Archive for the ‘NCFI Cares’ Category

Jesus as Our Role Model

August 1, 2016

812016womanatwellAs Christian nurses, we have Jesus as our source of strength and role model. I love how Jesus sees all of us from the perspective of God’s Kingdom. This perspective teaches us how to see and think about people and thus how to care for patients and their families and collaborate with our co-workers.

We read about Jesus who met the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4:1-26. Jesus sees the woman and knows who she is; still he decides to spend time with her. As we read the text, we can sense the gentleness and the intensity of their conversation, and how Jesus touches her deeply in her spirit. She becomes convinced that she has met the long-awaited Messiah. This makes her a witness for Christ.

In Luke 19:1-10 we read about Zacchaeus up in a tree. Again, Jesus acts beyond the rules and norms and sees to the heart and longing of this man. He greets Zacchaeus in the tree and invites himself to dinner with him. This transforms Zacchaeus. Jesus acknowledges this sinner to be a saved son of Abraham, and Zacchaeus’ transformed heart shows itself in action.

One of the stories I like the best from the gospels is about the blind beggar outside of Jericho (Luke 18:35-43). Try to imagine the crowd of people and all the noise. In the middle of this, Jesus recognizes the one who needs him. He stops and asks this wonderful question: “What do you want me to do for you?”

Have you noticed that Jesus often asks questions when he teaches and meets with people? He is interested in understanding people—who they are and how they think. Having Jesus as our role model challenges us to consider these questions: Am I interested in understanding people? Do I take the time to stop and listen to people in my path who may need me?

Will you join me in following Jesus’ example and practice this question: “What do you want me to do for you?” I’m interested in hearing about your experiences from using this question. Please share your comments below.

Tove Giske
President, Nurses Christian Fellowship International (NCFI)

 ncficares

Photo credit by Angelica Kauffman – Upload 1: repro from art bookUpload 2: Own Work, photo taken by Cybershot800i., Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=8988425

My Work Christ’s Home

July 7, 2016

772016myheartchristshomeWhen I was a new Christian more than 24 years ago, a fellow believer gave me a booklet, My Heart Christ’s Home, written by Robert Boyd Munger in 1951. The story is about a new Christian with Christ in his heart who invites the Lord into all areas of his life through the metaphor of a home.

For example, when the new believer shows Christ the library and the recreational room, Christ points out the importance of inviting him into our reading materials and into our leisurely activities. Christians are often tempted to compartmentalize faith. We may keep a focus on Christ in our family and on Sundays, but we may be tempted to leave our faith out of our non-Christian relationships, television or movie choices, or our work environment.

As I reflected on the simple yet powerful truths found in this story, I thought of nursing. As Christian nurses we seek to live out Christ’s life and teachings in our clinics, schools, and hospitals. Christ doesn’t want to just come into the comfortable areas of our work and reside as a guest. Christ wants to dwell in every work relationship, every patient encounter, every project, class and meeting.

I encourage you to take time to allow Christ to walk through each area of nursing. Even if we consider ourselves mature a believer, I believe each of us will find a locked closet, a dusty cabinet, or even a hidden room that we have kept from God’s Spirit.

The good news is we can always repent: Robert Munger wrote, “I saw it in a minute and dropping to my knees, I said, ‘Lord, You have been a guest and I have been the host. From now on I am going to be the servant. You are going to be the owner and Master and Lord.'”

This reminds me of  the words of Jesus in John 14:23, “If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come into him, and make our abode with him.”

Let’s welcome Jesus to fully move into our work and into our hearts!

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/.

R is for Rejoice

April 1, 2016

412016sunriseThe Bible tells us, “Rejoice in the Lord, always. I say it again, rejoice” (Philippians 4:4). The definition for rejoice is to be glad, joyful, or to celebrate. Do we celebrate the works of God in nursing?

When was the last time you enjoyed the perfectly timed answer to prayer, such as that much-needed staff person or piece of equipment? When have you been delighted by the basic pleasures of life, such as an enjoyable meal with a colleague or a simple gift from a student or patient? What are some joyful rewards of patient care, such as listening to an older adult share a childhood memory, laughing with a five year old’s cute story, or celebrating with a toddler who masters a new toy or activity?

