Archive for the ‘God at Work’ Category

Significant Moments

December 1, 2016

11292016oruRecently, I’ve been focusing on how to seek and receive God’s direction, how to find and stay in that place where I hear his voice. What I want is to understand God’s leading and the right actions, words, or decisions for everyday situations. This can feel like instinct or intuition. But as Christians, it can be the leading of the Holy Spirit.

As nurses, we need the leading of the still, small voice of God. A simple responsiveness to God in everyday events can create significant moments.

I remember how God’s whisper created a significant moment in my life the summer after I became a nurse and I traveled from Texas to Iowa to help my grandparents move. Mom and Dad said, “When you drive through Tulsa, Oklahoma, check out the campus of Oral Roberts University. It’s beautiful!” They had wanted me to do my undergraduate work there.

I took their advice, parked the car, and walked around the ORU campus. A thought hit me to find the nursing department and see what it looked like.

I was walking down the hall of the mostly empty office area when a faculty member (the only one there!) asked what I was doing. I think she listened to the still, small voice of God and stopped to talk with me. She heard my passion for nursing and envisioned something great for my life. I had absolutely no inclination toward further education, but an hour later I was applying for the master’s program in nursing.

Two months later, I began an adventure that changed me forever!

Recently I was invited back to ORU as a featured speaker for students, faculty members and community members. I spoke about “Expecting God in Nursing” and used the story in Luke 5 about how the disciples responded to a strange request from Jesus. As they obeyed and let down their nets, they saw Jesus in a new light. It’s a great reminder of what happens when Jesus shows up and calls us to new levels of trust in him.

Hearing and responding to the still, small voice of God can create significant moments.

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Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN
NCF National Director
Editor-in-Chief of Journal of Christian Nursing

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–Excerpt from Journal of Christian Nursing, Oct/Dec 2016, p.197. Become a member of NCF and receive Journal of Christian Nursing as a member benefit throughout the year.

Urbana 15: Every life tells a story

March 10, 2015

Find Your Life Urbana 15 VideoGrace was a nursing student who was deeply challenged by her experience at Urbana 12. “Life is so much more than school and my daily struggles,” Grace said. “I want to live for what matters eternally: to glorify God and to love others.”

Similar life-altering experiences await 16,000 students, missionaries and speakers who will gather for the Urbana 15 Student Missions Conference, December 27-31, 2015 in St. Louis, MO. Nursing students will join with others from around the world to hear from God, reflect, pray, worship, and consider their future role in God’s redemptive work.

Hundreds of healthcare students will attend special seminars to help them learn how to practice healthcare as ministry. Leading daily Scripture expositions will be Dr. Patrick Fung, Director of OMF International, who will add his perspective as a medical doctor to his biblical teaching.

Since 1946, God has used the Urbana conferences as a key transformational moment for thousands of people who have responded to God’s call by spreading the good news of Jesus in their neighborhoods and to the ends of the earth. View past Urbana events.

God’s love doesn’t hold back. “I came to Urbana 12 for direction on where God was leading me, but those questions were unanswered,” reported Danny, also a nursing student. “Instead, I was captivated by Jesus again and repented of my sin of indifference toward him. He convicted me of the need to cling to him as a child clings to a parent. I have increasing clarity that Christ is always leading me. He is the answer that I needed.”

As sponsors, InterVarsity and NCF staff are diligently preparing for Urbana 15. It’s not too early to make plans for Urbana 15. Already 857 people have registered. Encourage the nursing students you know to attend the conference next winter break.

Scholarships are available for NCF nursing students starting April 1. Contact NCF for an application. Please support students attending Urbana 15 with a special gift to NCF Scholarships.

Every life tells a story. If you’re a nursing student, what life will you live? Find out at Urbana 15.

NCF Stress-Busters of South Florida

February 24, 2015

Stress BustersA year ago, Monica Orozco-Cantillo, R.N., had a big vision for the new NCF group of nurses in South Florida. Their first event, hosted at Monica’s church, was a “First Responder” weekend in partnership with firefighters, nurses and other healthcare professionals. It was a huge success.

“We had over 50 nurses inquire about NCF and want to tap in!” Monica said. “We met all sorts of nurses: retired, disabled, new and burned out. We want to give them the resources and encouragement they need.”

