Archive for the ‘Holidays’ Category

The Balance of Mind, Body and Spirit

April 21, 2017

4212017nnw17National Nurses Week is around the corner and this year’s theme, “Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body and Spirit,” provides natural opportunities for Christian nurses to invite others to consider God’s view of holistic health.

Here are some tips and resources for you to take advantage of this special week and encourage nurse friends and colleagues in their faith and nursing practice.

Nurses Week Bible Discussion

We’ve created a special Bible study on this year’s theme to download and use for a group study or personal devotional. Invite your nurse friends and coworkers to explore how Jesus defined health in body, mind and spirit. We offer this Scriptural meditation for your reflection on what it means to love God, love others, and love yourself.

NCF Resources

See all the special resources, prayer guides, and promotional materials for ideas on how to maximize Nurses Week and reach out to others.

Events

Some NCF nurse groups are hosting gatherings in their area. Check out these NCF events and pray that people will be drawn to the living God and healthier lives through these special gatherings.

Your Thoughts on the Theme?

We’d love to hear your thoughts on how you find balance in mind, body and spirit. This is a significant topic that is an ongoing challenge for many of us, and you can email NCF with your comments or insights on this important topic in nursing.

Thank you, ANA, for choosing a theme that is dear to the heart of God!

What’s Your Life Story?

December 20, 2016

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The coming of Jesus changed everything for Mary and Joseph. When the angel Gabriel told Mary, “You will be with child” (Luke 2:31), it took courage for her to say, “May it be done to me according to your word” (v. 38). Everything was at stake. Pregnancy could ruin Mary’s life and had huge implications for Joseph. Yet when God spoke to Joseph he did what the angel of the Lord commanded (Matthew 1:24). Jesus’ coming completely changed Mary’s and Joseph’s life story.

When Jesus changes our story, do we give him the same response as Mary and Joseph? If Jesus simply asks, “Stop, listen, and take a moment to focus on this patient,” what is our response? When he asks more difficult, even impossible, things such as apply for that job, or serve at the homeless shelter, (or be the National Director of NCF), what is our response? It takes courage to say yes to Jesus.

The reality is, Jesus will change your story in small, big, and overwhelming ways. But like Mary and Joseph—like all the life stories we read in the Bible—Jesus makes our story better. Mary and Joseph raised the Son of God! As nurses, our life story changes the lives of others.

As you celebrate the coming of Jesus, ask God what he wants to do in your life. I pray you will hear his voice and be empowered by the Holy Spirit to have the courage, like Mary and Joseph, to say yes.

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

 

NCF Membership Christmas Special

November 14, 2016

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Save 30% on NCF membership with a special Christmas offer for nurses! JOIN NCF at 30% off the regular price in all membership categories from Nov. 25 to Dec. 31, 2016.

Add NCF as a professional nursing membership on your résumé. As a member of NCF, you’ll receive the Journal of Christian Nursing, as well as continuing education and publisher discounts. Your membership also demonstrates your support for ministry to nurses and nursing students. Learn more about the benefits of NCF membership.

Here are four ways you can take advantage of this Christmas special:

  • Join NCF and strengthen your faith and your nursing practice.
  • If you are already a member, renew your membership now and extend your membership by one year.
  • Give the gift of membership to a colleague, supervisor, nursing student, or nurse friend.
  • Pass on this membership special to other nurses and invite them to join NCF and take advantage of the Christmas discount offer.

arrowRemember to enter Promo Code Christmas2016 during checkout in the InterVarsity Store. (Shipping is free so check “No Shipping”)

Now is the time to join NCF and become a part of a large network of Christian nurses who are devoted to serving God in healthcare.

Why We Should Pray, Part 4

December 8, 2015

1282015gpsToday I use GPS to find where I want to go. But I am technologically challenged, so first I must learn to enter my destination, then listen to a voice or watch a moving dot for directions. I assume that the GPS will guide me forward on the best available route. If the GPS directions are correct and I follow them precisely, I have confidence in making it to my destination.

Jesus knew that his disciples needed help in finding their way, so he taught them to ask God for directions and to meet all of their needs. In the beginning of Jesus’ model prayer in Matthew 6:9-10, he first taught the disciples to acknowledge that God has a plan to establish his Kingdom on earth, and that he will fulfill this plan according to his will.

Jesus prayed:
“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.
Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

When we include this same acknowledgment in our prayers, we are agreeing to seek and accept God’s plan for all things, even for ourselves. Acknowledging God’s sovereignty and control helps us align our requests with his will, rather than making self-focused requests and having a limited perspective about what God wants to do.

