Malawi Mission Trip Reflection

It’s crazy to think that two weeks ago we were in Malawi, Africa. Now that we’re back in the states and on campus we have had a little bit of time to reflect on our time and transition back into our “normal” schedule. Altogether we had four days of traveling, ten days on the ground in Malawi and for what? What was accomplished? What was the point? Is anything really different? I was ashamed to think these thoughts until I realized why I was thinking them. Satan loves to make us doubt the work God has done in our lives, and man did God work on this journey!


We were nervous. Thirteen hours on a plane is a very long time, there is no denying that. So while we were dealing with our nerves and trying to figure out what we were going to do in Africa for ten days, God was smiling down on us shaking His head because He knew there was no way we would imagine up how He was going to move that week. The first couple days were a little challenging for some of us because we had a very fluid schedule. Being student-athletes, we are used to every minute of every day being planned out based on school, basketball, eating, and sleeping. With that being said, it was hard for us to let go of our “productive” mindset. Because in all honesty, if you were to tell me to create a checklist of all the things that were materially “accomplished” while we were there, it would be a very small checklist.

Does that mean our two-day journey getting there and ten days on the ground was wasted? Absolutely not. We might not have built houses or a well (both of which are amazing things), but we got to be the hands and feet of Jesus to some of our brothers and sisters in Malawi. If you asked me point blank what we “did” on our journey, I would respond by saying we loved on kids, and mommas, and aunties, and cooks, and guards, and gardeners. We had the privilege of building relationships that we will never forget. We got to love strangers like Jesus loves them, and guess what? They sure weren’t strangers anymore. The quiet kids that wouldn’t come near us on the first day were the same kids that were writing us letters on the last day. The kids that were standing off to the side were the same kids pulling others to come join in a game two days later. Community, that is what was accomplished.


It is easy to say that I got more from this journey than I could have possibly given, and I think it is safe to say the same for my team. We learned to love each other, not on the surface, but for who we are at our core. We learned that language is not a barrier when it comes to God’s love. We learned selflessness from the kids as well as how to love unconditionally. We were reminded that as God’s children, it’s our responsibility to show others Jesus. How do we do that? Well, Alex Banks said it best while we were talking one night when she said, “Think about it, God tells us that when we pray to receive Christ that all of Jesus is within us. He takes hold of and makes a home in our hearts. But also, God tells us that all of Him is in Jesus, so when you think about it, all of God, and I mean ALL of Him, is within you.” So basically, we just have to get out of the way and let God work because Jesus is trying to shine through us. All we have to do is let Him. COME ON!! That got me pumped up!!


This brings me home, literally. This is what God is doing, this is how God is moving. Not just in Malawi, Africa. You don’t have to go halfway across the world to see God at work. He’s working right here in Nashville, TN every single day. He’s working in every single one of you reading this. If you haven’t seen Him, look around for a few minutes. Look at our beautiful skyline, or our breathtaking parks. Watch the sunset to catch a glimpse of His creation. But most importantly watch His people. There is something special happening in Nashville, TN. If you haven’t heard of “Awaken Nashville” I encourage you to look into it. Our city recently took part in some serious Kingdom work and it was incredible! Our team is working on stepping aside and letting God do the work, so that hopefully when people see us, they notice that there is something different. I am so incredibly blessed and so honored to experience this journey with the group of women I went with. However, I’m even more excited to see how God continues to shape us as we do life on this side of the Atlantic.

See you soon, or as they would say in Malawi…Tiwonana


Written by: Carleigh Short

When Things Don’t Go as Planned

Written By: Jared Peters

It is every college athlete’s dream to come in as a freshman and improve each year until he/she is at the top of the conference, or maybe even top of the nation. To say that my running career was not even close to that dream is an understatement.

I came to run at Lipscomb University because of the incredible team culture and ambition to be successful. I committed to help this team build into a program that would become competitive on the NCAA Division I level. That was my promise. That was my goal.

As Division 1 athletes, we don’t know what it is like to fail athletically until we reach college. We are the stars in high school, win conference championships, and compete well in state meets. Similar to many college athletes, success in cross country and track was part of my identity.

This identity was molded as each year of college finished. I wasn’t hurt very often in high school. I never had an injury that kept me out for more than a week or two. That may be hard to believe if you look at my college career. During the first week of practice, I sprained my ankle by stepping in a big hole during a workout. A month later I sprained the same ankle, while wearing a brace. I had a great summer leading up to the cross country season and was running workouts in the middle of the team, but the injuries set me back too far. I redshirted that season since I didn’t complete any races and figured that I would be able to contribute more to the team in my 5th year than I could limping through my freshman season.

