HOPE is a Person.

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Today is a quiet day on campus. Students have returned home to celebrate Christmas with family and loved ones, and faculty and staff are tying up loose ends so they too can enjoy time with the people they love. As I walk through campus, I am overwhelmingly reminded how the presence of God is moving here in incredible ways.

I see Jesus daily through administrators, coaches, student athletes, support staff, faculty and everyone else I have the pleasure of working with on a daily basis. Thank you for your generosity, smiles, prayers, thoughtfulness and for being bold enough to be the person God has created in you! The people God has gathered here is a beautiful picture of a true, caring and selfless family.

This Christmas, I want us to be reminded that HOPE is a PERSON. Within our familiarity of the Christmas story, it is easy to gaze over the wonder and glory of Jesus. Jesus came to dethrone anything that was begging for worship. While we may be tempted to think that other things bring us joy, peace and good news; there is only one that is truly worthy of our worship. JESUS ALONE. It is Jesus who brings real joy, real peace and real good news. Everything else will fade away, but Jesus will remain forever.

As C.S. Lewis says,
“God can’t give us peace and happiness apart from himself, because there is no such thing.”

Often times, as athletes, we tend to find our identity so wrapped up in our sport. We think positive performance will bring joy, and success will satisfy the longings of our heart.  In the video below, senior Dalton Keck reminds each one of us the truth of what God says about who we are.

God has given us so many incredible things, and I pray that we will continue to worship HIM, the giver of all such opportunities and relationships. I pray as we move into 2016, that each one of us would receive a clearer picture of Jesus, causing us to live the mission of God, every day of our lives.

You are loved! Merry Christmas from the entire Spiritual Formation team!!

Post Written by:

Christopher Klotz


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On Instagram: @LipscombBisonsSF

What books are influencing our coaching staff at Lipscomb?

Regardless the size of your platform, you are leader in some capacity; and within that leadership, you have influence.

Vocation is irrelevant. Well stewarded influence is the essential differential.  (Jenni Catron)

I have been reading the book “The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership, The Power of Leading from Your Heart, Soul, Mind, & Strength” written by Jenni Catron.  This book is based off the Great Commandment Jesus spoke when He stated “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.” (Mark 12:30)…  In other words, Love Him with your whole being.

Author Jenni Catron defines extraordinary leadership this way:

“Extraordinary leadership is found in a leader who has searched to discover his or her authentic self and from that place influences others to accomplish great dreams through intentional relationships (heart), spiritual awareness (soul), wise counsel (mind), and relentless vision (strength).”

Jenni also notes in her book that;

Extraordinary leaders learn to lead themselves first; they develop the discipline to understand their motivations to continually evaluate their emotional health, to manage their physical health, and nurture their spiritual life… and from this; they can then lead others better.

Here at Lipscomb University in the Athletic Department, I am surrounded by great leaders, and all of them are readers.  If you walk into a coaches office, an AD’s office, or any of our staff offices, it’s guaranteed that you will find multiple books on their shelves. Why? Because they know the value and importance of growing their minds to understand their influence and activating it for the sake of those that they are leading.

I asked our Lipscomb coaches to name the most influential book off the top of their head that has contributed to their coaching leadership, here is a compiled list:


Each of our coaches understands the importance of reading.  When we read, we engage our mind.

“Leading well from our minds provides the structure for our hearts, souls, and strength to flourish.” (Jenni Catron, The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership)

Each of our lives, and the platforms we lead are uniquely the conduits in which God wants to reveal Himself and impact the world.  Remember, “Vocation is irrelevant. Well stewarded influence is the essential differential.”  (Jenni Catron)

Jenni Catron, #4DimensionsBook

So here is my question to you… How well do you know yourself and your motivations in your leading?

Find Out! Take the FREE Leadership Assessment Quiz! It’s going to grow your mind, help you discover your authentic self,  and empower you to understand how you lead in each dimension.

Click Here:

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To learn more about The 4 Dimensions of Extraordinary Leadership, The Power of Leading From Your Heart, Soul, Mind, & Strength click on the cover image below:

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To learn more about your God-Given Influence and how to unleash it, click on the cover image below:

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Post Written By: Shannon O’Brien

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Shannon O’Brien is the Director of Women’s Spiritual Formation for Lipscomb Athletics and is also the Assistant Women’s Soccer Coach for the Lipscomb Women’s Soccer Team.  (Twitter: @obShannon)

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Faith + LUV = Growth

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Being a Division 1 athlete comes with many highs and many low valleys throughout the duration of an athlete’s 4 years of eligibility. Fortunately for Lipscomb University Volleyball (LUV), the highs have been an extremely common occurrence as of late. For example, they were recently crowned the Atlantic Sun conference champions and, consequently, are scheduled to play their first round of the NCAA tournament in southern California at UCLA today. In other words, it is a sweet time to be a LUV player.

