NCFI Cares: A Miracle Lullaby

I was recently at a hospital attending a conference where a brief, beautiful lullaby played every time a baby was born. The short 10 second tune notified all the staff, visitors, and patients on the mother/baby unit that a miracle, our Creator had breathed his life-giving Spirit into a new child. As I sat in the conference, this beautiful lullaby would attempt to interrupt the speakers with the brief proclamation of life.  I kept thinking that each time the song played, possibly 3 or 4 times that morning, how many times do we take note of the miracles in our lives? Do we notice when the Lord has miraculously intervened on our behalf? If we happen to notice the Lord’s hand in our life, do we stop our actions to pause and recognize with amazing wonder? Better yet, do we praise God for his unending grace that extends to each one of us personally throughout the day?

We can take untimely interruptions and praise God for his everlasting miracles in our world. We can celebrate his continuous abiding in our community and for his life-giving presence in each one of us. Let’s also give the Holy Spirit permission to interrupt our lives, day or night, with opportunities to praise our Creator who works miracles every day!

p.s. During the writing of this devotion, I was reminded of Michelangelo’s fresco on the Sistine Chapel ceiling “Creation of Adam”–enjoy!

NCFI Cares: Students of the Master

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One of my favorite things about reading the gospels is how people would just sit at Jesus’s feet and listen to him.  For a moment, imagine sitting at the feet of Jesus as he explained the ancient scriptures in new and refreshing ways. His lectures included every day accounts of work and family as case studies in exploring God’s commands like love and tithing. He would bring applicable wisdom to challenging, confusing topics like marriage and divorce. Even God’s judgment of sin and death were filled with a new light of hope and understanding.

Contemplate the intimacy of his words as he not only spoke to the multitudes on the mountains, or on the sea shores. He spoke personally to each individual as a trusted friend or wise older brother. His language was poignant reverberating with clarity and truth enveloped in compassion and grace.

Jesus was a master teacher, orator (speaker) and mentor, thus we should be master students. Even if we have been Christians for 25 or more years, we can still be master students.

I imagine a master student being a faithful student. In addition to attentively sitting at the Master’s feet, listening and trying to absorb every word from the Teacher.  A master student would approach the discipline of faith as a living practicum focused on Disciple 101. For as a Disciple 101 student, the personal and professional lives are not broken segments of prayer, work, family, and worship; instead the studies merge all activities into a life-time internship under our Master’s guidance.

Sit at the Master’s feet and open your spirit to new ways of being a master student.

“Didn’t our hearts burn within us while he was speaking with us on the road, while he was explaining the scriptures to us?” Luke 24:32

NCFI Cares: Be Ordinary

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Recently, a leader of a missionary organization affiliated with my church gave an update. During his speech he said, “God has enough people doing the spectacular. He needs more people doing the ordinary.” The truth of his words stuck with me. For even in nursing there are the spectacular that we strive for in comparison to the ordinary. I see the spectacular in nursing as being big, bold and noticeable; whereas the ordinary in nursing is the small, quiet, and unseen. I hesitate to give nursing examples, for what may be big and bold for me, may be different from another nurse’s big and bold.

Jesus provides an excellent example of ordinary work with the Samaritan woman at the well (John 4:1-26). Jesus stops to rest from his travels and relieve his thirst and chats with a woman, isolated and rejected by society. Well, we know the rest of the story, for through Jesus’ ordinary act of drinking water and talking to woman, an entire town meets the long-awaited Messiah.

As we look through the Gospels we see that the majority of Jesus’ teachings and actions, were ordinary conversations with one-on-one moments with individuals or small groups. Yes, he fed and taught large crowds. And yes, his torture and crucifixion was witnessed by hundreds. Yet, he taught his disciples to pray, he healed individuals and post-resurrection he appeared to a few men and women.

Look for opportunities in nursing to be ordinary, so that the Holy Spirit can do the extraordinary and the Lord receives the glory (Matthew 6:4,6; 1 Corinthians 10:30)

 

 

“Rejoice in hope, endure in suffering and persist in prayer”. Romans 12:12

NCFI Cares: Easter Blessing for You

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

I feel compelled this Easter to send each of you an Easter blessing! What better way then an amazing video/song entitled “Easter Song” by Keith Green, 1977. The song’s tempo, lyrics and meaning will have you dancing in worship like David!

Easter Song with lyrics

Keith Green live singing Easter Song

Here are the lyrics, if you are unable to view the video and/or hear the song:

Hear the bells ringing
They’re singing that you can be born again
Hear the bells ringing
They’re singing Christ is risen from the dead

The angel up on the tombstone
Said He has risen, just as He said
Quickly now, go tell his disciples
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead

Joy to the word, He has risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah

Hear the bells ringing
They’re singing that you can be healed right now
Hear the bells ringing, they’re singing
Christ, He will reveal it now

The angels, they all surround us
And they are ministering Jesus’ power
Quickly now, reach out and receive it
For this could be your glorious hour

Joy to the world, He has risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah, hallelujah

The angel up on the tombstone
Said He has risen, just as He said
Quickly now, go tell his disciples
That Jesus Christ is no longer dead

Joy to the world, He has risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah
He’s risen, hallelujah
Hallelujah

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NCFI Cares: Proceed with Caution

“My Father is working ucautionntil now, and I am working.” (John 5:17) This was Jesus’ response to the Jewish leaders who had accused him of violating the Sabbath by healing a lame man.  Jesus repeatedly came up against the religious establishment for doing things in contrast to their rules–healing the blind, touching the unclean, and teaching the people.  We can find ourselves in similar situations as Jesus. Especially, when the work of the Lord is in contrast to health care and/or educational institutions rules.  We may find ourselves coming up against the leadership.