Right after the season, I broke my big toe on a freak play during a game of pickup basketball. Obviously, coach wasn’t happy. Eventually, I saw a doctor and was put in a boot for 3 months. This was the first time I got really frustrated with cross training and injuries. Riding a stationary bike for hours is NOT very exciting. To make matters worse, I found out that being in a boot for 3 months didn’t heal the chip fracture in my toe and the only way to fix the problem was surgery. On March 3rd of my freshman year, I had a quick surgery that removed the chip fracture from my big toe and re-anchored the MCL on the same toe. Track wasn’t an option that season. After a long and slow recovery, I finally got back for half of cross country season in the fall. I had one really good race and then wore down by the end of the season. I was okay with that result because it was the first time that I wore a Lipscomb jersey. I had a great winter and had an okay indoor season, for me. Up to this point, I had completed three cross country races and three track races.

Towards the middle of indoor season, I started having issues with my left hip and running laps around the track only made it worse. I couldn’t finish workouts and had pain during regular parts of my day. After months of putting up with the pain, I decided to see a doctor when I couldn’t finish my first race of outdoor. An MRI on my left hip revealed that my labrum was torn in three different places, along with some other minor issues. I had my second surgery in college in April of 2017.

After months of rehab, I eventually got back to running a little bit, but I was stuck in the return to running plan. After not progressing for a month, I had an MRI on my right hip because I was experiencing the same pain as my left side. Unsurprisingly, my right labrum was torn as well, and I had another surgery only six months after my first hip surgery.

At this point, I expected to have a gradual recovery during my junior year to prepare me to race again my final year of college.

God had other plans.

As I approached 30 minutes of running, I would go through weeks of extreme pain in my left hip again, but then feel fine for a month or two. Over six to seven months, I had two negative MRIs that left me questioning my body more than ever. After months of the same cycle and reoccurring pain, the doctor decided to perform another left hip scope. My dad and I kept our yearly surgery get together alive. I didn’t know what to expect going in since every MRI was inconclusive. The recovery options varied from a couple weeks to multiple months depending on the scenario.

In surgery, he found a loose anchor from my first surgery and a new tear in the labrum. In other words: my collegiate racing days were over. That last surgery was a little over 4 months ago. Because of different setbacks from this surgery, I won’t be healthy enough to race this track season. I have multiple redshirt years, but I’m not going to use them. It is pretty clear that my body can’t handle more competitive running at this time.


I know I’m not the only person who has gone through big surgeries or injuries. I’m not the only person whose collegiate athletic dreams didn’t pan out. Every injured athlete has different experiences when his/her favorite past time is taken away. I have had different emotions and states of mind during each recovery.

In the beginning, I experienced frustration. During my early ankle sprains freshman year, I complained and longed to run when I was only taken out for a couple of weeks. Little did I know that would only be a minor setback in the scheme of four years. I fostered the greatest amount of frustration when I broke my toe and needed surgery. I questioned why I had to experience a six-month recovery for a little toe injury. I solely focused on what I could do to make it back because running was where I found my identity.

I felt happier when I raced fast. I felt appreciated when I raced fast. I thought I would get more attention if I raced fast. Now, I realize that I would much rather be known as a Christian, brother, son, and reliable friend than a stud athlete. I learned that life is more like a cross country course than a track. A track has nice smooth ovals with a finish line that is easy to see. A cross country race has winding turns with different ups and downs that eventually lead to an end. Life is never going to be like a turn on a track. Life is going to have different twists, hairpins, and inclines that will test your patience. As much as you would like to preview the course of life, you will never be prepared for every aspect of the race when it hits you.

As someone who likes to control my life, I didn’t know how to respond to so many setbacks. I was so set on running fast that I kept trying to pursue that dream. I was so obsessed with my plan that I ignored God’s plan. I told Him that He could wait while I pursued what I wanted. Doors closed, but I kept trying to walk through them. I questioned quitting on about 10 different occasions, but I never followed through. It is an unexplainable feeling to have something you are extremely passionate about taken away from you time after time. It is even harder to hear after a surgery that your collegiate running career is over quicker than you expected. You don’t know what to think, say, or do. I told myself sophomore year that I would be done if I ever had a torn labrum. It is hard to follow through when it actually happens.

