NCFI Cares: God’s Name In Nursing: Yahweh Shamma–The LORD is There

Yahweh Shamma is from Ezekiel’s vision when the Israelites were exiled in Babylon. Ezekiel prophesied that the Israelites would return to Jerusalem and rebuild the city and temple. Then the Israelites would be reunited with the Lord and would name the city “Yahweh Shamma” the LORD is There. (Ezekiel 48:35).

For New Testament Christian believers, Yahweh Shamma communicates much more than just a city or church that the Lord will inhabit, instead through the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit, that began at Pentecost, believers have a continued promise of Yahweh Shamma. He is with us.

As I reflect upon this miraculous assurance and blessing we have from our Lord, I am reminded of our patients who need the assurance that Yahweh Shamma is with them as they face the unknown of cancer treatments, high-risk pregnancies, or a debilitating illness. Yahweh Shamma is also with our coworkers who are alone and afraid; those caring for chronically ill children and/or parents with dementia; and the single parents struggling to live a godly life in a worldly society. Yahweh Shamma is with each of our patients, families, and coworkers providing comfort and guidance for their life journey.

Similar to the Israelites, we are personally acquainted with those who feel exiled as they live outside the fellowship of Jesus Christ and the indwelling Holy Spirit. We can be rest assured that Yahweh Shamma is there also. Waiting to be reconciled with his beloved children. They just need to open their hearts and spirits, and they will notice the Yahweh Shamma, the LORD is still there.

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CARES: Reflections for Nurses–English Only

CARES English Cover Only

I think the best way to share the good news is tstart with an insightful story.

Recently, I was in Taiwan and gave the CARES: Reflections for Nurses to a Taiwanese nursing student. He received his gift with joy and thanks. The next day, he approached me and said, “I can’t read this book, it is in Spanish.” This is when I explained how the book is bilingual–English on one side with Spanish on the other side. With the simple explanation, he went away happy excited to enjoy his gift.  A few days later, he confirmed his enjoyment of the English reflections.

This incidence solidified a thought I had been contemplating, to publish an English only edition. So here it is with a bonus feature. Instead of just removing the Spanish translations, I went one step further to add a note page for each reflection. This provides space for meditations, insights, and/or prayers.

page view

The book is available through Amazon Book Store

Hopefully soon, it will be available on the NCFI webpage as a free pdf.

Christian Nursing 101: Intercessory Prayer: Differentiating the Source

When I first thought about writing this article, I wanted the title to be “Take Back Prayer in Nursing”. That is because I feel we have let prayer, communication between God and man, become a buzzword for anything spiritual. Once a reverent privilege to enter the throne room of God to speak praises, confession, or petitions to our holy Creator. Prayer has been relegated to an existential experience of sending positive thoughts, connecting with the universe, or random words to the unknown. My concern is not with non-Christian and their spiritual journey.  Instead it is with  Christians who espouse their prayers and petitions to a random receiver, or worse to evil spirits.

Thus, the article guides Christian nurses back to the tenets of our faith and Bible teaching on prayer. Since not all prayers are the same, Christians should be cautious when asked to pray for at least two reasons: who we pray to does matter and prayer is more than just reading a few lines.

Finally, we should strongly resist a compulsion to communicate with other gods, energy force or entities by patients, families, or staff. The Bible clearly teaches the \reality of evil spirits or demon world; which is in contradiction to God and Christ.

I would enjoy hearing more about your experience with non-Christian prayer in nursing.

NCFI Cares: CALM by Guest Contributor

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanks giving, present your requests to God.And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.(Philippians 4: 4-8)

These verses and meaning of CALM, I got them from one of my best friends during our hospital crises. I already shared in our NCF-I committee meeting and it was encouraged me a lot. I hope you also will get benefit from those verses.

She observed me sometimes but I didn’t aware about it. One day I invited her for dinner with me. When she came she just ask me are you okay Bulbuli, then again in the middle of dinner ask me are you okay Bulbuli and I thought she ask me more than 3times. I always answer yes I am okay. When she was asking me few times then I told her yes, I am okay with my husband, my both daughters are okay, my mom is okay, everything is okay but I am worried about my hospital. She told me yes, I knew that you are so sad and upset about the hospital. Then finish our dinner, before she go home, she gave me a card and explain why she was asking me how you are. She realized I am worried about something but she wanted to listen from me. She gave me lots of example, she told me about the CALM and how it is helpful etc etc. It was gave me comfort, peace inside when she shared with me. Here is the meaning of CALM:

Celebrate God’s goodness (verse 4)

Ask God for help (verse 6)

Leave your concerns with God (verse 7)

Meditate on good things (verse 8)

So we have celebrate about good thing first because every day we have many good things beside the bad things, so thankful to HIM. If we are worried about anything, he is always ready to help us so we have to ask him for help. If we worried or heavy loaded then give them to God’s hands and he promised us to release from that. Finally we have to meditate and give focus on good things. If we can do this our heavenly father will give his comfort and give his supports all the time.

