Why We Should Pray: Part 3

November 16, 2015

11162015prayGod cares that we have what we need and desires to bless us as we lay our requests before him. He has commanded us to pray and is disappointed when we don’t. But prayer is not about getting what we want; it is ultimately about glorifying God.

But thankfully, through prayer God showers us with his blessings and he demonstrates his sovereignty, love, wisdom and grace. He puts his glory on display!

Something special happens when we offer our heartfelt requests to God and ask him to bring people into a saving relationship with him through Jesus. If that person comes to faith, we rejoice and thank God for showing his grace and power. Certainly God saves people even when we don’t pray, but our prayers give us the opportunity to see God at work and to give him glory for who he is and what he does. God answers prayer for his benefit more than for ours.

During his final talks with the disciples, Jesus gave them a great promise about prayer: “You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it” (John 14:14). This promise assured the disciples that God would answer their prayers if they made a request in Jesus’ name, but more importantly, Jesus explained that the primary reason that he would answer prayers asked in his name was “so that the Father may be glorified in the Son” (John 14:13).

Just as the angels praised God for the birth of Jesus (Luke 2:10-14), our prayers give glory to our Almighty God!

But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.”

So let God be glorified through your prayers as you invite his Kingdom to come into our world.

Jane Hall, NCF National Director

On Nursing, On TV with Skip McDonald

November 6, 2015

Skip on The Christian ViewNurses are finally feeling the love, thanks to the national conversation about nurses (#NursesUnite) sparked by The Miss America Pageant and The View.

Now The Christian View discusses nursing with special guest Skip McDonald, NCF staff in Atlanta, GA.

In these three televised segments, Skip shares her wisdom as a Christian nurse and spiritual mentor to nursing students. Get started with the interview or catch the highlights here:

A Life of Nursing: Patient Care, Author, Mentor

Skip explains why she is passionate about her NCF ministry with nursing students. “When I went to nursing school, it was a struggle, so now I give back to nursing students. We do leadership training, Bible studies, pray together, and talk about their classes and clinical experiences. I want to be an encouragement to them.”

Skip is the author of the book, She Lived Happily Ever After: Finding Fulfillment as a Single Woman. “I was thrilled to be asked to write a book on singleness and my single journey. I was called to be single when I was 30. I’m not telling people not to get married, but to live life to the fullest as you’re single. ”  Watch part 1 of Skip’s interview.

A Response to Miss Colorado and ‘The View’

The TV co-hosts asked Skip about the controversy surrounding Miss Colorado’s monologue ‘talent’ as a nurse. “When I first saw it, I was very touched. She felt so good about her profession and was proud that her talent was caring for people. It’s a great encouragement for us when someone in the public eye says, ‘You’re not just a nurse.’”

Appreciation is important, but nurses need to have healthy attitudes before they care for patients. “One of the things I tell nursing students is that they may have had a horrible moment before work, but leave it at the door when you enter the room,” Skip says. “That’s why it’s so important for nurses to give self-care so we don’t have a negative effect on our patients. Self-care includes eating well, exercising and taking some time out to be quiet just for ourselves.” Watch part 2.

The Ministry and Calling of Nurses

As a nurse for nearly 40 years, Skips talks about the ministry of nursing. “Nursing is a calling for me. Nurses can be used by God to be the touch of Jesus to each person. We may not be able to say the name of Jesus, but our care and approach speaks volumes.”

“Students often ask me, how do you know when you can pray with a patient, or say something? I tell them, you listen well because they will give you the cue if they are interested in spiritual things. They crack the window and you raise it open.”

Skip has walked with Jesus since she was seven, but now that she is older, she realizes the importance of intimacy with God and keeping a healthy relationship with him. It’s what drives her to care for the patients, nursing students, and other people God brings into her life as a nurse, educator, mentor and friend. Watch part 3.


You can partner with Skip McDonald through a financial gift to support her NCF ministry with nursing students.

Building God’s Kingdom at GHMC

October 23, 2015

GMHC 2015For the past 16 years, it has been my joy to be a part of the Global Health Missions Conference (GHMC) that takes place annually at Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, KY in November. This year’s conference to be held November 5-7, 2015 promises to continue the tradition of challenging healthcare professionals and students to allow God to use their knowledge and skills in building his kingdom.

