March 10, 2017

Charting the Way

A monthly newsletter exclusively for NCF members


FishingUnconventional Fishing

Last week, NCF staff met to study Luke 5:1-11. Jesus interrupted Peter’s end-of-night-shift work of net-cleaning to turn his boat into a pulpit. Because Peter cooperated, he was next to Jesus and heard every word. But that’s not all. After the teaching, Jesus gave a startling command, “Put out into the deep and let down your nets for a catch.” Peter, an expert fisherman who had been up all night, knew there wouldn’t be fish (wrong timing), plus they’d have to clean the nets again. “But at your word I will…” The catch was so big that the nets start breaking (but don’t), the boats start sinking (but don’t), and it takes a team to bring in all the fish. A greater miracle occurs when Peter falls at Jesus’ feet. His life is forever changed as he, James, and John leave everything to follow Jesus.

We gained insights for NCF ministry:

  • There was a cycle of: hearing Jesus’ command; logical resistance (will it work?); obedience; fruitfulness; humility; repentance. Jesus, help us hear your voice.
  • Jesus knew Peter’s skill set and invited his participation. Jesus, where are you inviting us into your work?
  • How do we discern Jesus’ command, especially when it doesn’t make sense? Jesus, where, how, should we allow interruptions?
  • Don’t focus on “getting the big catch” but on being Jesus’ fishermen. Jesus, help us obey.
  • Peter, James, and John became Jesus’ leadership team. Jesus, transform us to do your work.
  • The work could not have been completed without fishing partners. Jesus, bring NCF members, prayer support, financial donors, to partner with us.

Jesus, help us leave everything behind and follow you.

--by Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, National Director and JCN Editor-in-Chief


JCNWatch for new JCN

Watch your mailbox and look online for the April/June JCN. NCF members have free access to all the articles in current and past JCN issues (back to 1984!). The new issue features a special report on moral distress by a task force from American Journal of Nursing, John’s Hopkins School of Nursing, and JCN. Learn about pain management and acute compartment syndrome; find resources for educators; demystify nursing theory, and more. Be sure to check out the online-only content! Join us on the new JCN Facebook page and get regular updates when you Like JCN.

Use the Members-only login to learn how to use your CE discounts! You’ll need your member ID # at the bottom of this newsletter to log in.

National Nurses WeekCelebrate National Nurses Week

NCF is preparing a free Bible study and resource materials on Nursing: The Balance of Mind, Body, and Spirit, the ANA theme for Nurses Week. Check out our ideas for hosting an event or Bible study, prayer guides, bulletin inserts, and more.

During National Nurses Week, invite colleagues to a Bible study exploring how Jesus balances our lives.


TimWhat is NCF?

Last month, I shared three words that capture the mission and vision of NCF Student Ministries. We long for nursing students and faculty to be encouraged, equipped, and empowered. I want to expand on the second of those three words: What does it mean for students and faculty to be equipped?

First, NCF student chapters equip nursing students to integrate their faith with nursing through Bible study. I spoke recently with a student who explained how their school had recently incorporated "mindfulness" teaching into their curriculum to help meet the spiritual needs of the student community. NCF recognizes spiritual needs, so we seek to create spaces on campus where students can hear from the Living God through Scripture.

Second, NCF student chapters equip nursing students to provide spiritual care for patients. Many chapters use our Bible study series, Healing Encounters with Jesus. As students study different physical healing stories from the life of Jesus, they discuss and note how Jesus cared for people's spiritual needs. They are then challenged to apply those spiritual care principles to their clinical experiences.

Pray for the nursing students in our 100+ chapters, that God will speak powerfully through Bible study and that they will be equipped to integrate their faith into their vocation.

--by Tim Lin, Student Ministries Director


World TB DayWorld TB Day, March 24

Tuberculosis (TB) is a top ten cause of death worldwide. The World Health Organization reports about TB in 2015: 10.4 million fell ill, 1.8 million died; 1 million children became ill and 170,000 died. Over 95% of deaths occurred in low- and middle-income countries; 60% in India (the highest), Indonesia, China, Nigeria, Pakistan, and South Africa. Globally, an estimated 480,000 people developed multidrug-resistant TB (MDR-TB). Tobacco use greatly increases the risk of TB disease and death. Encouragingly, 49 million lives were saved through diagnosis and treatment between 2000 and 2015. Ending the TB epidemic by 2030 is a health target of the WHO Sustainable Development Goals.

Pray for implementation of the End TB Strategy: Integrated, patient-centered care and prevention; bold policies and supportive systems; intensified research and innovation.

GamesEngage Elderly in Games

Does engaging in mentally stimulating activity in old age help neurocognitive function? A 2017 JAMA Neurology study suggests yes! Researchers followed 1929 cognitively normal participants 70 years or older for 4 years. Activities associated with significant decreased risk of new-onset mild cognitive impairment (MCI) were: computer use, craft activities, social activities, and playing games. MCI is the intermediate zone between normal cognitive aging and dementia. This engagement was even more important in participants carrying the apolipoprotein ɛ4 genotype, a risk factor for Alzheimer’s Disease.

Teach patients, families, and church members to engage the elderly in social and craft activities.

Detergent PodsDetergent Pods Burn Eyes

The number of chemical eye burns attributed to laundry detergent pods increased among preschool-aged children from 12 cases in 2012, to 480 in 2015, a study in the February 2017 JAMA Ophthalmology reported. Injuries occur when children handle the pods and the contents squirt into one or both of their eyes, or leak onto their hands and they make hand-eye contact. Children also experience poisoning and choking from the pods.

Teach patients, families, and church members about the dangers of detergent pods.