InterVarsity Derecognized at CSU

September 16, 2014

Please PrayPLEASE PRAY for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship! The California State University (CSU) system has issued a nondiscrimination policy that requires InterVarsity to allow non-Christians to be chapter leaders. Nurses Christian Fellowship is a strategic ministry of InterVarsity and is affected by this decision. Our NCF groups are no longer sanctioned to meet on campus.

While we applaud inclusivity, we believe that faith-based communities like ours can only be led by people who clearly affirm historic Christian doctrine. The policy affects 23 InterVarsity chapters on CSU campuses that are no longer officially recognized student groups.

All InterVarsity chapter leaders are required to affirm InterVarsity’s Doctrinal Basis. A new CSU non-discrimination policy does not allow us to require leaders to be Christian. It is essentially asking our InterVarsity chapters to change the core of our identity, and to change the way we operate in order to be an officially recognized student group.

While we are disappointed, we know God is sovereign. He holds the decisions of Cal State and the future of our chapters in his hands. We believe he hears our laments and our requests for intervention. We believe he desires that every student, faculty, and administrator come to a living faith in Jesus.

“Our campus access challenges give this generation of students an opportunity to reinvent campus ministry,” said Greg Jao, InterVarsity’s National Field Director. “Even as we use new tools and techniques, we remind students that effective ministry is ultimately relational. It’s about students inviting other students to follow Jesus.” (See Greg’s video with more information.)

  • Praise God for our great staff and student leaders who are fired up for Jesus, and not daunted by the world.
  • Please continue to pray for students who are boldly reaching out to their campuses in innovative ways.
  • Pray also that the Lord would raise up financial partners to cover the additional costs associated with ministry on campuses where we are no longer able to reserve free meeting space and promote our chapters in the same way we have in the past.

InterVarsity has 949 chapters on 616 college campuses across the U.S. This includes a ministry to nursing students through Nurses Christian Fellowship.

Thank you for standing with us and praying for InterVarsity chapters in the California State University system. For the press release with more information, click here.

God is Immutable

September 12, 2014

Railroad tracksChange. Some people embrace it, some people detest it, but it is a fact of life! The reality is that change can be challenging, but it is necessary for living creatures to grow and adapt to changes within themselves and in their environments. Babies do not stay babies!

As nurses, we must be keenly aware of how people grow and change, and we observe them over time to determine if their growth and development is progressing according to established norms. And if their growth and development is lagging, we intervene to look for the cause and establish a plan of care to alleviate the problem or help the person adapt.

Change is especially important and necessary for people who follow Jesus so that we can grow to be more and more like him. God has ordained for his creation and his creatures to change, but no change is necessary in God. According to A.W. Tozer, if God were to change, he would need to change in three ways:

  1. from better to worse
  2. from worse to better
  3. from one kind of being to another.

But God is immutable. He is completely, eternally holy and perfect. Tozer writes, “He cannot go from better to worse. You cannot think of God being any less holy than he is now, any less righteous than he is now. God must remain infinitely holy, fixed, forever unchanging in holiness. He cannot go from worse to better for the simple reason that God, being absolutely holy, cannot go beyond himself.”

God reveals to us in Malachi 3:6, “I the Lord do not change.” In James 1:17 we read, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Thankfully, God does not change, but he allows us and helps us to grow in our knowledge and love for him — to be totally transformed. Do you know people who became radically different when they trusted in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord? John Newton, the author of “Amazing Grace,” repented and turned away from being a slave trader. The apostle Paul turned away from persecuting followers of Jesus to become one of God’s greatest Christian leaders.

We can know the same Jesus, the One who transformed Paul and John Newton, gave sight to the blind, healed the lame, and calmed the sea. As we follow Jesus, we are assured that he is always the same, always with us.

“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matt. 28:18-20).

In spite of the constant change in and around us, God is always with us and always the same, and wants us to live in a relationship with him for eternity.

–by Jane Hall, NCF National Director

All quotes from: A.W. Tozer, The Attributes of God, Volume 2

This is the fifteenth post in a series by NCF Director Jane Hall on God’s attributes. She is inspired by the writings of A.W. Tozer in The Attributes of God, Volume 2

Come Quickly, Lord

September 9, 2014

Heavenly HopeOur discussion of a heavenly hope and a place without sickness brings us closer to the end of this time—and the return of Jesus Christ. This hope is based on the promises made by Jesus Christ to the disciples when he said, “Do not be troubled; I go to prepare a place for you and I will return to take you there to live with me.” (This is recorded in the gospels in John 14:1-3 and Matthew 24:29-31). Christians call this event “The Second Coming.” Even though the timing of the event is unknown, we have a description of Jesus’ impending arrival:

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a shout of command, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive, who are left, will be suddenly caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will always be with the Lord” (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).

Just like Christians today, the believers during Paul’s time were asking, “When will Jesus return?” And like us, the wait seems endless, especially when violence spreads through our countries and new diseases and plagues continue to inflict suffering and pain upon us and our patients. It is easy to become discouraged. We may become impatiently frustrated with cries of, “WHEN, Lord!” or murmur apathetically, “Whatever, Lord.”