I’m especially excited about this year’s conference because one of the plenary speakers is a nurse who I worked with and greatly admire. Debbie Dortzbach has served God well throughout her life as a missionary nurse. She has testified before congress and UNAIDS about the HIV/AIDS situation and written books on the topic. She has faced incredible challenges, including her own mortality on several different occasions, with grace and humility. She is also a wife to Karl, mother to three children, and has 10 grandchildren.

The great thing about GMHC is, whether it’s your first time or your 17th, you will find like-minded people who desire to serve God through healthcare. If you are a student, this is a great opportunity to meet seasoned veteran healthcare missionaries. If you are a nurse who has always wanted to do something in missions, you can connect with organizations looking for nurses to be a part of their mission. If you are a retired missionary nurse, like me, you can connect with friends and encourage the next generation of missionary nurses. It’s not too late to register to come. I’ll look forward to meeting you at the NCF exhibit.

Grace Tazelaar MS, RN
Missions Director

Why They’re Going to Urbana

October 16, 2015

Urbana ScholarshipsUrbana is not just another mission conference; it’s a mobilization of God-centered, visionary college students for a new generation of world missions.

InterVarsity’s Urbana 15 takes place December 27-31, 2015 in St. Louis, MO. But this is only the beginning for the 16,000 participants who return home more inspired and committed to follow God’s leading and make a difference in the world.

Urbana’s impact cannot be underestimated. Rev. Billy Graham said, “Half of North American missionaries can trace their vocational call at least in part to Urbana.”

For nursing students, their “mission field” starts with nursing school as they and their classmates seek answers to big questions about life, suffering, death and how to offer hope to patients.

On campus, Nurses Christian Fellowship helps them navigate these questions and find a foundation for their lives and nursing practice that is centered in the love and truth of Jesus Christ.

The nursing students who applied for NCF scholarships explain why they want to attend Urbana 15:

  • “I’ve heard that Urbana is the opportunity of a lifetime. I know the speakers will challenge us in our Christian faith. I have really struggled the past few years in my walk with God and I know this conference will push us as well as encourage us.” –Jael S.
  • “I have always wanted to go to Urbana which only happens every three years so I do not want to miss this opportunity!  I have a real heart for missions and feel that Urbana will enhance my love for missions.  I think it will help me get connected with like-minded people as well as organizations to affiliate with in the future.” –Marissa P.
  • “In high school I did a local mission trip. In college, I went on a short-term mission trip to Thailand. I loved serving the people there and want to continue serving God’s people. Now that I’ll be working soon in the nursing field, I want to know how I can be missional, whether that is locally or globally.” –Kirsten S.

Our vision is that Urbana 15 will launch a new generation of nurses committed to loving God and serving others around the world. It begins with students who have a vision and passion for God’s healing among the nations – students like Jael, Kirsten and Marissa.

Want to help make a difference? Do it now through the NCF scholarship fund.

Living Faith on Campus

October 16, 2015

Meeting Times“Be Transformed…Transform Nursing” captures NCF’s vision for campus ministry.  Nursing students have easy on-ramps to NCF ministry through authentic communities, natural spiritual conversations, and opportunities for Bible study and evangelism.

God uses nursing students to make a difference in their school of nursing and beyond. We want them to be equipped to integrate their faith with nursing practice. Our prayer is that nursing students will grow in their relationship with God and have opportunities to invite their classmates into a journey of faith as well.

This semester God answered our prayers! Clarra started a new NCF chapter and prayed to meet students in other cohorts so that the group continues after she graduates.  God led her to both 2nd and 3rd year nursing students to mentor and prepare for leadership.

Other NCF chapters are reporting that nursing students are curious to learn more about Christianity, and they are asking serious questions about faith, life and nursing.

Please join us in praying that these students will respond to God’s great invitation to know more about his abiding love, grace and truth.

