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: 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

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.

NCFI Cares: Our Faith: A Construction Project?

Are there times when you feel like your faith is a construction project? A time or season in your life when it seems like God is busy tearing down old walls, removing dilapidated furnishings, refurbishing an old room, or maybe even building a new room (Philippians 1:6).

Building of our faith can occur during times of adversity and suffering when we feel like the Lord has a wrecking ball to our hearts, or a jack hammer pounding on our souls, or a hammer to our faith. The death of a loved one, pain and illness from a disease, a loss of job or financial challenges, a strained relationship and other personal experiences are all opportunities for the Lord to renovate our faith. Like a construction project on a building the use of the correct building materials with endurance and patience can rebuild our faith into a sturdy, long-lasting building.

Building up of our faith can also occur when we experience a dry or a desert time in our faith.  Maybe you lack faith or patience in your personal walk with the Lord; or maybe you have picked up some worldly bad habits—less time in prayer, no longer attending church, and other non-faith building projects.

Or maybe you sense the Lord is not tearing something down, but instead is building something new, like a new role in nursing, a change in job, or in ministry. Even the good changes in our lives feels uncomfortable and causes anxiety and pain. Even though we pray for the process, many times we resist the Holy Spirit when he starts laying out the construction plans (Philippians 1:6)

Whether the Lord is tearing down to make something new, removing bad habits, or is preparing us for a future role we need to partner with the Lord on faith reconstruction project.  Instead of being resistant to change and holding on to our current circumstances submit to God. The Lord is always looking for ways to conform us to be more like Christ and to equip us for His work.

Give him the hammer and the nails and let him go to work; so that you will always be equipped and able to do the work God has called for you to do (Ephesians 4:12-13).  

For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith excellence, to excellence, knowledge; to knowledge, self-control; to self-control, perseverance; to perseverance, godliness; to godliness, brotherly affection; to brotherly affection, unselfish love. For if these things are really yours and are continually increasing, they will keep you from becoming ineffective and unproductive in your pursuit of knowing our Lord Jesus Christ more intimately. (2 Peter 1:5-8)

NCFI Cares: God’s Name in Nursing–Praise to El Shaddai

Are you in need of a Big, Almighty God? Then you will like the next name of God – El Shaddai. The name was used first in Genesis to reveal God’s name to Abraham “I am God Almighty.” (Genesis 17:1). As I thought about El Shaddai, I was reminded of the wonderful worship song. Below are the lyrics and a link to the youtube video. Spend time worshiping the God Almighty.

El shaddai, el shaddai,
El-elyon na adonia,
Age to age you’re still the same,
By the power of the name.
El shaddai, el shaddai,
Erkamka na adonai,
We will praise and lift you high,
El shaddai.

Through your love and through the ram,
You saved the son of abraham;
Through the power of your hand,
Turned the sea into dry land.
To the outcast on her knees,
You were the God who really sees,
And by your might,
You set your children free.

El shaddai, el shaddai,
El-elyon na adonia,
Age to age you’re still the same,
By the power of the name.
El shaddai, el shaddai,
Erkamka na adonai,
We will praise and lift you high,
El shaddai.

Through the years you’ve made it clear,
That the time of christ was near,
Though the people couldn’t see
What messiah ought to be.
Though your word contained the plan,
They just could not understand
Your most awesome work was done
Through the frailty of your son.

El shaddai, el shaddai,
El-elyon na adonai,
Age to age you’re still the same,
By the power of the name.
El shaddai, el shaddai,
Erkamka na adonai,
I will praise yo ’till I die,
El shaddai.

El shaddai, el shaddai,
El-elyon na adonai,
Age to age you’re still the same,
By the power of the name.
El shaddai, el shaddai,
Erkamka na adonai,
I will praise you ’till I die.
El shaddai.

Songwriters: Michael J. Card / John W Thompson

El Shaddai lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

Song w/ lyrics.