When Paul wrote to the believers in Thessalonica, he knew they needed more than just a reminder; they needed to have hope. So, he encouraged them to support one another and to maintain vigilance.

Let’s takes Paul’s advice. As we anticipate and wait for Jesus to return, we can pray and inspire our fellow believers to stay steadfast, while at the same time hastening the Lord to “come quickly” (Revelation 22:17, 20).

We wait for the happy fulfillment of our hope in the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ (Titus 2:13).

Come, Lord Jesus.

NCFI Cares

Carrie Dameron, MSN, RNBC, who is a regular contributor for Nurses Christian Fellowship International and Journal of Christian Nursing. She provides resources for Christian nursing on her blog http://blog.carriedameron.com/.

Witnessing What God is Doing

September 4, 2014

Jane HallI am so privileged to witness what God is doing among nurses and nursing students through NCF ministry! God is providing growing opportunities to develop strong disciples who will care for others with the compassion of Christ.

Will you partner with NCF by giving to the NCF Growth Fund? Your prayers and financial support are critical for our investment in young leaders in nursing.

We know that so much can happen in a school year. Last year, students and faculty in 93 NCF campus chapters found answers to their questions and balm for their souls as they explored God’s Word together. Nurses met around the country to make Jesus known in nursing. God did this — and so much more!

And now we are looking ahead and asking what will God do this year?

We aren’t sure, but we are full of faith and anticipation for how our powerful God will work through NCF this coming year, as he has done faithfully for the past 66 years.

Students and nurses who come to NCF find authentic community and hope for their journey. They explore answers to their questions about suffering, death, faith, and how they all fit together. Most of all, they find that a deeper relationship with Jesus makes all the difference in how they live out their calling in God’s great Kingdom.

As we enter into a new season of ministry, will you pray that our great God will provide staff who can build communities of students and faculty to participate in God’s global mission?

And please consider a donation to the NCF Growth Fund to advance God’s work of transformation in nursing. Thank you for your partnership!

–by Jane Hall, NCF Director

Pray for NCF – here are some specific ways.

Healing Encounters with Jesus

September 2, 2014

Healing Encounters with JesusNew NCF Bible studies!

People who encountered Jesus were never the same again. With compassion and dignity, Jesus brought health and wholeness to the sick and suffering. His power to heal demonstrated his divine identity and intended mission.

How do we encounter Jesus today? Invite your friends, classmates or coworkers to discuss these New Testament stories using the questions designed for those in the nursing profession. Learn how to do a nursing assessment on characters from the Bible and how to apply Scripture to nursing by putting faith into practice.

Check out the first four stories in this new Bible studies series.

  • A Touch of Love: Jesus is not timid about touching someone with a repulsive illness in this story from Luke 5:12-13.
  • Paralyzed No More: Often a person’s physical needs are obvious, but how do we as nurses learn to identify spiritual or non-physical needs? See how Jesus intervenes to treat a quadriplegic in this story from Luke 5:18-26.
  • An Embarrassing Problem: How does Jesus handle a woman’s chronic health issue in public? See how she approaches Jesus and talks with him about a very personal concern in Mark 5:25-34.
  • Just Say the Word: An influential man who is outside of the faith community comes to Jesus with a critical request. See how Jesus responds to this unlikely person in Luke 7:1-10.

Watch for more Bible studies coming soon!

A New Season for Renee Lick

August 28, 2014

ReneePlease join our NCF staff team in saying thank you to Renee Lick, NCF Student Ministries Director. God has called Renee to leave her position with NCF at the end of August. She will continue ministering to students and faculty through another position with InterVarsity’s Graduate and Faculty ministry in Chicago. We are very grateful for Renee’s rich contributions to NCF over the past ten years.

Renee served four years on campus at University of Illinois-Chicago where she equipped students to lead the NCF chapter and prepared them to follow Jesus in nursing. Some of these graduates are now serving God in graduate school, as Advanced Practice Nurses, among Native American communities in Alaska, and in hospitals and clinics all across the country. Renee enjoyed teaching these students about holistic care and how to care for the spiritual needs of their patients.

For the past six years, Renee has served as NCF Student Ministries Director. Renee has enriched NCF with a vision to grow witnessing communities of students and faculty who follow Jesus in schools of nursing. She has enabled staff, students, and faculty to see great opportunities for NCF ministry on campus.

Renee’s vision is to see students following Jesus with their whole lives, including in their lives as nurses. She partnered with our InterVarsity colleagues to reach more nursing students on campus and recruited new campus staff and volunteers. We thank God that the number of nursing students involved in ministry on campus has increased by 13% over the past 5 years.

Renee has engaged with students and faculty on many campuses through retreats, seminars and the Urbana Student Mission Conferences. Renee co-led student mission trips (Global Projects) to Kenya and Uganda. She also co-led a transcultural immersion experience for nurses following the NCF International conference in Nigeria.

We know that God will use Renee’s gifts and talents to further his Kingdom work! Please pray for Renee in the transitions ahead and for her marriage to Trevor in October.