Even Jesus had to learn to trust in God’s self-sacrificing direction for his life. As he faced death on the cross in the Garden of Gethsemane, he fell to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

Our NCF staff team has spent months praying intensely for God’s guidance as we searched for a new national director to lead NCF into the future after I retire in June, 2016. We were all stretched to trust the Lord in this process.

But God, in his great faithfulness and infinite goodness, has not left us without direction. I am pleased to announce that Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner has been appointed as the new NCF director beginning July 2016. As editor of Journal of Christian Nursing, Kathy brings a wealth of gifts and abilities, a dedication to NCF, and a passion to see nurses and students grow into a deeper love for God that flows into the lives of others. Thank you, Lord!

1282015mangerIn this busy Christmas season, may we reflect on how Jesus, the Creator of the universe, made his way to the confined womb of a Jewish teenager to begin his human journey. Jesus didn’t need a GPS; he listened confidently and humbly to the voice of the One who guides us all.

 Merry Christmas!
Jane Hall, NCF National Director

A Valentine’s Day Love Story

February 13, 2015

Old FashionedGuest blogger, Cindy Carter shares about an opportunity to accompany her daughter, who hosts a Christian radio program, for an interview with Rik Swartzwelder, director of a new movie coming out on February 14, 2015.

I was blessed to go along on the interview, to hear the story of how this movie came to be. It was the most incredible interview ever.

As his interview unfolded, Rik Swartzwelder, described how he came to write this story and to eventually became the lead actor. Fifteen years ago, God gave him this idea. But every time he would try to push forward with this idea, God would tell him, “Not yet” – he said it was similar to how God had Abraham and Sarah wait for Isaac.

But his story goes back much further, for when Rik was very young, he wanted to date a particular girl, but she made it clear she wasn’t interested because he wasn’t a Christian. So she made a bold leap of faith: She gave him a Bible to read, and he read it and within a month, he gave his life and soul and all he was to Christ. He has never been the same.

Now, on Valentine’s Day, this story of pure love, Old Fashioned, sharing Scripture from I Corinthians is coming out. And the timing couldn’t be more perfect. Old Fashioned will be showing there is a better way to love. I praise God for His perfect timing and plan. I hope each of you will view the YouTube video clip about the movie, share it with your friends, and then go see Old Fashioned.

For me, as I listened to the director’s testimony, God began to impress upon my heart several lessons about standing up for Christ. The lesson became very personal when the director ended his interview by saying, “What if that young girl had not given me that Bible? Where would I be today? Would I have become a Christian? Would I have written this script? Would we, on Valentine’s Day weekend be giving the world a different view of love, unselfish love?”

So, I had to ask myself, “As a Christian, am I obeying God’s call on my life to go unto all the world (Matthew 28), sharing God’s love and Scripture (either physically or verbally) with others, giving them the opportunity to have their life changed forever? Then, am I available to be used of God to effect further change?”

As a faculty member seeking to mentor my nursing students in the Lord, I pray Scriptures shared within my courses transform lives, giving students a glimpse of God’s love for them and His desire to have a personal relationship with those He created. I pray that each of them will choose to walk closely with Jesus day-by-day, listening for His still small voice in Scripture. For I know that ultimately, I can share valuable nursing content and help students add to their skills set professionally, but only when I am teaching from the basis of God’s truth does this Bible promise apply, “My Word shall not return void” (Isaiah 55:11). Whatever our calling, I pray we will each become an example to others of hearing and following God’s path and the results will speak for themselves.

Cindy Carter, MSN, RN, RLC, IBCLC, ICCE is a regular contributor to Nurses Christian Fellowship, as well as a published author. As nurse adjunct faculty for Christian universities, she delights in the opportunity to mentor her students in the online environment. She is also the co-chair for the North Texas chapter of Nurses Christian Fellowship, an online private support group for nurses.

Tangible Joy

December 23, 2014

Tangible JoyAs we enjoy the hope and joy of the Christmas season, let’s keep in mind those who may be feeling isolated and alone.

This is especially true for patients in a hospital, residents in care facilities, or anyone separated from their family and traditions. It is hard to find the Christmas spirit when people are grieving the death of a loved one, battling a chronic illness, or overwhelmed by distressing physical symptoms.

As health care providers we are a connection to the joy of the season and to the living heart of God for each person we encounter. This holiday season reach out in tangible, caring ways to bring the love of Christmas to someone in your nursing care. Maybe it is providing a decoration for a patient’s hospital room, or warm gloves and a coat for someone in your clinic, or spending time to reminisce with an older adult about a past Christmas.