As each surgery came, I began to realize the blessings instead of focusing on the goals that were taken away. As I look back on my collegiate career, I know that I had opportunities that I wouldn’t be able to follow if I were competing. God brought me to Lipscomb because of running, but He didn’t bring me here to win conference championships. Those rings are reserved for my friends. He brought me here to be much more than a runner. I helped start the Finance Club on campus, I’ve gone on mission trips that I wouldn’t have gone on if I were racing. I’ve built relationships at a refugee community in Nashville and built other friendships because I’m not traveling on the weekends.


Looking back, I can see the way that God shaped my college journey. In the moment, I was frustrated. In the moment, I was confused. In the moment, I didn’t know where to turn. Now I see that my plan was pathetic compared to God’s. Closed doors just mean that other doors open. I don’t necessarily believe that one door opens as another closes. Sometimes you are in a room full of closed doors for a while before one opens. On occasion, God teaches me with closed doors. He closes a bunch of doors and forces me to rely on Him before He opens the next. God was writing, and is still writing, a story I didn’t know I would be in.

Because of these setbacks, I don’t like to plan the big things in life. The more I planned, the more those plans went wrong. The more I wanted my life to go one way, the more God sent it in another direction. I planned on going to school on the beach in North Carolina; I chose a school in Nashville. I planned on using a 5th year and immediately pursuing an MBA; I’m jumping into the workforce and I’ll probably get my MBA later in life. I planned on working a job in Nashville after graduation; I’m moving to Atlanta in July. God has better plans than I do, so I’m learning to just follow where He takes me.

I’m not defined by my circumstance. Before, I would see myself as a cripple. Now, injuries are just things that happen to me instead of who I am. I could have been negative, but that seems like a crappy way to live. Being frustrated and negative about each surgery would guarantee failure. I wouldn’t want to be around someone who complains about being hurt all the time. I’m not perfect about being positive. I’ve had days and weeks where I get frustrated and complain, but I try to limit those. I hope that others can say that I didn’t sulk in my setbacks. I joke about my old body all the time, but I try not to bring others down with my pain. I hope that others can look at me and keep a positive perspective when they get hurt because they saw me do it. When you are hurt you provide hope to those watching you. If you keep your head up, others will keep their heads up. If you find hope in your situation, others will find hope in their battles.

I had 4 surgeries in college, but I also had 4 incredible years of growth and knowledge. I’ve gone through days where I was frustrated and close to quitting and days of joy and camaraderie. I’ve seen some of my best friends transfer and I’ve grown close to others over 4 years. Even though there were many hard times, I wouldn’t trade it. The setbacks and surgeries made me the person I am today.

Anyone else facing surgeries, injuries, or setbacks, know that you are not defined by your sport, major, job, or salary. Your identity does not come from how well you perform. You are bigger than the time that flashes when you cross the finish line. You are more valuable than if you hit the big shot at the end of the game. My perspective may be different than others, but I care a lot more about the person you are than how well you perform in your sport. Your sport may bring you to a school, but it may not be the actual reason you are there. A job could take you somewhere, but it may not be the real reason you are there.

Someday your sport will fade. Someday you won’t be able to exercise at a high level because your body aches too bad. Those days seem closer than they should be for me. You will be forced to live without athletic competition. Will you be satisfied with who you are? Build your character now with that person in mind. Your purpose is much more about who you are than what you do.

Maybe you are going through tough family times. Maybe you don’t understand why bad things keep happening. Know that you are not alone. There is a greater story being written. You probably won’t recognize why you had every setback until later.

Find the positives. Keep perspective. Don’t be defined by your circumstance.

jared peters

Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation Offers Second Nashville All-Sports Camp

For its second year, Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation is offering local six through 12-year-olds who desire to learn and play multiple sports in a positive, high energy environment, the opportunity to participate in the Nashville All-Sports camp, June 24-28. Sports featured in the camp include volleyball, soccer, flag-football, dodgeball, track and field and extreme games.


Led by Lipscomb student-athletes who have been chosen by their character, ability to teach, positive attitude and passion, the Nashville All-Sports camp will also feature intentional Bible curriculum where university student-athletes will encourage and care for each camper.

The Nashville All-Sports camp will be held at the McCadams Athletic Center, inside Lipscomb Academy’s Fieldhouse at 1027 Caldwell Lane. The camp will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. from June 24-27 and 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. on June 28. The cost of this camp is $200 per camper ($225 if registered after April 1) and includes lunch daily, camp t-shirt, team picture, and memories for a lifetime. 

