Lipscomb Women’s Tennis Served On & Off The Court

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This past week was spring break for many students around the country.  For most that involves a retreat away from the typical school routine… But what about our collegiate student-athletes that are in their counting NCAA season- what do they do on their spring break?

For most, it means staying on campus and attending training and matches.  This past week, our Lipscomb women’s tennis team did just that- trained, played matches, and served – not just on the court, but at a local family homeless shelter called Safe Haven.

Coach Jamie Aid is always seeking to help maximize her student-athletes development both on and off the court.  This past week she saw the opportunity to schedule three days of service around the team’s set of NCAA Division 1 matches during her students-athletes spring break.  Coach Aid shared with me:

“Whether the team is in Nashville or else where- being service minded during our spring break adds more purpose to the team’s schedule of time, and provides a great opportunity to serve others in need. These outreach efforts offer greater perspective as we enter our conference play and additionally it grows our team’s unity.   It was really important to me to have a place where we could consistently connect in relationship building with the families and their kids as service was provided to them.”

This statement reminded me of the power of intentional evangelism; that is, choosing to share common ground and build relationships. This is what 1 Corinthians 9:19-23 in the Message version of the Bible has to say about this:

“I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!

“In on it.” Think about that statement.  How often do we think to ourselves, “I should do something about that,” but life at its rapid pace continues, and we just talk about it as opposed to getting in on it.

Intentionality. This is what is unique about our Lipscomb athletic department, specifically in this story, our women’s tennis team. We want to be intentional; we want to be in on it.

This past week the team served at Safe Haven.  Safe Haven is a homeless shelter that houses the entire family experiencing homelessness by providing for their immediate needs. Most homeless shelters are divided by gender, meaning that father’s and older boys could not stay with their wives/mothers and sisters.  Uniquely however, Safe Haven is the only shelter-to-housing program of its kind in Middle Tennessee that accepts the entire homeless family. It is Safe Haven’s desire to keep the family together and provide comprehensive services that empower them to achieve lasting self-sufficiency.

At Safe Haven, the Lipscomb women’s tennis team was able to spend time with the children and their families during the afternoon and evenings on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday last week.  The student-athltes on the team were able to help serve the children through tutoring, creative interaction, and free play.  Each afternoon involved the opportunity to help the children with their homework.  Additionally the team did an art project with the shelter, and on wednesday evening the team put on a puppet show for the families.  Friday afternoon, the team helped the shelter take inventory on their supplies.

Below are few quotes from the girls on the team and their take on serving at Safe Haven:

“It’s amazing to see how happy the kids are given their circumstances, and knowing that we are able to bring smiles to their faces just by being with them is such a blessing.”  (Deahna Welcher, Senior)

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“It is a blessing to get the insight into the lives of residents of Safe Haven and to be the ones to influence them to reach their potential in becoming the best that they can be. (Lorena Djuknic, Junior)

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“The kids are so much fun! Their happiness makes me believe their future is in good hands. (Jenny Borck, Senior, Team Captain)

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“Service was such a fulfilling experience, it was great to be able to spend time with such friendly and joyful kids. (Laura Kent, Sophomore)

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“The service was a great experience for the team to be able to give back to the community in a way that allowed us all to learn and grow at the same time. We had a wonderful time with the kids and appreciated how they lived their lives to the fullest.”  (Dani Kinnen, Junior, Team Captain)

Living your life to the fullest.  This is not new for our women’s tennis team, they want to make the most of their days.  So let me ask you this question:

Do you want to get in on it?

It’s in the matter of choosing to be intentional. Intentional in your time, intentional in your effort.

You’ve all been to the stadium and seen the athletes race. Everyone runs; one wins. Run to win. All good athletes train hard. They do it for a gold medal that tarnishes and fades. You’re after one that’s gold eternally.  I don’t know about you, but I’m running hard for the finish line. I’m giving it everything I’ve got. No sloppy living for me! I’m staying alert and in top condition. I’m not going to get caught napping, telling everyone else all about it and then missing out myself. (1 Corinthians 9:24-27 MSG)

As for Lipscomb Athletics, we will continue to run to win; running hard for the finish line, giving it everything we got.  We want to be in on it.

Join us.

To learn more about our Lipscomb Women’s Tennis team and their upcoming match schedule visit: http://www.lipscombsports.com/wtennis/ or Follow Them @LipscombWTennis

To learn more about Safe Haven and their service opportunities: http://safehaven.org

Written By: Shannon O’Brien, Director of Women’s Spiritual Formation, Lipscomb Athletics

Man Time

Burgers. Junk food. Video games. Time spent with brothers in Christ. Man Time.

Mantime #1

On Tuesday, February 10, the male counterpart of Galentine’s Day, “Man Time” took place in the Hall of Fame room in Allen Arena. This night, catered to the interests of all college guys, included more than 4 projector screens set up with different video games and enough hamburgers and hot dogs to feed a small army. The purpose of the night, however, was about something much more meaningful than video games and burgers. Like everything done through Spiritual Formations, the sole purpose of every activity is to glorify our Father, to make Him known, and to form a community that believes in learning and encouraging each other to become the men (and women) that we are designed to be. We asked Alexander McMeen to recap the night from his perspective and this is what he said:

“Although I’m sure the chapel credit was nice for some, I believe God does something special each time he brings men together with the sole purpose of walking alongside one another towards Him. The older I get, and I’ve been here since David Lipscomb started growing his man-beard, the more and more valuable I see time together as brothers in Christ. That macho mask we put on for the ladies is removed. We can be vulnerable. We can be broken. We can be who we were created to be.