Amen.

by Bulbuli Mollick, International Board Member, Bangladesh

CALM best

 

NCFI Cares: Lost Joy by Guest Contributor

cf2e1-ncficares_3bloglogo

“The joy of the Lord is our strength” Nehemiah 8:10

There are things we tend to lose, right? The things that we most easily lose in our daily tasks are the pen, the glasses, the cell phone, the piece of paper where we had an important annotation, and some would say “our hope”. But there is something that we all easily lose, especially Christian nurses, and it is joy.

On Sundays we leave the church joyfully excited to serve the Lord. Yet, as soon as we arrive at the hospital, there is bad news, a change in our work plans, the absence of a colleague, work overload, and a host of other things that make us lose our Sunday joy.  Romans 14:17 says: “The kingdom of God is not food or drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” Joy is a natural consequence of following Christ. While we are living during these difficult days. we are reminded of Lamentations 5:15 “The joy of our heart ceased, our dance was changed into mourning “. It seems like the complaint and the hopelessness cover us. There are many things that make us lose joy.

  • An unbalanced schedule: the nurse knows a lot about this, we overload our schedule and then frustration comes when we do not comply with everything.
  • Selfishness: when we want to only receive the benefits of our profession and not deliver the added value to our work, such as love and mercy. Knowledge sometimes puffs up, but love builds and as a result fills us with joy.
  • Unused talents: Sometimes we do not use all our talents, our gifts, abilities and fall into a routine.We must use all that God has given us to enrich our work and thus find the job satisfaction we so crave.
  • Unconfessed sin: inside we know that we have unresolved things, such as not accepting a partner, feeling upset with our supervisor, jealousy, anger, strife, and others. We need to confess to the Lord and help us look at the another with the eyes of Christ.
  • Unresolved conflict: like negativity, gossip, bad humor, bitterness.
  • A malnourished spirit: we can only face all these things that rob us of joy, strengthening our spirit with the Word of God and with prayer.

In Psalm 51:12 the psalmist asks for the restoration of joy. “Return to me the joy of your salvation and noble spirit sustain me.”   When you become aware that you have lost your joy, remember that nothing is comparable to what God has done for you.

“And the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” Romans 15: 13.

Lic. Martha Fernández Moyano, Argentina NCFI IB

Member of Prayer & Care committee of NCFI

 

NCFI Cares: Yahweh Roi: The LORD is My Shepherd

This name for God came from David’s Psalm, 23. As David meditated upon the Lord’s guidance and care throughout his life, he called Yahweh, Roi or Shepherd. David was reminded of his younger days when he was a young shepherd boy caring for a flock of sheep.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.

He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters.

He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:

for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.

Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies:

thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life:

and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

Noticed how David didn’t just say “The Shepherd” he personalized with “my” communicating the intimate relationship David had with his LORD. Then David goes on to describe all that a shepherd does for his sheep, in comparison to all his LORD had done for him.

As New Testament believers, we are even more intimately acquainted with our shepherd, the Great Shepherd, Jesus Christ. He knows us, he calls us by our name, we recognize his voice, and he will lead us (John 10:3, 27).

The beautiful part of Psalm 23 is its familiarity to both Christians and non-Christians. The simplistic verses provide guidance and comfort to even non-believers. Since most people have heard of the passage, it is easy to share with patients and families, colleagues and friends. I encourage you share the timeless truth of Yahweh Roi with others.

Here are a couple options of Psalm 23 to music:God's Name Wordcloud2

Lead Me On by Audrey Assad

Psalm 23 (KJV)

NCFI Cares: Yahweh Shalom: The LORD is Peace

Yahweh Shalom

Yahweh Shalom comes from Gideon’s response when he encountered the angel of the Lord.

 “When Gideon saw the angel of the Lord, he said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now, I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” The Lord said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.” Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and named it The LORD is Peace (Judges 6:22-23) or Yahweh Shalom.

Our humanistic response to an encounter with the Divine is fear and trembling. Yet, in this encounter the Lord revealed Himself as Shalom. Not only as one who gives peace or provides peace, but the One who is Peace. Christmas is a time to celebrate the Prince of Peace, Yahweh Shalom realized through Jesus Christ (Isaiah 9:6)

“For a child will be born to us, a son will be given to us; And the government will rest on His shoulders; And His name will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6).  