For example: a group of Christian nurses want to meet weekly to pray, but the hospital administrators refuse to give them permission to use a room. What can the nurses do?

  • Pray for the situation and the administrators while trusting the Lord to provide.
  • Listen to the Holy Spirit who knows the work of the Father and the “will be done”
  • Proceed with a heart filled with the grace and peace of Christ, knowing we represent Jesus to our colleagues and leaders.

This is just one example of when our Heavenly Father’s work is in contrast to the goals and plans of our health care and/or educational facilities. When these occasions arise we need an extra dose of discernment and guidance. Please recognize, this is not a call to be rebellious for rebellious sake. Instead, it is a reminder when conflict arises to proceed cautiously and discern the good, acceptable and perfect will of God (Romans 12:2).

NCFI Cares: The Test from upon High

I wanted to share this guest devotion from my colleague in Argentina who provides godly wisdom during times of testing by the Lord. It is not only relevant. The timing of the devotion also demonstrates how the Lord impresses upon different members of the body of Christ to teach and encourage others during such a time as this. Peace of Christ to you, Carrie77ba6-ncficares_3bloglogoJames 1:12 “Happy is the one who endures testing, because when he has proven to be genuine, he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him.” Reading: James 1:12-18.

My friend listened silently, as the doctor gave a diagnosis, treatments, and a long list of explanations. The doctor, noticing my friend’s quietness, stopped and asked her, “Why are you not asking questions?” She replied, “I stopped listening when you said that my small son has Diabetes.”

A simple sentence “Your son has Diabetes.” is difficult for a mother to hear. As believers we ask the question, “How does God allow these things to happen?” The Word says, “Blessed is the man.” But, can you be happy for someone who receives this diagnosis? Is it a punishment or a test? It is common that we have a mistaken concept of what the word means by “test”. And it is common that we have a wrong concept of what means the word “proved”.

Abraham had a similar experience, yet more profound. After many years God gave him a son, whom then God asked Abraham to sacrifice (Genesis 22:9-12). How is it that we are before God a “friend” of ours delights in our suffering (James 2:23)? Often we have read that God not only proves us, but allows the test. But whom does God prove? God tests those he loves. Those who are his friends. Difficult as it is to understand, with the criteria of this world, but those of us who know God as our Creator we know that God is molding us.  Since he has given us form, it is possible that it hurts us, a tear never escapes from us. God is never going to leave us alone in the tests. Instead, he is gives us the assurance in his Word that will not just prove us beyond what we could expect.

The tests that come from upon High extracts qualities of light that God has been sowing in our heart: obedience, faith, humility, patience, and total dependence. If you have decided to serve the Lord prepare yourself for the test. Say to the Lord, “Here I am.” And in times of adversity you will be able to reach Peace.

Guest devotion by Martha Fernandez Moyano, Argentina, NCFI International Board Member

 

NCFI Cares: Equity — A NCFI Value

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As we look at the final NCFI value, we explore equity and God’s grace.

According to Ross, a Bible scholar, a lesson of God’s equity of faithful service is found in the parable Matthew 20:1-16 “Workers in the Vineyard”. The landowner hires workers at various times throughout the day. Some at the start of the day, some in the middle, and some for the final hour. At the end of the day, when it is time to pay the workers their wage, the landowner pays the same wage to each worker, whether they had worked 1 hour or for the entire day. The lessons from the story are:

  1. The Lord, the landowner, is sovereign over His kingdom including the workers and the wages.
  2. Everyone who serves the Lord will be treated fairly and can trust his equity.
  3. How the Lord treats all of His servants is by grace. Until the workers were approached by the landowner, they had no work. If he had not found them and arranged for them to enter his vineyard, they would have remained with nothing.
  4. The workers should be pleased with what He gives them.

In the final analysis, by Ross, it is not by length of service, or amount of work, that grace operates—it is based on what God chooses to give.  “So the last will be first, and the first will be last.” (vs 16)

Thus my reflection on equity as a NCFI value is we are all colleagues, workers of the vineyard. The Lord, as the landowner, is sovereign over every detail of our vineyard, NCFI, including the workers. We depend on the Lord to search for workers and br
ing them into our vineyard and trust him with how he will supply each need. Unlike an ac
ademic setting that has tiers of masters or doctorates or clinical facilities with staff nurse, managers and administrators, each nurse is welcomed and respected as a fellow colleague. We encourage everyone to use his or her gifts in the vineyard without delineation of education, rank or title (1 Peter 4:10; Romans 12:6).  We live out the grace of God as we recognize each person’s contributions, whether it is small or large, or during a short season, or a life-time of service.  Finally, our landowner, the Lord is generous and gracious with his rewards in this life anncfi-valuesd the one to come (1 Peter 5:4; James 1:2). We praise him for the wonderful opportunity to serve Him in NCFI!

“Equity and justice are the foundations of your throne. Loyal love and faithfulness characterize your rule. How blessed are the people who worship you! O Lord, they experience your favor.” (Psalms 89:14-15)

Ross, A “Workers in the Vineyard” (Matthew 20:1-16).