Next they planned their first “Stress Buster” event with nurses from all over Dade County. The message focused on Christ-centered nursing care. They sponsored a raffle with prizes and an Arts ministry team enhanced the evening with a therapeutic exercise, beautiful poetry and art work.

In the fall, the group planned the “Harvest Stress Buster” to celebrate local nurses and medical personnel. “Our guest speaker, Eric Steman, spoke life into our hearts,” one participant said. “He reminded us of our strengths, value and courage within all of us.”

Another person said, “Our speaker was a rich source of positivity and love for our nurses.” Many people worked on making this a special event with food, prizes, donated flower arrangements and more.

When planning Stress Buster events, the NCF group often partners with the Blue Line Angels, a ministry for family members and spouses of police officers, because many of them are nurses.

The NCF group had a strong start to 2015 by hosting a Stress-Buster event, “How Sweet Forgiveness Is,” with a guest speaker and entertaining games as part of the program. In addition to door prizes and sweet surprises, the event included worship and childcare so that family, friends and coworkers could come as well.

Monica is very thankful for her team of co-chairs and their dedication and involvement in putting the events together: Michelle, Carmen, Sasha, Jacqueline, Margarita and Simone.

Many lives have been touched by God through the efforts of NCF in South Florida. Monica’s prayers for the group cover it all, “We pray for you to continue to be good stewards of your skill sets and be vessels for God’s glory!”

And so they are!

Lessons from the Infusion Room

February 3, 2015

IV Drip“I’ve been an Infusion Room regular for over seven years. It’s like a local coffee shop, only with needles, tubes, and dangling fluid bags,” writes David Kenagy in the Journal of Christian Nursing. “People who need medications pumped into their bloodstreams gather here, but not as hungry diners. Some have nerve disease, others arthritis, and some cancer. Folks in this room understand affliction.”

Enter Nurse Laura.

“Terrific” is the word used by other nurses and patients alike to describe Nurse Laura. What makes her so unique, so universally appreciated?

David Kenagy writes in raw detail how Nurse Laura not only provides compassionate nursing care, but uses her skills to initiate honest conversations with patients about physical and emotional difficulties.

“Nursing care means caring enough to talk toilet. It means Love your neighbor as yourself. It knows, Perfect love casts out fear,” writes Kenagy.

And for some, Nurse Laura is faithful until the end, when the nursing plan is simply being there. She is there for the patient. She is there for the families – sometimes grieving parents. It is the ministry of presence. It is communicating love, and caring, and importance at life’s most significant moments.

It is Essential Nursing 101. And few do it better than Nurse Laura.

Read more about what makes Nurse Laura so special in David Kenagy’s article, “Lessons from the Infusion Room,” from the Journal of Christian Nursing, Jan-Mar 2015.

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

God is my life

January 22, 2015

NC StudentsKayla is a nursing student in our NCF chapter at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. In a recent discipleship meeting, I asked Kayla, “How do you bring together your relationship with the Lord and your life in nursing school?”

At first Kayla struggled to answer my question. “I don’t think of it that way. God is my life,” she said.

I knew that God had transformed Kayla’s life in big ways over the past year, and I was overjoyed to hear how she responded to my question. Her passion showed through her joyous tears as she explained her relationship with God as a junior in nursing school.

Kayla continued, “God isn’t compartmentalized anymore. My time is His. I used to view my schedule as mine and I believed that I was in control. Now I see my time as His and I organize my life to reflect eternal values. I trust Him to take care of me. Sometimes that even means taking a break from studying to care for my roommate who isn’t a Christian.”

It is because of God that Kayla can have this perspective. She told me later in the conversation that God’s work in her life had brought her heartache for a time, but it was the best thing that could ever happen to her!

I’m praising God that Kayla said “yes” to Jesus’ call. I believe Kayla will do great things for God’s kingdom, both at UNCG as a student and on into her career as a nurse.

-by Miriam Robinson, NCF staff

OOPS! A Medication Mistake

December 8, 2014

Med ErrorWhen Darlene Sredl, PhD, RN, realized she had just made a medication error, a number of temptations raced through her panicking mind. Someone must have made a mistake!

But it was Darlene who made the mistake, and she candidly reflects on what she learned from the experience in her article, “Temptations after a Medication Error,” from the Journal of Christian Nursing.

