Debbie’s Touch

Today I realized, I am surrounded by Debbie’s. Or maybe I should say Debora’s, Deborah’s, Debra’s, Deb’s, and Debbie’s. Recently, I hired a new instructor whose name is Deborah. As I added her contact information into my phone – all these Debbie’s popped up. As I scrolled through them. I noticed how I am surrounded by Debbie’s.

There is Debora, whom I have been working with for a few years. As we have recently moved into leadership positions, we have become true “partners” in strategizing and co-leading the program. I see us becoming more than colleagues in the years to come.

The next was Debra who retired in 2016. Before her retirement, there were two Deb’s team-teaching the same class. Staff in my department and I would distinguish them by calling them Deb and Debra. There were quite a few years with our dynamic Deb team or Deb2.

In my writers’ group, there is a Debbie. I don’t know if her name is short for Deborah or Debora. I am assuming Deborah, the name from the Old Testament Judge found in the book with the same name. Deborah is my favorite spelling. For my little sister’s name was Deborah and we called her Debbie. Amazingly, Debbie, my writing pal, has the same warm, kind heart that my sister Debbie had. Maybe adding the “ie” to the name softens the heart and brings kindness.

Also included in my contact list, was long-time colleague and previous mentor Deb. She welcomed me into teaching and provided excellent guidance as I ventured into a new career.

I scrolled past another colleague, Deborah. She was my Spanish teacher for a semester. My lack of fluency in Spanish is in no way reflective of her teaching abilities. She has a vibrant personality and creative teaching style—esta excellente!

Speaking of excellent professors, I had the wonderful privilege of sharing a house with an ecology professor when I traveled to Haiti. Debbie not only provided a brief home-away-from home, she led a walking tour around the college campus. On the morning of my first day in Haiti, my personal tour included exotic birds, tropical flowers, and a cocoa tree along with other marvels of nature hidden on this marvelous exotic island.  Her tour is part of a student-work study program.  Debbie educates Haitians on how to share the knowledge of their wonderful island with others as a source of income.

The final Deb in my contact list is the name of a site visitor from an accreditation team member. Even though our time was brief, and she was officially evaluating the program, like other Deb’s she was warm and friendly.

And, of course, I still have my sister’s contact information. I look at her name, nestled among such amazing Deb’s, I know she is in good hands. Hands that touch my life through her namesake and continue to fill my life with her warm presence.

NCFI Cares: Part II NCFI Heroes: Spiritual Support through Provisions–People

In the previous NCFI Cares we began a series exploring how you, an NCFI Hero, can provide prayer support to the leadership team and global work of NCFI. For Part II, we will focus on how NCFI Heroes can support spiritual leaders through 2 types of provisions. The first provision the NCFI leadership team needs is people.

The most pressing people deficit is our continued need for both a Manager and a Director for the IICN (International Institute of Christian Nursing). The IICN was created to “advance a Christian worldview in nursing practice, education, leadership, and research.” Thus, it is essential that IICN have leaders with a passion and purpose in strategizing how NCFI can be the voice of Christian nursing across the globe. More information about these position can be found at http://iicn.ncfi.org/about-iicn/institute-leadership/

A new round of International Board nominations is currently occurring for the 2020-2024 term. As regional committees are nominating board members from the national fellowships, each region and national fellowship needs volunteers to fill key leadership positions.

NCFI also has two ministry outreach projects needing people:  NG or Next Generation Nurses which targets students and early career nurses to globally connect and support them in their emerging careers; and an Alumni Ministry which aims to connect retired nurses, especially those previously involved with NCFI.  To learn more about these ministries, connect with your national fellowship or your regional chair. https://ncfi.org/ncfi-regions/

It is difficult to move a ministry forward and reach more nurses for Christ, when we lack people. So, pray and ponder how you may be a NCFI Hero who volunteers their time for the global work of NCFI (Matthew 9:37-38)

NCFI Cares: A Song in Your Heart

I have a granddaughter who is constantly singing. When we are driving in the car, hanging out at home, or walking to the park, she is singing a song. Many times, she repeats the chorus or refrain to a recent pop song over and over. I enjoy listening to her sing even when it is annoying to her older brother. At times I do have to have her tone it down, especially if her singing borders on the edge of screaming. The beautiful thing about her singing is it comes out naturally; in fact, she was born with a song-in-her-heart. When she was just a few days old, I remember holding her and she was humming along. Since she had just left the Lord presence, I asked her softly, “Are you singing the songs of angels?”

