Lord, as 2013 leaves and another year comes, I ask that You increase our faith even more. Help us Lord to turn our eyes only on You. Help us Lord to aim for love as our highest goal when 2014 arrives. Lead us Lord into Your truth always. Thank You for always being there with us as we encountered both trials and moments of peace from the past. Thank You for all of Your provisions. Most of all, thank You Lord for Your love, grace and mercy. I pray Lord that You will fan the flames in each of Your children’s heart. That You will help us see those things that are not seen but have eternal values. Lord, please take away anything in our lives that hinder us from walking in Spirit and Truth. May many turn to You Lord and surrender for doing so is not defeat but victory. I pray for this country. To have all the lies be exposed under Your Light.  Remove those blinders Lord that prevent people from seeing Your offer of salvation.  

Thank You for loving us first Lord. Help us to seek You first and love others unconditionally the way You love us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

This 2014

It was a given. That this female inmate lied about her injury. She claimed she fell and had a seizure. A condition she denied to our treating jail doctor’s assistant. That she was never put on any medications. However, as a precaution, she was assigned the “bottom bunk” in her cell to avoid any injuries. And a yellow band marked “seizure” applied to her left wrist to aid the responding medical staff should any emergencies arose.

Kumusta ka na???(meaning ‘How are you?’ in Filipino language,” she yelled at me while I hurried my pace to get the plugged vital signs monitor from one of the walls. I remained silent. With her smiling widely, not minding the presence of her unit deputy and despite the fact that inmates shouldn’t talk as if they were befriending any staff. It was a “no-no!” The incarcerated ones were given the rules and policies as they got housed in a particular cell or unit.

“Did you hear me, Nurse?” she repeated, wondering why she never evoked a warm, perhaps, a surprised response from me. Deep inside, I wasn’t in the mood to act as if we could be friends. I knew she was wasting my time by lying about her injuries.  The LVN watching me do her sick call was surprised. This particular nurse was in school to take his RN degree and I often would call him to get him more familiar with ways and things an RN would do so he would know more by the time he advanced his degree and remained working as a Correctional Nurse. I knew he was hungry to learn, often volunteering to help me when I needed an extra hand.

“Hey, nurse! Kumusta ka na?” she repeated even louder as she slightly adjusted her tall, heavy set body on the chair when I neared her space. Awaiting for a warm response from this muted nurse.

“Ma’am…I am not ignoring you. You were brought here by your deputy for a specific purpose of being evaluated for the injury you claimed. And that’s what I intend to do. To talk about your situation if any and find out about it.”

“Tell me how you got hurt…”

Her face changed to a sour note. With her feelings being offended by a quick brush of a little authority and truth, she cleared her throat.

“Well, I fell from the top bunk and then hit my head on the ground. It hurts,” she replied with a slight tone of arrogance as her right index finger pointed to the right side of her temple. I didn’t see any lacerations nor any bump. The nurse next to me whispered and wondered why I didn’t progress right away to that area she complained about.

“I’m digging deeper because her injury is not true,” I whispered back at him. Being new to full assessment, he watched her intently and I could tell, his ears were even more widely open to hear what I would ask.

“From what bunk did you fall?”

“Well, I was at the top bunk so you know that’s high,” she continued to answer as if I was dumb enough not to understand her first complaint.

“If you were given a bottom bunk by our doctor’s assistant, what were you doing on the top bunk?”

Her eyes immediately looked at the deputy, who already looked upset from taking those long walks to bring her to the Clinic. Without any answer, she started sobbing.

“I don’t know. I didn’t like my ‘cellie’ (cellmate) I guess, so I switched beds with her.”

“Even if you are injured, it was your fault for causing that fall. There is a good reason when one assigns you to the bottom bunk. But I can tell you also don’t have any signs of injury.”

Her sobbing grew louder. As loud as when she first walked in, asking me “How I was”. She knew she was caught lying. And had run out of any course to get out of it. 

“Take her with you,” I advised the ‘pissed-off’ deputy.

And as she remained crying, I added, “But you know you can ask to see us anytime if you have a true injury.”

“Wow!” the other nurse whispered again to me.

“Didn’t know she was lying at first.”

I wasn’t sure how long she would be in the jail but I knew she wouldn’t be back to the Clinic for a while. She probably thought it was okay to lie to get her things that would benefit her. But how would she know the true condition of her heart if no one else pointed at it? And that was my hope. For her to search her heart’s intentions. And truly discover that instead of helping her ended up hurting her.

For all of us are the same. We don’t know other’s hearts’ conditions. Sometimes, we don’t even know our own. This New Year, I’m tired of making resolutions that are hard to accomplish. I want to be real in having such goals more realistic. And I know it starts within me. For we become numb with the same habits we have as humans. Imprisoning our own bodies and spirits with a lot of the world’s things we often think as harmless. But how true that our hearts can be deceitful in our corrupt state. And only God sees these harmful things in our hearts. Time is short and I want to be wise. And I pray that God will search every room, every corner of my heart. This 2014.

The Message

"Listen to me, my people. Hear me, Israel, for my law will be proclaimed, and my justice will become a light to the nations.  My mercy and justice are coming soon. My salvation is on the way. My strong arm will bring justice to the nations. All distant lands will look to me and wait in hope for my powerful arm.– Isaiah 51: 4-5 (NLT)

My son yelled as I turned the knob on the dryer and started the cycle to dry my second load of laundry. 

“It’s your work calling, Mom.”

“Don’t pick it up! Let them leave a message for me.”

He chuckled as he intently listened. Word per word and couldn’t believe what he heard:

“Just wondering if you wanna’ pick up the shift tonight…4 hours…6…8…10…even 12…Whatever you like…” 

It brought me back to the lies put out on the table. When I battled the people in power and accused me of lies about my disability that were not true. In reality…it was them lying about my situation. Except…I was frustrated that I didn’t get the help I needed from the federal agency that was supposed to help people being discriminated at work.

“There were no 8 hours allowed anymore to work in all the facilities,” one lie I recalled.

Yet, that was not the first time they begged me to come whatever number of hours I wanted to do to help out the short staff. Nor would it be the last…

They demoted my position. A show of their power that they could do what they wanted. I accepted. But demoting me to a Per Diem status became an advantage. They couldn’t force me anymore to work on days or shifts that I was forced to do prior to that action. I knew I had to trust more and let God worked for me. I knew what I didn’t understand, there would always be a blessing in disguise.

I faced them without fear. Yes… I was outnumbered…There were 6 “Laban” intimidating me. Trying their best to give me a hard time so I would quit on my own. They robbed me, too. Of many benefits because of that demotion. But I knew…those were just “things”…Replaceable things. Things that would never last. They might have robbed me. But never the God I served. And trusted. And believed in…

“It’s okay,” I told my son as I woke up from being in a reflective moment.

“You know Mommy had been okay…Because God is good to us…All the  time…”

I felt his arms embraced me as he kissed my right cheek. 

“I love you, Mom…” he added as he dashed to go upstairs and get ready for school.

How many men would love to be “gods” while Jesus, the true Son of God chose to be “a man?”

How many poor would be wishing for the riches all the time yet the King of Kings chose to come down here and show His love and redemption? Born in the lowly place…A manger…

Not all injustices occur toward us… A lot of times, a person doesn’t have to look that far. Just look into one’s heart. If one finds “self-righteousness” in it, the belief that one doesn’t need Jesus because he or she is a good person is not true. This belief denies the need for that heart to have its sins be removed. Jesus is the meaning of the Season. He came because we were the reason why He gave His life...

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].