The players realize this, but they also acknowledge the fact that the uniqueness of the program has given them so much more than athletic success. All-Conference Seniors, Molly Spitznagle and Jewell Dobson, along with All-Conference and Scholar Athlete of the Year, junior Kayla Ostrom, commented on the ways that they have grown as people, in confidence, and in their faith while pursuing their dreams with this very special team.

We had an opportunity to connect with them before the big game tonight and asked them a few questions:

Q:  For you, personally, do faith and volleyball tie together? How does this affect your perspective on and off the court?

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 10.34.15 AM  Kayla: Absolutely. For the longest time, volleyball was a major idol in my life. It was what I wrapped my identity around. The past couple years at Lipscomb have changed the way I view the sport. There have many hard times, but I see them as the way God is transforming me more into the likeness of His Son: teaching me to surrender my worries or desires to Him, to rely on HIs strength alone, to play and live in a way that points others to Him (to play for His glory and not my own).

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 10.34.26 AM Jewell: Yes, volleyball has taught me a lot about my faith, especially the past two years. Tearing my ACL my senior year was a huge challenge for me in many ways. I questioned many things, including my own worth and where I find my value. Those challenges ultimately led me to turn to God and find strength in that relationship, rather than finding my worth and value in what I could do on the court. Along with this, I have also met and interacted with so many different faithful people the past 4 years through Lipscomb athletics, and each person has shown me something valuable. I have learned the value of relationships and finding Christ in others through Lipscomb athletics, and I think that is something that I will take with me anywhere I may end up after college.

Q: Up to this point, what has been the most impacting moment of your time with LUV?

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 10.34.35 AM Molly: My most impacting thing with my time with LUV is my teammates. There is no special moment I have, because there are so many. I have made the most caring, genuine, funny, tell-it-like-it-is, forever friends from this program, and I will aways have that to take with me. The locker room has become my favorite memory. Anything that happens in there is my favorite. Whether it is dance parties before games, film, eating, studying, complaining about a bad practice, laughing at jokes, or anything in between, that locker room is forever home. I have had the best and worst moments there, and I think the bad moments prepare you for the good that will come.

Q: How have you seen yourself grow as a person since playing volleyball at Lipscomb? What do you attribute this to?

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 10.34.26 AM Jewell: I’ve learned the value of hard work, living in the present moment, the ability to work on a team, and how to push myself to my full potential. Being a part of college athletics has pushed me past the limits that I set for myself, and has shown me that I can often do more than I originally think I can. It has also taught me discipline in all areas of life, and that there is no shortcut to doing things the right way. I also think I have become an overall stronger person, and can better handle adversity and challenges that I may face in the future because of what I have been through as an athlete.

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 10.34.35 AM Molly: I have seen myself grow in so many aspects while being at Lipscomb. I have grown in my maturity tremendously, and I now realize that it is not all about me. I’ve learned to never do anything half way, and if I want something it is mine to go and take. It’s almost like a new level of confidence that I have about myself, and I can attribute a lot of it to Brandon Rosenthal. His demands for the team every day never waiver, and I have learned to respect him a lot for this. I don’t run from a challenge
now, and I think that’s because of Brandon.

Screen Shot 2015-12-04 at 10.34.15 AM Kayla: I have grown a lot in Christ since my time at Lipscomb. It is firstly all because of his work on the cross, his working in me through the power of his Spirit, and God carrying out the plans of my life to even bring me to a place like Lipscomb with people who are teaching me and encouraging me in my faith.

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We are so thankful for the people, and provisions God is using to grow our student-athletes at Lipscomb.   We LUV our teams here, and we are so grateful for the way the the Lord has worked in their lives at the intersection of sport and faith. Be sure to tune in tonight to watch the LUV Lady Bisons play UCLA at 10 p.m. central time (watch here: http://pac-12.com/live/ucla)

Read more about the match tonight: http://www.lipscombsports.com/volleyball/news/2015-16/10696/lipscomb-ready-for-ncaa-volleyball-challenge-at-ucla/


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Written by: Alex Newby, Lipscomb Spiritual Formation Grad Student