You are Part of Something Bigger

September 25, 2014

World Student Day 2014World Student Day is October 17, 2014.

NCF students and InterVarsity students are part of a global movement reaching the world for Christ. We are members of the International Fellowship of International Students (IFES).

Make plans to pray with others in your NCF group on October 17, 2014. Learn about specific opportunities and challenges facing students around the world. Open your heart and mind for what God is doing on campuses in Nigeria, China, Norway, Brazil, Pakistan or Egypt.

Sign up here for instructions, resources and ways to participate in World Student Day. Find out more about IFES in this video, “You Are Part of Something Bigger.”

Our God is a global God. Our faith is a global faith. Our mission is a global mission. We’re praying to support our brothers and sisters around the world on October 17, 2014. Will you join us?

Dogs and God at WSU

September 23, 2014

Dogs to the RescueThe very first meeting of year went to the dogs for the Nurses Christian Fellowship chapter at Wichita State University (KS).

The discussion topic was how dogs and other pets often show us the character of God. One of the NCF faculty advisors had been reading the devotional book, Dogs to the Rescue, by M.R. Wells (Harvest House).

She shared one inspirational story about a dog that helped a man with physical problems and PTSD. The lesson was clear: This faithful canine companion reminds us about the character of God who is always with us, never abandons us, sees and knows things we don’t know, protects us, etc. For those who had dogs as pets, the analogy was very real.

About 20 students came to the NCF meeting, including some pre-nursing freshman students. In addition, twelve faculty members attended as part of a growing ministry to faculty.

Building on the theme of God’s faithfulness, the group did a brief Bible study on Paul’s experience in prison and his words to Timothy:

“At my first defense, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” (2 Timothy 4:16-18)

The discussion soon became very meaningful and powerful. “We talked about how we are to be like faithful dogs to our patients, being there for them when they need us, nonjudgmental, comforting, and keeping them safe,” said NCF staff Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner. “I shared the full gospel of having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ to experience his presence fully and to know he is watching over you faithfully.”

A new first-semester student texted Kathy afterwards:  “Loved the meeting, hearing God speak through you really helped me make it through my last class. It also helped me realize that nursing is what I want to do without a doubt.”

Kathy encouraged students to pray and reach out to their fellow students and bring friends to the next NCF meeting. She challenged them to consider how they can make a difference in another student’s life by demonstrating God’s character so often displayed in beloved dogs.

“I am always amazed at how God shows up and works in our midst. I wasn’t sure about using the dog story but it turned out to be a natural, easy way to talk about the character of God and share the gospel. God is good!”

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 ⇒


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