“The peace that Christ brought is primarily spiritual peace from and with God, peace in the heart, peace as the disposition or spirit…This is represented as the ultimate result of the gospel and Spirit of Christ; universal and permanent peace can come only as that Spirit rules in men’s hearts.” (International Standard Bible Encyclopedia). It is easy to allow the world to turn the peace in our hearts into worry, anxiety, and fear.  When we surrender our own hearts to the transformation process found in redemptive peace of Yahweh Shalom, we experience a peace beyond human understanding (Phil. 4:7). Then we can extend shalom to our colleagues. Remembering that “a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.” (James 3:18).

Merry Christmas from NCFI

NCFI Cares: Meditate on the Life of Christ–How He Communicated, Guest Contributor, Goh Swee Eng, Singapore

One of the many challenge’s nurses face, including myself, is how to communicate effectively.  I must confess that this has not been easy, whether it is at the workplace, in my personal life or even within NCF.  Especially in situations where the other person appears difficult, unfriendly or there are differences in opinions.  Recently, at my workplace, I almost had a bad dialogue session with a colleague whom during the conversation said that I was defensive.  I reflected and asked myself, “How did I appear defensive?”   Thank God, He can teach us His ways.  Nowadays with the use of emoji in handphone devices, the challenge to say how we feel, or think has been made easier.  Maybe we are relying too much on emojis instead of learning to communicate with pleasant words.   When God communicated, He sent His Son, the Word who became flesh and dwelt among us [John 1:1, 14].  In the past, it was through prophets but sending Jesus was the ultimate in revealing His heart [Hebrews 1:1-4].

Thomas Kempis (1380-1471), a follower of Christ who lived in a dark time, regarded meditation on the life of Christ of highest importance.  Like Kempis, I have started reading the Gospel of John to glean ways Christ communicates in different situations and with different people.  For example, He communicated very differently with Nicodemus from the Samaritan woman.  With Nicodemus, He used words and concepts that Nicodemus, a learned religious man, could dialogue with.    Words like “you must be born again”.  With the Samaritan woman, he communicated in such a way as to not display any defensiveness nor being apologetic about being a Jew and what Jews believe. Instead, Jesus communicated in such a way as to make her curious for the living water and used affirmative ways to say “you have well said, ‘I have no husband’ ”[John 4:13, 17]   Wow, it would have been difficult for most of us to say to a stranger something about his or her controversial personal life.   I am appreciating this chapter again though it has been used to teach mainly on personal evangelism.

We need to learn to re-script our words with people and I believe it must be intentional and with practice.  As you read the Gospel, focus your meditation by looking for any aspect of Christ’s life, and then brainstorm a way, even a small way, to apply his example in your own life.  There may be challenges at home or workplace, and you may want to ask God to show you by looking at the Gospel on how Jesus communicated with others.  Journal it down and add as the Lord shows you or teach you something.  These mediations can become raw materials to teach Biblical truth in different settings whether in nursing or personal life.  Let us learn together how to communicate like Christ.77ba6-ncficares_3bloglogo

NCFI Cares: God’s Name in Nursing–Yahweh Rapha

As nurses one of our favorite names of God is Yahweh Rapha—the God who Heals. God used the name to describe himself to the Israelite’s in Exodus 15:26. As the Son of God, Jesus demonstrated the same healing characteristics through miraculous healings and resurrections. Many times Jesus emphasized the importance of faith for miraculous healings: “Jesus said to him, ‘Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.’“ (Luke 18:42). Does this mean Yahweh Rapha heals when we have faith? Of course not, non-believers are healed all the time. Instead, the emphasis on faith, points out our belief in God as Yahweh Rapha. For example, do we have confidence in the Lord to heal every disease, every illness, every deformity, every trauma, and every ‘fill-in-the-blank’? Do we believe the same miracles that occurred in the Bible can happen today? Is our faith, which is probably smaller than a mustard seed, enough to confidently say, Jesus can raise the dead?

God's Name Wordcloud2

Other questions to reflect upon are: Are we content with the healing God does provide? Or do we get bitter when his sovereign wisdom chooses not to heal?  Or maybe, an even more profound question is: In this day of surgeries, treatments, and cutting-edge technology, do we even need Yahweh Rapha for healing? Or do we only run to him when the prognosis is bleak? One Bible scholar had a poignant reminder, “God answers every prayer. We just don’t like it when he says “no” or when he provides the answer we don’t want”. The same is true for healing. God does heal everyone, every time. We just may not see his miracle until we come to our eternal dwelling.

As we consider how healing interfaces with our faith, God’s Name–Yahweh Rapha includes the realization that God is sovereign in how his healing power is dispensed to our patients, our families, and to ourselves. “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion” (Exodus 33:19; Romans 9:15), while trusting in his everlasting lovingkindness (Psalm 136).