It was her next-to-last day on the job. Should she report her mistake, or just sign off and leave with a perfect record?

Darlene’s temptations were very similar to the temptations that Jesus encountered and overcame. The first was the promise of instant gratification by not reporting her error. She heard a voice say, “Nobody need know about this. Just sign it off and don’t tell.” She remembered how Jesus refused to turn stones into bread for his own gratification.

Then a second temptation came that appealed to personal power, “You just got your PhD in nursing! All that education, and you made such a stupid mistake.”

A third temptation made her decision even harder, “You are going to leave this job tomorrow; you could leave with a perfect record.” Darlene confesses her struggle with pride and the temptation to minimize what she had done.

If you’ve ever made a medical error, you’ll relate to Darlene’s genuine internal struggle. Read the article and discover the surprising outcome.

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Become a member of NCF and receive every issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Christian Nursing as one of your member benefits. Or, subscribe to JCN.

Encountering the Untouchable

November 7, 2014

UntouchableMy patient was a convicted murderer who tried to hang himself after a life sentence. Someone found him in time and he survived, but he was severely brain damaged and bedridden with muscle atrophy and contractures.

When I was called on to care for him, I found a man covered in tattoos with long, dirty hair. His only verbal responses were guttural moans. His eyes seemed to follow you everywhere, yet no one knew if he was processing anything we said to him.

Many nurses scorned him and believed he had gotten justice for the murder he had committed. Some felt he was possessed and refused to care for him. Those who did attend him provided the least amount of care needed, and it showed in this man’s neglected appearance.

It was tempting for me to also judge this man and agree with the assessment of my coworkers. But I believed he was someone created by God, a sinner like the rest of us, and a patient who needed full care.

Whenever I remember this untouchable patient, I reflect on how Jesus was not timid about touching someone with a repulsive illness in Luke 5:12-13. Jesus extended a touch of love to a man with leprosy, a vile disease that invited ostracism and contempt from the healthy. Jesus provided a healing encounter for an unloved, unclean and chronically sick patient who came to him. As Christian nurses, we are called to follow his compassionate example.

In my nursing unit, a few of us took the time to treat our condemned patient gently and care for him with as much dignity and respect as we could. I hope that somehow he sensed God’s love from us.

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

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Healing Encounters with JesusSee “A Touch of Love” and other Healing Encounters Bible studies from NCF. Invite your friends, classmates or coworkers to discuss these gospel 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.

 

Hitting Home with JCN

October 23, 2014

Living Will“Every JCN has great articles, but several in this issue touched me deeply,” writes Kathy Schoonover Shoffner in her editorial, JCN Articles Hit Home, from the recent Journal of Christian Nursing. In her job as editor, Kathy chooses and edits all the articles in each JCN, yet several family situations gave two articles very personal meaning for her.

One JCN article pointed to the critical need for Advance Directives Education. “ADs made all the difference in my father’s death,” Kathy recalls after she was called upon to make a difficult DNR decision. “Making an AD is a tremendous gift people can give to themselves and to their families,” Kathy said.

Yet, most adults do not have ADs, even though people are living longer. Despite the growing need for advance care planning, many healthcare providers lack the education needed to provide teaching on advance directives. Learn more in the JCN article where you can earn 2.5 CE contact hours.

The second JCN article that hit home with Kathy was Nursing Students’ Perceptions of Adoption (article free for a limited time) about the need for educational preparation to talk compassionately with those impacted by adoption. Nurses in every area of practice will encounter adoptees, adoptive parents, and birth parents who relinquished a child.

As an adoptive parent, Kathy has had many awkward moments with nurses who asked about her child’s “real” mother, or insisted on an unobtainable family history. “Knowing how to communicate appropriately is one of the most compassionate gifts you can give us.”

As a daughter, a mother, and a nurse, Kathy found something in JCN that resonated with her heart and nursing practice.

As the JCN editor, she hopes you will, too.

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Read more of Kathy’s editorial, JCN Articles Hit Home, in the Journal of Christian Nursing, October–December 2014. Become a member of NCF and receive every issue of the peer-reviewed Journal of Christian Nursing as one of your member benefits. Or, subscribe to JCN.

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!”

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.