Ever since I read a book called Manhood Restored by Eric Mason, the subject of biblical manhood has been on my heart. Actually, it was on my heart long before I read that book, but it helped to fuel the fire immensely. Mostly because my image of what it means to be a man is far from who God calls me to be as a man. Whether you are 10 or 110, every male wants to be a man. But, society’s definition of a man is far different from our calling to be men, and trust me, I’ve put the former ahead of the latter many times. It’s frustrating. It’s exhausting. It’s unattainable.

For our man time, Klotzy brought in one of his good buddies, Cyrus Eaton, to come and speak on what it means to be a man. He asked the guys in the room what society deems as manly, and the answers were spot on: big muscles, not showing emotion, getting all the girls, etc. Turn on the TV or listen to the latest hit song and all of those points will be reiterated.

Cyrus is the definition of a MAN. He wakes up at the crack of dawn everyday to drive hundreds of miles around Nashville to pick up…recycling. The world views his job as less than appealing, but to Cyrus, it allows him to do things he wouldn’t normally do. He spends hours in a truck with guys he probably wouldn’t hang out with otherwise. He loves on them. He listens to them. He cares for them. Just like recycling takes things once tossed aside and makes them usable again, Jesus uses Cyrus to take men once tossed aside by society and makes them alive in Christ again.

His main point was this; real men are humble. Humbling yourself is remembering that your position does not entitle you to anything. Humility means meeting someone where they are at that moment in time. They need a hand up. Humility is taking everything you have, leveraging it, and elevating those who cannot. It is something that is impossible without Jesus.

I love talking about manhood because, as Cyrus said, all men can meet on the subject of manhood. There are broken walls everywhere, and our charge as men is to be wall builders. Our charge is to repair the broken walls of manhood that have been crumbling our entire lives. It can only happen with Jesus. Jesus gives life, establishes our identity, and defines our purpose.

While we have a long way to go to becoming men, it was a beautiful sight to see 60 men gathered in a room, yearning to be the man God created them to be. I boldly ask for you to pray for not only these men, but also all men, myself included. I know the difficulties society puts on manhood. I often believe the lies we are fed daily to become someone we were not intended to be. Fortunately for us, one man has the answer, and He longs for an intimate relationship with us. To that I say thank you, Jesus.”

Mantime #2

If you are looking for somewhere to connect with a Christian male mentor, feel free to reach out to:

Christopher Klotz- cpklotz@mail.lipscomb.edu
Aaron Spragg- ahspragg@mail.lipscomb.edu
Kevin O’Brien- kpobrien@lipscomb.edu

Galentine’s Day Women’s Event

Chocolate. Sisters in Christ. Truth. Worship. Chocolate. Hope. JESUS.

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On February 10th, the second annual Galentine’s Day took place in Shamblin theater on Lipscomb’s campus. Galentine’s (a play on the words Valentine’s and gal) is a Christian women’s event open to all women on campus that focuses on looking at what ‘love’ really looks like.

This year, around 130 girls gathered around chocolate fountains, fruit, and coffee to soften the soul and listen to the hope and the truth of God’s Redeeming love. Tam Hodge, author of And Now I Choose, shared about how love was first defined in her young life through personal stories of verbal, physical, sexual, and emotional abuse and abandonment from the first half of her life. Now a Christ Follower, “love” has been redefined in Tam’s life.

When we asked Lipscomb cross country runner, Hannah Feiten to reflect on her Galentine’s experience, she said:

“In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace
Ephesians 1:17

Galentine’s day was full of two things that satisfy a girls soul: chocolate and a whole lot of Jesus.

Tam Hodge shared her incredible story of God’s redeeming love in her life. (You can read Tam’s powerful testimony in her book: And Now I Choose).

Tam’s testimony proclaimed of a God who is bigger then sin, a God who is stronger than Satan, a God who redeems. Even when we think we are beyond reach, covered in dirt, stuck in a slimy pit of sin, God is powerful and merciful enough to lift us. Not only does he lift us, but he redeems the situation that Satan has a hold of. In our brokenness, he restores and redeems us to be whole and beautiful! What glorious news!

When I feel weighed down by the weight of this world, as if I am dragging around chains of enslavement, God shines His Truth into the situation – that Jesus defeated Satan, that there are no shackles of bondage on me! For He has broken every chain, in the the atonement of Jesus He has already redeemed me! And through His grace I am able to live in such a redemptive, beautiful, perfect love.

The evening closed in worship, with visual art matching the lyrics to  “Jesus Paid It All” painted by Women’s Director of Spiritual Formation, Shannon O’Brien.   Kass Hodge (Tam’s daughter) led the women in singing as the air was filled with voices of hope and praise – “There is power in the name of Jesus… to break every chain” – What an incredible Truth of God’s redeeming love, who has, who is, and who will, redeem us all (if we choose to let Him)… no power in Hell can stop His Kingdom from advancing!

Galentine's collage
Shannon Galentine's

For more information on Tam Hodge and her new book, And Now I Choose, check out her website: tamhodge.com or order directly through Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/1502443783

Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post about “Man Time” and how the men spent their Malentine’s (Male and Valentine’s?) together!