–Jane Hall, NCF Director

Spiritual CPR

August 28, 2014

Thinkingn of youBreathing is necessary for physical life. Nurses and other health care providers may insert a tube into the lungs to facilitate breathing, or attach a ventilator or breathing machine that will “breathe” for a patient. Another intervention for someone not breathing is for a nurse to blow air into the patient through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. These are all extreme measures to help patients breathe when they are unable to meet their own oxygen requirements.

Spiritual breathing is also important to sustain life. Jesus, meeting with disciples after the resurrection, breathes on them and says, “Receive the Holy Spirit” (John 20:22).  This holy intervention brought the eternal Holy Spirit into their spirits. From this point forward, the disciples are focused on continuing the ministry of the new covenant.

At times we need a renewal of the Holy Spirit to invigorate our calling in Jesus. Just as CPR involves another person to breath physically for a patient, we sometimes need to breathe spiritually for a fellow brother or sister. We can reach out to one another with prayer and various social connections. Whether it is through email, text or a phone call, a simple inspiring message can bring a freshness into someone else’s life.

So send the “breath of the Spirit” to someone who needs a boost of hope!

“Hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5)

NCFI Cares

Carrie Dameron, MSN, RNBC, who is a regular contributor for Nurses Christian Fellowship International and Journal of Christian Nursing. She provides resources for Christian nursing on her blog http://blog.carriedameron.com/.

Joy in Serving God

August 25, 2014

PriscillaPriscilla Yeboah was born in Ghana, West Africa and moved to the U.S. when she was 11 years old. She says, “My faith grew through the experiences I had in college. I thank God for InterVarsity and NCF because it was another opportunity for God to increase my faith and ground me deeper in his Word.”

Priscilla loves nursing and wants to serve as a missionary nurse. For Priscilla, nursing is a calling and a career. Every day that she is with patients, she learns about being Christ’s servant. Read more ⇒

Hope’s Not Dead!

August 11, 2014

pluseAs I was thinking of our living hope (1 Peter 1:3), I was reminded of a modern Christian song and movie entitled God’s Not Dead. I wanted to replace the words of the song “Hope’s not dead, it is surely alive.” For, sometimes we live as if our hope is dead.  Is your hope breathing independently with a strong pulse? Some of us are in desperate need of hope CPR (cardiac pulmonary resuscitation). These lifesaving procedures have a healthy, skilled person breath and provide chest compression for a patient who is technically dead.  And at times, we need assistance with our breathing and pulse so we can keep our hope alive.

How do we know if our hope is dead—let’s check our breathing and our pulse.  Here are a few questions to think about: Are you a hopeful person? In other words, do you look forward to what Jesus will do in your life today? Are you excited about how the Holy Spirit is moving in your ministry, job, or community? OR Are you feeling dragged down by the concerns and stress of today? Does the thought of tomorrow bring more stress upon your life? These questions are based on the biblical meaning of the word hope—“anticipation or confident expectation.”

I encourage you this week to take time in prayer and check if your hope is breathing and has a pulse.  Next time we will look at hope saving procedures to jump-start our living hope!

NCFI Cares

Carrie Dameron, MSN, RNBC, who is a regular contributor for Nurses Christian Fellowship International and Journal of Christian Nursing. She provides resources for Christian nursing on her blog http://blog.carriedameron.com/.

Innovations in Nursing 2014

August 1, 2014

IWUGod has answered our prayers! After sixteen months of preparation, the Innovations in Faith-based Nursing Conference took place June 16-19, 2014 at Indiana Wesleyan University. Throughout the planning, I had a strong sense that God was going to use this conference in the lives of the nurses, nurse educators, and others who came. It was a joy to see the many ways God was working!

“It was an extremely nourishing, informative and inspiring conference,” said one of the participants. “This was my first time and I will be back. It was phenomenal. Coming from a secular, large, public university, this was an extraordinary experience that has changed my perspective on what I do.”

Both of the plenary speakers were recommended by NCF, Elizabeth Johnson Taylor and Kamalini Kumar. As requested in previous years, there was more time allocated for devotions and personal spiritual development.

One seminar, “The Science and Art of Spiritual Care,” was added late to the schedule by special request. The four sessions on this topic were so popular that attendance was limited because of space. This demonstrates the deep need for more quality teaching on giving spiritual care, a topic that NCF has actively promoted for decades.

Nurses Christian Fellowship International added a global perspective as a co-sponsor of the conference. NCF/USA was well-represented by our staff team and provided a national perspective of God’s work in nursing.

Another participant said, “I really enjoyed this time. It was such an inspiration to see how God is working throughout the USA and around the world! See you in 2016!”

After evaluating the conference, program director Beverly Schaefer is already asking the planning committee for possible plenary speakers for 2016. I’m not surprised at her eagerness because God is working! God knows the needs for nurses to share best practices in teaching and practice among all cultures and in all settings from a Christian worldview. They need to know and practice the science and art of spiritual care. They need to be empowered by Christ and his followers.

God is preparing Christian nurse educators to make a difference in his Kingdom. Our next Innovations conference will be June 20-23, 2016. I’ll be there, and I hope you’ll plan on it too!

 – by Sandra A. Jamison


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