These are enjoyable moments in nursing.

The Scriptural idea of rejoicing in prayer is to remind us to recognize all the blessed moments of our work. At the same time, we want to celebrate with our Heavenly Father who provided them.

We are also reminded that celebratory prayers don’t just occur with worship and during designated times of prayer. We can have a heart of gladness that permeates our life and spills over into multiple moments of the day.

 Let us remember the words of the psalmist, “Serve the LORD with gladness!” (Psalm 100:2) and rejoice!

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/.

Peter’s Wisdom

March 21, 2016

3212016roosterDuring the Last Supper, Jesus warned Peter that he would be sifted by Satan and deny him three times (Luke 22:31-34). As the evening continues, Peter repeatedly denies Christ. His denial is not quiet, but vocal and wholehearted. After the third denial, Peter hears the rooster crow—and his heart breaks.

Our hearts break with Peter, for his personal sin becomes part of our redemption story.

After reading Peter’s experience, we are not surprised when he uses the metaphor “devour” to describe Satan’s tactic for Christians. I am sure Peter felt sifted, distraught and close to being devoured. Thankfully, in the same passage, Peter reaches out to all of us with wisdom:

“Be sober and alert. Your enemy the devil, like a roaring lion, is on the prowl looking for someone to devour. Resist him, strong in your faith, because you know that your brothers and sisters throughout the world are enduring the same kinds of suffering” (1 Peter 5:8-9).

Peter encourages us to stay “sober and alert” which means we can’t get complacent about Satan and assume he’s on vacation. We need to “resist him” by being strong in our faith, not a faith filled with words and strength, but a faith dependent upon Christ (1 John 5:5). The true victor in the war with Satan is Jesus, thus our prayers are to him.

Peter depended upon the prayers of Jesus who told him, “I have prayed for you, Simon (Peter), that your faith may not fail.” In the same way He tells us, “I have prayed for you, _[insert name]  , that your faith may not fail” (Luke 22:32).

I thank God for Peter’s wise words to us.

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/.

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/.

Spiritual Nutrition

April 20, 2015

Spiritual NutritionWhen I reflect on the building blocks of nutrition for physical health, I am reminded of the importance of the building blocks for spiritual health.

For example, protein found in fish, chicken and beans builds muscle for physical strength. When patients lack healthy protein sources, signs of malnutrition appear. Without Jesus, the living Messiah, we can lack basic nutrients of life. In 2 Timothy 2:1, Paul writes that “the promise of life” is in Christ Jesus.

Starches found in bread and rice give us daily energy, whereas Scripture is our spiritual bread. We need to nourish our faith daily through reading and studying God’s Word. Jesus responded to Satan by quoting from Scripture, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4).

Vegetables supply the nutrients for each cell in our body, yet many of our diets lack an adequate intake. Thus, I couldn’t help but think of prayer in comparison to vegetables. Although prayer is vital for our faith, we often fall short on the amount of time we spend in prayer. Being busy isn’t an excuse. “But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed” (Luke 5:16).

The building block of our faith is also found in praise and worship. I think of this as fruit. When we lift our voices in song exalting the goodness and excellence of our gracious Heavenly Father, we experience the sweetness of his presence. It is rich in nutrients, yet leaves us hungry for more and more! “Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that openly profess his name” (Hebrews 13:15).

Eat from the bounty of the Lord’s Table, feasting on all the sustenance he provides–both physically and spiritually. From Psalm 23:5, “You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.”

A toast to health!

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/.

NCFI Cares: But I

February 24, 2015

But IDavid’s plea to God in Psalm 13 was this, “How long will my enemy be exalted over me?” David felt abandoned by God and experienced immense sorrow to the “point of death” (vs 3).  He also feared that his enemies would be victorious. We are not sure whether David was worried about physical enemies or spiritual enemies. Either way, he felt vulnerable and strived to remain a faithful servant.

