NCFI Cares: Grace & Mercy–Kids Style!

Recently my 9-year-old grandson came to my house for the weekend with a cloud hanging over his head. His mother had received an email from his teacher stating he had misbehaved in class and had repeated episodes of incomplete homework. Since, my husband and I would care for him for the weekend, we were responsible for deciding on how to proceed with his punishment. We decided that our grandson would spend the weekend “making up his homework.”  His punishment for his bad classroom behavior would be “no t.v., no phone games, and no outside play”.

As the weekend went on we noticed our young grandson taking responsibility for his actions and working hard to make-up his homework. So we took the opportunity to teach our growing young man about 2 important attributes about God–grace and mercy. I explained that grace is where we get something that we don’t deserve. For example, we dispensed grace and let him watch a movie with the family Saturday evening since he had a good attitude towards his punishment and had made up his homework.

We laughed with him as he tried to figure out if he wanted grace or mercy, for at times he wasn’t sure. He just wanted to watch t.v. or play a game on his phone. So we would remind him: grace is getting something you don’t deserve; whereas mercy is not getting something you do deserve. For example, he probably deserved stiffer consequence for his bad behavior, like a weekend filled with chores, a week without “electronics” or some other stiffer penalty.

On Sunday evening, when we passed our grand-parenting responsibilities back to his mother, he proudly told his mother about his new word “Grandma and papa gave me grace which means I watched a movie; or maybe mercy. I am not sure which one it is. But my sister got to pick out the movie, which was okay.” We weren’t sure whether his future would be filled with grace or mercy, for Mom had yet to dole out her consequences.

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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).

NCFI Cares: Beautiful Grace

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Sometimes we need reminders of the personal intimacy of our God.  I was listening to a Christian radio station, when a simple, powerful song came on.

“Like sunlight burning at midnight, Making my life something so. Beautiful, beautiful”

These simple words of the chorus truly burned into my moment. I was struck by the simplicity, yet complexity of God’s grace as compared to the bright shining sun into a dark night. God’s grace is just like that…sunlight burning into our life, such contrast to our earthly life of midnight.

God brightens our work in nursing, radiates our hearts in professional and personal relationships. He especially provides warmth to our intimacy with Jesus Christ. God’s grace even after salvation makes our life “beautiful, beautiful”. No matter where you are on your journey of faith…baby Christian, stumbling adolescent, or mature adult. God always brings the warm bright light of grace into our lives and makes everything beautiful, beautiful! (1 Peter 1:3-4)

Here is the link for a video of the song:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JbCfyZHSQbE