Register for the Nashville All-Sports Camp here!

“After the success of last year’s camp, we are beyond excited to provide another opportunity for kids to experience the Gospel through athletics this summer,” said Chris Klotz, director of spiritual formation within Lipscomb Athletics. “Observing kids from all different backgrounds playing, laughing, building friendships, learning, and growing in their faith was so amazing, and we believe God is preparing big things for this summer. We are thrilled to host camp at such a prominent facility like the MAC, and are confident this will be a special week!”


Since 2017, Lipscomb Athletics has partnered with Carpenter’s Square to serve local refugee families and communities. Klotz says local families can also invest in Nashville’s refugee communities by funding a scholarship for refugee students to attend camp as well.

If you are interested in learning more about sending your child to camp, or would like to donate toward the scholarship fund, please contact Chris Klotz at

What Others Are Saying About All-Sports Camp:

“Last year our kiddos got to experience Lipscomb Athletics Spiritual Formation’s first ever All Sports Camp. They not only got to spend time with friends they’ve known for years, but they got to make new friends while learning about Jesus and playing a ton of fun games and activities. Parents, when this camp is offered in 2019, definitely plan on sending your kids to it!” –Mark Jent, parent of campers

“The girls had an amazing week at camp! They kept coming home wishing it were two weeks long. Not only did they get physically nourished with playing new games, but were more importantly spiritually nourished with Bible studies and listening to other people’s stories and learning how to live their greater story!” –Jenny Hunter, parent of campers

“Our six and eight year old boys loved every day of the All-Sports Camp last summer. They enjoyed the different sports, but the things they talked about the most were the new friends they made, their coaches, and the story of Scripture for the week. Thank you Lipscomb Athletics for their favorite camp ever!”  –Sydney Clayton, parent of campers

“It was so great! They should add camping overnight, that way you never have to leave!” –Micah Clayton, camper


Meet the Spiritual Formation Core Leadership Team

This semester, we have shifted our focus away from the programs and onto the leaders, which has adjusted the overall vision of Spiritual Formation within Lipscomb Athletics.

The Spiritual Formation Core Leadership Team consists of 10 student-athletes who we have empowered to help lead and advocate for various Spiritual Formation programs, both on-campus and off. Through this role, student-athletes are able to pursue areas of passion, while walking alongside and encouraging their peers to participate in opportunities to serve, live on mission and ultimately live into the greater story God is calling us to. We have witnessed the Spirit of God moving, and through this authentic discipleship model, we have seen students grow in leadership and community, as well as grow in their relationship with The Lord.


ryan speer “My hope is to encourage guys through their faith journey by coming alongside them, to pray for them, and actively see their faith being played out in their lives. Being in a group of guys that holds each other accountable by getting in the word and praying for each other has been extremely beneficial.” Ryan Speer


audrey ann beck “I am currently preparing to help lead a mission trip, because after experiencing my first trip, I know God is calling me towards missions. I want to grow, not only internationally, but learning and challenging others to be mission-minded in everyday life.” Audrey Ann Beck


olivia doak “Being a core leader has changed my college experience by opening up opportunities to step into the talents and gifts that God has given me. It has allowed me to gain amazing community with people who are passionate about Jesus, but also who have different talents that show me different parts of God’s heart.” Olivia Doak


jenna pealor “As a senior, looking back on my past three years, I have desired a community like this core leadership team. I have desired being around those who simply aren’t satisfied and want more. Being a core leader has ignited a fire in my soul to dig deep and run toward the Father in order to encourage, lead, grow, and walk with my sisters in Christ.” Jenna Pealor


jared peters “Being a core leader has helped me be more intentional about my faith. I have built consistency into my schedule to develop relationships and I hope that I can help others build consistency in areas they are passionate about as well.” Jared Peters


caroline wasserman “I consider the core leadership team my family. Through this experience, I have had the chance to live more fully into my calling of serving others and has better prepared me for my future vocation in ministry.” Caroline Wasserman


a53f662d-577a-4fa8-98ad-9fea3792b4ef “The best part of being a core leader is getting to do something I love and walking closely alongside my friends getting to do things that they love. I have found a group of people that I totally trust to take care of my heart and who will push me to be more like Jesus every day.” Hannah Hutcheson


john green “The best part of being a core leader has been seeing the group of students that frequently come to FCA and how there is a real connection between everyone beyond simply hanging out on Tuesday nights.” John Green


pari manoogian “I am most passionate about the Lord’s work being done at Carter Lawrence through Sports Fun Club. Carter Lawrence has already and continues to shape my spiritual growth at Lipscomb, and it is evidence that God has a great plan for me in advancing the Kingdom through this role!” Pari Manoogian

Lives Forever Changed in the Dominican Republic

If you asked me one year ago what I would be doing over Christmas break in 2018, I never would have told you that I would be in the Dominican Republic spreading the word of God. That is because I was not in the same place spiritually a year ago that I am today. Sometimes, God works in ways that we have no way of predicting, but I am forever thankful that He made it possible for me to travel to the Dominican Republic with my incredible teammates and coaches.