Bonnie Hann, RN, BSN, BS-Missionary Nursing
NCF Campus Liaison

Why We Should Pray: part 2

October 8, 2015

David's PrayerAs Christians, we all know that prayer is important. Sometimes we pray; sometimes we don’t. Sometimes we pray fervently; sometimes we pray half-heartedly. We all need help.

This series on prayer begins with a core question, Why Should We Pray?

Short answer: God expects us to pray, to offer him praises and to let him know our needs. The Bible includes countless examples of God’s people offering prayers of all kinds.

One of my favorite examples is King David’s prayer of praise when the people of Israel brought all the supplies needed to build the temple in Jerusalem. David had a long history of talking to God, and he knew that God expected him to offer praise, confession, and to ask for what he needed.

God’s word commands us to pray. And if we don’t pray we are neglecting God’s expectation and his command. A prominent Bible teacher and author wrote that when we do not pray, we sin. Ouch! That seems like a rather harsh judgment to make about a failure on our part to do what God asks.

But isn’t that what sin is: missing the mark and falling short of what God expects of us?

Knowing that not praying is hurting our relationship with God can even make it harder for us to pray. Thankfully, the Lord knows what we are thinking and feeling about our reluctance or failure to pray consistently for all things!

When we start piling up the reasons why we do not pray and how we have disappointed God, we can do a quick review of God’s attributes to remind ourselves of who God is. Remember, he is omniscient, all-loving, and all-forgiving. When we place our faith in Christ for forgiveness of our sins, he forgives us of all our sin and gives us the gift of eternity with him.

God is just waiting for us to start a conversation with him. Why not start now?

Jane Hall, NCF National Director

Special Announcement from Jane Hall

October 5, 2015

Jane HallFriends, the time has come to plan for my retirement as the NCF National Director in June 2016 at the close of this ministry year.

It has been a joy to serve in the Director’s role. Be assured that my passion for the purposes and people of NCF remain unchanged as I anticipate continuing to serve in a volunteer capacity.

Please pray for us in the search for the next NCF Director! Pass the word along to those who may be interested in the position and contact NCF if you know of a good candidate to lead NCF forward.

We are also searching for a Student Ministries Director to lead staff and students in planting and growing NCF ministry on campus. And additional nurse scholars are needed to assist the Journal of Christian Nursing editorial team in producing every issue.

These are critical roles that require spiritual maturity and a passion for ministry that brings the Good News of Jesus to students, nurses, and the profession. We covet your prayers for God to provide the right people for these positions and for the prayer and financial support that they will need to fulfill these roles.

We know that NCF is in God’s hands, now and always, we look forward to how he will provide for all that we need to see students and nurses transformed as they follow Jesus.

To God be the glory!

Students Today, Nurses Tomorrow

October 1, 2015

HollyI love meeting nursing students with courageous faith, leadership skills, and a big vision for what God can do in their school of nursing—students like Holly. NCF students graduate with more than a nursing degree. Through their NCF experiences, they are strengthened in their faith and equipped to give compassionate, holistic care, and to help others know that Jesus can meet their deepest spiritual needs.

Holly inspires me. Last year Holly was a nursing student who was eager to start a small group Bible study for nursing majors. She shared her vision in a YouTube video and won a grant from Nurses Christian Fellowship to help start a new NCF group at Longwood University (VA).

“God gave me a vision to empower student nurses to have personal experiences with Jesus, so that when we take care of our patients, families, and communities, we’re doing it for God’s glory,” Holly said. She started a Bible study and invited other nursing students, including the whole freshman class, to explore how faith and nursing intersect.

Holly longs for her peers in school to intimately know God’s love for them so they are prepared to give compassionate spiritual care as nurses. “Nurses enter into brokenness every shift they work. Every physical, psychological, and emotional ailment has a spiritual component that God wants to enter into,” Holly states. “It’s my vision for patients to experience God’s love, his healing, and his grace through nurses.”

Holly graduated in spring 2015 and started her first job as a nurse, but her bold commitment to God is still having an effect on her school’s nursing students. This year’s leaders are growing in their faith and inviting other nursing students to be a part of their caring community.

We are praying for more students like Holly who have a big, bold vision for what God can do. It’s an exciting season!

Jane Hall, MS, RN, is the National Director of Nurses Christian Fellowship.

