NCF wants to thank those of you who donate to this unique and critical ministry to nursing--students, nurses, and educators. We need more members to give this Christmas. Would you start a monthly repeating gift of $25 or more? Or make a one-time gift of $50 or more this holiday season? Click on this link choose an InterVarsity Press book as our gift to you and start your tax deductible donation and! These are the books we’re offering to donors at no charge:
Katharine Provost • National NCF Campus Staff Minister
This fall, as many campuses were back to meeting in-person, Student Ministries wanted to create excitement around relaunching NCF groups. We developed a new tool we call NCF-in-a-Bag. In this beautiful NCF-branded drawstring bag, we included a Bible study, outreach materials, and of course, NCF swag. The Bag has been a hit! We shipped to student chapters across the country and continue to receive requests! One NCF-in-a-Bag was delivered in person to a new faculty advisor who had been struggling to relaunch. What happened next is incredible!
The next day, a student came to her, presumably for course advising for the spring semester. The advisor relayed, “This student came to express interest in starting a small Bible study or connection point for prayer. My jaw nearly hit the ground as I knew the timing was perfect. I rolled out the new information I had just learned regarding NCF. God’s timing is always the right timing! I could not have led the student as efficiently. In addition, goals from our NCF visit would not have taken flight without the student approaching me the following day. Love it! Let’s watch God work…”
NCF Student Ministries has so many opportunities to grow! We need your support to be able to offer resources and coaching. Consider partnering with us in God’s mission to make the Gospel available to every nursing student (Check out Give a Gift, Get A Book!). If you’re leading or are considering starting an NCF student group, we have a limited number of NCF-in-a-Bag kits still available--all you pay is shipping. Email NCF@InterVarsity.org about the bags.
Kathy Schoonover-Shoffner, PhD, RN • National Director, JCN Editor-in-Chief
The Advent of Jesus is a dramatic unveiling of the Bible’s story of God’s redemption of our fallen world. Advent means coming in Latin, literally an arrival; a coming into place, view, or being. The term most commonly refers to the coming of Jesus Christ. The promise of a coming Redeemer was told over thousands of years (i.e., Genesis 3:15, 22:18; 2 Samuel 7:8-16, Isaiah 9). I can read the grand story of Advent in a few brief moments. But God’s faithful people waited generation upon generation for the redemption plan to be made known. They lived their entire lives, passed on the promise, and they died, waiting. What was it like waiting for the Messiah?
The lineage of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1 from Abraham to David (~ 1000 years), David to Babylonian captivity (~ 400 years), and Israel’s return from captivity to Jesus’ birth (~ 600 years), reveals God’s faithfulness to his people and his promises. The names point to 2,000 years of remarkable stories of men and women who chose faith in impossible situations and kept on going. They believed, waited, and continued to faithfully follow God. When the Arrival finally happened, what was it like for Mary and Joseph?
We’re told Joseph was a righteous man (Matthew 1:19) and Mary had found favor with God (Luke 1:28). They were faithful followers of Yahweh. Their radical obedience despite huge sacrifices, along with Mary’s song (Luke 1:46-55), tells us they knew the prophecies! Did they think about the offspring of Abraham crushing the serpent’s head? Did they reflect on the promise to their forefather, King David, that his house and throne would be established forever? Did they consider Isaiah 7:14, The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. They must have wondered, then come to understand, that like the generations of God’s people before them they were part of a mysterious, miraculous work of God.
This faithful waiting and radical obedience from Abraham to Joseph and Mary makes me think about my faithfulness to God. Like the ancients, life can be difficult, even dreadful some days. I watch my husband struggle after his severe brain injury, trying to make sense of the most basic aspects of life. I try to patiently care for my 90-year-old wheelchair-bound mother as I make sure she has what she needs. I interact with my three adult children and see their problems. I think about Nurses Christian Fellowship, the staff members, and the enormous work (and budget) involved in ministry to students, nurses, and educators and with the Journal of Christian Nursing. All of us have arduous, difficult, and yes, even dreadful days in our lives.
This Advent, I’m choosing to focus on the great cloud of witnesses who faithfully waited for the coming of Jesus (Hebrews 11-12). Can I say with Mary, I am the Lord’s servant. May it be to me as you have said (Luke 1:38)? Can I wait in faithful service as I long for the promise of God to once again be fulfilled when Christ returns? Be profoundly encouraged to know that we, as God's people of today, can be part of his miraculous work.
NCF’s November Journal Club on Recognizing the Trauma of Adverse Childhood Experiences was more than outstanding! If you missed it, you can view the video, slide deck, and discussion comments here then earn 1.5 free NCPD hours. The insights were profound as we explored how to support those who have experienced trauma. Very helpful indeed!