Over the course of the week that we were in the DR, I saw God work in so many different ways. On the first day of being in Bobita, I was introduced to some of the kids at the children’s home, and I have to admit that I was nervous at first. I’ve never considered myself ‘good with kids,’ and of course there was the language barrier. A few of the girls spoke some English, but they obviously preferred their native language of Spanish. We were forced to use our limited knowledge of Spanish to communicate, and this led to a lot of confusion when trying to learn new games (a group of us ended up playing a lot of UNO because it was something that we all understood how to play no matter what language was being spoken.) We continued to spend a lot of time playing at the children’s home and spending time with the kids. I watched some of our guys get challenged by the Dominicans to numerous games of basketball, and it was amusing to witness how there is no language barrier to competitiveness. On one of the days, we all loaded onto an open-air bus and took the kids from the children’s home to a nearby river. Again, I found myself playing some games in which I had no clue as to what I was supposed to be doing. However, I wouldn’t trade the resulting smiles, laughter, and soaked clothing for anything.


Among the memories made on the trip, the highlight for me came on our next to last day. It will forever be a significant day in my life because it was the day that I decided to commit my life to Christ. I had never been baptized before. Growing up, my parents agreed that they would let me decide when I felt I was ready to be baptized. It was a decision that I had been thinking about since starting school at Lipscomb, but I felt that I truly knew what God’s work looked like and what it really means to be a Christian after just a few days on this trip. I saw this through the pure joy of the children I met, and I also witnessed this through the testimonies given by some of the students of Manna. But one of the students that influenced me the most was a twenty-year-old girl named Edily. Upon meeting her, she had a smile on her face, and that smile never seemed to disappear. She was always looking out for me and making me laugh, and she even offered to help me practice my Spanish. Edily also showed me what courage looks like when she told her testimony. I was reminded that you never know the pain that someone has experienced. Because of all of this, I decided to ask Edily to baptize me the day we were planning on going to the beach. She was shocked but honored. I woke up the morning after asking her and she had a list of questions for me to answer regarding my baptism. I answered them with ease, and I knew the timing of my decision was right. On January 3, 2019, I was baptized by Edily in the ocean while I was surrounded by my new American and Dominican brothers and sisters in Christ.


Although being baptized was my favorite memory, there were so many other moments that I will never forget. We sang common American worships songs in Spanish during church service. We experienced Dominican life during community day when we split into groups to eat lunch in a Dominican home. We hosted a movie night for the kids of the neighborhood, and I became attached to a young girl who wouldn’t leave my side. We hosted VBS on Manna’s grounds for these same children. I watched my teammates go out of their comfort zones by putting on a skit of Daniel in the Lion’s Den just to make these kids laugh. We went on a scavenger hunt through Rio San Juan, swam in a lagoon, deep-cleaned the campus, and toured the classrooms where Manna’s students learn. All of these activities gave us the opportunity to grow in our faith and friendships with the Dominicans and each other.


If you ask me today what I will be doing on my next Christmas break, I will say that I will be hopefully reconnecting with my brothers and sisters in Christ from the Dominican Republic. I saw happiness that I rarely see in the United States, and I will always wonder if an American child would be as relentless with fixing a broken Rubik’s cube as a young Dominican boy is. Two days post-trip and I am sad that I no longer get to see my new friends, but for this I know that God has worked through both me and my fellow teammates.

img_8769 Written by Hanna Anderson

Spiritual Formation 2018 Summer Recap

Sept 2018 NewsletterSept 2018 Newsletter2

To print this story as a PDF, please click the link Sept 2018 Newsletter

Thank you for your investment in Lipscomb University Athletics Spiritual Formation. Non of this is possible without your faithful prayers and generous support! We are thankful for YOU, and that you are such a significant member of our team!