I share this with you, not just to brag as a loving grandmother, but also to remind us that we can all have a song in our heart. The natural song or verse in our heart overflows from a heart and spirit filled with the goodness of God. We sing praises of his wonderfulness and out of gratefulness to Him and all his provisions.

There are many verses which speak of having a song in heart:

“singing and making music in your hearts to the Lord always giving thanks to God the Father for all things” (Ephesians 5:19-20)

“Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and exhorting one another with all wisdom, singing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, all with grace in your hearts to God.” Colossians 3:16

“Is anyone in good spirits? He should sing praises” James 5:13

“The Lord strengthens and protects me; I trust in him with all my heart. I am rescued and my heart is full of joy; I will sing to him in gratitude.” Psalm 28:7

Take some time this week and put a song in your heart. If you are naturally musically, invent your own melody of praise; otherwise find a favorite hymn, song, or refrain to fill your heart with the Lord’s praises.

NCFI Cares: The Cross-Cultural Mission Field at our Workplace

Throughout scripture we see the Apostles bringing the love of God and grace of Christ to various cultures and religions. The most dramatic is Philip, who was led by the Holy Spirit to travel to a specific road in Gaza to meet with the Ethiopian court official (Acts 8:27-39). He explains the passage of Isaiah and then proceeds to lead the official to salvation and baptism. Earlier in Samaria Philip had provided physical and spiritual healing to Simon, a magician who practiced in the dark arts (Acts 8:9-13).

Reaching out cross-culturally to bring the love and grace of Christ to others, doesn’t have to be a call to the mission field. We can bring the love of God and grace of Christ cross culturally to those within our sphere of influence. We can connect one-on-one with people around us and explore their religion, country of origin or ethnicity. Here are some ideas to get started:

–Take extra time to talk with a patient or their family exploring their home life.

–Have lunch with a coworker and learn about their religious practices

–Connect with a student and discover their cultural traditions.

As Christians we have the tendency to spend time with only Christians and like-minded individuals. Instead, with the influx of immigrants in most nations and the diversity of global travelers, we have an opportunity to learn about various cultures and religions right within our work environment. As we take time to pray for our coworkers, our patients and/or our students, we can spread the love God has for all his children through our conversations and professional relationships.  

Also, don’t be afraid to talk with those who practice in the evil arts. Get to know these religion/practices, seek prayer support from your pastor, and then hold on to God’s promises, “He that is in me and you is greater than he that is in the world.” (1 John 4:4). How else can those from various religions ever learn about the love of God and the saving grace of Jesus Christ.

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: How to be an NCFI Hero

How to be an NCFI Hero

Recently, in my Sunday School/Community Group our mission pastor taught how church members can provide support for the spiritual leaders of our church. The teaching was based on the believers’ support of Saul found in Acts 9:19-31. In this passage, there were many unnamed believers or Biblical Heroes who provided various types of support for Saul, an up-and-coming church leader. As I listened to the teaching, I knew this was something relevant and applicable to NCFI. So, I have taken the outline of the teaching and adapted it for NCFI ministry. For just as these unnamed believers are Heroes, so is everyone who supports NCFI.  In the next series of devotions, I will share specific ways you can be a NCFI Hero and provide much needed support for the leadership team

The first spiritual support NCFI Heroes can provide is prayer. As the chair of the Prayer and Care Committee, I want to emphasize the importance of prayer for NCFI and the leadership team.  A specific type of prayer, not normally thought of, is protection from the evil one. Jesus emphasized the importance of this type of prayer in John 17:15: “My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.” As NCFI leaders strive to encourage and support Christian nurses around the world we are confronted by the schemes of the devil who seeks to thwart our work regionally and globally. The leadership team is also at risk of personal onslaught from Satan who attempts to destroy our personal faith and professional lives.

