YOUR OPINION NEEDED!

July 17, 2015

SurveyShould nurses leave their beliefs in a locker when at work?

If you’re currently working as a nurse, share your opinion in a study conducted by Journal of Christian Nursing and Loma Linda University to explore how nurses provide spiritual care, their opinions on talking about religion with patients, and their personal religious practice.

Click HERE to learn more and take an online survey (about 30 minutes).

On completion, you’ll receive a 40% discount you can use on NCF membership ($65.00 practicing-nurse fee only), or choose another discount toward a subscription to the Journal of Christian Nursing.

If you are currently an NCF member, complete the survey and you’ll receive a 40% discount that you can use on your next NCF membership renewal ($65.00 practicing-nurse fee only)!

Discounts are good until June 2016.

Add your voice to this valuable study!

Prayer: Water for a Thirsty Soul

July 10, 2015

RainCan there ever be too much rain and water in a dry and thirsty land?

After three years of drought in Texas, I didn’t think we could get too much rain to replenish the lakes and land. But I recently changed my thinking as I drove through blinding sheets of rain with bolts of lightning dancing all around. The rivers and creeks in my path were rising furiously and flooding their banks and bridges. God alone was in the car with me during this stormy drive, and I let him know that I really wanted the rain and rising waters to stop.

Even though too much water coming too fast can lead to big problems for people and communities, it is essential for all life. Nurses know that water is necessary for dissolving and transporting life-sustaining nutrients and oxygen and for maintaining moist environments within the body. And it also plays a vital role in flushing waste and toxins from the body. Physical life cannot be sustained without a continual inflow of fresh, clean water.

As water is necessary for physical life, prayer is necessary for spiritual life. Can there ever be too much prayer in our lives? No! A constant flow of God’s love, grace, and peace that results from ongoing communication with God through prayer is necessary for our spiritual health and flourishing.

Simply put, prayer is having a conversation with God, sharing our hearts with him and listening for his small, quiet voice to speak to us.

Thankfully, God’s Word has given us specific instructions and guidance about prayer. Jesus is our primary model. Scriptures tell us that Jesus often withdrew from people to be alone to pray (Luke 15:15-16). He taught the disciples how to pray (Luke 11) and he prayed specifically for them (John 17).

God’s Word instructs us to pray “at all times” (Ephesians 6:18) and to have an attitude of thanksgiving as we present our petitions to God. We can also expect God to change us when we pray (Philippians 4:6-7). We can ask God to meet any and all of our needs, even very practical ones. Just as I prayed for safety on my trip, the Apostle Paul asks the believers in Rome to pray for his safety as he traveled to Jerusalem:

“I urge you, brothers and sisters, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. 31 Pray that I may be kept safe from the unbelievers in Judea and that the contribution I take to Jerusalem may be favorably received by the Lord’s people there, 32 so that I may come to you with joy, by God’s will, and in your company be refreshed” (Romans 15:30-32).

Thankfully, nothing is too small or big to ask God for. Praying is so simple, but yet it can be difficult. We may experience periods of spiritual drought and an inability to talk with God, but God is never far away from us. He understands our situations and never holds back his great love for us.

There is much to learn about prayer and how God uses our prayers to help us sense his presence and our unity with Christ and other believers. Jesus prayed that you and I can have this very thing:

“My prayer is not for them alone. I pray also for those who will believe in me through their message, that all of them may be one, Father, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they also be in us so that the world may believe that you have sent me” (John 17:20b-21).

The foundation of our prayer life must be that we know who we are praying to. If you are looking for a primer on who God is, or want a reminder of God’s characteristics, see my series, “Devotionals on God’s Attributes.”

In Christ alone we have abundant, refreshing rivers of living water for our thirsty souls. That’s worth a prayer of thanks.

~by Jane Hall, NCF National Director

NCFI: A World-Wide Fellowship

July 9, 2015

NCF InternationalIf you were a Christian nurse in Pakistan, or Nigeria, or Japan, how would you connect with other nurses who want to live out their faith in professional practice?

Praise God for Nurses Christian Fellowship International (NCFI) which connects nurses in many different countries around the word, including NCF-USA.