For any questions or to learn how to be more involved, please contact Chris Klotz at

Athletic Missions Baja Softball Trip Reflection

Ask someone about Colonet and Diaz Ordaz and they might tell you they are just cities in Baja California, Mexico. Ask a player from the Lipscomb University Softball team and they will probably say it is a second home, a place where a part of their heart will always be.

Our team has gone down to these two churches to serve and help these communities of Baja for the last four years, but what each player will tell you is that they end up getting more than they feel like they gave. The way that the people of Colonet and Diaz Ordaz serve us is incredible! The church in Colonet feeds us every night and believe me when I say we are never disappointed. The food is amazing and the ladies spend so much time making sure it is good for us.

This year we spent three days painting two different houses for people in these communities and also repainted the church in Colonet. On Thursday we spent the morning going around and visiting some of the families that had nothing and bringing them food bags to help them out. Every afternoon we would get together a group and play soccer in the communities. This is such a fun activity for everyone because they usually want to split us up and have an American vs. Mexican match, everyone knows how that game ends. We might not always win the game, but playing with the kids and the adults who decide to join will always be a highlight in my book.


The kids we get the chance to love on are so precious. If you are a returner on this trip you have your kid, or kids that you met last time who impacted your life.

Getting to see them again and how much they have grown is incredible. The kids remember who you are and always have the best hugs to give you. They show the love of Jesus to us even though most of us cant speak the same language.

The language barrier is a factor at the beginning of the trip, but by the end of our time in Baja you do not need words to express your love and gratitude for the people in Baja.


The leaders of the churches, Antonio and Dulce (Colonet), Rafael and Eunice (Diaz Ordaz) always make sure we have everything we need while we’re there. The people of these communities have nothing and yet they still manage to be so joyful.

So while to some these may just be little towns in Baja to our team, these towns and people are our second families, a place where a part of our heart lives, and for some a place where we can fully see God moving and working in the lives of these communities.


Written By: Caroline Wasserman

More Than Just a Summer Camp

“Lipscomb’s All-Sports Camp was easily the most exhausting and incredible week of my summer!  There are so many things that made this camp so sweet, but to start, the anticipation for me was just the beginning of God moving in incredible ways.  The most annoying question for a college student to hear around finals time is, “So, what are you doing this summer?”  Maybe it’s not annoying to everyone, but I was coming off an amazing semester out of the country and had not one single idea what job I was going to be working.   The only thing I could say to people was, “I have no idea! My only plan is to work a sports camp for a week in June.”  And that was the extent of the plan for my summer.  This week was looked forward to, prayed for, planned out, anticipated!  As we got into the week, it was so clear that so many people had prayed over our time, and we could tell!

The Lord put together a great group of coaches and guest coaches to be a part of the week, and I am so thankful to have been a part of it. Times like these remind me of 1 Corinthians 12 because all of us were equipped with different gifts and talents from God, and we were able to unite all of those gifts to do Kingdom work at Carpenter’s Square.


I guess what made this such a sweet week for me is that I totally underestimated how deeply children can understand things.  Our theme verse was John 10:10, which says, “The thief come only to steal, kill, and destroy, but I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.”  Through a series of incredibly acted skits, we told the story of a Toymaker and his son who loved nothing more than being together, creating toys, and fixing broken toys.  My small group was a group of little boys ranging from ages 6-8, and honestly I put God’s ability to speak His truth to these kids in a box.  I thought that there was no way these boys would ask hard questions, but I WAS SO WRONG!  A mix of kids from different backgrounds asked questions like how God could also be Jesus and were eager to memorize the theme verse.  I was absolutely humbled by how God can move in children’s hearts and reminded me of what childlike faith is.

Sports are just a means to bring people together and learn about how you can glorify God in different ways.

And finally, I think it is important to remember that the girls won the dodgeball series.”


Reflection Written By: Hannah Hutcheson



Summer Harvest: A Time of Growth

This summer, God has provided many opportunities for Lipscomb student-athletes and coaches to grow. Junior men’s basketball player Michael Buckland reflects on his incredible time at Ultimate Training Camp.

“Going into this camp, I didn’t have any expectations of what to anticipate. I knew that my sister, Megan, had attended it and it altered her life in a drastic way. When she got back from UTC, she immediately told me that I HAD to go whenever I got the chance. This spring, I decided to use my little free time in May to see what the Lord had in store for me at camp.