These are just a few ideas; I’m sure you’ll have other practical, caring ways to connect with patients, families, or residents during the holiday season.

Please share how you bring the tangible joy of Christmas to patients.

Merry Christmas from NCF-International!

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/.

NCF Badgers Host Christmas Party

December 18, 2014

Bucky cookiesDecorating sugar cookies the week before finals was a fun stress-buster for the NCF chapter at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. A cookie cut-out of the school’s mascot, Bucky Badger, invited artistic creativity to busy nursing students at the end of the semester.

The NCF leadership team made the sugar cookies in advance and hosted a Christmas party which included a very entertaining white elephant gift exchange.

“It was a great way to get to know each other better as we decorated the cookies and chatted,” said Bonnie Hann, NCF staff. The “Decorate Bucky” contest proved that our NCF chapter has some very talented artists!”

Christmas partyStudents appreciated a fun event that wasn’t centered around studying or going to the bars, two popular choices on campus at this time of year.

The NCF Christmas party was a culmination of a busy semester for the NCF group. They gathered for a weekly Bible study in the Gospel of John on Wednesday afternoons led by Stephen, the chapter co-president.

Khloe is the other co-president who leads a prayer group on Mondays and organizes many of the social events. Both Stephen and Khloe have really reached out to the juniors in the group to get them more involved in the group to provide continuity for next year.

“We’ve seen a lot positive changes and growth in the group this year,” Bonnie reports. “The UW campus has a brand new School of Nursing so it’s a fruitful season for the chapter. Nursing students are open to God’s work in their lives.”

Just ask Bucky Badger.

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Read more stories about NCF student ministry or visit the NCF website for nursing student resources.

A word of hope

December 8, 2014

A Word of Hope

People to People: Sharing God’s Revealed Truth

October 31, 2014

Martin LutherAlmost five hundred years ago, Martin Luther (a priest in the Catholic church at the time) was reading the Word of God and began to understand for the first time (by God’s revelation) that we are “saved by faith” through God’s grace as a “gift of God, not by works, lest any one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).

As Luther began to understand, he realized that the legalistic requirements to get to God did not line up with the Scripture. Eventually he felt so convicted about those stark differences that he challenged people and the church to follow the teaching within God’s Word. On October 31st, Luther posted his 95 thesis statements about those differences on the door of the church and thus started the Protestant Reformation.

Ever  since the fall of Adam and Eve (when they chose to trust in themselves and others, not God), humankind’s relationship with God has been strained, if not broken. Now, we all have a tendency to believe we can be good enough or do enough of the right things to get back in God’s good graces, but until then, we stand aloof, unsure of where we stand with God. Within that belief system, church attendance, Bible reading, prayer, and giving becomes little more than a checklist, and when all of the boxes are filled, we are then able to approach God and have fellowship again.

Yet, the precepts of God’s Word don’t teach that. In Romans 5:8, it states that “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” The gift Martin Luther discovered is that although the sin of Adam separated us from God, Christ’s death on the cross reversed the penalty: “For the sin of this one man, Adam, caused death to rule over many. But ever greater is God’s wonderful grace and His gift of righteousness, for all who receive it will live in triumph over sin and death through this one man, Jesus Christ” (Romans 5:17).

Today, we have the opportunity to walk in that gift of God and from God. I praise our Heavenly Father that Martin Luther, one of his children, read and studied God’s Holy Word and then was courageous enough to share what he learned with others.

As believers in Christ, may we do also.

– by Cindy Carter, NCF member and guest contributor

It’s a Three-Day Story

April 15, 2014

from silence to HopeWe acknowledge the suffering and death of Jesus on the cross on Good Friday. Then we celebrate with joy his resurrected life on Easter Sunday. But what do we do on Saturday?

“Nobody saw Sunday coming,” Ortberg said in a keynote message at InterVarsity’s National Staff Conference. His words brought hope to those currently experiencing disappointment, hurt or hardship.

“What is your Saturday?” Ortberg asks. “Life is hard. Jesus never said, ‘Follow me and the way will be easy.’ He is there, wherever you are, even on Saturday.”

If life is tough and God seems silent, you’re not alone. And remember, Sunday is coming!

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Rev. John OrtbergThis talk is an NCF staff favorite and we hope you will be encouraged by John Ortberg’s stirring message.Download MP3 audio or watch the video from NCF/InterVarsity’s National Staff Conference on 1/9/2014.