We see a similar experience with Jesus in Gethsemane when Jesus said to his disciples, “My soul is deeply grieved, even to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38). Then, in verse 39, “he threw himself down with his face to the ground and prayed, ‘My Father, if possible, let this cup pass from me! Yet not what I will, but what you will.’”

Both men felt alone and abandoned by God and knew their enemies were lurking and waiting for an opportune time to pounce (1 Peter 5:8). We know this is just the beginning of Jesus’ suffering, but we are not sure where Psalm 13 ties into David’s life.

And that is okay, for both men demonstrated for us a perfect response. David and Jesus show us not to depend on how “faithful” we may be feeling, or what will be the end result, or even what the enemy is doing.

Instead we are to respond as David did in Psalm 13:5, “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.” The word “But” is an emphatic response in writing and for our spiritual lives. We can interrupt our internal dialogue and change how we respond.

For example, how can Psalm 13 help us respond . . .

. . . to a spiritual drought? “I will trust in God’s faithfulness.”

. . . to human feelings of loneliness and abandonment? “I will rejoice in salvation.”

. . . to the enemy’s prodding? “I will sing praises to Jehovah!” (vs 5-6)

Interrupt your desert faith walk with a “But I . . .” and rejoice in God’s salvation.

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/.

Just a Sprinkle

January 20, 2015

GrassI live in a part of the United States where there is a distinct difference between the dry and wet seasons. This is especially true since the past few years have been exceptionally dry and has left my neighboring hills and fields with the barren tundra of cracked dirt and parched grasses.

Thus, when those first drops of rain sprinkled across our thirsty landscape and brought just enough moisture to wet the pavement, the hard dirt gave way to small shoots of grass straining to find the sun. This small amount of moisture awoke the grasses in anticipation of nutrients and growth.

I couldn’t help but make the parallel to the human soul or spirit. Like the drought-ridden dirt blown away and grasses with withering roots, a soul and heart can be barren without the nutrients of Christ. Whether it is a blade of grass or a dry soul, a drop is all that is needed to awaken the soul to spring forth in anticipation of the nutrients of a renewed soul.

Many times in the evangelical world we think that a non-Christian heart needs a bucket or a river of water to bring growth. Not necessarily. All life sprouts anew in response to a sprinkle of water. Imagine the greater miracle when the moisture is the living water of Christ (John 4:14; Rev. 7:17; 22:1).

Don’t worry about bringing a bucket or a river of salvation. Just sprinkle God’s love to your drought-ridden communities and watch the fruit of the Spirit bloom!

As Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 3:6: “I planted, Apollos watered, but God caused it to grow.”

Blessings in 2015!

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/.

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/.

Hope in Thankfulness

November 4, 2014

Give thanks to the Lord forLike love and faith, our hope grows and blossoms as Christians (1 Corinthians 13:13). One of the ways we can nurture hope in our lives is through thankfulness. Identifying the simplest things and thanking our Father God for them fosters hope, even when we are buried beneath the trials of life.

This is also true for our patients struggling with illnesses and diseases. When we struggle to find something to be thankful for, we can pause and thank the Creator for our existence and the necessities of air and water for life. No matter what our situation or our patient’s circumstances, there is always something to be thankful for.

An excellent passage for thankfulness is Psalm 136 with its famous repetitive refrain, “his steadfast love endures forever.” The psalm states, “Give thanks to the Lord for…he is good…God of gods…does great wonders,” etc. The psalm continues with a history lesson of the relationship the Israelites had with God.

This is our Lord, who has written, and continues to write, a historical narrative in the lives of his people, including us. We discover sustained hope when we remember how the Lord has worked in our past (Lamentations 3:21).

Take time this week to read Psalm 136 and “give thanks to the Lord for __________________,” filling in the blank with how the Lord has demonstrated his “steadfast love” recently in your life.

Want to discover how to encourage hope for your patients?  Check out three articles from the Journal of Christian Nursing Importance of Hope; When Hope is Lost Part 1 & Part 2.

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/.