The day I left for UTC, I remember having a weird feeling of nervousness, not for the typical nerves of being alone or having to meet new people, but a nervousness that I would not connect on a level that my sister had with this camp years earlier. As the first few days went along, I continued to have some of these feelings because a majority of the time was spent in classroom settings learning about how to integrate faith and sport together, something that had already changed my life in my senior year of high school under my soccer coach, Scott Reitnour. I was beginning to wonder if this week was simply going to be a long, expensive reminder of things I’ve already learned and encountered in my sports journey thus far.

As the camp came to its final days, it was time for what the camp was known for: a physically, mentally, and spiritually grueling team competition known as the SPECIAL that lasts for 20 hours straight. The competition started at 5:30pm with an hour and a half of ultimate frisbee, then sprint/push up relays for 45 minutes, followed by tug of war, then an hour of swimming relays, an hour and a half of basketball, 3 hours of sleep from 2-5am, a 5 mile obstacle course as the sun rises, team exercise competitions, sprint relays, then a mile run in the Rocky Mountains. As the competitions started, I soon came to the realization that my body wasn’t going to be able to withstand this competition on its own. I began cramping up during the tug of war, and soon threw up on the side of the pool during the swimming relays. It was at this time that I gave up my own agenda for wanting to finish the SPECIAL.

I learned a lot throughout the competitions about laying down my own plans and my own desires to lean into the power and the comfort of the Holy Spirit. As my tank became empty, it was continually filled up by the grace of the Lord.

You can only imagine the competitiveness when you gather 175 collegiate athletes together for the SPECIAL. It was amazing to see the transformation of attitude in the 20 teams that were in competition with each other. It went from a competitive nature of doing whatever it took for your team to get a win to doing whatever it took to simply get your own team AND the team next to you through the competition. I went from competing as two separate teams to realizing we’re all a part of the same team, the Lord’s Army.


Competition is good and healthy, but only when you’re trying to make the person next to you better.

Finally the end of the SPECIAL approached and we bussed into the Rocky Mountains for the “Golgotha Run.” Here, the camp leader went through the Biblical story of the final days of Jesus as he was betrayed, beaten, and ultimately crucified. As part of this run you carried a 2×4 down the mountain and when you made the turn to come up you put it on your shoulder, signifying you taking up your own cross to follow Him. This moment brought tears to my eyes. My body was beaten and broken down. I was exhausted. But it didn’t even compare to the agony that Jesus went through in his final day. Jesus carried his cross after being one lash away from death. I had simply gone through some tough physical exercises, the least I could do was show my appreciation for him by finishing the race. At this turn, I gained a new appreciation and vantage point of the verses from 1 Corinthians and 2 Timothy.


I realized that it wasn’t about me finishing the race out of my own pride, but it was about me finishing the race that the Lord sets out for me.

From this camp, I had to learn to lay aside my perfectionism and my controlling mindset. The Lord doesn’t ask for us to finish the race we set out for ourselves. Time and time again, we find ourselves so far from our original plans, goals, and dreams. Heck, 3 years ago I didn’t know what Lipscomb was and would have told you there is no way I’m moving more than 3 hours from home for college. Little did I know I’d end up here and twice as far as I wanted to be. Our plans and aspirations for our own lives are so handicapped to what the Lord has in store for us. Letting go and living in the moment to become more and more like Jesus every day is what he calls us to, and when we learn to embody that, the Lord will bless our future more than we could have ever imagined.

There were so many different lessons that I learned through this camp that are tough to elaborate on in a short letter, but I wanted to try to get the gist of what I went through and some minor notes about things I learned and how the Spirit moved in my life while I was in Colorado. I can’t wait to see how I can integrate what I learned not only on the basketball court in the coming years, but in my life as I begin to figure out the next steps the Lord has in store for me.”


Athletic Missions Uganda Summer Trip Photo Recap

After 12 days serving in Uganda, the general athletics missions team is thrilled to return home and continue seeking God and His purposes for their lives.










Africa 4



This trip is not over. We are now called to LIVE ON MISSION, and recognize that everything in our life is an opportunity to partner with God and live into HIS story! We thank God for the opportunities to grow during this experience, and are excited to continue pursuing the heart of Jesus and LIVE ON MISSION!

Spring 2018 Semester Review

May 2018 Newsletter copyMay 2018 Newsletter copy1To print this story as a PDF, please click the link May 2018 Newsletter

Thank you for your investment in Lipsomb Athletics Spiritual Formation. Non of this is possible without your faithful prayers and generous support!! We are thankful for YOU, and that you are such a significant part of our team!!

