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…
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The Attacker (5/15/09)

The sun was just peeking from the Eastern skies. Ephesians 6:12 [37 kb]

Out in the prison’s yard, some huge Sheriff’s buses were illuminated by the soft glow coming from the lights all over from the tall lamp posts. Their engines were turned on, warming up, before the buses would take the inmates to the different courts where they would have their trials.

Orange-uniformed men were lined up in pairs, joined together with handcuffs and chained, forming a long line. They already had their breakfast and had their morning medications prior to going to courts. Some were fidgeting, as they waited to board those buses.

All of a sudden, all hell broke loose! Two men were engaged in a fight, using weapons they made secretly for a while. Deputies called for help on the radio, both for custody back-up and medical staff, as well.

When the air was cleared and the other inmates were secured, one man was down on the floor. He sustained multiple gashes but two of them were deep. One cut was vertically etched from his left ear going down to the jaw line. The other dangerous cut was horizontal on his left neck, close to the jugular vein. Pool of blood dripped all over the floor. Holding his bleeding neck, he was pointing at the other inmate few feet away, being guarded by the other deputies.

The other man being accused was not hurt. There were no lacerations nor any other signs of trauma. He was obviously very agitated as he was being questioned by those deputies, while the medical staff started treating the other man on the floor. They cleaned the wounds and controlled the bleeding. That man was sent to the nearby hospital.

When the investigation was finalized, it turned out to be that the “downed man who was accusing the other inmate” was the attacker and the other one who didn’t have injury was the one attacked. The deputies found out that it was the second attempt to attack the unhurt man. Both attacks on him failed. He was well-prepared after the first attempt on him, that when the second attempt was done, he was able to defend himself and ended up injuring his attacker severely.

[Source: NLT Bible ]:

We also have an “accuser of the brethren.” Satan and his army of demons are the enemies of God and of everything good.

“Because God’s children are human beings – made of flesh and blood – Jesus also became flesh and blood by being born in human form. For only as a human being could he die, and only by dying could he break the power of the Devil, who had the power of death.” –Hebrews 2:14

Because of what Jesus had done [dying on the cross], we, who live in constant fear of death shouldn’t be afraid anymore. Jesus had freed us from that fear so we can live for Him. When we belong to God, we know that death is only the portal that leads into “eternal life”. [“Thank You Lord!].

Paul warned us, too that we also battle against the evil forces of Satan, who is a vicious fighter. But to be able to withstand their attacks, we must depend on God’s strength and use every piece of His armor. We face an army whose goal is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, they become our enemies. They will try any device to turn us away from the Lord.

Fear not! For God has provided His supernatural power to defeat Satan and his army, through His Holy Spirit within us. So, arm yourselves with God’s armor.

Let us be strong in the Lord's mighty power. Let's put on His whole armor to resist the enemy's attacks: put on the sturdy belt of truth and the body armor of God's righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News, so that we are well-prepared. We will need faith in every battle as our shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed by Satan and his army. Let us put on salvation as our helmet, not forgetting the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. Let's pray at all times, on every occasion in the power of the Holy Spirit. We must stay alert and be persistent in our prayers for all Christians everywhere. [Ephesians 6:10-18].