“We are partners with NCFI and embrace the mission to equip and encourage Christian nurses to integrate Biblical principles and Christ-centered values in clinical practice, leadership, education and research,” said Jane Hall, National Director of NCF-USA. “Our common values are built on God’s love and care for us and his work through us as nursing professionals.”

Dr. Barbara White, NCFI President, leads the international movement connecting Christian nurses. “This is an exciting time in the life of NCFI.  Country members continue to expand, connect and grow through local and national events,” said Dr. White. “Nurses gather for Bible study, worship, fellowship, and teaching for spiritual and professional growth.”

NCFI focuses on these areas:

  • Deepening the spiritual life and cultural awareness of Christian nurses around the world
  • Encouraging and equipping Christian nurses and students to live out their faith in nursing
  • Bringing nurses together through Regional Conferences and the World Congress in June 2016

Find out more about NCFI and NCF ministry in other member countries by visiting the new NCFI website.

From Campus to Hospital to Campus

July 7, 2015

Krista DoanWhen God knocks on your heart, it’s time to open the door.

For Krista Doan, God’s knocking meant applying for a campus staff position with Nurses Christian Fellowship.

“I graduated last year and started working as an RN, but there was always a yearning in my heart for something more,” Krista said, “but I didn’t exactly know what that was.” She began praying for God to show her where he wanted her to serve.

Last November, God’s knocking got louder, and Krista wrestled with a lot of fear and doubt about trusting God in this new journey.

“The challenges of my first year of nursing brought me to a place of complete surrender to God and his will for my life,” Krista recalled. “I was willing to go anywhere, as long as he was with me.” Doors opened to work on campus with nursing students as part of the NCF and InterVarsity staff team.

Krista personally understands the demands of nursing school and the opportunities for spiritual growth in college. She knows that NCF chapters encourage spiritual growth, offer leadership training, and create close relationships in supportive communities.

The decision to join NCF staff wasn’t easy, but Krista is excited about working with nursing students. “I am humbled to be called by God to serve this special group of people,” Krista said. “As I step out in faith, God makes his plan clear to me. The Lord never ceases to amaze me.”

“God is pursuing the hearts of nurses and nursing students,” Krista believes. “There is so much we all can contribute to Jesus’ kingdom.”

Krista Doan is currently developing a team of ministry partners who will pray and give financial support to her campus ministry in Florida. Join Krista’s ministry team.

Devotionals on God’s Attributes

June 29, 2015

The Attributes of God I & IIDo you ever wonder what God is really like? I certainly do. Reading A.W. Tozer’s writings on the attributes of God has stretched my thinking and helped me begin to grasp the greatness and the majesty of God.

For the past 2 ½ years, I have written monthly blog posts covering each chapter of Tozer’s books on The Attributes of God. I have written about God’s familiar characteristics of love, grace, mercy, holiness and faithfulness. As Christian nurses, we desire to reflect these virtues to those in our care.

But I have also been challenged to explore some of God’s qualities that aren’t commonly discussed, such as God’s immanence, immutability, omniscience, or omnipotence. These attributes that are so different from any human qualities, are very important in developing a well-rounded view of God’s true nature and how he relates to us.

Tozer wrote, “What comes into our minds when we think about God is the most important thing about us.” A right concept of God is essential if we are to develop trust and faith in Him and have real purpose in living. Tozer was very concerned that most people don’t see God as he really is, so his preaching and writing was devoted to God’s attributes as revealed in the Bible.

I encourage you to read Tozer’s books to enhance your devotional life. Or, take a look at my reflections in these two collections now available from NCF:

Tozer chose the following sub-titles for his two books on God’s attributes: A Journey into the Father’s Heart and Deeper into the Father’s Heart.

This is my prayer for your journey of knowing the Father’s heart and being transformed into his likeness. It is a worthwhile pilgrimage.

~by Jane Hall, NCF National Director

This is the final 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 1 and The Attributes of God, Volume 2.

Nursing Students – Register Now!

June 26, 2015

Register Now!

Urbana is a space set apart to hear from God, reflect, pray, worship, and consider your future. Come to Urbana 15 and discern God’s will for your life. Meet us in St. Louis December 27-31, 2015. The best registration price for Urbana ends on June 30. Register now; prices increase on July 1!

