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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NCFI Care: Do Justice

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Our turbulent world is in constant turmoil with wars between nations and peoples, and one crisis after another through disasters and violence. Micah, a prophet in the Old Testament, also lived during a period of upheaval and crisis.  According to Bible scholars, Micah’s prophetic purpose was to show Judah that a necessary product of her covenant relationship to God was to be just and holy. Instead of their vain acts of religion through meaningless sacrifices and gaining possessions. They had lost sight of their relationship with God. Micah reiterated the Lord’s character and commands—to love the Lord and to love their neighbors through this amazing verse:

He [the LORD] has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the LORD require of you. But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God? (Micah 6:8).

How can we “do justice, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God” during our own turbulent times? In the next 3 NCFI Cares devotions, I will share my insights.

Let’s begin with justice. How can we “do justice” in light of our relationship with the LORD through Jesus Christ?  We can advocate for victims, educate the unlearned, administer health services for the poor, provide basic services for the destitute, and many others. These are many of the things as health care workers we think of for administering justice. Yet, to “do justice” is also more than just following God’s commandments as faithful servants, for then we miss the character of God. Our Lord is a loving Father to the orphan and cares for the widows (Psalm 68:5) and has compassion on all of us (Psalm 103:13-14). Also, when we extend justice to others as a response to the grace and mercy of God we have received, we demonstrate the heart of God to our neighbors and replicate the life and teachings of Jesus.

There will always be inequalities on earth. We live in a sin-saturated imperfect world. Only the return of Christ will end the unjust world we live in. Until then, we can live out “thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (Matthew 6:10).

Pray with me for the Holy Spirit to open our eyes for opportunities to “do justice” for our neighbors both near and far.

Christian Nursing 101: Nurses of Integrity

Integrity is an important value or attribute as a professional nurse and as a Christ follower. Yet, we may struggle to define integrity or put our finger on what a person with integrity says or does. Honesty, trustworthiness, moral uprightness are few words used by dictionaries. Even though we may struggle to describe a person with integrity, we definitely know it when we see it lacking in a person.  “So and so (speaking of individual) doesn’t act with integrity.”

I encourage you to read the article in Journal of Christian Nursing and let me know what you think. Also, I would enjoy seeing your comments on my definition:

 “Christian integrity is a heart or spiritual condition congruent with God’s character and statutes that is expressed by actions and attitudes forged through the continuous molding of the Holy Spirit through our daily times of devotion.”

How would you define Christian integrity?

NCFI Cares: Celebrate Unity-a NCFI Values

ncfi-values-wordcloudOne of the coolest things about NCFI is the unified voice of Christian nursing. I am not saying everyone is in agreement, nor that there is never conflict. Disagreements are to be expected with any family, group or organization, especially considering the diversity of cultures, experience, education, and personalities NCFI represent.

What I am speaking more about is the unity of Christ manifested by the lack of individual denominations. In other words, the question “What denomination do you belong to?” or “Where do you go to church?” has never come up. I have attended 2 NCFI Congresses, International Board meetings, and various international conference calls and our focus has been on Christ-centered nursing.

We are all disciples, unique members of the body of Christ and unified for the same goal—equipping and encouraging Christian nurses to integrate Biblical principles and Christ centered values. Which, by the way, is our mission!

Ephesians 4:1-6 is a passage to anchor us to our purpose in NCFI:

“….I urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call—one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.”

Let’s take the unity of Christ beyond NCFI and into our daily nursing practice–committed to focusing on commonalities instead of areas of dispute while preserving our unified faith through the dwelling Spirit.

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NCFI Cares: R is for Request

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How many times to do we seek God’s specific insight into a situation BEFORE we pray for a solution? Most of the time we pray for the solution—healing, relationship, peace, and/or hope. R for Request prompts us seek God’s wisdom and heart before we pray for our colleagues, patients and students.

Isaiah 55:9 says, “Just as the sky is higher than the earth, so my deeds are superior to your deeds and my plans superior to your plans.” In other words, God has a plan for every situation that is probably better than our own plan. Whether it is a complicated patient or challenging work environment, God is already at work. This doesn’t mean we just pray “God’s will” for everything. Instead, we embrace Romans 8:26-27:

The same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness, for we do not know how we should pray, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with inexpressible groanings. And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes on behalf of the saints according to God’s will.

Whether you are praying for a patient, colleague, or your leadership team, request the Lord’s Spirit to guide your prayerful heart. He will open our heart and eyes to the situation and filling our spirit with his wisdom. Then our prayers can be in conjunction with the Lord’s perfect plan.

 

“Praying men and women have been God’s representatives on earthy, but prayerless men and women have never been used by Him.” E M Bounds in The Necessity of Prayer

When Hope Is Lost: Part 2

In the Part 1, we loaded our backpack of hope with a various nursing interventions. In Part 2, we focus on bringing hope to our patients through spiritual care for both Christians and non-Christians. As followers of Christ, we may hesitate to provide spiritual care interventions for those of other faiths. This is where our spiritual care experts can be consulted. Whether it is a hospital chaplain or coordinator, these wonderful men and women are partners in encouraging our patients. They also have the time to sit and chat with a patient, a challenge for the busy aJCN Covercute care nurse.

Also, included with the article is Supplemental Digital Content–listing specific resources for nurses looking for additional books, websites, etc.

I would enjoy discovering other interventions in your backpack of hope–feel free to share other ways you facilitate hope for your patient.

 

Click on the JCN cover to see all the articles in Christian Nursing 101 Collection!

When Hope Is Lost: Part 1

Hopelessness and despair can be common experiences for our patients with cancer, terminal illness, or tragic trauma. As nurses we are well positioned to assess patients for signs and symptoms of hopelessness and intervene to curtail the devastation of despair.  The article in the current issue of JCN begins a list of interventions supported by nursing and scripture that we can use with our patients. The interventions also includes “patient/nurse” commentaries offering support and guidance as we tackle this tough issue. I would love to hear your stories! Whether it is from nurses who inspiring hope with your patients OR from patients/people who have received support, word, and/or encouragement from nurses or healthcare providers.   JCN cover Be sure to check out the article in the Journal of Christian Nursing (July/September 2014)

And keep your eye out for the Part 2 in October!