It's Better To Die...

Sadness wrapped my heart after I read the last word from a short email my cousin had sent me, thousands of miles away. She informed me about one of our aunt’s passing and I immediately had a flashback of all memories with every short visit I had paid when my own father was alive and my mother, too. Her husband was my father’s brother and they were both close to him. There was never a day when my father was dying that her and my uncle’s presence was missing. They cheered up my dad. They offered spoonfuls of meals she cooked to his parched mouth. They encouraged my brothers and I and helped us also cared for my dad prior to us arriving one by one from different places of this world. When my brothers and I dozed off without our knowledge as weariness won over some nights, or days, they were there to keep my father company.

I knew the truth. Only memories we created and their love remained. I would miss the laughter we all shared. The home-cooked meals that abound as we all gathered in my father’s table. The catching up to fill the void of what was missed during those times we were all apart.

Most of my uncles and aunties have passed away, along with my parents. Living day to day would never be the same without them. There would always be a void of different shapes in my heart. Only each of them could fill. 

This Sunday, my heart is joyful despite the sad news. For the hope Jesus had given to this fallen place. Because of His love and mercy, He died to give life to those who believe in Him. His nailed, outstretched arms, welcoming anyone with broken and true repentant hearts to His cross. What seemed to be a cruel and undeserved punishment was His voluntary submission to what the Father has willed. Like what’s prophesied, it happened. That Jesus died, rose and lived again!!!

Wouldn't you know it? It’s a lot better…to live each day dying…Dying to self…In order to live...

For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain. – Philippians 1:21 (NIV)

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. – Galatians 2:20 (NLT)

But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners. – Romans 5:8 (NLT)
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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].