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.

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The book is available through Amazon Book Store

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

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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: 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).

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

We may not think of God as our Banner. A Bible scholar guides our understanding of Nissi by stating: “Typically, when armies went to battle, the flag would go out in front of them, representing the power and spirit of the nation. Similarly, when Israel fought, God went before them. He led the way, he was their banner. However, this is not just true for Israel. It is true for us. Our God always goes before us. He makes our paths straight, and he fights our battles.” Moses communicated this dependence on the LORD as he held up his hands in prayer during the war with the Amalek. Remember, when Moses’ arms grew tired, Aaron and Hur held up his arms (Exodus 17:8-15).

Names of God_word cloud

The Lords name Yahweh Nissi is an important reminder for us and for our patients, families, and staff. The strength of the LORD goes before us. When someone receives a terminal diagnosis, the surgery was unsuccessful, or a colleagues loses their job, Yahweh Nissi is ALREADY there in strength and victory. Victory may not be the miraculous cure or an immediate solution. Instead it may be the blessed presence of the Holy Spirit and the assurance of eternal life. Also, notice the strength and victory for the Israelites came through steadfast personal and intercessory prayer.

Like Moses we can lift our hands up high in confident prayer proclaiming Yahweh Nissi “The LORD is my Banner” – (Exodus 17:15).

NCFI Cares: God’s Name in Nursing: Yahweh Jireh

Yahweh Jireh comes from Genesis 22:14, when the LORD provided a ram in the thicket for Abraham to sacrifice, “So Abraham called the place the LORD will provide (Yahweh Jireh)” The LORD not only provided a substitute sacrifice for Abraham, but he promises to provide all that we need (Matthew 6:25-34). Yet, many times our patients need more than just basic food and water, they need medicine, expert medical care, and surgeries for relief from diseases and illnesses. Some patients need transportation to the clinic or hospital; education for proper hygiene, and money for continued treatments. Others may need a caring support system to provide the basics in bathing, eating, and toileting.

As we look to Yahweh Jireh for our patients, we can also depend on the him for what we need. Nurses not only need more staff, more supplies, and more resources to care for patients; we need our personal health to be sustained so we can care for the needy of this world.

The miraculous provision of the Yahweh is not only found in the sustenance he provides, it is found in how he uses us as his providers. We are blessed when we minister to our patients, families, colleagues, and students. And since the Lord’s ways are beyond anything we can comprehend, we trust Yahweh Jireh with the providential disbursement according to the glorious riches found in Christ Jesus (Job 38; Psalm 89; Philippians 4:19-20).

Names of God_word cloud2

 

Philippians 4:19-20 And my God will supply your every need according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. May glory be given to God our Father forever and ever. Amen.