Christian Nursing 101: Human Personhood & Dignity

When I was asked to review the book, Lighting the Way: A Handbook for Christian Nurses and Midwives, I was excited to see how my Christian colleagues “across the pond” encouraged nurses and midwives. What you quickly discover is some of the health care issues we face in the States are similar to those of our colleagues around the world. Thus, I wasn’t surprised with an article on how society’s idea or worldview of humanity is rapidly changing. The chapter on personhood gave me a more alarming philosophy of the actual dehumanizing of mankind. Usually we see where scientist and creationist are tweeking with the DNA for a better human, almost like a special ordered human being. But, Wyatt’s article discusses selecting and deselecting some attributes that will no longer be classified as humans. An article like this and others, send me to my knees pleading with the Lord, “Please come quickly!” Do not let us become any more depraved and wicked, rejecting your ways and your laws (Romans 1).

I would love to hear from you!

Other links:

Check out the article in the Journal of Christian Nursing 

My review of the Lighting the Way

 

p.s. I am so thankful to Steve Fouch for the privelage of including my NCFI Cares devotions and contributing to this wonderful work.

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NCFI Cares: The Two-Year Old “No”

Recently, I spent the day with both of my two-year old grandchildren. Since they have different moms, I seldom see them together. The beautiful day was filled with bright sunshine, cool swimming, tasty ice cream and 2 two-year old’s saying “No”.  In case you are unfamiliar with two-year old’s, their favorite word is “No”. They say no to everything.  They even say no to things they want.  They enjoy swimming, yet they will say “No” to swimwear. They enjoy eating ice cream, yet they will say “No” to getting out of the pool.

Later as I was reflecting on my afternoon filled with “No’s,” especially one filled with so much fun, I couldn’t help but think of us a children of God. How many times do we say “No” to God? Do we say “No” even though a “Yes” will bring us pleasure and enjoyment? How many of us say “No” so firmly it is like a two-year old temper tantrum?  Before you say “No,” let me describe an adult two-year old temper tantrum. We say “No” so firmly we stop talking to God, we close our ears to hearing him, refuse to read His word, start skipping church and justify our reason for saying “No.”

All Christians can be tempted to say “No” to God; and I am sure we have all had temper-tantrums. They may not be the physical and screaming like a two-year old. Instead, they may be sulking and/or withdrawal. Just like a two-year old who needs the loving guidance of a parent to grow and mature; we need the loving guidance of our Heavenly Father to help us mature in our faith.  He will guide us to say “Yes” to Jesus and his teachings and say “Yes” to the  Kingdom of God (Matthew 5:1-12).

The Lord says, “My child, if you receive my words, and store up my commands within you, making your ear attentive to wisdom, and by turning your heart to understanding…you will understand how to fear the Lord and will discover knowledge about God.” (Proverbs 2:1-5).  Let’s be children of “Yes” to God and his tender leading to mature faith.6e861-ncficares_3bloglogo

NCFI Cares: Global Prayers for Sierra Leone

 

By now many of you have heard of the horrific land slide in Sierra Leone. Luke Laari, our brother in Christ and colleague on the International Board of NCFI sends this petition for prayer:

It is my prayer this email meets you in good health. A couple of days ago our brothers and sisters in Sierra Leone experienced a Mudslide disaster and over 467 have lost their lives, 600 unaccounted for and over 3,000 individuals are rendered homeless. In times like this, it is easy to look at the numbers as statistics, but take a minute and think, if you had lost one of your family members. Be prompted that, these are fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, children and friends who were and now no more. Paul in Gal. 3: 28, reminded us that, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. Taken a clue from this proclamation I call on you to say 5 minutes prayers to our fellow humans in Sierra Leone.  This is to retell us also that our lives are just but a hired asset. Someone owns it and decides when it should be taken. It is only sad it happened this way, but that is a caution to the living, this could have been any of us. The least we can do is to pray for them and few of our members there. May those who lost their lives find their maker, those missing be found and may the Lord render shelter for those rendered homeless.

Romans 12:15. “Weep with those that weep!”

 

As the chair of the Prayer and Care Committee for NCFI, I not only share this petition with you, but take this opportunity to elicit regular prayers for our global family. I would ask that every time you hear of a natural disasters, acts of terror or a breakout of illness and disease that you take a few moments to pray. Follow Luke’s suggestion and pray

-victims and families would come to know the Lord Jesus Christ

-the missing or wounded would be healed

-the Lord would bring shelter and supplies.

I would also suggest that you pray for the health care and emergency workers. As nurses, we know with every tragedy there are men and women whose work and calling puts them in harm’s way and work tirelessly giving of themselves for their patients. Pray

-strength and health to care for others

-protect their families, so they may not worry

-grace and love as they are witnesses to the tragedies and evil in our world.

Unfortunately, tragedy has become common place in our world today and as the Lord’s workers we are the hands and heart of Jesus. His hands grows larger and his heart expands when our prayers join the Holy Spirit who intercedes for all of God’s children.

“With every prayer and petition, pray at all times in the Spirit, and to this end be alert, with all perseverance and requests for all the saints.”   Ephesians 6:18

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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