Nursing students can attend special seminars on healthcare missions, talk with missionaries, and meet NCF staff. Find out more about scholarships for nursing students.

A student who attended Urbana 96 remembers how God called her into nursing:

“I just want to write and testify of the faithfulness of God and the way He used Urbana 96 to change me! Seeds planted there have grown and are now flowering beautifully!

I came to Urbana 96 vaguely thinking I wanted to do something in medical missions and ended up talking to a doctor who had practiced in Nepal for 30 years. He told me that if I really wanted to interact on a personal level with people, I should consider nursing. That made so much sense, especially since medical school would take so long, and I want to get out there!

Since then I have taken steps toward that goal, first becoming an EMT and then a nursing assistant, and now I am enrolled in nursing school.

Every day I am encouraged that this is where I am supposed to be, and I have learned so much about servanthood and the greatness of God as I study the human condition. I have seen so many people who could be healthy in body if they could know Jesus and be healed in their spirit!

God is teaching me to love people and minister to them right where I am, to prepare me for a bigger world. During my week at Urbana I began relationships that I now treasure. I made contacts with mission organizations that have given me much guidance. And the worship! I am still blessed by it, and it brings me closer to God.

So be encouraged because I am going to be there praising God with you, and I’m bringing as many people with me as I can!”

You only have one life. How will you live it? Come to Urbana and discover more of who you are and what you are meant to do. Register by June 30 for the best price.

Exposure to the Light

June 12, 2015

John 8:12I spent the summers of my childhood under the hot Texas sun. Now that I’m older, it’s obvious I got too much exposure to sunlight. Today, nurses and healthcare professionals instruct their patients on protecting their skin from the sun’s harmful rays and potential skin cancer.

But in NCF we’re doing all we can to see that nursing students and nurses get even more exposure to the radiant light of the Son, Jesus Christ. Then we equip them to take the light of Christ to their friends and patients.

When Jesus visited the Temple in Jerusalem, candles burned to symbolize the pillar of fire that led Moses and the people of Israel through the wilderness. The fire’s light was God’s very presence, offering protection and guidance to the people.

Jesus was in the candlelit Temple when he spoke these words, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life” (John 8:12). Jesus is God’s presence, protection, and guidance for all who trust in him as Savior and Lord. His light reveals our sin, our desperate need for his gift of salvation, and it shows us the path forward. Rather than stumbling in the dark and remaining lost, we can see how to live with him in this world and for eternity.

Through NCF ministry this school year, 19 nursing students opened their hearts to Jesus and they are no longer walking in darkness. Praise God for new believers! Thousands of NCF staff, volunteers, students and nurses are reflecting Jesus, the true light of the world, in the dark places of nursing schools, hospitals, long-term care facilities, and patients’ homes.

Will you partner with us in prayer and financial support to provide for more staff and resources to make Jesus known in nursing?

Our fiscal year ends June 30th, and we need additional funding to cover staff budgets. Please partner with us in God’s great work among nurses and nursing students. Thank you!

by Jane Hall, MS, RN
NCF National Director

Nurses and Bioethics: More than Spectators

June 8, 2015

TennisA friend once gave me a tote bag that said, “Nursing isn’t a spectator sport.” Obviously, nursing isn’t like watching a tennis match or a football game. Nurses do so much more than watch over their patients. They often get deeply involved. Sometimes they have to say really hard things, perform painful procedures, and make difficult decisions about how best to care.

Regardless of the challenges of nursing, nurses are always expected to be committed to their patients and to their own highly ethical practice. But as healthcare becomes increasingly technologically advanced and complex, nurses are faced with giving care that can personally challenge their ethical and moral principles.

Nurses and students often need help to explore pressing contemporary bioethical issues and to see how a biblical, theological view compares with other influential perspectives. Where can nurses go to get help in understanding the questions and answers that surround challenging healthcare issues? How do they develop a biblical view of reproductive technologies, stem cell research, genetics, human enhancement, end-of-life issues, and more?

CBHDNurses and students must be equipped with knowledge and strategies to engage with these issues. NCF partners with the Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity (CBHD) at their annual summer conference, held at Trinity International University in Deerfield, IL. At the conference, nurses, physicians, other healthcare professionals, ethicists, theologians, and scientists engage with pressing bioethical issues.

