANT ROLE . It is His Word that reminds me to run the race not to win FIRST PLACE, but to finish it despite the hurdles along the way. Because the one who finishes will not always be the strongest. Nor the fastest. Nor the wisest. The one who finishes is the one who learns to endure no matter how tough the bumps are on the road. The one who never veers to the left nor to the right but just keeps running straight. The one who fixes his or her eyes upon Jesus…Always…

May I ask for you to pray for a close friend of mine going through a tough time, for the Lord to heal her fractured foot and for her mom’s healing also? His provisions over them and protection. Thank you dearest friends and keep running the race…looking straight, fixed on Jesus…And that’s what gives us strength many times…The bumps on the road help us learn to endure. The bumps help us see which one has true values as our souls war against our fleshly needs in this race. To know we are all running together is already a big encouragement. To realize that we are not running alone…

The Healing Touch

Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world. – 1 John 4:1 (NIV)

"Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. – Matthew 7:15 (NIV)

but test them all; hold on to what is good, - 1 Thessalonians 5:21 (NIV)

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves. – 2 Peter 2:1 (NIV)

This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Do not listen to what the prophets are prophesying to you; they fill you with false hopes. They speak visions from their own minds, not from the mouth of the LORD. –Jeremiah 23:16 (NIV)

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, - 2 Timothy 3:16 (NIV)

It saddened me…to hear from someone I knew…that she felt the energyof something…hoping for a miraculous healing…for an extremity that person injured long time ago. She thought the person administering the healing was touching her…When she wasn’t. And that person explained that it was “the energy…”

I told her not to be angry with me. I just wanted to make her aware. Out of concern. For her to be more careful about such things. Because of many deceptions from the spirit world. As I prayed silently. And thanked God for His truth…

Healing touch…As I believe in the healing that also comes from the Lord. But I also hear and see many manifestations that are not mentioned in the Bible. His Word. So many deceptions around us. As humans, we are always inclined to expect wonderful display of God’s power. But as followers, the Bible says, we are to worship “by faith” and not by sight. We are to follow Jesus by Spirit and His Truth…

But," he said, "you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live." – Exodus 33:20 (NIV)

Only His doctrine will guide us against such spirits of errors!

Lord, please give us, your children your gift of discernment. Thank You for Your truth! 

The Graduation Ad Pic And The Ugly Spirit Of Anger

I swear…I was being given the “run-around…” I’ve been asking for my son’s picture that I mailed together with my surprise ad for their yearbook. Still…The lady’s responses, the one who managed the yearbook, sounded like “excuses” to me.

Weeks ago, she told me she would be mailing them out the following week when I first asked. Shyly. Knowing she had a lot on her plates, too. Handling not only my son’s graduation ad, but also many others.
That week had gone by. With me, waiting for each delivery. Our mail consisted of just bills or other “junk” ones. I emailed her again.

Next thing she said, the plant just mailed the pictures to her. So, she would let me know right away as soon as she mailed the picture back. That was what I asked of her anyway when I sent my payment and the words I wrote for my son.

The picture? Not a big deal to others. Because it was taken years ago. In fact, even before my son attended his first day at school in Kindergarten. But when I took that, I remembered his patience when I surrounded him with all of his “Hot Wheels” cars as I placed the 2 bigger car models on his tummy. Oh, how he laughed! As he began to understood why I did that. Mommy wanted to take a picture of him because his passion for cars was shown early in his life. He was barely 3 and he could already identify the year and the models whenever we were on the road or watching t.v. 

Yes, that old picture meant a lot. Not only to my son. Most of all, to me and my husband. As my son, who is an adult now loved creating car models as an aspiring Graphic Designer...That was the first picture that came to mind when I didn’t know which one was appropriate to go with the grad ad. As I prayed, that picture showed up in my mind. And I remembered the laughter. His patience. His enjoyment. That simple pleasure. Now, a memory. But priceless

I told the lady I hated to keep bugging her. Usually, she would respond right away. Yesterday, it took the following day, which was today and it seemed like she was upset that I kept asking. She even gave me the tracking number. Because her reason was the pictures were coming from Canada and only this Friday, tomorrow, not last Friday, they were expected to come.

The spirit of anger pushed its way in quickly in my heart and mind. The “old me” wanted to say many things.

“How dare for her to be upset! That’s not right! I am the customer!” One by one, ugly words started filling in. It was suffocating me as anger tried to consume all of me. Even in my sleep. I woke up and found myself praying. I asked the Lord to help me. To reply in ways that would please Him. Because I should know better. He didn’t want my “old me” to respond. 

So, calmly, I slowly typed each word. I told her had she been more specific about the date of that “Friday” when the pictures were supposed to be returned, I wouldn’t have emailed her yesterday. I told her, I didn’t need the tracking number. I just wanted my son’s picture. And it would have been nicer if they were clear about how long it would take for their company to start sending mailed pictures to parents. Even before we paid for the ad.

I hit the “send” button. Trusting in His hands to move. I wouldn’t let this ugly spirit of anger to take any roots in my mind and heart. I knew. That was what He wanted. I died long time ago. So that I could be a “new me”, living a life with Christ. But I asked for His forgiveness. In case I judged her for being upset.
The response from the lady was quick. But it was very much apologetic in tone, with appreciation and gratitude at the same time. She explained what happened in details and apologized for not being clear and causing the confusion in the first place. Then, she told me that she would take my advice. To let the parents know next year about the time frame of how long the pictures would be mailed back after the yearbooks would come out. Even better, she said she would email the other parents waiting, too, like me, that the pictures were supposed to be coming from Canada and would arrive tomorrow.Like...right at that moment...

I cried. I never cried that long in a long time. I felt the Lord’s reassurance at that moment. For trusting in His works. In His perfect timing. In His ways. And I felt something was released from my spirit. The spirit of anger that shouldn’t reside and shouldn’t have any room in me. As His child.

I cried even more, as I opened my daily devotion in my phone and the verse was “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
-(Ephesians 4:26-27, NIV)

Suddenly, I thought about my father. When he was dying, lying on his sick bed for a couple of weeks, dying of cancer, begging God to take him as the physical torture and pain from this disease was wearing him down day and night… He dozed off, only to suddenly open his eyes and called me in haste. He thought I was not in his room. I never left him, always next to him, along with my 3 brothers who also visited from miles away.

In a whisper, he called me, “Rosel… The Lord told me…It was not my time yet to go Home…Because I need to forgive those I haven’t forgiven…”

His Word this morning rang even more true.

The spirit of anger is like cancer that can take a hold of our emotions and everything. It’s indeed ugly. This is a sin. And any sin does not have a place in His Kingdom.

With my tears flowing, I shared this story with my son this morning, as my mind prayed, “Lord, help us…To be angry only when it’s right. But not to let it take a hold of our hearts and minds before the day is over and most of all, before we die…”

I emailed the lady. Again…To thank her for her explanation and apology. That despite the confusion, we both learned from that. 

Because nothing should ever hold us back. By His power, we are the ones who can take a hold or control things. As long as we surrender…have faith…and believe… Because the “old nature is gone”, the real “us”…But with Christ and only in Christ alone, we are new!!!
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].