Of course, it goes without saying we also need general prayer. Our prayer letter The NCFI Prayer Guidehttps://ncfi.org/resources/prayer-guides/ is published every quarter on the NCFI website.  The guide is a day-to-day list of prayer needs and praise reports from our member countries and global contacts, in addition to organizational requests. It also lists out the International Board Members, leaders and NG contacts who seek your prayer support. 

As you pray for the work of NCFI, the leadership team, and the upcoming International Congress in Colorado, USA in July, 2020, https://ncfi.org/congress-2020-at-a-glance/ I encourage you to also include protection from the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3-5 provides a wonderful prayer.

The Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one. And we are confident about you in the Lord that you are both doing—and will do—what we are commanding. Now may the Lord direct your hearts toward the love of God and the endurance of Christ.

NCFI Cares: Teachings from the Apostle Peter

How useful are the letters of the Apostle Peter in the Bible? Both the first and the second book of Peter give us a guide on how to act as children of God in all areas of our spiritual, social and work life.

As we review the first book, we find the life that we have as believers in Jesus Christ. 1 Peter 1: 3 says:

 Blessed is the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his great mercy caused us to be reborn for a living hope, for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, for an incorruptible, uncontaminated and untouchable inheritance, reserved in the heavens to you, who are guarded by the power of God through faith, to achieve the salvation that is prepared to be manifested in the last time.

Are you aware of what this verse really means? We have been bought at a price, the blood of the son of GOD, to receive an incorruptible precious inheritance. Thus, in our actions and in our daily walk we show a spiritual poverty by giving of ourselves to our fellow men; then we participate in something that has a tremendous dimension not only materially, but spiritually. The letter also says that these things that were given to us, even the angels long to look (1 Peter 1:12).

 We have a living hope that we must share with others: to our colleagues who have no hope; to those who drudge through their daily routine; to the sick who expect a living word through our speech or action; to students who need our support so much; and to the entire health care team.

From chapter 1 verse 13 onwards he tells us about living a life of holiness. With understanding, as obedient children and without conforming to being equal, or behaving as we did before in our ignorance.  He is holy. He is our supreme example.

Later in chapter 3: He spoke to us of being merciful, compassionate, friendly, and a blessing to others.  Knowing that we were called to inherit blessing. Imagine, how much our hospitals would change if each believer working in them practiced each of these words? The sick would heal faster.

In chapter 4: He speaks of being good stewards, “each one according to the gift he has received, minister to others, as good stewards of the multiform grace of God. ” It is repeated in the letter, “Be sober and watch in prayer.” It does not say sad or boring. Be wise and watchful in prayer, is different. The Spirit of God will lead us to be as God wants us to be. Thus we can praise him, as Peter did:

the God of all grace who called us to His eternal glory in Christ, will himself perfect, confirm, strengthen and establish you. To Him be the glory and the empire for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:10-11.

Lic. Martha Fernández Moyano

IB Member of NCFI, Argentina

NCFI Cares: Who We Are In Christ: Guest Contributor Bulbuli Mollick, Bangladesh

Here are a few wonderful reminders of who we are in Christ:

John 1:12: “To all who have received him—those who believe in his name—he has given the right to become God’s children.”

John 15:1 “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener.” vs 15:  “I no longer call you servants, because servants do not know their master’s business, instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

Roman’s 8:28 “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

We know that we are chosen by Christ, we are his child. He loves us and He called us for his purpose. He gave us everything and whatever we need. But sometimes we break our faith on Him. Sometimes we want to get free and want to live ungodly beliefs, not all but some.

So, how can we get free from ungodly beliefs and live in the light of God’s truth?

1. Identify and write down the problems

2. Forgive the people who wounded us.

3. Ask Holy Spirit for a revelation of truth.

4. Write down a godly belief that counters it – use scripture.

5. Proclaim the godly belief for 30 days.

Ungodly beliefs have the power to rob you. Godly beliefs have the power to give you mercy, grace and favor and remind you of who you are in Christ.

Thanks,

Bulbuli Mollick,

IB Member of NCFI, Bangladesh