Please partner with NCF to equip today’s nursing students for God’s work as nurses tomorrow!

Rejoicing in God’s Work on Campus

September 29, 2015

I have a front row seat to see what God is doing on campus among nursing students—and it’s so exciting! These are just a few of the stories I’ve heard since the beginning of the semester:

  • Katrina FountainThe NCF Faculty Advisor at Southeastern Louisiana University led students in a prayer walk around campus that ended in silent prayer and reflection at the Hurricane Katrina memorial fountain honoring those who died. It was August 29th, the 10th anniversary of the natural disaster that affected their area so deeply. Students were very moved by the prayer experience.
  • There were 65 nursing students who came to the first NCF meeting at the University of Missouri (Mizzou).
  • A new nursing student with no faith background attended an NCF outreach event and said one of her goals in college is to learn what Christianity is about. She then came to the NCF Bible study and was excited to see how scripture relates to nursing practice.
  • A faculty member, a nurse in the community, and an RN to BSN student all contacted NCF independently about starting NCF ministry at the Medical University of South Carolina. There were 24 nursing students who signed up for a Bible study and 10 came to the first meeting.
  • A new graduate wrote on a Facebook page for nursing students about a time she failed a class needed to graduate and went to God with her anguish and disappointment. After retaking the class and passing, she could look back and see God’s plan in it all. We commented on her post, letting student nurses know about NCF resources that can strengthen their faith when discouraged.
  • An InterVarsity staff team did a prayer walk to start a new chapter at Western Nevada College. A week later I was contacted by a nursing student about how to start an NCF Bible study there, and I put her in touch with the campus ministers who had been praying for mission-minded students at that school.

Rejoice with us in God’s healing love and power in the lives of nursing students so far this year. Please pray that new NCF groups will take root and flourish as vibrant communities that witness to the grace and truth of Jesus.

Bonnie Hann, RN, BSN, BS-Missionary Nursing
NCF Campus Liaison

I Am A Nurse

September 18, 2015

StethoscopeThis is my stethoscope. It was a surprise gift from my children and husband soon after I was accepted into nursing school. They bought me a top of the line with great ratings and a stiff price tag. At the time it seemed too much to me, a soon-to-be nursing student. Now I wear it every shift I work.

This new weight of responsibility reminded me of that feeling when I brought my first baby home. Am I ready for this? Can I do this and do it well? That first night, I awoke in the quiet darkness just before I heard my baby girl’s newborn voice just starting to let her need be known. I was instinctively alert to her need. That night, I felt like a mother for the first time.

Now, as a new nurse, I was asking the same questions. Am I ready for this? Can I do this and do it well?

I clearly remember a night soon after I came off orientation when I was taking a team of patients alone. I was so nervous. My patient was a tiny little lady admitted for kidney issues and dehydration. She was receiving IV fluids and was scheduled for tests to find out what was going on inside her delicate body. Around 2:00 am, I noticed she was more restless. Her heart rate was slightly elevated. I checked her pulse and listened to her lungs.

Instantly, I knew what was happening. I could hear the change in her lungs from my assessment at the beginning of the shift. Her weak heart could not handle the fluids that had been ordered and her lungs were beginning to back up with fluid. I heard the tiny crackling sound with my stethoscope.

I immediately turned off the IV pump, sat her upright, and encouraged her to cough. I monitored her closely, documenting the changes and validating my decision in the chart.

If I had simply followed orders, my patient could have been in respiratory distress or developed pneumonia by the time her doctor did rounds the next day.

Despite my totally new, totally scared, totally intimidated brand-new nurse status, I knew then that my training had prepared me to not only assess and advocate for my patients, but to potentially save their life.

That night, I know that I was a nurse.

I still have so much to learn. An experienced cardiac nurse colleague of mine recently told me that she learns something new every single day. Part of why I love nursing is the opportunity to never stop learning and getting better.

Why? Because I love my patients. There is something incredibly intimate and vulnerable about each person who is my patient. The responsibility and privilege is something I take very seriously.

I am a nurse. I wear a stethoscope. I will be listening.

~Lisa Johnson


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 250 other followers