InterVarsity alumnus John Kilner, author of Dignity and Destiny: Humanity in the Image of God, directs the graduate degree programs in bioethics at Trinity International University. TIU’s Center for Bioethics and Human Dignity offers valuable resources and other educational opportunities for nurses to invest more deeply in the study of bioethics. To connect to a host of free bioethics resources, check out the latest issue of TIU’s Bioethics Brief e-letter.

Our hope is that students and nurses will take advantage of resources and opportunities like these to be more than spectators as they encounter the challenging bioethical issues in today’s healthcare arena.

By Jane Hall, RN, MS
Director, Nurses Christian Fellowship

Vigilance In the Trenches

June 2, 2015
WW I trenches

Studying French“. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

The comradery of our Christian brothers and sisters is an important aspect of standing firm against Satan. We are reminded of this truth in the teaching of both Jesus and Peter (Luke 22:31-34 and 1 Peter 5:8).

When we are feeling discouraged by the attacks of Satan, or our faith is being tested, we know our brothers and sisters around the world are also “in the trenches.”

Are you familiar with the expression or metaphor “in the trenches?” It is a reference from World War I when front-line soldiers lived and fought daily in deep ditches or trenches. They were dirty and bloody, malnourished, wounded and sick, yet their bravery and determination helped them overcome the enemy.

This same reference can be applied to Christians around the world fighting against Satan in God’s holy war. “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms” (Ephesians 6:12).

All of us are in the trenches resisting Satan and staying faithful to our Lord Jesus Christ. The next time you feel like you are spiritually bruised and tattered, hold fast. You are not alone. For across the border, beyond the continent, and around the globe, millions of our brothers and sisters are fighting the same war.

We are in the trenches together standing firm in victory.

But how can we stand firm in the trenches of spiritual warfare? Spiritually, we must practice focused vigilance, similar to when we are observing a patient who is very sick. We watch their vitals for changes while monitoring their signs and symptoms. Attentively we use our nursing knowledge and assessment skills to watch for complications. We are taking notes and ready to respond if our patient becomes critical.

The same attentiveness is needed to guard ourselves against the lures of Satan. Like Jesus Christ in Matthew 4:1-11, we will be enticed by Satan to sin. We must trust the Lord to strengthen and guide us.

The Lord not only helps us during temptations, he seeks to develop our faith through the process by teaching us faith lessons and increasing our love for God. I have found this prayer helpful from 2 Thessal​onians 3:3, 5:

“But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance.”

Let’s stay actively vigilant and ready to respond to Satan’s temptations.

We are not alone!

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/.

Journal of Christian Nursing Wins 3 Awards

May 29, 2015

2015 ASHPE AwardJenny Choi doesn’t draw attention to herself, but her stellar work as the graphic designer for Journal of Christian Nursing has received well-earned praise.

Recently JCN received three awards in the Graphics category from the American Society of Healthcare Publication Editors (ASHPE). This is an important competition in publishing, and an honor for JCN and the publisher, Lippincott Williams & Wilkins. LWW publishes over 275 medical journals.

JCN art designs come from author topics and inspiration from the Holy Spirit, and a lot is due to our talented graphic designer at LWW, Jenny Choi,” said Kathy Schoonover Shoffner, JCN editor. “She is a gifted artist and a delight to work with.”

awardsJCN received awards in these categories:

  • Silver Award for Best Opening Page / Spread Photo:

“Infant Mortality in Central Asia: Sad Statistics Come to Life” (April-June 2014)

  • Bronze Award for Best Opening Page / Spread:

“Computer-Generated Emotional Intelligence and Spiritual Well-Being” (July-September 2014)

  • Bronze Award for Best Cover Illustration:

“Anxiety: Etiology, Treatment, and Christian Perspectives” (April-June 2014)

“I want to help nurses see JCN as a broad-based, professional nursing journal that offers excellent content,” Kathy said. “These awards bring promotion and recognition to a Christian publication. When our work is honored, God is honored!”

Congratulations, Journal of Christian Nursing!

__________________________________________

Become a member of NCF and regularly receive Journal of Christian Nursing as one of your member benefits. Or, subscribe to JCN.


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