For any questions or to learn how to be more involved, please contact Chris Klotz at

Growing Through the Storms of Life

There are many natural challenges and struggles that a college student-athlete goes through. A natural disaster in their hometown however is not something common for students to process. As a result of Hurricane Harvey in Houston Texas, Hurricane Irma striking the coast of Florida, and Hurricane Maria hitting Puerto Rico all this year, for several Lipscomb student-athletes they have been forced to process, struggle, learn and grow.

“Natural disasters are strange in the sense of being incredibly negative, but bringing out the absolute best in people. Though the hurricane in Houston was detrimental for thousands of people, it was amazing to see people who would normally never interact, be willing to give the shirt off their backs to someone who needed it more. This world we live in can appear to be so corrupt and broken, but in those moments I gained hope for humanity. Being so far from home during such a horrific time was hard, it was actually harder than hard, but the support system here at Lipscomb and through my volleyball team made each day a little easier.

The unknown was and always seems to be the hardest part. “What if it doesn’t stop raining? What if the creek overflows? What if the water gets into the house?” These real thoughts didn’t have answers at the time, and the only way to get through that was to understand that there was nothing else I could do or change. Life is so fragile and this was yet another reminder of that. Perspective is everything and it could always be worse. I’m grateful that my family is fine, and I couldn’t be more thankful for the support I had through the difficult time of uncertainty.”  Megan SullivanVolleyball


“Some things that I learned through the Hurricane in Houston were that I should never take anything for granted. I lived in that house for pretty much my whole life and whenever I saw it after the hurricane it was completely destroyed. I never thought about how much I would miss it until it was gone. A big thing I learned was just not taking anything for granted especially your house. The next big thing I learned was whenever a natural disaster occurs it’s very important that the community comes together and helps the people affected. After the hurricane happened, a church nearby donated 10,000 dollars and it helped my family so much. They also got some engineers and architects to come and help rip out the floor and walls and just get the reconstruction process to go by easier. I hope I never have to go through another disaster like that but if it happens I want to be able to help out the community in any way I can just like they helped my family.” Simon Holden-Soccer


“The feeling of helplessness is one of the worst feelings. You are not in control and there is nothing that you can do to help the situation at hand. This is how millions of people felt during Hurricane Harvey.  My family and my childhood home were safe and did not flood, but unfortunately so many of my close friend’s homes were destroyed. It is hard to understand how God could allow such a thing to people that are so good. That thought ran through my mind a lot along with anger and sadness. Sadness for the animals abandoned, the memories captured as pictures were destroyed, and the complete devastation of my home city of Houston, Texas.

Looking back now I still feel some of these emotions, but what I also realize is that Gods plans are way bigger then our own. (Proverbs 19:21). Houston will forever be changed after hurricane Harvey. We truly have to have faith in God and realize that His plans always surpass ours.” Maddie PhillipsVolleyball


“The first thing I learned when the hurricane in Puerto Rico happened was how truly scary it is. Not being able to communicate with your family is something you never really think about until something like this happens. It’s like your whole world stops and you can’t do anything but wonder how your family is. I was part of the lucky few who managed to get in contact with my family after the first couple of days but I know of friends who went weeks and months without knowing anything about if they were safe. It’s the little things that we forget to appreciate. We take so for granted the little thing.” Josh MartinezBaseball


“I always appreciated my beautiful island of Puerto Rico and my family but after the hurricane, different kinds of feelings surfaced. I felt sad that the island was destroyed, heartbroken that people were left devastated, and angry that there hasn’t been an immediate answer. Every time I heard of any situation going on around the world, I never put myself in the situation, and I honestly never tried to. But now I understand. I went days without speaking to my family, praying that they were ok. It was nearly impossible to get some family members to Florida because of flight and health issues. And it has been even harder to get a response from the government in regards to housing and electricity. I realized that we aren’t as big as we think we are, a truly humbling experience. And even though I realized that I am minuscule in the grand scheme of things, my God is the Creator of the universe and there is nothing too big for Him. I learned to lean on him when I felt confused or sad or hopeless. I trusted in Him and saw His hand throughout the lives of the people of the island. I also realized how great the people are. No matter what, we still smile and laugh and sing and dance because we know that God is in control. A beautiful mix of Puerto Rican pride and faith in God.” Marcella Emmanuelli- Volleyball


Thank you for your faithful prayers and generous support as the rebuilding efforts in these locations continue. If you would like to be involved in a Lipscomb Relief Mission Trip, please contact Chris Klotz at for more information.