NCFI Cares: Yahweh Tsidkenu: The LORD our Righteousness

A few months ago I attended a funeral service provided by the Mormon church. I was saddened, as I listened to an Elder of the church discuss the the spiritual journey of the deceased. First, the sermon detailed the need for Mormon’s to keep the 10 commandments found in the Old Testament in addition to the 2 commandments in the New Testament–Love the Lord and Love thy neighbor. The sermon also included how the deceased was in a placed called “paradise” working to achieve his eternal body for the next phase of eternal life.  I have to admit I was exhausted and saddened by all the work the Mormons are required to do to achieve eternal life. It also grieved my soul to be reminded of how people devoted to God can truly believe their hard work will bring them to eternal life.

Yet, at the same time, I was overwhelmed with gratefulness for the grace and mercy of God. For the Lord loved and saved me from a life of worthless devotion and meaningless work. See, I was Mormon until the age of 19. Then, after a period of rejecting God and the Mormon church, I responded to the call of Holy Spirit. Weary and heavy laden I accepted the wonderful free gift of salvation found in Jesus Christ. This salvation secured my righteousness found in the Messiah or God’s other name Yahweh Tsidkenu—The LORD our Righteousness.

The name Yahweh Tsidkenu was first used by the prophet Jeremiah when he said, “The days are coming,” declared the LORD, “when I will raise up to David a righteous Branch, a King who will reign wisely and do what is just and right in the land. In his days Judah will be saved and Israel will live in safety. This is the name by which he will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness (Jeremiah 23:5-6). This was the anticipated Messiah for the Israelites and for us.  

As we meditate upon the name of God–Yahweh Tsidkenu and celebrate our unearned righteousness,  don’t forget to pray for the unsaved. Keep in mind, there are millions of people who have been led away from the truth of Christ by the Deceiver.

More information on Mormonism at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mormonism

NCFI Cares: How We Grieve the Holy Spirit, by Guest Contributor

Recently, the Holy Spirit brought to my mind the passage in Ephesians 4:26-32.  Yes, the Holy Spirit’s work is to bring to our remembrance all things that Jesus taught [John 14:26].  I was counselling two staff who had a conflict over some work matters.  One was angry, a believer and the other staff, a non-believer, told me that she would no longer ask for help from the other.  I sat down with two of them and talked openly about the conflict.  As I was talking, the passage of Ephesians came to my mind and I affirmed that to be angry was a normal human response but not to do anything to resolve that anger was wrong.  Later I further talked to the Christian staff whom I said that not to forgive and to hold on to the anger would grieve the Holy Spirit [Ephesians 4:30].  I left her to think further on what God’s Word had said.  The incident made me reflect further on my own responses in anger towards others rightly or wrongly and how I too would have grieved the Holy Spirit if I continued to hold on to that anger. 

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, grief is deep and poignant distress caused by or as if by bereavement.  In medical terms, there is no consensus on the defining features that would distinguish normal and pathological grief, it is generally accepted that grief becomes pathological when the reactions are excessive, prolonged, or unresolved.  In counselling the grieving, one understands that the loss of a close person, or loss of job or loss of a dream can be devastating.  The Lord allows us to go through grief and in this, we can identify with Jesus who is acquainted with grief, and even borne our griefs, a man of sorrows [Isaiah 53:3, 4]. Christ’ humanity brings us closer to Him and we can accept our human frailty of experiencing grief because He also experienced it. God has emotions but He is transcendent, beyond our comprehension.

The Bible uses the word “grieve or grieved” 37 times in the New King James translation.  The Old and New Testament mentioned six times that God or Holy Spirit was grieved[Genesis 6:6; Psalm 78:40; 95:10; Isaiah 63:10; Mark 3:5; Ephesians 4:30].  Genesis 6:6 “And the Lord was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart” tells us that God is grieved when man rebuffed his covenantal love in sin and disobedience. God was also grieved when the Israelites rebelled in the desert under Moses’ leadership. God’s anguished response to sin is evidenced in two main ways: divine judgment and compassion for the sinner. Because God is holy, He has to judge sin but He offers compassion and salvation for sinners in the process.

May we be very conscious that the Holy Spirit can be grieved through our actions, speech and our attitudes in our day-to-day life responses.  Lord, teach us how to live and walk by the Spirit.

Sharing by Goh Swee Eng